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#63148 - 11/18/04 07:57 PM DOSBox: Let's go for it!
metzomagic Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 557
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
Team, hi,

(I hope y'all don't mind me calling you that. We're in this together)

OK, got a tip from a reader last night, then did an RTFM in DOSBox. Seems that you just have to drill a bit closer down to the hardware, and then all the disk recognition problems in DOSBox 0.62 go away. Specifically, the following mount command:

mount D D:\ -t cdrom -usecd 0 -ioctl

whereas previously we had:

mount D D:\ -t cdrom

Seems to do the trick for *all* PCs. Two people who previously had problems confirm that they are now working fine. So, here's just a shortlist of great games we've got running in DOSBox 0.62 now:

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
Under a Killing Moon
Pandora Directive
System Shock
Realms of the Haunting
Ultima VII
Space Quest 5

All the games that are working via ScummVM seem to work too! So, do we need a more compelling reason to go with this?! Yo, people, this singular solution seems to solve most problems with running old DOS games in XP, without having to treat each game as a separate case thumbsup

What DOSBox does is emulate a certain amount of old PC instructions per millisecond. So, if a game is running too fast for you, you can even slow it down by adjusting its 'cycles' parameter. Once a game is up and running, you can use function keys to do the fine tuning.

DOSBox comes with a configuration file called dosbox.conf that is pretty easy to use. You can edit it with Notepad. What I do is get the dosbox.conf working for a particular game, then save that copy of it off in the game's install directory. Then when you want to run that game, just copy its dosbox.conf up into the main DOSBox directory and you're away. There are only really three areas in dosbox.conf you ever need to touch:

fullscreen=true (I always have this set)
cycles=9272 (you have to experiment. This value is for GK1 in VESA mode)

And the third area is at the very bottom of the file:

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
mount D D:\ -t cdrom
mount C C:\
C:

What's happening there? Well, we're mapping virtual drives to physical ones. You have to do all that gunk because DOSBox is so versatile that it will run on Linux, and Linux knows nothing about C:! If your CD-ROM letter was E:, that line above would look like this instead:

mount D E:\ -t cdrom

So that's it in a nutshell. I've got some pages here that cover various game set-ups in full detail:

See: Steve\'s XP Corner

Finally, a caveat:

DOSBox won't run *Windows* games, so don't expect it to solve your AMBER in XP problem duh But it is really good at running 'crossover' games that were made between 1995 - 1997 (like Pandora Directive) that have both DOS and Windows install options. Just install the DOS version of the game and away you go.

Well, that's about it. Hope that was helpful whistle

------------------------

Comments? (as if... :-)

Steve
_________________________
Now playing:
The Witcher

Running old games in XP/Vista? Then visit Steve's XP Corner!

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#63149 - 11/18/04 10:06 PM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42273
Loc: Alabama
Ok, Dumb question--

I have read a lot about Dosbox--freeware-shareware--retail?????

Also, does it work only in XP--or if, like me, you have a 98 system also, would it be of benefit to install there???

And is Dosbox all you usually need to install--or is there another program you need to install with it??

Thanks
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#63150 - 11/19/04 06:26 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
metzomagic Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 557
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
looney4labs, hi,

DOSBox is freeware!

It doesn't work on Win 98. You don't need it for Win 98 because Win 98 has a native DOS mode. The whole idea was to create a DOS environment for operating systems that don't have any, or have poor, DOS support. These are:

Windows 2000 and XP
BeOS
Linux
MacOS X

And to answer your last question... all you need is DOSBox. It only takes 10 minutes to install and configure. For instance, here are my set-up instructions for Under a Killing Moon:

-------------------------------------------------

1. Download and install DOSBox version 0.62 (or later). Get the Win32 installer version, which at the time of writing was called:

Dosbox0.62-win32-installer.exe

2. Wherever you installed DOSBox to, go there and edit the file dosbox.conf, replacing the section at the very bottom of the file with the following (Note: if your CD-ROM drive is letter 'E', then replace the 'D:' below with 'E:'):

[autoexec]
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
mount D D:\ -t cdrom -usecd 0 -ioctl
mount C C:\
C:

Another note: you have to get that exactly right, so it's best just to copy and paste right out of this web page and into the dosbox.conf file using Notepad or a text editor. While you're in that file, you should also set: fullscreen=true (it's set to false by default) and cycles=13908. Note: you may have to experiment with the number of instruction cycles DOSBox emulates every millisecond, depending on the speed of your processor. I arrived at this figure by using multiples of 9272 (the setting which was recommend for DOSBox 0.60). I have a 2GHZ Pentium IV. Generally, the higher you can set this value to the better. You'll know you've set it too high though if the sound begins to stutter!

3. Open a Command Prompt (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt) and Install Under a Killing Moon to its default folder, C:\MOON

4. Manually copy the file: TEX197.EXE from the CD to the C:\MOON folder.

5. And now we're ready to roll! In a Command Prompt, switch to the folder where you installed DOSBox (for instance: cd \Program Files\DOSBox-0.62). Start up DOSBox by entering:

dosbox

Then enter the following 2 commands after it starts up:

cd moon
tex197

...and we're away!

6. The very first time you start the game, you are taken directly to the sound setup page. It's best to set up the sound manually. Use the following settings for the DIGITAL SOUND DEVICE:

SoundBlaster Pro, I/O Port: 220, Interrupt: 7, DMA Channel: 1

Accept the defaults for the MIDI MUSIC DEVICE: SoundBlaster, I/O Port: 388.

