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  1. #1
    flow`` flow``'s Avatar
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    Newbie's read this!

    Before reporting any problems with emulators and/or plug-ins, please do the following:

    All Microsoft Windows users, please run Windows Update (Start->Windows Update) and download any updates that you might not have. If your install of Microsoft Windows is more then 2+ years old, or you find yourself constantly running into BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) and Windows crashing/freezing, it might be time you do a hard drive format and put on a fresh install of Windows and other software.

    In recent times, the most recommended Operating system (as far as emulation goes) has to be either Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Both are amazingly stable and fast (depending on your hardware). We also recommend you update to the latest Service Packs available (Service Pack 3 for Win2000, and Service Pack 1 for WinXP). Both of these will fix quite a lot of issues and are $#@!ulative of any previous Service Packs released by Microsoft.

    Now that you have a nice install of Windows and it's updates. Here are a few other things you should do:

    Install DirectX 9a (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.asp). This is almost required by all N64 emulators today and is a must .
    Now we'll take a look at any hardware updates.



    Video Cards : Video Cards are one of the many backbones of emulators (doh). They output graphics by the emulator's video plug-in. Therefore, we need to keep their drivers up to date to ensure the best graphics you can get for your card. Depending on your video card, more then likely if it was manufactured in the past 2-3 years, it is still supported by its maker. Over a span of time, drivers speed up performance and fix known issues. Here are a few links of the top video card manufacturer. Please check for any driver updates before reporting issues .

    3DFX: http://www.voodoofiles.com/
    ATI: http://www.ati.com/
    Diamond: http://www.sonicblue.com/support/dia...p?menu=support
    Nvidia: http://www.nvidia.com/
    Matrox: http://www.matrox.com/
    S3 Graphics: http://www.s3graphics.com/

    Also, check your manufacturer's website. Some manufacturer's release video card BIOS updates which should be updated as well, but are not necessarily recommended unless you know what you're doing.





    Sound Cards: Sound cards are another backbone of emulators. The output sound/audio comes from the emulator's sound plug-in. Therefore, they also should have their drivers updated as well to ensure crisp audio quality. Here are a few quick links to some more common manufacturers:

    Aureal: Site down, I recommend http://members.optushome.com.au/kirben/ or http://www.vortexofsound.com
    Creative: http://www.creative.com/ or http://www.soundblaster.com/
    ESS: http://www.esstech.com/products/audio/audio.shtm
    Philips: http://www.ce.philips.com/global/b2c/ce/index.jhtml
    Turtle Beach: http://www.turtlebeach.com/site/
    Yamaha: http://www.yamaha.com/



    Main boards (aka Motherboards). Obviously there are way too many manufacturers to list here, so the best way to find the latest BIOS for your motherboard is to type in your manufacturer's name, find their official site, and see if there are any updates available. BIOS updates fix small issues with processors and hardware compatibilities. Be very careful to find the exact motherboard model you have, since flashing with the wrong BIOS could make your motherboard go kaput.

    Attached to main boards, are certain chipsets. Here are three methods for determining your main board chipset: 1. Look in your motherboard manual. 2. Device Manager, System Devices, and look at the "PCI to ISA Bridge, "CPU to PCI Bridge" and "CPU to AGP Controller" Your chipset manufacture's name should come before them. 3. Another option is to remove your PC casing and check what chipset is located on your motherboard.

    Then locate your chipset manufacturer's homepage, and find the latest drivers for it.

    This should about cover all of the basics of having an up-to-date system. There are other things you could also find drivers for, but aren't exactly that big of an issue; some of these are: Monitor drivers, Network card drivers, and mouse drivers. Usually, all of these are plug and play devices which aren't involved much with emulators (except your monitor, but drivers do little more the specify max resolutions and refresh rates)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Now that you have your system up and going with a nice install of Microsoft Windows and updates, and driver/BIOS updates – it’s time we figure out what exact ROM images you have.

    There are two certain utilities we will need to use in order to do this. One is Tool64, a utility made by Def which (Correctly ) changes your ROM format to/from .V64 and .Z64 from .N64, .ROM, and a few other uncommon ones. To use this utility, simply download it from here ,and exact it to a folder on your hard drive. Just remember where you put it. Now launch Tool64.exe, and go to Options, and uncheck “Auto Create Backup” since this does nothing really but waste space (in my opinion). Now go to File, Open, and select the folder where you keep your ROM images. You should see the list of images show in the GUI. Now go to Edit, Select all, and right click and select Byteswapped or Big Endian format and let it convert your ROMs. Byteswapped (V64) and Big Endian (Z64) are the too most commonly accepted ROM formats among N64 emulators.

    Now that we have converted our ROM images to a common format, it’s time to find exactly what ROMs we have (and don’t have for that matter).

    In the world of ROMs, Cowering has created a multitude of utilities, called the “Goodxxx Utils”. They scan your ROM images, renaming them to their correct names, and identifying what type they are (bad, hacked, overdumped, trained, pirated, ect ect). He has detected thousands upon thousands of ROM images and put them into a complete listing for each console. For our purposes, we’ll be using “GoodN64”.

