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reukiodo

Best ROM disk for ROMinator / GGLabs?

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My goal is to have the best 'recovery' boot in the ROM, which would allow fixing as many different situations as possible.

 

So far, with the base 2.25MB image before compression I have been able to fit:

  • System Folder 7.0.1
  • (patched) Apple HD SC Setup 7.5.1
  • Disinfectant 3.7.1
  • Disk Copy 4.2
  • Disk First Aid 7.0.1
  • Stuffit Expander 4.0.2

 

I'd like to include ResEdit, but it's more than 500K, which can't fit without removing some of the utilities I think are more substantial. Any other ideas?

2019-04-20.png

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Disk Copy 4.2 is only 24KiB, but 6.3.3 is 1MiB. Oh, 4.2 doesn't have the ability to mount images? Grr... how do I squeeze it into a 2M boot image with everything else?

Edited by reukiodo

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9 hours ago, reukiodo said:

Disk Copy 4.2 is only 24KiB, but 6.3.3 is 1MiB. Oh, 4.2 doesn't have the ability to mount images? Grr... how do I squeeze it into a 2M boot image with everything else?

Try MountImage v1.2 It's a small Control Panel.

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That works! It's only 12K, so it can still fit without removing anything! Any other software which could be useful for emergency/recovery?

2019-05-11.png

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What is the smallest 8.1 System suitcase? Ideally I'd like to get an 8.1 System suitcase to get HFS+ support. This would definitely be doable in the 8M (Mega) SIMM, but unfortunately the 2M is the largest SIMM I can get.

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While the Virtual DVD Utility is small, I'm not sure how I can fit those other utilities in there and still compress down to 1.5M.

 

I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to get an 8.1 System thinned down, since I want to get permanent HFS+ support. I'm kicking myself for not getting one of the 8M MEGAs when they were still available, since that seems to be the only real option for an 8.1 System.

 

Since I only have a 2M ROM SIMM to work with right now, I'm able to get the 8.0 System from the disk tools image working in a 2.25M ROM Disk, but it is annoying with the 'should be run from floppy' every boot, and I'm not sure how to get rid of that. I've been trying to get this to compress down to less than the 1.5M with fc8, but haven't had much luck with all the tools I want to include into it. I need to compromise on what tools to include that will all fit into the 2.25M image that will ALSO compress to less than 1.5M.

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So here is my System 8 attempt compressed down to 1.5M, complete with:

  • System 8.0 732K / Finder 8.0 294K

    • Apple CD-ROM 5.4.2 93K

    • ISO 9660 File Access 5.2 20K

    • MountImage 1.2b2 12K

  • Apple HD SC Setup 7.5.1 87K

  • Disinfectant 3.7.1 347K

  • Disk Copy 4.2 24K

  • Disk First Aid 8.1 153K

  • System Picker 1.1a3 38K

  • Virtual DVD Utility 1.0d1 41K

Stuffit Expander will technically still fit into the 2.25M base, but then the image will not compress down to less than the 1.5M limit.

2019-05-20 (5).png

romdisk-recovery8-2.25MB.dsk

romdisk-recovery8-1.5MB.fc8

Edited by reukiodo

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Does anyone know how to remove this startup message with resedit or equivalent? Everything still technically works, it's just an big annoyance to click or press Return on every boot.

 

OR!!!

 

Is is possible to take this text and modify it to provide the user with some instructions for recovery?

2019-05-20 (3).png

Edited by reukiodo

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It should definitely be possible.  Somewhere in a CODE or INIT resource in your system file is very likely a call to the _ModalDialog trap to display that alert, likely near a _GetIndString or similar to load the text for it.  If you can find that using ResEdit and the CODE resource disassembler ResEdit extension that’s often found with it in various distributions, you could replace the single instruction that calls _ModalDialiog with a NOP and you’d never see that alert, without breaking anything elset.  I don’t have Sys 8 setup handy though so I can’t check for you.

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Hrm... so changing or removing that message might take some more free time than I have lately.

 

At least I've now verified that the image boots fine in a real SE/30 using BMOW's FloppyEmu in HD20 mode.

20190523_003138.jpg

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I finally found the trick to getting an 8.1 System suitcase to recognize HFS+ is including the 'Text Encoding Converter' extension! But this is 592K and the 8.1 System suitcase is more than 6M... I'm still searching how to slim it down.

 

At least it will fit in a 12M disk image, so it should fit on the 8MB ROMinator II...

