Help wanted for Sega mega disk / mega Beckup dumping unreleased prototype

Discussion in 'Dumping and Backing Up Your Games and Prototypes' started by Nano Babe, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Nano Babe

    Nano Babe Robust Member

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    hi, it has been a while since i have posted anything on here as i have been pretty busy with life, but i thought it was time to reach out and ask for some help. In short, I am after someone who has owned or owns a sega mega disk, to help me get mine up and running to upload some prototypes.
    I previously owned a SMD-800 which was pretty simple to use and even managed to update the ram, however after years of just playing backed up games on it, i lost interest and sold it on.

    ive managed to buy a sega mega disk Interceptor brand new in is box with the intention of dumping some development games and realised straight off that it was not complete, missing first off the interceptor specify card, i know this is not needed as it just acts as a memory card but if anyone does have one for sale please drop me a PM, i know in the recent years a few of them have cropped up.

    So, the main part that i need is a boot floppy disk, this tells the copier to copy the game, strange that it is not built into the copier itself. the problem i am finding is first to find someone who has a complete mega disk with boot floppy disk, the next problem is that when i have they have no idea or simply dont have the means to duplicate the boot disk.

    as a side note if you do have a mega disk i would definitely recommend making a copy of the master boot disk as if you lose it, wipe it or simply it dies, you will find yourself in the same boat as me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
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  2. Tommygun

    Tommygun Active Member

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    I can help you.
    I will dig up all the necessary information, and programs.
    I have a pretty complete knowledge.
    The first file is a zipped copy of Tototek's website, from the page cache, since it's not there anymore. You can try clicking on the first blue download link on that page to get the zip file I've linked below this link.
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/mt54oh6v2hmxz95/Mega+Disk+(Interceptor)+(8M)+(Can+run+SMS+game+on+Genesis)+-+$50.00_files.zip
    The zip file from Tototek's website is below. It contains all the programs you will need to work with the Interceptor Megadisk, however, you will need a REAL dos environment (no virtual machines, dosbox, ect...), and a real floppy drive in your PC (no USB floppy drives), or you will need an engineer to make it compatible, because the dos programs, require direct disk access, and the ability to format the disk in a non-standard 1.66MB size.

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/x8btunq9670wv66/megadisktool.zip

    Here is the physical images and document scans from around the internet, including the "Interceptor Specify Card":

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/y8qx1xx1n1rlz1c/Sega_Hardware.7z/file
    You will need the same version of "debug.exe" as the version of DOS you are using. There is a copy included in the zip file from Tototek.

    As far as instructions go:

    You don't need the Interceptor Mega Disk & Genesis to download the prototype-games you have on disk, just a PC and a genuine floppy disk drive. the same goes for putting ROMs (from your PC or somewhere else) on to disk and playing them... like I might do... maybe.

    Start DOS from a hard drive, or at least have a valid FAT16 partition to copy the games to & from, because the system is designed for 16-bit DOS, plus, the software runs faster while processing games, or making "boot disks".

    Your computer's BIOS may need to be tweaked to ensure that the software can properly use your floppy drive, so make sure the drive is set as a 3 1/2" 1.44MB drive.

    Almost all floppy drives can format a disk to the 1.66MB non-standard format, if you have trouble formatting the disks, check the version of "debug.exe" you are using, is the right one, for the version of DOS you are using.

    INTERCEPTOR MEGA CONVERTOR 1.4
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    IMC.EXE

    IMC.EXE supports Sega Mega Drive (SMD), and provides an easy way to convert a
    game from Hard disk to Floppy disk or Floppy disk to Hard disk. Game ROMS are in SMD format, with the file extention ".SMD"

    Where your floppy drive is letter "A", and the game ROM is in the same folder you are in:

    For Floppy Game Disk to Hard Drive Game ROM with ext. ".SMD": IMC GameName.SMD A:
    For Hard Drive Game ROM with ext. ".SMD" to Floppy Game Disk: IMC A: GameName.SMD

    Otherwise you need to specify the location, starting with the drive letter, before the Game ROM's name:

    ex: IMC C:\games\gamerom.SMD A:

    Also, keep in mind that filenames must be no more than 8 characters before the dot and file extension, by design of DOS, and on the actual Interceptor Mega Disk unit.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The unit itself has a few controller button combos that activate different actions by the Interceptor, like running the game, copying the game, choosing to run the floppy disk, even when there is a cartridge in the slot, and displaying the memory map of the internal memory, and choosing the size of the ROM that you are copying from cartridge.

    The only thing you can't do, is update the onboard BIOS ROM, so it will run version 5, which is included in the zip file megadisktool.zip, and is selectible when formatting disks with the software.

