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Naomi NetDimm disable memory checking

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raycade View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Aug 2020 at 3:32pm
I'm running a Naomi 2 with a NetDimm (v4.02) and load games over the network.
The process is a bit slow as the system is restarting several times.
I was thinking is it possible to disable the memory checking process?
The memory is fine don't need to check that all the time.

It is doing that every time a new game is loaded into the RAM of the Net Dimm it would be nice if that memory check proces can be turned off with a jumper or something like that.

Could that be fixed with an update of the 4.02 rom?

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Chunksin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chunksin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2020 at 4:15pm
I believe it's in the Naomi BIOS and although the protection has been bypassed as part of the multi region release, BIOS modification is pretty hardcore and there aren't many folks around who could achieve it. There's been talk of this over on arcade projects for a while and lots of people would like it done but it needs someone to step forward and take it on.

p1pkin was the guy who released the multi region BIOS:



Edited by Chunksin - 20 Aug 2020 at 4:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fantazia2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2020 at 4:40pm
Originally posted by Chunksin Chunksin wrote:

I believe it's in the Naomi BIOS and although the protection has been bypassed as part of the multi region release, BIOS modification is pretty hardcore and there aren't many folks around who could achieve it. There's been talk of this over on arcade projects for a while and lots of people would like it done but it needs someone to step forward and take it on.

p1pkin was the guy who released the multi region BIOS:


Also I think that Multi RegionBIOS mod was also quite easy to do(Well in terms of modifying a BIOS at least), I remember seeing notes somewhere with it saying the multi region thing was already in the BIOS just not enabled.

I would have thought the memory check thing would be part of the firmware on the DIMM itself, but the only mods Ive heard about for the firmware was to remove the check for the model of CF card reader in 4.02 and there was also talk of a firmware a while ago that let you run games from a CD-ROM but apparently it was time limited before the game would crash out. Im not sure that ever got released into the wild, and guessing it could have possibly come from a development setup making it easy for game makers to test games by burning CDs.


Edited by Fantazia2 - 20 Aug 2020 at 4:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2020 at 5:07pm
Originally posted by Fantazia2 Fantazia2 wrote:

...there was also talk of a firmware a while ago that let you run games from a CD-ROM but apparently it was time limited before the game would crash out. Im not sure that ever got released into the wild, and guessing it could have possibly come from a development setup making it easy for game makers to test games by burning CDs.

If they got games running off of CD-ROM, would there then be a possibility to port the Dreamcast version of Soul Calibur to the Naomi I wonder?

I've always wondered how hard it would be to get Soul Calibur running on Naomi hardware.
I know that you can plug a Dreamcast in to a Universal cab, but its a faff if you are only setup for Naomi and it would be nice for it to be running natively like the Atomiswave games can do.
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Chunksin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chunksin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2020 at 5:08pm
Yeah, you're right, the CHECKING MEMORY text appears in the dimm firmware, not the Naomi BIOS. The CD ROM support sounds interesting, and I wonder what would happen if you tried burning the dev bios that was dumped into MAME? might give that a go
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chunksin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2020 at 6:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raycade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2020 at 9:42am
@Chunksin: thanks for point out this link. Interesting read.

@all: I believe it has nothing to do with the Naomi Bios, but with the bios of the NetDimm.
Does anyone know where to find the source code of 4.02? I would like to have a look at it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chunksin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2020 at 9:55am
I looked but couldn't find it online, you'd need to disassemble the BIOS bin file using IDA or similar



Edited by Chunksin - 21 Aug 2020 at 10:05am
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raycade View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raycade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2020 at 10:49am
Thanks!

Does anyone know who made the 4.02 version?



Edited by raycade - 21 Aug 2020 at 10:49am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bobbydilley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2020 at 12:18pm
R.E The CD rom booting, it does work but it offers you nothing you don't already have.

You can netboot any binary you like, just in the same way you could burn a CD or burn a GD-ROM if you had the equiptment and boot that. They're all analogus and the medium that you're doing it on doesn't unlock anything you can't already do by simply netbooting a file you've made.

R.E Netbooting a BIOS, the games have a header at the top that explains to the Naomi where to load the binary data and to what address it should start executing the code. Loading a bios via netboot is probably doable but you'd have to put a header on the bios file so that it loaded into the correct place I suspect. 

The working HOTD2 Netboot solution has some interesting custom loader code to overwrite the bios allowing HOTD2 to work properly, this sort of suggests that it might be more complex than just fiddling with the header.

I currently know some guys that are looking at removing the memory check + the keychip check from the netbooting firmware - so hopefully they'll be succesful and we'll have a faster netbooting system that doesn't require keychips soon!
https://dilley.uk/arcade
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fantazia2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2020 at 12:36pm
There was already a solution to not needing keychips, I think it was a python script that kept running to reset a timer. 

