Reinstalling MegaFlashRomSCC+ kernel, but kernel not found

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By Stakker

Resident (37)

Stakker's picture

21-10-2020, 18:33

Hi

I hadn't touched my MSX in quite a while, but wanted to check the cool looking MSXDev '20 entries!

I always forget how MFRSCC+ works if I don't touch it in a couple of months... or a year :-) It had been a while, so I thought that I'd download all the latest versions of the system files in case there have been updates and reinstall/upgrade. I don't even know what I did wrong anymore with OPFXSD, but I ended up erasing everything in recovery mode :-P

So, I guess I need to reinstall the SD kernel now. I hit F4 in Recovery and it searches for the kernel, but then says kernel not found. I first copied kernel.dat (downloaded from msxcartridgeshop.com) to the SD card that was working previously without formatting. Then I formatted the card on my Mac first to FAT 16 and then FAT 12 copying kernel.dat there. But I always get "kernel not found" after it searches for it for a minute or so... Would anybody have any idea what I'm doing wrong? The cart and MSX are OK, they worked just fine before I decided to "upgrade"...

Thanks!

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By sdsnatcher73

Paragon (1198)

sdsnatcher73's picture

21-10-2020, 20:15

Hi, what is the size of the SD card? And how did you format and maybe more importantly partition it? If you are using Windows you could use diskpart to clean the SD completely, create a single 32MB partition and format it as FAT using the following commands (from within diskpart)

lis dis (this will list all the disks, remember the disk number of the SD)
sel dis n (where n is the disk number of the SD seen in previous command)
clean (this will wipe the SD)
cre par pri size=32 (create a primary partition of 32MB)
sel par 1 (select the new partition)
for fs=fat quick (format the new partition as fat)

Then copy the kernel.dat file to the empty 32MB drive and retry the steps in recovery...

By Stakker

Resident (37)

Stakker's picture

21-10-2020, 20:27

Hi and thanks for the answer!

Unfortunately I don't have easy access to a Windows machine ATM, so I'm trying to figure this out on a Mac... I did notice that the OS created some dotfiles and removed them, but that didn't seem to help :-/ But I guess it seems likely that there's still something extra on the card that MFRSCC doesn't like.

It's a 4GB card. Previously I had two partitions or 2GB to optimize something or other, but now I erased it into one partition. Is the 32MB partition size important? I guess I could try that.

By Stakker

Resident (37)

Stakker's picture

21-10-2020, 20:30

BTW does it matter which kernel file I'm using? I'm guessing the latest MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD Recovery version on Konamiman's page would be the one to choose?

By sdsnatcher73

Paragon (1198)

sdsnatcher73's picture

21-10-2020, 20:47

Okay, you can use disk utility. Erase the SD, make sure you use MBR partition table (it may default to GPT). The size of the partition in it self should not matter, it is important the kernel.dat file is not fragmented (the recovery will scan the entire partition I believe cluster by cluster not using the actual file system as it does not actually have the code to understand file system). I chose 32MB because I think the recovery will read the partition table and only scan the first partition. Also I am not sure cluster size is important (the manual does not say anything about it so it may not be important).

If it still does not work you could try the official SD formatting utility and do a full format with that and/or try another card if you have one.

By Stakker

Resident (37)

Stakker's picture

21-10-2020, 22:40

Okay I've now tried with Disk Utility (FAT32 MBR) and also "newfs_msdos -F 16" and "diskutil eraseDisk "MS-DOS FAT16"" terminal commands... Also tried with the official SD formatter app (never even heard of that, thanks for the tip!). Unfortunately none of this helped :-/ I've tried one Kingston and one Verbatim SDHC card.

Not sure what to try next. I mean, theoretically it should already work, but... maybe I just need to get hold of a Windows machine somehow. (Not very easy now when I'm home all the time :-P)

I appreciate the help in any case, thank you!

By Manuel

Ascended (17064)

Manuel's picture

22-10-2020, 00:11

You can also manually write all the ROMs. It's described in the manual. (I hope I remember correctly.)

By sdsnatcher73

Paragon (1198)

sdsnatcher73's picture

22-10-2020, 05:41

You can use opfxsd to write the kernel IF you have a floppy drive in your MSX. Do you? If not it may be that your recovery version does not recognize the current kernel.dat file (and you need an older release first). If you have a floppy drive you should create a floppy with MSXDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM, OPFXSD.COM, NEXTOR.ROM and DSKROM.ROM. When the computer boots from the floppy you type:

OPFXSD NEXTOR.ROM /I
OPFXSD DSKROM.ROM /I1

If you need a .DSK file to write to floppy with these files then let me know. I can create one. The NEXTOR.ROM you can download here. There are also versions for use in recovery mode (I see after typing all this), worth a shot to try that out as well, make sure to get the 1 with the right number of slots that matches your MFR.

By sdsnatcher73

Paragon (1198)

sdsnatcher73's picture

22-10-2020, 07:53

If it does not work out it may be best to meet up (From your nick I assume you are based in The Netherlands?) with another MSX'r in your neighborhood. I am in Venlo myself (and you are welcome to bring or send the MFR so I can revive it). But you may be able to find someone closer (depending on where you live).

By Stakker

Resident (37)

Stakker's picture

22-10-2020, 09:20

Unfortunately the drive in my Panasonic FS-A1FX was busted (probably the belt), and after getting the MFRSCC+ I just removed it to improve the ventilation inside the case... (Same deal with my Sony HB-F1XV and my MSX 1 machines never had a disk drive :-)

I also tried the older kernel.dat from msxcartridgeshop.com, but nope.

The BSD newfs_msdos command in MacOS seems to be quite powerful, so there's stuff to tweak there, if I only knew what :-P

newfs_msdos [-N] [-B boot] [-F FAT-type] [-I volid] [-O OEM] [-S sector-size] [-a FAT-size] [-b block-size]
[-c cluster-size] [-e dirents] [-f format] [-h heads] [-i info] [-k backup] [-m media] [-n FATs] [-o hidden]
[-r reserved] [-s total] [-u track-size] [-v volume-name] special [disktype]

I guess I could try to locate an external disk drive, but that's probably going to take a while... or fix and reinstall the internal drive. Unless there's an easier/cheaper solution to emulate a disk drive or something?

But first I'm still going to try to reach the msxcartridgeshop.com guy, in case he could help...

By Stakker

Resident (37)

Stakker's picture

22-10-2020, 09:38

Heh, thanks for the meetup offer! I'm actually in Finland, unfortunately. I guess I could contact an old friend/acquaintance to help...

My nick is from my old Quake-playing days, inspired by Stakker Humanoid (a classic acid/techno tune by Humanoid). It took a couple of years to find out what it means in Nederlands :-D And I'm cool with that, but Dutch people can think I'm just some kind of troll — almost got kicked out from an MSX IRC channel once thanks to the nick :-P So, a bit inconvenient in the MSX scene :-D But I also didn't want to change the nick, because some people in the demoscene and chiptune scene know me from the days when I ran the Kohina.com radio... I'm stuck with it :-)

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