    I'm sure you will have questions, so I'll let you ask, and don't forget to read all of the documents and text files in that zip, and the docs folder inside!

    The Sega CD's memory card is almost the same thing as the specify cart, however, you need the CD attached to the genesis for it to work properly IIRC. I have a "Mega CD Back-up RAM Cart" but no CD unit for my Genesis, so I can't make it work.

    If someone does have a specify cartridge beyond the one already asked for, please contact me as well, as I would really like to fudge with it, in a program/game designing way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
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  3. Tommygun

    Tommygun Active Member

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  4. Nano Babe

    Nano Babe Robust Member

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    Tommygun, many thanks for your very in depth reply to my post. It has taken me a day to read through it, :D
    okay i have two questions. the first is ion the above link https://nfggames.com/forum2/index.php?topic=2515.0, a member offers a download at the end of "A download file that contains the mega disk utilities" can i ask are these to be used with the megadisk interceptor hardware to make it work? or are they for a windows 98/ME/XP PC to format disks etc.?
     
  5. Nano Babe

    Nano Babe Robust Member

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    i think i am understanding, could you tell me if i have got this correct...
    to copy a rom from an internet site and to make it work on a megadisk

    i would need the rom, the easy part... then a windows pc or laptop either 98/ME/XP 32bit version with fat32 format? i would need the floppy drive built into the pc / laptop as a usb floppy drive is not compatible with the dos utilities needed to copy the rom? is this the setup you use?

    edit; my apologies as I continued reading the guide you kindly posted some of these questions have been answered.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  6. Tommygun

    Tommygun Active Member

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    You need a PC with DOS, at the very least, you can use Windows Vista, but it's often a pain in the neck to get compatibility settings right, and that "run as administrator" nonsense. It's not impossible, but not my first choice.

    There are a few versions of the BIOS for the Interceptor, mine has version 4.??, so when I wanted to go after some more advanced settings, like copy a disk to another disk using the Interceptor as a middleman, or rename games, or write whatever is in the Interceptor's memory to a card, or disk, or even move game files around between disks, and deleting individual roms from multi-game floppies, which just have the roms on a disk with the .SMD extension. As many as you can fit, but not more than 5, as the TV screen isn't tall enought to display the other items for you to see to select.

    The Mega Disk Interceptor, is a game development and testing machine, that got sold as a game copier.
     
  7. Nano Babe

    Nano Babe Robust Member

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    I decided to upload a picture of the Boot title screen may be of some interest as I think it is different to others posted on internet. it doesn't show the BIOS revision. I think it is working correctly but not completely sure. just to confirm that this is correct

    1. Mega disk happily loads a genuine Game from cartridge matching of course the correct Region of the console.✔

    2. as per the instructions with no disk or cartridge it boots a screen asking for the disk, when I use a brand new blank floppy preformatted WINDOWS IBM it shows an 06 - Disk error as there's no game on the disk i believe this error screen to be correct? ✔

    3. finally the part I'm unsure about - with the cartridge installed it simply loads up the Game. turning the machine on holding down start - C the duplication screen appears for a split second! whether I have Both a floppy disk & Cartridge installed i barely have enough time to see the Screen before it loads the cartridge automatically??? Could it be that the floppy disk format is wrong causing the mega disk to skip straight to loading the cartridge? IMG_0508.JPG IMG_0507.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
  8. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    Windows 2000, xp and vista are all NT based and not based on dos. That product line was 3.1, 95, 98, ME and died there.

    Either you needs DOS or if vista works, you can likely make windows 10 work too.

    But I suspect all the NT based ones won't work well at all. If it does I suspect you are confusing dos with the removal of 16 bit applications in x64 flavours of windows.
     
  9. josiahgould

    josiahgould Spirited Member

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    You COULD, if you have no other option, set up a VM.
    Direct the floppy disk "drive" in the VM to create an image that you can write to a floppy outside of the VM.
    Do your magic in the DOS VM, write the image to a floppy with a USB floppy drive, and there ya go.

    And, if you can, try formatting a floppy as FAT16 in Windows - Use MiniTool Partition Wizard (think that should work on USB drives) and just drop a game like GAME.SMD on there, see if you can boot that. Remember, less than 8 characters in the name, FAT16 here.
     
  10. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    With vmware you can tell it to use a physical drive (usb, hard drive or floppy) and it comes in handy for using old dos only tools that don't run under dosbox
     
  11. Tommygun

    Tommygun Active Member

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    DON"T HOLD START BUTTON DOWN JUST BUTTON B, then when it says "no disk", let go, and push button B again.

    Make sure the disk is not write protected too!
     
