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Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont] #108032
11/28/16 12:55 AM
11/28/16 12:55 AM
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crazyc Offline
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For mame you'll want to use the isbc28612 driver. The irmx86 install disks come from http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/bits/Intel/iRMX86 .

Instructions for isbc 286/10-12 with default system monitor and 214 or 215/218 HDD/FDD controller.

HDD type Quantum Q540 chs 512,8,9 bps 1024 (formatted drive can be any size unformatted must be a type from http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/i...ility_Mar89.pdf page 103, Note: the images from bitsavers only support W, IW, CM, CMB, QMA and an unknown type IWB)

Insert disk 147025
Start machine wait for . prompt.
Type "b :wf0:" (0 is the unit number, wf1 for unit 1 etc.)
Enter date dd/mm/yyyy
Enter time 24 hour hh:mm:ss
Type "super" with empty pass
Type "submit /instal.csd(qma0, 1, 6750)" (first is device name, qma0 is for quantum q540 others are listed on page 111 of above doc, second is interleave, third is max files on fs, intel suggests 125 per MB)
The drive will then be low level formatted then the base system will be copied.
You will then be asked to reboot.

To mount a floppy use "attachdevice wmfdy0 as f0" then "dir :f0:" to access and "deatchdevice f0" to umount.
Install the rest of the cli commands with by mounting 147113 and running "super" and "submit :f0:instal.csd(:f0:)".

Last edited by crazyc; 11/28/16 02:45 AM.
Re: The MAME OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont] #112996
03/29/18 04:40 PM
03/29/18 04:40 PM
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r09 Offline
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PC-98の世界へようこそ

The PC-98 series can be pretty daunting to work with, mostly because, much like its IBM counterpart, it's a platform that lasted for a really long time (around two decades), and in that time it changed gradually while an immense amount of software and hardware was developed for it. This guide will try to make sense of some of that insanity.

First off, you need to choose a platform. The PC-98 series is mainly divided into two "generations": the original models which use NEC's μPD7220 "GDC" as their video controller (limited to 640x400 with 16 colors), and later models (mainly, but not limited to, the PC-9821 series), which add an enhanced GPU called EGC that can handle 256 simultaneous colors, among other things.

As of the writing of this guide, the recommended "old" model to work with in MAME is the PC-9801RS, and the recommended "new" model is the PC-9821Ce2. Those run reasonably well for our purposes.

Also, running old games from floppy is easy enough, but if you want to run post-1990 stuff, you will probably want to install DOS into a hard disk image, so the first thing to do is creating it with CHDMAN. For example:

chdman createhd -o path_to_your_hdd_image.chd -chs x,y,z -c none

...where x, y and z are the disk geometry (cylinders,heads,sectors). The machine won't care too much about the exact numbers, so you can just put something that lands you in the ballpark of the size you want. For example, "2048,16,63" will get you a 1 GB CHD. PC-98 DOS handles large HDDs pretty well, so don't worry about going too high.




Installing MS-DOS

To start the installation, we need to do a couple things:

First, run MAME with just the basic parameters for a PC-98 driver. For example, "mame pc9821ce2".

It will fail to boot but we don't care about that yet. Go to the TAB menu and select "Machine Configuration". You will see an option named "Load IDE BIOS", enable it and press ESC a few times until you exit the emulator completely.

Now the driver is configured to be able to use the HDD image. Run MAME again but this time mount the HDD image and the first MS-DOS 6.2 floppy from the software list:

mame pc9821ce2 -hard1 path_to_your_hdd_image.chd -flop1 msdos62:flop1

If everything is OK, you will see this:

[Linked Image]

This screen is asking if you want to install DOS on a hard disk (固定ディスク) or floppy disks (フロッピーディスク), so choose the first option.

[Linked Image]

This says that the disk isn't initialized, so you need to initialize (初期化) it. Just press ENTER.

(By the way, this is a good time to remind you that you can use the F10 key to unthrottle the emulation and let it run as fast as your host computer can handle. Trust me, you will need it.)

