View Full Version : Universal HD installer (Does it exist?)
is it possible to get a freeware HD installer which installs all games instead of getting individual ones?
if there is where can i find such a program?
and couls you give me some info?
21 July 2001, 03:48
If such a beast existed, why would the individual ones be created?
And for such a thing, you would have to assume that all games are the same format and use the same protection, etc. or that one person/company knows every format/protection out there.
It's just not a realistic scenario (on any platform...)
21 July 2001, 04:32
I agree with Twistin' that it would be impossible to get a 100% compatible installer. The closest you'd get would be if a program existed so you could run ADF files directly from the harddrive with accelerated loading time and that would still leave compatibility issues as well as issues with original games with protection which can't just be read into ADF files.
You can find most games as ADF files, but that would be cracked versions instead of your originals if you have any. The closest you'd get would be UAE or Fellow, and that's not on the Amiga.
Well, now you can try that disk2fdi program, it makes ADFs out of protected disks too!!!
Did anybody test it out with lots of originals?
i seen one called 'dacoolinstaller' it seemed perty capable at doing most games.
the only problem with it was that it was shareware, and therefore was cut down and could only do one disc installs
22 July 2001, 09:55
And it could only do DOS games.
22 July 2001, 10:05
So basically, if it can only do DOS games, then all it appears to really do is change the assigns from the floppies to the hard drive location, right? Hell, I could have created an installer to do that! And I'd have called it, da-mediocre-installer.
Akira: I have heard negative things about disk2fdi. I don't think it's reached full gestation at this time, particularly with protected software.
22 July 2001, 10:14
I think it may have worked with games which didn't like basic assigns (e.g. assign df0: "", or assign Disk1: ""). However, I never got to try it much, as I didn't register it.
It just seems like a hack job, especially compared with the might of WHD/JST.
BTW, it's amazing how many commercial programmers used absolute paths in hard disk installers for their games, instead of relative.
assign Disk1: dh0:games/Game
assign Disk1: ""
22 July 2001, 10:28
Well, I would say it's because they kept their noses stuck in the ROM Kernal manuals instead of the AmigaDOS manuals, but from what I hear, not that many of the developers purchased the dev kits from CBM. I guessed they winged it like the crackers, hackers and demo coders. And of course many of those scene coders ended up writing games anyhow.
23 July 2001, 03:35
The fundamental problem with these "all imaging" utils is the copy protection. An ADF simply stores the data on the track in a standard format. The extended ADF format used by Factor 5 etc stores all the MFM data on the tracks given the correct sync (starting mark) the game expects.
The only way to stop people copying a disk is to introduce some kind of error or alter the speed at which the data is read back. All emulators load the data back instantly, so the majority of copy protected games (eg. Rob Northen) read track 1 and even if they do find the right data (which is hard as Rob Northen reads the track several times with different sync markers) they will never be able to time how long the track is supposed to have taken.
Some games like Factor 5's Turrican series, Winter Camp, Quartz, Gunshoot etc just store the data on the disk in an unusual format which can easily be transferred to an ADF as the game doesn't care how long it takes.
But most protection will read a normal track, time how long that takes, then when reading the copy protected track it will only continue if it took something like 15% extra time to read it.
Which is impossible to simulate in the current ADF format. Which is why it's so hard to make a universal disk->adf utility for anything but standard disks. Which is annoying!
PS: I agree with Cody, DaCoolInstaller is geared towards CD32 games and some old Dos ones (which anyone with a brain could manually install themselves with a few assigns etc)
i respect your replies, no matter how bitchy some of them are
i am new to working with amigas as mine layed dormant in the early 90s when i got it. i just wasn't interested. i had a lot more fun with my pc and my atari st.
but now im a lot older and i have decided to explore the depths of the amiga that i have never seen before.
i shall more than likely be asking your help again soon!
thanks guys! :)
PS. nice to see another owner of a SX64! splendid piece of kit and something to be proud of owning! my one is the envy of all my other vintage computer collecting pals! see y'all
Jim: Hah! Another one! :) Isn't it a beautiful machine? :D Do tell me about your list of stuff with a private message, I'm a collector as well :)
Twistin: That means Im not even trying to dump my originals. What do you think of disk2fdi, Codetapper?