  12. Tommygun

    Tommygun Active Member

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    I'll make a quick video to explain everything. I will upload it this afternoon/evening/ASAP.

    >>>I'm filming now. I'll upload in an hour or so. currently: 11:45pm EST<<

    As it turns out, my PC that I was using to do the disks, has lost the hard drive that had the dos setup on it, so I've had to stop and remake-the-hard-drive-up to work for this video, and the foreseeable future, as I now have someone else to talk with, about this unique piece of hardware.

    I will shoot far for this, although, I know what I'm doing, and say that this will be ready to watch around 8-9am EST.

    See you then.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
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  13. Nano Babe

    Nano Babe Robust Member

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    Thanks for your time on this. I’m looking forward to the video.
     
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  14. Tommygun

    Tommygun Active Member

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    Just an update...

    I'm still filming the video, as there is A LOT more to cover, that I had forgotten about, because it's been over a year, since I figured all of this out.

    Please be patient, I will upload the whole thing to my YouTube account, ASAP, and then link to it here.

    Again, sorry for the delay.
     
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  15. Nano Babe

    Nano Babe Robust Member

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    I'm just grateful for the help take your time
     
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  16. Tommygun

    Tommygun Active Member

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    The video is uploading to YouTube now.:D

    Your version is live here:


    The generic one is here:


    I have made two versions, one specifically for you, and a second one, that will be for general public use. ;)

    *edit*
    I realize that I left-out how to make the Mega DOS boot-disks. I will upload this video tonight, as the first version I filmed was too shaky to watch. It's easy to do, and you will only have to do it once. After that you can make them with the Mega Disk and Genesis. (If this seems confusing, watch the video, and all your questions will be answered) ;)

    As I mention in your specific version, and I will mention, in the other version's description, this video is a quick-start guide to dumping cartridges into ROM format so you can share, or play on an emulator, or whatever. This is not the complete ins-and-outs of the system, and what a developer could do with it.:p

    There will be a video with all of that stuff as soon as I have finished getting the Sega CD, and finished trying to learn how to write a simple menu selection program, in C.o_O
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  17. Nano Babe

    Nano Babe Robust Member

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    Apologize for my silence, through watching the above videos kindly posted, i saw the correct behaviour of a working mega disk! i have discovered that my floppy drive is most likely faulty, which is why i have had problems using my megadisk doh! i thought the easy route might be to replace the floppy drive through a site like ebay or purchase a usb emulator and update the megadisk that way but have 2 issues in doing so... 1st the original floppy drive is 26-pin out, for those that do not know the standard is 34-pin, there are of course converters from china but the space in the megadisk casing makes it difficult to use such a converter plus the wiring in the megadisk is still 26 pin. so looking to restore my floppy disk, looks to be the best solution.

    i have looked through quite a few youtube videos but i am a novice when it comes to repairing something, that may not even be repairable.
    the floppy drive powers up with a green light, but no clicking sounds and is definitely not reading any disks, i have cleaned the heads which were already spotless, i have checked the belts and the spindle still spins freely, i have not wanted to risk manually moving the read head as i didn't want to do any damage to the teeth in which the motor sits, besides the space is very slight to wind it manually. finally i noticed one cap has corroded and in a couple of places there is a tiny bit of discolouration on the soulder near it. if anyone has any advice or experience in repairing these then please let me know, it will be greatly appreciated IMG_0527.JPG IMG_0530.JPG IMG_0533.JPG IMG_0537.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  18. Tommygun

    Tommygun Active Member

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    The corrosion can be brushed away, and you should check 2 things:

    1. is the red line on the ribbon cable facing towards the inside when it's plugged-in, and;

    2. look at the pin header beside the ribbon connector, it selects whether the drive is drive 1 (A), or B, or c, ect...

    Also look at this other picture, and see that you can use a regular drive if you make this cable for it:
    And note that half of the pins aren't used.

    You may also be dealing with a 720K diskette drive, and that is why it doesn't see the disk.

    You can use your pc with the method I outline in the video, and using: FDFORMAT A: /F720
    That command will format a typical floppy to 720K format to test it out, as your drive may be fine, besides the minor corrosion, where it is to be expected.

    I found this on ebay it makes the conversion for you:

    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/34pin-floppy...h=item362fba3306:g:1YMAAOSwFntZbZ5d:rk:6:pf:0
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  19. Nano Babe

    Nano Babe Robust Member

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    thanks for the heads up yeah I'm still trying to get someone to try and fix it I've noticed that most revisions of the Mega disk have a 34-pin common & Easy to replace floppy drives. Kevin of the assembler might be able to confirm this as he has 2-3?
     

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