openMSX preparing SD card for real MSX

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By karloch

Paragon (2033)

karloch's picture

20-05-2017, 14:05

Something that I'm very use to do with my Commodore Amiga is to create a WinUAE configuration that is absolutely equal to the real Amiga. Then I setup in the emulator from scratch the operating system, configuration, software and games. After all the work is done, I use utilities like Win32DiskImager or Linux's dd for transferring the hard disk file in the HDD to the CF card. Finally, I plug the CF card on the Amiga and everything ready.

I would love to do the same with openMSX, using it for preparing my MSX hard disk from scratch. My config is simple: MSX Turbo-R A1GT with a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD. I have been fighting with the XMLs in order to get the MFR working, but I'm not able to. Questions time!

  • Does openMSX use raw hardfile format? is it possible to transfer it back to a SD card and boot from the MFR?
  • Where can I find steps or guide about how to correctly setup MFR SCC+ SD emulation in openMSX?
  • Any better idea to achieve what I'm looking for?
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By Manuel

Ascended (14982)

Manuel's picture

20-05-2017, 19:25

1. openMSX simply puts all sector data behind each other, exactly like IDE disk images, SCSI disk images and plain floppy disk images. I never tried it, but I guess it works when dd'ing it over to a flash card.
2. It's exactly like how it's done on real hardware. So just follow the manual of the MFR SCC+ SD. But perhaps this helps: https://www.msx.org/wiki/Emulating_MEGAFLASHROMSCC%2BSD_with... (see also https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/openmsx/how-configure-meg... )

Why are you fighting with XML's? Just plug in the MFR SCC+ SD cartridge in the turboR, like you did on the real machine. Ah, maybe you wanted to change the size of the SD cards. Yes, for that you will have to change the XML file, or explicitly use the hda/hdb commands (or -hda/-hdb command line options) to put in an explicit SD card image with the size you want. Then you don't need to change any XML unless you want this permanent. Let me know what you want exactly.

By Creepy

Champion (331)

Creepy's picture

20-05-2017, 21:07

I would say it is not "exactly" the same as on real hardware. The MFR SCC+SD is delivered with working firmware. Plug it in and it is ready to go. On OpenMSX you need to plug it in AND flash all the firmware first before you can use it. It would be great if the emulation can be changed so that the firmware is loaded. Is there a reason the MFR firmware is not usable directly? For the Sunrise IDE (which you can also flash yourself), the firmware actually is already embedded so the Sunrise IDE is actuallt the same as the real hardware. Just plug it in and it's ready to go.

By Manuel

Ascended (14982)

Manuel's picture

20-05-2017, 22:10

We don't have the rights to ship that firmware with openMSX, so there's nothing we can do about that... In any case, you're right: it is like real hardware, but with a blank flash ROM Smile

Your suggestion to be able to automatically load a content of the flash is interesting. I don't think such a ROM image exists though, someone would have to make it. I don't think it's currently possible to directly load a ROM image into a flash ROM device.

Still, the solution is very simple. The flash ROM content needs to be remembered by openMSX, of course. So it is stored in a file. You can of course simply put a prewritten file (the "ROM image", if you will) there and the flash ROM will immediately have that content. So, simply get such a file from someone and put it in the right location. By default here:
~/.openMSX/persistent/MegaFlashROM_SCC+_SD/untitled1/megaflashromsccplussd.sram (on UNIXy systems) or C:\Users\<user name>\Documents\openMSX\persistent\MegaFlashROM_SCC+_SD\untitled1\megaflashromsccplussd.sram whereby <user name> stands for your Windows login name. This file is automatically created when you start up with the extension for the first time, so you can replace it with a 'filled' one after that (no need to create any new paths then).

Regarding Sunrise IDE: I don't think it can be flashed from the MSX, but I'm not sure about that. In any case, in openMSX that ROM is modeled as a non-flashable (normal) ROM. It's a different situation from the MFRSCC+SD though, because the flash contains both the kernel stuff ("ROM") and an area where you are supposed to flash software in to run.

By karloch

Paragon (2033)

karloch's picture

21-05-2017, 22:46

Thank you so much for the answers, I will try that. Indeed I need to set a size for the HDD, as I plan writing it back to a SD card Smile

By Creepy

Champion (331)

Creepy's picture

25-05-2017, 11:21

Ah, so you do not have the right to distribute the firmware. I have a working MFR inside OpenMSX but then I guess distributing the .sram file would be illegal to because it contains the firmware as well, am I right?

By Manuel

Ascended (14982)

Manuel's picture

25-05-2017, 14:48

Indeed, we cannot distribute it. But if someone makes an official clean installation, we could distribute the sha1sum of it and adjust openMSX to look for it if the SRAM file doesn't exist yet, so that it can be used as initial content when using the extension for the first time.

Would that help or be useful?

By Creepy

Champion (331)

Creepy's picture

25-05-2017, 16:05

I think searching for such a file would be very useful for beginners. Creating a harddisk image with all the firmware on it and then flashing it to the (emulated) MFR is quite a hassle when just starting with MSX and/or OpenMSX. Using such a file as a start gives a working MFR without the need for creating an HD image and flashing. If msxcartridgeshop (or maybe Konamiman?) could even distribute that file online, I guess that would fix the problem of not having the right to distribute the firmware as well.

By Manuel

Ascended (14982)

Manuel's picture

25-05-2017, 17:27

Yes, if he would distribute it as such, that would be really great.

I'll check how we could implement it like that. If the file would already be available, it would help...

By karloch

Paragon (2033)

karloch's picture

04-06-2017, 03:27

I finally had time to flash the MFR, but I have some trouble partitioning the disk. It seems to detect wrong size, being unable to write on it. My SD cards are looking this way in the config:

SDcard1.sdc
4096


SDcard2.sdc
100

I'm also using the portable trick:

@echo off
setlocal

SET USERPROFILE=%~dp0Data
SET OPENMSX_USER_DATA=%~dp0Data\settings

start "" /WAIT /B "%~dp0\openmsx.exe" -script sdide.txt %*

If I call DEVINFO.COM:

And trying to partition results in the following:

By Manuel

Ascended (14982)

Manuel's picture

04-06-2017, 15:01

2016GB??

Can you try without the 'portable trick'? I have now no idea which config is actually used.

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