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Old 05 January 2017, 23:01   #1
ch40s_engineer
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Gotek / A500 compatibility problems

Hi guys,

First of all greetings to all of you...First Post

I just purchased a A500 with a Gotek (Cortex) drive, kick 1.3 and a memory expansion, so i started testing games on it. Giana Sisters was my first choice, which didn't boot - so i tried firepower next, which worked. After some more testing i found about half of the games working
So I tried about 5 different USB-Sticks and all of the eight Tosec-Versions of Giana Sisters without any success. I even tried those versions on UAE4ALL and they a working fine. The Bootdisk Shows Cortex v1.05a (newest)...

I don't know what to try next - any tips?

Best regards, Christoph
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Old 06 January 2017, 00:35   #2
Pat the Cat
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GGS was pulled from the stores on release, never tested with 1.3

Appaently some people have released patches to get it to work on a 1.3 Amiga, but they require some fast RAM on the system.

http://www.whdload.de/games/GianaSisters.html

One possible explanation is tha the previous owner kept the A500 hard drive and fastRAM expansion.

A500s usually NEED a ram expansion in the trapdoor, but benefit hugely from some fast RAM (processor only memory) either on an expansion fitted to left hand side, or sometimes on a RAM expansion that is part of an accelerator unit (sometimes on the left, sometimes internal, piggy backed onto the CPU socket).
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Old 06 January 2017, 01:00   #3
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Any ADF version of GGS should work perfectly with kick 1.3, +512k and Gotek. At least they all do on my 1.3 A500 (rev5), so there must be some other problem(s).
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Old 06 January 2017, 07:57   #4
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thanks for the answers! Is there anything i can try on my current setup to point out the reason for the bad compatibility?

Today I will try to shorten the filenames, take a look at the files and see if they are protected and try more USB-Sticks. I think the files are okay (working on an Emulator with identical configuration)

Or am i missing somthing obvious? Could there be a hw defekt like the 512kb expansion?
Could it be that my Gotek drive has a FW <1.05a but i use the (wrong) 1.05a selector.adf? Will it still show the v1.05a on Start-up?
As stated in my initial post there are many games not working (James Pond 1/2, Katakis, Flood, IK+...), but some are (Fire & Ice Xmas, North & South, Dogs of war...)

Any help is greatly appericiated!
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Old 06 January 2017, 08:08   #5
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The memory is probably fine. Amigas do a little self test, part of that is checking the memory. It's a quick and dirty test but usually reliable.

Could be the filenames.

The selector is important, if it gets corrupted, it will prevent selection.

James Pond 2 (Robocod) should definitely work on a classic A500.

If it was me I'd try an adf of Workbench 1.3, the desktop for your particular version. Check how much chip RAM is displayed, top the the screen. All A500s came with 512K chip, usually 512K Fast too, but sometimes modified to have 1MB chip RAM. The 500+ has 1MB chip RAM and V2.04.

Workbench 1.3 is butt ugly but can do some unusual things for its age.
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Old 06 January 2017, 08:28   #6
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thanks, i will try that. what happens, when the FW and selector file don't match - could this be my problem? I will report back after work with some more testing.

Does anyone have further suggestions?

Cheers, Christoph
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Old 06 January 2017, 08:55   #7
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That is a point, but if the Selector file was not compatible with 1.3, you coloud not select any of the games to try.

Selector always goes to position 000 on the Gotek, I think.
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Old 06 January 2017, 12:26   #8
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Make sure your adf files are virus free otherwise it will spread like wildfire and none of your games will work any more.
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Old 06 January 2017, 17:52   #9
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So i did lots of testing in the last hours. Here's what i tried:

- 3 more usb-sticks, formatted with different tools to fat32
- A SD-card reader with a fat32 micro-sd
- Various "GGS" adf's from all around the web including the latest tosec set
- Shortening the file names
- check for file protection of the adf's (wasnt't active)

none of it worked! most games boot up fine, but after clicking past the cracktro, the led on the gotek drive does not flash any more but is constantly on. then nothing more happens

as i said, some games work just fine some won't. always the same thing with them. cracktro, then blackscreen. i even waited 10 minutes to check if the games loads eventually. nothing.

i am very desperate right know


to the questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat the Cat View Post
That is a point, but if the Selector file was not compatible with 1.3, you coloud not select any of the games to try.

Selector always goes to position 000 on the Gotek, I think.
My Statement was a bit confusing. What i meant is that i cannot tell for sure, which cortex-fw is on the gotek-drive. the selector.adf says "v1.05a" BUT does it get this information directly from the hw? or is it possible that the cortex-fw is for example 1.0 but i use the v1.05a-selector.adf?

Quote:
If it was me I'd try an adf of Workbench 1.3, the desktop for your particular version. Check how much chip RAM is displayed, top the the screen. All A500s came with 512K chip, usually 512K Fast too, but sometimes modified to have 1MB chip RAM. The 500+ has 1MB chip RAM and V2.04.

