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AmigaOS 4.0 - About OS4 - Commands

IOTOOLS Obsolete
Purpose: Tools for use with IOMEGA devices.
Format: IOTOOLS DEVICE=<device> [UNIT=<unit>] [FLAGS=<n>] [BUFMEMTYPE=<type>] [EJECTDELAY=<unit>] [STARTDELAY=<unit>] [FLUSHDELAY=<unit>] [INHIBITDELAY=<unit>] [FIRSTBOARD=<unit>] [LASTBOARD=<unit>] [FIRSTID=<unit>] [LASTID=<unit>] [LEFTEDGE=<unit>] [TOPEDGE=<unit>] [CX_POPUP=<unit>] [CX_PRIORITY=<unit>] [CX_POPKEY=<unit>] [NOCHECK] [NOERRORS] [NOWARNINGS] [PUBSCREEN=<public screen name>]
Template: HANDLER=DEVICE, UNIT/K/N, FLAGS/K/N, BUFMEMTYPE/K/N, SPINDOWN/K/N, PRINTSPINDOWN/S, DISKID/S, DISKSTATUS/S, DRIVEID/S, PRINTPROTECT/S, EJECT/S, START/S, VERIFY/K, SELFTEST/S, PASSWORD/K, WPROTECT/S, RWPROTECT/S, UNPROTECT/S, TEMPUNPROTECT/S IOEXTEND/K, EJECTDELAY/K/N, STARTDELAY/K/N, FLUSHDELAY/K/N, INHIBITDELAY/K/N, QUIET/S
Path: SYS:Tools/IoTools

This command became obsolete with AmigaOS 4.0 Final - details shown for information only

IOTOOLS is an Amiga implementation and a complete rewrite of the "Iomega Tools" program for PC and Mac that is supplied with a ZIP or JAZ drive. The Amiga "IoTools" are unrelated to the "Iomega Tools" for PC and Mac, they are not a port of the "Iomega Tools", nor related by any means to the Iomega Corporation. No Iomega copyrighted code has been used in its production, the Iomega Ccorporation did not contribute to this program in any way. "Iomega", "ZIP", "JAZ" and "For all Your Stuff" are registered trademarks of Iomega Corporation. "Mac", "Macintosh" are trademarks of "Apple Computers".

IOTOOLS provides the same functionality as the original "Iomega Tools" program, i.e. setting or removing the write protection status from disk, ejection and formatting of media, providing informations about disks and drives and changing the drive configuration. Additionally, IoTools comes with an ARexx interface to remote-control the program from ARexx scripts.

IOTOOLS will work with the SCSI versions of ZIP 100, ZIP 250, 1GB and 2GB JAZ drives, no matter which SCSI interface or interfaces are used. Several SCSI hostadapters are supported as well. ATAPI and parallel versions of the drives are supported as far as the corresponding Amiga device driver supports or emulates the HD_SCSICMD command interface. IOTOOLS supports all filing systems provided they follow the Amiga design rules. Last but not least they are downwards compatible to the former "JazTools" program of the same author.

When started the following screen is displayed:

The following buttons are available:

Lock or Unlock - Opens the protection control window. This window allows you to lock or unlock media, similar to the write protection notch on "arbitrary" disks. ZIP and JAZ media are, however, protected electronically, and you might provide a password required to unlock them. The media can be read-protected as well, to keep them safe from unauthorized eyes: The disk contents cannot be read or modified in any way if they are read/write locked.

The protection control window comes with five buttons:

Write protect This button write-protects the current disk in the selected drive. You may or may not enter a password, but if you enter a password, the same password must be entered to remove the protection. If you leave the password blank, a simple click on "Remove protection" is enough to allow writing to the disk again.
Temporarily unprotect This button removes a read/write or write protection temporarily, the protection is, however, re-enabled as soon as you remove the disk from the drive. The next time you insert the disk, the protection will be active again. IoTools will ask you for a password if the disk was locked with a password; otherwise, the operation is performed immediately.
Read/Write protect This button locks the disk from reading and writing in any way. The disk will appear "as if" it is bad, and the contents won't be available to anyone in any way. This is useful to keep security relevant information from the public. A password is required here, and the same password is required for unlocking the disk again and to make its contents visible.
Remove protection This button removes the protection, whether it be a write or a read/write protection, completely. The disk will be unprotected afterwards and will remain unprotected once removed from the drive. You will have to enter a password here if the disk was locked with a password.
Change password If the disk has been locked with a password, this button allows you to change the password, or to add a password for a non-password locked write protection. In the first case, you've to re-type the old password. Then enter a new password. In case you want a simple write protection, you may leave this line blank.
Format Disk - Re-initializes the currently loaded disk in the selected drive, erasing all data on it completely. Hence, be careful since all data will be lost completely. Iomega media come pre-formated for IBM or MAC, but not for the Amiga, unfortunately, hence this step is required before you can actually use them on your system. In this case, a "Quick Format" - see below for more details - is absolutely sufficient, and takes only a few seconds.
New Disk Name Enter a name for the disk. Any characters except "/" and ":" are valid here.
Dos Type Enables you to select the organization for the data on the disk. For almost all purposes, this should be "FFS Intl.", the fast international version of the Amiga built-in filing system.

If you mounted "CrossDos" or "CrossMac" on the ZIP drive, this gadget will allow you to pick the PC or MAC filing systems as well. This is useful if you want to transfer data to or from a non-Amiga system. Select "MSH" or "MAC" in this case. These two items will not be available when there is no mountlist for CrossDos or CrossMac. Please check the CrossDos and CrossMac documentation how to setup the mountlist.

