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Running Xsnes9x From Dvd Only?


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#1 ProdigyXP

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 05:32 PM

I just posted this question in the xsnes9x forum, but figured I would try asking here as there seems to be a lot of smart people here. biggrin.gif

Let me start by saying that I am fairly new to running non-MS software on my XBOX. I just got up and running a few days ago.

Anyway, my question(s):

Can I just run the xsnes9x emulator (with roms) from a DVD, and it will not write anything to my xbox hard drive? I have read a few posts in different places where some users were having problems seeing roms, etc, but that really didn't tell me if anything would be written to the hard drive (and if something is written, where and what is it?).

The reason for even asking is that I would really like to know where things are being written in case I want to remove a certain program completely from my hard drive. I did FTP all my partitions to my PC before doing anything, but I really only want to restore that backup in an emergency, not for when I just want to remove remnants of a single program that I want to remove. Considering how many folders and partitions were already there on my drive before any modifications (not to mention the file/folder names being nearly impossible to decipher what program they relate to), it can be difficult, in my opinion, to locate a specific "program" to be removed.

Again, just for clarity (as this message is longer than I intended!):

Can I run xsnes9x strictly from a DVD.
Would it write *anything* to my hard drive?
If it does write something, what and where is it?

Additionally, if I chose to install xsnes9x to the hard drive in say "e:emusxsnes9x", would any files that need to be written by the program stay within that structure, or would they appear some place else?

Thanks for any help, and if this has been covered before, I apologize, as I didn't find this answer even after having searched.

#2 Scan-C

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 05:41 PM

you can...just like it would be on the hdd except that the default.xbe is in the root.it will write savestates to your hdd

#3 ProdigyXP

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 06:08 PM

QUOTE (Scan-C @ Aug 7 2003, 07:41 PM)
you can...just like it would be on the hdd except that the default.xbe is in the root.it will write savestates to your hdd

Thanks for the quick reply. If I understand you correctly, there is no difference between running from a DVD versus installing xsnes9x to a folder on my harddrive, with the exception that a DVD would have the .xbe in the root of the DVD, where it would be in a sub folder had I installed to my hard drive?

If this is true, then it sounds as though in either case, the only writing to the hard drive would be the save game states, which could be completely removed if desired via the MS dashboard like any other genuine xbox save game? If that's the case, then I wouldn't really need to know the folders or filenames of the data written by the emulator.

What about settings/prefs for the emulator itself? Are they also in a "save game"?

Thanks again for the help. Not trying to be anal with the questions, just really like to know what goes where. smile.gif

#4 pelago

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 07:19 PM

ProdigyXP, I understand your concerns. You're like me when I first started Xbox-modding - saw all these weird folders and worried about what was going where.

Firstly, no programs should touch C:, which is the boot/system partition, so you don't need to worry about that. Also, don't worry about drives X:, Y: and Z:, which are for temporary files. Stuff gets wiped from there automatically.

In E: are two folders, UDATA and TDATA. I'm not sure what the difference is exactly, but it is where proper Xbox saved game stuff goes. By that I mean all commercial games will write configs, saves etc to those two folders, and they show up in the Memory bit of the MS dashboard. Many homebrew emulators also use those folders, and also show up in the MS dashboard, but not all.

The folder names in UDATA and TDATA are hexadecimal strings. Each game has it's own ID, which is the folder name. You can find out the ID of a game by using a Windows tool such as dexbe on the default.xbe, to work out which folder is for which game. Alternatively use Xbox Saves Manager (a Windows app) which shows you all the saves on your Xbox, and you can 'edit' the save to see the ID number, and hence work out the folder name.

(Presumably commercial games have ID numbers allocated to them by MS so as to avoid clashes. Homebrew stuff doesn't have that luxury, and there is already a clash between boXplorer and multiple Xport emus).

Now, some emulators write outside of the structure mentioned above. Xport's emulators write into E:\Saves. 90-26's (aka Hikaru's) emulators write into E:\90x26.

You mention xSnes9x - I'm pretty sure that writes into UDATA/TDATA and thus is compliant with normal (commercial) Xbox save procedures.

#5 ProdigyXP

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 08:12 PM

pelago, thank you very much for the detailed explanation. I will check out the apps you mentioned.

I just checked out the X, Y, & Z drives that you mention are for temporary space. My X original X drive has over 500MB, while Y is empty, and Z is nearly 300MB. It would seem that MS has carried over the same traits of the Windows "Temp" folder to the Xbox (i.e. never cleans up after itself). smile.gif

I also noticed that my D & E drives are identical in size and structure (this is looking at my backup of the paritions I made immediately after the 007Save, which allowed me to FTP/make the backup). I seem to remember reading somewhere that D: is actually a type of virtual drive that is automatically mapped to a location that a program was run from (I could have this totally wrong). If that is correct, I imagine that my backup of D being identical to E is because D was mapped to E at the time I made the backup?

Anyway, thanks again for the explanation. Now I don't feel so paranoid about it. biggrin.gif

#6 pelago

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 12:57 PM

X:, Y: and Z: are in fact designed to have their contents stay persistant between sessions. You know Halo takes a long time to load a level for the first time, but next time you load the same level it is much quicker, even if you reset the Xbox in between? That's because it is finding the 'old' cache files on one of X:, Y: or Z: and loading from those.

I believe those partitions get cleared up by commercial games (or well-written homebrew apps) if they need to write to a cache and cannot find a previous one that they have already used. In other words, the games/apps clear up the cache/temp drives, rather than the 'operating system' (by which I mean the BIOS or MS dashboard).

You're right about D:. If it was possible to look at the drive letter contents of a non-modded Xbox, then D: would always be the DVD drive. However, if you launch a .xbe file stored on a hard disk using EvoX, boXplorer, and other dashes/launchers, then those launchers map D: to the folder that the .xbe is in before launching the .xbe.

This is really to help piracy more than to help homebrew, as it means that if you copy a commercial Xbox game from DVD (which would normally be drive D:) to hard disk (to some random folder in E:), the commercial game can still load media files etc. from what it thinks is D:, and it all just works.

This D: mapping gets a little confusing with emulators and so on, as people wonder why D: is not the DVD drive. Xport deliberately maps the DVD drive as R: in his emulators, but that's not a 'standard' thing (ie, you won't see that in EvoX ftp, boXplorer, etc.)

#7 AnThRaX

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 01:00 PM

Yea what he said biggrin.gif




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