Constructor under WinXP

Getting old DOS games working.

Postby Schadenfreude » 2003-2-24 @ 20:02

gil22 wrote:Ok. I'm lost. You're saying he needs to use UniVBE AND NOLFB?! -Nicht Sehr Gut

Sort of.....

As far as I can see, this is what's happening:

The game is using the built-in version of univbe and univbe doesn't support geforce cards.

By using the modified driver you tell the game that univbe is installed and everything is great, please start now.

But all the modified driver does is pass everything over to the video card, Univbe itself is bypassed. So you are not really using univbe at all.


Yes, I thought this may be the case. It may be worth going and testing some of the other games that came with (and automatically loaded) UNIVBE, such as the ones mentioned on Rob's page.

I wonder if any other of Rob's utilities work in Windows 2000/XP (prolly not).

Anyhow, thanks for trying that, Gil. :)
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Postby Snover » 2003-2-26 @ 04:17

grandwazir wrote:no i'm trying to get the dos version to run because the windows version just bombs out to the desktop as soon as you run it. The patch doesn't help make it win95 native as it says it doesn't seem to help at all :-(
It's a Win32 app in the first place so a patch to make it "Windows 95 native" doesn't make any sense at all. Did you TRY the Application Compatibility Toolkit??
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Postby grandwazir » 2003-2-26 @ 22:41

Yeah i tried everything i could think of but last time i tried the win version my computer was under win2000 not xp. I make a backup of my harddisk and all my games when i formatted but the windows version will not run without the orginal disc which my friend has lost! :-(

So in short i'm stuck with trying to get the dos version to work. However rather intresting i have managed to get the game to work for around 5 minutes then crashs out unexpectantly, on my brother's pc which is under xp as well. When it does crash same problem, the mouse freezes. He pc is about half the speed of mine (400Mhz) and has a different, older video card to mine - A Riva TNT2.

Even more intresting is the fact that i have been able to replicate the same mouse freezing and terminal crashing in an other game, "Machiavelli the Prince". Same thing happens loads to the menu, sound and music fine, then as soon as you move the mouse the game crashes. Prehaps there is a link?

I have tried different mice (i.e. USB and conventional) and loading dos mouse drivers (CTMouse) but nothing seems to work.

Any Ideas?
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Postby Snover » 2003-2-27 @ 00:11

There is no DOS in Windows NT/2000/XP, so those drivers won't do anything except perhaps make things even worse. There should be no reason that using PS/2 versus USB will change anything and the only thing I can think of is that both games use some INT call that NTVDM chokes on. Also, it makes no sense that a DOS version would work while a Windows version would not without the disc, so chances are either way you're SOL.
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Postby Snover » 2003-3-15 @ 23:39

Okay. I've done some testing. Here are my results.

Running UVCONFIG.EXE manually solves the problem of it claiming to not have enough conventional memory, but will usually detect the wrong video card.
Using a newer version of UVCONFIG.EXE to force-select an nVidia RIVA-128 (the last generation of nVidia cards to use VESA for any high-resolution modes -- eg, before Windows 95 was popular) does not work. When snapping in the UNIVBE.DRV created by the newest (free) version of SciTech Display Doctor, 6.53, Constructor fails saying that it is an 'old' version. When NOLFB is run, UVCONFIG detects a Winbond video card. Without it, it detects an InteGraphics card.
SciTech Display Doctor 5.3a [DOS only version] complains about being unable to open an input file after it has extracted its files.

The game also complains about not being able to find its CD (that is, once you get past the SDD problems). Using SAPUCDEX fixes this, although I'm uncertain why it occurs in the first place since the game just accesses the hard drive on a full install (which is what I have). Once you actually get into the game, at least on my video card, the graphics were all stuck in little green bars in the top of my screen. This is not unsurprising, but what WAS surprising was that after the 'high-resolution' logo, the intro video ran looking correctly. (This is probably due to the fact that it is low-resolution.) Of course, once it went back into high-res VESA mode, the video was stuck in green bars at the top again and I had to force-quit out of the VDM.

