Pinned How To Use GD-EMU Rhea and Phoebe (Card Selection, Formatting, and formatting Images)

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    • How To Use GD-EMU Rhea and Phoebe (Card Selection, Formatting, and formatting Images)

      I had a difficult time getting my Rhea and my GDEMU up and running once you've managed to buy one (which is somewhat difficult in and of itself) and get it installed finding an appropriate SD card and then formatting that card the right way and then putting the right files on that card can be problematic because it all must be done in a specific way and there doesn't seem to be a singular place that documents the whole procedure... so that's what this document aims to be.


      Step 1 - Buying a Rhea, Phoebe or GD-EMU.
      Go to this website here: gdemu.wordpress.com/ and then click on "Ordering" and select the device you want to order. If you don't know if your console is compatible or whether to order a Rhea or Phoebe then check out the "Technical Details" link first.

      Chances are "Pre-Orders" wont be open. The way the ordering process works is a few times a year Pre-Orders will open for a given device, you'll be given an email address that you need to send an email to to be put on the pre-order list. This will be up usually only for a day or two before all the pre-order slots are filled. If you don't get your email sent in-time then you'll have to wait until Pre-Orders are open again.

      If you want one, bookmark the page check it daily, or if you're lazy the page runs on wordpress and you can subscribe to the blog portion, and there is sometimes a new post when pre-orders open (they never announce open pre-orders, they just happen to post around the same time it happens).

      After some time you'll receive a paypal invoice, and then sometime later you'll receive your device.


      Step 2 - Buying an SD card.
      While waiting for your device to come in you might as well order an SD card so you can hit the ground running when it arrives. Or maybe you're like me and tried half-a-dozen incompatible cards and want to know SPECIFICALLY what to buy.

      Officially only SD cards 512MB to 2GB and SDHC 4GB to 32GB are supported (even then actual support is flaky depending on the model of the SD card being used). People have successfully used SDXC cards up to 256GB in size.

      From my experience as well as the various cards that people have posted up as working or not working Kingston brand cards almost never have problems, on the other end of the spectrum Transcend card almost always have problems. Sandisc, Sony, Samsung, Lexar, PNY and other brands seem to be hit or miss depending on the specific model. You want specifics though..

      These are two cards that I've personally used with good success:

      Kingston Digital SDA10/64GB
      amzn.com/B00CBQP786


      Kingston Digital SD10VG2/128GB
      amzn.com/B012GNQRDC

      I bought those cards on the recommendation of others who had put other cards in that series to heavy use without any problems. This thread has a short list of additional good as well as known bad cards as well as other good information: assemblergames.com/l/threads/u…unans-gdemu-thread.57247/

      If you have other known good cards please post the manufacturer and model number below.

      A "bad card" will exhibit any of the following behavior:
      random crashes, in-game freezes, returning to the main bios screen, failing to boot, failing to display all content.

      Sometimes these symptoms will be immediately apparent, other times they will start to appear after long gameplay sessions. Other cards will start out good and "go bad" after repeated use, or once the card begins to fill near capacity.



      Step 3: Formatting the SD card
      large capacity SD cards generally come formatted in NTFS, but that isn't compatible with these devices so you'll need to reformat it. You'll need to be able to delete the existing partition then create a new partition with the following settings:
      • Create As: Primary (not logical)
      • File System: FAT32
      • Cluster Size: 64K


      I've found that a lot of formatting apps tend to be missing one or more of those options. I found a great free option for windows called MiniTool Partition Wizard that inclues all of the necessary options for re-formatting an SD card: partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html

      Using this program is very simple.
      • Click on the Drive you want to format (your SD card).
      • Click the "Delete" button at the top of the screen
      • Click on the "Create" button at the top of the screen
      • Fill in the format information I listed above then click OK
      • Click the Apply button and wait until it says it's done


      The way this and many other formatting apps work is you setup all the changes you want to make and those changes aren't actually made until you click "apply", this gives you time to review everything before reformatting.


