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Hi all

while looking for ways to combat the constant crashing I've been experiencing with MAX it was suggested to me that I try updating the extender that MAX uses from v1.97 to v2.01 as that fixes quite a few of the problems that uses experience with the older 1.97 version so after looking round the web I came across this on MAXr.org
CHANGING DOS EXTENDERS - MIGHT BE THE SOLUTION FOR ALL OF US

- M.A.X. and nearly all other DOS programs uses the DOS/4GW 1.97 DOS Extender from Tenberry Software to get Extended memory support through DPMI services. Basically, all 16 bit protected mode DOS LEs (linear executables) which needs Extended memory and other stuff, needs an extender. The Extender can be binded to an LE executable, so the Extender will self contain (wrap around) the "true" executable.

Unfortunately, the DOS/4GW 1.97 has some serious issues, listed here: http://www.tenberry.com/...rn4gw.html . The most important thing is this: "A bug in our DPMI INT 31h/0800h caused mappings of 4MB or to be misaligned." No wonder that the game crashes, as memory usage increases.

Fortunately for us, the original DOS/4GW 1.97 Extender stub can be unbinded from the binded executables (1.00 PR demo, 1.04 retail, 1.56 beta) and this way we can get the original DOS LE executables. After this procedure, a new Extender stub can be binded to the LE executables or we can use the unbinded executables with a different Extender core.

I have tested the unbinded v1.04 MAX executable with the PMODE/W, DOS32A and DOS/4GW 2.01 Extenders and they seems to be much more stable. I have played 136 turns in a custom game against 3 computer players without any freezes or crashes so far. The DOS/4GW 2.01 seems to be the most stable.

To unbind the old DOS Extender from your executables, download the PMODE/W free to use Extender from it's official site: http://www.sid6581.net/...et/pmodew/ and use the PMWBIND utility like this: PMWBIND /U MAX.EXE

To use the DOS/4GW 2.01 Extender without binding the LE executable, just type in: DOS4GW MAX.LE and it will run.

The DOSBOX emulator also supports this method, you can simply load the LE executable with the DOS32A Extender enabled and it will run.

- The next important thing is that the unbinded LE executables can be loaded into IDA PRO and it recognizes nearly everything. Finally there is hope that the inner game mechanics will be decoded based on the original, proper MAX executables.

- Last but not least, the DOSBOX emulator has two Debug builds. With them, it is possible to debug a DOS/4GW binded application on a single PC in a "user friendly" environment.

That is all for now

Best regards,
mague
the problem I'm having is that the this post is not very clear and as a result I'm having a few difficulties and I was wondering if anyone who understands this could explain in a little more detail what you are supposed to do

anyway I downloaded the files in the thread I then extracted them to the desktop copied the MAXRUN.exe to the pmw133 folder and then made a little batch file called unbind with the following command PMWBIND /U MAXRUN.EXE

when I ran the batch file it produced MAXRUN.LE so I assume this means that it successfully unbound the Executable from the old dos extender this however is where I've become a little unstuck because I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do next.

now from what I can gather I can either rebind MAXRUN.LE to the updated DOS/4GW extender and then just copy the updated DOS/4GW.exe & the rebound MAXRUN.exe back to the MAX folder allowing them to overwrite the files that are there at which time I can just launce the game as normal

or I can run the unbound MAXRUN.LE with any extender I like trouble is I'm not quite sure how you do either of these things because its not really well explained

here
http://www.maxr.org/showtopic.php?id=510&page=1&s=2304bcec31d8870d04ae2dcb63e0e7dd

or here
http://www.gog.com/en/forum/m_a_x_series/m_a_x_i_fixed_memory_assertion_error_that_occurs_in_late_large_games/

so what do I do next can anyone explain ?
Post edited July 01, 2011 by Cursed-Ghost
Hey, I hope I am not too late! I have been trying doing what Klei said, and its working pretty well so far.

You can run the unbounded LE file with any extender you like.

My modification in the config file(the very end of the file!) (dosboxMAX1.conf in the MAX directory) for dosbox looks like this:

DOS4GW Maxrun.LE -fD:\MAX
EXIT

instead of

Maxrun.exe -fD:\MAX
EXIT

First I used "DOS/4G v2.01a" to extend MAX. After backing up my old DOS4GW.EXE to DOS4GW.BAK, I renamed the NEW DOS4G.EXE to DOS4GW.EXE.
MAX starts without issues. To make sure the new file is in use, you can check the name of the running application in dosbox window mode. Originally it should be "Maxrun" but after you made the changes its " DOS4GW"

I am using another Extender now, DOS/32 Advanced DOS Extender.
http://dos32a.narechk.net/index_en.html
Instead of rewriting all my config files, I just renamed dos32a.exe to DOS4GW.exe
This way Maxrun.exe is not needed anymore, you can backup the file too.

