Game Doctor SF7
Comment 1: Carl Industries (US importers) and Bung Enterprises presents the Professor SF2 (top left is US version) SNES backup unit. This is the US version of Hong Kong's number one selling unit, the Game Doctor SF 7. People love it because it's very reliable and has tons of great features. These units "piggyback" onto your SNES system, and allow you to back up your SNES cartridge games to floppy disks. You then need only the disks to play your games, through the unit's built in 3.5" disk drive. Its unique feature is that it is able to have multiple games loaded simultaneously into its memory, which stay there even with SNES power off! No need to load floppies over and over again! It also has an onscreen menu system which is controlled through the SNES controllers. The menu system features self testing (Memory, BRAM, ROM, and disk drive), file management, etc. It has many features including slow motion, real time save, Gold Finger cheat code system and superior error handling. It can transfer games from disks, computer, CDROM (optional), or memory. Other features include: 32 Mbit or 64 Mbit RAM, self test, menus in English, Chinese, or Japanese, 3 cheat modes, 256k BRAM, BRAM saves, BRAM copying to and from a cartridge, DSP support, and a PCX image slideshow function. Components are manufactured in ISO-9000 factories, to provide excellent quality. It boasts clean, integrated PCB design and multi-voltage power supply capability. To change from SF7 to Professor (and back again) toggle jumper 3 (S3) on the mainboard.
Frequently Asked Questions About: Professor Street Fighter 2 by: AkumaX (IRC)
Preface: The purpose of this FAQ is to answer questions about the Professor Street Fighter 2 (Also known as the Multi Game Doctor 7). From here to the rest of the FAQ, I will refer to the Professor/Game Doctor as PSF2. The FAQ will help non-owners to understand what the unit is, and will help people who own the PSF2 convert their games successfully. The FAQ is a compilation of knowledge that I have acquired through trial and error, and with the help of other owners of the PSF2. The goal is to help users successfully convert almost any game they come across and gain a general understanding of the unit. However, I would like to add that if you especially like a game, please go out and buy it. The prices on SNES games are extremely low at present and some of the true masterpieces are worth the money for the moral implications of owning a game you enjoy. So if you plan to play it often and essentially get your money's worth out of it, then put your money into it. Thanks.
- AkumaX 10/27/97
I. What is the PSF2?
The PSF2 is a console copying unit for the Super Nintendo (SNES). The unit plugs in where you would normally put a cartridge. It has a power connection, a parallel port connection, a 3.5 disk slot and a cartridge slot. There is also a slot on the bottom where extra memory can be installed. Normally the PSF2 comes with 32 megabits of memory. Megabits are one-eighth of a megabyte. To convert from megabits to megabytes, you divide bits by 8. So 32 megabits / 8 = 4 Megabytes of memory. PSF2's can go up to 64 and even 128 megabits of memory for holding more games in memory.
The power connection: Where you plug it into the wall...:)
Parallel connection: The PSF2 comes with a utility that is also available on the net called TSF3. It allows you to copy games via your parallel port into (or from) your copier.
Cartridge slot: You can use the cartridge slot to play cartridge games and back them up to disk.
Disk Drive: You can use the disk drive to load/save ROM images of cartridges into the PSF2's memory.
In addition to copying and playing games, the PSF2 also has a Super Mode and a GoldFinger ability.
Super Mode: Running a game in Super Mode allows the player to play games at half speed, quarter speed, and save and load games at any point in any game.
GoldFinger: This is similar to Game Genie. There is a utility that converts Game Genie codes to GoldFinger codes.
II. PSF2 Filenames.
The PSF2 is fairly lenient on it's filenames. However, there are some restrictions you must follow in order to properly load games. The filename consists of 8 letters, divided as follows:
The first two letters must ALWAYS be "SF". The unit will NOT read files that do not begin with these letters.
The next parameter is optional. You can specify the size of a game with a number. The number is in megabits and is used to override the PSF2 if it guesses a game's size incorrectly.
Example: Final Fantasy 5 is a 16 megabit game. However, when you apply the English patch, it grows to 20 megabit. If you try to load the game without specifying the 20 megabit, it will stop at 16. So the filename should start with "SF20".
The next parameter is open; you can specify 3 characters of anything you want. When the PSF2 copies files, it uses the space for the catalog number. If you omitted the previous filesize parameter, this field can be 5 spaces long.
The eighth character in a filename is ONLY used for files that are split. If you have an image greater than 8 megabits, then you will more than likely need to split the files. More on splitting later, but in order for the PSF2 to know you have a split file, the last character is specified as "A", "B", etc. If the game is only one file, then you can leave this field blank.
Examples: SF10123A -> First file of a 10Mbit game with the name "123".
SFCLIFF -> Game with a name called "CLIFF". This is the only file and the file size has been omitted.
It's also been noted by other users that when the PSF2 makes a copy of a "HiRom" file (More on HiRom vs. LoRom later), the 7th character is specified as an "X." I don't know if naming a file with an "X" in it specifies to the unit that the file is HiRom, but I've never had to do it in order to get a game to work. Still, it's open to consideration and something to try if you're stuck.