[Linked Image]

Here you choose the size of the DOS partition. Since we're simplifying things, just leave the default (the whole disk) and press ENTER... but just in case you want to do more complex things later, you might want to know that PC-98 systems use a custom partition layout that is very straightforward and flexible: all partitions are equal (no primary/extended stuff), you can have up to 16 of them per disk, and any of them can be bootable. All PC-98 formatted HDDs include a boot manager embedded in the MBR that appears whenever you have more than one bootable partition, and you can use it to boot anything from anywhere, without any limitations!

[Linked Image]

Anyway, the installer will ask you to confirm that yes (はい), you want to create the partition, or no (いいえ), you want to go back.

[Linked Image]

It will create and format the partition...

[Linked Image]

And it's supposed to automatically reset the machine, but this doesn't work in MAME so you will see a rather scary "SYSTEM SHUTDOWN" message. Get used to it.

So just press F3 in partial keyboard mode, and the emulated PC-98 will reset and boot from floppy again.

[Linked Image]

The installer will run again and ask for an installation directory. You can just accept the default, ¥DOS.

(NOTE: due to some weird historical shenanigans, the standard path delimiter in Japanese DOS computers is "¥" instead of "\". Don't ask.)

Confirm again (はい), and it will start to copy files from disk 1.

[Linked Image]

After that, it will ask for System Disk 2 (システムディスク#2), so go to the TAB menu, File Manager, Floppy disk 1 (you should see all MS-DOS 6.2 disks at this point) and choose Disk 2.

You will see the same screen for each of the 8 disks, so keep changing them as the installer asks.

[Linked Image]

When it finishes, this screen will gladly inform you that some OS features (like printer support or XMS memory) will be enabled by default, while others (CD-ROM support, HDD cache) will not, and you can customize that with the CUSTOM command, which is the first clear sign that this isn't quite like the DOS we are all used to. More on that later. For now, just press ENTER.

The installer is finished! Remove the floppy disk from the drive and press ENTER. You will get the SYSTEM SHUTDOWN screen again, so press F3 and boot from your shiny new DOS installation... into the "beloved" DOS shell that Microsoft wanted to push on everyone back then. For now, go to the File (ファイル) menu and choose the last option (終了, or Finish).

[Linked Image]

Now you're on the familiar DOS prompt. You could start running porn games on it right away (don't lie to me, if you're using a PC-98 that's pretty much a given) but in the next post we will do a few things to customize the system for our needs.

(continued on the next post...)

Re: The MAME OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont] #112997
03/29/18 04:40 PM
03/29/18 04:40 PM
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r09 Offline
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Customizing the system

Before we go any further, here's an IMPORTANT NOTE: drive letters don't work like in IBM compatible systems. They don't have a fixed order. The device you boot from (FDD or HDD, doesn't matter) is always A:, other devices of the same type are the following letters, and other devices of other types come after that (except CD drives, as we will see later). So if you boot from an HDD with two partitions:

- A: would be the first HDD partition
- B: would be the second HDD partition
- C: would be the first floppy drive
- D: would be the second floppy drive

And in the emulated system we have built, we have A: as the HDD and B: and C: as the floppy drives... as long as we boot from HDD, of course.

You will see how super fun this is when we get to the part where we install floppy + CD games and need to tell them how to find their files.

-----

As I mentioned before, it seems at some point NEC realized that configuring DOS systems can be a bit arcane, so they included an utility (CUSTOM) that at least tries to do some basic stuff for you. Just run CUSTOM on the command line, and you will see this screen:

[Linked Image]

For now we only need the first option, Create/Update the Environment Configuration Files (環境設定ファイルの作成/更新). It will show two options at the bottom, 新規作成 (create new) and 更新 (update). Choose the latter.

[Linked Image]

In this screen, items can be enabled (使用する) or disabled (使用しない). You can also see another page of items with the 次画面 option but I don't recommend changing anything there. For a standard MAME setup, I'd disable at least the following so they don't take up memory:

- Japanese input (日本語入力), if you're not planning on typing Japanese text.
- Printer support (プリンタ).
- DOS Shell (DOSシェル).

