Creating the Amiga911 disk

 
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Introduction.
This is a (no longer so) small tutorial which explains how you can use Amiga911 Maker for creating a boot floppy, and by reading the instructions included here, you can see for your self how easy it really is.

There is also an alternative tutorial written by David Massot for the french magazine Obligement, it is more direct and to the point when compared to the one by me. The main goal of it is to provide instructions on how to create an Amiga911 boot disk that includes everything needed for mounting HDF image files on a classic Amiga. It also explains how to actually mount a HDF file after booting the disk so that files can be copied directly from it. Just remember that David's article was written with Amiga911 Maker 1.54 in mind, so it doesn't fully reflect all new changes in 1.62. You can find the french article here, and the english version is here.


Preperations.
Before we start, make sure you have a suitable Workbench disk ready.  If you don't have one, there are some possible workarounds that you can read about right here. You will also need an empty floppy disk which in the end will become your new Amiga911 boot disk.  Apart from that, there's nothing else required since the most essential Programs and USB related files are included with Amiga911 Maker now.


 

Now let's begin with creating the Amiga911 boot disk.

 
 
Contents:
 
Create a new project
Configure system
Configure programs
 
Copy system files
Copy program files
Configure/Copy other files manually
 
Create archives
Create disk
Final words
 




 


Create  a  new  project


After you have double-clicked the A911Maker icon, the above window should appear. First of all you have to create a new project, so press the "New" button.

 

This will first bring up the small window to the left. Here you must select what type of project to create, so just click the "Amiga911 disk" button to continue.  Next, the right window will appear, and this one has the following five gadgets:

Name -  enter the name you want to use for your new project in this text gadget.

Low-Mem disk - enable this if the boot disk is to be used on a Amiga with less than 2MB RAM, disable it if the disk is to be used on a Amiga with 2MB or more RAM.

XPK compress - if you want to create a Low-Mem disk, there will not be much space left for anything extra on the floppy since the majority of files won't be included in the LZX archives But by enabling this option, most of the files in question will be XPK crunched instead - thus leading to more free space on the disk. You can read more about the XPK system on this page.

AmigaOS - use the cycler gadget for selecting what AmigaOS version to include on the boot disk.

Default settings - enable this if you want to use the default settings for your project, otherwise the current settings will be used instead.

Please note!  You can later edit the above by selecting "Edit project details" from the Project menu of Amiga911 Maker.


When you are finished, click the "OK" button


 

Inside the Projects directory there should now be a new dir having the name you entered in the previous window, and it is exactly this dir which are referred to as your project dir elsewhere in this tutorial. The only thing to be found inside this new dir right now is a small file called "A911Project" which holds the settings for your project.  If the boot disk is meant for the very Amiga you are using to create it with, you might consider to run the Import System files & settings function now.

Take a look at the image above. As you can see, there are three main steps involved with creating a boot disk:

Step 1: Configure system & Configure programs - here you can configure various settings and what kind of system files you want included on the disk. In the Configure programs section you can select what programs that shall be included on the floppy.
 
Step 2: Copy system files & Copy program files - this will start copying system and program files to your project, you will need a Workbench disk for this.
 
Step 3: Create archives & Create disk - this will create three (or four) archives containing some of the files that was copied in Step 2, in addition to this, some other files will be XPK crunched (if this was selected when you first created the project). The Create disk section will as the name implies, create the actual boot floppy.

First of all, click the "Configure system" button.

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Configure  system


This should bring up the above "Configure system" window which contains some options that needs further explenation:

ScreenMode - here you can select the default screenmode that will be used after the Amiga911 disk have been booted, you can choose between the following: PAL Highres, PAL Highres L, NTSC Highres, NTSC Highres L or User Defined (where the "L" is short for Laced).
If you want to use a screenmode other than the PAL & NTSC modes, you should select "User Defined" here. You will then have to manually copy the monitor driver you prefer over to your project later on (you can read more about this further down in this tutorial).

Processor - select the type of CPU the Amiga you intend to use this disk on has. Certain files that will be included on the Amiga911 disk will be versions that are optimized for the processor you select here.