      Step 4: Install the Device and ReFlash the firmware
      Assuming your GD-EMU, Rhea, or Phoebe has finally arrive you'll want to simply follow the installation instructions on the official site: gdemu.wordpress.com/installation/

      If you'd like to make the installation feel more "complete" and have access to a 3D printer I've designed finishing "trays" for both Dreamcast and Saturn to fully enclose the area around the GD-EMU and Rhea/Phoebe.
      GD-EMU tray: thingiverse.com/thing:1585333
      Phoebe/Rhea tray: thingiverse.com/thing:1546926
      If you don't have a 3D Printer you can buy them here: bit-district.com

      Once installed the first thing you should do is re-flash the device with the latest firmware. This will ensure you have the best compatibility and also services as a good test to ensure you formatted your SD card correctly before you start loading it up. The official site has the latest firmware and official instructions on re-flashing your device:
      gdemu.wordpress.com/firmware/


      Step 5: Getting your Games in the right Image format.
      GD-EMU, Rhea, and Phoebe support the following formats:
      • GDI (GD-EMU only)
      • CDI
      • CCD+IMG+SUB
      • MDS+MDF
      While they all technically work For Dreamcast games you ideally want GDI and for Saturn you'll want CDI. While Dreamcast games are often in GDI format, Saturn games are rarely in CDI format. To remedy this you'll need to re-rip the game using the following software:
      Daemon Tools Lite V4.49: filehippo.com/download_daemon_tools/57115/
      Disc Juggler V6.0: theisozone.com/downloads/dreamcast/other/disc-juggler-v60/
      The versions are important, newer versions Daemon tools WILL NOT WORK.

      Daemon tools creates a "Virtual" Disc drive in your PC that you can load with the ISO, BIN/CUE or whatever other format your game is in. then with the virtual disc loaded you can use Disc Juggler to re-rip it into .CDI format.

      If you're creating an image for Saturn be sure to check the options on the advanced tab for: "scan gaps/indexes" and "RAW read" and Do NOT Check: R-W and PQ (ticking these can cause lockups/freezing in some games).

      If you're creating an image for Dreamcast DO NOT check any of these options. leave everything as default.

      Dreamcast GDI files are generally padded to fill up all the empty space on a CD-ROM, this is good for burned discs but not necessary for the GD-EMU. if you want to reclaim that space you can use this "Extract Re-Build GDI" program: dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/17…%20Re-Build%20GDI%27s.zip

      It's a little confusing to use at first but there's a "how to use it.exe" file that plays a video explaining the process.


      Step 6: Organizing the Files on the SD Card.
      All of the disc images must be placed in 2, 3, or 4 digit numbered folders. it's important that all folders have the same number of digits. The GD-EMU, Rhea, or Phoebe will automatically boot the game in folder "01" (or "001" or "0001" depending on your chosen number of digits) and then each time you push the button on the device it will load the next folder.

      Also it's VERY important that your .gdi or .cdi file name is less than 8 characters in length and does not contain any special characters or the device wont load it and the menu wont see it either. I've got in the habit of naming everything disc.gdi or disc.cdi and the placing a text file in the folder with the actual game name ie: "Space Channel 5 Parts 2.txt"

      Thankfully there are menus that people have written. You'll want to place the menu in folder "01" and then one game per folder starting in folder 02, 03, and so on. I've found that if you leave a folder blank the menu will stop loading games from that folder number onward, so make sure they're all filled.

      GD-EMU Menu: mediafire.com/file/xb9of8cgqop…_v0.6%2824-08-2016%29.zip

      Rhea/Phebe Menu: mediafire.com/file/4sbn2oqpoh8898t/RMENU_v0.2.zip

      There's also a program called "GDEMU_SD" that will let you easily re-order the folders on a GD-EMU SD card and automatically shorten file names for you, it also does automatic region and VGA patching
      xxx.biskoto.gr/GDEMU_SD.rar

      This is a great program but I've found it didn't like 3-digit folder names. I haven't hit 100 games yet but I question if it will support more than 99. If anyone knows of a similar App for Rhea/Phoebe let me know.

