Hardware incompatibilities?


2007-11-28

Would it be bad to add tags that identify games that suffer from some hardware incompatibilities? I mean things that occur in several games and the cause is the same.

Like the AMD dual-core thing which needs the use of their dual-core optimizer to fix? (it just occasionally synchronizes the timestamp counters on the cores, does absolutely nothing else)
Was going to add this as amdx2bug in the only game I know to suffer from it, but decided to ask first :)

Unfortunately I'm not aware of any other similar bugs.

2007-11-29
I think its a good idea. There are other incompatibilities as well. Some Atari 2600 games don't play on Atari 7800 machines. Some SNES games won't work with the Game Genie. Dungeon Siege starts its own personal earthquake and HCF execution depending on some rare CD drive/hardware combos. Some old CD games won't work in faster CD drives. Some CD games won't work if the CD drive can't recognize CD-R disks. Some master system games canont be played on a Genesis 3 unit with adapters that work fine for Genesis 1 & 2 units. Disney's Gargoyles will not run on a Genesis 3 unit. A whole lotta things won't run with Wine.

2007-11-29
A whole lotta things won't run with Wine.

These are caused by bugs or deficiencies in Wine, so I'm not sure they're worth adding. And doesn't Wine have some sort of compatibility list somewhere like DOSBox? Both fall to emulator compatibility which I seem to recall wasn't supposed to be added or whatever (the reason why we now have Mame/WiiVC flags for games).

Edit: Cedega (old proprietary fork of Wine) has compatibility list and so does Wine itself.

Dungeon Siege starts its own personal earthquake and HCF execution depending on some rare CD drive/hardware combos.

I seem to recall it made my CD-R and DVD±R/W drives spin-up to some strangely high speeds (creating a high pitched whine and whirring). And this also occured with some other games, but I can't recall which. No earthquakes or HCF though.

2007-12-01
re: re:
[[quote:>>Dungeon Siege starts its own personal earthquake and HCF execution depending on some rare CD drive/hardware combos.
I seem to recall it made my CD-R and DVD±R/W drives spin-up to some strangely high speeds (creating a high pitched whine and whirring). And this also occured with some other games, but I can't recall which. No earthquakes or HCF though.]]

Whoa, maybe its not as rare as I thought. Well, strangely high speeds is probably the problem. The earthquake part may be unique to my hardware. It was a notebook computer, light enough it seems, that a high speed vibrating drive can move it across the desk. As for the HCF, all my fans kicked in full blast within 10 seconds of inserting the CD after it sped up. Then the heat alarm on my notebook began beeping. Within 20 seconds it automatically cut power. Come to think of it, all the fans going at top speed may have contributed to the earthquake also.

If this happens often, it might explain why it relativity easy to convince Microsoft to send me a Dungeon Siege CD without copy protection on it (the source of the speedy drive bug, it seems). Honestly, I was just ranting and raving about intellectual property crap to them without expecting to accomplish anything except the satisfaction of complaining. I didn't actually expect them to give me an unprotected CD:)

2007-12-01
But how should we tag it? We know it's _likely_ caused by the copy-protection used, but the only information I can find for Dungeon Siege is that it used CD checks and nothing else, which shouldn't cause it in any case unless it was some more complex custom made CP thing. Of course, we could make a generic bug tag that doesn't say anything about the cause, only the effect (spin-up and heating).

2007-12-04
I did some experimenting to see what exactly was going on. This time, with a nice quick little "shutdown now!" script running in a console and waiting for the any key to be pressed. When the copy protection driver was uninstalled (not easy), the game did not cause the HCF. It behaved normally when inserted and allowed itself to be installed with no unnusual effects. But it of course the game crashes to desktop when I try to play it and no CP driver is present. Once the CP driver was reinstalled, it HFCed again, even thought the game was already installed at that point. And again, the DS disk without copy protection that Microsoft sent me did not cause an HCF either. Both disks contain v1.11 of DS. I also tried the DS-HCF disk on 9 other computers and 15 other drives, no problems. I used 3 external writable drives on my notebook (where the origin HCF occurred) I concluded only certain writable drives (not just writable drives alone) and the copy protection scheme were closely associated to the HCF.

2007-12-11
NX bit also causes issues with copy protection and especially anti-hack schemes, so it should be recorded as well.

This is handled through DEP on Windows, PaX/Exec Shield on Linux, W^X on BSD and whatever else on others.

So.. what to call it? Some of the non-x86 CPUs supported by BSD and Linux apparently also have "hardware" support for the thing, though I'm not sure if we need to care of that. NXbitconflict is the only thing I can think of.

2008-05-16
Some games seem to have issues with multi-core systems like both [[game:Rage of Mages]] games do.

I'm pretty sure it's just an issue with unsynced threads, which on single-core systems (~99% of the time) doesn't cause problems.

Alternatively this may be related to the timer issue, but I doubt that.

2008-05-16
Just a thought, what happens if you set affinity to CPU 0 only for the game? What about setting affinity to CPU 0 only for all processes (requires hacking)?

2008-05-16
Just a thought, what happens if you set affinity to CPU 0 only for the game?

This is the only way users can circumvent programming errors that break apps in multi-core systems. It's as it sounds, the game runs only on that single core.

What about setting affinity to CPU 0 only for all processes (requires hacking)?

Ehh? If I understood the question correctly (which I doubt... "only for all processes"?), this would be pretty much the same as running an OS that doesn't support multiple CPUs (e.g. pre-NT Windows O/S), which would leave all the other cores besides the "first" completely unused.

2017-03-31
Update: The Dungeon Siege 'earth quake' is not that unique. Turns out there was once a common phenomena of "walking drives" in the computer industry. Reading and writing from a large disks in certain patterns could cause the drives to develop a building wobble much like a washing machine with an unbalanced load. It could be sever enough that the hard drive unit, even units bigger and heavier than refrigerators, would jump and travel across the floor just like a washing machine. This was also called "Maytag mode". Some programmers even created applications to do it on purpose. Others came up with hardware and software solutions to prevent the drives from entering patterns that induced "Maytag mode". Well the problem when away when hard drive platters 14 inches or wider were no longer manufactured. Anyway, modern times, optical disk drives are now running at speeds that create a variety of similar problems. The DRM with Dungeon Siege is rapidly switching back and forth trying to read two different areas of the CD (and aborting to seek the other data each time, it never actually makes it to reading) while the speed of the drive is being sped and slowed in an attempt to match the speed required for each read, and never matching either. Tada, Maytag mode.