To replace the old start mechanism for all occasions, such as ipx multiplayer, you have to edit the following files, for example, with the good old notepad.

dosboxMAX1.conf
dosboxMAX1_server.conf
CONNECT.BAT

My CONNECT.BAT looks like this

IPXNET CONNECT %1
DOS4GW Maxrun.LE -fD:\MAX
EXIT

I hope this helps
Post edited August 09, 2011 by Sal4
avatar
Sal4: Hey, I hope I am not too late! I have been trying doing what Klei said, and its working pretty well so far.

You can run the unbounded LE file with any extender you like.

My modification in the config file(the very end of the file!) (dosboxMAX1.conf in the MAX directory) for dosbox looks like this:

DOS4GW Maxrun.LE -fD:\MAX
EXIT

instead of

Maxrun.exe -fD:\MAX
EXIT

First I used "DOS/4G v2.01a" to extend MAX. After backing up my old DOS4GW.EXE to DOS4GW.BAK, I renamed the NEW DOS4G.EXE to DOS4GW.EXE.
MAX starts without issues. To make sure the new file is in use, you can check the name of the running application in dosbox window mode. Originally it should be "Maxrun" but after you made the changes its " DOS4GW"

I am using another Extender now, DOS/32 Advanced DOS Extender.
http://dos32a.narechk.net/index_en.html
Instead of rewriting all my config files, I just renamed dos32a.exe to DOS4GW.exe
This way Maxrun.exe is not needed anymore, you can backup the file too.

To replace the old start mechanism for all occasions, such as ipx multiplayer, you have to edit the following files, for example, with the good old notepad.

dosboxMAX1.conf
dosboxMAX1_server.conf
CONNECT.BAT

My CONNECT.BAT looks like this

IPXNET CONNECT %1
DOS4GW Maxrun.LE -fD:\MAX
EXIT

I hope this helps
yeah that's a little more clear as it happens after some playing round i worked out how to run the maxrun.le by editing the config file and for the most part it seems to be working ok it seems however that some of the errors I've been getting are actually due to the 1.04 executable there is one particular crash i know is related to the 1.04 executable

this one i believe http://postimage.org/image/1zwmfoyh0/

because i had a save game at about 75 turns and every time i would end turn when playing v1.04 it would crash but if i loaded the same save game using the 1.00 executable it would end turn just fine so i just deleted that save game and started again and this is when i was running 1.04 with the DOS/4G v2.01a extender
Post edited August 18, 2011 by Cursed-Ghost
avatar
Sal4: Hey, I hope I am not too late! I have been trying doing what Klei said, and its working pretty well so far.

You can run the unbounded LE file with any extender you like.

My modification in the config file(the very end of the file!) (dosboxMAX1.conf in the MAX directory) for dosbox looks like this:

DOS4GW Maxrun.LE -fD:\MAX
EXIT

instead of

Maxrun.exe -fD:\MAX
EXIT

First I used "DOS/4G v2.01a" to extend MAX. After backing up my old DOS4GW.EXE to DOS4GW.BAK, I renamed the NEW DOS4G.EXE to DOS4GW.EXE.
MAX starts without issues. To make sure the new file is in use, you can check the name of the running application in dosbox window mode. Originally it should be "Maxrun" but after you made the changes its " DOS4GW"

I am using another Extender now, DOS/32 Advanced DOS Extender.
http://dos32a.narechk.net/index_en.html
Instead of rewriting all my config files, I just renamed dos32a.exe to DOS4GW.exe
This way Maxrun.exe is not needed anymore, you can backup the file too.

