Setting up Amiga Forever, which includes a ready to run Amiga
emulation with a preinstalled Workbench environment, is
like purchasing a new Amiga computer. For Amiga productivity users, some items may
need to be copied or reinstalled. This is often
a good opportunity to update software and put some order in the files which
may have accumulated over the years. This tutorial will guide you through
various background and reference articles covering the topic.
Reading Amiga Floppy Disk Data
disks cannot be read on the PC without additional hardware.
The simplest way to read Amiga floppy disks on the PC is to
connect the PC to an Amiga with a null-modem
serial cable (or over an existing TCP/IP link), and transfer
the data with
For disks containing games, check first if the game is already
available in a downloadable format (see the download links on the
or do a search with keywords like "Game Name RP9" or "Game
If you have a lot of Amiga floppy disks, or if you do not have
a working Amiga available to use Amiga Explorer, you may consider
a high-end option such as the SuperCard
Pro. This solution is faster than Amiga Explorer over a
null-modem serial cable, and does not require an Amiga computer to
read the floppy disks.
If you only need to convert a few Amiga disks, you may want to
conversion service instead of doing the work yourself.
In general, if you have data or software on Amiga-formatted
floppy disks, we recommend that you read the following article:
Reading Amiga CD Data
Amiga CD-ROMs can be directly read under Windows and other
operating systems, and as such they are accessible by the
A few Amiga programs may require special handling:
A possible problem exists with "Amiga OS 3.5" and "Amiga OS 3.9"
CD-ROMs, which contain illegal volume names (there is a "."
character in the volume name, which is not allowed for by the
original ISO 9660 CD-ROM file system specification):
Reading Amiga Hard Disks and Other Removable Media
If the data is stored in a format which the host operating
system (e.g. Windows) supports and is able to access, then no
special procedure is required, as the emulation automatically has
access to everything the host environment has access to. This
usually applies to media formatted using the Windows file system
(e.g. written on the Amiga with Dos-2-Dos, CrossDOS or similar
DOS/Windows-compatible file system software), but not to
Amiga-formatted media, which will appear to be unreadable when
mounted under Windows.
Warning: do not try to mount Amiga-formatted
media such as a hard disk or ZIP disk on Windows 95, Windows 98 or
Windows Me, as this would risk to damage the Amiga data.
On newer versions of Windows, the WinUAE
emulation software which is preinstalled in Amiga Forever can
Amiga hard disks (and other media such as ZIP and magneto-optical
disks) connected to the PC. This in turn allows the Amiga
running in the emulation to use whatever Amiga file system it
supports to read the media.
Most GNU/Linux distributions also include an Amiga file system,
and can directly access the data on it (unlike Windows, which can
mount the drive, but only the underlying Amiga emulation can
interpret the Amiga file system data). This only covers the
basic Amiga file systems (OFS and FFS), not newer third-party
Amiga file systems.
The following articles are recommended for additional
Amiga Operating System Upgrades
If you were still using an older version of the Amiga operating system on your Amiga,
consider moving to the latest version included in Amiga Forever.
Especially if your Amiga had version 2.x or 3.0 of the
Amiga operating system, you should be able to switch to the version included in
Amiga Forever while retaining a similar visual style, and without
experiencing any compatibility issues.
If instead you were still using version 1.3 (or an older
version) of Amiga operating system, you may want to check if your software runs
on the newer version of Amiga operating system before choosing the environment
to which to copy the files.
Installing Your Software and Data
Once you have access to your Amiga media, you can easily
install your software and data in the Amiga Forever emulation
environment, just like you would do on any Amiga computer.
The Amiga Forever
hard disk installation creates a "Work" directory on the PC hard
disk which is seen as a hard disk named "Work" from within the
emulation environment. This directory is located in a path like
"System/dir/Work", inside "Amiga
Files". By copying files from the
Amiga hard disk to this directory on the PC, they automatically
become available in the "Work" partition of the emulated Amiga.
The same is done for the "System" directory, which contains the
Amiga system files.
If you prefer not to reinstall your software, but rather to
copy an existing configuration from your Amiga computer, that is
also possible. Compared to other systems, the Amiga makes it
relatively easy to transfer an existing configuration without
reinstalling all the software. All it usually takes is paying
attention to any files which the software may have copied to the
Amiga "devs" and "libs" directories, and any entries which may
have been added to the "Startup-Sequence" and "user-startup"
files, and to the "WBStartup" directory.
The following articles are recommended for additional
Emulation Environment Technical Reference
The following articles explain how advanced users and developers can
locate, use and add components to the Amiga Forever emulation environment
and its directory structure and operating system and application files.