Workbench 1.3 is butt ugly but can do some unusual things for its age.
it says 887224 free memory

Last edited by ch40s_engineer; 06 January 2017 at 17:58.
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Old 06 January 2017, 21:37   #10
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Another thought: What if the firmware on the gotek drive is corrupt? Might this explain the strange behavior?
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Old 06 January 2017, 21:48   #11
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i've had a look at the selector disk. the binary is crunched with Titanics cruncher, unpacking and looking for some text , reveals this:
Code:
Nu0123456789ABCDEF
JJJIJDJEJRJQJTJUI
IJIIIDIEIRIQITIUD
DJDIDDDEDRDQDTDUE
EJEIEDEEEREQETEUR
RJRIRDRERRRQRTRUQ
QJQIQDQEQRQQQTQUT
TJTITDTETRTQTTTUU
UJUIUDUEURUQUTUUNU
Nu--- alloc error... ---
NqCORTEXAD
--- Write error ! ---
Nu--- Cortex FE Init Error ! ---
--- Read error ! ---
Nu--- Floppy error... ---
--- Gotek FE Init Error ! ---
/SELECTOR.ADF
--- SELECTOR.ADF read error ---
Nu--- Write failed! ---
Nu------ Save and Restart ------
Cortex Amiga Floppy Emulator
cortexamigafloppydrive.wordpress.com
Brought by Herve Messinger
--- Emulator not found ! ---
--- Init DF%d ---
--- FS init error ! ---
>>> Init in progress... <<<
>>> Restarting... <<<
NuCortex Amiga Floppy Emulator
topaz.font
Nuintuition.library
graphics.library
Nudos.library
0123456789abcdef0123456789ABCDEF%
4-5.6/7=8>9? @.9
D
x P@ @PPP  
pxxhhhhxxxxppp
pppxxxppxHp
CON://///AUTO/CLOSE/WAIT
                  
                                 
dos.library
graphics.library
no version number, from what i see,. so the 1.05a you are reading refers to the firmware - i would say.
to verify this, you can use an older version of the selector.adf.

v1.04a
v1.04b
rename docx to lha. they are from the original project website, just renaming the downloadlink of latest 1.05a to earlier version.

Last edited by emufan; 06 January 2017 at 22:01.
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Old 06 January 2017, 21:53   #12
Pat the Cat
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If the Gotek is letting you access a selector, then it's probably OK.

The revision and name of the selector can vary, but as it's an ADF, it could be incompatible with some or all of the other files, even if it isn't "corrupt" as such.

Amigas are such fantastically flexible machines, adf content and compatibility with host Amigas is the usual cause of problems.

Here's the thing - I distinctly remember pulling the original floppy of GGS out and trying it on a 1.3 Amiga, and it didn't work. It was a leftover from the ACE collection, and it just didn't work on 1.3.

The editor of Amiga Format didn't give a stuff as the game had been withdrawn and wasn't available anymore anyway. (Nope, didn't keep it, just put it back on the shelf and left it). News mention? Old news, too much other things to cover.

So you can see why I'm sceptical about a GGS ADF. It was pulled because Nintendo didn't like it. They didn't like it partly because it was FUN. Not very sporting, but there you go.

NuDOSlibrary and Titanics cruncher sound like a third party compression / boatloader hack, so it's going to be more memory intensive than running the executables or disks directly. I don't think it's an issue with GGS but if it does need some patches to fire up, and it's at a different selector number than the selector expects, maybe it won't fire up because the patches don't get applied? That could be it.

If you just step to the ADF you want manually with the button on the Gotek, and reset the Amiga, that should I've heard load the selected ADF Bypass the selector... but that doesn't help you at all with games needing patches to run on your hardware.

How do you replace the selector on a Gotek? I guess you adjust the USB stick or drive contents. Could be wrong about that, never played with one.

Last edited by Pat the Cat; 06 January 2017 at 22:02.
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Old 06 January 2017, 22:05   #13
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@Pat: "NuDOSlibrary and Titanics cruncher" are not special, the cruncher is well known and can be decrunched with the xfdmaster library from aminet.
i think all those bootblocks have this "NuDOSlibrary" entry - it's maybe some character encoding thing.
not really special - but i could be wrong here

@ch40s_engineer: some games wont work with extra memory, did someone suggest disabling
memory expansion for those non working games?
there are some software tools, which disable ram expansion after a reboot,
otherwise you may have a switch on your ramexpansion, to disable it.
but only disable the expansion after you switched off the amiga - hardwarewise.

#2) btw. a while back i found a nice editor for the cortex firmware - GotekAdfEdit.
filename is HxCEdit - last time i was testing it, it was working with the cortex formware selector.adf.