To replace the old start mechanism for all occasions, such as ipx multiplayer, you have to edit the following files, for example, with the good old notepad.

dosboxMAX1.conf
dosboxMAX1_server.conf
CONNECT.BAT

My CONNECT.BAT looks like this

IPXNET CONNECT %1
DOS4GW Maxrun.LE -fD:\MAX
EXIT

I hope this helps
avatar
Cursed-Ghost: yeah that's a little more clear as it happens after some playing round i worked out how to run the maxrun.le by editing the config file and for the most part it seems to be working ok it seems however that some of the errors I've been getting are actually due to the 1.04 executable there is one particular crash i know is related to the 1.04 executable

this one i believe http://postimage.org/image/1zwmfoyh0/

because i had a save game at about 75 turns and every time i would end turn when playing v1.04 it would crash but if i loaded the same save game using the 1.00 executable it would end turn just fine so i just deleted that save game and started again and this is when i was running 1.04 with the DOS/4G v2.01a extender
Sadly, it crashed for us too. Though it looked really promising at the beginning.
The same error :/
http://i52.tinypic.com/2ppyp21.jpg

Thanks for the replies though,

sal
Post edited August 26, 2011 by Sal4
I am pretty sure I have seen a fanmade DOSBOX patch that was made to stop those crashes. Never tried the thing (have no experience with the M.A.X. game itself).

I think it was called "Mike's DOSBOX patch" or so, try to google for it.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for that kyrub. The site which distributes the patch also distributes copies of the game so I won't link here, but it's easy to find using the search terms given. Has anyone had luck with this patch?
I checked The Mikes site and well, the patch seems to be an automated installation routine of 1.04 and that's it. Nothing fancy.
Has anyone ever (back in the day, now, DOS patches whatever) got to, say, turn 200 on a game? Ever?
avatar
mark_uk: Has anyone ever (back in the day, now, DOS patches whatever) got to, say, turn 200 on a game? Ever?
Sure, with enough saves and luck, you can get FAR ( if you are don't crush the AI at some point =)
This is my old game, crashed with thz old DOS4GW, less crashing with the new one =)
For multilayer maxr is till number ;D Especially the latest debug builds.
Attachments:
max0117.jpg (133 Kb)
I'd like to thank Cursed-Ghost & Sal4 for the information they provided, it has allowed me to move my installation to Dosbox, which among other things fixes the screen-distortion issues the GOG wrapper causes when Alt-TAB-bing.

BTW, here's a working link for PMODE/W since the links in the OP post no longer work:

http://www.programmersheaven.com/download/1366/Download.aspx
Lazy fix for the above:

M.A.X. 1.56 pre-patched executables with multiple alternatives extenders, including:

DOS4GW 2.01a PRO (good)
DOS32a build 912 (better)
WDOSX 0.97 (best for my machine)

h t t p s : / / w w w.dropbox.com/s/2rbw7uv8arixvul/MAX156fix.zip

M.A.X. 1.56 base:

h t t p : / / w w w.rumaxclub.ru/files.asp
avatar
steinerrr: Lazy fix for the above:

M.A.X. 1.56 pre-patched executables with multiple alternatives extenders, including:

DOS4GW 2.01a PRO (good)
DOS32a build 912 (better)
WDOSX 0.97 (best for my machine)

h t t p s : / / w w w.dropbox.com/s/2rbw7uv8arixvul/MAX156fix.zip

M.A.X. 1.56 base:

h t t p : / / w w w.rumaxclub.ru/files.asp
Hello Steiner, looks nice so far. Did you test this in long multiplayer matches? Does it fix issues?
last time I played 1.56 the connection was even worse and had many "ID "missing things.

Best regards,

Sal
avatar
steinerrr: Lazy fix for the above:

M.A.X. 1.56 pre-patched executables with multiple alternatives extenders, including:

DOS4GW 2.01a PRO (good)
DOS32a build 912 (better)
WDOSX 0.97 (best for my machine)

h t t p s : / / w w w.dropbox.com/s/2rbw7uv8arixvul/MAX156fix.zip

M.A.X. 1.56 base:

h t t p : / / w w w.rumaxclub.ru/files.asp
Hi, can you update dropbox link?

Hi, can you update dropbox link?
Link still bad...
Hi Guys,

Sorry, forgot I moved the file.

Also, it is better to use standard version M.A.X. 1.04 as I discovered, as 1.56 has a few nasty AI bugs, making the AI dumber.


So, here is a permanent link to MAX 1.04 patched with DOS32a extender.
I am currently running a game vs godlike AI 1vs1 at turn 412 with no issues - using simultaneous turns.

Please note, there may also be performance issues in huge games like this, as with giant amounts of units flooding the entire map it becomes extremely CPU demanding. In addition to DOS32a extender I recommend using manual CPU cycles 200,000+, normal2x graphics scaler and frameskip 1x, even if you have a latest Corei7.



h t t p s : / / w w w .dropbox.com/s/05yze5nre9aaz4g/MAX1.04patchedDOS32a.zip?dl=0