How to setup MESSUI
Getting the latest version
If you already have a MESS installation, simply place messui.exe into the same folder as mess.exe is in, then go to "Setting up messui.ini".
Otherwise, you must be new to MESS, so follow these steps:
- Adjust your Windows system to display extensions of all files, and show hidden files.
- Select a place for your MESS install. Recommend c:\mess (or whatever drive you use for your apps)
- From the MESSUI download page, download the binary suitable for your system (32 or 64 bit).
- Unzip this into your new MESS folder.
Setting up MESS.INI
- Open a command prompt (In the Windows start menu, click Run, type in cmd, press enter).
- Change to the drive where MESS is installed: c:
- Change to the folder where MESS is installed: cd \mess
- Type in: mess -cc
- In Windows Explorer (the file manager), open mess.ini
- Check these settings are as below:
- readconfig 1
- writeconfig 1
- inipath ini
- menu 1
- filter 0
- hlsl_enable 0
- Make any changes you like to rompath, hashpath, etc if required.
- Save the changes (if any), and close the file.
- Make sure the ini folder exists (e.g. c:\mess\ini), and copy mess.ini into it.
- Make sure you have some bios roms for a system, zipped up as the system name, placed into the roms folder.
- Go back to the command prompt (it's still open from before), and enter: mess system. The system should start. Click File, Exit to quit.
- Close the command prompt: exit
- We cannot help you find roms or software for MESS. You'll need to search the net.
Setting up MESSUI.INI
- Double-click on messui.exe. In a few seconds it should start. Now, close it.
- Open messui.ini, and locate the line starting with column_order. Check the numbers. If any appear more than once, change the numbers to read 0,10,6,2,4,5,7,8,9,1,3. Save and close the file.
Very quick guide to MESSUI options
MESSUI has a huge amount of options, here is how to set up the most important ones:
- Press F5, this will scan your roms so that MESSUI will know which systems can be run.
- Click on View, Customize fields... - you can choose which columns to display in the list of systems
- Click on View, and make sure the first 5 choices are ticked/checked.
- Click on View, Show Pictures and choose which things you would like to see on the righthand side.
- Click on Options, Directories and for each item in the list, choose where it is located. The list is somewhat daunting, so for now do nothing, it can be fine-tuned later.
- Click on Options, Background Image... - navigate to a folder containing PNG files, then choose a nice-looking one.
- Now, the system list might be hard to read, so click on Options, System List Font, and choose another colour. Note this changes ALL text in MESSUI.
- Click on Options, System List Clone Color - if you want clones to be another colour, choose it here. You can't choose a different font.
- Click on Options, Default System Options - this should be the same as you had set up in MESS.INI earlier, but you can change it here. It only applies to systems you have never run.
- Click on Options, Messinfo file... - if you downloaded messinfo.dat, point to it here.
- Now, exit MESSUI so we can save our settings. If MESSUI crashes, any changed settings are lost.
Getting Ready to Run a System
This needs to be done for any system you wish to use:
- Find the system in the list and right-click it, choose Properties. These are the same as the Default properties, but can be customised per-system. The most important thing to do is set up the location of your software.
- Click the Software tab, click Browse, find your software for this particular system, and save it.
- Your software will appear in the Picker. Clicking something will load it. Double-clicking either the software or the system will launch it, with that software loaded.
- Now, at last, you are playing a system or console.
Systems that Require software
Some consoles will crash without software, so make sure you have selected something for these:
- PC Engine / SuperGrafx / Turbo Grafx 16
- Wonderswan / Wonderswan Color
- Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and clones
The Mess Team.