You *could* also, on a real PC-98 system with a supported CD-ROM drive, enable CD-ROM support here, but this doesn't work on emulation (and it doesn't even work on some real PC-98 computers), so leave that disabled for now and choose 設定終了 (Finish Settings).

[Linked Image]

You will see a preview of your CONFIG.SYS file, and three options: 次画面 (next screen), メニュー選択を戻る (return to selection menu) and 内容を編集する (edit the contents). Choose the first one.

[Linked Image]

Another preview, this time of AUTOEXEC.BAT. Choose the 作成を終了する (finish creation) to end the process, and exit the tool with 終了.

Reboot, and you will finally be free of the tyranny of DOS Shell.



Bigger and better hardware

MAME by default emulates a NEC PC-9801-26K sound card. This card is based on the Yamaha YM2203 (OPN) FM synth, which sounds good enough and is compatible with pretty much anything, but you also have two other choices:

- The PC-9801-86 upgrades the FM chip to a YM2608 (OPNA), which sounds *fantastic* on the games that support it, and adds a 16-bit stereo PCM DAC on top of it. The 86 is fully backwards compatible with the 26, so there is no reason not to choose it, outside of the higher system requirements for emulation, or the rare compatibility quirk.

- The PC-9801-118 is a later model mainly found on PC-9821 computers (it's also known as "CanBe sound source" because that was one of many commercial names that NEC used for the PC-9821 line). It further upgrades the FM chip to a YMF297-F (which is still compatible with both the OPN and the OPNA), but replaces the 86 PCM sound with a Crystal CS4232 codec (a.k.a. "Windows Sound System"). It is *not* directly compatible with the 86 PCM, so it works better with later games that support the 118 explictly.

To use one of the alternatives, simply plug it into the emulated C-Bus slot with "-cbus0 pc9801_86" or "-cbus0 pc9801_118".

Also, all PC-98 drivers have 1664 KB (640 + 1024) of RAM as a default, which might not be enough for later software. You can add more RAM with the "-ramsize" option. At the time of writing this guide, the supported options are 640K, 1664K, 3712K, 7808K, and 14M.



The CD-ROM conundrum

If you're familiar with how CD drives work in IBM compatibles, you will know that we have to load a CD driver and the MSCDEX program so DOS can access the drive. But there's a problem: none of the CD drivers included with DOS work with MAME, at least at the time of writing this. The only one that works (NECCDM.SYS) was distributed separately. You can download a disk image that contains it here:

http://r-09.net/neccdm.zip

So to make this work, you need to:

- Mount the floppy image (do this after you boot from the HDD).
- Copy NECCDM.SYS to the DOS directory, renaming it to NECCD.SYS (if you've followed my instructions, that would be COPY B:¥NECCDM.SYS A:¥DOS¥NECCD.SYS). The renaming part is important because a lot of installers expect it to have that name.
- Edit the CONFIG.SYS file so it loads the driver.

That last part needs some explanation. The classic MS-DOS Editor (EDIT.COM) is not included with NEC's version of DOS, instead they opted to include their own editor (SEDIT). Run SEDIT A:¥CONFIG.SYS and you will see the contents of the file:

[Linked Image]

Just add two lines at the end:

LASTDRIVE=Q
DEVICE=A:¥DOS¥NECCD.SYS /D:CD_101

(if you're having trouble with the keyboard, take a look at the keyboard mappings in the TAB menu)

The CD_101 part is just a device name and can be anything, but it's kind of a standard name so I recommend keeping it like that.

After that, press F1 and choose the ファイルのセーブと編集終了 (finish editing and save the file) option.

[Linked Image]

Now do the same for AUTOEXEC.BAT. You should be getting the hang of this already. Edit it and add this line:

A:¥DOS¥MSCDEX.EXE /D:CD_101 /L:Q

(NOTE: if you're wondering "why Q: and not another letter?", it is sort of a de-facto standard for CD-ROM drives in Japanese computers. It probably started with the FM Towns, which has it hardcoded; maybe they were Star Trek fans or something.)

