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How to send a game to an Installer Writer!

The first thing you need to determine is the appropriate program to backup your software. These instructions assume you have installed the latest version of WHDLoad and all programs are in your path (ie. copied to c:)

Once the imaging of the disk is complete, count the number of errors produced by DIC:

Here are some general guidelines:

If you are at all unsure of which program to use, use a warper. This will produce big files but should mean that you will not need to resend anything!

Warpers

Every installer writer has their favourite warper program. Most people like MFMWarp but if you are sending a game to Wepl (or if you have been specifically told to) use WWarp.

MFMWarp

One of the best tools for backing up a copy protected disk is a utility by Ferox called MFMWarp. This program can scan a disk at the lowest level and attempt to back it up. Often the copy protection itself cannot be copied so the copy will not work but a clever HD installer writer can write an imager which extracts the data from the disk. The basic format is:

MFMWarp READ NameOfGame.MFM                     ;Read entire disk to a file
MFMWarp READ NameOfGame.MFM LOW 0.0 HIGH 0.1    ;Read tracks 0-1
MFMWarp READ NameOfGame.MFM LOW 0.1 HIGH 0.1    ;Read track 1 only
MFMWarp READ NameOfGame.MFM LOW 0.1 HIGH 1.1    ;Read tracks 1-3
MFMWarp READ NameOfGame.MFM LOW 79.0 HIGH 79.1  ;Read tracks 158-159
MFMWarp READ NameOfGame.MFM LOW 79.1 HIGH 79.1  ;Read track 159 only

MFMWarp uses a lot of memory, so close all programs before you start! To specify the LOW/HIGH tracks, you need to know a little about Amiga disks. An Amiga disk has 80 cylinders, with 2 heads per cylinder giving a total of 160 tracks which are numbered from 0-159. MFMWarp expects the LOW and HIGH track selection to be given by the cylinder number followed by a full stop and the head (side).

To convert the track number to the cylinder notation for MFMWarp, divide the track number by 2 to give you the cylinder number. If the original track number was even, use 0 as the head/side. If the original track number was an odd number, use 1 as the head/side. This table should help to make it clear:

Track # Calculation Result MFMWarp Format
00 / 20 and even0.0
11 / 20 and odd0.1
22 / 21 and even1.0
33 / 21 and odd1.1
156156 / 278 and even78.0
157157 / 278 and odd78.1
158158 / 279 and even79.0
159159 / 279 and odd79.1

Hence, if the disk you are reading is unreadable from track 110-121, you can use DIC on the rest of the disk and use MFMWarp specifying LOW 55.0 HIGH 60.1 to read the corrupt tracks.

Once again, if this is too confusing for you (!) just MFMWarp the entire disk! See the examples section below.

WWarp

Wepl's Warper is called WWarp and works much the same as MFMWarp except it uses tracks rather than the Cylinder.Head selection criteria, and it's a bit more powerful. The basic usage is:

WWarp NameOfGame                ;Read entire disk to file called 'NameOfGame.wwp'
WWarp NameOfGame C 0-1          ;Read tracks 0-1
WWarp NameOfGame C 1            ;Read track 1 only
WWarp NameOfGame C 1,3          ;Read tracks 1 and 3
WWarp NameOfGame C 0-158*2      ;Read tracks 0,2,4...154,156,158
                                ;which is the top side of the disk

Examples

File Splitters

If you have a large file and you need to send it to an installer writer (of it won't fit on a floppy disk) you need to download and install a file splitter utility.

File splitters break a large file down into small chunks of the size you specify. This way, you can put them onto a floppy disk, or email a huge game in small pieces. Some Amiga users put files onto PC formatted floppy disks for sending with a PC internet connection.

There are heaps of splitter utilities on Aminet. If you use one from Aminet, notify the installer writer of the utility you used. You can also use the AmigaDos split/join command if you know what you are doing.

Splitz and Joinz

Splitz and Joinz allows you to break up large files into chunks of any length you desire. Splitz and Joinz is available for the Amiga, PC and even the lame Apple Mac!

For example, you have a file called 'Lotus3HD.lha' which is 1.5Mb. To split it into 730k chunks, type the following:

splitz Lotus3HD.lha Lotus3 730000

This will make up as many files as required (3) called Lotus3.001, Lotus3.002 and Lotus3.003. Copy these onto disks, take home, send over the internet, email etc. At the other end, put them all in a directory (or leave them on disk) and type:

joinz Lotus3

It will ask if the name is OK (you can change it if you wish) and then the file will be reconstructed.

Download Tools

There are two versions of the MFMWarp package. The main package contains the program and for anyone that wishes to look at the source, you can download the full archive.

MFMWarp.lha103752000-06-07
MFMWarp_src.lha2440892000-06-07
SplitzJoinz.lha1019422000-06-14
TrackWarp10.lha463962005-04-04
TrackWarp11.lha464722005-04-07
TrackWarp12.lha466722005-04-26
TrackWarp13.lha586612005-07-14
TrackWarp14.lha589862006-01-30
TrackWarp15.lha603862007-01-15
TrackWarp16.lha620132010-02-14
TrackWarp17.lha625722013-12-18
WWarp125.lha2388462005-04-07
WWarp126.lha2404642006-01-30
WWarp127.lha2233372007-05-30
WWarp128.lha2288192008-05-06
XPK User package (Aminet) 225k 5.6.2000

Notes


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last change : 2013-12-18
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