This page contains some small tutorials which explains how to use the
Emergency Disk II.
First you can read about what needs to be done before you start using the
floppy, then some info about what exactly happens when the disk is
booted, and then finally some information about the software that might
included on the disk and how to use this stuff. There are also some
screenshots which was taken after the disk was booted, this was done on a
emulated Amiga 1200 with a 32 color Workbench.
Have in mind that even though the boot disk is called Emergency Disk II,
the real volume name of the floppy is E-Disk-II. You should not
here is how to use the Emergency Disk II:
|Before you can start using the
Emergency Disk II, you must first figure out a way for your Amiga to
access the AmigaOS 3.9 CD (or other media). If you have manually
created the boot disk in Amiga911 Maker, you should have already
made sure that it contains everything that is needed for mounting
the CD/media. If you want to use one of the ready-made Emergency
Disk II floppies instead, you should also read the Configuring
the Emergency Disk and Adding CD-ROM support sections of
Ready-made Emergency Disk II page.
If you don't have a CD-ROM drive attached to your Amiga, you may be
interested in reading the
Alternatives to the
AmigaOS 3.9 CD tutorial, since it among other things provides
instructions for creating an AmigaOS 3.9 CF card or USB pendrive by
What you basically need is a device called either
AmigaOS39, which contains ALL
files from the AmigaOS 3.9 CD. This device must be able to be
mounted upon booting the Emergency Disk, either automatically, or by
using the drivers present on the boot disk.
It is also possible to mount an AmigaOS 3.9 ISO image upon
booting the Emergency Disk II. But this does however require that
you edit the Startup-Sequence of the floppy, so open it in your
favourite text editor and do the following: First you must
find the line that starts with "Set ImageFile" and edit the path and
name of the ISO image to be used. For an USB storage device, the
path should start with UMSD:, and for a CF card + CF-PCMCIA combo,
it should start with CF0:. Next, you must enable the "Execute" line
under by removing the semi-colon at the start. Here's an example of
how it can look like:
Set ImageFile "UMSD:AmigaOS3.9.iso"
Execute >NIL: S:MountISOImage
But if the boot disk was created with Amiga911 Maker 1.62, things are a bit
different. Here it is possible to mount an AmigaOS 3.9 HDF
image in addition to ISO, and although the old method with
setting the ImageFile variable should still
work, the line in Startup-Sequence can now look like one of these two
Execute >NIL: S:MountISOImage "UMSD:AmigaOS3.9.iso"
Execute >NIL: S:MountISOImage "UMSD:AmigaOS3.9.hdf"
|When the above is done, insert the
Emergency Disk II floppy + the AmigaOS 3.9 CD/media and fire up your Amiga!
The E-Disk-II floppy should include the following archives:
System0.lzx - Contains various
patch files that requires a reboot upon booting the floppy.
System1.lzx - Contains
everything required for mounting various devices (like CD-ROM
System2.lzx - Contains system
files used by Workbench + various files that's required by the
programs included on the disk (like libraries and stuff).
Programs.lzx - All programs on
the disk is included in this archive.
Upon booting, the startup-sequence will first extract the
System0.lzx archive to the Ram disk, and then the "AmigaOS ROM
Update" patch + any other patches that requires a reboot will be
applied to the system. Next, the Amiga will reboot and System0.lzx
will be extracted one more time.
Now the contents of System1.lzx will
be extracted to the Ram disk, and all files in the C, Devs, L, Libs,
Classes and S directories on the floppy will be copied to the Ram
disk as well. Then some assigns leading to dirs on Ram:
will be created, before various devices will be mounted. If the
boot disk contains the Poseidon USB stack, it can be started here as
The startup-sequence may now run a script called WaitForDisk, which checks if either
AmigaOS39: exists. If none
of them is currently present, the script can wait up to 35 seconds for any of the two names
to be available, where it will check for their existence with 5
second intervals. This is done because certain devices may need a
few seconds to get properly initialized. When the time limit is
reached, and neither AmigaOS3.9: or AmigaOS39: is present, the
following message will appear:
If this happens, you can try to eject the media and insert it
again, and then press the Return key to see if it helps (only if
it's safe to do so). This
especially goes for CF card to PCMCIA solutions on the A1200 and USB
CD-ROM drives (both happens with my Amigas). Otherwise, you will
have to figure out for yourself why things doesn't work like they
You may also notice that when certain error messages appears, you
will hear one or more beeps as well. This is done to help all those
with an Amiga that has video output from a graphics card only,
since they basically will be staring at a black screen when error
messages pops up. This way they can at least hear that something is
wrong. Below you can see what the combinations of beeps mean, where
each B indicates one single beep.
