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Old 15 October 2018, 21:24   #1
sizetwo
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Amiga Video Backup System (VBS) crashes/general A1200 issue...

Greetings! I am hoping someone has a chance to give me a hand - or perhaps a push in (some) direction. I dont think this is specific to the program itself, so even if you dont know it, Im hoping your help can get me across the finish line. Here goes:

I have a lot of modules/produced material stored from 1993 on a VHS tape using the VBS backup system. The good news is that it looks like the tapes are fine. This is what happens: I have the VBS hardware (and all versions of the program), and when it encounters the list of files in the specific backup, the program crashes. I have tested two different A1200 (and an A600), one with a CF-solution and one with a standard 3.5" HDD. I have tried two different VBS-cables/hardware. I have tried all versions of the VBS-software. What happens when it tries to list the files in the tape-backup is that it most commonly shows a "Recoverable error" (Error 0100 00F Task 00245738), then proceeds to do a full on guru meditation.

I tried running Snoopdos to see if it helped me understand, but I dont know what to look for. Included are the pictures when it seems to fail. I have the software installed to HD1: (CF-card bought from Cloanto with WB3.1). The latest version of the VBS software was released in 1995, so I am assuming this should be fine. I tried reinstalling the OS on the CF card from floppy disks to see if there were corrupted files on the CF card itself. No dice.

Ive tried running the program directly from a floppy inside of Workbench, and I get the same error.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 15 October 2018, 21:30   #2
desiv
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I don't remember how far back the VBS solution goes.
Have you tried going into the Early Startup Menu and disabling featues (i.e. going to the enhanced or original chipset). Making sure that the system (PAL/NTSC) matches the system (PAL/NTSC) that the unit was backed up with originally?

Disabling CPU enhancements/caches????

Just some thoughts...

Good luck
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Old 15 October 2018, 21:42   #3
Toni Wilen
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0100000F = program attempted to free memory from invalid address/address that does not point to valid memory allocation.

Possible reasons:
- VBS is simply buggy but but it works accidentally in some hardware/WB configurations.
- It uses some library that is too old or too new.
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Old 15 October 2018, 22:18   #4
sizetwo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desiv View Post
I don't remember how far back the VBS solution goes.
Have you tried going into the Early Startup Menu and disabling featues (i.e. going to the enhanced or original chipset). Making sure that the system (PAL/NTSC) matches the system (PAL/NTSC) that the unit was backed up with originally?

Disabling CPU enhancements/caches????

Just some thoughts...

Good luck
Thanks for the feedback. The first version I tried was released in 1992 (version 1.5) and the latest I tried in 1995 (3.1). I am not sure what to edit in the startup menu (nor how to do that). The system I am currently running is PAL, as it was when I did it originally (Im in Norway).

Is there a "safe" Startup-sequence that I could try, that just boots the computer up without adding anything that might break the software? If so I would love to try it...
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Old 15 October 2018, 22:20   #5
sizetwo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Wilen View Post
0100000F = program attempted to free memory from invalid address/address that does not point to valid memory allocation.

Possible reasons:
- VBS is simply buggy but but it works accidentally in some hardware/WB configurations.
- It uses some library that is too old or too new.
Thanks for the info. I somehow doubt that its terribly buggy, considering the revisions. I was in contact with the programs creator, and he gave some pointers but nothing when it came to the crashes, unfortunately. What libraries should I try to switch out, if needed, and where would I get those in that case ... would it help to install WB3.0 on top of WB3.1 that I currently have installed, you think?
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Old 15 October 2018, 22:50   #6
desiv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sizetwo View Post
Is there a "safe" Startup-sequence that I could try, that just boots the computer up without adding anything that might break the software? If so I would love to try it...
It depends on how complicated your OS install is.
With a base 3.1 install, you can frequently get away with booting with no startup sequence (an option in the early startup menu) and then typing "loadwb" to get a very clean install.
If that doesn't get you enough, you can start to go thru your startup sequence to see what you can comment out (add a semi-colon to the front of the line) a bit at a time. When troubleshooting, I will frequently start by commenting out my user-startup call in the startup sequence, to make sure there is nothing there confusing it.
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Old 15 October 2018, 22:51   #7
Toni Wilen
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Try booting directly from WB 3.0 or even WB 2.x disk without startup-sequence and then running VBS manually (from other disk or HD), also manually copy any possibly extra fonts or files in LIBS: from VBS disk to WB boot disk.

