Carnivore2 request for help

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By mxmy

Resident (39)

mxmy's picture

20-06-2018, 03:16

I hope it's okay to post this here:

I recently received a carnivore 2 and I'm enjoying the games on it that I can play (using an MSX1 machine), but I can't seem to figure out how to boot into Nextor DOS! When I choose the first menu option I get booted directly into Nextor BASIC. not even a DOS1 terminal. My CF is 1GB and formatted as FAT16, but I'm really struggling Sad

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By sdsnatcher73

Hero (592)

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20-06-2018, 06:50

You will have to have the nextor.sys and command2.com in the root of your CF card (as a minimum) but best is to also add the DOS2 utilities and help files on it. You will find all files here.

By mxmy

Resident (39)

mxmy's picture

21-06-2018, 04:22

Hi sdsnatche73r, I had all the files on the CF card and I've managed to get it working now and recognised by fdisk from the carnivore cart (I'm using an MSX1 system). I then reformatted the disk (it was finally detected correctly) to a number of FAT16 and one FAT12 drives. Then I put the CF in my computer and re-uploaded the files to the first and largest volume.

As it turns out, the carnivore does not always recognise the CF card correctly. Sometimes the read LED will hang upon boot and sometimes it fails to see it at all. Other times it's fine. Booting into MSXDOS2 is always hit or miss and I usually have to force it at boot by holding down either '1' or 'F5'.

My next problem, however is that at least one of my 4116 VRAM chips died yesterday. I know they're prone to failure, but I'm worried if it's something that occurred because of the Carnivore2 cart, or possibly the CF(???)

Time to open up and install some ram sockets. Not looking forward to it, the board is basically glorified cardboard :/ I've repaired my Amiga 600, which was really awful to work with and hopefully it wont be quite as bad as that. but I'm really, really not looking forward to working all 128 pins in my msx :'( pray for my baby. oO

By sdsnatcher73

Hero (592)

sdsnatcher73's picture

21-06-2018, 09:05

Okay, good luck with that! I am not certain but it seems hard to believe the C2 has anything to do with blowing out your VRAM and CF would not have any involvement on that. I do see that C2 sometimes has issue detecting CF card as well. I think it is a timing issue. It usually works immediately in my FS-A1ST but needs some power on/off in my CX7...

Maybe Alexey can give us some hints on what is happening in such cases??

By Grauw

Ascended (8455)

Grauw's picture

21-06-2018, 10:30

VRAM dying is probably just coincidence. Because getting a new cartridge is often a reason to power on your MSX, when there’s a hardware issue your brain easily links it to the malfunction. I did that myself too when my CX5MII’s mapper stopped working. But it’s really just old hardware and things break sometimes. I haven’t seen any reports where an MSX actually broke due to a cartridge issue.

By Alexey

Guardian (2386)

Alexey's picture

21-06-2018, 10:50

With the latest firmware the issues with CF cards should be gone. And there were not many problems reported with the earlier firmware as well. What brand of CF card are you using? Do you have another card to confirm that the problem is with Carnivore and not the card itself?

For me it helped to low level format the card when it started to hang during loading. I used the hdd low level formatting tool. It is free to use.

By Alexey

Guardian (2386)

Alexey's picture

21-06-2018, 13:24

The tool is called HDDLLF. Fixed my CF card.

http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/

But be careful not to format your system drive. ;)

By mxmy

Resident (39)

mxmy's picture

22-06-2018, 06:06

I've sadly not had my MSX for very long at all, so VRAM blowing is just... bleahhhhhhhhhh.

Knowing that cartridges are unlikely to cause problems is at least a very comforting thing to hear.

I'll upgrade my Carnivore Firmware, hopefully that will fix the issues. If not I'll low level format my CF. Is it normal for it to boot into BASIC rather than DOS though?

I'm pretty nervous about updating my Carnivore, it's not the sort of thing I've ever done before. Of course, none of this will matter until I actually get my MSX working again t-t

As for the VRAM replacement, I'm going to give modding some 4164 a go and see if that works. It'd be nice to only have to rely on the 5V line...

By mxmy

Resident (39)

mxmy's picture

22-06-2018, 06:07

Also: Sockets. I'm putting in some G**D*MN sockets too!

By Pencioner

Paladin (955)

Pencioner's picture

22-06-2018, 11:19

mxmy wrote:

I'm pretty nervous about updating my Carnivore, it's not the sort of thing I've ever done before. Of course, none of this will matter until I actually get my MSX working again t-t

I was quite nervous when i did this first time too Smile But afaik the only thing which can blow it is the polarity of +5v power (@Alexey, i'm not sure if wrong polarity of AS connection can do real damage?). Just be careful as much as needed to get correct polarity Wink For flashing the firmware it doesn't matter which version of Quartus you use (i used 18.0 foor it), though if you want to recompile firmware from sources then you have to use version 9.0 which was used in development (even with 9.1 it wouldn't compile)

By Alexey

Guardian (2386)

Alexey's picture

22-06-2018, 14:39

The polarity has to be observed for both power and JTAG. If you insert JTAG the wrong way it may happen that your USB port gets damaged, especially if you power the cartridge with the USB cable from the same computer. My ASUS motherboard has anti-surge protection and that saved my ports once. But not all motherboards have this feature.

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