This page contains some small tutorials which explains how to use the
Amiga911 boot disk. First you can read some info about what exactly
happens when the disk is booted, and then there is some information about
the software that might be included on the disk and how to use this stuff. There are also some screenshots which was taken after the disk was booted.
Have in mind that an OS3.1 version of the Amiga911 disk was used here, but
things should more or less be the same for boot disks with older versions
of the operating system as well (2.0 & 2.1).
PS! All tutorials on this page should now be up to date, and some of them includes a couple of new screenshots as well!
here is how to use the Amiga911 disk:
|So you want to check out the Amiga911 boot disk? Well, insert the
floppy and fire up your Amiga then!
The Amiga911 floppy should include the following archives:
System0.lzx - Contains various patch
files that requires a reboot upon booting the floppy *
System1.lzx - Contains the main
system files, everything that is needed upon booting the disk is
included here **
System2.lzx - 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 disk (like libraries and stuff).
Programs.lzx - All programs that
you have added to your disk is included in this archive.
archive is somewhat optional.
** If the disk is
configured to be a Low-Mem disk, the majority of commands &
libraries are in the C & Libs dir on the Amiga911 disk instead
of the System1.lzx archive. Most of these files might be XPK crunched if
this was done upon creating the disk, otherwise they are not compressed in any way!
the startup-sequence will first check if a System0.lzx archive
exists on the disk, and if it does, it will be extracted to the Ram
disk. Since the presence of System0.lzx usually means that some
patch(es) which require reboot is involved, the system might then be
patched and your Amiga will reboot. Then System0.lzx will be
extracted one more time.
Now the contents of System1.lzx will
be extracted to the Ram disk, then some assigns leading to dirs on Ram:
will be created, and then Workbench will be loaded.
You may remember reading about the Low-Mem disk type in the
"Creating the Amiga911 disk" tutorial, but in addition to this there
is a Low-Mem boot mode as well (yes I know this might sound a bit
What happens next
depends upon how much free RAM your Amiga has left, if it's 1.5 MB or more, the
contents of System2.lzx will be extracted to Ram: as well (Normal boot mode).
If the free RAM is lower than 1.5 MB, System2.lzx will not be extracted and some files
which are only needed during startup (like Setpatch & LoadWB) will be
deleted from the Ram disk - thus freeing up some memory (Low-Mem boot mode).
Files from Programs.lzx will by default only be extracted when they are
You might think that booting up this disk is incredible
slow, but in my experience it boots up in ca. 45 - 60 seconds!
When the booting is done, the following Workbench screen should appear:
|For the Amiga911 boot disk to be really easy to use, there are some
extra menus added to the standard Workbench menus. This allows the
user to quickly access tools, programs and stuff simply by selecting
them from the menus.
This is handled by ToolsDaemon which will give you a System,
Programs and Misc menu in addition to the standard
ones. These menus are partially customized for your disk - meaning
that they will only contain the stuff that were selected when you
created the Amiga911 boot disk.
Here is an explenation of the menus:
Please note that only the standard menu entries are listed below,
the System menu on your Workbench may also have some other options
as well. This depends upon what you added to the Amiga911 disk when
it was created.
Shell - opens a new Shell window
which allows you to enter commands. If you single-click an icon
before selecting this menu item, the path of the Shell will be set
to the one used by the icon.
- the very simplistic "better than nothing" text editor that is
included with AmigaOS. If you click a text file before selecting Ed
from the menu, it will try to open this file. The same goes for any
text editor present in the Programs menu as well.
- a very simple but functional small tool for extracting file
RAM - in this sub-menu you can select various things that
can free up some memory in case you are running low on free RAM. See
below for more information.
- allows you to extraxt the System0.lzx (if present), System1.lzx, System2.lzx or Programs.lzx
archives to the ram disk. You can also extract FastFileSystem,
SmartFileSystem and ProfessionalFileSystem if they are included on
the disk as well.
- in this sub-menu you can mount various devices like PC0: & PC1:
(for PC formatted floppy disks), and if they were selected when
creating the Amiga911 disk - CD0: & CF0: as well.
Prefs - here you can select
ScreenMode (for choosing the screenmode to be used by Workbench)
and Select Font (for choosing the font(s) to be used by the
system). If all standard keymaps are present on the Amiga911
disk, there is also a Select Keymap entry here (for choosing
the keymap to be used).
