Subscribe via RSS

MSX – MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD

The MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD, by Manuel Pazos, is the ultimate cartridge for the MSX. I acquired this and my Sony Hit-Bit F1XD a while ago and finally found time to actually use it!

Basic Concept

The cartridge emulates the A: and B: drives on your MSX. This means that previous A: and B: physical drives will be disabled and ROM/DSK files will be used instead. The cartridge has it's own ROM (kernel.dat) which loads you into the Nextor operating system.

From the shop, your cartridge will be ready to go. Grab a small (1gb? 2gb?) microSD card and put it in, then load up your MSX with the cartridge inserted. You should be at the Nextor prompt and you can then follow instructions as per ¡VAPF!'s brilliant tutorial here. You'll end up partitioning and formatting the SD. From there, you can put it into your computer and copy your DSKs and ROMs over.

The cartridge already has firmware in it containing an enhanced version of MSX-DOS bundled with tools for loading disk images. It also includes Multimente, a file browser which makes loading files very easy! You merely have to hit enter on the disk image you wish to load into ROM.

DSC00205 DSC00206 DSC00207

Above you can see the initial A: disk. Hit the L key to switch disks: Type B and press enter. This is now your SD card. Select your ROM image and you'll get the screen below that Nextor has chained it in to the boot process.

DSC00208

Once chained, you can reset the machine and the cartridge will act as if it's the original game cartridge/disk. Reboot away...

DSC00209

You're next reboot will mention that a ROM Disk was found and then you'll get weird things... they're called games:

DSC00210

This game really needs a post to itself... I'll get back to that... meanwhile, here's the intro.

DSC00211 DSC00212 DSC00214

To unload the ROM, you'll need to know the short-cut keys. Note that the commands to unload images are entirely dependent on how you loaded the files in the first place!

Forgetting how to use it

I had received this cartridge quite a while ago. I quickly configured a 32gb MicroSD (I created a 4GB partition on it) and got a game running. I then packed everything away and quickly forgot all the knowledge required to use an MSX computer. I also never learnt correctly how to unload a game which meant, this time around, that I was stuck with a flash cartridge that continued to load a ROM of which I didn't want to play.

Not knowing how to clear it, I chose all the menu options in the 'Recovery' Menu. You can access this menu by holding the up cursor key at boot. It turns out that, when using the MultiMente (we'll talk more about this below), the ROM is actually tied into the Nextor operating system and not the cartridge boot. Clearing the settings in Recovery really just wiped the cartridge when I didn't need to.

At this point I was stuck... I needed to start from scratch and work out how to unload images. Fortunately, the author of the cartridge responded to emails almost instantaneously! Thanks Manuel!

Unloading ROMs and DSKs

There's two ways to load a ROM: You either flashed a ROM image over the entire Cartridge, or you chain-loaded a disk image from Multimente. Both methods have different ways of unloading the images.

If you've overwritten the ROM, you can hold down the "UP" arrow key when booting the machine. Straight after your MSX logo has appeared you should get the recovery menu. From here, you can use F1 to clear the ROM in memory. (F2 and F3 will clear other portions of the cartridge, if you've done then then see below.)

If you've loaded a DSK file from Multimente, then you need to hold down 0 during the boot process. This will skip loading the disk and bring you back to Multimente. You can then stop the disk from chain-loading by deleting NEXT_DSK.DAT from the SD card.

Restoring the Flash Cartridge

If you've done unrecoverable damage to the ROM images, then you can restore the whole thing. Chances are good that, with the cartridge inserted, you'll just get the following BASIC prompt...

DSC00203

Copy the Kernel Image to the base folder of your SD card (note that I had issues with a 32gb card and had to use a 1gb card to make this work...) and then choose F4 from the boot menu.

DSC00202

It'll tick through a counter and then bring you back to the menu when done. Reboot your MSX and the cartridge should bring you back to Multimente. If you see your game loading instead, then Nextor is still chain-loading and you'll need to hold down 0 as per above.

Update: It turns out there's a newer version of the Recovery ROM to allow support for 32gb SD Cards. Grab it from here and then flash it by running OPFXSD RECOVERY.ROM /i34 from the Command Line.

Ok, What games should I play?

Bubble Bobble. A-Ressha-De-Ikou. And the rest of them...

avatar

About stevenh

Trains… trains… trains… + Electronics + Japan.

Filed under: Retro Leave a comment
Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.


Leave a comment


*

No trackbacks yet.