Articles under FAQs

Can I use chdman to put a CHD file back onto a hard disk?

Yes you can, at least under Windows. You have to be logged in as administrator, and you have to know which physical volume your target hard disk is mapped as. The easiest way to do that on Windows XP and later is to right click on My Computer and select Manage from the menu. In the Computer Management window, in the tree on the lefthand side, select Disk Management. That will show you a list of all the physical hard disks you have plugged in. They will be listed as "Disk 0", "Disk 1", etc. Make a note of which disk number your target hard disk is.

Once you've done that, it's easy to "image" the CHD file onto the disk. Just use the following syntax:

    chdman -extract imagename.chd \\.\PHYSICALDRIVEn

where "imagename.chd" is the name of the CHD file, and the "n" next to PHYSICALDRIVE is the disk number you figured out above.

This technique has been used by several people to restore dead hard drives on arcade games. Note that you can also use chdman to create a backup of a hard disk image in much the same way:

    chdman -createhd \\.\PHYSICALDRIVEn imagename.chd

Which is how most of the CHD images have been created.

Why doesn’t MAME support xxxx compression in addition to ZIP?

This is a pretty common question, and one that always baffles me. ZIP is extremely well-supported through a free, cross-platform library, and has been a standard for at least a decade. Yes, there are many new up-and-coming compression algorithms that squeeze an extra few percent out of things, but they are generally (a) strictly coded for a particular platform, like 7zip (though I understand this is changing), or (b) proprietary, like RAR.

Furthermore, what most people really fail to realize is that there is absolutely no incentive for the MAME developers to add support for another compression format. For one thing, it only makes the MAME core more complicated, dependent on more external libraries, and prone to bugs.

But even beyond that, what is the real benefit of getting that extra few percentage points of compression? While I realize there are plenty of people out there who feel that life is not worthwhile unless they have an absolutely perfect, audited collection of ROMs on their machines, I honestly don't see why MAME should bend over backwards to ensure that they can accomplish this in a few less MB. I mean, if you're really so cheap that you have to pirate all your software, you can at least cough up a few extra dollars to buy a bigger hard disk.

In short, ZIP is good enough, and has a ton of benefits to it. Adding support for anything else merely says, "Hey, we're in it for the ROMz." And quite frankly, I don't think that benefits MAME in any way.

Hey, you have a bug in game xxxxx. Can you fix it?

Probably, but complaining to me directly will just annoy me and won't get your bug fixed. If you have found a legitimate bug, go to the message board over at MAME Testers and post a message there. The bug will get added to the database, and eventually I will go back and try to fix the bugs that have been reported. I have no interest in dropping everything to go fix your pet problem unless it's something really interesting. But if it's a legitimate problem, I will eventually get around to it. You just need to be patient!

Where did the Radikal Bikers Emulator go?

Well, here's the first entry for my FAQs section, since I've received this question several times in the last few weeks. Ever since the news of its existence fell off the main page, there's no longer an obvious link to my Radikal Bikers standalone emulator ... or is there? Have a look on the left column, I finally created a new page to make an official home for this little experiment. If anyone feels I left out important details, feel free to let me know and I'll update the page.