Dealing With Bin Cue Files On A Mac
Unfortunately, the Mac OS X Disk Utility does not support either BIN or CUE files. So we'll have to turn to third-party software. The very popular Toast can handle these files, but it is expensive. We found a free software utility called Burn. Burn can handle BIN and CUE files with ease, and this freeware program is small and fast.
Dealing with Bin Cue Files on a Mac
Cuesheet is a file format that specifies track structures of mixed mode compact discs. It can be used with DOSBox, when a game needs to access audio tracks of its CD that is stored as an image file. The prevalent ISO format can only store data tracks.
Use a CD burning application like CDRWIN that can write image files in cuesheet format. (An alternative to mounting the CUE/BIN images directly with DOSBox is to load it with the Daemon Tools or similar virtual drives and mount that volume instead like a normal CD-ROM.)
Producing a CUE/BIN pair under Mac OS X is similar to Linux, but with a couple of modifications. First, you need to install the "cdrdao" package from either MacPorts (recommended), Fink, or from source. Then, insert your CD. It will mount automatically, and you'll need to unmount it with a command like:
Another advantage of cuesheets is the possibility to compress audio tracks. The image of a CD's contents can split into an ISO image of the data track and one or more compressed files in OGG or MP3 format for the audio tracks. This method can drastically reduce the image's size without a substantial loss of audio quality.
Most abandonware games on PC were created for the MS-DOS operating system. Today's computers no longer offer the same environment for the programs. Hopefully, some people were unhappy with this and created software to mimic the old computers operating system!
DOSBox-X is another cross platform DOS Emulator (Windows, Mac and Linux) with several great features: friendly GUI interface, PC-98 emulation, save / load at anytime, enhanced Win3x / 95 / 98 support...
Starting with a fresh D-Fend install, you should see this screen after launching the program. You can already launch DOSDox DOS to bring an operational MS-DOS system. Guess you want to play a GAME, so not much to do here.
Now that the game files are on the virtual drive, we must add the game to D-Fend. Click on Add > Add manually... > Add DOSBox Profile. A new window will appear, as shown in the video, the "Profile editor". We must set the program file by clicking on the folder icon at the right end of "Program file".
The explorer will show you the contents of the virtual drive. Navigate through the game folder until you see program files. Some game only has one file listed here, Mario Teaches Typing has two, usually, the right file to select is named after the game. This time, it's "MARIO", select the file and click Open. You may also select a setup program the same way, as shown in the video. Useful for sound configuration most of the time.
After downloading and unzipping the game files somewhere, launch D-Fend, click Add > Add with wizard... A new window appears, "Create new profile", Emulation type should be set to DOSBox. Click on Next.
Many old games were made to run as fast as the computer could get, those may be too fast with DOSBox default CPU cycles. You have to reduce the CPU cycles with CTRL-F11 in DOSBox. Other frontend programs may use different shortcuts.
On the opposite, the default CPU cycles may be too low for "recent" DOS games, you will have to raise the CPU cycles with CTRL-F12 in Dosbox. Other frontend programs may use different shortcuts. You can also skip frames in DOSBox to get better performances, use CTRL-F8 to increase the number of frames skipped. You can read more about performances in DOSBox on the official wiki.
Some of the games are available as a CD image, a perfect copy of the original CD. For DOS games, DOSBox will read the images if the format is ISO or BIN/CUE. Several formats are possible, though: ISO, CUE/BIN, NRG, MDS/MDF. Usually, these images come with Windows games, scroll down for help on opening these.
For DOS games, it's quite straightforward: DOSBox allows you to mount these images directly, with the IMGMOUNT command. The IMGMOUNT command will perfectly mount ISO images, but can also mount CUE/BIN images. CUE/BIN images allow you to mount a game CD which has music tracks on it - many games of the late 90s used this system, and you could play the game music on a CD player.
If you use a DOSBox frontend, you will probably find a way to mount an image through the menus. One alternative is to mount these images with a mounting software (see below for Windows) and using the mounted image as a source in DOSBox using the MOUNT command.
