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  1. Tips on running games
  2. Programs that will help us
    1. SUBST.EXE
  3. Games that require Floppy Installation
  4. Where to get help and How to ask it
  5. Some info about the Tech Page
  6. If You Want to Help...
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  2. Here I'll put some general tips and advices to run those old gems.
    • First of all, make sure you've followed and read carefully the tech notes and all the text files that came with the zip file. In almost all cases, the solution will be there

    • Keep in mind that those gems where programmed to run in old MS-DOS (6.22 or less), with a FAT16 (FAT=File Allocation Table. 16=16bits) and with short file names (8 chars+"."+3 chars), so if you run them under Win9x may be you get in troubles. Try rebooting in DOS mode (this will give you to MS-DOS 7.0) or using a DOS 6.22 reboot disk (check at HOTU FAQ:

    • Check your FAT is a FAT16. If you have anything different from these you can get weird errors or lock-ups. And always use directory and file names with 8 chars or less.

    • If you are using Windows 2000 or something posterior, many of those gems will simply not work. Those o.s. aren't DOS based (as Win9x series were). NOTE: I'm still looking for someone who could make a Win2k/ME/Linux FAQ on "How running old dos games under those systems". Drop me a mail if you are interested. Thanks!

    • You best chance to run them is to make a FAT16 partition and install there the MS-DOS 6.22. You could then use a boot menu, such as Boot Magic from Power Quest or the LILO from Linux.

    • New games (90's and later) will have bigger chances of running on different o.s. from old MS-DOS

  4. There are several programs made to help us running our beloved games on our computers, such as cd-emulators, cpu-killers, crack tools,... Here you'll find a guide for some of them that can be a little hard to use.

    1. SUBST.EXE

      Type SUBST /? to get the help of the command:

      Associates a path with a drive letter.
      SUBST [drive1: [drive2:]path]
      SUBST drive1: /D
        drive1:        Specifies a virtual drive to which you want to assign a path.
        [drive2:]path  Specifies a physical drive and path you want to assign to
                       a virtual drive.
        /D             Deletes a substituted (virtual) drive.
      Type SUBST with no parameters to display a list of current virtual drives.

      That command (located at /COMMAND directory into the Windows directory) allows us to SUBSTitute a full directory (with all the subdirectories) for a unit letter (same as c:\or d:\)
      If we want to SUBSTitute the directory d:\games\quarantine for the unit letter g:, then we have to type:

      SUBST  G:  d:\games\quarantine

      Things to keep in mind:

      • You have to use, with every Operative System, the correct SUBST command. If you try to run a command different from the native, you'll probably get error messages and it won't work

      • The path you enter can be the full or the relative path. I mean: let's suppose we are positioned in D:\GAMES\. We want to SUBSTitute the Quarantine directory. Then we can write as the second parameter the full path, D:\GAMES\QUARANTINE, or the relative path, QUARANTINE (don't forget we are at D:\GAMES):

        Full path: SUBST  G:  D:\GAMES\QUARANTINE
        Relative path: SUBST  G:  QUARANTINE

      • Don't forget to remove the virtual unit after using it. It may cause problems.


      Programs that emulate a cd-rom unit. Those are useful for some cd-rips, that require you to emulate the cd unit (not all the rips need that). You can find here the most used, but if you don't have enough, you can check that url, where you'll find all the stuff you always wanted to know about those programs:

      • CDEMU2.COM

        Type CDEMU2.COM to get the help of the emulator:

        CDEMU2 - an MSCDEX emulator for networked CD-ROM drives.
        Written in assembler by J.M.A. Hall, U.K., July 1992.
        Based on the C program MXSUB by Digital Solutions, Australia.
        Usage: CDEMU2 letter[:][=filespec] [letter...] to install
               CDEMU2 /U to uninstall

        We'll need the SUBST command. SUBSTitute the directory game for the unit letter you want and after that emulate it as a CD-ROM unit:

        CDEMU2  G:

        Things to keep in mind:

        • You cannot have any CD driver loaded. If you do, and you try to emulate the unit you'll get an error saying that "MSCDEX is already installed". Boot in DOS, without CD drivers, and try again.

