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Rom tester


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I am not a programmer.  That being said I was wondering if an automated tool that would test roms in a set would be something that could be done.


I have collected roms from all over the place and at this point all i have been doing is trying to get 100% rom sets for all of the official databases.  I got to thinking and thought that once you had a system working, it would be beneficial to have an automated process that would launch all of the games in a rom set, one after the other, and log whether it launched or not.  Would this be possible?

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Here is what I was really thinking:




open xml

create list of roms

1 - find next rom

launch rom using rocketlauncher

check for errors/record errors if appliciable

if no errors - record 30 seconds of game with no inputs

close game

goto 1 until eof



This would create a way of automating the recording process thus making video file creation as easy as pie.  No idea if it is possible however.

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I was thinking more about arcade games that have an attract mode but thanks for the input. I appreciate you pointing out the issues with my current plan but it would be much more helpful if you would offer suggestions as opposed to just telling me what cannot be done.

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Many people's main problem with Hyperspin is roms. I understand why we cannot talk about them but what I am trying to do is create a vetting process for those that do not understand Hyperspin like you and me.

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Understood. I know you know much more than me so I will definitely defer to you. I just would really like if HyperSpin was more accessible. Perhaps that is futile.

How does bulk testing Roms make Hyperspin more accessible? Hyperspin is just a simple frontend.

And really, does anyone really care if the 45000 (random number plucked from ass) Roms they downloaded or bought all work perfectly? They surely aren't that naive.

If I wanted to know if a game worked I would try it or check a compatibility list.

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maybe the manual method could prevail! Just my first though and advise on rules would need to come from moderators. As how such a thing could be linked to

I have found with everything that information is scattered all over the place and I personally find I maybe forget it a few weeks later and can't find that information again!! Unless I'm super organised and note it down.

So a place that people could document their findings could work

I think it would be hard to get people to chip in as there is most likely not a market for it or way to be legally safe or presumed safe.

Process for creating such resource

Listing the source of the rom but NOT a link

The emulator used

Rom named and comment on state.

Rules for times played to prove a rom condition

No links provided

Your original idea is a good one but it seems hard to get it to work in practise

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Not hard at all actually.  I have a preliminary version working right now, going through my NES collection.  Not at all a perfect solution but relic pointed me in the direction of romjacket which has some very useful things that it can do.


Giga:  Most of what I am trying to do has very little to do with me.  That being said, I would really hate to release a set of roms that everyone could find quite easily with games that do not work.  Sure someone that does not know much about the emulation world could spend 3 years getting to the point where I find myself today but I have always felt like it would be much easier for people to have a working set of roms, named correctly, aligned with the official databases that they could easily find and put on their system.  My intention to be clear is to put together what many of the private torrent sites are calling HyperSpin Ready Rom packs.  I however want to make sure that when you get something from me, it will work.  That way all you have to do is configure your emulator trough Rocketlauncher and play games.  What I think most people here fail to realize is that most people do not come here for the same reasons that we do.  I enjoy this hobby but most people find playing video games as a more enjoyable hobby.  This is why hard drive sellers are successful.


To your point directly, no I do not care about having 43,000 roms working but if someone else does, I want to make it as easy as possible for them to be able to find them and know that they are working.  


Additionally there are many people that cannot spare the bandwidth to download the media necessary for HyperSpin to be as pretty as what we have to offer, so why not create a way that they can at least have something?  They would still need HyperSync or HyperBase to get all of the themes other than a basic one but they could make their own vidoes as well as offer an easier way for us to do it.  My idea would allow you to queue up a database, set a hotkey or time limit for recordings and have the program automate loading the games, starting the recording process, recording for a set amount of time or until you press the hotkey, save the file as the database requires and move to the next game.  Sure maybe I am dreaming but making HyperSpin more accessible is never a waste of time as far as I am concerned, and you will never defeat hard drive sellers till we do.

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I don't think you have to make it that difficult to test all your roms.

Arcade => The MAME XML already contains only playable games. This info can also be found from the MAME source or by using programs that can filter MAME listoutput XMLs.

Disc based systems => I always use this order: trurip => redump.org => TOSEC => Darkwater to ensure I have the 'best quality' dumps.

Most disc-based systems have some easier ways to check compatibility. For example for Dreamcast the WinCE games are not playable, the rest is (mostly).

Cartridge based systems => Be sure to use No-Intro ROMs. Many emulators have almost 100% compatibility, like higan for SNES or most Genesis emulators.

Also, you should set up more than one emulator for a system in RocketLauncher. Then choose the best emulator as default and set up an alternate for the others.

There are not that many ROMs in the XMLs that are unplayable. Also, this has nothing to do with accessibility. This only weeds out the <5% of ROMs/ISOs that are not working.

@thatman84: Emus get updated constantly. Sometimes games are re-dumped and suddenly the game works in an emulator.

The task to keep up with this is almost impossible.

You could start by Googling for emu compatibility lists. There are just a few emulators that have this documented properly and even then things can change with every update.

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Not that they work according to a specific romset, that what individual people find works. More specifically what I have works but by extension everyone as well.

It is not possible to find a Rom set that has 100% of what is on the official database. While renaming someone might make a mistake with rezipping, maybe they did not add everything. As a result I think it would be useful for someone to be able to check a system for errors other than manually doing it. But I am reading you guys loud and clear. No reason to try to make it easier.

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Starting a database with our own list of working roms (good/verified dumps) will just be duplicating the work done by the separate dumping groups.


The key to getting a good set is to obtain them from a known good source that adheres (and associates) with members of the dumping groups. Sources who provide dats with each of their sets so they can be verified by the dumping group, the person compiling the set for uploading and the end user. Also, a forum to point out issues in a competitive environment so everyone has incentive to get it right or their reputation suffers. It is very difficult to compile a set of this quality from just anywhere.


On other sites, it's all about some random uploader getting the set out there and 1st in the seed pool. If there are issues months later, the original uploader can't be found and the entire set has to be reset from zero.




A separate issue is how to maintain the quality of tens of thousands of roms in compressed format that you have on your hard drive. Everyone here knows how easy it is to unknowingly download a corrupt zip, have something go wrong in a file transfer while moving it or backing up, drive sector failures, etc. I had mentioned before about using the programs TorrentZip and Torrent7z to verify your roms to ensure they adhere to the original torrent being seeded. These programs decompress and recompress files in a specific format so that the same files are the same everywhere. The first time you use these programs, they take a while. But thereafter, every file that matches the internal crc hash is skipped. Only new files are recompressed. Corrupt files are flagged in a log and can be reacquired.


If you try to do this with a conventional zipping tool, it has to decompress/compress every time to verify the internal files. Not fun if you want to verify your roms on any kind of schedule. And corrupt files do happen.

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I definitely used Torrent zip. And that's basically what I'm getting from everyone. The easiest way to do this is not to ensure that the rom runs within hyperspin which was my intention, it is better to make sure that you get a good room set from the outset. This seems to work for most systems as they have representative rom sets from most of the desired groups.

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