Just have in mind that currently the last three is only relevant to
mounting ISO and HDF image files.
||Device/Volume is not mounted!
||No disk in drive!
|B B B
||Object not found! (can either be ImageFile variable not
set/empty or ISO/HDF image could not be found)
|B - B B
||Object not found, but AmigaOS3.9: or AmigaOS39: seems to be
present anyway. Boot from there instead? (Yes/No)
If on the other hand AmigaOS3.9:
or AmigaOS39: actually is
present, the booting will then proceed. Now some system assigns will
be made to the AmigaOS 3.9 CD/media, and the contents of System2.lzx
will be extracted to the Ram disk. Then the Amiga will continue to
boot from the AmigaOS 3.9 CD/media by executing the Startup-Sequence file included there.
When the booting is done, the following Workbench screen should appear:
|For the Emergency Disk II floppy 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 Emergency 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 was added to the Emergency Disk II when
it was created.
Shell VNC - opens a new ViNCEd
based Shell window
which allows you to enter commands, it is a bit more powerful than
standard Shell. 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. (this goes for standard Shell as well).
Shell - opens a new standard Shell window
which allows you to enter commands.
- the standard text editor in AmigaOS 3.9. If you click a text file
before selecting EditPad from the menu, it will try to open this
file. The same also goes for Ed + any text editor present in the
Programs menu as well.
- the very simplistic "better than nothing" text editor that is
included with AmigaOS.
- the standard tool in AmigaOS3.9 for extracting file archives. Uses
- 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
further down below for more information.
- allows you to extraxt the System0.lzx, 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 Emergency Disk - CD0: & CF0: as well.
Prefs - here you can select
ScreenMode (for choosing the screenmode to be used by Workbench), Font (for choosing the fonts to be used by the
system), Input (for editing the keymap to be used), Time
(for setting date & time) and WBPattern (for changing
workbench & windows background). The Font Presets and
WBPat Presets menu items allows you to choose between some
HDToolBox - the standard tool
for managing harddisks on the Amiga.
Calculator - the calculator
included with AmigaOS 3.9.
Mounter - may help with mounting
devices that doesn't auto-mount (not to be confused with
the Mounter script on the Amiga911 disk).
Find - allows you to search for
files on your Amiga, it can also search inside files as well.
ShowConfig - displays some
information about your Amiga.
MultiView - allows you to
view various types of files like 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 it.
The first item in this menu is included on the AmigaOS 3.9 CD.
As for the rest that's listed below, they will only appear in the
menu if the programs were added to the Emergency Disk II when it was
AWeb-II - old demo version of the web browser (included with AOS 3.9).
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.
Emergency Disk II 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.
AmigaOS 3.9 Manual - allows you
to read the html based manual that's included on the AmigaOS 3.9 CD.
It will open in the AWeb-II browser.
AmigaOS 3.9 Install - select
this if you want to install AmigaOS 3.9 to the harddisk of your
AmigaOS 3.9 Install-Emu - select
this if you want to install AmigaOS 3.9 to the harddisk of your
Fix Protection bits - after a
fresh AmigaOS 3.9 installation, you can use this to fix the
protection bits of the copied files. This can be useful if the
installation was done from a device that doesn't correctly preserve
the standard Amiga specific file attributes.
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.
Export Files - by selecting
this, you can extract and copy all files from the E-Disk-II floppy to your harddisk. This can be useful for copying essential
files to a fresh AmigaOS 3.9 installation. For more info you can
read the Exporting the boot
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 from the Ram disk (thus freeing up some memory),
but be careful with this if you are about to install AmigaOS 3.9 to
|There are two ways for starting programs
included on the Emergency Disk II: 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. You should no
longer have to specify the path to the script (S:).
