Create a data set (setfile) with multiple files (romfiles)


This guide describes how to prepare and add a setfile composed of multiple files (roms) to an existing datfile. A setfile is (usually) a digital copy of the software being preserved. In other words, the zipfile containing the roms inside it. Several setfiles are grouped into one datfile. Normally, each set has a single rom inside, dumped from the physical media - a copy of the data from the original disc, disk, tape, or others. A few other sets are called the multi-rom datasets. These are similar to the single-rom datasets, just with more than one romfile. Several reasons exist, the media can be dumped to more than one file. Some examples of these are: iso/wav/cue for discs; pcbs with several chips that were dumped individually; or even media (such as disks) which were not dumped to create a true image but instead only the content was saved and zipped to an archive - more common with software that is not being distributed in physical ways.

How-toTo prepare a new dat-set (also known as setfile) that contains multiple files (roms) for a single title, the following is needed:

  • Clrmamepro
  • Existing files from previous dat-set for the category being updated(*)
  • The new setfile with properly named romfiles
  • Text editor with UTF-8 support (notepad++ / ultraedit)

(*) This is mostly for the maintainer, it isn't necessary if you manually edit the xml files - not recommended unless you know what you're doing, or if you are contributing to a maintainer.


Make sure that all the files for each title are located in their respective TNC named directory - this is basically the same name as the TNC title / CUE file for ISO's except the extension.

Taking "Commodore Amiga CDTV/Multimedia" as the example for this tutorial.


Start up clrmamepro. Using it's shortcut, right click and run as administrator.

Enter Dir2Dat.



For multifiles (sets with multiple roms) make sure your checks are set as this.

You can load the settings from a pre-made dir2dat file that can be found at our forum.


Source folder is the source folder representing the datfile. The folder which contains the sub-folders of the titles (setfiles), as seen in the first image.

Dat-File, this is just the destination where you want to save the file, make sure this filename corresponds to the <description> field in the dat (xml) file.

Header entries:

You can choose to ignore these if you want to add the entries by hand in a text editor.


When everything is set as you want it, click create......

....and wait til the job finishes


The created file can now be found in the specified folder.

Open up the newly created file with a text editor. I'm using Notepad++ which is available for free.

Delete the lines that contain <date> and <comment>. Fill out the rest of the fields so it fits with the correct data, name, category etc.


As shown in the image above, nowadays clrmame pro (by default) uses the keyword (entity) "machine" to represent a setfile. It previously used "game" and to maintain consistency across our dats we still use that.

Thus, <machine name must be replaced with <game name, same goes for their corresponding closing tags </machine> to </game>.

This can be done in either two ways:

1) Telling the tool you want it to use "game". To this end, close clrmame pro completely, open the file cmp.ini  and change the line "Adv_SetElementXML = machine" to "Adv_SetElementXML = game". After that, dir2dat will generate new dats with "game".

2) Editing it manually. In the text editor Press CTRL-H in notepad++ to get access to the Search & Replace dialog.

Fill in the fields shown above, and click "Replace All". Do the same for the closing tags.. syntax below.


Save the file and commit to the TOSEC crew.


 There are alternative ways to achieve the same result. For instance, zipped setfiles instead of folders could have been used. Feel free to contact us at our forum is there is any question about the process.


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