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One of the surprisingly difficult elements of emulating games through the Playstation 1 (PSX) emulator ePSXe is playing games that have more than one disc. While the game play is generally fine at first, things start getting confusing once players have to switch discs. Yes, it is not a matter of just loading up the next disc in the emulator, but it is possible with a work-around. This guide shows you this work-around.
Note: This guide assumes that you already know what was discussed in the first ePSXe guide and are wanting to know what to do with games that use more than one disc.
If you’ve been playing games through the ePSXe emulator that require more than one disc, you might eventually stumble upon a problem you never thought you’d encounter. The game prompts you to switch to the second disc, so you simply load up the next disc through the emulator and all you get is either a prompt telling you to insert the disc you just inserted or an error saying the disc you inserted is not correct. If you are emulating games through the ePSXe emulator, this is actually normal since it seems as though the emulator itself is not capable of handling multi-disc games on its own (at least, as of 1.9.0 to my knowledge).
The problem may lie in part due to the fact that PSX games operate better in a more CD friendly method. In fact, I found through trial and error that PSX games are actually quite finicky when it comes to getting them to function properly. Still, there is one method I’ve tried that seems to have worked where other methods have failed. So, let’s get to it.
first, make sure all of the disc’s are in a playable format that can be recognized by the ePSXe emulator (i.e. ISO or the Cue/Bin format). Once done, you’ll need to emulate the actual disc drive. The only tool that seems to work (I’ve tried a few programs like PowerISO and Alcohol120% to no avail) is Daemon Tools. So, you can go over to the Daemon Tools website and get a copy of Daemon Tools Lite here. The free version contains ads while the paid version likely doesn’t have ads. Still, I found that, in the free version, the ads stay in the window and the chances of you using that window frequently are often minimal (depending on how you play your games or use the software, really). Installing this software so that it can use the necessary features to run these CD images will require a restart. If you installed this software and you didn’t need the restart, you’ll have to run the component that will need the restart (in which case, it’ll install the missing component). So, if you fail to tick the right thing in the installation prompt screen, it’s on big deal.
Once you have installed Daemon Tools Lite, you’ll get a window that is something like this:
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So, at this point, you’ll need to mount the first CD of the game. To do that, click on the button with the green plus sign next to the drive with the letters SCSI. This will add an SCSI formatted drive to your virtual drives (yes, this will also take a little bit of time, but it will complete the process):
Once you have an SCSI drive ready to use, you’ll want to mount your image. Personally, I use this method before even starting any multi-disc game, so doing this from the beginning will likely save any confusion further down the road. So, you’ll want to mount the first disc image of the game. Right click on your SCSI virtual drive and click on “Mount”:
You’ll have a screen pop up asking you to mount the image in question. Just browse to the image you want to mount (Disc 1 of that game if you’re just starting out), select the image, and click on “Open”. At this point, you may get an auto-play window asking you what to do with the disc, so just close the small auto-play window because you won’t be needing it. Once your image is mounted, boot up your ePSXe emulator.
In the ePSXe emulator, you’ll want to make sure the emulator is pointed to the correct drive to run disc images. The disc drive is whatever letter your game is currently mounted to. You can either look at this in the Daemon Tools screen and look for the single letter that is followed up by a colon, or simply go to your Start Menu on your desktop, click on “My Computer” and look at the drive that has your image mounted. The driver letter will be in brackets followed up with a colon. Once you know the letter, open up your emulator. Assuming this is the first time you’ve done this, we’ll click on the “Config” drop-down menu and click on “Cdrom”:
You’ll then get a pop-up window that looks like this:
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You’ll want to now click on the “Configure” button (I’ve highlighted this button). You’ll then get a pop-up window like this:
In the box with the heading “Select Cdrom letter”, use the down arrow to select the drive that is your SCSI virtual drive. If it’s already pointing to the correct letter, you don’t need to do any more configuration and you can just click on Cancel and go back to the main emulator window. If you have to change the drive letter, select the appropriate drive latter and click on the “OK” button. After that, just go back to the main emulator screen (OK in previous screen of you changed something, cancel if you have not).
From here, just click on the “File” drop-down menu and click “Run CDROM” to start the game.
Now, when the game prompts you to change discs, you can optionally use a save state to ensure that if something goes wrong, you can just go back to the prompt screen after and try again (you might even try using a save state right before the prompt too, it’s up to you). When you are ready to change the disc (on the disc change prompt screen), simply use “Esc” to go out of the game to the main emulator screen.
Now, go to your Daemon tools window, right click on your SCSI virtual drive, and click “Unmount” to unmount the current image:
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Next, right click on the SCSI virtual drive and mount your next image using the method you used to simply mount the first image in the Daemon Tools window (usually, whatever “Disc 2 of #” is). Once the image is mounted, go into your main emulator screen and click on the “File” drop-down menu. Hover your mouse over “Change Disc” and click on CDROM:
You’ll get a pop-up screen prompting you to change the disc, but since you’ve already done this, you can click on “OK”. Now, if necessary, just click on the “File” drop-down menu and click on “Run CDROM”. The next disc should be playing fine for you now.
So, remember, whenever you play any game that has multiple discs, use this method to play this game. If you are playing a single disc game, simply using the “Run ISO” feature should be sufficient (and less complicated!). If you restart your computer at some point, Daemon Tools should remember which drive you have mounted and keep the image mounted, but check to make sure if you are more paranoid about these things.