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Black Dahlia desperately needs a new ending

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Jabod - 09 May 2020 05:44 AM

The actual problem was if you put a rune into the incorrect slot in the wire-frame you couldn’t remove it thus not being able to move past the puzzle.

I don’t remember that being the exact problem. But it doesn’t matter. It probably would have still been solvable without the patch providing you saved a game just before you started inserting the runes. And then did a save/restore throughout the entire process. Solvable? Yes! But quite possibly the most tedious puzzle ever devised.

     

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rtrooney - 09 May 2020 10:38 PM
Jabod - 09 May 2020 05:44 AM

The actual problem was if you put a rune into the incorrect slot in the wire-frame you couldn’t remove it thus not being able to move past the puzzle.

I don’t remember that being the exact problem. But it doesn’t matter. It probably would have still been solvable without the patch providing you saved a game just before you started inserting the runes. And then did a save/restore throughout the entire process. Solvable? Yes! But quite possibly the most tedious puzzle ever devised.

Basically Tim, once you’ve tried to move a rune to any spot in the wire-frame and released the mouse button the rune was fixed in place and you couldn’t do anything about it. I agree, you’re save and continue could work but I wouldn’t call it tedious. Since I’m a relatively polite person I won’t say what I’d call it   Grin

Anyway, the PC saga continues.

Having stated yesterday that I had every Windows OS apart from Win95 it struck me that I had a copy of Win98 and that should work so off I went. Oh boy, the things we forget over the years! Frown Firstly tried to install on disc formatted as NTFS. Oh yes, it needs to be FAT. Sorted that out and tried again. Whilst the PC would boot off the DVD drive and the CD I was using (much more than just an OS on this disc) when it came to installing a driver to utilise the drive it installed OK but then couldn’t find the drive. Almost certainly because it was a DVD drive and WIN98 predated those.
Not a problem thought I as I’ve got some plain old CD drives. Dug one out only to find that in my tidying up of my attic a couple of years ago I’d thrown out all my old IDE/PATA cables. But then a brainwave. I’ve got an old USB external box that connects IDE drives and I had a cable in that box, albeit only 3 inches long but it worked so on we went. Then the installation failed because I’d forgotten that this was a Windows and DOS OS and it needed a DOS boot partition. Check the memory banks for FDISK and Format /S (actually, being honest, the Format command was an internet search Smile ). Got it started installing, sort of, as I’d also forgotten that the install process would want to format the HD for itself. That is currently going and as I decided to go for large disc support it’s taking a long time to do that. Currently 70% through after 60 minutes for a 160GB HD.
Will this work? Will Jabod get Windows 98SE installed OK? What will happen about installing Black Dahlia if the OS installation works? The next episode of this exciting saga will be coming to a thread near you sometime in the future - possibly Crazy

     

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Your post above made me laugh out loud, Jabod!  Best of luck with it!

     

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Jabod - 10 May 2020 09:55 AM

Having stated yesterday that I had every Windows OS apart from Win95 it struck me that I had a copy of Win98 and that should work so off I went. Oh boy, the things we forget over the years! Frown Firstly tried to install on disc formatted as NTFS. Oh yes, it needs to be FAT. Sorted that out and tried again. Whilst the PC would boot off the DVD drive and the CD I was using (much more than just an OS on this disc) when it came to installing a driver to utilise the drive it installed OK but then couldn’t find the drive. Almost certainly because it was a DVD drive and WIN98 predated those.

No, it wouldn’t be that. I’ve certainly used DVD drives to install Windows 98 in the past.

That is currently going and as I decided to go for large disc support it’s taking a long time to do that.

“Large disk support” means anything over 2 GB, so you’d definitely want large disk support.

Currently 70% through after 60 minutes for a 160GB HD.

And there’s your problem—the 160 GB.
Windows 98 SE has a hard drive size limit, or more accurately a partition size limit.
With Windows 98 SE I think it’s 137 GB. I’ve also heard 127 GB.
With Windows 98 First Edition I think the limit is 8.4 GB.

I’d recommend partitioning the 160 GB drive into two 80 GB partitions before trying to install Windows 98 on it.
(That’s assuming you have Windows 98 SE and not Windows 98 First Edition, where the size limit is much smaller.)

     
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crabapple - 10 May 2020 11:50 AM

No, it wouldn’t be that. I’ve certainly used DVD drives to install Windows 98 in the past.


When I wrote that about the DVD drive I was fairly sure that I had also done that but the installation wouldn’t recognise the DVD drive. I know that drive was good as the BIOS recognised it and booted from it. There are two things that I can think of in this instance: one is that the DVD drive in question is a multi-format drive and it wasn’t recognised by the installation optical driver (unlikely, I know) or, two, that it didn’t like it as it was a SATA connected drive and that would explain why the PATA CD drive worked. Don’t particularly like that explanation either as the HD is SATA connected. There is a third possibility though which follows.

crabapple - 10 May 2020 11:50 AM

Windows 98 SE has a hard drive size limit, or more accurately a partition size limit.
With Windows 98 SE I think it’s 137 GB. I’ve also heard 127 GB.
With Windows 98 First Edition I think the limit is 8.4 GB.

