Privateer 2: Please insert CD 1 ... Problem

Dinonator

Spaceman
Hi all.

I have the installed the original DOS Version of Privateer 2.
After starting the Game the Problem: "Please insert CD 1"

It drives me crazy. I have done all i can.
Checked with:
Always a standalone DOS.
2 Computers, complete different Hardware.
A lot of CD-ROM Drives.
Different CD-ROM Drivers.
FAT16, FAT32
With the Original Discs and Copies.
I made ISO Bkups and not Errors at read (I have the original Game!).
With or without the w2Patch.exe
and so on...
Config.sys:
Buffers=99
Files=100
Lastdrive=Z, Lastdrive=D
and so on...
All Drivers run correct under DOS.
Installing perfekt. Sound perfekt.
Other Games run perfekt.

Always the Screen "Please Insert CD 1"

In DOSBox under Windows XP it works well.
But i need to run it on a old standalone Computer for Vintage feeling.

I am totaly Down.

Thanks in front for Help.

Salutations
Dino
 
Open your dark.cfg file in a text editor and check if the CD path is set correct. (the first path is the cd drive, the second one for the installation on the hdd)
If it works in dosbox, it doesn't means the path is correct for a standalone pc too.

As an alternative, you can copy all cds into a subfolder on your hdd
e.g. C:\PRIV as the main install directory and C:\PRIV\P2Dcds as the subfolder for the cds
copy one cd after another in the P2Dcds folder and overwrite existing files (only the movies folder should expand)
Then set the CD-path in dark.cfg to this subfolder and you don't need a CD-drive anymore.
You can then open in P2Dcds the file cd.dat in a text editor and set "1" for CD1, "2" for CD2 and "3" for CD3.

As an alternative for constant cd.dat editing, you can also open the movies.iff file in a hex editor and change there in front of each movie the 0x01, 0x02 or 0x03 into a 0x00. This way it's unimportant which cd is set in cd.dat and P2D never asks again for a certain cd as all movies are together present in the subfolder. (also good if you want to create a privateer 2 dvd)
I've attached a screenshot how it should look like in the hex editor (the marked 00 was previously a 01).
You can also download my attached movies.txt file and rename it to movies.iff (the forum unfortunately doesn't allows zip or other file formats than pictures and text files)
 

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Dinonator

Spaceman
Thanks for fast reply.

Nothing helped, direkt. Letters OK and so on.

But now fasten your seatbells!!!

While i copied the Files to the HDD in a Folder, the File "CD.DAT" was not copied!!!
And i found the Reason.

In the "config.sys" i named the Driver for the CD-ROM "CD":
DEVICEHIGH=C:\MTMCDAI.SYS /D:CD

Thats why in the "autoexec.bat" is must write:
LH C:\DOS\mscdex.exe /D:CD

Thats why he cannot read any file with "cd.xxx"

After config.sys and autoexec.bat changes to "CD001" All run perfekt.
DEVICEHIGH=C:\MTMCDAI.SYS /D:CD001
LH C:\DOS\mscdex.exe /D:CD001

You helped me indirectly and without you i would not solved it.
Thanks you all for Help. And Thanks for the Movie File.

Salutations
Dino
 

Silverain

Rear Admiral
As an alternative, you can copy all cds into a subfolder on your hdd
e.g. C:\PRIV as the main install directory and C:\PRIV\P2Dcds as the subfolder for the cds
copy one cd after another in the P2Dcds folder and overwrite existing files (only the movies folder should expand)
Then set the CD-path in dark.cfg to this subfolder and you don't need a CD-drive anymore.
<snip>
... you can also open the movies.iff file in a hex editor and change there in front of each movie the 0x01, 0x02 or 0x03 into a 0x00. This way it's unimportant which cd is set in cd.dat and P2D never asks again for a certain cd as all movies are together present in the subfolder. (also good if you want to create a privateer 2 dvd)
You can also download my attached movies.txt file and rename it to movies.iff

I like these ideas. You can save your original CDs and make a playable DVD, or better yet just install to the HDD (using the movies.iff attachment of Lin Kuei Ominae).

