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The Coop

A "How To" for running older games with DOSBox...

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Lately I've been having the game I'm playing in DosBox crash. Every time I load up my saved game, I get to play for about 7 minutes before it crashes to dos with this message:

The game I'm playing is D&D: Blood & Magic. I'm not sure if this is the game's problem or a DosBox problem. Plus, I can't locate any of the files (UNITS.CPP or MEMMGR.CPP) the message references. I've tried reloading from different saves and reinstalling DosBox and the game and ever time I get to the same point in the game I get this message after crashing. Anyone know what this is all about?

I've never heard of this error. So, a couple questions...

- Which version are you playing? The original CD version, or the one that came in a 10 pack of other Forgotten Realms games?

- When you set up the sound, did you leave it as midi only, or did you set up the sound with sndset2.exe and choose "auto detect"?

- Which executable are you using... bam.bat, or bammain.exe?

- Which version of DOSBox are you using?

- Can you send the save from the game, so I can see if it crashes first hand (assuming of course, it's not a save that's integrated into a copyrighted file)?

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I've never heard of this error. So, a couple questions...

- Which version are you playing? The original CD version, or the one that came in a 10 pack of other Forgotten Realms games?

- When you set up the sound, did you leave it as midi only, or did you set up the sound with sndset2.exe and choose "auto detect"?

- Which executable are you using... bam.bat, or bammain.exe?

- Which version of DOSBox are you using?

- Can you send the save from the game, so I can see if it crashes first hand (assuming of course, it's not a save that's integrated into a copyrighted file)?

- I have the original CD version 1.0.

- I used the auto detect for sound setup immediately after installation.

- I think I'm using the BAM.bat. After installing it, a message comes up saying to just type "BAM" to start the game. So that's what I've been using.

- Using DoxBox ver 0.72.

- I'll try to send the save to you. I don't think it's copyrighted, it's just called 3.SAV and is about 181KB.

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Sent you a PM RedSand. In the meantime, try using the BAMMAIN.EXE file, just to see if it still crashes. Also, could you describe what you're doing in the game when the crash occurs, so I know when to expect it?

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Is there a way to get DOSbox to output midi data rather than emulating old midi sounds? To put it more concretely, would there be a way to run the music from dosbox through an external synth via the soundcard's midi out?

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Is there a way to get DOSbox to output midi data rather than emulating old midi sounds? To put it more concretely, would there be a way to run the music from dosbox through an external synth via the soundcard's midi out?

I think so, but it's not an area I'm familiar with since I don't have a midi port on my PC. However, this page has a listing about setting up the client-number:port-number for a device that's receiving midi data from the DOSBox in program's config file. It's in the "Midi Section" right in the middle of the page.

Hope that helps at least a little. If not, you may have to make a thread on the DOSBox forums and ask about it there. I believe they still have guest posting enabled, so you might not have to make an account to ask.

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GUS Installation

So, how about that Soundblaster music? Like your General Midi? Want something else to listen to for the games that support it? Well, here's how you can get Gravis Ultrasound working with your DOSBox setup.

First, go and download this file (if you don't have a program to unzip “7z” files, go here and grab 7zip, which is a very good free compression/extraction program). It contains the GUS410 and GUS411 folders, which have all the needed files to install the Gravis Ultrasound drivers and instruments. Once you have the zip file, extract it, copy both the 410 and 411 folders, and paste them into your “DOSGames” folder.

Now, start up DOSBox, and rev the cycles up to about 10,000 to help speed up this process by hitting “Ctrl” + “F12” repeatedly. Once done, type...

cd GUS410

install

This will take you to the first folder, and the main setup. The first menu that comes up, gives you a few choices for what to do. The obvious one, is “Install Ultrasound Software”, and that's the one to go with. Hit “Enter”, and then select the “C: a local fixed drive” line in the menu that follows. Let the program install to the default drive location (which is “C:\ULTRASND”), and hit “Enter”.

Once the installation is done, the program will start detecting various games that you have in your “DOSGames” folder. Before long, a message will come up with a beep sound, saying the program can't find the Windows folder. All you have to do, is type...