Reboot, and if everything is OK you should be able to access the CD as drive Q. You can mount CDs from the MAME command line with the "-cdrom" option.

[Linked Image]

(continued on the next post...)

Re: The MAME OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont] #112998
03/29/18 04:41 PM
03/29/18 04:41 PM
Joined: May 2010
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r09 Offline
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Installing (some) CD software

Most people who are reading this will want to install CD software (i.e. fully voiced porn games) into the emulated HDD. There is no official standard or system-wide installer, but due to the peculiarities of the PC-98, most game publishers ended up implementing a similar method of installation, which involves these steps:

- Boot DOS from HDD and run an installer EXE
- Tell the installer where your DOS files are, and which floppy drive you will use to create a boot disk
- The installer formats the floppy disk, and copies DOS files and sometimes a few needed drivers (NECCD.SYS, MOUSE.EXE, AVGDRV.SYS...) to the disk.
- Boot the system from the floppy disk; the installer will appear again and ask which drive letter is your HDD (remember that thing about the letter order? this is where it comes into play). It will then copy game files into the HDD.
- Reboot again, and the floppy disk will now boot straight into the game.

To illustrate this, we'll see how to install the classic visual novel "Desire: Haitoku no Rasen" by C's Ware.

First, run MAME with all the hardware attached. For example:

mame pc9821ce2 -hard1 pc98.chd -cdrom desire -cbus0 pc9801_86 -ramsize 14M

(by the way, you can persist most of those options by putting them into an INI file; for example. create "ini/source/pc9801.ini" and add the line "cbus0 pc9801_86" to always have an 86 sound card attached)

Once DOS has booted, mount a blank floppy into the first drive as read-write, switch to the Q: drive and take a look. In this case there are two files called DESIREFD.BAT and DESIREHD.BAT.

[Linked Image]

These are the installers (one to just use the floppy and run everything from CD, and the other to also install the game into HDD). You will see similarly named files in a lot of PC-98 software, though sometimes the names are less intuitive (e.g. ZZZCDF.EXE and ZZZCDH.EXE). In this case, we run DESIREHD.BAT.

[Linked Image]

First it will ask for the kind of CD-ROM drive we have. This is needed in order to know which driver it has to copy. For the emulated drive in MAME you should always select anything related to a standard NEC drive, in this case option 1.

[Linked Image]

Now it's asking for the drive our DOS files are in, so we choose A.

[Linked Image]

And finally, it asks where the blank floppy disk is, so we choose B. It will warn you that all data inside the floppy disk will be lost. Just press ENTER.

[Linked Image]

Now it's formatting the disk and copying the system files. Just wait, and it will eventually show this:

[Linked Image]

It will send you back to the command line. Now reboot the PC-98 and let it boot from floppy. If everything is right, the installer will run again.

[Linked Image]

This is just a confirmation prompt to install the HDD part of the game, which will take up 6 MB of disk space. Press Y.

[Linked Image]

Now this is the mind-bending part. We need to tell the installer where the HDD is, but since we are booting from floppy, the HDD is now drive C: instead of A:. Yes, it's insane, but that's how it works.

[Linked Image]

Specify a directory to install into, and...

[Linked Image]

It's over. Reboot again, and you will be in the game.

----

Other possible situations:

In some cases (e.g. Data West games) you don't need a blank disk, and instead they include their own installer floppies, which modify themselves to include the necessary system files and drivers. Generally the user is expected to make a backup copy of that disk before running the installer.

In some other cases (a lot of Nihon Falcom games), there's no floppy involved. You just run the installer from the CD, it copies files to the HDD, and you are expected to run the game directly from your DOS installation. This isn't very common, though.

Sometimes, you also get additional options to select the type of graphics and/or sound hardware you have. Those are usually intuitive enough if you know the basics of how the platform works (which I just taught you!).

And in some other cases... well, there can be unexpected things. If you can read at least basic Japanese you should be able to make some sense out of them, but if not... well, good luck.

That's it for now! Good luck on your adventures in the PC-98 world!

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