Prop. font - by enabling this, a proportional version of the Topaz font will be added to the disk. It makes Workbench look a bit better (although a bit weird as well). *

ZShell - select this option to include ZShell on the boot disk. It is an alternative to the standard Amiga Shell, and the great thing about ZShell is that it have lots of built-in commands which may lead to less disk access. This can be useful with Low-Mem disk projects where the majority of commands are stored directly on the floppy instead of in a archive. But have in mind that ZShell isn't 100% Amiga Shell compatible, among other things, the StartProgram and Mounter scripts will not work for example.

toBack&Front
- this is a tool similar to ClickToFront that makes windows come to front by double-clicking them. *

AmigaGuide
- support for AmigaGuide documents is optional, and if you disable this option, the Amiga911 disk will not contain any datatypes, and the amigaguide & datatypes libraries + the AddDatatypes command will be excluded as well. This might save up to 52 KB of disk space used. But it will still be possible to view text files since the xMore viewer by Jorma Oksanen is included instead.

HDToolBox
- if you want HDToolBox included on the boot disk, enable this option.

Patch HDTB - the version of HDToolBox that is included with AmigaOS 3.1 and lower, doesn't work with certain types of storage devices like for example Compact Flash cards. So if you want to set up a CF card as harddisk via a IDE to CF adapter, HDToolBox has to be patched first. Enable this option if you want this to happen, the patching will be done automagically right after HDToolBox has been copied.

PCMCIA - CF - only select this if the disk is to be used on a A600 or A1200 and you want to use a Compact Flash card as storage device via a PCMCIA to CF adapter

Keymap - here you can select the keymap you prefer. If the gadget below the list is set to "One Keymap", only the selected keymap will be included on the Amiga911 disk. If the gadget is set to "All Keymaps" instead, all 14 keymaps will be included on the disk, and the highlighted one will be set as default. This will increase the disk usage with a couple of kilobytes.
 
* This is to be considered as optional not-really-required "luxury", if you need to disable something in order to free up some disk space, these two options should be the first to go.


When you are finished, click the right "Arrow" button.


 

This will bring up page 2 of "Configure System" as seen above, and this window have the following options:

CD-ROM
If the Amiga you will use the Amiga911 disk on has a CD-ROM drive attached, you can add support for this by enabling the CD0: option. In the Device text gadget you can enter the name of the device driver required for mounting the drive, and if you don't include any path, it is assumed that the driver is internal. For selecting a driver file, use the button next to the text gadget instead. You must also enter the correct unit number in the Unit box.

Upon copying files to your project, the CD-ROM mount file will be configured by using the settings mentioned above, and if the device driver is a physical file that can be found, it will be copied to the project as well. The CD0 mount file will be stored directly on the Amiga911 disk - which allows you to manually edit it later.

Poseidon USB stack
It is possible to include a minimalistic version of the Poseidon USB stack on the Amiga911 disk,  just click the "Use" button inside the main Poseidon box to enable this option. By default you will be limited to using usb hubs and mass storage devices only, but support for usb mice & keybords can also be included by enabling the corresponding options inside the main Poseidon box. If either of these options are selected, the system will also be patched with a new input.device (by using the LoadModule command) upon booting the Amiga911 disk. Enabling the "USB CD-ROM" option makes sure that AmiCDFS is included on the disk, this filesystem is required for using usb cd-rom drives.

Furthermore, Trident prefs will not be used because of disk space limitations, and a special cut-down smaller version of poseidon.library will be included on the disk.  To the right you can select the hardware drivers to be included on the boot disk, they are the following:
 
Option
Subway
RRoad CP 
Highway
Algor
Thylacine
Spider
   Driver
-  subwayusb.device
-  rapidroadcpusb.device
-  highwayusb.device
-  algorusb.device
-  thylacine.device
-  spider.device
Option
Subway A600
RRoad XS100 
Deneb DMA
Deneb PIO
Deneb Z2
 