25 July 2001, 01:20
I've never seen Disk2FDI so can't really comment, well done if it works though. No machines I have access to have 2 floppies so I can't test it myself. I have the real thing anyway and surely it's a lot quicker than using a PC drive?
I am sceptical about it doing any useful imaging of copy protected stuff too - adf's sure but protected stuff - hmm (shakes head)
25 July 2001, 02:38
Disk2FDI is a great util. Congratulations to the author, Vincent Joguin!
I have a collection of around 100 Amiga games. I got most all of them from my good neighbor, knowwhatImean? Nudge, nudge...
Disk2FDI transfered them all over to the PC perfectly, all except for the game Leander. This was the only original disk set I tried to use with the program, and it just couldn't do it.
Mister Joguin states in the readme file that this is an 'alpha' version of the software. I don't know anything about Greek, but it sounds like there are plenty of letters left in the alphabet.
A big bonus in my case was the fact that a lot of the games had developed read/write errors over the years. The Disk2FDI program read these disks better than the Amiga could!
25 July 2001, 09:15
Well, if the disks that you imaged contained physical disk errors and Disk2FDI just breezed past them, I would not call that handling them better than a real Amiga. The Amiga at least gives you the courtesy of acknowleging disk errors so that you aren't fooled into thinking your disk copy is perfect. It is not possible that this util can fix a physical disk error, so it likely just ignores it and duplicates the corrupted track data. What this means is that if these ADF's are spread, it will increase the surge of bad disks floating around on the net.
And if that is the case, I say this util will do more harm than good. I have also heard that it can damage the disks that you are copying from.
25 July 2001, 09:36
Yes, good call...
I'm not pretending to understand the technicalities surrounding a working knowledge of magnetic media...
So, here's a short illustration of what I mean:
1996: Metal Mutant enters Amiga's DF0:
Whirr, whirr, whirr... bing! Title screen.
1998: Metal Mutant enters Amiga's DF0:
Whirr, whirr, creak-creak-creak... Guru.
2001: Metal Mutant transformed to .adf by Disk2FDI:
Launch WinUAE... Instant bing!
I'm not saying that Disk2FDI is superior to a real Amiga, just that it is way better than my own particular Amiga as far as disk-reading functionality.
Again, I don't know exactly how disk structures work (or fail), but judging from observation, Disk2FDI tries multiple times to read each track (sector?) before writing to the .adf file. And after each write, it indicates whether it was a valid read or not. This may have more to do with synchronization than error-checking, though...
And I do agree with you that this could bring a pox upon the emulation community. An influx of corrupt images could send everyone reeling. Especially those hardworking people who write datafiles for ROM renaming software... they've got their work cut out for them--fully!
25 July 2001, 10:06
Well, OK...I was going on the fact that you said the disks had errors. We can now refer to them as alleged errors! :)
If the title screen failed to appear on your real Amiga, but appeared in WinUAE, it's very possible that your Amiga disk drive is either dirty (an easy fix) or out of alignment, which does happen. Amiga drives, I have found, are pretty durable considering the abuse they are put through (by some demo coders and most copy-protection). A lot of trackdisk loading stuff wreaks havoc on the disk drives and yet they still keep ticking. So perhaps this is what appears to be disk errors for you.
So, what disks have you converted from your collection? Ya never know, there could be something on our MIA list that we would love to get our paws on!
25 July 2001, 10:34
Yes, that sounds very likely. Poor old fella's been through a lot... I clearly remember my father running an alignment utility on our C64's 1541 drive... can't remember doing any maintenance on the Amiga. Oh, can I ever be forgiven? :crying
MIA list? I've just tried to search for it using the board's 'search' feature, and couldn't find it. Can you point me in the right direction?
I don't know, though... I think I've seen most of these games on websites. That's all I have besides some music apps and my old data disks (the ones that survived the cryo sleep).
25 July 2001, 10:41
I currently completing the MIA list. It'll be put up sometime soon.
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