Last edited by emufan; 06 January 2017 at 22:23.
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Old 06 January 2017, 22:22   #14
Pat the Cat
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Hmmm... OK. "Custom" covers everything that isn't part of an official release from an OS developers, so it probably doesn't mean much.

I guess the ideal ADF selector would actually scan local hardware for needs, and check against available games, patch accordingly. I doubt any of 'em are that sophisticated.

But I was never happy about floppy dev involving non checkable resources with a virus checker. Staying system friendly does have advantages, like avoiding things like Lamer Exterminator. Virus checkers rarely check compressed content properly, and sometimes warn if a suspect boot block is inserted. I guess that's why I always evolved AF coverdisks that were 100% boot track and loader friendly.

This approach completely bamboozled Dave Jones at Psygnosis for about 5 seconds when I phoned him to tell him that the Lemmings demo he had sent me wasn't usable, because I couldn't write a boot loader for the thing. I was not employed to code, but to write English and design pages with images on them, and do a master of a self booting system friendly floppy once a month. The gentleman saw my problem and the urgency, couriered a system friendly Lemmings demo over to me that afternoon, and I anxiously awaited it's arrival. I had to test the thing, The whole Amiga Format magazine floppy disk had to go out the door, the next MORNING. I had to test it on every machine in the office, nearly. And the first step was putting a boot track on it from a virgin WB 1.3 disk, that was permanently write protected. After that, the content was added. Then tested. Then swept again for nasties.

It came through the door about 6:30PM. The night watchman had to throw me out of the building at 11PM. The demo was stunning, the Christmas edition coverdisk was saved on time, and a whole new game type had been mine, alone, to enjoy as an sole outsider briefly. The other team members met a shambolic maniac the next morning, but when they saw what I'd been playing with, they had big, big smiles on their faces.

Last edited by Pat the Cat; 06 January 2017 at 22:31.
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Old 06 January 2017, 22:32   #15
emufan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat the Cat View Post
I guess the ideal ADF selector would actually scan local hardware for needs, and check against available games, patch accordingly. I doubt any of 'em are that sophisticated.
fs-uae has something like that, a game database for the emulator - you download a gamepack,
which comes with the compatible config for emulator.
Quote:
It came through the door about 6:30PM. The night watchman had to throw me out of the building at 11PM. The demo was good, the Christmas edition coverdisk was saved on time, and a whole new game type had been mine, alone, to enjoy as an sole outsider briefly.
interesting anecdote
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Old 06 January 2017, 23:40   #16
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Hey guys, thanks for the detailed answers
I guess i will give the software ram disabler a try (since there is no switch for turning off the ram manually). Can someone name a tool or give me a link, please?
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Old 07 January 2017, 01:40   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emufan View Post
i think all those bootblocks have this "NuDOSlibrary" entry - it's maybe some character encoding thing.
Isn't "Nu" the opcode for "RTS"?
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Old 07 January 2017, 03:37   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
Isn't "Nu" the opcode for "RTS"?
good question, i have no clue
Quote:
Originally Posted by ch40s_engineer View Post
Hey guys, thanks for the detailed answers
I guess i will give the software ram disabler a try (since there is no switch for turning off the ram manually). Can someone name a tool or give me a link, please?
i've attached a bootable floppy, with tude and degrader.
just boot the disk prior the non-working game you want play.
in the cli , some example options you can try:
Quote:
tude nofastmem boot=lowchip
tude nofastmem boot=highchip
tude degrade boot=lowchip
tude degrade boot=highchip
tude degrade nofastmem boot=highchip
tude degrade nofastmem boot=lowchip
insert the game disk if requested and it should boot, hopefully

there is also degrader on that disk.
degrader has a gui, so just type in degrader at the cli prompt and a gui will open.
when the gui is visible, insert your game disk.

enable NoFastMem and press SurviveReset
i think this will disable fastmemory after reboot.

i hope it will help somehow.

Last edited by emufan; 07 January 2017 at 16:50.
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Old 07 January 2017, 11:34   #19
ch40s_engineer
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Hi, thanks again fo the help. I had not much time so I tried the non working games with all provided tude commands. Still no luck.

Cracktro -> Blackscreen (drive Led constantly on)

The games were James pond, Flood and ggs. Will do further testing later

edit

I just ordered a usb-ttl adapter to reflash the gotek fw...Just to rule that out.

I am slowly getting the idea that my amiga has a hardware (ram) defect, either on the built-in or on the expansion ram...So is there any program that will do an in-depth test of the ram?

I am very grateful for all the support and ideas, guys. Now back to testing

Last edited by ch40s_engineer; 07 January 2017 at 13:48.
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Old 07 January 2017, 16:53   #20
emufan
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i've updated the degrader.adf, now there are some ram test tools added:
MemCheckBH
MemoryDoctor

first is cli only tool, second has a gui. once started, select a region in
lower left corner, then push start.
tested on a500 512/512 ram config
Attached Files
File Type: zip degrader.zip (69.6 KB, 76 views)
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