   Driver
-  subwayusb_a600.device
-  rapidroadxs100usb.device
-  denebdmausb.device
-  denebpiousb.device
-  denebz2usb.device
 

Anaiis USB stack
You can also include Anaiis on the boot disk, just click the "Use" button inside the main Anaiis box to enable it. There are also some other options available, and if you want support for USB mass storage devices, just enable the "Massive" option. DumpX are not really required, but it might be useful in case of problems with mounting mass storage devices. The Anaiis prefs program should also really not be needed, but if you still want it included, just enable the "Prefs" option. Anaiis will by default only support Subway USB cards, and in case you want Highway support as well, you will have to enable the "Highway" option.

Some notes about the USB stacks:
1. For safety reasons, you can include only ONE usb stack on the Amiga911 boot disk.
2. It's best that you already have the selected usb stack installed on your system, this way you'll know that everything works like it should.
3. Have in mind that the usb stacks are used on the Amiga911 disk in a way that really wasn't intended by the original authors.
4. The subwayusb_a600.device driver is meant for certain third-party clockport adapters. If the Subway is connected to a A603 or A604 memory expansion card, you should use the regular subwayusb.device driver instead.

You can read more about the Poseidon stack here.
And you can find more info regarding Anaiis here.


Now you can click the right "Arrow" button to open the third and final Configure system page.


 

Page 3 of "Configure System" have the following options:

IDEfix - by enabling this option, you can select an IDEfix file to be included on the disk. IDEfix will allow you to use large harddisks (>4GB) on your Amiga, and if you are not using it on your system yet, you must first download and install it (by using the included installer). If you intend to use a Compact Flash card as harddisk, IDEfix must be patched before you do this. The bad thing about IDEfix is that unless you got a serial key, you will be pestered with a lot of annoying requesters all the time. I do however belive a serial to IDEfix is included in the Amiga Forever DVD by Cloanto.

scsi.dev - there is also another alternative for using large harddisks, and that is to patch the system with a newer scsi.device. This can be done by using the LoadModule command together with the scsi.device file, the drawback of this solution is that a reboot is required upon booting the system. In the example above, I have chosen a file called OS_Module6 which was extracted from the OS3.9 BB2 ROM update by using a tool supplied with RemApollo. Upon copying files to the project, Amiga911 Maker will automatically copy and rename this file to scsi.device. You can find newer versions of scsi.device in the Amiga Large HD archive (see below).

FFS - enable this if you want to have FastFileSystem included on the disk. By default Amiga911 Maker will add the standard FastFileSystem that's included on the original WB Install disk, but if you want to use another version, just choose "Copy FFS from Selected file" from the menu. Then you will be able to manually select another version of FFS, this can be a newer one found in the Amiga Large HD pack.

PFS - it is also possible to include ProfessionalFileSystem on the Amiga911 disk. As standard, version 2.3 of PFS3-AIO (All-In-One) will be added to your projects. If you want another version, just choose "Copy PFS from Selected file" from the menu, then you will be able to manually select another version of PFS.

SFS - select this if you want SmartFileSystem included on your disk. Have in mind that it may not be possible to choose this if you have selected a 68000 processor. The reason for this is because SFS requires a 68020 or higher CPU. By default version 1.279 of SmartFileSystem will be used on OS3.x projects, while v1.58 will be used on OS2.x projects.  If you want to use another version, just choose "Copy SFS from Selected file" from the menu. Then you will be able to manually select another version of SFS.

NSDPatch - NSD Patch the System to the New Style Device standard. Basically what this means is that by enabling this option you can use large harddisks (>4GB) on your Amiga (it makes the system "see" the large partitions).

PFSformat - a command for formatting PFS partitions.

SFSformat - a command for formatting SFS partitions.

SFSCheck - a command that checks SFS partitions for errors.

Please note the following:
1. It is possible to include both IDEfix and a newer scsi.device on the boot disk, but only one of them can be used upon booting. You can select which one to use by configuring the Startup-Sequence of the Amiga911 disk.
2. The "scsi.dev" option can now be enabled without having to select a scsi.device file as well. You can do this if you just want the boot disk to be prepared for this type of functionality (will include LoadModule), just remember to make sure that the "File" gadget is empty.



