[How To] Transfer ADFFS to a non-networked Acorn/Archimedes.

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[How To] Transfer ADFFS to a non-networked Acorn/Archimedes.

Post by whoozzem »

This is a short tutorial (there may be alternative methods) for those wanting to know how they can get ADFFS transferred from a modern Windows (Linux and macOS users may get away with using wine to do this tutorial) PC to a non-networked Acorn/Archimedes.

You also require a floppy disk drive (external USB is fine provided it's a drive still supported by Windows) and a usable floppy disk which has been formatted on your Acorn/Archimedes to DOS 720k.

As we don't appear to have attachment permissions on the forum (and external image hosts can be unreliable) this is purely a text tutorial.

  • Instructions:
    • Extract Red Squirrel and navigate through its' folder tree to the 'RomSets' folder.
    • Select the appropriate version folder of the ROMs you chose to download, and extract the roms zip file into this folder.
    • Now in the Red Squirrel folder locate and open the 'Hostfs' folder and in the appropritate version of your ROMs folder, move SparkPlug, ArcFS and ADFFS files into this folder.
    • Now launch Red Squirrel and if all has gone right you will be prompted to select the appropriate computer you're emulating, select it and OK to load.
    • At the supervisor boot error, type desktop and hit return/enter.
    • Left-Click on the 'HardDisk' icon and then Middle-Click on the splug226 file > File 'name' > Type > and change this to basic (Enter/Return to confirm).
    • Now double click splug226 to extract SparkPlug to the HardDisk.
    • Now hold down shift and double click on !SparkPlug, and shift, double-click on the !Run file. Loacate the line that starts with: If <"System... and put a pipe (shift+\ |) in front of it so it now starts: |If <"System...
    • Now press F3 or Middle-Click>Save and OK to save changes.
    • In the Hard Disks' folder view, Middle-Click and create four new directories: Disk1 ... Disk4. As ADFFS increases in size, you may need to split the program between more directories, this is where Middle-Click 'count' comes in for adding up the byte count of files/folders to make sure they will still fit on a 720k floppy disk.
    • Now double-click !SparkPlug to load it, then Double-Click on the ADFFS archive and drag 'n' drop !ADFFS from the opened archive to the Disk1 directory.
    • Now we shift and double-click the !ADFFS file in Disk 1 and copy the following files to the following directories:
      • Disk2: All files/folders from CallASWI to the 'extras' directory.
      • Disk3: All files/folders from the 'imaging' directory to the 'obey' file.
      • Disk4: All files/folders from the 'override' directory to the ZLib file.
    • Now in the Disk3 directory, open the 'imaging' directory and rename e-format1600 to e-form16 and e-format800 to e-form8.
    • And also in the Disk4 directory, rename USBJoystick to USBJoy. This is because ArcFS doesn't like long filenames.
    • Now extract ArcFSR/W from the ArcFS archive to the HardDisk and launch it.
    • Middle Click the ArcFS icon on the Icon Bar, and choose New Archive and create four new archives for each directory. On the creation of each archive, double click to open it and drag 'n' drop in the respective Disk directory this archive will contain into it.
    • And delete the above files from the Disk 1 Archives' !ADFFS app, so that the only files left within !ADFFS are from the !Boot to AutoVIDC files inclusively.
    • You can now close Red Squirrel, and navigate to its' Hostfs>Your ROMs version> folder where you now have access to the compressed Disk1-4 archive files which you can now copy to floppy disk and transfer to your Acorn/Archimedes.
  • Please remember the following:
    • If you don't already have ArcFS installed on your Acorn/Archimedes you will need to transfer it via floppy disk to your machine and install it in the same way as is listed above (Getting !SparkPlug installed and then extracting ArcFS to your HardDisk).
    • To open the archive files on your Acorn/Archimedes HardDisk drag 'n' drop them onto ArcFS (once loaded) in the icon bar.
    • Also remember that all the files and directories within the Disk directories must be merged back into !ADFFS once on your harddisk.
    • And finally and most importantly, before running the program Edit !ADFFS.imaging.imageJFD and change the two references to e-format800 / 1600 to e-form16 and e-form8. USBJoy can be ignored as your machine doesn't have USB ports. If you wish you can also reduce the WimpSlot in !ADFFS.imageJFD to: WimpSlot -min 1100K -max 1100K
  • Additional:
    • If you're able to take the drive out of your Acorn machine and plug it into a PC (my drive is an SD card which makes this easier), then you can use a l/k/x ubuntu linux live cd/usb key to mount the drive and copy and paste pre-archivedfiles across from it to the PC, meaning backing up your files is much easier as you don't need to rely on floppy disks to get the data back off the drive again. Example commands are:
    • sudo mkdir /media/RO
    • sudo mount -t adfs DEVICE /media/RO
    • Where device can be found eaily through gparted/KDE Partition Manager, e.g. /dev/sdb
    • Then use a root file manager (example command: sudo pcmanfm-qt) to copy the files/folders you want to backup somewhere handy (e.g.) the Location could be /tmp/RO and finally run the command:
    • sudo chmod 7777 Location
    • You can then copy and paste to an internal/external PC HDD for easier backups (such as cloud storage).

I hope this guide is of use to people, I know I went into a lot of additional detail about doing things but if you're trying to get back into using RISC OS after many years then forgetfulness could lead to frustration ;)
Last edited by whoozzem on Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:52 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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Re: [How To] Transfer ADFFS to a non-networked Acorn/Archimedes.

Post by JonAbbott »

Very thorough.

As you're probably targeting an Archimedes, you could strip quite a few things out that aren't relevent, such as: ADFS, ADFFS400, ADFFS500, ADFFS500lv, ADFFS550, ADFFS550lv, most of the extras folder, USBJoystick, the imaging folder if you're not planning on imaging floppies yourself, or have less than 4MB or RAM.

Would it help if I listed the directories with a one-liner on what each file does?

Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:46 pm

Re: [How To] Transfer ADFFS to a non-networked Acorn/Archimedes.

Post by whoozzem »

It might be useful to have the list since it would allow people to choose what they have to copy across depending on what machine they have.

The machine I'm on is an A4000 and I do hope to image the few games I have that aren't currently distributed in the hope of using them on my Pi.

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