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lukemorse1

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well, i changed the serial and it still works.
so maybe the bootrom in mame is not protected!
very interesting. So this means that as long as you can make the hdd or cf data look like or imitate a Seagate drive then you could put the image on basically any hdd or cf and it would work with the mame boot rom?
 

stj

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no, not even that.
i think this boot rom in mame simply does not check anything.
it's the dual-res version btw.

one thing i will say, if the drive is dos,fat or ntfs it should NEVER be connected to a machine running windows.
i ran into this a long time ago, that shit o.s. will write a trashcan folder/icon onto any drive it can!!
that can corrupt some games.

it made a real mess of a konami viper cf-card once!
 

Asure

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well, i changed the serial and it still works.
so maybe the bootrom in mame is not protected!
From the info we have, you could check w/ a 'short' serial like '0123' and see if that works.
It appears there might be checks on leading data/longer serial than normal if we believe all the info posted on older forums.
 

stj

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tbh i'm sceptical about a lot of what i read from people i dont know the skills of.
there is a driver in mame that for many years has said the cpu block contains a suicide battery, even though i totally stripped one and documented it!!
(that's the suna8bit before you ask)

i used to submit a lot of reverse engineered stuff to mame in the past.
 

Asure

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Yeah i wrote stuff 'it appears' so that this clearly is not stated as a fact by me.
Anyone can write something on the internet. Unless this is verified as true/untrue we can't do anything at this point.

Suna 8 bit with those awfull games like head panic /hard head or something?
I have these and always thought the battery would be long dead by now :)
 

lukemorse1

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Yeah i wrote stuff 'it appears' so that this clearly is not stated as a fact by me.
Anyone can write something on the internet. Unless this is verified as true/untrue we can't do anything at this point.

Suna 8 bit with those awfull games like head panic /hard head or something?
I have these and always thought the battery would be long dead by now :)
Speaking of dead batteries. not sure how hard it would be but on top of these 2 boards here Im also trying to get my burning rival pcb up and running. Its been dead for 2 years due to the battery dying. It will jump into test mode automatically and never get out of it. I heard that 2 eproms would need to be rewritten for it to work but once again, I havent been able to get the needed decrypted roms for it to run.
 

Asure

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Well, first things first, did you try the dual res dump & romset currently in Mame for the Wargods board yet?
Does it do anything?
 

lukemorse1

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Well, first things first, did you try the dual res dump & romset currently in Mame for the Wargods board yet?
Does it do anything?
unfortunately I have no way to write to cf nor hdd atm. Ive been looking to find someone who can do it but still searching. I can copy the boot rom if I have the eprom around here but thats about all I can do as of now.
 

stj

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you have a computer, or are you using a fone??

where are you btw - it kind of matters if shit needs to be mailed! :D
 

lukemorse1

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you have a computer, or are you using a fone??

where are you btw - it kind of matters if shit needs to be mailed! :D
lol. Indeed.
Basiclly only thing running is the phone atm. Im located in Tokyo Japan and like I mentioned before, I have no problem paying for the service and shipping. Im just trying to get some of my dead board collection undead 8|

I hate having these non working noards lay around like bodies.
 

edwin128

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you have a computer, or are you using a fone??

where are you btw - it kind of matters if shit needs to be mailed! :D
lol. Indeed.Basiclly only thing running is the phone atm. Im located in Tokyo Japan and like I mentioned before, I have no problem paying for the service and shipping. Im just trying to get some of my dead board collection undead 8|

I hate having these non working noards lay around like bodies.
Hope we get a video about that repair.
 

lukemorse1

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you have a computer, or are you using a fone??

where are you btw - it kind of matters if shit needs to be mailed! :D
lol. Indeed.Basiclly only thing running is the phone atm. Im located in Tokyo Japan and like I mentioned before, I have no problem paying for the service and shipping. Im just trying to get some of my dead board collection undead 8|
I hate having these non working noards lay around like bodies.
Hope we get a video about that repair.
haha, only if I can get the parts thats for sure bit Id like to make one on it you bet :)
 

stj

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you really need to get a pc or laptop - even a pentium4 would do.
64bit would be preferable though.
 

