Carmen Sandiego

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

Carmen Sandiego

Postby FFXIhealer » 2017-1-22 @ 07:54

Anyone else have the same issue as I am?

Tried on 2 different systems, a Windows 95 Pentium (P54C) system and a Windows 98 Pentium III (Katmai) system. I have 5 Carmen Sandiego games: Where in ..... the World Deluxe, the USA Deluxe, America's Past, Time, and Space. I have configured them all or configured DOS itself so that all 5 games run with VGA graphics and Sound Blaster sound (except in Time where it's so old it still uses the little PC speaker in the case for certain noises). The problem I have is with the two Deluxe games (World and USA).

Both of them will start perfectly fine and I can get into a case and start working it. But at some random point - and I haven't been able to associate a specific cause (button press, animated graphic, sound clip, etc.) to unify the events - the game will LOCK UP the whole DOS system. If I'm in Windows, it will be caught as an ending to the DOS session with an error of an "illegal operation" having been performed and the program force-ably shut down. If I'm running in straight DOS mode, it locks the whole system (keyboard and mouse) and I have no choice but to kill the power (holding the pwr button for >4 seconds or switch off the PSU) and restart.

I don't recall these programs having this issue back on the original 486 MS-DOS system I had as a child (that had Windows 3.1 on it and probably NOT DOS 7). No, I haven't tried running it in DOSBox on a newer system, but maybe I should. I don't want to run DOSBox on an older Windows 95 system, as I built it SPECIFICALLY to run these older type games. All of my other DOS games run beautifully (Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem 2, Duke Nukem 3D Atomic, Quake, The Elder Scrolls: Arena, etc.).

The main system I'm working with is the Windows 95 OSR2 system. I'll give you the details here.

CPU: Intel Pentium P54C 200Mhz (no MMX, that's the P55C)
RAM: 40MB 72-pin (I don't know if it's 70ns or 60ns)
HDD: 20.4GB Maxtor
Motherboard: Micronics M55HI+
Video: ATI Rage IIc 4MB PCI + Diamond Monster 3D II Voodoo2 8MB PCI
Sound: Creative Labs Vanta 16 (fully Sound Blaster 16 compatible chip)
Operating System: MS-DOS 7
Windows Overlay: Windows 95 OSR2

Contents of my DOS files

CONFIG.SYS
DEVICE=C:\Windows\himem.sys
DEVICE=C:\Windows\EMM386.exe NOEMS I=B000-B7FF
DEVICEHIGH=(location of CD-ROM driver) /D:MSCD001 /P:170,15 /L:US
DOS=HIGH,UMB
LASTDRIVE=F
NUMLOCK=ON

AUTOEXEC.BAT
SET SOUND=C:\PROGRA~1\CREATIVE\CTSND
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6
SET MIDI=SYNTH:1 MAP:E

DOSSTART.BAT
LH C:\WINDOWS\CTCM
LH C:\mscdex.exe /D:mscd001 /l:D
LH C:\Windows\Command\mouse.com

With these settings, I only use 19KB of Conventional Memory (640KB total) and the Mouse and CD-ROM drives both work properly (as tested by Duke Nukem 3D Atomic).

If anyone has suggestions, let me know here. If not, whatever. Carmen Sandiego games aren't exactly a high priority, if you know what I mean. It's nostalgia, after all.
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Re: Carmen Sandiego

Postby Jorpho » 2017-1-23 @ 22:16

Are those "Deluxe" games the CD-ROM versions? Have you checked around for patches (like at http://patches-scrolls.de/ ) ?

Sometimes in the Deluxe CD version of Carmen World, you would receive a clue that would require you to listen to a tape recorder or answering machine with a sample of a foreign language. Perhaps that is what is triggering the freeze?

Also, if you're dead set on maxing out your conventional memory for some reason, you might want to get SHSUCDEX.
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Re: Carmen Sandiego

Postby FFXIhealer » 2017-1-24 @ 04:23

Hmmm... I hadn't thought of that. I always assumed all of the editions were disc-based because my original copy of U.S.A. Deluxe was on 3 floppy disks and was installed to the hard drive and run from there. There was no CD.

Do you think that maybe the problem is that I downloaded these as part of a package with DOSBox? And now instead of running them in DOXBox, I directly moved the game files to this Windows 95 system and I'm trying to run them in NATIVE DOS. Could that be causing a problem with the Deluxe versions? The non-deluxe games are working fine, it seems.
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Re: Carmen Sandiego

Postby Jorpho » 2017-1-24 @ 05:49

FFXIhealer wrote:Do you think that maybe the problem is that I downloaded these as part of a package with DOSBox?
If you downloaded them from some random place on the Internet instead of using original disks, there could be any number of things wrong with the files and it is fairly pointless to attempt troubleshooting. You may have noticed that is a common refrain on this board. :blah:
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Re: Carmen Sandiego

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-23 @ 21:04

FFXIhealer wrote:Anyone else have the same issue as I am?

Tried on 2 different systems, a Windows 95 Pentium (P54C) system and a Windows 98 Pentium III (Katmai) system. I have 5 Carmen Sandiego games: Where in ..... the World Deluxe, the USA Deluxe, America's Past, Time, and Space. I have configured them all or configured DOS itself so that all 5 games run with VGA graphics and Sound Blaster sound (except in Time where it's so old it still uses the little PC speaker in the case for certain noises).


From memory I only remember Where in Time using just the PC internal speaker. I don't recall if it had a setup or config file to choose Sound blaster or if there was a syntax for it. Do you have the original box and manuals? Let me know if they discuss it supported Sound Blaster or Adlib.
Last edited by 95DosBox on 2017-5-26 @ 04:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Carmen Sandiego

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-5-24 @ 01:50

It did have SB support, but said SB detection is timing sensitive in WitWiCS, so I have to use slowdown tricks to make it work. As you use a p54c, I recommend installing SETMUL and using it to tune the speed of your Pentium. I'd start by trying SETMUL CCD DCD, and if you don't get digital sound of the bobbies running, try SETMUL L1DX BPD VPD CCD DCD.
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Re: Carmen Sandiego

Postby 95DosBox » 2017-5-25 @ 14:01

gdjacobs wrote:It did have SB support, but said SB detection is timing sensitive in WitWiCS, so I have to use slowdown tricks to make it work. As you use a p54c, I recommend installing SETMUL and using it to tune the speed of your Pentium. I'd start by trying SETMUL CCD DCD, and if you don't get digital sound of the bobbies running, try SETMUL L1DX BPD VPD CCD DCD.


I located the configuration file "desktopd.cfg"

Do you have a functional SB config file for WITICS?
Was there a program you ran to configure the sound card choice or was there some command line syntax for configuring the game to use SB?
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Re: Carmen Sandiego

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-5-25 @ 15:17

I don't have Where in Time... I have Where in the World.
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