        • Don't forget to remove the emulated CD unit after using it

      • FAKECD.EXE

        Type FAKECD.EXE, FAKECD.EXE /H or FAKECD.EXE /? to get the help of the emulator:

        fakecd 1.0
        Usage: fakecd /H[elp] | /? | /U[ninstall] | DIRECTORY [/L:x]
        /Help, /? : this screen
        /Uninstall: remove installed fakecd from memory
         DIRECTORY: directory that contains the files from the cd
        /L:x      : use drive letter x for simulated cd-rom

        To emulate the directory game as a CD unit type:

        FAKECD  d:\games\quarantine /L:G

        Things to keep in mind:

        • The path you enter can be the full or the relative path. I mean: let's suppose we are positioned in D:\GAMES\. We want to emulate the Quarantine directory. Then we can write as the first parameter the full path, D:\GAMES\QUARANTINE, or the relative path, QUARANTINE (don't forget we are at D:\GAMES):

          Full path: FAKECD   D:\GAMES\QUARANTINE  /L:G
          Relative path: FAKECD   QUARANTINE  /L:G

        • You cannot have any CD driver loaded. If you do, and you try to emulate the unit you'll get an error saying that "MSCDEX is already installed". Boot in DOS, without CD drivers, and try again.

        • Don't forget to remove the emulated CD unit after using it

      • 0CD.COM

        Type 0CD.COM /? to get the help of the emulator:

        0cd: version 7.1
        0cd usage: 0cd [options]  [ ... ]
        0cd options: -q         = quiet; no messages except for error messages
                     -0         = host and cd-rom drives report 0 bytes free
                     -w         = cd-rom drives are write protected
                     -dfilename = supply name of data file
                     -rfilename = supply name of program to run
                     -sx        = supply speed of drive (x=s, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 or 8)
                     -i0        = simulate physical drive
                     -i1        = simulate substed drive
                     -i2        = simulate remote or cd-rom drive (default)
                     -f         = failure if no cd-rom data
                     -a         = alternate simulation
                     -mx        = mscdex co-existance level (x=0-3, default=0)
                     -v         = show revision information

        This one is more complete than the other two. Amongst other useful things it allows us to emulate a cd unit having other cd drivers loaded. Check the parameters (extracted from the 0cd manual):

        • -q[x] Quiet mode: no text is displayed on the screen, except for any error messages. This is quiet mode 0, or -q0 as it can be given. -q1 shows installation, mounting and special messages, while -q2 shows everything (default).

        • -0[0] Host drive for a cd-rom drive (the drive the directory is on), and the cd-rom drive, both reports 0 bytes free, as a normal cd-rom drive would do. If the extra 0 option (-00) is NOT specified, smart handling will be enabled.

        • -w Write-protect cd-rom drive: Any attempts to delete, create, modify or open files for writing will fail with a write-protect error.

        • -f If a program attempts to use a function which 0cd does not support, or a function which 0cd is not able to deduce a correct response to, you can use the -f option to make 0cd report a failure, usually a "unknown command" or a "command failed" result. The normal response is to simply return from 0cd with a result of "success".

        • -a Alternate simulation. When using the -a option, most of the audio functions, and some of the other functions as well will go through to the underlying dos bios to be handled there. The -a option is simply a "try if it works" option, and if all else fails, try the -a option.

        • -lx Set the start drive to create. Usually, 0cd selects the next available drive letter to use, and goes on from there. Use the -lx option to tell 0cd where to start. Remember that 0cd needs consequtive free drive letters.

        • -sx Supply speed of cd-rom drive. If the program attempts to read data directly from the cd-rom drive via the read functions in the cd-rom driver, it will do so at a speed approximately the speed of a double-speed drive. Use the -sx option to supply the speed of the drives. Legal speeds in x are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 or s, where s is the maximum speed available (speed of memory)

        • -ix Set simulation type. The drives following the -ix option will simulate either a physical drive, a substed drive, or a remote drive (cd-roms are usually remote drives). Use the -ix option to select which to use. Legal values for x are 0, 1 or 2, where 0 is physical, 1 is substed and 2 is remote.

        • -mx If a MSCDEX-compatible driver is already loaded, then 0cd will usually not load. Use the -mx option to force 0cd to load, and also to tell 0cd how to interact with the loaded driver. The legal values for x are 0 to 4, where 1 is default. 0 tells 0cd to disable the loaded driver, 1 is to abort, 2 is to enable audio through-put (see below), 3 is to enable MSCDEX co-existance (some functions goes through to MSCDEX) and 4 is both audio through-put and co-existance.

        • -rname Tell 0cd what program to start when it has loaded. When 0cd has loaded, it looks to see if a batch file named 0CDSTART.BAT exists. If it does, 0cd runs this batch file, and when the batch file is finished, 0cd will uninstall itself. Use the -rname option to tell 0cd to run a different program or batch file. If no 0CDSTART.BAT exist, or the supplied program name (if any) does not exist, 0cd will shell out to dos. When the dos shell exits, 0cd will uninstall itself.

