Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

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shrapnel1977
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Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

Hi All,

This is my first post but since my journey with Arculator began but I've read plenty of them, thanks for letting me in.

I have a problem with my A5000 VM on Arculator 2.0 that has been stumping me. I had things running pretty well with Sparkplug running from the HostFS to unpack various archives I'd found for various classic games, etc...

I decided, for a reason that now eludes me, to install an HDD into the machine. After much learning/breaking/fixing/learning again I managed to get a 50Mb HDD setup using the IDEa podule, I can read and write merrily to this new disk 4 within RISC OS.

However, since I added the HDD Sparkplug fails when started (or if I double click an archive file) after a timeout period with the error:

Internal error, trap while in trap handler: Data Abort, pc = A0024368: registers at 0002717C (screenshot attached).

If I remove the disk in the machine config it goes back to as before and Sparkplug works fine.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to why this might be, and what I could do about it? Or indeed if there are alternative unpackers to Sparkplug I could try using instead to unpack ffb archives.

Additionally, while I am at it, as I am struggling to understand why I wanted an HDD on the machine in the first place, is there any actual benefit to putting an HDD onto the VM within Arculator, or am I just as well using HostFS as my virtual HDD?

Many thanks in advance for any help.

[EDIT: It actually seems now that removing the HDD does not revert Sparkplug back to a working state, so I am guessing something is wrong with the app install.]
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IanJeffray
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by IanJeffray »

Are you running the latest SparkPlug? https://www.davidpilling.com/free.html
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by paintings »

shrapnel1977 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:21 am
Additionally, while I am at it, as I am struggling to understand why I wanted an HDD on the machine in the first place, is there any actual benefit to putting an HDD onto the VM within Arculator, or am I just as well using HostFS as my virtual HDD?
Some applications won't work from HostFS, but will run happily from (emulated) hard disc.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

IanJeffray wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:51 pm
Are you running the latest SparkPlug? https://www.davidpilling.com/free.html
Yep, downloaded from that very link.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

It's quite strange because it was working for a while yesterday and i was able to unpack a number of files. I connected it to the HDD setup but it does not seem related.

The issue occurs now with Sparkplug on a complete new machine in Arculator, and on an A3000 I have had setup for a while, and having an HDD there or not seems to make no difference.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

I should add that I also followed this article for the Sparkplug setup:

http://www.4corn.co.uk/articles/sparkplug/
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by IanJeffray »

Curious. I've just double-checked for you - downloaded 2.26, unpacked it, run on Arculator 2.0, no issues.
Could it be that you're softloading something else first that's conflicting with this? I see you've got no !Boot there, but you've run !Edit - anything else?
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by IanS »

Sparkplug is a great way to get up and running, but I'd not recommend using it long time.

Try the read-only SparkFS or Spark - https://www.davidpilling.com/spark.html
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by helpful »

There's a self extracting SparkFS here in case you have no working extractor! - https://www.riscosopen.org/content/downloads/common

Or InfoZip here - http://www.starfighter.acornarcade.com/ ... tm#infozip
RISC OS User Group Of London - http://www.rougol.jellybaby.net/
RISC OS London Show - http://www.riscoslondonshow.co.uk/
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

IanJeffray wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:35 pm
Curious. I've just double-checked for you - downloaded 2.26, unpacked it, run on Arculator 2.0, no issues.
Could it be that you're softloading something else first that's conflicting with this? I see you've got no !Boot there, but you've run !Edit - anything else?
Hi Ian,

I didn't have anything else running (to my knowledge anyway!), the !edit was there because I'd just done a fresh install on a new machine and had to open the !Run to comment out the IF statement.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

Thanks guys, I will check out these other options. I did find Infozip but it wasn't a self-extracter but now I have that version thanks.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

Okay so I tried both InfoZip and SparkFS and get different errors for both, this is looking very odd but it seems like any self-extractors have a problem on my build.. Well, not just this build but even a vanilla machine I create.

Screenshots attached, both errors relate to "SWI" - not sure what that could be?:

Any help greatly appreciated.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by IanJeffray »

I suspect you're trying to run 32bit apps on RISC OS 3.1 (which is 26bit).
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by helpful »

IanJeffray wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:32 pm
I suspect you're trying to run 32bit apps on RISC OS 3.1 (which is 26bit).
32bit apps will run on 26bit RISC OS, it's the other way round that's a problem!

The errors are probably because they are trying to use features of a newer version of the Shared C Library :-(
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

The ROMS I was able to find are for RISC OS 3.11.

Should I try to seek out a newer version? I think Arculator supports up to V3.19?
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by IanJeffray »

helpful wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:41 pm
IanJeffray wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:32 pm
I suspect you're trying to run 32bit apps on RISC OS 3.1 (which is 26bit).
32bit apps will run on 26bit RISC OS, it's the other way round that's a problem!

The errors are probably because they are trying to use features of a newer version of the Shared C Library :-(
However you wish to split hairs (I've done the 32bit conversions on my 26bit apps...), the OP appears to have versions of software that aren't suited for the version of OS they've being run on. Either choose to run !Boot and pull in all the newer stuff, (recommended, but can eat up a lot of RAM and boot time) or use version appropriate to the OS modules in ROM.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by IanJeffray »

shrapnel1977 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:01 pm
Should I try to seek out a newer version? I think Arculator supports up to V3.19?
No. 3.11 is what you want. Anything else is a distraction (3.19 is essentially just a German 3.11...)

