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Dosbox/frontend problems.

 
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undosboss
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:50 pm     Post subject: Dosbox/frontend problems. Reply with quote

I dont know much about dos, but im using DBGL and Dfend to launch old
titles. I have problems with some, for example, when the contents shows
no '.BAT' file, and only an EXE, eg:-



The setup file in either launcher above works, it runs and configures the
sound, but the .EXE does not run the program. Either launcher just exits.
I know how to get most games similar to the above to work, as versions
with a BAT file can be found elsewhere, but why is there a difference with
my one above? Is it related to the games origin (eg taken from cd/floppy
etc) and needing to be mounted or further installed, in order for a
runnable main game file to be created? Or it likely just a case of a
program with missing files? Dos programs all over the net have different
versions similar to the above, some easily runnable in a dos launcher
with a batch file, others missing it and seemingly not possible to run.

Thanks for any help, if anyone has any idea Happy
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Cush1978
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Posts: 65

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:42 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what you're asking, but I'll try to clarify a few points:

.BAT files are basically scripts for DOS. They consist of DOS commands with a little bit of additional functionality thrown in. You can open a .BAT file in a text editor (like Notepad) and see the commands that are executed.

.EXE files are binary files; actual compiled code...the game itself. Given your above example, it sounds like you're running setup.exe. setup.exe probably sets up sound (among other things) and writes them to the given configuration file (intrplay.cfg).

The .EXE file you want to run is likely startrek.exe. It probably reads the configuration file (intrplay.cfg) and runs the game accordingly.

A comparable .BAT file would probably run setup.exe and startrek.exe back-to-back, so you choose your configuration options, then launch the game. A simple version would look like this:

ECHO Running setup...
setup.exe
ECHO Launching game...
startrek.exe
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undosboss
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:27 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the reply and info on the files Happy all I am wondering is if its
possible to get the game shown in my jpg image working in a dos
launcher (eg in DBGL or D-Fend), if these are all the files that the game
has. If I set 'startrek.exe' or any other file as the main game in a dos
launcher, it does not run.

I can find another version of the same game online, it runs great in
any launcher, but it includes 2 extra files (start.bat and content.xml).
The content.xml file read in notepad shows that its related to
the sound installation, and its start.bat in notepad shows
'@echo off
cls
STARTREK.EXE
exit'

If I set the startrek.exe or startup.bat as the main executable in the
launcher, it runs.

But my original version shown in my image doesnt run. It does not have
a bat and its exe does not run. Perhaps my original exe is simply
corrupt, or the problem may be due to another reason (eg its
another version of the game, or meant for another version of dos that
the launchers have problems with etc). So I wondered if anyone knew
what the most likely reason would be for some games not to work, or if I
needed to do anything else in the launcher to get them working.
I bought a collection of dos games, and it can have more than one
version of the same game, all dos, but some work in the launcher by
running the exe, some do not.
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dosraider
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Posts: 9245
Location: ROTFLMAO in Belgium.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:26 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Try to run the game without DFend, directly in dosbox.
Some games are extremely nitpicking about mountings/dir structure.

Example:
some game will run if :
mount c c:\oldgames
c:
cd game
game


but the same game will not run if:
mount c c:\oldgames\game\
c:
game


It's just about how things were done in the past,
In MsDos you always started from a C: prompt and did a cd whatever and from the c:\whatever\ prompt launched the soft.
Some games/software really needed that specific prompt/path to find their files.

Also:
you must understand that by using a frontend you add an extra layer of possible problems to run games in dosbox, none of the frontends are flawless.

If you have problems running games using a frontend you better ask your questions where such problems belong, as is:
http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=17415
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Cush1978
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Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:16 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Dosraider gives good advice (as usual). I would also try to find out exactly what the error is. Create a new file in your "trek" directory named test.bat (or whatever you want to call it .bat), open it in Notepad and enter this:

STARTREK.EXE
pause

Now, run this new .BAT file. The "pause" command will stop the window from closing before you can see what happened. If the game fails to run and gives a reason, you'll be able to read it and troubleshoot further.

BTW, the .BAT file you posted does the following:
@echo off <-- Stops the commands from being seen (echoed) on the screen.
cls <-- Clear the screen. This will clear the whole window the game is about to be run in.
STARTREK.EXE <-- Run the game, of course. Exactly what would happen if you double-clicked it.
exit <-- Close the command prompt.

In short, nothing special. It's functionally equivalent to running the STARTREK.EXE file with DOSBox.

I'm not sure what content.xml is for. It's unlikely that an old game would use XML to write configuration files. Maybe related to DOSBox? I'm sure you have your reasons, but if you found a working version, why not use it?
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Guest







PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:59 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Its mainly out of curiousity and getting to know dosbox, there are plenty of
old dos games online in rar or zip format, and some never worked. I always
wondered why. I think you have both managed to figure it out though-
thanks to that pause command-most versions of games that dont work.. tell
me that that there is no cdrom present and must be inserted Happy lol. I always
thought dos games only came in floppy disk format. It would seem that the
versions of the same games that do work straight away in dosbox are
probably the floppy versions.

For the cd version, I have assigned a folder for installation (eg 'mount c
c:\game') and tried to mount the game folder on the hdd as a cd rom
drive ('mount d c:\game -t cdrom' or similar) but it asks for the cd. Is
there a way to get around the requirement of needing the cd? Running
the game above, Dos tells me I should have run MSCDEX and that the cd
rom device driver is needed in the CONFIG.SYS file. It would be useful
to know if theres a fix for cd dos software or dosbox, if its easy to do and
doesnt require too much editing
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dosraider
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:07 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
......It would seem that the
versions of the same games that do work straight away in dosbox are probably the floppy versions.