Admin - any chance of noting this under the P2 Tech Support area, and/or including the movies.iff file as modified for DL?
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
Huh, I never realised that dos suffered from such an obvious glitch! - still nice you got that solved :D
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Open your dark.cfg file in a text editor and check if the CD path is set correct. (the first path is the cd drive, the second one for the installation on the hdd)
If it works in dosbox, it doesn't means the path is correct for a standalone pc too.

As an alternative, you can copy all cds into a subfolder on your hdd
e.g. C:\PRIV as the main install directory and C:\PRIV\P2Dcds as the subfolder for the cds
copy one cd after another in the P2Dcds folder and overwrite existing files (only the movies folder should expand)
Then set the CD-path in dark.cfg to this subfolder and you don't need a CD-drive anymore.
You can then open in P2Dcds the file cd.dat in a text editor and set "1" for CD1, "2" for CD2 and "3" for CD3.

As an alternative for constant cd.dat editing, you can also open the movies.iff file in a hex editor and change there in front of each movie the 0x01, 0x02 or 0x03 into a 0x00. This way it's unimportant which cd is set in cd.dat and P2D never asks again for a certain cd as all movies are together present in the subfolder. (also good if you want to create a privateer 2 dvd)
I've attached a screenshot how it should look like in the hex editor (the marked 00 was previously a 01).
You can also download my attached movies.txt file and rename it to movies.iff (the forum unfortunately doesn't allows zip or other file formats than pictures and text files)

I like these ideas. You can save your original CDs and make a playable DVD, or better yet just install to the HDD (using the movies.iff attachment of Lin Kuei Ominae).

Admin - any chance of noting this under the P2 Tech Support area, and/or including the movies.iff file as modified for DL?

This is pretty cool. I remember back in the day my one and only major gripe with p2 was how often you had to change CDs when going between different planets that happend to be on different disks. Maybe we'll look into getting Pete or someone else with the knowhow to make a patch installer that does everything for you while prompting you to put in each cd as it copies them to the harddrive.
 

Storm

Spaceman
... thought I might add an observation ...

If you use an altered MOVIES.IFF, this DOES change the order of the occurance of the additional cinematic missions. Confirmed; I've done this several times.

Actually, a long time ago, I figured out how to do this on my own; except that the CD references in MOVIES.IFF were all changed to "1", and CD.DAT was "1". Additional cinematic missions occured, but they were "severely delayed"; most of them were not activated until AFTER the Main Plot had finished.

Just recently I tried using the above MOVIES.IFF whereby all CD references are "0", and NOT BOTHERING to change CD.DAT (was a default "1" at the time). Additional cinematics were NOT activated... ever. So I changed CD.DAT to "0" to match. Again, no additional cinematic situations.

It might have been installation-specific (shrug); but it SEEMS that the game is "did-the-CD-change?" sensitive, in regards to the ADDITIONAL cinematic missions (not Main Plot missions).

But it SEEMS that the best way to is go ahead and use the FIRST procedure that Lin describes... change CD.DAT to "1", "2" or "3", depending (you will need to know in advance before a movie is invoked). I experimented, and the additional cinematic situations SEEM to behave NORMALLY this way... occuring about when they should.

On a pure DOS machine (DOS 6.22), if you invoke a movie with CD.DAT set to the wrong CD, the computer freezes up ("Please Insert CD")... can't even reboot it. You have to turn it off/on.

Of course, if you have a savegame archive with all cinematic situations saved, THEN it's ok to use an altered MOVIES.IFF just to see all the movies again. Trying to PLAY this archive will cause strange behavior in cinematic mission occurances. Keep 2 copies of MOVIES.IFF; one UNaltered, and an altered one... and copy over to fit whatever situation you are in.
 

Storm

Spaceman
One more thing... copy the 3 CDs onto HD *FIRST*, then defrag, THEN install the game and defrag. Overall thrashing of the drive will be less severe, defragging will be easier.
 
I just tested it with the Mission from Senator Ames, where i've got a savegame just before the mission occurs.
Regardless which cd was set in CD.dat (i even tested 4 and 0), i always got the E-Mail when i loaded the savegame, started from the planet and flew for about 30 seconds - 1 minute ingame.

Thus i doubt that the set cd in cd.dat really affects the trigger of the sidemissions.