        • -dname Tell 0cd the name of the file to load data from for the following directories. With the accompanying utility READCD, you can create a datafile containing much of the data from the original cd. You can then use the -dname option to tell 0cd the name of this datafile, and 0cd will load it when it installs itself. When a program later calls 0cd to get some data, 0cd can use the data in this file to respond with the correct data from the original cd. This makes 0cd able to simulate and respond highly accurate. The -dname option works for all the directories specified after it on the command line, but you can have as many -dname options as there are directories.

        • -v Show revision information. The -v option simply shows the revision information the revision control system I use has generated. The use of the -v option is simply for reporting bugs and the like, so that I can see what version of the 0cd file you have.

        • -tname Supply name of datafile with track info. See 0CD.DOC for more information about rearranging tracks.

        • -c Install 0cd as a device driver. Hooks into the device driver chain, so that programs can search this chain and find 0cd. Will respond as a normal (albeit simple) device driver.

        • -tsr Load 0cd as a resident program. You'll need the -u option to unload it again.

        • -u Unload the resident 0cd from memory

        • -n Don't simulate the truename function

        • -* Force 0cd to load under windows

      • FAKECD98 (by Bill22. Coming Soon)

  6. I remember that someone wrote about that, but don't remember who was. We can install those games by two means:

    • Copying the right files to each floppy and then installing from them. That's slow and floppies can fail, what means that you should have to copy again the files into the floppy... more slow...

    • By using the SUBST command. That method is faster, cause the install is made from our hard disk, instead of floppies. We'll need also an Operative System or a Program that allows us to switch amongst several tasks or a multitask system (any Windows equal or higher than 3.11 can handle that). We are going to use the SUBST command to emulate a directory, where the game files are stored, as a floppy disk unit (for example: a:\).

      Soo suppose we want to install Strike Commander, that requires a floppy installation. We decompress each small file in an individual directory (let's call them /DISKx, where the "x" is the number of the disk). We'll need two DOS-Boxes. Now we could copy each group of files into several floppies and, after that, execute the installation program.

      Instead of this, we use our beloved SUBST to emulate the first directory, /DISK1, as a floppy unit (we use the first DOS-Box). Then we open a second box and go to A:\ (type dir and you'll see the content of /DISK1). We execute the install program.

      When it stops and asks for the second floppy, we go to our first DOS-Box, remove the SUBSTituted drive, SUBST A: /D, and emulate the /DISK2 directory as A:\. We come back to the box with the installation program. And press the correct key to continue the installation. And we do this with all the /DISKx directories till the game is completely installed.

      A variation of this method, as Fieryfox posted in the Strike Commander' Step by Step Install, is to copy all the files of all the floppies in a lone directory. Then we SUBSTitute that directory as A:\ and execute the install program. When it prompts for the next floppy, we just press the correct key to continue with the install proccess. The fact that this works with Strike Commander doesn't necessarily mean that it will work with all floppy installations. It's a matter of trying.

  8. You can get tech help from several places:

    1. First you should read the tech notes in the page of the game you have downloaded. If you don't get it working

    2. you should check the files in the zips of the game. Sometimes you'll find there the way to run the game properly or important stuff to pass over memory troubles. They usually have the extensions: *.TXT, *.NFO, *.DAT, *.HLP, *.ME or have a file name such as README.*, NOTES.*, HELP.*, INSTALL.* ... If you still haven't got it

    3. READ THE HOTU FAQ!!! :O):

    4. AFTER READING THE FAQ, well, you probably will have gone here. You can check on main page the index of games of the tech page. If your game isn't here or you aren't still satisfied... >;-)

    5. Go to the Tech Forum: Here the Tech Wizards will try to help you with your problems. As we have had some problems at the Tech Forum I ask you to read and follow carefully the next advices before and when posting:

      • Keep in mind that we are humans, we have a lot of patient. Though we are Tech Wizards, our patient has limits. We'll help you, but you'll have to take care of us a bit ;o)

      • Yes, we know, you have found a game you had played years ago and you thought you would never play again. After downloading it, you try it in your Pentium and it doesn't work... AAARRRGGGGG!!!! Ok, first. Calm down. Second. Calm down. Third. Calm down. All of us have had that experience (Not a joke! We understand you. :o) ). Now, slowly, put your hands where we can see them ;o). Ok, turn on your modem and connect to Internet (if you had thrown your pentium through the window, please, go down and pick it up before turning on your modem).

