VOGONS


First post, by geiger9

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I have tried three games so far - MK Trilogy, Voyeur, and Crusader: No Remorse. When I start MK Trilogy or Voyeur, the screen just stays black. CTRL+ALT+DEL does not work - I have to power off my system. When I try Crusader, there is a screen that flashes briefly with some text that tells me what the computer is doing but then it never gets to a logo or startup screen. Just a black screen. I have followed a guide on Vogons Phil's MS-DOS Mode Tutorial: Working Memory, Mouse, CD-ROM and Sound Blaster 16/32/64 in Windows 9x MS-DOS Mode and the games I'm using are from the eXoDOS collection.

The computer is a Toshiba Satellite 330CDS:

Pentium 266 w/MMX
512KB L2 cache
32MB RAM
2MB video

Any idea where to start troubleshooting this?

Reply 1 of 11, by HandOfFate

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To help read the text that flashes on the screen shortly, you could try recording the screen with your phone. It has helped me a few times, for example with EMM386 giving errors and immediately triggering a reboot.

Are you trying to run the games from DOS or from Windows?

You can try to disable as much as you can. If you're running things from DOS, you can skip loading all drivers, memory managers, etc. by pressing F8 before the Windows boot screen shows, and then press F5. Also disable all sound in the games' setups in case that is causing issues.

[edit]
Ah, and other things you could try: running Memtest to see if you have any faulty RAM, disable L2 CPU cache in the BIOS (if the Toshiba BIOS has an option for this)

Am486 DX4 120MHz, no L2, 16MB, Tseng ET4000/W32 1MB VLB, ESS ES1869 /// 5x86 133MHz, 256kb L2, 64MB, S3 Virge/DX 4MB PCI, SB16 + Yucatan FX /// Pentium III 1GHz, 512MB, Asus V7700 64MB AGP, SB Live!

Reply 2 of 11, by dr_st

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I haven't played Voyeur, but MK Trilogy and Crusader are far from the simplest games. They can get picky about various sound and video options. I am not familiar with this eXoDOS collection. Are these CD-rips you're playing? Because both Crusader and MK Trilogy are CD games that are installed from the disk.

Some tips:
1. Post your startup files (CONFIG/AUTOEXEC)
2. Try simpler games first

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Reply 3 of 11, by geiger9

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HandOfFate wrote on 2020-08-29, 19:53:
To help read the text that flashes on the screen shortly, you could try recording the screen with your phone. It has helped me a […]
Show full quote

To help read the text that flashes on the screen shortly, you could try recording the screen with your phone. It has helped me a few times, for example with EMM386 giving errors and immediately triggering a reboot.

Are you trying to run the games from DOS or from Windows?

You can try to disable as much as you can. If you're running things from DOS, you can skip loading all drivers, memory managers, etc. by pressing F8 before the Windows boot screen shows, and then press F5. Also disable all sound in the games' setups in case that is causing issues.

[edit]
Ah, and other things you could try: running Memtest to see if you have any faulty RAM, disable L2 CPU cache in the BIOS (if the Toshiba BIOS has an option for this)

The screen that flashes shortly was not anything that DOS was generating - imagine how the loading screen for Duke 3D looks for example.

I tried what I thought was a simpler game - Leisure Suit Larry 5 - and when I load it, it tells me "unable to initialize your music hardware" and then it hangs. I went and tried even simpler games like Leisure Suit Larry 1 and 3 (at this very moment I don't have much variety of games of that period) and they seem to work. Perhaps this could be an issue with my built in soundcard? The 330CDS uses the Yamaha OPL3-SAx.

Reply 4 of 11, by geiger9

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dr_st wrote on 2020-08-29, 20:14:
I haven't played Voyeur, but MK Trilogy and Crusader are far from the simplest games. They can get picky about various sound and […]
Show full quote

I haven't played Voyeur, but MK Trilogy and Crusader are far from the simplest games. They can get picky about various sound and video options. I am not familiar with this eXoDOS collection. Are these CD-rips you're playing? Because both Crusader and MK Trilogy are CD games that are installed from the disk.