It's more likely one of the special parameter in the savegame that triggers these side missions, like the LAND, MILE, NUMS, CLOK or TIME values.
 

Storm

Spaceman
I can clarify, but these are only ... "clues" ... ; it COULD be due to the way(s) I tend to play my savegames; how I progress, when I "stall" the Main Plot to make money and upgrade, etc.

I wish there were definitive facts about precisely WHAT stimulates the individual additional cinematics to occur. But it's obvious that at least some of the time, WHICH CD is in the drive seems to matter (example the Ralph McCould situation, CD 2).

I can play P2 "the usual way"; swapping CDs.

( Actually there is a difficulty, my CD #3 is a little glitched... usually the Kappa Labs video stutters badly and sometimes crashes the game... sometimes ejecting / re-seating the CD helps. Doing a NO-CD hack seems to always fix this issue; I guess the Kappa Labs video ALWAYS copies onto HD Ok when done thru the DOS XCOPY command. )

Anyway... when swapping CDs there are "*TENDANCIES*" for the additional cinematic missions; their order, when they occur, etc.

As I mentioned, a long time ago (2+ years ago?), I figured out that I could copy the 3 CDs to HD, change all CD references in MOVIES.IFF to "1", and set CD.DAT to "1". The "*TENDANCIES*" were quite different. Note that entire *series* of savegames were developed this way, starting from a new game.

If I much later re-installed P2, re-copied that savegame archive (savegames from a hacked configuration, set to CD "1") back to HD, BUT did NOT bother doing a No-CD hack (I.E. swap CDs), then when loading those savegames, I noticed some peculiar behavior. Playing FROM any of those slots (especially the last 1/2 to last 2/3), the additional cinematics showed DIFFERENT tendancies. In fact, the game seemed to be trying to "rush" and "catch up"; additional cinematics were occuring as soon as I took off, as soon as I landed, WHEN playing FROM those savegames (developed UNDER the No-Cd hack) and playing IN a normal swap-CD configuration.

This seems to imply that the game is in fact "sensitive" to actually swapping CDs. It SEEMS to "know" if you quit the game, and, say, changed from CD1 to CD2 or CD3, and then re-started the game.

Now, if that's true, then what happens when "the CDs are never changed"; I.E. a No-CD hack that makes all movies come from "one big CD" (actually the hard drive)?

From my experience, this DOES have an effect. For example, in a normal swap-CD configuration, the Louissa Phillips situation seems to ALWAYS occur much earlier then in any NO-CD configuration, and also the opportunity to make 10k credits occurs if she "survives your next 3 missions". In a No-CD setup, Louissa Phillips tends to occur MUCH later, and in fact she never seems to show up again and you never get a chance for that 10k credits.

In a No-CD setup, Ralph McCloud seems to occur much later than it should (a couple of times it didn't occur for me until AFTER the Main Plot. And I HAD been flying around a LOT, clocking hours, miles, and landings trying to MAKE it happen). BUT, then, as I indicated, if you CHANGE to a swap-CD setup, Ralph McCLoud somehow gets "stimulated" to occur.

So... basically, (shrug). I can't SWEAR that the info I presented is true, it's just a strong "feeling". Digging into the game mechanics / EXE might be informative.

(EDIT) Also, I DID experience problems when the CD refs in MOVIES.IFF and CD.DAT did not match, and when all CD refs in MOVIES.IFF were set to "CD 0". I don't know, this MIGHT have been an anomaly, or maybe it is due to OTHER combined factors.
 
I just found the proof that you're right.
I have a savegame which gives instantly the lord mike vonx mission when i start the game with cd 3 set. The strange thing is, when the savegame is loaded, the P.A.D. opens instantly on the planet to offer the mission instead of waiting to deliver it as a usual e-mail during space-flight.

If i start the game with cd 2 and take off from the planet, i get the ralph mccloud mission instead as an e-mail about 30 seconds after the start.

So you're definitely right, that the set number in cd.dat triggers the side missions.