The Windows version is equally plagued with problems. It displays a few white pixels, and after hitting keys, it displays some other coloured pixels on the same line, but never produces any other display. It eventually crashes back to the desktop (the background seems to be in 256 colours after the crash).

I'll keep working on it and see if I can come up with anything. At this point, however, it isn't looking very hopeful.
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Postby Schadenfreude » 2003-3-17 @ 19:14

Did you try Rob's UNIVBE.DRV file, Snover?
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Postby Snover » 2003-3-17 @ 21:52

No luck. Just bombs out. Not even an error message.
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Postby grandwazir » 2003-3-17 @ 22:05

interesting stuff may just be easier to get an old pc together.
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Re: Constructor under WinXP

Postby Richie » 2004-5-22 @ 02:38

i thought i'd add to this topic since a solution is now possible.
The-underdogs.org host a CD-Rip version of Constructor that is compatible with DosBos without any swapping of files, but there is a sound issue and there is a lagginess issue.

http://www.the-underdogs.org/downloadfi ... ip&id=2924

after the sound and lag issue i found it easier just to throw 98 on a spare hard drive then load Constructor onto that, and just switch drives when i want to play.
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Re: Constructor under WinXP

Postby Snover » 2004-5-25 @ 19:02

The original game probably works with DOSBox now, this thread is over a year old!!
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Re: Constructor under WinXP

Postby Arphetic » 2004-6-15 @ 19:05

Still doesn't work at my place ... I'm running Win98se, tried several ways said in this topic but nothing would work (yet...). Anyone got any idee (maybe changing a setting in win98 config?).
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Re: Constructor under WinXP

Postby kode54 » 2004-6-21 @ 00:49

Richie wrote:i thought i'd add to this topic since a solution is now possible.
The-underdogs.org host a CD-Rip version of Constructor that is compatible with DosBos without any swapping of files, but there is a sound issue and there is a lagginess issue.

http://www.the-underdogs.org/downloadfi ... ip&id=2924

after the sound and lag issue i found it easier just to throw 98 on a spare hard drive then load Constructor onto that, and just switch drives when i want to play.


I haven't tried to play this in emulation recently, but I do recall that a LOT of content was ripped out, and even with all movies disabled as per the instructions, it bombed out on me about 20 minutes into a game due to some missing resource. I have a feeling that not all ripping groups verify whether their ripping leaves the game functional, and that HotU doesn't have the greatest quality control, and rarely repacks the rips they put up.

Eh, I guess one can't expect too much when pirating.
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Re: Constructor under WinXP

Postby Janeus » 2004-10-17 @ 12:15

Bump cos i want a fix for this
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Re: Constructor under WinXP

Postby xerouk » 2005-1-01 @ 21:26

I'm a dumbass.

Edit by Snover: Do not ask for illegal copies of games!
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Postby janskjaer » 2005-3-29 @ 21:03

Snover wrote:The game also complains about not being able to find its CD (that is, once you get past the SDD problems). Using SAPUCDEX fixes this, although I'm uncertain why it occurs in the first place since the game just accesses the hard drive on a full install (which is what I have).


Hi there Snover.

You mentioned you managed to bypass the 'CD read' error for Constructor with the use of SAPUCDEX.

I've installed Constructor successfully. I have then mounted its directory within dosbox. I then run the Dos version of the game (GAME.exe).

DOS4GW starts up .. then it says it cannot read the CD.

The cd drive has been mounted to the CD-ROM drive that currently has the Constructor disc inside it.

However, I have read about this SAPUCDEX helping DOS based CD-ROM games.

I have copied the .dll and .exe files into both the game directory and the C:WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\ directory. I have modified the AUTOEXEC.NT to point to SAPUCDEX.exe instead of MSCDEX.exe.

However, I do not know how to activate this SAPUCDEX within dosbox? I have run 'SAPUCDEX' in the command line but it only says that 'SAPUCDEX will only run under Windows NT'. I have tried executing it through WinXP by clicking on it but nothing happens ( a black command window comes up for half a second then disappears).
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