The Killer Instinct Project
This web site is a quick 'how-to' for
copying the hard drive that shipped with Killer Instinct. Please note, this copy
process works 100% and the game will play flawlessly, but the drive will NOT
pass the diagnostics check that is built into the game. There are also multiple
variations on this theme that you can use to copy the drives. The method
described here works, and that is what really matters. I will not be 'updating'
the page with alternate methods...
If you feel that this is beyond your capabilities or you don't have the
hardware necessary to perform the copy, I will copy 1 hard drive for $25 and up
to 3 hard drives for you for $40 (this price includes return shipping) given
that you supply IDENTICAL Seagate ST9150AG hard drives that are error free as
well as the same number of original KI drives (working or dead) so that I am
performing a 'service' and not selling you Midway/Nintendo/Rare's game image.
Under NO circumstances will I copy or distribute this image if I do not have in
my possession an original Killer Instinct hard drive. This is done to prove
ownership. No exceptions. I understand that you may be hesitant to ship your
working drive, but please know I will NOT even power it on. I will use an image
from my backup or original Killer Instinct hard drive.
Killer Instinct 2 is a more difficult issue, but I believe that I have it
figured out as well. It's just not as 'clean' as copying the original one. I
will update this page when I have verified that my method does indeed work.
What you will need:
- Your original working Killer Instinct ST9150AG hard drive - no bad
- A 100% working Seagate Medalist ST9150AG hard drive - no bad sectors, etc.
- (2) 2.5" to 3.5" IDE hard drive adapters - Search for "2.5 3.5" on eBay
- (2) Standard 40 pin IDE cables - one for each ST9150AG
- A PC with a motherboard that can auto-detect these hard drives properly
- A copy of "Dolly" - Provided here: Dolly.zip
- A DOS boot disk (or the ability to create one) and no fear of the DOS
- A good understanding PC motherboards as well as familiarity with the BIOS
of your system
Here we go:
- Take your DOS boot disk and copy the extracted files from Dolly.zip to the
disk. You can create a boot disk by formatting a disk in Windows and selecting
'Copy System Files' during the process. The copy of Dolly here on my site is a
shareware version. If you use it past the allotted time, please pay the
- Shut your system down, and connect the original KI hard drive (source) to
the primary IDE (IDE #1) on your motherboard and connect the destination drive
on the secondary IDE (IDE #2).
- **NOTE** If your current hard drive(s) has/have been set up without
auto-detection, you will need to make note of ALL the settings (and return
them to the original ones after the copy) or your system will not boot.
Power on your system and enter the BIOS. If your BIOS can auto-detect the
hard drives, then have it do so. I typically like to turn off all the advanced
functions since these drives do not supported them. For example - turn off 32
bit transfer mode, turn off LBA (set to CHS if available), and set the PIO
mode to 0 or 1. If your system can auto-detect them properly, you should be
OK. If not, then enter the parameters in manually - Cylinders: 419, Heads: 13,
Sectors: 47, translating to a 131MB hard drive.
- Save the settings and exit the BIOS.
- When the system reboots, make sure you have your boot disk in the drive
and your system should boot to a command prompt: "A:\"
- At the command prompt type: "dolly hd128: hd129:" - The FIRST time you run
Dolly, it's going to ask you for some information so that it can create a
license file. It is not being sent to anyone, so just fill it in. When you
have entered in all the information requested, it will tell you that you can
use Dolly for 30 days.
- Again, type: "dolly hd128: hd129:". This time, it will ask you for your
license key or 'TRIAL'. Enter TRIAL and press the 'Enter' key.
- You will now see the following -
Dolly will read 'HD128
(418*13*47=255398) Range 0-255397' range 0-255397
Dolly will write 'HD129
(418*13*47=255398) Range 0-255397' range 0-255397
Total number of sectors
to be copied is 255398
CAUTION: Data on destination drive might be
destroyed! Continue (y/n)
- Make sure your total sectors and numbers match the above - if not, then
your system did NOT auto- configure the drives properly, or you entered in the
data incorrectly in your BIOS.
- If everything matches up - type a "y" at the prompt and hit 'enter'.
- You will see the sector by sector progress, and as long as you have no bad
sectors on your source or destination drives, the copy will complete and
that's it! You have successfully backed up your KI drive!
Final notes and considerations:
- When copying these drives, I use the following hardware - SuperMicro SD2GE
Pentium III Dual Xeon motherboard with a Pentium III Xeon 450Mhz CPU w/2MB L2
cache and 256MB PC133 SDRAM CAS2. Quality hardware - period.
- I will not be responsible for any damage or accidental data loss due to
your using this page to duplicate your hard drive. There are many things that
can go wrong with the above process (having the drives backwards would be
devastating), and if something goes wrong, I assure you - it WAS your fault.
- Many people are familiar with Ghost these days, and I have yet to see it
image these drives properly even in 'sector by sector' mode which is what is
absolutely necessary to copy these drives. The basic reasoning is that Ghost
still looks for a partition table and a particular format (NT, 98, etc.) when
it makes the image. Killer Instinct drives do not have a partition table at
all from what I can tell and the hardware seems to make direct hardware calls
to access the specific portion of data it needs at a given time. This absence
of this partition table is the main reason that bad sectors alone ruin these
drives. With a table, the drive could simply re-allocate the data to a good
sector, and this would all be seamless, and handled by the firmware on the
drive itself. But - this is not how it was done. This is my current
understanding, so if I am incorrect, please let me know and I will update this
- As mentioned above, these copies will play perfectly, but will not pass
the hard drive diagnostic in the game itself. You will receive the following
error: "Checksum Sectors Corrupted!!!" I am not quite sure why this error
occurs. If someone else out there knows why, please e-mail me. I will be
looking into it in the meantime.
- If you find a source of replacement ST9150AG drives, please e-mail me.
They are difficult to find as you probably know. Please don't hoard them!
- Killer Instinct 2 uses a form of copy protection - I haven't really put
much time into it, but the above process does not work, so my current opinion
is this: The hardware is making a call to the drive for a specific serial
number from the firmware or EEPROM on the hard drive itself. This is very
simple and very effective means of protecting the data. Once I come up with a
method for overcoming this, I will let you know. It will NOT be intrusive or a
'crack' - it will be a 'work-around'.
- I will accept e-mail based on this web page, but please read this first.
If you ask a question that is answered on the page, you will be sent a link to
the page as a response. Generally I want to be able to help anyone that needs
it, but I will not answer questions as to 'how to hook hard drives up' and
things like that. This knowledge is considered a 'prerequisite' and this was
mentioned early on. Besides, general information like that is well beyond the
scope of this document.
- This was 'my' game while I was in college, and this page is my way of
helping other people that truly love this game to preserve it as long as
possible. I am not a real fan of Killer Instinct 2 as they removed Riptor, who
was my favorite character. There literally was no one whose ass I couldn't
kick with that dinosaur! Anyone who wishes to contest this - bring it on!