      • Go to the Tech Forum. Read carefully the pages... There are twenty! Hey, who told you this was going easy!?The Tele-Tubbies??!!Hehehe, they cheated you!:-D. If you haven't found an answer to your problem, you can start a new thread. Why should I read all the threads? Easy, it's a proof of patient: if you cannot read till the end the threads (at least the titles or the threads till seventh page) you probably won't be able to get the game working. You can see that as a trainning. And this way we can avoid having two or three threads about the same game and the same problem in the same page. Sometimes it's a bit frustrating. And, as you have to take care of us, you probably don't want to frustrate us, do you? :o)

      • Ok, so you have decided, AFTER READING AND FOLLOWING CAREFULLY THE PREVIOUS STEPS, that you really need to post.

        Then, we'll need some info about you system and problem/error (hey, we are wizards, not soothsayers!). Check that suggerence from Bill22:

        If you have read through and followed the information found here and you still have problems feel free to post on the tech help forum. When posting include the name of the game you are having trouble with in the subject line *[Pet Peeve of mine, I can never find anything if I go looking for it again]* and please list your system specifications.

        If you have already posted and you were referred here please include system information in your next post if you are still having problems.

        For example...

        Subject: No sound in Allied General

        My computer is a:

        PIII 500 Computer w/128mb of ram
        ATI 3d Rage Pro Lt, Video Card
        Sound Blaster Live, Sound Card
        Running Windows 98se

        and I am trying to run the game in a DOS box in Windows and there is no sound.

        Please add any other details that you feel might be helpful in solving your problem; what you've tried, special hardware devices (ie. USB Mouse) driver versions etc. etc.

        That's it:
        • CPU (speed and kind)

        • Video Card

        • Sound Card

        • Operative System

        • RAM (and if you had troubles with memory, AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS)

        • what you did to run it

        • which error message/s you got or problems you watched

        • anything you think is related

        • your personal feelings (optional)

    If you don't follow these advices we'll be forced to create the Tech Wizards Syndicate, and I'm sure you'll not want to sufer the consequences, will you? ;o)

  10. All the links at this site will be opened in the same browser window. To avoid this click with right button in the link and select "Open link in New Broser".

    I've activated a chat in the address (temporarily down) so if someone comes here for help, and there is anybody here can lend the other a hand. If you don't like the chat I'll deactivate it. Anyway, don't forget this isn't the official chat, so please, use the HOTU web chat ( or the IRC channel (#underdogs in EFNET servers). You can access this tech page by three addresses:

    ABOUT THE UPDATES: You'll see at the bottom of the page the date and time when the last update was done. You'll also see a number between parenthesis: this indicates the relation with the PUT INFO FOR ANY GAME'S TECHNICAL HELP BOX HERE thread. (78) means the last update was done when the PIFAGTHBH (;o)) thread had 78 posts.

    NOT REALLY IMPORTANT 1: You can find two .TXT files with the index of the games and problems covered in that page:

    • I'm looking for people who could help me recover all the updates, patches and related files for every game covered on that site. Drop me a mail if you want to help! No experience is required. ;o)

    • Also I would appreciate if someone (or a group of "someones") could make a text or FAQ on "How to run Old Games under Windows 2000/ME" and "How to run Old Games under Linux". Those have been asked several times. I think they should be done by Linux and Windows 2000/ME users. Anyway, I leave it to your choice.

  13. You can drop my an e-mail for anything related with this site. Just check the address at the bottom side of all the pages. And before following... I'm Carlos "Jefe Pícaro", a guy from The Community and from HOTUGeneration. :o)

    I'll not blame you for writing me to ask help with a specific game (and after having read and followed the Where and How to get Help section), but I think you'll have a better chance to solve your troubles if you go to the Forum, cause there you'll have more people to help. Keep in mind that I haven't tried all those games, so I don't know how all of them work. Besides, though I try to check the e-mail every day, sometimes I won't be able to do so.

    As my old mail account has been down for a looongtime, I'll have to move to another one. Till I find something better (and it'll be difficult), redirect your suggestions/concerns to: with the Subject: HOTU Technical Help Page: [...]. Thanks.

    Anyway, welcome to the Tech Site! :o)

  15. ... go to Deb, Tommy and Underdogs for their help and support. ;o) And to a spanish friend of mine, Al Noah, for his help on solving the html style problems from the Tech Site.

    And, of course, to the Tech Wizards Fraternity; and to all those who like the site and give me their advices and support. Thanks.

    I forgot also all those who take the time to read the FAQs here and at HOTU >:o)

Last Update: Monday, August 26, 2002. 6:00 A.M. GMT+1(187)

Page written and maintained by Carlos "Jefe Pícaro" and blessed by HOTU webmaster, Underdogs, and the HOTU Community. For everything related to this page (broken links, complains, suggestions or whatever) send an e-mail to with the Subject: HOTU Technical Help Page: [...]. Thanks for your support. :o)

And may the Force be with you...