      Finally there is an INI file that can be placed in the root of the SD card to adjust the Disc-Drive emulation parameters of your device. Most of the time these don't need to be adjusted and the GD-EMU menu program comes with it's own recommended settings. In any cause the official site has break down of all the options and what they do should you feel the need to play around: gdemu.wordpress.com/operation/

      As always if you have any questions please reply to this thread (don't PM me) and if you find anything in this guide is incorrect please let me know and i will do my best to fix it.
      Buy 3D Printed Parts: bit-district.com
      Projects: instagram | blog
      Games: VAPS | VOOT | UMK3 | RFM | Vewlix | FiF Jr. | KI2 | E29 | Net City | DDR | Flash Beats
      Wanted | For Sale/Trade

      The post was edited 4 times, last by twistedsymphony ().

    • I wanted to add my SD observations to the above...

      So I started with a 32GB Sandisk Ultra SD, I later upgraded to a 64GB Sandisk Ultra.
      This switch required the use of mini partition tool, as Windows 10/8/7 will NOT let you format >32GB SD card size as FAT32 64k cluster.



      For a long time I thought this setup was perfect, however...
      I did experience some seemingly random lockups in Jet Grind Radio, often times deep 2+ hours into gameplay.

      I have since gone back to my original 32GB Sandisk Ultra, infact I now have two (I store the extra in the fantastically designed GDEmu tray for quick/easy switching).
      The return to 32GB has eliminated the random lockups, and trust me I spent tons of time testing for this (I finished JGR again in the process).

      Darksoft: CPS3, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special Edition)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by jassin000 ().

    • twistedsymphony wrote:

      There's also a program called "GDEMU_SD" that will let you easily re-order the folders on a GD-EMU SD card and automatically shorten file names for you, it also does automatic region and VGA patching
      xxx.biskoto.gr/GDEMU_SD.rar

      This is a great program but I've found it didn't like 3-digit folder names. I haven't hit 100 games yet but I question if it will support more than 99. If anyone knows of a similar App for Rhea/Phoebe let me know.

      Any update on this part for Rhea/Phoebe devices?
      Really love it for the GDEMU, just simple drag & drop and the ability to arrange game order etc.
    • twistedsymphony wrote:

      AFAIK nothing has changed in the last week.
      Ow, haha, misread the date of your topic, I thought it said June ;)

      I've been using the GDEMU_SD application since I've got the GDEMU and have been looking for a easy Rhea/Phoebe alternative since...
    • It's great for re-sorting but even GDEMU_SD could do so much more

      Ideally I'd like to point it to a folder full of zipped images, have it display what's in my collection and let me check off which images I'd like on the card and uncheck ones I'd like to remove; where it can auto-unzip and maybe even auto shrink GDIs. A button for auto-sorting alphabetically would be great, and maybe even giving the option to change the display name of images.

      Add in auto formatting and using the program would look like this:

      open program and set image folder location in the settings.
      insert card and program prompts to reformat in FAT 32.
      list of games available in my folder appears and I check off all of the games I want on the card.
      rename "RUSH 2049" to "San Francisco Rush 2049" and click the alphabetize button.
      Click "process" and wait while my PC formats the card, unzips, shrinks and transfers my selected ROMs and then rename the game images.
      Buy 3D Printed Parts: bit-district.com
      Projects: instagram | blog
      Games: VAPS | VOOT | UMK3 | RFM | Vewlix | FiF Jr. | KI2 | E29 | Net City | DDR | Flash Beats
      Wanted | For Sale/Trade
    • That would definitively would be great additions!
      Up to now I've been using full size GDI's, just read about the "Extract Re-Build GDI" program in your start post and give that one a try!

