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TITLE

Installing Amiga Software

 

TOPIC

Inside the emulation, some Amiga programs fail to install from CD-ROM, not recognizing the volume name, even after trying with the Assign command. Other programs use file names that are Amiga-specific and are not supported under Windows. Also, some installation procedures are unable to deal with larger-capacity hard disks.

 

DISCUSSION

Overview

Installation errors affecting Amiga applications within an emulation environment are usually caused by:

  • Destination disk too large (e.g. more than 2 GB)
  • Hard references to CD-ROM volume name
  • Host file system limitations

Excessive Disk Capacity

In the early Amiga years a 20 MB (yes, that is MB, not GB or TB) hard disk used to be a luxury that few users could afford. Verifying that sufficient hard disk space is available used to be a prudent thing to do for an Amiga installer, but it turned into a liability once disk spaces exceeded the sizes that the internal software variables were intended to support. Such issues may manifest themselves once either the disk capacity or the free space exceed 2GB or 4 GB. When this happens, a numeric overflow may make the installer believe that the disk space is negative, or otherwise insufficient. This results in "Out of disk space", "Not enough room" or a similar error message even if the destination disk has terabytes of free space.

To overcome this, try one of these techniques:

References to Source Volume Name

The Amiga Installer program can be set to not consider "assigned" names, and to only look for a volume or device name which matches the desired name (e.g. "Wordworth_7"). This may affect floppy disks and CD-ROMs containing installation files. If a required volume name is not available, there are two alternatives to fix this problem:

  • Right-click the title in the Amiga Forever player, select Edit, and manually set the volume name in the Media tab.
  • Open the installer script, look for where it searches for the volume name (typically a "getassign" command), and where you see the "v" or "dv" flags in that line, append an "a" after the "v", which will tell the installer to consider not only volume and device names, but also assigned names. Then "assign" the desired volume name from the Shell (e.g. "Assign Wordworth_7: WinCD:").

Other CD-ROM Considerations

Within Amiga Forever, Amiga CD-ROMs are accessed by the Workbench 3.X environment as they would be accessed on original Amiga hardware, with no known compatibility issues. This is because Amiga Forever includes a preinstalled Amiga CD file system, which accesses the virtual SCSI CD-ROM drive provided by the emulation software, even if the PC CD-ROM drive is not a SCSI device.

One issue you may encounter is that the source of the files to be installed is not "accepted" by the installation procedure. For example, some Amiga programs were originally distributed on a CD-ROM with a given name, and if you backed up these files to a hard disk directory it is not always sufficient to "assign" the original CD-ROM volume name to the hard disk directory. This may also happen when mounting CD-ROMs in some version of the emulation software, for example if the CD-ROM volume name contains characters which would work on some Amiga CD-ROM file systems, but which are "illegal" by ISO-9660 or Windows standards.

Amiga-Unique File Names

Another possible issue involves certain file name differences which exist between the native Amiga file system and other file systems which the Amiga can use, such as CD-ROM file systems, network file systems and the directories on the host file system which can be mounted in the Amiga emulation. This sometimes affects minor data files which are not important for a software package to run, but which can cause the entire installation to fail.

If a failure occurs when copying a specific file (e.g. "AUX.info" or single-space " "), try one of these techniques:

Installing to RAM Disk

Because even under the emulation the RAM device uses the native Amiga file system and a relatively limited space, it is possible to use the RAM Disk as a source and/or destination of installations to overcome some common installation issues.

In case of filing-system-related difficulties involving an installation of software which was distributed in an Amiga archive such as LhA, these can often be solved by extracting the archive to RAM, and installing the software from there. If this is not enough, install the software itself to RAM rather than to hard disk, then manually copy the directory to hard disk. This usually also solves possible issues related to higher capacity hard disks, which older installation programs were not designed to handle (e.g. resulting in negative "free space" values).

Following a manual disk copy from an installation to RAM, remember to update the path information which the installer may have written to the "S:user-startup" or "S:Startup-Sequence" files. Some installers also set environment variables (e.g. ENVARC:Wordworth) that may need to be updated after a modification to the installation path.

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Article Information
Article ID: 14-115
Platform: Windows
Products: Amiga Forever
Additional Keywords: None
Last Update: 2015-04-03
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