2019-05-25.png

romdisk-recovery8.1-12MB.dsk

recovery8.1-8M.rom

Edited by reukiodo

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On 5/21/2019 at 7:06 AM, Crutch said:

It should definitely be possible.  Somewhere in a CODE or INIT resource in your system file is very likely a call to the _ModalDialog trap to display that alert, likely near a _GetIndString or similar to load the text for it.  If you can find that using ResEdit and the CODE resource disassembler ResEdit extension that’s often found with it in various distributions, you could replace the single instruction that calls _ModalDialiog with a NOP and you’d never see that alert, without breaking anything elset.  I don’t have Sys 8 setup handy though so I can’t check for you.

After some playing around on a long flight, I found a 0K resource named 'msys' which when removed, no longer prompts with the 'boot from floppy' message. When I have more time, I'd still like to find where the floppy message is stored so I can try to change the wording. At least I now know that I can disable that message from showing.

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I have spent a great deal of time trying to slim down the 8.1 System file, by comparing it side-by-side to the System file from the 8 boot floppy, First, I removed any resource in the 8.1 System which wasn't in the 8 System, rebooting between each removed resource, to test that it was still bootable and that HFS+ disk support is still present. This whole process got it down to less than 5MB. Second, I opened each resource and removed the numbered items which weren't present in the 8 System. This led me to a few discoveries:

 

1. when the 0K 'msys' resource is present, the 'must boot from floppy' message is shown

2. 8.1 System complains about unable to access or write the DesktopDB file (disk locked?) when the 'ndf#' resource is missing (cannot boot to the desktop - reboot cycle)

3. 8.1 System 'ppat' resource # 1 does not conform to the standard pattern sizes (resedit won't allow editing) and seems to be the MacOS background

4. 8.1 System 'ptch' resource # -20641 removal will cause an unexpected trap error on boot, also causing reboot loop

5. 8.1 System 'ptch' resource # -20217 removal will cause HFS+ volumes to be seen as HFS (showing only the 'where are my files?')

 

This all leads to an 8.1 System file of 2402880 bytes (2.4MB) which still won't fit on the 2MB SIMM... but will now fit on a 4MB SIMM! For all those lucky enough to have gotten a 4MB SIMM when they were still available, can anyone test this on their 4MB SIMM to see if it still boots and sees all HFS+ partitions? If the System 8 boot floppy works in your Mac, this should too.

romdisk-recovery8.1-5.5MB.dsk

recovery8.1-4M.rom

Edited by reukiodo

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So here is a better System 8.1 attempt compressed down to 3.5M, complete with:

  • System 8.1 2347K / Finder 8.0 294K

    • Control Panels

      • LiteSwitch 1.0 75K

      • Memory 7.5.9 38K

      • SCSIProbe 4.3 26K

    • Extensions

      • Apple CD-ROM 5.4.2 93K

      • ISO 9660 File Access 5.2 20K

      • Text Encoding Converter 1.3 592K

  • Apple HD SC Setup 7.5.1 87K

  • Calculator 7.5 7K

  • Chooser 7.6.1 26K

  • Disinfectant 3.7.1 347K

  • Disk Copy 6.3.3 1048K

  • Disk First Aid 8.1 153K

  • SimpleText 1.4 118K

  • StuffIt Expander 4.5 279K

  • System Picker 1.1a3 38K

  • Virtual DVD Utility 1.0d1 41K

2019-10-06.png

romdisk-recovery8.1-6MB.dsk

recovery8.1-4M.rom

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What systems does the ROMinator II work in? (This is a rhetorical question.) I had initially believed that none of those systems would officially run 8.1, because they are all '030 systems, and as such, wouldn't have SCSI Manager 4.3, because that was added with Quadras, meaning the need for HFS+ isn't strictly speaking "there" on those machines.

 

However, 7.5.5 with (yes, I know, huge) opentransport and the attendant updates to get to TCP/IP based appleshare servers (like vtools) would be a neat option for a recovery-focused ROM disk.

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The SE/30 (at least) can't boot from HFS+, so for me, it's more of the support of getting more files (more small files) more efficiently on the storage size. For me, I would like to put a large uSD in the SCSI2SD with a relatively small HFS boot drive for the System Folder and a very large HFS+ data drive to keep all the install files, applications, save data, etc.

 

The SE/30 (and other 68030 macs?) actually runs 8.1 very well, at least with 128MB RAM. I haven't tested this with anything less, so I am not sure what the usability floor would be, and I also use a SCSI2SD, so perhaps this might not represent a 'normal' scenario well. My boot images above are tested to work on the 68030, so they have the necessary System file modifications already.

 

I am curious what components would be needed for networking. I don't have an Ethernet adapter (no PDS card nor SCSI adapter) so I cannot test networking yet. I do plan to set up my Power Macintosh 9500 as a PhoneNet bridge, or at least attempt to, but this will require more play time than I have available at the moment. I can see how this could be more useful to many, but at least for me, HFS+ support is more important.