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.
| To the
|The AmigaOS 3.9 CD/media
contains a full version of the operating system, this makes using the Workbench
a bit easier and more powerful than with the
Amiga911 boot disk. All you have to do is open the Emergency-Boot
drawer by clicking it's icon on the screen, and then you will have access
to all system files. In case this icon for some reason doesn't show
up on the Workbench screen, you can also find the drawer in the root
directory of the AmigaOS 3.9 media. Now you can start doing whatever
you want to do by using the software in this drawer. Have in mind
that some of the stuff can also be started by using the extra
Workbench menus as well.
As for the Programs included on the boot disk, you
either have to use the StartProgram script or the
WB menu for launching them since no programs are extracted during
boot-up, the required program files will then be extracted to a
Programs dir on the Ram disk. 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
|You may also want to customize the
Workbench a little, so here are some examples of what you can do:
If you're not satisfied with the default screenmode used, just
select "System > Prefs > ScreenMode" from the WB menu and change to
the mode you prefer. You may also want to change the keymap used by the system, and to do this just select
"System > Prefs > Input" from the menu, then choose your country
from the list to the right.
The Workbench will by default use Helvetica as the Icon and Screen
font, and even though it somewhat is an OK font, the text on the
Workbench screen may be a bit hard to read on "not exactly crystal
clear" monitors. This is why the proportional version of the Topaz
font is included as standard on the Emergency Disk II. If you
want to check it out, the easiest way is to select "System > Prefs >
Font Presets" from the WB menu. This allows you to choose between
three presets, where the first is the default settings (with
Helvetica), the second one uses Topaz_prop 11, and the third uses
Topaz_prop 8. If you take a look at the screengrab above, you
will the see the second preset in use (Topaz_prop 11 & Topaz 11).
thing you can do, is changing the background image used by
Workbench. By default it uses a picture with a size of 1024 x 768
pixels, the main problem with this is the amount of Chip Ram it uses
+ the time it takes to scale the image (in order to fit the WB
screen). This is why it might be a good idea to use something else.
The easiest way to do this, is by selecting "System > Prefs > WBPat
Presets" from the Workbench menu, which brings up the requester to
Here you can choose between 6 different presets, where the first one
is the default. Preset 2 - 4 uses some smaller images (128 x 128
pixels) that's included on the AmigaOS 3.9 CD, they will be tiled on
the WB screen and uses around 200KB less Ram than the default.
Preset 5 & 6 uses tiled patterns instead of images, and the amount
of memory saved here when compared to the default is ca. 210 KB.
Below you can see a preview of how the six different presets may
look like on the Workbench screen:
with no Startup-Sequence
|If you ever need to boot the Emergency
Disk II 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 Emergency Disk II, 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 boot disk, but it might give you a better understanding of
why things are exactly like they are.
The main system assigns
Upon booting the Emergency Disk II, the target for the main system
assigns (C:, Devs:, Libs: etc.) will be changed to the appropriate
dirs on the AmigaOS 3.9 CD/media after it has been mounted. Then
some additinal system assigns will be made to the directories in
Ram:System. This means that when something is looking for a
file in Libs: for example, it will first look for it on the CD, and
if it can't be found there, it will look in the Ram disk as well.
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 further below), but if the saving should be done to say S: (which
is assigned to AmigaOS3.9:Emergency-Boot/S), it may fail since the
CD can't be written to. So here you must first try to save it to
Ram:System/S instead, and then copy the settings file to the "S" dir on the
floppy disk. For more information regarding this, take a look
at the Saving the settings
Some other assigns
There are also a couple of other assigns involved with the Emergency
Disk II as well, and they are/can be:
|| Ram Disk:System/
|| Ram Disk:System/
The Emergency-Disk: assign is a bit special, look further below
for more info.
Env: & Envarc:
There are two "Env-Archive" directories included on the
Emergency Disk II, one is located in the System1.lzx archive, and the other is
located directly on the disk (E-Disk-II: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 "E-Disk-II: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
Low-mem boot mode
The minimum requirements for AmigaOS 3.9 is 6MB RAM, and it's this
limit I have based my version of the Emergency Disk on. But I
couldn't resist trying to make it work with less memory, and the
result of this is that upon booting the disk, the currently free RAM
of the Amiga will be checked, and if it's less then a certain
amount, various steps will be taken in order to free up some memory.