This way it is guaranteed "clean" installation without any extra stuff that can cause problems.
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Old 15 October 2018, 23:00   #8
sizetwo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Wilen View Post
Try booting directly from WB 3.0 or even WB 2.x disk without startup-sequence and then running VBS manually (from other disk or HD), also manually copy any possibly extra fonts or files in LIBS: from VBS disk to WB boot disk.

This way it is guaranteed "clean" installation without any extra stuff that can cause problems.
Thanks for the tips! I bought the CF-card version that Im currently running on my A1200 from Cloanto, and so I dont have version 3.0 available. (I did send them a mail to see if its available from them) I will try to boot from an ADF version of 3.1 and see what happens. Its been so long since I worked with the 1200 I have forgotten so much. Its a bit sad. I was quite active back in the days (in Andromeda, later on Scoopex (as sysop) and other groups) so it would be nice to recover some of the stuff produced in those days. Not to mention the BBS I ran. Oh well. I appreciate your help - I will see how it goes.
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Old 15 October 2018, 23:01   #9
sizetwo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desiv View Post
It depends on how complicated your OS install is.
With a base 3.1 install, you can frequently get away with booting with no startup sequence (an option in the early startup menu) and then typing "loadwb" to get a very clean install.
If that doesn't get you enough, you can start to go thru your startup sequence to see what you can comment out (add a semi-colon to the front of the line) a bit at a time. When troubleshooting, I will frequently start by commenting out my user-startup call in the startup sequence, to make sure there is nothing there confusing it.
Thanks, I will try this! - Tried, same issue. Copied the Startup-sequence back. Will see if I can boot from the disk as Toni suggested.

Last edited by sizetwo; 15 October 2018 at 23:09.
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Old 16 October 2018, 15:56   #10
sizetwo
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Well Ive tested both suggestions, unfortunately it still crashes. Installed the program on an authentic, unused-since-1996 HDD and same result. I am out of ideas and I am thinking the data is lost. So far, yet so close. Kind of annoying to be honest. Its so weird to me that all the versions of the software crashes at the same point in time. And on so many different computers. But Im out of ideas...
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Old 16 October 2018, 17:04   #11
dalek
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Just a thought - to rule out a data issue, have you tried creating a new backup on to a new VHS tape and then tried to restore it?

The 3.1 you tried - was it the original commodore one or the cloanto one?
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Old 16 October 2018, 17:45   #12
sizetwo
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Originally Posted by dalek View Post
Just a thought - to rule out a data issue, have you tried creating a new backup on to a new VHS tape and then tried to restore it?

The 3.1 you tried - was it the original commodore one or the cloanto one?
No, I havent tried creating a new one and trying to restore it. I probably should, but whatever the result, its not really going to tell me much. If it works, then fine, but it doesnt help me. If it doesnt, then fine, but it doesnt help me. Either way, I cant get to the data I am trying to restore.

Ive tried two versions of 3.1 as far as I can tell. The original (from the original A1200 HDD) and the Cloanto version. Both yield the same result.
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Old 16 October 2018, 17:50   #13
desiv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sizetwo View Post
I probably should, but whatever the result, its not really going to tell me much. If it works, then fine, but it doesnt help me. If it doesnt, then fine, but it doesnt help me.
Well, it might not help you right now, but it would tell you that the problem is with the software/hardware and possibly not with the data.
Which would mean there is still a possibility for recovery. ;-)
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Old 16 October 2018, 22:21   #14
sizetwo
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Well, it might not help you right now, but it would tell you that the problem is with the software/hardware and possibly not with the data.
Which would mean there is still a possibility for recovery. ;-)
This is true! Well - Ill try to capture the video while I can, lossless. Maybe some day in the future there will be a solution to this. Im sure there are at least ... five other people who would want to see this work for their own backups
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Old 17 October 2018, 12:31   #15
Toni Wilen
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Do you have more than one tape/more than one VBS backup in same tape? Does all of them crash identically or only one of them?
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Old 17 October 2018, 22:30   #16
sizetwo
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Originally Posted by Toni Wilen View Post
Do you have more than one tape/more than one VBS backup in same tape? Does all of them crash identically or only one of them?
I have two VHS cassettes with backups. Ive tried both of them. On one of the tapes there are several backups, same issues on all of them.