7. When it comes time to set up the screen and so forth, try setting the Window Size to: 640 x 480, and the Rendering Quality to: HIGH. If the in-game motion turns out to be not fluid enough for you, then you can set these parameters to lower values later.

-------------------------------------------------

So, what are you waiting for? I'm willing to help anyone who is having trouble getting a particular game running! scared

And one other thing. It's also a perfect tool for slowing down games that run too fast. Just keep reducing the 'cycles=' parameter until the game becomes playable laugh

Regards,
Steve
_________________________
Now playing:
The Witcher

Running old games in XP/Vista? Then visit Steve's XP Corner!

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#63151 - 11/19/04 07:47 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42273
Loc: Alabama
Thanks a lot--will print this and put it in my file--so I can find it when I am ready to play all the older games I have been BAAGing happydance
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#63152 - 11/19/04 11:13 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
Gamehound Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 1272
Loc: U.S.A.
Quote:
Originally posted by metzomagic:
The whole idea was to create a DOS environment for operating systems that don't have any, or have poor, DOS support. These are:

Windows 2000 and XP
True DOS (what you find in ME and earlier versions of Windows) allows programs to directly access the hardware of the computer. With Windows NT/2K/XP/2K3 Server, you get NTVDM which is New Technology, Virtual DOS Machine. Virtual DOS does not allow programs to directly access the hardware of the computer. Old games, programmed to directly access the hardware, won't run on newer versions of windows for this reason. DOSBox is used, on games without copy protection, to bypass the NTVDM restriction.

I thought I'd clarify. wave


Gamehound
_________________________
Can't find those rare adventures? Come visit me here for the tactics I use.

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#63153 - 11/20/04 05:22 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
metzomagic Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 557
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
Thanks Gamehound! praise

I thought my explanation was long enough as it was, and didn't want to get too tech. I suppose I'm only willing to show so much of my 'geekness' lol

Hey, moderator! (I guess that's you, Inferno wave ) Any way we can make this thread semi-permanent? A lot of people are starting to experiment with DOSBox and it would be nice to have a place on GameBoomers to point them at.

Cheers,
Steve
_________________________
Now playing:
The Witcher

Running old games in XP/Vista? Then visit Steve's XP Corner!

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#63154 - 11/20/04 11:22 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
Liz Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 2446
Loc: the desert foothills
Amen to that..........DOSBOX is a great little program!!
_________________________
Beeba

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#63155 - 11/20/04 02:19 PM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
Jenny100 Online   content
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35372
Loc: southeast USA
I'll "sticky" it so it will appear as "featured" thread near the top of the list.

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#63156 - 11/20/04 08:39 PM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
metzomagic Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 557
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
Thanks Jenny! wink
_________________________
Now playing:
The Witcher

Running old games in XP/Vista? Then visit Steve's XP Corner!

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#63157 - 11/23/04 03:10 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
Kickaha Offline
GB Special Events Reporter
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 2431
Loc: Cambridge, England
On the DOSBox site I've seen references to dynamic core. Has anyone tried using that?

Using DOSBox on Mac OSX the things I can easily vary are the CPU cycles and frame skips. Has anyone found modifying frame skips useful?

Also is there much difference between DOSBox 0.61 (which I currently have) and 0.62?

Thanks Peter.
_________________________
Used to answer to "Peter Smith", now answers to "Peter Rootham-Smith"

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#63158 - 11/23/04 07:51 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
metzomagic Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 557
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
Peter, hi!

Quote:
On the DOSBox site I've seen references to dynamic core. Has anyone tried using that?
No, haven't tried it.

Quote:
Using DOSBox on Mac OSX the things I can easily vary are the CPU cycles and frame skips. Has anyone found modifying frame skips useful?
'frameskip' is useful if your machine can't keep up with the game, even on a high 'cycles' setting.

Quote:
Also is there much difference between DOSBox 0.61 (which I currently have) and 0.62?
They are fixing bugs all the time, so I'd definitely get 0.62. It's quite possible that games that wouldn't run at all on 0.60 and 0.61 will run fine on 0.62.

BTW, I'm curently compiling a comprehensive FAQ on DOSBox that will be hosted here permanently. Give me a few days...

Cheers,
Steve
_________________________
Now playing:
The Witcher

Running old games in XP/Vista? Then visit Steve's XP Corner!

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#63159 - 11/23/04 08:02 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
Kickaha Offline
GB Special Events Reporter
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 2431
Loc: Cambridge, England
Thanks Steve! Look forward to seeing your FAQ. There is a lot of good stuff on the DOSBox site and the Wiki.
_________________________
Used to answer to "Peter Smith", now answers to "Peter Rootham-Smith"

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#63160 - 11/23/04 11:31 PM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
Glynn Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/03/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: Virginia
Steve...DOSBox 0.63 is available now..Glynn

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#63161 - 11/24/04 07:26 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
metzomagic Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 557
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
Glynn, hi,

Excellent! I shall have to check it out. I believe they were trying to get this release out quickly to fix the CD-ROM reading problems they were having.

Thanks for the tip thumbsup
Steve
_________________________
Now playing:
The Witcher

Running old games in XP/Vista? Then visit Steve's XP Corner!

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#63162 - 11/24/04 07:35 AM Re: DOSBox: Let's go for it!
Glynn Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/03/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: Virginia
You are welcome, Steve! I just downloaded it a couple of days ago. Thanks for all your help on the DOS games! smile Glynn

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