C:\ultrasnd\windows

... and hit “Enter”. Within a couple seconds, the program will finish, and you'll be asked to press any key. Once you do, you'll be taken to another menu, filled with four options on big gray buttons. The one you want is the last one, labeled “Exit Setup”.

Now that you're back to the DOS window, simply type in...

cd C:\

... which will reset your location in DOSBox to just “C:\” (which is a handy shortcut to use later when you want to change games without having to restart DOSBox). Now, type in...

cd gus411

installation

This will get the upgrade started. Just do exactly as you did with the previous 410 program. Every step will be identical, right down to choosing “Exit Setup” at that final menu.

Now it's time for the final part in getting this all ready. Press "Alt" + "Enter" to take DOSBox from full screen to Windowed mode (another handy shortcut to use regularly as well). Open up your config file in the DOSBox folder, and make sure that section under “[gus]” looks like this...

gus=true

gusrate=22050

gusbase=240

irq1=5

irq2=5

dma1=3

dma2=3

ultradir=C:\ULTRASND

This is what gets GUS working in DOSBox, and it also tells DOSBox where to look for the GUS patches (aka instruments). Once everything looks right, save your config file. Time to listen to what those Gravis cards sounded like. Unless you accidentally closed DOSBox, it should still be sitting on a DOS screen with “C:\ultrasnd” there. Type in...

mididemo

... and you'll go to a new screen listing 14 songs. Just hit “Enter”, and you can start cycling through them. They range from classical music, to more Electronica-centric. There's even a few titles there you'll likely recognize. If you ever want to come back to this at a later time, just type in...

cd ultrasnd

mididemo

... when you're at “C:\” in DOSBox, and you can hear the tunes again.

Now, to set up any game that uses the Gravis Ultrasound card, just go to a game's folder within the "DOSGames" folder, and start its "Setup.exe" file in DOSBox (or "Install.exe" for some games, as the sound/music option is occasionally in the installation process, and not accessible on its own via a separate executable). Once there, if the game supports the GUS sound card, you'll be able to choose “Ultrasound” for the music and/or sound effects in the menus. Like before, the game will choose the default settings automatically, so just hit "Enter" the needed number of times until it's done. Then, all that's left is to save and exit, and you'll be good to go. Simply delete the “GUS410” and “GUS411” folders from your “DOSGames” folder, and you're all done.

I should note that there are patches available for GUS called “Pro Patches Lite”. These come in 1.50, 1.60, and 1.61 versions, which must be installed in order. However, while they sound better for the most part, they also have a nasty glitch in them that I've yet to read how to fix. The snare drum goes absolutely nuts at times, hitting over and over like it's stuck in a loop while the music keeps playing. Sometimes it lasts for only a few seconds, other times it won't stop until you quit the game. Either way, it's rather annoying, so I'm providing the GUS setup files without those patches. I've yet to run into any musical glitches with the finished 4.11 setup, so that's where I stopped. If enough people want to hear those new patches, I'll add more to this GUS guide.

Special Note: If the program can't recognize the card type for the GUS install, it's likely because of a strange glitch that came about with DOSBox .73 and .74. Just go into the options, and turn the SoundBlaster type to "none". There's a weird conflict going on with that setting, and it prevents the GUS install from starting. But once you get the GUS stuff installed and working, you can go back and re-enable the SoundBlaster settings by putting it back to "sb16".

MT-32 Installation

So... how many remember their MT-32 sound cards from back in the day? I'd imagine not many, though it was a popular sound card then. However, you can have that sound again (or for the first time), and I'm going to walk you through just how to go about it.

First, you need to grab a few files. Get the MT-32 A & B files here, pick up the PCM file here, and get Winhex here. Once you have them, extract all three zip files. Start Winhex, and go under "Tools", "File Tools", "Unify", and "bytewise". In the new window that opens, go to the "mt32AB" folder, and choose "MT32A.BIN" as the first source file. Hit "OK", and then choose "MT32B.BIN" as the second source file, and hit "OK". In the "Select Destination File" window, type "MT32_Control.ROM" in the file name box, and hit "Save".