HDToolBox - the standard tool
for managing harddisks on the Amiga.
ShowConfig - displays some
information about your Amiga.
View Txt/Guide - allows you to
view text and amigaguide files. If you select a file by
single-clicking it and then select this menu item, the viewer
will automatically try to open the file.
This menu will only appear if you selected any Programs to be
included on the Amiga911 disk when you first created it, and then one or more of the following will be included in the
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
VirusChecker II - anti virus program. v2.5 (Brain v3.0)
WhichAmiga - ShowConfig kind of tool. V1.3.3.
Amiga911 Disk Info - opens a window with
information about what version of Amiga911 Maker the disk was
created with + some info about what AmigaOS version & processor type
the disk is intended for.
HD Setup Tips - opens a text
file which provides various hints that might be useful when setting
up a harddisk on the Amiga. Examples of this includes what DosType
and MaxTransfer values to use.
Assign To System - this allows
you to create some additional system assigns that can point to the
system dirs on your Workbench partition (or backup of), this may
allow you to use some of the software that is present there.
HD Icon To Disk - this menu
entry will only appear if HDToolBox and/or HDInstTools are present
on the Amiga911 disk. If the icon tooltypes of either of them needs
to be edited, just do this and save the changes. Now select this
menu item, and the icon will be copied to the Amiga911 disk. This
new icon will then have priority over the one present in the lzx
Export Files - by selecting
this, you can extract, copy and decrunch all files from the Amiga911
disk to your harddisk. This can be useful for copying essential
files to a fresh Workbench installation. For more info you can read
the Exporting the boot disk
Reboot Amiga - allows you to reboot
your Amiga, a requester will pop up asking you whether or not you
want to reboot. Clicking the "Reboot Clear" button will remove
reset-resident programs from memory before rebooting.
Some notes about the "Clean up RAM" sub menu.
Here you can select various things that can free up some memory in
case you are running low on free RAM. You can choose between the
Avail Flush - free up memory by
flushing no longer needed libraries and stuff from RAM.
Delete files in T: - this will
delete files that are present in the "T" dir on the Ram disk.
Sometimes programs have to create small temporary files in order to
do their stuff, and usually these files gets created in T:. When
they are no longer needed the programs should automatically delete
the files, but this does not always happen - leading to unnecessary
files being present. So you can select this in order to clean up the
T dir, but be careful - use it as a last resort only!
Delete startup files - this will
delete certain files that are only needed during startup (like
Setpatch & LoadWB) from the Ram disk (thus freeing up some memory),
if the Amiga911 disk has booted up in Low-Mem boot mode, this
should already have been done.
Delete directory icons - free up
some memory by deleting all directory icons inside the "System" dir
on the Ram disk, this might make it a bit more ackward to navigate
the System dir, but you will get a few more KB of free RAM.
programs & mounting devices
|There are two ways a program can be started: Either
via the Workbench menu or by running a
script file called "StartProgram" from Shell. When the script is run,
it will first check if all required files exists on the Ram disk, and if
not it will extract them before launching the program.
As an example you can enter the following in Shell:
This will first check if both Redit & Redit.info exists in the
Ram:Programs directory, if they don't exist, they will be extracted
from the Programs.lzx archive. Then the script will try to start
If you want to check out what other stuff that can be started with
this script, just enter the following in Shell:
And you will get some info about it's usage.
devices works in the same way, you run a script called "Mounter" from either Shell or the
Workbench menu (see screenshot above), and it will first extract all
required but non-existing files before it will try to mount the
If you for example have a Compact
Flash memory card attached to the PCMCIA port via an adapter that you want
mounted, the script
will first check if "Sys:L/Fat95" exists, and if not it will be extracted
from System2.lzx to the Ram disk. The same thing will happen with
"Sys:Devs/compactflash.device" as well. Finally the script will try to
Please note! The Mounter script
is not to be confused with the Mounter tool included with AmigaOS
3.9, they are two completely different things.
|You can also to a certain degree use
the Workbench directly to start stuff. All major system files should
be present in the "System" directory on the Ram Disk, but you may
notice that some files seems to be missing. This will especially be
the case if your Amiga911 disk has booted up in Low-Mem mode
(meaning that System2.lzx haven't been extracted in order to save
memory), then it will be no point in trying to for example manually
mount devices like PC0: or CF0: directly since the required files
are not yet present on the Ram disk. Instead you will have to mount
them by either using the WB menu or by using the "Mounter" script.
