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Other useful things

GEOS download section
About the boot files

Here's where we get ready to download a Wraptor'd file containing all the needed files to get a bare bones GEOS system up and running. This archive will contain the basic boot loader program, the kernal file which contains the actual GEOS operating system, the deskTop program which is the graphical user interface, and the Configure program which is used to set up your disk drives and ram disks.

First you need to decide which disk format you will be using for your boot disk. You have a choice of using the 1541, 1571, or 1581 disk drives.

Note: The 1581 format will also boot from a CMD FD-2000 or FD-4000 disk drive.

The kernal file contains not only the operating system, but it also has a disk driver embedded into it. This disk driver will be loaded into memory during bootup and then activated. Each disk driver is different which is why you must download the correct set of files for the drive you will be booting from. Later on, if you decide you wish to boot from a different type of drive, all you'll have to do is download the corresponding kernal file and copy it to the new boot disk along with all the other boot files that you will already have. In the individual files section, you'll also be able to download a kernal file for the CMD-HD and RAMLink so you can boot from either of those two devices. But we won't worry about that right now. For the time being, let's just get a GEOS system up and running on a standard Commodore drive.

The boot archive contains the standard Configure file that is shipped with an original GEOS system. There are different Configure programs available that you'll be able to switch to later on if need be. The Configure program contains all the disk drivers to configure additional drives on your system. It also contains the code needed for your ram expansion unit for setting up a ramdisk as well as for the operating system to use for a code swapping area.

The standard Configure file is coded for use with the 17xx series ram expansion units as well as any of the aftermarket ram expanders that were compatible with Commodore's 17xx REU. Don't worry, GEOS will still boot up and run without a ram expander, however, life is much easier if you have one. The ram expansion allows different types of drives to be used. Without it, you will be limited to two drives and they must both be of the same type. With an REU, a third drive can be used, however it will be listed as DRIVE C. The applications will only work with drives A and B. From the deskTop, you'll be able to swap drive C with either drive A or B when you wish to make use of it. Having the use of a ramdisk is also a big advantage when using GEOS. Your work will go much faster. Then when you are finished, any data files you have created that are stored on the ramdisk can be copied to a real disk prior to shutting the system down. A ramdisk can be configured as drive A, B, or C. To any application, it will appear just like a real drive, only it will be much faster.

If you have a different type of ram expansion such as the geoRAM, BBGRam, or RAMLink, you can download a different Configure program to work with your ram expansion. But let's do that later. Let's get a standard GEOS system up and running first. You can always delete the Configure file and copy a new Configure file to your boot disk when you are ready to do so.

The file archive you download with the boot files will contain the following files if Wraptor worked correctly for you:

For the 64:

For the 128:

So, the first thing you need to do is to download the appropriate boot archive and get it upwrapped onto a Commodore disk. Start out with a freshly formatted disk with no files on it. If you end up with the above files after unwrapping, then you are ready to boot up GEOS. For the time being, we won't worry about adding any additional drivers, applications, or desk accessories or any other file. We want a bare minimum just to get GEOS up and running so we know it will work. We'll add the other goodies later on.

For the initial test, unplug your mouse if you have one plugged in and instead plug in a joystick. The default input device is a joystick and you will use it for testing the initial bootup. You can add a mouse driver later when you know you have a working GEOS system.

Also, turn off all your disk drives except for the one you will be booting from. Make sure your boot drive is device 8 or 9. If you have a SuperCPU or RAMLink, flip their switches to disable them and restart your computer. For this first test, we only want a bare bones system running. We are only concerned about making sure our new boot disk will work.

It's OK to have JiffyDOS activated. In fact, with the download version of GEOS, JiffyDOS is recommended. The Commodore kernal operating system is used to load in the boot files. Without JiffyDOS, this is pretty slow unless you're booting from a 1571 or 1581 on a 128. Once the built-in GEOS disk driver takes over, then disk drive access is much faster. With the commercial version of GEOS, booting up is faster because a fastload routine is built into the bootup program.

To get the system up and running, you will load and run the first file, either GEOS or GEOS128 depending on your system. With JiffyDOS, simply hold the left SHIFT key and press RUN. Without JiffyDOS, do the following:



Or substitute 9 in place of 8 if you're booting from device 9.

Just as the deskTop is about to appear on the screen, it will read in some information from the disk. It will notice that it is not a GEOS formatted disk and will put up a dialog box giving you the opportunity to make this into a GEOS disk. You can safely click on YES as it will not reformat the disk, it will only alter a small part of it for GEOS to use. None of your files will be lost. You can also select NO and the deskTop will proceed to load in the directory. The only drawback is that with this being your boot disk, you will get this dialog box everytime you boot up, so it only makes sense to let the deskTop turn this into a GEOS disk. Any disks you format from the deskTop will also automatically be made into GEOS disks.

NOTE: If for some reason, a disk error is encountered while changing the disk into a GEOS formatted disk, the operation will be aborted and the deskTop will proceed to continue loading. However, it will reread the disk again as normal and will once again find that it is not a GEOS formatted disk. If this happens, select NO so you can proceed with the rest of the bootup. You will then have to remedy the situation with your disk or disk drive having a possible problem. Just format a new disk again from the deskTop and copy the boot files to this new disk, or start over completely once again with Wraptor.

If the deskTop eventually appears and you see an arrow on the screen that you can move around using the joystick, then you have successfully created a GEOS boot disk. Congratulations!

Now, let's go get the file archive that is needed to accomplish all of the above.



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