I was aware that there was a size limitation for 98 but I thought, incorrectly obviously, that 160gb would be inside that limit so thanks for correcting me. I’ll certainly being doing that (and probably down to 40GB) but not just yet as I found a further problem.
Actually got Windows 98 partially installed but it would hang after the reboot following the loading of the installation files giving me a memory problem and told me to sort that out via config.sys and autoexec.bat (anyone remember memmaker?) but, on opening both of those, I found them to be completely blank. A moment’s thought told me of course they are as the installation was nowhere near complete.
Thankfully memory (ho-ho!) kicked in as I remembered that there was a memory limitation of 512MB for 98 and, on checking, found I’d got 4GB installed. Happily I found a 512MB stick of DDR2 so installed that but then it just hung. Tried it via the step by step facility in DOS to find the mouse driver installation was the problem, just doing nothing at that point.
After all that waffle I’m wondering if the problem was the extra memory causing the DVD drive problem and something has been corrupted in the installation because of that thus giving me a mouse problem, or the mouse problem could be caused by the too large HD size.
So. What next?
Change of plan actually.
Since Black Dahlia crops up from time-to-time here and people do seem to want to play it (well, some at least), and not everyone has spare kit knocking around to do what I’m attempting, I thought I’d follow the recommendation of Veovis earlier and try to run under a Virtual Machine. I used to run a VM with XP on an old Windows 7 PC but haven’t tried running a VM on Windows 10 so I thought if I could do that AND get Black Dahlia to run then it would be useful for others, and not only for Black Dahlia.

But, you lucky people, I will be going back to the original PC and seeing about a native installation of 98 on that. Learned some stuff, remembered more, so who knows! Be prepared to have the knickers bored off of you Smile

     

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Yes, we “can” run a VM on Win10, but wouldn’t we need this Win95/98/98SE disks to install it? If yes, I’m out of luck there. I should have been a better pack rat.

     

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rtrooney - 10 May 2020 06:53 PM

Yes, we “can” run a VM on Win10, but wouldn’t we need this Win95/98/98SE disks to install it? If yes, I’m out of luck there. I should have been a better pack rat.

You’d need either a Windows 95/98 disc or a disc image (.iso) of the Windows disc.
You’d mount the .iso as a CD using the VM controls.

If you use Windows 95, you’ll probably need something like this to fix the CPU limit
https://msfn.org/board/topic/141402-windows-95-21ghz-cpu-limit-broken/

     

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Jabod - 10 May 2020 04:46 PM

When I wrote that about the DVD drive I was fairly sure that I had also done that but the installation wouldn’t recognise the DVD drive. I know that drive was good as the BIOS recognised it and booted from it. There are two things that I can think of in this instance: one is that the DVD drive in question is a multi-format drive and it wasn’t recognised by the installation optical driver (unlikely, I know) or, two, that it didn’t like it as it was a SATA connected drive and that would explain why the PATA CD drive worked.

If the DVD drive was a SATA drive, maybe it really was too new.
I don’t think I’ve ever tried to install Windows 98 on a computer with SATA ports—not outside of a VM anyway. DVD drives yes, but they were all PATA and worked with the DOS CD drivers that come with Windows. However in DOS mode they would only read CD’s. I had to be in Windows before they’d read DVD’s.

Actually got Windows 98 partially installed but it would hang after the reboot following the loading of the installation files giving me a memory problem and told me to sort that out via config.sys and autoexec.bat (anyone remember memmaker?) but, on opening both of those, I found them to be completely blank. A moment’s thought told me of course they are as the installation was nowhere near complete.

C:\autoexec.bat and C:\config.sys are always empty on a fresh install of Windows 95 or 98.
I can’t remember whether C:\Windows\dosstart.bat has anything in it or not. 

Thankfully memory (ho-ho!) kicked in as I remembered that there was a memory limitation of 512MB for 98 and, on checking, found I’d got 4GB installed. Happily I found a 512MB stick of DDR2 so installed that but then it just hung.

Yes, that’s another gotcha when installing Windows 95 or 98 on “newish” computers—the RAM limits. There’s supposed to be some file you can edit if you want to dual boot with XP or something and want more than 512 MB in XP. But you still have to install 98 before you can edit the file. I never tried it myself.

Tried it via the step by step facility in DOS to find the mouse driver installation was the problem, just doing nothing at that point.
After all that waffle I’m wondering if the problem was the extra memory causing the DVD drive problem and something has been corrupted in the installation because of that thus giving me a mouse problem, or the mouse problem could be caused by the too large HD size.