One of the things is that it will delete files from the Ram disk
that really isn't needed (any longer), but have in mind that this
might lead to a few minor problems if you intend to
install AmigaOS 3.9 to your harddisk.
other steps that might be taken in order to save some memory, is
that Workbench will use a simple grey background instead of the
default AmigaOS 3.9 picture, and that AmiDock will be forced to use
a much simpler configuration (see right image). It
would of course have been best to prevent AmiDock from starting in
the first place, but unfortunately there is no easy way to achive
this. Have in mind that if you have saved the WBPattern and AmiDock
settings to the boot floppy, these config files will override the
simpler low-mem ones.
Differences between the original and
new Emergency Disk
Apart from providing alternative methods for installing AmigaOS 3.9,
and using lzx compression in order to fit more stuff on the floppy,
here are the biggest differences between the original Emergency Disk
and the newer Emergency Disk II:
T: assign in Startup-Sequence:
Upon booting the original Emergency Disk, an "insert disk in any
drive" requester will appear if the AmigaOS 3.9 CD isn't currently
mounted. Then if AmigaOS3.9: suddenly becomes available, the
requester will automatically disappear and the booting will
continue. This effect is achived by not declaring a T: assign
in the Startup-Sequence. If this assign was present and the CD wasn't mounted, it would have lead to a loop where the same
Startup-Sequence on the floppy would have been executed over and
This type of functionality had to be dropped on the Emergency Disk II,
since the T: assign for various reasons has to be included in
the Startup-Sequence. One reason is that the Poseidon USB stack
requires it to be started, another is that certain scripts requires
it as well (especially the ones using the Skip & Lab commands).
The alternative method used in case of non-mounted volumes/devices
is explained in the Booting the disk
The AmigaOS39: assign:
When the original Emergency Disk is booted, it will look for
AmigaOS3.9:, which usuallly is the volume name of the CD. Since
I wanted the new E.Disk to support booting from other devices in
addition to the original CD, a small workaround was added, where the
disk will look for AmigaOS39: as well. The reason for this is
to allow FAT formatted storage devices (like USB pendrives or
Compact Flash cards) to be used instead of the CD. Because FAT
partitions doesn't allow dots to be used in the volume name, the
device has to be called AmigaOS39 instead of AmigaOS3.9.
Volume name of the floppy:
The original boot disk is called "Emergency-Disk", while the the
newer version has "E-Disk-II" as volume name. Apart for making it
possible to distinguish between the two, there is also another
reason for the different names. When the E-Disk-II floppy is booted,
all three SystemX.lzx archives will be extracted to the Ram disk,
and some other files will be copied to there as well. After this is
done, a System drawer will be present on the Ram disk. Now an
Emergency-Disk: assign will be made, which points to the
Ram:System directory. The reason for this is to "trick" the
AmigaOS 3.9 installer into beliving that the Amiga has booted from
Ram:System. During installation, some files will be copied from this
location since the installer belives that it actually is the
The icons used: Unlike the
original boot disk, the Emergency Disk II floppy doesn't waste
valuable disk space on fancy icons. Instead it uses the same boring
4 color icons as the Amiga911 boot disk. This leads to around 16KB
space saved when compared to the original Emergency Disk.
Here you can read about various issues that may occur when using the
Emergency Disk II floppy.
The ToolsDaemon problem:
Emergency Disk II contains a few workarounds, where one example is
the way ToolsDaemon is launched upon startup. Normally, the correct
place for this executable would be in the WBStartup drawer present
on the system drive, where it automatically will be started when the
LoadWB command is run. On the E-Disk-II floppy however, it has to be
started manually after LoadWB is run. The reason why is
because ToolsDaemon cannot be added to WBStartup on the AmigaOS 3.9
CD, since it's write protected.
The problem with doing things this way, is that you may get an error
message from ToolsDaemon if it's launched before the
Workbench screen has opened. If this happens to you, open the
Startup-Sequence of the E-Disk-II in a text editor and scroll down
to the bottom, where you will find a "Wait 2" line right before the
ToBack&Front stuff. Just replace 2 with a higher number, save the
file and reboot to see if this helps. So far, the only situation
where I have experienced this problem, is by using WinUAE emulated
Amigas. This is also the reason why the "Wait 2" line was added to
the Startup-Sequence in the first place.