Another example is the ScreenMode prefs program which normally
should be present in the Ram:System/Prefs directory. If the disk has
booted up in Low-Mem mode, ScreenMode will not be included in this
dir, and you will either have to select it from the WB menu or run
the StartProgram script by entering "StartProgram ScreenMode" in
Shell. Then the program will be extracted and run.
You will also have to use either the StartProgram script or the
WB menu for launching programs since no programs are extracted
during boot-up, the required program files will then be extracted to
a Programs dir on the Ram disk, while other needed files (like
libraries) will be extracted to the System dir.
If you intend to
use more than one of the programs included on the disk and your
Amiga has enough free RAM, you could just simply select "System >
Resources > Extract Programs.lzx" from the Workbench menu to extract
all of them. This will be much quicker than extracting them one by
with no Startup-Sequence
|If you ever need to boot the Amiga911
disk without running the standard Startup-Sequence, the problem will
be that there's almost no system files you can use since they're all
still present in the file archives.
But fortunately I thought of solving this problem as well, since you
can then use the alternative DosBoot method instead.
If the boot disk was created with Amiga911 Maker 1.62, all you have
to do is to simply press and hold either of the Crtl, Shift, Alt or
Amiga keys upon booting, until a "Key pressed" message appears on
screen. After a while, a DosBoot Menu will appear, which allows you to do
various things like editing the Startup-Sequence, mounting devices,
and starting programs.
You can read more about this in The
DosBoot method tutorial.
|This section contains miscellaneous
information about the Amiga911 boot disk, this includes more
detailed info about how things work and what is included on
the disk. It's not necessary to know all this stuff in order to use
the Amiga911 disk, but it might give you a better understanding of
why things are exactly like they are.
The main system assigns
If you have checked out the Startup-Sequence file present on the
Amiga911 disk, you may wonder why the main system dirs are first
assigned to dirs on the Ram disk, and then assigned back to the disk
again - this with the only difference that the "Add" option is used
with the Assign command.
The reason for this is to make sure that
the system searches the Ram disk for required files first, and if
they can't be found there, it will then search the disk for the
files instead. This is done to reduce disk-swapping to a minimum in
case you need to access files on other floppy disks, and it will
also make the system much faster since it's quicker to access files
from the Ram disk than the floppy disk.
But there is however one small problem you may encounter with this
method of doing things, and that is if for example a program wants
to save it's settings. This won't be an issue if the saving is done
to Envarc: (see below), but if the saving is done to say S: (which
is assigned to Ram:System/S), the changes will be lost when you
reboot or turn off your Amiga. This means that you have to manually
copy the file in question from "Ram:System/S" to the "S" dir on the
floppy disk. For more information regarding this, take a look
at the Saving the settings
Env: & Envarc:
There are two "Env-Archive" directories included on the Amiga911
disk, one is located in the System1.lzx archive, and the other is
located directly on the disk (Amiga911:Prefs/Env-Archive). Upon
booting, the entire contents of System1.lzx will be extracted, this
will also include the Env-Archive dir with all it's contents.
Next, Env: will be created and assigned, and then the contents of
both Env-Archive dirs will be copied to the newly created "Env"
directory, starting with the extracted one first - before continuing
with the one directly present on the disk (where it will overwrite
any existing files in the process). Finally, Envarc: will be
assigned to "Amiga911:Prefs/Env-Archive".
To sum it up:
1. The contents of both
"Env-Archive" dirs will be merged together when copied to the "Env"
2. Files in the "Env-Archive"
dir present on the disk will have priority over the ones in
3. Env: gets assigned to the
4. Envarc: gets assigned to the
Help: & Locale:
The storage capacity of DSDD floppy disks are limited, and when I
started working on the Amiga911 disk I knew that a lot of stuff in
AmigaOS had to go. Two of those things were support for help files
and localization since I considered this to be non-essential luxury
(especially when taking the limited disk space into account). But
both the Help: & Locale: assigns will still be created during
bootup, the only difference is that both assigns will point to
"Ram:T". The reason for this is to avoid "Please insert volume HELP
in any drive" type of requesters popping up all the time.