    The latest version (at typing this) is 0.999.7. This can be found in many places on the internet, but the true source of it lies in #rareroms on Newnet. But anyway, to make things easier, you can download it here .Simply extract all the contents to where you keep your N64 ROM images. Also, you will need Zlib.dll. Just the latest binary can be found here .Just extract this to your ROM image folder as well. It might make a /bin folder with the Zlib.dll in it, so just move it to your GoodN64 directory.

    Now it’s time we rename those ROMs ! All I do it right click on GoodN64.exe, and click “Send to Desktop”. Then I go to my desktop, right click on “Shortcut to GoodN64.exe”, and go to properties. Under the Shortcut tab, you’ll see “Target: C:/…/ GoodN64.exe”

    I add the following command line parameters:
    Target C:/…/GoodN64.exe –dirs –sep_ -rename

    -dirs moves ROMS to directories by region and type
    -sep_ replaces ROM names with _’s instead of spaces (just a personal preference here)
    -rename renames your ROMS (required!)

    Now simply launch the shortcut on your desktop and let GoodN64 do it’s job.

    Please refer to GoodCodes.txt for the meaning behind the [!] [b1] (U) (E) and other related codes.

    Also, please be sure to read any stickies in an emulator forum since they usually provide emu-specific help or links to help if you're having problems.
    Last edited by flow``; May 12th, 2003 at 22:12.

  2. #2
    ????????????????????????? Doomulation's Avatar
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    flow, two good points here. No need to convert the roms, this is automaticlly handles by the emulators out there today.

    second point: get goodwindows. no need to have to type that tricky command-line to get it working. very handy.
    Atashi wa juu-yon-sai no onna no ko! Atashi no namae wa Miizuki. Yurushiku ne!
    Nani? Atashi o shinjirimasen desu ka? Baka!
    "You're all doomed! Doomed, I say! Hehe... are we approaching the end of the world?"

    shikata ga kaite aru - "the instructions are written above"
    Need to download GoodN64 or instructions to use it? Need to check if it's a good or bad rom?
    Download: Glide64 | Hacktarux's wrapper

  3. #3
    flow`` flow``'s Avatar
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    it's not a tricky command line..

    and setting the options/folders in goodwindows is going to take more of an explanation

  4. #4
    Emutalk Member Smiff's Avatar
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    flow i think a lot of that is unecessary and likely to lead people to damaging their PCs. All they really need to remember is DirectX and video drivers.

    One more thing: don't use RomCenter (whatever that is).

  5. #5
    flow`` flow``'s Avatar
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    smiff: please explain "what will damage people's pcs"

    if your refering to flashing your bios in mobo/video card..

    "big deal".. you pop in a 98se/me bootdisk, your flasher/updated bios on the other

    wait for the 98se boot disk to boot and load the virualram drive then switch disk

    copy bios.file c:\ (or whatever ramdrive you want)
    copy flasher.exe :\

    flasher bios.file
    and yes to update, reboot
    big deal..

    and what is 'unncessary'?

    updating your drivers? that should be done after every time you format
    updating to the latest service pack? that as well should be done.

    explain what your problem is next time you try to criticize my work

  6. #6
    flow`` flow``'s Avatar
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    the first half of my little speech was how to maintain a halfway decent pc

    the second half was how to maintain a rom collection.

  7. #7
    Emutalk Member Smiff's Avatar
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    i know how to flash a BIOS.. what i'm saying is: flashing your BIOS ain't gonna help an n64 emulator (99.9% of the time), but it could result in a disaster... therefore it's bad advice on an n64 emu forum, right. People who need this advice can't be expected to set up all their BIOS options right after flashing. Think about it.

    Ditto for sound cards... changing sound card drivers won't help the sound in your N64 emu - misleading.

    A lot of what you're saying there is sound, just cut down.

  8. #8
    Emutalk Member Smiff's Avatar
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    BTW your flash intructions are bad, you should not boot from a windows startup disk - use only pure DOS with no autoexec.bat.

  9. #9
    flow`` flow``'s Avatar
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    BTW your flash intructions are bad, you should not boot from a windows startup disk - use only pure DOS with no autoexec.bat.
    hmm.. not really, these are the instructions given to flash my bios by my mobo manufacturer - MSI

    Ditto for sound cards... changing sound card drivers won't help the sound in your N64 emu - misleading.
    it's not exactly emulation related, but creative makes some **** *** drivers, and once i updated to the new leaked ones from the old revision 1 set from creative.com i noticed a world of difference.

    _most_ of the time (from my experience) i just have my bios to run optimized defaults and only change 1-2 things (to boot floppy/cd-rom first) and other small things. there is very little i ever change within my bios settings unless i'm bored and an screwing around.

  10. #10
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    The latest SBlive drivers released a few days ago, have actually improved sound in several games for me in 1964, so updating the Soundcard drivers whilst it isn't essential, is a good idea. I can see where Smiff was coming from though, as newbies may take that as being something which can fix issues with the actual plugins.

    I would also recommend a clean disk when doing a BIOS flash, the main thing is not to have CD drivers etc on it that will be loaded into memory - an autoexec file alone isn't too bad, as long as it isn't resident in memory it won't affect the flash either way.

    Some good advice there though Flow, nice one.
    Last edited by Trotterwatch; July 21st, 2002 at 02:28.

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