III. Basic utilities
The following are basic utilities you will use when you manipulate your ROM images.
UCON: If you can only have one utility at your disposal, you MUST use UCON. UCON is the most useful tool you will find for SNES. It doesn't do EVERYTHING that you will need, but it applies IPS patches, gives you information about a ROM, splits, joins, converts, etc. Get UCON.
SNES Tool: SNES Tool is not as useful as UCON, but it has features that UCON does not. SNES Tool can attempt to remove trainers and splits HiRom files differently than UCON. If UCON is not correcting a problem for you, SNES Tool is probably the next place to go.
Kill 'Em: Kill 'em is a copy protection tool. It patches NTSC and PAL codes, and SlowRom codes as well. More on these later, but even though some of these codes are covered in UCON and SNES Tool, there are many different types of these codes. You will find that some utilities find codes that other utilities do not. Kill 'em is used specifically for removing these codes. In general, I find that it's found more than UCON and SNES Tool do.
Multi Tool: Multi-Tool is a tool like UCON and SNESTOOL, but I find it most useful for removing even more PAL/NTSC and SlowRom codes.
STOOL: STOOL is a utility that you will not use often. It's most useful for converting 24Mbit images, since you can use it to split into 3 8Mbit files.
SAVEFIX.IPS: This IPS patch is helpful if you have a ROM that has SaveRAM, and you find you cannot save your game. This mostly occurs in games that are 32Mbit and have SaveRAM. However, there are some 24Mbit games that need it as well. The English FF5 and Breath of Fire 2 are examples. Use UCON to apply the patch to the first PSF2 file after you've converted and split the files.
FDREAD: Your PSF2 can format a disk to 1660k as opposed to the PC's 1440k. This is useful for running 12Mbit games all on one disk. FDREAD allows your PC to read these disks.
COMP: Compares two files and outputs differences. Useful to see if you have two copies of something. If you are trying to get a game to work and it doesn't, you try something else and if the file size is the same, compare the two to see if you're not covering ground you've already covered.
FILECUT: This cuts out pieces of a file that can be useful. In some games there is a 512 byte header that you might have to remove in some cases. FILECUT is great for doing these things.
There are a couple more utilities that people recommend and use, but the above are what I've found the most useful. I will refer to these utilities when I discuss working with different files.
IV. Loading Files
There are a few things to remember when loading a file. This section assumes that you have a ROM in PSF2 format. Plain ROMs load normally. If they are above 8MBits/per disk, the PSF2 will split the ROM in it's memory. If the ROM is split across multiple disks, it will ask for the next disk. If you have a 24MBit game split into 2 12Mbit files on two disks, they will take up 3 slots of PSF2 memory. If your game has Save RAM, be SURE to load your BRAM file into memory and SAVE your BRAM file when you're done. If that game ever leaves memory, or another game that uses BRAM is loaded, your BRAM file is gone. I always save my BRAM to disk when I'm done playing as a precaution. BRAM files are the same filename as the game, with the extension .B0X where X is 1,2,3, etc. The PSF2 gives you the option of changing the "X" to suit multiple BRAM files. Some games need to be loaded in a specific slot to work right. I imagine it has something to do with memory addressing. I've only seen this problem once, but for your information, here it is:
Lufia I: Playing the game is error-free until the very end of the game where you acquire an airship. The game would freeze every time I landed the ship. However, loading the game in the "A" slot of the PSF2 solved the problem. I've never seen anything like it again, but if you encounter the problem of freezing midgame in any game, the slot might be worth changing.
Saver files, made in Super Mode, can be loaded and saved in the same fashion as BRAM files.
V. Converting Files
This is the only part of PSF2 manipulation that is not straight- forward. It's either a painless, error-free process, or it requires a bit of messing around. I will provide a general overview and some tips for troubleshooting, but bear with me and keep in mind that there is no single way to make ALL ROMs work. The way to find out pertinent information about any ROM is to use UCON. UCON <filename> will provide you with what you need to know in order to use this section. It should be noted that GD3 and MGD2 are valid formats for the PSF2.
LoROM: There should be no conversion necessary. Rename the file to SFXXXXX and it should run as normal.
HiROM: Same as LoROM. If the game fails to run correctly, use either UCON's "F" option or SNES Tool's "Fig -> GD3" option. This will split the HiROM into 2 4Mbit files. This is sometimes necessary due to the mapping procedure of HiROM files. Another thing to check with HiROM files is the file size. If it's 1048576, then it is exactly 1Mbit. If the file size is 1049088, then it has a 512 byte header. The PSF2 accepts either, but if you encounter problems, you will want to: A: Remove the header with FILECUT. You can try the game this way or: B: Add a 512 byte header from another 8Mbit game that you are positive works. This is done using the binary paramter with copy: "copy /b HEADERNAME + ROMNAME /B OUTFILE /B Where HEADERNAME is the name of the 512 byte header file, ROMNAME is the name of your ROM and OUTFILE is your finished product. This manipulation of the 512 byte header is a good thing to check on ALL HiROM games that do not work.