As you probably understand, page 3 of "Configure system" allows you to select all the files required for setting up a (large) harddisk on your Amiga, and when Amiga911 Maker copies files to your project, it will also configure the Startup-Sequence that will be put on your boot disk according to what you have selected here.
But it's up to you to find the right combination of files that best suits your setup, Bloodwych who is the person behind the ClassicWB packs has written a great tutorial about setting up large harddisks, and you can find it here. Just have in mind that this tutorial assumes that you are using ClassicWB on your Amiga. You may also notice that he is referring to a “MyFiles->LargeHD” drawer, and if you're not a ClassicWB user, it is included in the Amiga Large HD archive which you can read more about here.


When you are finished with configuring, click the "OK" button

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Configure  programs


Now it's time to select what programs that should be included on your boot disk, so from Amiga911 Makers main window, click the "Configure programs" button.

This should bring up the above window. The left list shows all programs that you can add to your project, while the right one shows all programs that are currently selected. Between the two lists there are four small buttons: From top to bottom, the first button copies the selected item in the left list to the right one, the second button copies ALL items from the left list to the right, the third button removes the selected item in the right list and the fourth button clears the right list entirely.

 
Currently there are 22 programs that can be selected:
 
  There are also four options on the right side:
 
Check4GB  - check if your HD setup is 4GB-ready
DiskImage  - mount any disk image file as a DOS device
DiskMaster2  - small, fast and compatible dir utility
DiskSalv2  - disk salvage program by Dave Haynie
DiskSalv4  - disk salvage program by Dave Haynie
FileMaster3  - very powerful file manager
HDInstTools  - harddisk installation tool
HJSplit  - split large files into smaller ones
ImageMount  - mount ADF, ISO and HDF disk images
JanoEditor  - simple and efficient text editor
MaxTransTest  -  tests the MaxTransfer value of a partition
Ordering  - powerful directory utility
PFSDoctor  -  repair and recovery tool for PFS volumes
PFSSalv2  -  save files from damaged PFS partitions
Redit  - small, fast and compatible text editor
SFSSalv  -  recover files from damaged SFS partitions
SnoopDos  - well known system and application monitor
SysInfo  - gives comprehensive system information
TransADF  - reads & writes ADF/ADZ disk images
TurboText  - fast and highly customisable text editor
Virus Checker II  - anti virus program. v2.5 (Brain v3.0).
WhichAmiga  - ShowConfig kind of tool. V1.3.3

You can read more about them on The Programs page.
  If ISO support is enabled, it will make sure that AmiCDFS is included so that DiskImage and/or ImageMount can be used for mounting ISO CD-ROM images.

The FileManagers cycler gadget allows you to select if DiskMaster2, FileMaster3 and/or Ordering should use 16, 8 or 4 color screen modes (the latter will be faster and use a little less RAM).

FileMaster3 cycler allows you to select which version of the program to be included, either version 3.1 or 3.2.

The Extra files option is for Virus Checker II. As standard, this program will be included in a very minimal form, but by enabling this option, VCPrefs (for configuring Virus Checker II) and xvs.library (for extra virus protection) will be added as well. This will be at the cost of some extra disk space used.


After you have selected the programs you want included on the boot disk, it might be a good idea to press the "Check" button to see if you have all the required files. If you get a message saying that no files needs to be downloaded, just press the "OK" button, otherwise the following window will pop up:

 


As you can see from the image above, this window gives you information about what files needs to be downloaded, and to where they should be copied afterwards. The "Copy" button copies this information to the clipboard, and the "Save" button allows you to save it to a text file. If you enable the "Save file as HTML document" option, the file will be saved as HTML instead, and then it will include clickable links to the required files!

When you are finished, click the "Close" button, and then the "OK" button in the "Configure programs" window. Then go ahead and download all missing files, and copy them to the "Resources" dir afterwards.