It allowed you to netboot without even needing a zero pic, it did something like upload a rom and then sat in a loop sending the same command to the NetDIMM over and over.

I wasnt aware they had gotten HOTD2 net booting now, last I saw they could get it to netboot but it wouldnt run properly due to the special BIOS it used.



Edited by Fantazia2 - 21 Aug 2020 at 12:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bobbydilley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2020 at 12:56pm
Yep that’s the current solution that I use - the script constantly resets the NetDimm so it doesn’t get a chance to check the keychip and tell the game it’s not there. It works but requires whatever device you netbooted from to remain on and sending the command so it’s not ideal.

HOTD2 works perfectly now, and you can get the rom from arcade projects :)

The rom loads the HOTD2 bios temporarily onto your Naomi as well as the game which fixes the issues.
https://dilley.uk/arcade
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raycade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 4:15pm
My mission is to get the software checking out of the 4.02 rom, ultimately create a new updated rom for the Net Dimm where you can enable or disable the memory check feature. Which increases game booting a lot as this memory check is done twice.

I got in touch with some people who helped me a bit further. Thanks for those who responded.

I have a question to help me further as the whole Naomi and Naomi Development is entirely new to me.

The bios firmware, what code is it? Is it the SH4 7091 CPU code that is running this as a bootstrap, or is it firmware of a micro controller on the NetDimm?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chunksin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 4:22pm
I've got some good news: https://www.arcade-projects.com/forums/index.php?thread/14549-no-more-pesky-memory-checkings-on-netdimm/&postID=237028#post237028

If you aren't a member or don't want to sign up, post copied below:

================================

Dear everyone!

Haven't you have had enough of changing your game, rebooting your Naomi, only to have that pesky "Checking Memory Please wait" message all the time?

Well; FEAR NOT! for the solution is at hand!

What would it take? A patched DIMM firmware you would assume? Well, it does not!

Thanks to nifty hidden Sega feature in the DIMM firmware, you too can get rid of the annoying message!

All you have to do is to add this line

Source Code

  1. s.send(struct.pack(">IIIIIIIIH", 0x00000001, 0x1a008104, 0x01000000, 0xf0fffe3f, 0x0000ffff, 0xffffffff, 0xffff0000, 0x00000000, 0x0000))


after

Source Code

  1. SECURITY_SetKeycode("\x00" * 8)

(as this enforces the memory checks for some reasons)

Oh! And the cherry on top? The flag remains as long as your dimm board is powered using a battery!

Here is the modified triforcetools.py script that contains this change: mega.nz/file/AtknSJqJ#EsQ8wMKc…d3cwyoVjqqtcBiB-5F61IRVfM

Unfortunately because this relies on a network packet, this skip will only work on netdimms, CF or GD-ROM would likely truly require a firmware patch.

All Credits for this discovery and implementations go to:

@mathieulh
@bobbydilley
@chunksin
@whatnot

Cheers!


Edited by Chunksin - 26 Aug 2020 at 4:24pm
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Chunksin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chunksin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 4:30pm
If you're interested in the tools that made it possible and you want to investigate further you can grab them here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Dz_hBNwfcPPRdPRnVjrqba3gtt3WTH8J/view?usp=sharing
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 4:57pm
AMAZING! Thank you so much for this.
I'm trying this out tonight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raycade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 5:25pm
What a coincidence that other people where looking at this at exactly the same time.

I've not yet figured out what they do. It seems to be that you have to setup a network with a router and then push something to the NetDimm using python.

My setup is just a NaoChiTri (PI kinda thingie) and then crosslinked to the NetDimm.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chunksin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 5:50pm
Oh yeah, I remember you mentioned it, it's an Olimex ESP32-Gateway microcontroller, someone has rewritten the code to run off an Arduino, with the added screen I should think it's a similar price to an equivalent pi netbooter so not sure what the advantage is. Would be good to see it in action and what the differences are if any to a pi netbooter.

Edited by Chunksin - 26 Aug 2020 at 5:50pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2020 at 10:19pm
I've given it a try and its working great! Although for some reason Street Fighter Zero Upper seems to still do a memory check. I did change the region on that game, so that might be why thats the odd one out.

I made a quick video of it working as well so people could see it working.
I've linked back to this thread. Apologies for my voice, I tend to mumble LOL

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bbz149 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 2020 at 6:40pm
This is awesome! Thumbs Up for this to work on my setup, I had to add line after:

def SECURITY_SetKeycode(data):
assert len(data) == 8
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