      For sorting alphabetically I click the 'name' tab in GDEMU_SD and all files are sorted, only thing left for me to do is to drag the menu back to pos #1 :)
    • I didn't realize it already had a name sort already. I've been clicking arrows like a dope this whole time X/
      Buy 3D Printed Parts: bit-district.com
      Projects: instagram | blog
      Games: VAPS | VOOT | UMK3 | RFM | Vewlix | FiF Jr. | KI2 | E29 | Net City | DDR | Flash Beats
      Wanted | For Sale/Trade
    • I say don't bother trimming GDI 1:1 dumps for size, just buy a army of 32GB SD cards. :)
      Again that fantastic GDTray holds 4 + the 1 inside the GDEmu.
      Darksoft: CPS3, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special Edition)
    • I bought a 128GB SD and I listed out all of the DC titles and ranked them into 4 tiers:
      1. I love this game, I'll play this all the time. (mostly shmups and fighters)
      2. Good game that I'll play on occasion. (mostly first party titles, action games, and other DC exclusives)
      3. Good game but I might not ever get around to playing it. (mostly racers and RPGs, as well as oddball stuff like Seaman)
      4. there's little to no chance I'll ever sit down to play this. (mostly sports titles and shovelware)

      I've managed to fit the top two tiers on a 128GB card and a few pics from tier 3... I think if I trim down all the SHMUPS and Fighters that really only take up about 200MB of space I'll be able to fit at least half of teir 3 in there and the rest I can live without.

      you could probably fit everything worth playing on a 256GB card, but they're more than double the price of the 128GB cards so not really worth it. I might make a 64GB card dedicated to just RPGs and multi-disc games as that would pretty much cover everything I'd ever want to play.
      Buy 3D Printed Parts: bit-district.com
      Projects: instagram | blog
      Games: VAPS | VOOT | UMK3 | RFM | Vewlix | FiF Jr. | KI2 | E29 | Net City | DDR | Flash Beats
      Wanted | For Sale/Trade
    • I've got my Rhea and GD-Emu all decked out the way I like them but this is a terrific tutorial. Thanks for putting in the effort to write it.

      Just as an FYI, GDEmu_SD handles over 100 games just fine (I've currently got ~175 on my Dreamcast) and also can be used for Rhea/Phoebe (~250 games on that). Sitting at work at the moment but I'll check them when I get home to see if there was anything I had to tinker with to get those to work.

      Not sure if you have a PS-IO but that one will really need a tutorial like this once more people get it in their hands.
    • 100Proof wrote:

      Not sure if you have a PS-IO but that one will really need a tutorial like this once more people get it in their hands.
      I've got one, I was in the very first batch of orders (people that got in before the official countdown even started).

      Anyway PS-IO is more or less 100% drag and drop from Windows file explorer, the only time when its not is if a special cue file (called a CU2) needs to be created.

      If I had to compare it to a existing product, I'd say its like preparing a SD card for a Everdrive and not a GDEmu.
      Whatever you name the directory where you stick the *.bin/*.cue that's what the menu lists...
      One image per directory, and in the cases of multi disc games all image in the same directory with a config file pointing to first/second/so on.
      Darksoft: CPS3, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special Edition)
    • top right, under "Methods"
      Buy 3D Printed Parts: bit-district.com
      Projects: instagram | blog
      Games: VAPS | VOOT | UMK3 | RFM | Vewlix | FiF Jr. | KI2 | E29 | Net City | DDR | Flash Beats
      Wanted | For Sale/Trade

      The post was edited 4 times, last by twistedsymphony ().

    • Looking at this again I will say though, that looks different than the screen on my disc
      juggler. I don't remember it being a pop up menu but rather a tab when
      getting ready to create the images with far fewer options.


      I'm thinking you might be modifying the program defaults there and not
      the specific options for the disc you're ripping.
      Buy 3D Printed Parts: bit-district.com
      Projects: instagram | blog
      Games: VAPS | VOOT | UMK3 | RFM | Vewlix | FiF Jr. | KI2 | E29 | Net City | DDR | Flash Beats
      Wanted | For Sale/Trade
    • My god what a major hassle this is to get this to work. Funny how when I got my gdemu , I was up and running in 10 minutes. SD card prepping, the menu installed etc etc.

      Now with this Phoebe, I cannot get anything to work at all. I can't even get the menu to show up, let alone get games to run, ugh...