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Copy  system  files


Now that you have configured the settings, it may probably be a good idea to save your project, so hit the "Save" button in Amiga911 Makers main window.

The next thing to do is to start copying files to your project, so click the "Copy system files" button.

 

This will bring up the above "Copy system files" window.

It is called "Copy system files", but maybe a more proper name could have been "Manage system" files instead, because you see, this GUI doesn't only copy files - it can delete files as well. This comes in handy if you regret some of the choices you made earlier, here is an example of this: Let's say that you previously have configured your project to include HDToolBox, and that you already have run "Copy system files" once so that it has been copied to your project. Later you regret this since you don't want HDToolBox anyway. Then all you have to do is to first un-select this tool in the "Configure system files" window, and then run "Copy system files" one more time. Now HDToolBox will be deleted from your project!

The "StripHunk files" option will strip debug hunks from executable files and libraries in order to reduce their file sizes (and thus increase free disk space). In addition the DREL32 option will be used with StripHunk - something that causes the files to no longer work on AmigaOS 1.3 and lower (not that this should be any problem). StripHunk will only be used on files that are not to be XPK crunched, since this might make the resulting files somewhat unreliable. Do have in mind that stripping hunks from certain files might corrupt them! The standard Workbench files + all third-party stuff included with Amiga911 Maker however, should be just fine (the few problematic ones will be skipped).  Anyway, in case there are problems, you can simply run "Copy system files" one more time with the "StripHunk files" option off and "Overwrite files" option on in order to fix things. You can read more about StripHunk here.

If you enable the "Overwrite files" option, all files will as the title implies be overwritten. It is really recommended that you do this if you have upgraded Amiga911 Maker to a newer version since all the new changes will then be applied to your old project(s).

During the copy process, various files will also be configured to fit your project, some examples of this is the ToolsDaemon menu + the Startup-Sequence & DosBoot scripts which will be customized versions for your boot floppy.


Click the "Start" button to begin copying system files to your project. During this process you will be requested to insert your Workkbench disk so that files can be copied from it as well.


When all copying is finished, click the "Close" button in the "Copy system files" window.

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Copy  program  files

 
Now you can click the "Copy program files" button in Amiga911 Makers main window to start copying the programs you previously have selected to your project, the above window will then pop up. Just like the "Copy system files" GUI, this one will also clean up your project by deleting files that are no longer wanted.

This window does also have the "StripHunk files" and "Overwrite files" options, check out the "Copy system files" section above for more information about what they do.

When you click the "Start" button, the program will try to extract the required files from the archives that you previously have downloaded and copied to the "Resources" drawer (if any), or the files will be extracted from the A911-ProgramsA.lha & A911-ProgramsB.lha archives instead. Some additional files will also be extracted from another archive included with Amiga911 Maker.

When all copying/extracting is done, click the "Close" button





Configure/Copy  other  files  manually


Inside the main directory of your project, there should now be three (or four) new dirs:

Amiga911 - All files inside this directory are the ones that will end up on the Amiga911 disk.
 
System0 - Contains various patch files that requires a reboot upon booting the floppy *
 

System1
- Contains the main system files, everything that is needed when booting the disk is included here **
 

System2 - Contains secondary files that are not really needed on startup, examples of this includes filesystems, device drivers and files that are required by the programs you have added to your project (like libraries and stuff).
 
Programs - All programs that you want to be added to your project are included in this dir.
 
*  This directory is somewhat optional.
** If you previously configured your project to be a Low-Mem disk, the majority of files in the C & Libs dirs will be in the Amiga911 directory instead. Most of these files will be XPK crunched if this option was selected upon creating the project, otherwise they won't be compressed in any way!



Now it's a good time for you personally to start configuring and copying other files that are required to your project, this can be drivers, libraries and other stuff.  If the boot disk is meant for the very Amiga you are using to create it with, you might consider to run the Import System files & settings function now (if you haven't already done so). But you can of course do this manually, here are some examples:
 
 - If you neither want to use PAL or NTSC screenmodes (you selected "User Defined" in the "Configure system" window), copy the monitor driver you prefer to System1/Devs/Monitors.
 