Lots of problems can come up when installing Windows 95 or 98 on newer hardware then it was meant for.
There are problems even on old computers that you’d think would be OK. The last time I tried to install Windows 98 on a computer was a year or two ago. The computer had a 400 MHz Socket 7 processor, 384 MB RAM, and a 120 GB hard drive. I tried booting off the Win98 CD, and ran into issues fdisking and formatting the drive. So I tried fdisking and formatting using a newer boot disk on floppy, which seemed to work as far as the fdisking/formatting was concerned, but I got a “wrong version” message when I tried to install Windows 98 off the CD. So I tried booting off a gparted disc to format, and apparently the computer’s Socket 7 processor was too old to support the OS on the disc. So I tried booting off an older version of gparted and it booted but I had no mouse control. Turned out the PS/2 ports weren’t working. Fine I thought, I still have a serial port and USB ports that work. But I couldn’t find any version of gparted (or Linux boot disc with a partition manager) that was old enough to support the Socket 7 processor and also supported either a serial mouse or a USB mouse. My USB mouse was “too new.” Maybe an old PS/2 mouse that used a USB connector would have worked, but at the time I couldn’t find one. In desperation I tried a Windows ME CD, and it proceeded to format and install without incident. I now have a Socket 7 computer with USB keyboard, serial mouse, and Windows ME, which isn’t exactly what I’d wanted, but I was tired of fooling with it.

Since Black Dahlia crops up from time-to-time here and people do seem to want to play it (well, some at least), and not everyone has spare kit knocking around to do what I’m attempting, I thought I’d follow the recommendation of Veovis earlier and try to run under a Virtual Machine. I used to run a VM with XP on an old Windows 7 PC but haven’t tried running a VM on Windows 10 so I thought if I could do that AND get Black Dahlia to run then it would be useful for others, and not only for Black Dahlia.

I haven’t had much luck running games on Windows 95 or 98 in a VM on recent computers (as in 2012 or later). I think it’s because Windows 95 and 98 aren’t well supported in newer VM software—the type that runs on 64-bit Windows 7 and later. XP is another matter. XP works fine in VM’s. I wonder how well Black Dahlia would run on Windows XP inside a VM.

If anyone is interested, here’s an archived link for Inferno’s XP webpage about Black Dahlia
Inferno’s Black Dahlia page at Internet Archive

Scroll down to where Inferno talks about the patch.
Inferno’s link to the patch doesn’t work, but I think it is here
https://www.patches-scrolls.de/patch/600/7/20457

But, you lucky people, I will be going back to the original PC and seeing about a native installation of 98 on that. Learned some stuff, remembered more, so who knows! Be prepared to have the knickers bored off of you.

I look forward to it.

     
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Maybe try PCem? (https://pcem-emulator.co.uk/index.html). It should run all Windows versions up to XP and compatibility with games seem to be great. Don’t know how easy or hard it is to use, but the last version was released just weeks ago, so the development is active. It’s free.

I actually just started up Black Dahlia (v 1.10) with PCem and it seems to work perfectly. A version that someone else has compiled and created an installer for. As stated before I own at least two legal copies of BD and don’t need to go through the hazzle of getting it to work. I now remember how hard it was getting it to work correctly even within a Windows 98 environment on a modern PC, with some editing of ini-files and such required.

 

     
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I am truly in awe of the technical expertise flowing back and forth. Most of it is well above my pay grade. But the thread has moved well beyond the OP’s dissatisfaction with the ending, it has also moved beyond the second question and into the third, which seems to be can we find a way to get BD to work on Jabod’s vintage machine.

That second question, I thought, was is there a way to get BD to work on a modern machine without jumping through the same hoops Jabob is jumping through in order to get the game on a machine that, by all rights, it should run perfectly on.

And the answer seems to be that if Jabod can’t get it to run, then those of us with Win10 machines don’t stand a chance.

I think this is a response to Crabapple - No I do not have any of the old system install disks. Computer stuff taking up space v. Guitar stuff needing more space. Something had to give and the computer stuff lost.

     

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rtrooney - 11 May 2020 09:51 PM

I am truly in awe of the technical expertise flowing back and forth. Most of it is well above my pay grade. But the thread has moved well beyond the OP’s dissatisfaction with the ending, it has also moved beyond the second question and into the third, which seems to be can we find a way to get BD to work on Jabod’s vintage machine.

Tim has beaten me to this as my next post was going to address the self same fact.
My next update(s) will be in the Hints and Tech Support Forum, where all this rightly belongs although that might not be for a day or two. I will post to this thread when I do my first post there so that anyone who wishes to follow what happens but doesn’t necessarily read that forum is in a position to do so.
Tim’s other points re running on Windows 10 etc. will also be addressed there. The one advantage of retirement, let alone the current situation around the world, is I have the time to play around at my leisure. The downside is that, having retired from IT (started in 1971 so nearly 50 years now), I’m still doing IT Smile  Ces’t La Vie

 

     

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For reasons that will be obvious when you read it I’ve just started the appropriate thread as mentioned above. Can be found here:
WIN98SE

     

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rtrooney - 11 May 2020 09:51 PM

No I do not have any of the old system install disks.

You can find an iso of Windows 98SE at the Internet Archive if you want to mess around with VMs.

     

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