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So here is my second System 8 attempt to squeeze as much as possible and still compress down to 1.5M, complete with:

  • System 8.0 732K / Finder 8.0 294K

    • Control Panels

      • Memory 7.5.9 38K
      • MountImage 1.2b2 12K
      • SCSIProbe 4.3 26K
    • Extensions

      • Apple CD-ROM 5.4.2 93K

      • ISO 9660 File Access 5.2 20K

  • Apple HD SC Setup 7.5.1 87K

  • Calculator 7.5 7K

  • Chooser 7.6.1 26K

  • Disinfectant 3.7.1 347K

  • Disk Copy 4.2 24K

  • Disk First Aid 8.1 153K

  • System Picker 1.1a3 38K

  • Virtual DVD Utility 1.0d1 41K

 

Now with no 'boot from floppy' message, straight to desktop.

2019-10-06 (1).png

romdisk-recovery8-2.25MB.dsk

recovery8-2M.rom

Edited by reukiodo

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I have a few thoughts. First, however, this deserves to be set off on its own:

 

To be clear about HFS+, you shouldn't need it because no '030 Mac has SCSI Manager 4.3, which is required to address HFS/+ partitions above 4 gigabytes.

 

The HFS volume size are enumerated here:

 

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Yeah, I'm aware '030s will boot 8.1, unofficially, good that you've made the necessary adjustment in your images. I'd be curious to try it out on such a slow machine. In my experience, running too high an OS version on a machine can impact performance. (1)

On '040s: 8.1 itself runs fine on my 840av with 24 megs of RAM, I believe you can get a usable system folder with OT/AppleShare and some other niceties in about 10, maybe 12 megabytes, but you'd want to be running early-mid '90s software (not mid-late '90s software) in order to economize your use of the rest of the RAM, so in reality 24 megs is close to the bottom end of where I'd want to be on a system running a bunch of software from 1998.

 

Overall, my preference tends to be for 7.6.1 on most of my beige Mac hardware, but I may ultimately settle for 8.1, particularly on my 6100 and 6200, to decrease the amount of 68k code I'm running on those machines. However, in addition to that, there are a few quality of life improvements in 8.1 over 7.6.1 for networking specifically (multi-threaded finder in particular is a huge benefit for both local file operations and network-based ones so I can see why you'd want 8.1 on machines where you're handling a lot of files.

 

Regarding space "efficiency"

1) You need a Quadra to have over-4GB disks at all

2) In my experience with 7.6.1 on my PowerBook 1400 using a 30-gig disk, file sizes don't get too out-of-hand, although that system is 3-way partitioned, so my largest volume is, if I remember correctly, 15 gigs.

3) You can access an HFS+ data partition, but not boot, using 8.1 on a Quadra. You need PowerPC to be able to boot HFS+.

4) If your files are "big" anyway (literally anything above plain text files, really) then it won't matter. Even 640x480 PICT and JPG files are going to be big enough to make most or all of the difference.

 

I'm not 100% clear on whether or not the ROMinator has any fix for this, but I imagine it does not, because if it did, people would be shouting it from the rooftops.

 

My recommendation would be to make a handful of 2-4 gig partitions on your SCSI2SD (you can even split one into multiple devices with their own SCSI IDs) and then use localtalk or ethernet to store more files on, for example, your 9500, to which you can add a SATA card and use 2TB disks.

 

I have a couple machines set up using LocalTalk (my PowerBook 1400 in particular) and although it's particularly annoying because I have to copy files in two phases (I should really just set up a software LT bridge, or get one of those phonenet terminators) it's Fine(TM) even for a fairly fast machine.

 

(1) Though, my experience with this right now is with OS 9.1 on a Power Macintosh 6100.

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Perhaps you misunderstood, in that I am not interested in HFS+ for the maximum volume size, but rather the other features that came along with HFS+:

  • Unicode filenames
  • file size efficiency (because of the 32bit file table)

It is also nice to write files to a zip disk in a USB zip drive on a modern mac (at least up to 10.14) and be able to open those same files off a SCSI zip drive on the SE/30 (with 8.1) because they can both read and write to the same common HFS+ disk format.

Alas, I have no networking to fall back on, so because of the zip-swapping, I have a 128GB uSD card divided into a 2GB HFS boot partition, and the rest as HFS+ data partition, so the file size really does matter, when every single-byte file takes up multiple KB of space.

Edited by reukiodo

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I also am in a sneaker-net based setup, and I haven't had good luck getting 8.1 to boot on a performa 550-based color classic, following the other instructions.

I love this idea of a stripped down 8.1 folder, so thank you for taking the time and putting it together (because HFS+ would eliminate a copying step), but it doesn't boot my Mac.

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I'm not familiar with the Performa 550 to know if it is 32bit clean, but from a quick search, I think it should be, so the boot image should work. How are you attempting to boot from this image?

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