 - If the boot disk is intended for an Amiga with a 68040 processor, make sure that the 68040.library is present in the "Amiga911/Libs" directory. If it isn't there, you have to copy it yourself.
 
 - If the boot disk is intended for an Amiga with a 68060 processor, you have to copy the correct versions of 68040.library and 68060.library that matches your accelerator card to the "Amiga911/Libs dir.
 

I will suggest that you use your time with this, and make sure that all required files are copied to your project. When you are finished, you can start with creating the archive files.

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Create  archives


Right now there are three (or four) files missing in the Amiga911 directory, and they are the archive files. To create them, click the "Create archives" button in Amiga911 Makers main window, this will make the above window appear.

The following archives will be created in the "Amiga911" dir:
 
System0.lzx - will include all files in the "System0" directory. *
 
System1.lzx
- will include all files in the "System1" directory.
 
System2.lzx - will include all files in the "System2" directory.
 
Programs.lzx - will include all files in the "Programs" directory.
 
*  This archive will only be created if the System0 dir exists.
 

As you probably can see from the image, you have the possibility to select which archives to create, but be careful with this - only un-select archives if you know exactly what you are doing! You should only do this if the archive already exists in the "Amiga911" dir, and only if the contents of both the archive and it's source dir are exactly the same. Messing up with this shouldn't ruin anything, but it might lead to a non-working boot disk.
The "XPK Crunch" option will as you probably already have guessed, xpk crunch some files :-), there is also a "User Dir(s)" option which you can read more about here.

Click the "Start" button to create the archives.


Some notes about the file archives:
1. The archive format used is LZX because of the great compression that can be achived with this archiver (much better than LhA & Zip).
2. In most cases, the maximum possible compression LZX has to offer is used.
3. All three (or four) archives will always be created from scratch, no files will ever be added to an already existing archive. The reason for this is to make full use of LZX's "merge files" functionality.
4. All of the above is to make sure that the file archives uses as little space as possible on the Amiga911 boot disk.


You can read more about the LZX archive format here.
And you can find more info about XPK crunching here.


 

When the archives have been created, the program will calculate how much space all files will use on a standard 880KB floppy disk. This is to see if everything will fit on the disk before starting to copy files to it.

If the "Free space" sizes have negative values, it means that the sizes given is the amount that is too much. In other words, if the free space on the disk is -120 KB, you will have to do something that removes at least 120 KB from your project. This involves removing stuff by repeating steps 1-3 in this guide again (configure project - copy files - create archives), and if necessary, repeating it until the above window no longer shows negative values.

No matter what you do, it's really recommended that you have at least a minimum of 10 KB free space on the Amiga911 disk, this is for config files and such.

Please note!  This "Disk Usage" functionality can now at any time be used by selecting "Disk usage info" from the menu of Amiga911 Maker.

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Create  disk


Now it's time to make the actual Amiga911 boot floppy, so hit the "Create disk" button found in the main window of Amiga911 Maker. This will bring up the window above which have the following options:

Quick Format  - select this if you want to quick format the disk (faster but not as safe as normal format).
 
Int. Mode  - use international mode when formatting, this is recommended if english isn't your main language.
 
Drive  - allows you to select the disk drive to be used (DF0: or DF1:)
 
When you are done, insert a floppy disk into the selected drive and click the "Start" button to begin.
Have in mind though that ALL files currently present on the disk will be lost, and that there's no easy way of recovering them, do also make sure that the disk is not write protected.


If you prefer to do this manually by first formatting & installing the disk (making it bootable), and then copy all files to it, the old instructions for doing this can be found here.



 

Final words
 
That's it! If you followed the instuctions above, you should now have created the Amiga911 boot disk, partially customized by yourself where it actually includes the stuff that YOU prefer.

Now you can test the disk, so insert it into whatever Amiga it was intended for, and boot it up!

Remember that in case you ever need to change anything on your Amiga911 disk, you can just follow all the steps in this tutorial one more time - with the only difference that you open the existing project instead of creating a new one in the beginning.

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