SofaRun v5.0 released

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By DamnedAngel

Master (139)

DamnedAngel's picture

10-07-2019, 04:06

Hi Louthrax,

This is to report a problem I am facing with SR 5.0 (possibly previous versions have the same problem).

I am facing problems using SR5 when my Technobytes Obsonet2-compatible ethernet cart is inserted. SR tries to load ROM, but ends up with "***Flash error when writing" error. After such process, the eth cart dies, because its ROM has been erased. It is fixable by flashing the eth ROM again, but the games don't run nevertheless. Apparently, SR5 is trying to flash the game on eth cart's flash memory. The only solution I found is romeving the eth cart.

Am I doing something too dumb?

best
DA

By Louthrax

Prophet (2072)

Louthrax's picture

10-07-2019, 20:26

Hi DamnedAngel,

That's probably part of the "normal" behavior of SofaRom: by default, it detects the best available "flash" device on your MSX computer, and then use it. There are some protection mechanisms (for example, SofaROM will never flash the main DISK ROM, which can happen when you have an MSX-DOS 2 cartridge using a MegaFlashROM-like chip).

A workaround is to specify your preferred flash device in SofaRun (in the game, or better, global preferences). This way, SofaRun will not choose your ObsoNet, at least if the preferred flash device is detected.

Let me know if that works for you.

By DamnedAngel

Master (139)

DamnedAngel's picture

11-07-2019, 19:12

Ah, nice to know about this option. When I get home I will try and let you know.
Best!

By DamnedAngel

Master (139)

DamnedAngel's picture

12-07-2019, 03:16

I confirm that that solved the problem. My obsonet2 is eternally thankful.

By friguron

Expert (82)

friguron's picture

30-07-2019, 21:48

Hi Louthrax, I'm using SofaRun 5.1 (with the latest GR8NET firmware), and apparently all is safe and good, I'm very happy with it... except I'm not sure I'm getting the most of the .dsk loader subsystem... Why? Because I feel not all .dsk files boot. For example Quinpl (and some others).

I'm using THIS very copy of Quinpl -> https://www.planetemu.net/rom/msx-msx2-various-4/quinpl-1988...

This .dsk file boots properly under OpenMSX using a 8250 machine configuration (MSX2 (!!)), and it also boots as well under the wicked acid1-slots test machine (a MSX2+ one)...

But if I want to use SofaRun (and its .dsk loader) under my GR8NET (with my real 8250), it does nothing, it just blue screen hangs... Is it a know fact? Is the .dsk loader known to work with the majority of .dsk files? or are there some of them that are known not to work?
Is there any specially needed parameter to boot, that I might be unaware of?

NOTE: My SofaRun is executed from a Nextor environment, I'm using a real NMS 8250 (ugpraded to v9958). Many .dsk do load, but some not... (Super cooks, doesn't load either for example, just a blue screen with stucked MSX, a reset is needed to exit that situation).

Thanks a lot!

By sdsnatcher73

Champion (445)

sdsnatcher73's picture

31-07-2019, 07:11

Some disk games do indeed not load with SofaRun, i imagine this can be because of the way the game accesses the disk (this also showed on European MSX’s sometimes where the disk light would not turn off, where it did on a Japanese MSX) or how it uses the computer’s memory. SofaRunIt will load a disk ROM into RAM, if that gets overwritten by the game it’s game over Wink. I’ll try Quinpl and SuperCooks on my machine (it can of course also be machine dependent).

By sdsnatcher73

Champion (445)

sdsnatcher73's picture

31-07-2019, 17:18

So indeed Quinple does not even seem to start loading (just shows a blue screen right after you press space) and Super Cooks starts to load (as can be seem from the flashing CAPS light) but then freezes on a black screen. I wrote both images to floppy disk and booted the games from disk and they worked fine, so if your diskdrive still works you could do that as a workaround.

By friguron

Expert (82)

friguron's picture

02-08-2019, 10:28

Well, that was the point.

My 8250's floppy disk drive died (phisically crushed) long ago and somehow I got my GR8NET to get some kind of disk support.
I can understand sofarun might not be the perfect solution, so I'm ok with it if it can't deal with all .dsk files. I can remember some dsk files being difficult to work with.

Thanks anyway.

By Louthrax

Prophet (2072)

Louthrax's picture

02-08-2019, 21:34

Hi guys,

Look in the "Game patches" section on my website (down on the left). There's a patch for Quinpl and also other games. Let me know if that works (you'll just need an IPS patcher like Lunar IPS to modify your .dsk image).

Cause of the problem is that the SofaRunIt disk driver is installed in the main RAM slot, and tries to hide itself plus reroute all hooks and calls in order to make things work. The good point is that SofaRunIt does not require any extra hardware or extra slot. Bad point is that it's vulnerable to games accessing the DiskROM routines directly, like Quinpl does without the patch.

By friguron

Expert (82)

friguron's picture

03-08-2019, 12:30

All understandable and all clear. Thanks.

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