Okay. Now you should have the Control and PCM files you need. Go and grab the Munt file set from here, and extract it. Put the Control file you just made, and PCM file you downloaded, into the Munt folder. Then for simplicity's sake, rename the Munt folder to "mt32", and put it in your "DOSGames" folder (which you should already have by now if you've been following my guide).

From here, you can follow the simple steps provided in the "readme" file that came with the Munt download. But, for the sake of this guide, I'm going to post those directions here with any additional comments...

1) Open Control Panel.

2) Double-click on "Add Hardware".

3) Click "Next" until you come to a message asking you whether you have already installed the hardware.

4) Select the "Yes" option and click "Next".

5) A list of installed hardware will appear. Scroll to the bottom of the list and select the last entry, which should be something like "New Hardware". Click "Next".

6) Select "Choose hardware manually from a list" and click "Next".

7) Select "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" and click "Next".

8) Click "Have Disk...".

9) In the window that pops up, click "Browse..." and choose the directory to which you unpacked the oemsetup.inf and mt32emu.dll files. Click "OK". (this will be the "mt32" folder you put in your "DOSGames" folder)

10) If a window pops up complaining about the lack of Windows Logo testing, click "Install Anyway" or similar.

11) "MT-32 Synth Emulator" should have appeared selected in a list. Click "Next" twice.

12) The driver *still* isn't Windows Logo tested, so click "Install Anyway" if necessary.

13) The driver should now have been installed; click "Finish".

14) A dialog box will recommend that you reboot. Go ahead if you enjoy that sort of thing, but it shouldn't be necessary for a fresh installation.

To begin playing back MIDI through the emulator, perform the following:

15) Open "Sounds and Audio Devices" from the Control Panel.

16) In the "Audio" tab, select "MT-32 Synth Emulator" in the drop-down list for the MIDI playback device.

And with that, you'll be able to use the Roland MT32 sound card option in the games that offer it. The music provided by this card sounds quite different from the General MIDI we're all used to hearing, and it does sound quite nice. Keep in mind though, that the emulation isn't perfect. The project died off a while back, but it does work well in many games (like Silpheed and The Immortal). Just remember to put the "Sounds and Audio Devices" back to "Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth" when you want to use General MIDI again for other games. It's a bit of a pain to go back and forth between the two MIDI options, but it's nice to have when you're in the mood.

Oh, and no, General MIDI and MT-32 don't mix. If you choose MT-32 in a game without setting your "Sounds and Audio Devices" to "MT-32 Synth Emulator", your music will sound weird and busted. The same goes for the other way around.

Sites of interest...

The Patches Scrolls- Basically, this site is a massive collection of patches for old and new games. Just about every patch that was released for old DOS games seems to be there, so it's a good spot to check after you've installed those old DOS games.

Well, you now have all you'll likely need to run a given game. Some require a bit of tweaking in the .conf file, but the DOSBox site has a forum where tweaks for individual games can be found. These forums, are right here. Just type in the name of your game into the search bar at the top, and you'll probably find a thread talking about issues with that game, and how to try and fix them. You can also check on the status of games and how well they run, by clicking the "Games" link at the top of DOSBox's homepage, and finding it in the alphabetical list that comes up. If all else fails, you can ask here, and someone with DOS or DOSBox knowledge can try and help you out. Just keep in mind, that you may not get to run the game, as there's a chance it's simply not runable in DOSBox yet.

So, here's the end of my beginner's guide to DOSBox and getting you're favorite old spare time killers running in it. As a final note, you don't have to type in the names of the files and folders in all caps. If you type in all lower case, they'll still run. DOSBox can be pretty picky, but it's generally not case sensitive. So all lower case will work fine.

Hopefully this helps at least a few people. I know some expect a perfect framerate, but that's not always going to happen. You'll have to be happy with just getting to play these old games again, even if the one you want happens to play a bit slowly.

Edit: All links updated and verified.

Edited by The Coop

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Just giving this thread a long overdue bump. I had something I wanted to add, but I can't until I get a new website. Also, the GUS download I had linked to is gone. Once I get a new site, that too will be back.

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sticky this

for the love of all that is good

sticky

this

Seconded! I was really psyched when I first discovered DOSBox. There really are some great old dos games out there. Now I just need to either find MOO or buy a new one :(

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A WAY overdue bump. I'm going to be trying to upload the GUS files in the next few days, and I promise to get cracking on the the next part of this guide during that same time (which also involves some uploading).

