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Old 20 May 2020, 23:27   #1
landryan
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WHDLoad Amiga Forever disk access - what am I doing wrong?

Hi - I'm a bit of a newbie here and still getting my head around Amiga Emulation after about 20 years of dipping in and out, so bear with me.

I've been recently experimenting with WHDLoad and images of various games, rather than using .ADFs.

For most of the games I've tried, I've got the games working on a vanilla Amiga 1200 with a HDF of Workbench 3.1 that comes with Amiga Forever.

I've installed the latest WHDLoader onto the disk.

I normally create a second HDF, copy the drawer of the WHDLoaded game files (e.g. disk.1, disk.2, game.slave etc.) to that hard drive, then run. Sometimes I need to put an A500 kickstarter image in devs Kickstarters. Some times I have to install XPKMaster. Other disk images seem to work without this.

In virtually every game I've tried, I've got the game working but can't get it to write save files back to the disk... Dungeon Master is the most verbose... it says:

"File "disk.2" is compressed using XPK but not cached. Detected in function 'reload_SafeFileOffset'.

In Lords of Chaos, I can save back to the disk (Apparently) but when I restart the emulator, despite writing changes back to the disk when I quit my disk is empty and no save files exist once more.

Midwinter II doesn't even get that far - just fails to load.

I'm sure there are multiple and complex reasons why I'm struggling to get these games working but if someone can give me a clue I'd appreciate it - by modern standards the Amiga is something of an arcane beast!
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Old 21 May 2020, 01:15   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landryan View Post
Hi - I'm a bit of a newbie here and still getting my head around Amiga Emulation after about 20 years of dipping in and out, so bear with me.

I've been recently experimenting with WHDLoad and images of various games, rather than using .ADFs.

For most of the games I've tried, I've got the games working on a vanilla Amiga 1200 with a HDF of Workbench 3.1 that comes with Amiga Forever.

I've installed the latest WHDLoader onto the disk.

I normally create a second HDF, copy the drawer of the WHDLoaded game files (e.g. disk.1, disk.2, game.slave etc.) to that hard drive, then run. Sometimes I need to put an A500 kickstarter image in devs Kickstarters. Some times I have to install XPKMaster. Other disk images seem to work without this.

In virtually every game I've tried, I've got the game working but can't get it to write save files back to the disk... Dungeon Master is the most verbose... it says:

"File "disk.2" is compressed using XPK but not cached. Detected in function 'reload_SafeFileOffset'.

In Lords of Chaos, I can save back to the disk (Apparently) but when I restart the emulator, despite writing changes back to the disk when I quit my disk is empty and no save files exist once more.

Midwinter II doesn't even get that far - just fails to load.

I'm sure there are multiple and complex reasons why I'm struggling to get these games working but if someone can give me a clue I'd appreciate it - by modern standards the Amiga is something of an arcane beast!
After you've saved, how have you exited WHDLoad and the game in question?

Do you get black OS flashing when saving during game?

If you don't, are you using the correct Quit Key (in the blue info box that pops up before you enter the game it will tell you what the quit key is)?

Most games cache the saves in RAM, and it only saves to hard drive after you have used exited using the correct Quit Key. If your Amiga has enough memory, its to stop the usual OS flashing you used to get.

If you've only got a 2meg chip ram Amiga with no other memory, in most cases WHDLoad cannot cache the saves so you should get the OS flashing at save time.
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Old 21 May 2020, 09:01   #3
landryan
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... so RAM is definitely something I need to add then. Basic A1200 config I don't think adds any other RAM.

And no, I'm just quitting straight out of the emulator without exiting back to AmigaDOS... not sure all the games are explicit about what key does that but I will experiment. (I think it's normally '*'?).

thanks for the newbie tips... I will let you know how I get on!
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Old 21 May 2020, 11:03   #4
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Originally Posted by landryan View Post
... so RAM is definitely something I need to add then. Basic A1200 config I don't think adds any other RAM.

And no, I'm just quitting straight out of the emulator without exiting back to AmigaDOS... not sure all the games are explicit about what key does that but I will experiment. (I think it's normally '*'?).

thanks for the newbie tips... I will let you know how I get on!
Yes you have to use the assigned quit key and then you will find your saves should work
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Old 21 May 2020, 20:36   #5
landryan
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Solved... mostly...

So a combination of adding more RAM (8MB!) and discovering the assigned quit key rather than just crashing out has appeared to solve the various problems I had. Thanks for that.

There are a few oddities but they're few and far between.

e.g. Curse of the Azure Bonds takes FOREVER to save and looks like it's crashed - but I remember it taking forever in 1991 as well so that's accurate emulation for you!

I've yet to test any game transfers (SSI Gold Box, DM -> CSB) but I think it's time to start play-testing... thanks again.
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Old 21 May 2020, 21:19   #6
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Curse of the Azure Bonds maybe uses too many os swaps when saving because of writing file in very small chunks. You should file a bugreport in mantis.whdload.de, Psygore may have a look at it.
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Old 21 May 2020, 21:42   #7
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I really don't know why people who emulate use WHDLoad for 1 or 2 disk games... especially ones that need to make saves / file modifications; as then you get horrible flashes.

Just use the floppy version, and increase "Floppy Drive Emulation Speed" --> "800%" in order to eradicate boring loading times

...plus you can use WinUAE "SaveStates" any time to save your progress

Last edited by DamienD; 21 May 2020 at 21:49.
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Old 21 May 2020, 23:31   #8
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Ease of use?

As for save states, save scumming is cheating!
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Old 21 May 2020, 23:48   #9
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Originally Posted by coldacid View Post
Ease of use?
...and inserting a floppy disk like back in the day is sooooo difficult isn't it?

Setting up a hard drive, installing Workbench, copying across WHDLoad, installing the slave is just a little more complex don't you think?

Not something an Amiga newbie or novice will be able to do easily.

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As for save states, save scumming is cheating!
Whatever man; guess you've never used trainers in your life either?
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Old 22 May 2020, 00:08   #10
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DamienD, coldacid like a heated discussion. He's a "Teaser".
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Old 22 May 2020, 00:46   #11
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Originally Posted by DamienD View Post
...and inserting a floppy disk like back in the day is sooooo difficult isn't it?

Setting up a hard drive, installing Workbench, copying across WHDLoad, installing the slave is just a little more complex don't you think?

Not something an Amiga newbie or novice will be able to do easily.

Not that I've used the functionality, but I'm pretty sure AF supports drag and dropping a WHDLoad preinstall LHA for those who know where to find them. Saves the trouble of setting up an RP9, which you'd otherwise have to do anyway. As for me, it's just simpler to have a directory of WHDLoad installs that I can share between my different emulator configs.


Quote:
Whatever man; guess you've never used trainers in your life either?

I'll admit to save-scumming in the past with NetHack, or when trying to 100% a game I've already beat, but I've never used trainers and I never will.
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Old 22 May 2020, 11:05   #12
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Originally Posted by coldacid View Post
Not that I've used the functionality, but I'm pretty sure AF supports drag and dropping a WHDLoad preinstall LHA for those who know where to find them. Saves the trouble of setting up an RP9, which you'd otherwise have to do anyway. As for me, it's just simpler to have a directory of WHDLoad installs that I can share between my different emulator configs.
Who would actually use AF bloatware?

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I'll admit to save-scumming in the past with NetHack, or when trying to 100% a game I've already beat, but I've never used trainers and I never will.
Champion. I've got a Scooby-Doo badge here waiting you as it's clearly well deserved
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