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About SheepShaver, a PPC Mac emulator for Windows, MacOSX, and Linux that can run System 7.5.3 through MacOS 9.0.4.
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"Couldn't load the preferences file"

Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:44 pm

Hello,

I'm trying to run The Last Express game on SheepShaver. The game has three cdr files, it says on the readme of CD1 to move the "The Last Express" application from CD1 to desktop and click on it to play. However when I do so the following message appears:

"Couldn't load the preferences file; the file may be damaged or open from another application. Throw the old prefs file and re-launch.

Note: this will reset the control keys you've set."

Any ideas on what this is? I'm running Yosemite 10.10.5. Currently only OS9 and CD1 (both image files) are mounted on SS.

Thanks in advance.

Re: "Couldn't load the preferences file"

Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:21 pm

Which SheepShaver build do you use? If it is one of the recent test builds, make sure the CD box next to the .cdr files in the volumes list is checked. Else, make sure the .cdr files are locked in the OSX Finder. Dragging files from an unlocked .cdr volume to the desktop will not move the files to the OS9 installation but wil create a folder "Desktop Folder" on the .cdr volume and move the file into that folder.

It could also be that you happen to use a pre-installed OS9 like the one you can find on the Redundant Robot site. That image does not contain a full OS9 installation, only the System Folder, and it has very little space left for additional installations. Better do a full installation from a MacOS 9.0 (or better 9.0.4) install CD image. An install CD image can be found on the Macintosh Garden site.

Re: "Couldn't load the preferences file"

Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:56 pm

I did both things: updated SheepShaver (to 2018-06-16 version), ticked the CD-ROM box, and downloaded and installed MacOS 9.0.4 from Macintosh Garden but I get the same message.

(Also this version of SS runs a bit slower than the one I was using before, the 01 February 2014 build).

Re: "Couldn't load the preferences file"

Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:31 am

You need to give more detailed information to make clear that you did actually do everything the right way.

- You removed the original OS9 image from the volumes list?
- You used the 9.0.4 instal CD image to do the system installation on a newly created larger ( 500MB or more) volume (disk image) as described in the setup manual?
- After installation you removed the install CD image from the volumes list to make sure SheepShaver would boot from the newly installed system volume?
- You checked the CD box for the game's CD image in preferences?

When you drag the application from the mounted CD to the desktop, try to do it with the option key pressed. That way you can be sure that the file is actually copied to the desktop of the startup volume.

The newer builds should not be slower then the old one. The cursor movements may look a little less smooth because of a different way the cursor arrow is displayed. Make sure that in preferences the Refresh Rate is set to Dynamic for best experience.

There have been many different test builds and I had little time to sort it out. I will try to get things organized a little better in the coming days. Anyway, the latest build that is recommended for MacOSX 10.7 through macOS 10.14 is the version 2.5, July 11 2018, build. Description and download can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=9747

Re: "Couldn't load the preferences file"

Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:53 am

I hadn't removed the install CD image from the volumes list after installing the OS. I also downloaded the build from the link you sent me.

Thanks a million - it worked. The game runs. However (and this is another issue entirely), I wanted to know, what am I supposed to do when the game asks to change disks? Remove CD1 from volumes, add CD2, reboot, or not reboot?

Re: "Couldn't load the preferences file"

Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:27 pm

That may be a problem. You cannot change disks like you can with a real CD drive.

Try to add all three CD images to the volumes list at the same time so they will be mounted all three together and see if the software finds the next CD when needed.

Re: "Couldn't load the preferences file"

Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:04 pm

From a short look the game seems to play without issues in SheepShaver 2.5 MacOS 8.6 or 7.5.3 on a Sierra host.
Could it be the boot drive is locked or running out of space? About 30MB are needed for the game folder.

Feel free to try the bootable 7.5.3 image here: http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/macos-753-emulators
The 4MB OldWorldROM is needed to boot 7.5.3 with SheepShaver.
Please note that you should better use another disk image to copy the game files to.
Here is one (DL No. 4): http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/disk-images-emulators
A a simple 2GB one will be good enough too.

Re: "Couldn't load the preferences file"

Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:09 pm

Ronald P. Regensburg wrote:That may be a problem. You cannot change disks like you can with a real CD drive.

Try to add all three CD images to the volumes list at the same time so they will be mounted all three together and see if the software finds the next CD when needed.


I'll do that and report back on what happened - thanks a bunch!

24bit wrote:From a short look the game seems to play without issues in SheepShaver 2.5 MacOS 8.6 or 7.5.3 on a Sierra host.
Could it be the boot drive is locked or running out of space? About 30MB are needed for the game folder.

Feel free to try the bootable 7.5.3 image here: http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/macos-753-emulators
The 4MB OldWorldROM is needed to boot 7.5.3 with SheepShaver.
Please note that you should better use another disk image to copy the game files to.
Here is one (DL No. 4): http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/disk-images-emulators
A a simple 2GB one will be good enough too.


I fixed it following what Ronald told me just above - thanks anyways!
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