Sorry for letting this thing slip so far. It shant happen again.

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Alrighty. The GUS files are up, and the links have all been tested. Everything's good to go for those wanting to have that familiar sound from their younger days, or hear the music in their DOS games in a different fashion. I'm currently writing the next part of this guide, so stay tuned.

Oh, and sorry it took so long. I spent the weekend enjoying some movies (The Mist, The Dark Knight, The Mummy 3, etc.).

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I have installed Mechwarrior 2 with DOSBox, and the whole process went very smoothly. However, when try to run the program, I get the error message

Error: MechWarrior2 CD-Rom not found.

How do I fix this?

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Several questions come to mind...

- Did you mount the CD-Rom you're using in DOSBox?

- Which version of MechWarrior 2 are you using (v1.0 or v1.1)?

- Did you follow this guide after it was installed?

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I did some messing around, and now the error message is "CD-Rom not mounted." I have mounted the cd rom using

mount e e:\ -t cdrom

but the error persists. I have v1.1 of MECH2. I did check out that forum, but whenever I try to

imgmount c: c:\DOSGames\MECH2-t iso

it comes up as "image not found," even though the location is correct and I have a .cue .bin and a .img file.

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I did some messing around, and now the error message is "CD-Rom not mounted." I have mounted the cd rom using

mount e e:\ -t cdrom

but the error persists. I have v1.1 of MECH2. I did check out that forum, but whenever I try to

imgmount c: c:\DOSGames\MECH2-t iso

it comes up as "image not found," even though the location is correct and I have a .cue .bin and a .img file.

Try changing what you're calling the CD-Rom in DOSBox. I've had issues with CD-Roms being mounted as "E". Instead, mount your CD-Rom as a higher letter. As an example, my CD-Rom drive's letter is "F", so in DOSBox I have...

mount n f:\ -t cdrom

"N" is what DOSBox will think the drive letter is, while "F" is what my drive's letter actually is.

See if that helps.

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This is what I've got going right now:

The game starts and the opening sequences and menus work fine. When I try to actually start the gameplay, whether training, missions, or trials, the cd rom not found error pops up.

I tried changing the name for the drive like you suggested, but that didn't produce any changes.

Right now I have a cracked file in one folder, which will start the opening sequence as mentioned above, and another folder with .img .cue and .bin images in it, which doesn't work at all. I've tried mounting these images using imgmount, but DOSBox doesn't recognize the image.

Do you have any other suggestions?

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I just got done trying a few things. Here's what I did.

I made a bin/cue file of my MechWarrior 2 disc, and saved it to my desktop. I then mounted the cue file in Alcohol 52% (which has a free version here), and ran the DOS install. For me, the virtual drive is drive F, and in DOSBox, I have it mounted as N (for reasons I explained earlier). So, I fired up DOSBox, changed the drive letter to N, and typed "install". This brings up the DOS v1.1 for Mech2 on my disc. I did a full install (very important), and then went to the page on Vogons that I linked to earlier. I grabbed the crack for the two executables from the link on that page, and pasted them over the original executable files. Once that was done, I unmounted the disc image, started up the game, and everything's peachy keen.

If you have the DOS v1.0 of Mech2, you need to upgrade it to v1.1. There's a link to the patch on that Vogons page that has the cracks (yes, the links all still work). Install the patch (I believe it must be run from within the Mech2 folder), and then paste the two cracked executables over the original ones. It has to be v1.1 of the DOS game for Mech2 to run in DOSBox.

Even if you have a cracked version, get those executables from the Vogos page, and paste them in anyway. This way, you're sure to have the executables that run fine in DOSBox.

So my suggestion is, delete the current Mech2 folder, to do a fresh full install of your game through DOSBox, make sure it's v1.1, and use those two cracked files from the Vogons page.

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Thanks a bunch! I've got the everything working pretty smoothly now. You've been a big help. Now the gameplay works just fine and everything. The only problem I've found is that the instructor in the tutorial doesn't talk, but that's okay since I already know how to do all of that stuff.

Thanks again.

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