12Mbit File Size
LoROM: If you format a disk with the PSF2 to 1660k, you can copy the game directly to your PSF2. Just be sure to rename it to a valid filename. Otherwise, you can split it with UCON.
HiROM: Use SNES Tool to split the ROM into the proper sections for a HiROM. This (and UCON's "F" option) usually results in a 8Mbit and a 4Mbit file.
16MBit File Size
LoROM: Use UCON's "C" or "F" parameter to convert from either ProFighter or Super Magicom format to MGD2. Then use the "S" paramter to split them.
HiROM: Use SNES Tool to convert the ROM or UCON's "F" option. It should split the ROM into two 8Mbit files. See the 8Mbit section on headers if you still encounter problems.
20MBit File Size
LoROM: Use UCON's "F /3" to make 3 8Mbit files. This comes out to 24Mbits. An alternative is to split the file into 2 10Mbit files using the "S" option. Some games don't like this split, but most have little trouble.
HiROM: Use UCON's "F /3" or SNES Tool's "Fig -> GD3". Check header information in the 8Mbit section if problems persist.
24MBit File Size
LoROM: You can use the PSF2 to format 2 disks to 1660k and split the image into 12Mbit sections. Or use STOOL -s? to split into 3 8Mbit files.
HiROM: Use UCON's "F" or SNES Tool to split. I recommend 3 8Mbit files for HiROM because HiROM seems to be more cooperative the more you split. Check the 8Mbit section for header information.
32Mbit File Size
These are usually HiROM so use the "F" option in UCON or SNES Tool to convert to 4 8Mbit files.
A good indicator that your ROM has loaded correctly in your PSF2 is the ROM name appearing in the space next to the slot on your unit. If the file still refuses to run:
Try the SlowROM fix, found in UCON, SNES Tool, MULTI71, and KILLEM. If it modifies your ROM, you've fixed any SlowROM problems with your ROM. Try loading it again. Another fix to try, found in the above utilities is NTSC/PAL fixing. This fixes problems with overseas games. It also solves the "This game was not meant to be played on this system." message you sometimes receive. The last thing to try is cracking the game. Use the "k" option in UCON. If the game still causes trouble, it's most likely HiROM. Try to append and remove headers, try different splitting routines, or ask someone who has gotten it to work.
If the filesize is an ODD file size, that is NOT an even Megabit, then it has an intro or a trainer. Use SNES Tool to try and remove it if you don't want it there. Otherwise, use UCON's "p" option to pad the image to the nearest Megabit.
If the file has BRAM and will not save, use UCON's "i" option to apply SAVEFIX.IPS to the first file of your ROM (SFXXXXXA).
Patches for different files are currently available at:
VI. Games that won't run on a PSF2.
This is a quick list off the top of my head that is NOT complete. There are games with special hardware (DSP, FX, Capcom Compression) that will not work with the PSF2. I've heard that DSP games will run with a DSP game in the cartridge slot, but I've never gotten it to work myself. Anyways, here are the games:
DSP: Pilotwings, Mario Kart, ?Super Mario RPG?, ?Kirby Superstar? FX: StarFox, Doom, Yoshi's Island Capcom: MegaMan X2, MegaMan X3, Street Fighter Alpha 2.
These are the games I see asked for most frequently on the channel. The ROMs are out there, but useless for copier or emulator purposes.
VII. Other notes
The PSF2 is a high interference machine. When it's plugged into your SNES and has power running to it, it will cause major interference with your TV. This isn't a faulty unit. Just keep your SNES about 5-10 feet from your TV. I've been told that using the AV cables as opposed to the coax RF switch reduces some of the interference, but I've haven't been able to confirm it. (Old TV). Radio Shack also sells interference surpressors, but I haven't tried those either. Still, it's not a defect with your unit, just the way it is.
Well, that's about the whole of it. You will find the most trouble converting games, and it just takes practice and assistance. Eventually, you'll work out a system that works for you and be able to run most games successfully. Credits for people who assisted ME, and gave me some of the knowledge I've acquired and compiled into this FAQ: ]BigJake[ Liq_Flesh fab preair
They've provided information, answered questions and ]BigJake[ especially has gone through the long and short of ROM conversion with me, explaining copy /b, HiROM files and the other stuff that gets hard to deal with. Liq_Flesh has provided many files I've needed and gotten them to me with no problem. Between these guys, I've managed to get every ROM running that I've tried. Thanks goes to them!
There seem to be be two versions. This one works with Doctor PC Junior, SF6(Prof. 1) and SF7 (Prof. 2). CDs were made with hundreds of SNES/SFC games on, see the Pirate section to see an example. It looks like the user had to place the CD in that plasic holder then put it in the drive.
This newer CD reader unit, the SFCD7, is for use with the Game Doctor SF7 (Professor SF2). Its designed for use with SNES CDs for fast loading of your favourite games, and also has the function of playing music CD's through the headphone jack. Its all controllable through the GUI of the backup unit too. A MPEG card is (was) being developed that allows you to play MPEG video CDs, that is installed into the SF7 itself. You can also play music CDs in the drive, and control the CD via a GUI interface (like playing music on the Sega CD)