Confuzzled
Most games, even on floppy, need to be installed to run.
Not all, but most.
If you ref to downloaded pre-installed games to run in dosbox, maybe. That's something completely different.

About CD games:
Rule when mounting a CD:
always assign D: as CD drive letter

example:
mount d [x:\] -t cdrom
replace [x:\] by your real CD Drive letter under windows

mounting an image:
imgmount d "c:\users\your name\isos\game.iso" -t cdrom
or
imgmount d "c:\users\your name\isos\game.cue" -t cdrom

Always install a CD game in dosbox from D: on C:
If you're on Win7 you should always use a CD image.
(In fact even if you're on XP you should do so, modern CD/DVD/BLU-ray drives aren't up for the job to run old dosgames, too much spinup/down times, sometimes non-compatible for multi-CD music tracks, heating up.... etcetera)

Also:
When asking for help you could at least give some relevant details, as is your OS?
If you're on Vista or Win7 "c:\game" isn't suited.
Read the pinned howtos.

Also˛: dosbox manual, you should read it.

Alsoł: if you're expecting we can give you a solution for every dosgame, forget it, this can't be given. Too many different methodes/settings, some are game specific.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:00 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, have you run setup.exe yet? Some games check if they have config data, and if not they will exit immediately with a message like "Run the setup.exe first before you can play the game."

It's possible everything is working OK, just need to run that.

In fact, setup might create that "missing" bat file based on the selected options - some games pass in command line flags like "-vga -soundblaster" using a bat file.
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undosboss
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:39 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

@Quadko :- yes I run the setup in dosbox alone, or in DBGL or Dfend,
it is successful and asks me for my soundcard and video details, saves
the details and finishes, but on running the exe, the game does not
work. it immediately exits. For the game above it would seem to be
because the game requires a cd, and dosbox cannot detect one, as the
cd content is on the hdd. Even if all the files necessary are there, dosbox
will not run the cd content straight from a hdd.

@dosraider :- I was just trying to find out if there was a
common solution, rather than an individual one for each game I have
trouble with Happy you have all helped me find one reason at least - that
some games have trouble launching in dosbox as they require to be run
from cd. I will read the dosbox manual to get to know it better.

I bought a dos collection on dvd a while ago, and it included
many games, most are in zip or rar format. Almost all do not require
installation, aside from being extracted from their rar to a folder on
my hdd. They are easy enough to run from a windows dosbox games
launcher. Some games require running their setup file first, some do not,
and run from their bat or exe. I believe they must be all pre-installed,
all simply requiring an extraction and run within a launcher. My
problem is likely in running pre-installed games from my hdd within
dosbox, if they originally required a cd.

When comparing versions of the same game that do work and dont work
in dosbox, they would both be of a practically identical size, even if the
non working one (extracted from rar) required a cd, so it would seem
that the games main content was all there for both. I do wonder if the
non working (or often cd versions) might have missing files or
enhancements, but I think that is one to question in a forum related
to the specific game than anywhere else. I have a dual installation of
XP and Vista, and a seperate Windows 7 pc. They all give the same
result. Perhaps I can create an ISO from the unzipped game folder, and
attempt to run that within dosbox. That might solve the problem..
update-I can mount and attempt to run it, I get 'illegal type iso' as the
result. I think I'll just have to accept that some dos games ripped from
cd to rar will ask for a cd and therefore not work (unless some sort of
patching is possible?), but thanks to everyone for their help
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dosraider
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Posts: 9245
Location: ROTFLMAO in Belgium.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:31 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

undosboss wrote:
Perhaps I can create an ISO from the unzipped game folder, and
attempt to run that within dosbox. That might solve the problem..
update-I can mount and attempt to run it, I get 'illegal type iso' as the
result. I think I'll just have to accept that some dos games ripped from
cd to rar will ask for a cd and therefore not work (unless some sort of
patching is possible?), but thanks to everyone for their help

Creating an ISO from folders/files selden work.
What you could try:
Let say your game folder/files are:
c:\users\your name\oldgames\game01\
You could try this fake CD mount:
mount d "c:\users\your name\oldgames\game01\" -t cdrom

Or copy the whole game01 folder/files to
c:\users\your name\oldgames\game01CD\
and mount that as fake CD:
mount d "c:\users\your name\oldgames\game01CD\" -t cdrom

Of course you still need to mount your virtual C:

Also also ....
sometimes you even don't need to have the correct CD in the drive or mounted to get a dos CD game to run, mounting any CD or image as D: can be enough, can work even with music CDs.

Also also also ... there are no-CD patches floating around the internet for some recalcitrant dos games, but as they're mostly illegal you're on your own to find those.

As you know by now, it's kinda impossible for us to help you without having those refusing games, there are simply too much possibilities how to mount them things to get them working.
We have no idea what they have put on that DVD, what method they used to compile the DVD? What files are altered/missing?
We can't know.

If they're on a bought DVD your first step should be to ask where you bought that DVD, you paid: you're entitled to get help to run them games.
Also also also: check if there isn't a 'readme' or similar on the DVD....

Some more also ...... :
It can be worth it to check games sites if they don't have a no-CD version of those games or a CD image, as are:
http://www.dosgames.com/
http://www.hotud.org/
http://www.abandonia.com/index.php
FYI: on Ab's forum there is a "ISO cellar" sub with a lot of CD images hosted, you'll need to register to get access.
http://www.classicdosgames.com/
... and google is your friend.

Also worth checking:
http://www.dosgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16368
http://www.dosgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18447
http://www.dosgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16957
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