lukemorse1

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you really need to get a pc or laptop - even a pentium4 would do.
64bit would be preferable though.
I know.
Until then Im relying on others for help :/
…………help……… :rolleyes:
 

Halaga

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Random offer, I have a War Gods PCB with a dead hard drive that's been hanging on a wall for a few years, if anyone with the skills and an EPROM burner really wants to practice hacking it to work with a CF card and trying it on a real PCB I can loan it to you to try. I'd just like to have an EPROM with the "any ide" in it, hah. I have no idea if a real board is required or it can all be tested out in MAME. Just offering.
 
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xodaraP

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War Gods ran on the same hardware as Cruis'n USA didn't it? Medium res Midway hardware

Surprised no one ever made the AnyIDE ROM for War Gods, hopefully someone picks it up

From memory you can use any hard drive, you just need to modify it to look like the original HDD, has anyone tried it on a CF?
 

brizzo

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I had taken a look at War Gods in the past given my success patching other Midway games. It was being discussed on 'The Dumping Union' mailing list, and the original poster provided details the War Gods actually checks the drive parameters, not by serial or ataid.

Here is what I found looking into it at the time:

Doesn't look like it will be a simple patch

Get this error when loading an empty chd formatted to expected geometry:

hd error -- blank chd.jpg


Clearly it looks for information off the disk before booting. If I create a new CHD with geometry similar to a CF drive, it is able then load the information sector, and boot sector and indicates it is loading the game

But after it starts loading, this is when the checks start to kick in. I tried patching the differences between successful and failed boot, tweaking registers and pc to match a successful boot.... but no dice. Not exactly sure what the code is doing as Im not familiar with this instruction set

Here is where the first differences occur in execution, (original chd vs modified chd)

wargods boot fail.PNG


Perhaps someone else can take a shot? I attached the success/fail trace logs, so you can see where the fail jumps into oblivion

CHDman instructions:

chdman extracthd -o wargods_raw.bin -i wargods_11-07-1996.chd
chdman createhd -i wargods_raw.bin -c none -chs 987,16,63 -ss 512 -o wargods_cf_512.chd
So long story short I confirmed that yes it does in fact check the drive parameters, similar to KI2 (also from Midway)

Hope that helps anyone interested in taking a stab at it. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of free time for taking on more volunteer projects that take tens of hours of time to solve.
 

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lukemorse1

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well, i changed the serial and it still works.
so maybe the bootrom in mame is not protected!
still totally interested in purchasing a cf kit for this board or hdd would be a good second :)
 

Asure

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@brizzo Did you try to patch as follows yet?

1857B BNE $01857C
..
18582 BNE $018583

189CB is a candidate to BNE as well, but i am not sure what the code is doing at this point.

CMP * = compare stuff
BNE is Branch when Not Equal to $address
BEQ is Branch when Equal to $address

I am assuming the screenshot on the left is the proper, working one.
The right side does a compare, and then branches since the compare function fails.

I hope it is not loading the text at this point (to display failed check text), but i cannot tell.
From the code it would seem it compares the 3rd element in "AR4" but i have no idea what's in there, or what it is compared against. R1 is holding a value at this point, but i cannot see what is loaded into it.

I would need to look at the code running in mame, maybe later tonight.. i have Photoplay hdd's to make/dump :)
 

brizzo

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I played around with trying to bypass the check for about 30 min over a year ago, so don't recall exactly what I tried -- but I seem to recall there was many different checks if ended up following.

Typically I use the MAME debugger and just set conditional breakpoints that change variables (registers, pc, etc), instead of actual op code patching.

But it is also much easier to analyse using disassembler like IDA to review code execution path and get a bigger picture of what this condition check/branch is part of.
 
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