Saving the settings

 
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Introduction
This is really a long overdue tutorial.  If you have ever tried to save the settings of certain programs that's included on the boot disks, you may have noticed that all changes are lost after a reboot. There may be several reasons as to why this happens, and one of them is because of the way the system assigns works. On this page you can read about the four different ways of saving the settings, and what ways are used by the various programs. There are also some additional notes regarding the A911Extras packs at the bottom of this page.



How the settings are saved
As mentioned above, there are four standard ways program settings are stored on the Amiga platform, and they are:

Settings file in Envarc:  -  This is the most common place of storing config files, where the real location of the Envarc: assign is usually the Prefs/Env-Archive directory found on the disk that was booted from, while the Env: assign as standard points to the Ram:Env dir. There really shouldn't be any problems with programs that saves the settings to Envarc:.  Just in case you are wondering about the differences between Env: and Envarc:, it is that upon clicking the "Use" button in a programs config window, the settings will be saved to Env: only (any changes will be lost upon reboot). By clicking the "Save" button instead, the settings will be saved to both Env: and Envarc: (any changes will become permanent). Have in mind that some programs which lacks a "use settings" functionality, will save the settings to Envarc: only.

Settings file in PROGDIR:  -  Another location for storing config files is PROGDIR:,  this is a temporary "virtual" assign that always points to the directory containing the currently running executable. Have in mind that this isn't a type of assign that the user can access directly, instead it's all handled internally by the executable. With most of the programs that can be included on the Amiga911 disk and Emergency Disk II, the PROGDIR: assign will lead to the Ram:Programs drawer (since it's from there the executables will be run). This in turn means that any changes made to a programs settings, will be lost upon reboot.  In most cases, you will personally have to figure out workarounds for this problem.

Settings file in S:  -  The S: assign usually points to the "S" directory on your boot disk/partition, but on the two types of boot disks, things are a bit different since they both use a  main and additional secondary S: assign. When the system looks for something in S: it will first check the main assign, and if it can't be found in there, it will take a peek in the secondary assign as well. Saving something on the other hand, will only be done to the main assign.  On the Amiga911 disk, the main S: assign leads to the Ram:System/S directory, while an additional S: assign leads to the Amiga911:S dir (on the floppy).  After booting the AmigaOS 3.9 CD by using an Emergency Disk II, the main S: assign will instead lead to the AmigaOS3.9:Emergency-Boot/S directory (on the CD), while the additional S: assign points to the Ram:System/S dir.
In both cases, I will recommend that you try to manually save the settings file to Ram:System/S, and then copy the file to the "S" directory on the boot floppy in order to make the changes permanent.

Icon ToolTypes  -  If an executable file has an icon, there may also be some settings stored in the icon file as well. This type of settings is known as the Icon ToolTypes. In order to check out the ToolTypes, all you have to do is single-click an icon with the mouse, select "Icons > Information" from the Workbench menu, and then you should be able to see a list over all tooltypes (if any). You may also notice that some of them might be enclosed in brackets, this means that they are disabled. The problem with Icon ToolTypes in Amiga911 and Emergency Disk II context, is that the executables which uses this functionality may be present on the Ram disk after booting up, this means that any changes made will be lost upon rebooting. One way of fixing this, is to copy the icon file directly to the boot disk, convert it to a Project icon, and then make all wanted changes to it. You must also remember to edit the "Default Tool" section in the icon information window, where you enter the name of the executable (including the full path).


Please note!  Some programs will look for it's config file in several places, like for example in this following order: PROGDIR:, Env: and S:. They may even be intelligent enough to remember where they found the config file in the first place, and will save the settings to the exact same location.



Program settings
The following is a list over all the stuff that can be added to the Amiga911 disks, A911Extras packs and Emergency Disk II floppies, where the settings can be saved. The list also provides information about from where the settings are read, and to where they can be saved. The phrase "Multiple locations" indicates whether or not the program will look for it's config file in several places.
 

Program name Reads settings from: Saves settings to: Multiple locations 
DiskMaster2 S:Startup.DM S:Startup.DM   No
DiskSalv2 Icon ToolTypes (must be done manually)   No
FileMaster3.1 Env:fm.prefs Envarc:fm.prefs   Yes
FileMaster3.2   * Env:fm.prefs PROGDIR:fm.prefs   Yes
HDInstTools   ** Icon ToolTypes (must be done manually)   No
HDToolBox   ** Icon ToolTypes (must be done manually)   No
JanoEditor Envarc:JanoEditor.prefs Envarc:JanoEditor.prefs   No
Ordering Envarc:Ordering.Prefs Envarc:Ordering.Prefs   No
Redit Icon ToolTypes (must be done manually)   No
SnoopDos Envarc:SnoopDos.prefs Envarc:SnoopDos.prefs   No
TransADFGui Env:TADFGOpts Envarc:TADFGOpts   No
TurboText S:TTX_Startup.prf S:TTX_Startup.prf   No
Virus Checker II S:Virus_Checker.config S:Virus_Checker.config   Yes
       
*  FileMaster3.2 is a bit special! Although it will look in both Env: and PROGDIR: for the fm.prefs file, it will simply insist on saving it to PROGDIR: (Ram:Programs/). What's even worse is that FileMaster will also delete the prefs file in Envarc: as well (not really a big problem since the file is still present in System1.lzx), so remember to copy or move the prefs file to Envarc: after saving the settings.
** HDInstTools and HDToolbox uses a workaround, where they both may have an extra icon stored directly on the boot disk. So if you need to change the icon tooltypes, you can do this to the extra icons, then you can just double-click them for starting the programs. But have in mind that this requires that HDInstTools or HDToolBox already have been extracted from the lzx archives to the Ram disk.




The A911Extras packs
When it comes to the A911Extras disk/drawer, things are a bit different than the Amiga911 and Emergency Disk II floppies. This is because A911Extras in some ways works as a "slave" to the system that has been booted. When the additional system assigns are made by running the MakeAssigns script, these extra assigns will have a lower priority than the main ones. Below are some notes about saving the settings of software that may be included on the A911Extras packs:

Settings file in Envarc:  -  Upon saving the settings, the config file will be saved to the location where the current Envarc: assign leads to.  If you have booted from an Amiga911 disk or Emergency Disk II, this will be the Prefs/Env-Archive directory found on the boot floppy. But if you on the other hand have booted from your harddisk, the settings file will be saved to the Prefs/Env-Archive dir on your boot partition instead.  In any case, you will need to copy the settings file to the Prefs/Env-Archive dir present on/in the A911Extras disk/drawer in order to make any changes permanent (so that the changes follows the pack).

Settings file in PROGDIR:  -  In A911Extras context, saving the settings to PROGDIR shouldn't lead to any problems since the config file will be saved to the same drawer as the executable.

Settings file in S:  -  As mentioned above, the additional system assigns (including S:) that's created by the MakeAssigns script, will have lower priority than the other main system assign(s). This means that it's the last place the system checks for the existence of files, so if a file with the same name is present on several of the S: assigns, the A911Extras related file will be the last one to be used. When it comes to saving the settings, I will recommend that you try to manually save the settings file to Ram:System/S if you have booted from an Amiga911 or Emergency Disk II floppy. Otherwise, you may have to save the settings file to the S directory on your boot partition if you have booted from your harddisk. After you are done, copy the settings file to the S dir present on/in the A911Extras disk/drawer in order to make any changes permanent (so that the changes follows the pack).

Icon ToolTypes  -  This shouldn't lead to any problems since you will have to manually edit the ToolTypes of the icons present on/in the A911Extras disk/drawer.





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