Some tips:
1. Post your startup files (CONFIG/AUTOEXEC)
2. Try simpler games first

Yeah, they are CD rips. I have all the files on the disc so if the game lets me, I can edit a config file and point it to that directory instead of the CD drive.

Here is what my config.sys looks like. Keep in mind I was following Phil's guide that I linked to up above.

[COMMON]
DOS=NOAUTO
DOS=HIGH,UMB
FILES=30
BUFFERS=30
LASTDRIVE=H
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SETVER.EXE

[menu]
menuitem=EMC, Expanded memory + Mouse + CD-ROM
menuitem=XMC, Extended memory + Mouse + CD-ROM
menuitem=CMC, Conventional Memory only + Mouse + CD-ROM
menuitem=EM, Expanded memory + Mouse
menuitem=XM, Extended memory + Mouse
menuitem=CM, Conventional memory only + Mouse

menudefault=EMC,10

[EMC]
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL

[XMC]
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL

[CMC]
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL

[EM]
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM

[XM]
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF

[CM]

Here is my autoexec.bat:

LH C:\DRIVERS\CTMOUSE.EXE /R2
GoTo %config%
:EMC
:XMC
:CMC
LH C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX.EXE /D:OPTICAL
:EM
:XM
:CM

I am thinking this freezing has something to do with sound. I have an onboard Yamaha OPL3-SAx. I have tried using the SETYMF utility for Tiido's KickÄss Yamaha Based Sound Card and I am able to generate a test noise in DOS using it.

Here is how the sound is configured in BIOS:

WSS I/O = 530H
SBPRO I/O = 220H
Synth I/O = 388H

WSS & SBPRO & MPU401 IRQ LEVEL = 5

WSS (play) DMA = channel 1
WSS (REC) and SBPRO DMA = channel 0

CONTROL I/O ADDRESS = 370h
MPU401 = 330H

Reply 6 of 11, by dr_st

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I don't like Phil's startup files in general - too many options which have no practical use, but technically, they should work fine.

Ruling out sound-related problems is indeed a good way to start. Crusader games and Mortal Kombat games all have "no sound" options. Do the games run fine this way?

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 7 of 11, by mbliss11

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dr_st wrote on 2020-08-31, 20:00:

I don't like Phil's startup files in general - too many options which have no practical use, but technically, they should work fine.

Ruling out sound-related problems is indeed a good way to start. Crusader games and Mortal Kombat games all have "no sound" options. Do the games run fine this way?

Seconded for playing with no sound

Reply 8 of 11, by geiger9

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I tried a few games without sound and I still had the same issue. Without any other ideas, I tried burning the CD image and installing the game - I got Crusader to work that way.

Now it's making me believe there is something wonky about the eXoDOS files. I believe this collection was intended to be ran from a modern computer. The default directory structure is a bit odd. I'm going to try burning MK Trilogy to a disc tomorrow and installing it to see if that works.

Reply 9 of 11, by HandOfFate

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eXoDOS games are setup to run in DOSBox, and sometimes modified in other ways (e.g. UFO Enemy Unknown is already patched with UFOpatch). But it would be quite the coincidence if all the games that you picked are broken.

I happen to know that Rise of the Triad (Dark War) from that collection works on real DOS (don't worry, I also bought it on GOG). The sound setup of that game has many options and sometimes gives helpful feedback when settings are incorrect. So you could try that one and see how it goes.

Am486 DX4 120MHz, no L2, 16MB, Tseng ET4000/W32 1MB VLB, ESS ES1869 /// 5x86 133MHz, 256kb L2, 64MB, S3 Virge/DX 4MB PCI, SB16 + Yucatan FX /// Pentium III 1GHz, 512MB, Asus V7700 64MB AGP, SB Live!

Reply 10 of 11, by DosFreak

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We don't support so called "abandonware" here. If you have an issue with the game you downloaded you need to contact the person who packaged it or made it available for download.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 11 of 11, by geiger9

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DosFreak wrote on 2020-09-01, 15:55:

We don't support so called "abandonware" here. If you have an issue with the game you downloaded you need to contact the person who packaged it or made it available for download.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I was looking for help with that. What I meant was that I'm considering the issue closed because it's a problem with how the game was packaged.