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Locating the Installation under Windows

 

TOPIC

This article explains how the RetroPlatform, Amiga Forever and C64 Forever installation directories on Windows systems can be located by third-party software.

 

DISCUSSION

A typical RetroPlatform installation on Windows groups files into four locations (shared vs. application-specific executables, shared vs. application-specific data files):

  • Shared RetroPlatform Windows executables are located in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Cloanto\RetroPlatform" (or similar, depending on operating system, language and x86 vs. x64 architecture)
  • Package-specific Windows executables are located inside "C:\Program Files (x86)\Cloanto\Amiga Forever" (or similar)
  • Shared RetroPlatform data files are located in the default system data folder at "C:\ProgramData\Cloanto\RetroPlatform" (or similar)
  • All other data files, including files meant to be executed in an emulation environment (Amiga, C64, etc.), are stored inside the public user data folder at "C:\Users\Public\Documents\Amiga Files" or similar ("Amiga Files", etc.)

This structure achieves two goals:

  • It avoids duplication and simplifies maintenance when multiple RetroPlatform packages are installed (e.g. Amiga Forever, C64 Forever and/or custom packages)
  • It adheres to the latest security best practices (to contrast malware, Windows program files should be installed or modified only with administrative privileges, but administrative privileges should not be required for other operations, including for example running an emulated system with read/write access to the emulated system)

Environment Variables

Cloanto's RetroPlatform-powered installers (e.g for Amiga Forever) define a number of environment variables which make it possible to locate the installation (e.g. from batch files) without accessing the registry. In the "%%" notation used in directory paths, the four variables corresponding to the directories introduced before are:

  • %RETROPLATFORMROOT%
  • %AMIGAFOREVERROOT%, %C64FOREVERROOT%, etc.
  • %RETROPLATFORMDATA%
  • %AMIGAFOREVERDATA%, %C64FOREVERDATA%, etc.

The RetroPlatform variables are set from version 2009.1 and higher of the software (keeping in mind that version "7" follows "2013"). %AMIGAFOREVERROOT% was first set in Amiga Forever 6.0. %AMIGAFOREVERDATA% was first set in Amiga Forever 2005.

System Registry Values

The %RETROPLATFORMROOT% and %RETROPLATFORMDATA% environment variables are also respectively stored in the "Path" and "DataPath" values of the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Cloanto\RetroPlatform" registry key. There is no version-specific branch. On 64-bit systems, keep in mind that 32-bit keys that on 32-bit systems used to be under "SOFTWARE" are one level below, under the "Wow6432Node" redirection subnode.

The %AMIGAFOREVERROOT% path is also stored in the "Path" value of the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Cloanto\Amiga Forever\#.#" registry key, where "#.#" is the version number. Version numbers used so far in the registry are "1.0", "1.1", "2.0", "3.0", "4.0", "5.0", "6.0", "2005.0", "2006.0", "2008.0", "2009.0", "2010.0", "2011.0", "2012.0", "2013.0", "7.0" and "7.1" (in this order). Amiga Forever 2014 also used the "2013.0" key.

The %AMIGAFOREVERDATA% path is also stored in the "AmigaFiles" value of the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Cloanto\Amiga Forever\#.#" registry key. The "AmigaFiles" value was introduced in Amiga Forever 2005.

In case of multiple entries, higher-version numbers should be given priority, also considering that "7" (and higher) comes after "2013". The year-based versioning in the system registry was used only temporarily, because numbers higher than 255 are not supported well by some system functions.

C64 Forever uses version values that are a close match to those of Amiga Forever.

In both Amiga Forever and C64 Forever, the Change Folder Location feature also updates the system registry and environment variable values.

Amiga Forever - Additional Information

The following article explains how to programmatically find the "Amiga Files" directory on Windows, independently of an Amiga Forever installation:

The following article explains where other files, including floppy disk image files, are located:

The following article has a focus on locating ROM and operating system files, both in an Amiga Forever installation, and on CD:

The following article explains how to find the ROM and OS files on Android systems:

 

Article Information
Article ID: 15-102
Platform: All
Products: Amiga Forever, C64 Forever
Additional Keywords: None
Last Update: 2017-02-14
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