But what you need are apps which are suitable for that version of the OS.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

IanJeffray wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:08 pm
shrapnel1977 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:01 pm
Should I try to seek out a newer version? I think Arculator supports up to V3.19?
No. 3.11 is what you want. Anything else is a distraction (3.19 is essentially just a German 3.11...)

But what you need are apps which are suitable for that version of the OS.
Okay, thanks Ian. I see that Infozip above seems to be for RISC OS 5, but AFAIK Sparkplug 2.26 should work and the SparkFS self-extractor doesn't seem to provide version information for the OS.

Getting hold of libraries and so on seems to mostly rely on me having a functioning archive extractor though so I guess I'm falling into a pit of despair. :(
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by IanJeffray »

shrapnel1977 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:43 pm
Getting hold of libraries and so on seems to mostly rely on me having a functioning archive extractor though so I guess I'm falling into a pit of despair. :(
Yes, SparkPlug should be your reliable archiving "Bootstrap" so it's very odd to see an issue here.

Have you tried configuring Arculator for different machine types perhaps?
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

I had tried a few different types yes.

Anyway, so much for the pit of despair, I seem to have fixed it!

During my efforts to get the IDE disk working previously I had downloaded an IDE utils Disk package that was supplied by Watford Electronics. This had a !System that was able to use Sysmerge to bring in and since doing that Sparkplug works fine.

Crikey.

Thanks for all the assistance, still not sure what this new !System has in it that my old !System didn't, but it seems to have done the trick.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by IanJeffray »

shrapnel1977 wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:55 pm
Thanks for all the assistance, still not sure what this new !System has in it that my old !System didn't, but it seems to have done the trick.
You said you'd hacked the SparkPlug !Run so it wasn't looking for !System though.
It doesn't load anything from !System.
I'm not sure you've really changed anything of meaning... sounds like you've got other weirdness going on to me.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

There is a certain weirdness indeed. However, I built a completely fresh machine that booted from the ROMS that had the same issue, in terms of "going back to square one"/ is there more I could try? such as blanking out Arculator configs?


(Thanks for the PM Ian, I am too new on here to be allowed to reply to it but I will give it a go, thanks)
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

You're quite right Ian, after a system reset I am back to having the same problem, and the previous hacky fix doesn't make any difference. The issue also persists with the version of Sparkplug you sent me.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by paintings »

SparkPlug v2.28 and 2.29 expect to find Universal Boot (as supplied with RISC OS 3.7). They will not work on a vanilla RISC OS 3.1 (or 3.11) installation.

SparkPlug v2.26 is your best bet. Stick to a 16-colour mode (e.g. mode 27) as SparkPlug doesn't like high-colour modes (or was SparkFS that was picky about screen modes? Memory like a sieve...)

One really important point: Check that CSD (Currently Selected Directory) is set to somewhere that actually exists. SparkPlug won't work if CSD is set wrongly.

Press F12 to get to the command line, then enter: *cat
If that produces a directory listing, all is well. Press Enter to return to the desktop.

If you get an error message such as "Bad drive", this indicates that CSD points to an inaccessible location. Try entering: *Dir :4.$
then try *Cat again.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

paintings wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:39 pm
SparkPlug v2.28 and 2.29 expect to find Universal Boot (as supplied with RISC OS 3.7). They will not work on a vanilla RISC OS 3.1 (or 3.11) installation.

SparkPlug v2.26 is your best bet. Stick to a 16-colour mode (e.g. mode 27) as SparkPlug doesn't like high-colour modes (or was SparkFS that was picky about screen modes? Memory like a sieve...)

One really important point: Check that CSD (Currently Selected Directory) is set to somewhere that actually exists. SparkPlug won't work if CSD is set wrongly.

Press F12 to get to the command line, then enter: *cat
If that produces a directory listing, all is well. Press Enter to return to the desktop.

If you get an error message such as "Bad drive", this indicates that CSD points to an inaccessible location. Try entering: *Dir :4.$
then try *Cat again.
I need to do some more testing, given the weirdness here, but the fix seems to be in this. By default *cat returned "bad drive" - I am not sure what it would be defaulting to? Maybe the empty FDD. Once I set it to a valid location Sparkplug started up fine.

Is there a way I can set the OS to default to a valid drive on startup? I will do some digging and see if I can find out.
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by paintings »

shrapnel1977 wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:08 pm
Is there a way I can set the OS to default to a valid drive on startup? I will do some digging and see if I can find out.
If you haven't found the answer yet, the usual method is the *Configure command.

For example, to set ADFS drive 4 as the default, you would enter:
*configure filesystem adfs
*configure drive 4

Reboot, then check that it has worked by entering: *cat
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Re: Sparkplug problem since HDD setup in Arculator 2.0

Post by shrapnel1977 »

Thanks paintings, that worked for me in the end.. The only difference being that my filesystem statement needed to be IDEFS and not ADFS.

Thanks again everyone for all your help solving this.
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