Another important thing is, if i start the game with cd 2 or 1, then while being in the load mission screen change cd.dat to 3, and finally load the savegame, i don't get the mike vonx mission. So it even plays a role which cd is set when you start the game (the exe) and not which cd was set when you loaded the savegame.
I assume that the normal movies.iff would have caused the game to recognize a cd-change when it tries to play a certain movie and in turn also to activate the trigger for certain side-missions. So with the modified movies.iff, the only way to make the game notice the current cd, is to restart the game.
Thus it might be better to use the original movies.iff and when it asks for a certain cd, to do a task switch and a quick edit of the cd.dat file with a text editor. This would be at least still faster and easier than changing the cd in the cd-drive.

I wonder if there is a place in the exe which can be hex-edited, so all missions can be triggered with cd 0 being set in cd.dat.
 

Storm

Spaceman
I don't know, Lin; I think that we could all benefit if a LOT more was known about the EXE. There is quite a bit of stuff that *I* would change (including optimizing the additional cinematic mission occurances, especially for a NO-CD setup). I would change the triggers, and change the order of occurances. AND other stuff related to the general game mechanics that just irritate me.

Unfortunately, my "mainstream" Vista computer is EXTREMELY fussy about some apps; and also I am not as young as I used to be. There was a time when I might have been considered very good at hacking / modding games (I did a lot of work on Privateer 1). I'm just not in a position to contribute (much) to the Privateer 2 analysis.

Best of luck to those that ARE involved in the work, though.
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Hey guys, sorry to bump this thread.

I've been working on hacking the P2 EXE a bit and think i have a solution for a no-cd setup. It involves hacking the CD check on the EXE only, so movie files remain unaltered. Hopefully this will allow us to have all movie files on the hard drive while keeping the logic for the optional missions unaltered.

If there's still interest, i'll post some information on how to patch the EXE and we can do some testing here.
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
So it would then take the movie side plots from all cds at random?
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
It should trigger the movie side plots from the correct sections of the game, since i patched the CD check in order to simulate the CD change.

Disassembling the EXE, the CD check looks a bit like:

While NeededCD not in drive
Check CD
End
CurrentCD = NeededCD

Basically, my patch always does the "CurrentCD = NeededCD" part (regardless of the CD.DAT in place) in order to assure the variable on the EXE that that holds the CD number is updated as necessary. This should keep the optional mission behavior intact, since the game always finds the CD it's looking for. No movie file editing is necessary. You'd still have to adjust DARK.CFG as usual though (point the CD directory to the installation directory).

I made some tests so far and it seems to work, but I still wasn't able to test the patch with savegames at various points of the plot.

If there's interest, let me know and i'll post the necessary changes (or a patched EXE) and we can run a few tests here.
 
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cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
Absolutely no time on my side at the moment, as I am currently setting up a my new PC system in the very vew spare time I have, sorry.
 

Frozn

Spaceman
I stumbled across this forum when trying to NoCD my privateer 2. And you do NOT need to dissassemble the EXE, I was able to beat Priv2 last night with all the proper movies playing via DosBox with no Insert next disc prompts and all movies playing correctly. A true No-CD solution! Here's what I did:

1. Copied the contents of all 3 CDs to my C:\Dark (DosBox) directory, no overwrites done. 1,2, & 3 in that order. So now i have C:\Dark\MOVIES with a ton of movie files in it.
2. Did the Hex edit on C:\Dark\Movies.Iff - (All Movies now point to CD1)
3. Made sure C:\Dark\CD.dat is the one from Disc1 (Can open in notepad and change the contents to "1")
4. Changed C:\Dark\Dark.cfg - top 2 lines, Both set to C:\Dark (using . or .\ doesn't seem to work here)
- at this point I tested it and loaded a CD2 save and got prompted again for Disc 2 (damnit)
5. In C:\Dark\MOVIES\DISK1.TXT I manually added indexes for all Disc2+Disc3 movies in the same format as appears in the file
6. Fired up Privateer 2, and it worked perfect!

Here's the edited files along with a step-by-step readme which I just tested on a clean install and it works!
http://www.mediafire.com/?4q9jyqpcx3dfo3p

Edit: As far as the missing Mission triggers go, I didn't notice but the main quest progressed perfectly fine
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
If there's interest, let me know and i'll post the necessary changes (or a patched EXE) and we can run a few tests here.

Ditto on the lack of time to test, but if you do get around to posting something, we'd be happy to mention it on the front page, of course! There's probably some people out there who'd like this and could play around with it.
 
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