For Windows games, you need an additional software to mount (read) the images. On Windows 8/10/11, you can natively mount ISO files, but not all of them. Windows is quite sensitive about the way the ISO file is made and may return a corrupted disc file error. This can be resolved by installing a dedicated mounting software. Many solutions are available, not all of them are free:
Once installed, most of these software will allow you to mount an ISO or CUE/BIN image by simply double-clicking on it. Beware, some images contains additional data only readable by DAEMON Tools, making the disk image unmountable, or making the game unplayable without a crack / noCD. Having DAEMON Tools installed for these cases can be useful.
On a Mac computer, ISO files can be mounted without installing anything, but CUE/BIN files require DAEMON Tools Lite Mac to be mounted easily (click on the Download link next to the buy button). You can also try to rename the BIN file as an ISO file: rename "gamefile.bin" to "gamefile.iso" and open the file - it may work!
It's a very flexible application with several advanced features that are often lacking in other tools, especially when it comes to burning DVD Video discs. It supports all the latest drives without the need for updates (including booktype / bitsetting / advanced settings on many of the major ones - i.e. BenQ, LiteOn, LG, NEC, Optiarc, Pioneer, Plextor, Samsung, Sony).
Another alternative, we can do it for free. Depending on how your .bin and .cue files were built (sometimes one of them is corrupted), you can do following options. 2 Options you can use to convert .bin and .cue files to .iso
Drag your bin files onto the dropzone below and have the cue sheet generated automatically. Your files will not be uploaded. The dropzone is used to read the filenames of the bins, so this webpage can generate a cue sheet for you.
Once you have dragged your bins onto the dropzone, a cue sheet will appear in the textarea above. Copy the content into notepad.exe or whatever you prefer and save it in the same folder as your game bin files, or click the Download button. Keep in mind that the cue file references your bin files, so you feel a strange urge to rename the bin files, your cue sheet must be updated/regenerated to match the changes. While the name of the cue file itself doesn't matter, it's probably a good practice to name it after the game.
3. Now, we need to tell OS X that this is an executable file. Open terminal and type sudo a+x along with a space. Then drag bchunk from /usr/bin and drop it onto the terminal window. If you find that difficult, you can just copy and paste the command from here:
binchunker for Unix, version 1.2.0 by Heikki HannikainenCreated with the kind help of Bob Marietta ,partly based on his Pascal (Delphi) implementation.Support for MODE2/2352 ISO tracks thanks to input fromGodmar Back, Colas Nahabooand Matthew Green.Released under the GNU GPL, version 2 or later (at your option).Reading the CUE file:Track 1: MODE1/2352 01 00:00:00Writing tracks: 1: 13001.iso 372/372 MB [********************] 100 %
A disk image is a single file or storage device that usually contains a sector-by-sector replica of all of the data from a storage device such as a hard drive, DVD or floppy disk. It is an exact copy of the source device that includes the files and structure of the original storage medium. Disk images can be useful in many ways, such as:
Disk images can be made in a variety of formats. Two of the more popular formats are the DMG and ISO disk image formats. The ISO format is more favored by the Windows operating system. Mac users will usually find themselves interacting with DMG disk image files.
A disk image is often used to download software on the Internet. Mac users have probably downloaded many DMG files that are mounted as virtual drives on your desktop. When used in this manner they are a reminder of a time when floppy disks ruled the software distribution world. They are a streamlined way to distribute code and even complete operating systems can be downloaded in disk image format.
Creating a byte-by-byte backup of your system ensures that you can perfectly recreate the system if the need arises. It is a more resilient way to backup your system than the more commonly used logical backup. Using disk images along with logical backups will provide you with a robust backup scheme to protect your valuable data.
A better solution is to use Disk Drill to create a disk image from which to attempt your data recovery. Rather than subject the storage device to the stress that will ensue with the scanning necessary to recover your data, creating a disk image will entail only one more disk access across the device. This is highly preferable and is the recommended method when recovering files from a damaged or failing drive or partition.
You may have occasion to convert .bin or .cue files into an ISO file that can be used by other applications on your Mac. We will use two freeware software tools in order to accomplish this feat. First, we will install the Homebrew application which will then be used to install binchunker, which performs the actual file conversion.