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The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:31 pm
by stephen_usher
Here's a poser...

I'm trying to move my TT over from a Seagate ST34520N internal SCSI disk to using a SCSI2SD device as the former is noisy and runs hot (at which point it has to retry blocks now and again but always succeeds).

Now, when my machine's running on the real disk I've a number of games, expertly converted by Petari, which work fine. I can run them from the internal hard disk or from an UltraSATAN with no problem.

If I now switch over to a SCSI2SD device (either version 5.1 or 6) with the SD card set up to pretend to be the Seagate drive, including serial number, and partitioned the same way using the same HDDriver which has been configured, as far as I can tell, identically, many games bomb or don't start. (e.g. CANNONFA, Cannon Fodder goes to a black screen and sits there, others either 2 or 4 bomb.)

This is the same if I try to start it from the SCSI2SD or the very same UltraSATAN+SD card which works when the real disk is in the bay.

So, any ideas? I'm a bit stumped.

Re: The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:02 pm
by tzok
Petari's loader (called HAGA) doesn't like to have any resident programs in memory. Sometimes it will work, other time it will crash. For me the ultimate solution was to use X-BOOT with a "clean" config for Petari's games. There can't be any accessories, nor AUTO programs it barely tolerates ICD HDD Driver, possibly safest one is Petari's driver. Each partition consumes additional RAM.

Re: The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:34 pm
by stephen_usher
tzok wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:02 pm
Petari's loader (called SAGA if I remember) doesn't like to have any resident programs in memory. Sometimes it will work, other time it will crash. For me the ultimate solution was to use X-BOOT with a "clean" config for Petari's games. There can't be any accessories, nor AUTO programs it barely tolerates ICD HDD Driver, possibly safest one is Petari's driver. Each partition consumes additional RAM.
The interesting thing is that the set-up on the SCSI2SD card is exactly the same as the one on the real hard disk. The same driver, the same setting, the same partitions starting at the same block number, the same programs (no AUTO folder but XCONTROL.ACC). For all intents and purposes it's a clone. (I don't have a Linux system with SCSI so I can't 'dd' the whole disk as an image unfortunately.)

Re: The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:37 pm
by tzok
XCONTROL for sure causes RANDOM crashes on Petari's HAGA games. One time they will work, other time they'll freeze, and yet another they will crash with 2 or 4 bombs. So I'm sure XCONTROL can't be loaded in order to play HAGA games. Klaz's HDD conversions don't have such problems (but there is not many of them).

Re: The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:00 pm
by stephen_usher
If the behaviour was the same irrespective of the drive being used then I could say that this could be the issue. However, given that everything is as close to identical as possible it's unlikely to be the issue....

Just tried disabling XCONTROL.ACC... no difference.

Re: The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:30 am
by Petari
Older adaptations, which are not HAGA (no such file in DIR) work not from SCSI drives. Precisely, some may work, some not.
HAGA is done exactly in purpose to make it more compatible, and it allows more RAM allocated by hard disk driver, but not too much (max some 512 KB) .
Cannon Folder with audio will not work with SCSI for sure, because it has own low level disk access, and that's only ACSI and IDE .

Re: The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:00 am
by stephen_usher
But it does run perfectly well if booted from the spinning rust drive, just not from its silicon clone.

Re: The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:55 am
by Petari
You should check Hddriver settings with it's HDDRUTIL.APP - likely too much RAM allocated for buffers.
Settings, General, there is Cache for FAT, Data . It tends to give lot of RAM when machine has larger RAM size. And may be something Fast RAM related - I'm not familiar with Hddriver so much.

Re: The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:27 am
by stephen_usher
I did that. It was set the same and reported using 64Kb. Then I set the FAT buffers and extra folders to zero and it went down to 57Kb... and no change.

Anyway, I've managed to get a Debian Linux 3.0 install image to boot so I'm using dd to clone the drive, block for block. Let's see what happens then.

Re: The strange case of the non-running games.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:13 pm
by stephen_usher
My goodness the Linux 2.2 kernel SCSI sub-system is slow! The NCR58C30 is a limited chip but when you can see the drive flashing for each block read and it's not interleaving the writes there must be something really wrong.