Well - I did notice that increasing the stack size of the program from 8000 to 16000 seemed to just immediately go to guru meditation without going to the repeating "recoverable error" before crashing. Tried decreasing the stack size as well with no new result. There are some other parameters in the icon tool types that I dont know what does, I tried playing around with these as well with no luck. See - I dont really know what Im doing, that doesnt help this process. Had this been 1993 I would have remembered more

Either way Toni, appreciate your help. And also thanks so much for all the effort put into WinUAE, that I used for a long time - and always looked forward to a new version coming out. If you can implement a way to import a video file containing the backup (lossless) as a "fake" serial port Id be happy
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Old 17 October 2018, 22:42   #17
Toni Wilen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sizetwo View Post
Either way Toni, appreciate your help. And also thanks so much for all the effort put into WinUAE, that I used for a long time - and always looked forward to a new version coming out. If you can implement a way to import a video file containing the backup (lossless) as a "fake" serial port Id be happy
In theory emulating this isn't that complex. "Only" need the data in a binary file.

Technically it can be "dumped" using VBS hardware but because data rate is very high (about 600kbps) and structure of data is unknown, whole video data must fit in Amiga memory. (I can do this but I don't think you have real Amiga with enough memory?) EDIT: but this at least could be used to debug the crash by recording enough data to get directory part dumped.

Other method is to capture the video and then use simple pattern matching to get the binary data. (I am not interested)

"Connecting" binary file to emulated serial port is the easiest part. (I can do this part)
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Old 17 October 2018, 22:50   #18
sizetwo
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Originally Posted by Toni Wilen View Post
In theory emulating this isn't that complex. "Only" need the data in a binary file.

Technically it can be "dumped" using VBS hardware but because data rate is very high (about 600kbps) and structure of data is unknown, whole video data must fit in Amiga memory. (I can do this but I don't think you have real Amiga with enough memory?)

Other method is to capture the video and then use simple pattern matching to get the binary data. (I am not interested)

"Connecting" binary file to emulated serial port is the easiest part. (I can do this part)
Well my thought was just this: A way to some how "play" the videofile on command through the GUI, it parses through the "virtual serial port" on the amiga (WinUAE), and VBS "receives" the video signal, as if though it came from the VHS player through the VBS-hardware. But I think Im the only person who really would like to give it a shot, so spend your time more wisely. Anyway, thanks for giving this some thought. If this was a more widespread issue (and need) Id feel more happy about it. But understandably this isnt something that most people need, judging from the lack of posts here on the forum.
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Old 17 October 2018, 23:49   #19
BarryB
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As mentioned in the VBS manual, does your VCR have a picture sharpness control or similar? It says the sharper the picture the more reliable the backup, so wondering if the reverse is true regards restoring? It also says if you have problems with verify or restore, unplug the red plug from the VCR!

Also, my version of VBS is 1.5 AGA PAL, is your version the same? I still have my A1200 but don't have any tapes or VCR to test with now unfortunately but it worked for me on my A1200 all those years ago as that's what I used to backup/restore!
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Old 18 October 2018, 00:00   #20
sizetwo
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As mentioned in the VBS manual, does your VCR have a picture sharpness control or similar? It says the sharper the picture the more reliable the backup, so wondering if the reverse is true regards restoring? It also says if you have problems with verify or restore, unplug the red plug from the VCR!

Also, my version of VBS is 1.5 AGA PAL, is your version the same? I still have my A1200 but don't have any tapes or VCR to test with now unfortunately but it worked for me on my A1200 all those years ago as that's what I used to backup/restore!
Thanks for the tips. Ive tried three different VHS players. I got a high end one tuned to a sharpness that should be appropriate for the tapes. Im not sure what the red plug refers to, the only one I can think of the audio right channel plug, which shouldnt make any difference since its only video ...

I tried version 1.5 -> 3.1 and its the same result ... Im happy you were able to restore, though!
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