Managing Rom Sets - ClrMamePro
Welcome to the clrmamepro tutorial for renaming and rebuilding romsets. HyperSpin uses XML database files to store information about your game roms, including name, description, manufacturer, controls, and other important information. Additionally, the vast collection of community generated artwork follows one of two naming conventions so that any user can download artwork from the gold member ftp or the download pages and immediately set it up for use with HyperSpin.
Typically video games have come from hardware consoles that use rom chips, thus the name roms, since the information is essentially dumped from the chip. Newer systems and home consoles run from optical storage such as cd-roms, dvds or laserdiscs.
For rom based systems, the No-Intro community provides dat files that contain specific information about file size, name, and region, among other info.
For optical based systems, HyperSpin uses TOSEC naming conventions and dat files.
Unfortunately, many users will find that the files they obtain aren't No-Intro sets. Another popular and rather common naming convention is based on the Good Tools. GoodNES is an example of the Nintendo Entertainment System named with the GoodTools. These sets won't work directly with the community art (even though they will play just fine with your emulator).
Fortunately, you can use the dat files provided by No-Intro, and also available on HyperList, linked from the top op each page on the hyperspin website, to rename and even rebuild your set so that you won't have to rename several sets of artwork.
First, you'll need to download a powerful freeware program called clrmamepro. You can find their website here.
On the download page of the clrmamepro site you'll find 32 and 64-bit versions of the program in both zip and executable format. You can choose either format, the executable is trustworthy and works quickly to install the program. Download the version that matches your operating system.
Depending on your download, unzip and install or run the installer executable.
If you are installing in Vista or Windows 7 you'll see the standard UAC alert, click Yes.
NOTE: It's a good idea to install clrmamepro to some other location than your default Program Files location. You can change the location as shown above.
Before we run clrmamepro, we'll need to decide what set we're going to rename/rebuild and download a dat file for that set. For this tutorial (and the accompanying video below) we'll be rebuilding a GoodNES set (Nintendo Entertainment System).
Locate and run clrmamepro. You can find a shortcut in the Start Menu.
Clrmamepro will show you an introduction screen the first time you run the program. We'll follow the steps:
First, we'll create a profile by loading up a console dat file (you can download from HyperList or Dat-O-Matic).
Second, we'll setup our rom paths.
Third, we'll scan and rebuild our GoodNES set.
Once you click create, the clrmamepro Profiler window will appear. Click on the Add DatFile button (highlighted in yellow below).
Browse to find your downloaded NES dat file. Once you've found it, you can choose to create a new folder to place it in or just click OK and it will be added to the New Profiles folder. Back on the Profiler window, select your dat file and click Load/Update (highlighted yellow in the bottom window).
Clrmamepro will bring up the new Settings window each time you load or create a new profile. Click Default.
Clrmamepro comes with some headers files. With the NES No-Intro dat, you may or may not see the screen below.
NOTE: If you see this screen, you can add make an xml with the contents below, save it as nes_no-intro.xml, place it in the clrmamepro installation folder in the headers subfolder. You'll need to then add it in the Settings screen. Once you've closed the Profiler window, the clrmamepro launch Window will appear.
Click on the Settings icon.
From the drop menu select Headers, and check off your new file.
Now select Rom Paths from the top left drop menu. Click Add to add the main path for your set.
Before we move on, let's discuss what to do if you have an alternate, or update set that you want to use for your rebuild. (NOTE: if you are using one set you can skip this step; additionally we'll show you a drag-and-drop method later)
Click on the drop menu again to bring up Add-Paths and click Add to add your set. We'll add a second set called Nintendo that contains some additional files that might complete our set.
Now you can close the Settings window. From the clrmamepro launch window, click on the Scanner icon. to bring up the Scanner window.
You can run a scan, then fix things later and rebuild or you can opt to fix errors now. Click the Fix + button (highlighted in yellow above) to fix all errors. Since this is the first time we've scanned our set, we'll click New Scan.
CAUTION: Before you undertake ANY operations with clrmamepro, ALWAYS BACKUP your files.
You have been warned. Backing up is simple. Just make an archival copy and place it somewhere else. If you make a mistake in the process, you'll thank yourself later!
Moving on we'll click New Scan. Depending on your computer's processor, hard drive speed, and the size of the rom set, this could take a very long time, so play a game, have a drink, or make some toast.
You may first see a warning stating that you don't have any proper named sets:
Click Yes as your set may indeed not have any properly named sets. Clrmamepro will check the individual rom files by size and hash and will properly name any matching files.
During the scanning operation the program may stop and ask if you want to rename files, remove unnecessary files, etc. (unless you select on the Scanner window to not be asked). Click Yes or Yes to All since you backup up your files (right?!?).
The scanner will continue running. Again it may ask if you want to remove unnecessary files. You can choose any way; not removing the unnecessary files will just leave them in place.
Finally, clrmamepro will ask if you want to rename files. Click Yes To All.
When clrmamepro is done scanning, it will bring up a statistics screen showing how many roms are missing from the set, how many files were renamed, removed, etc.
Click OK to close that window and return to the scanner. Now, if we have additional sets to use for updates, we can simply grab them from a folder browser and 'drop' them onto the scanner window, or we can go to the Rebuild screen by closing out the Scanner window and selecting Rebuild from the clrmamepro launch window. Since we set an add-path earlier, we'll go to the Rebuild window. (Hint: You can take a shortcut to the Rebuild window by clicking on the empty radio button at the bottom right of the Scanner window.)
Using the folder browser buttons, set your Source path (if you want to use clrmamepro's backup folder, just click that button below the Source address bar) and your Destination path (again, you can select the first Rom-Path using that button). Notice, you can select to use your Add-Paths here (or use the 'drag and drop' method mentioned earlier as a shortcut. Click Rebuild when you're ready. We've set our Destination path to create a new folder. Again, this might take some time, so go watch some reruns of 80's TV, bake a pot-pie, or get an amazing tan at your salon...
Again, a Stats window will pop up:
Click OK and close the window. It's not a bad idea to go back to the Scanner window (which you can do right from the Rebuild window using the radio button at the bottom right of the window) and rescan. This time, though, just click the Scan button. You'll seeanother Stats window at completion. When you're done, you can close the Scanner window and then close the clrmamepro launch window.
If you don't have every single game, don't worry. Your set may have been incomplete or you may just be missing those Japanese games you can't read anyways. Load up your favorite eumlator and play!
While this written and video tutorial shows how to rename/rebuild a Good NES set to No-Intro for use with HyperSpin wheel, box, and cartridge art, you can use clrmamepro with any system or set for which a reliable dat is found. It works best for rom-style sets as the best rom dumps should be equivalent. There are plenty of clrmamepro tutorials available on the web for a variety of uses. Additionally, clrmamepro has a wide variety of settings that can be manipulated to control input and output (as you may have noticed from the screenshots). This tutorial only scratches the surface of this program and was not meant to cover all aspects of clrmamepro. Now once again, close this window and go play!