Alternative third-party filing systems will show up with their specific ID here.

Some additional notes on filing systems: If you mounted more than one filing system on the disk, i.e. CrossDos and FFS - the native Amiga filing system - it might happen that the disk icon for the "other" filing system does not vanish from the workbench but appears to remain available. For example, it may be that a freshly "FFS" formatted disk 'appears' as totally valid CrossDos disk. However, DO NOT, NEVER EVER! touch the disk icon of the "other" filing system. This will corrupt your data!

Unfortunately there is nothing the IoTools can do to prevent this, as this is simply a drawback of the way the Amiga filing systems work.

If you created more than one partition on the selected disk, IoTools will try to format the individial partitions with "reasonable" filing systems. For example, if the drive contains a FFS and a CrossDos partition, and you try to format this disk as "FFS Intl.", the second partition will remain a CrossDos partition if there is no FFS mountlist for it. The algorithm used by IoTools to determinate an apropriate filing system is "mainly heuristic" - Just don't use more than one partition on removable media, or you're in trouble.

IoTools DOES NOT attempt to create an RDB ("Rigid Disk Block") on formatted disks. Hence, the disks won't be bootable. On the other hand, it doesn't touch an already available RDB. Hence, if you re-format a disk with an incompatible filing system, incompatible to the filing system recorded in the RDB, you will still be unable to boot from it even if an RDB is available. In general, avoid putting RDBs on removable media as this may have weird side-effects, dependent on the provider of your HD adapter. Rather weird hacks have been implemented by various vendors, and the result might or might not please you. Just don't do it.

In case you really, really want to boot from a ZIP or a JAZZ, use Media ToolBox to install an RDB.

Create Trashcan If this gadget is checked, Iotools will build a trashcan on the drive after formatting.
Quick Format Takes only a few seconds and re-initializes the filing system, and nothing more. The disk will be empty afterwards, but an expert might still be able to recover old information from it. Do not use this option to delete security relevant data. In all other cases, it is the faster and simpler alternative.
Format without Verify Re-initializes the disk completely, erasing all information. This might take fifteen to sixty minutes. The disk will be truly empty afterwards, data recovery is impossible. No error checking is performed. This option is not available for ZIP drives.
Format and Verify Re-initializes the disk completely, erasing all information. This will take even longer than "Format without Verify", but performs an additional certification process on the disk surface. The drive will scan for bad and damaged sectors and will re-direct data to good sectors in other areas of the disk. See also 'Disk Life and Bad Sectors' for more details on this.
Cancel Closes the window.
Drive Settings - Opens the drive settings window, allowing you to set some options of the Iomega hardware.
Verify Writes If checked, this tells the Iomega drive run an additional verification step after writing data to the disk, providing more security, but slowing down the write operation.

Note: This option currently only works for JAZ drives, it does not make any difference for ZIP drives. It would require a modified device driver to turn on verification for ZIPs. Even for JAZ drives, this setting is not fully equivalent to the PC and Mac "Iomega Tools" verification setting because the Amiga Os does not allow control over the write command used. A future "iomega.device" might solve this problem.

Drive Sleep in... Sets the spindown delay in minutes. If the drive isn't accessed for the indicated period, it will spin down the disk and move the heads in park position. This will increase the disk lifetime, reduce noise and will also save energy.

Note 1: This number might not be 100% acurate, due to the way how the drives measure the time. It will be fairly accurate for ZIPs, but dependent on the device driver, not very accurate for JAZ drives due to the clumsy mechanism used to count the time.

Note 2: Depending on to the drive type, ZIP vs. JAZ, and due to the host adapter type, the drive may or may not spin up automatically again if it is needed. In case it doesn't, use the 'Start Drive' button on the main window.

Note 3: The drives do not store these settings in ROM or on the disk. Instead, the IoTools will keep these settings for you on your system disk. It is therefore important to run IoTools as part of the boot process, namely to re-load your saved settings from your HD into the Iomega drives. If you do not run IoTools on startup, the drive will retain its default settings until IoTools is loaded.

New Disk Name Enter a name for the disk. Any characters except "/" and ":" are valid here.
Eject Disk - This button ejects the currently inserted disk. Even though IoTools tries its best to implement this operation as safe as possible, avoid pressing this button as long as the drive light is lit or programs are still accessing the drive. If the disk is ejected while programs are still writing to the disk, the disk structure might be damaged.

Disk Info - Opens a window with information about the disk status of the currently inserted disk in the selected drive. The following information is available:

Capacity This is the capacity of the disk in blocks. Each block is 512 bytes long. Divide this number by two to get the total capacity in KByte. The usable capacity of the device might be somewhat lower because additional storage is required for the data administration.
Disk Usage Indicates how full the disk is, given in percent. Due to rounding errors, this number might differ slightly (by one percent) from the number given by the Workbench.
Disk Serial Number This is the manufacturer's serial number of the disk. It is unique to each disk and identifies it. There's currently no use for this number.
Disk Type Identifies the type of the disk. This can be ZIP, JAZ or something similar. This ID has been written to the disk by the manufacturer, and can't be changed.
Dos Type The type of the data administration on the disk, hence the "filing system" type. This is usually the Amiga ROM filing system, the "FFS". Other filing system are available, like "CrossDos" or "CrossMac" which organize data in a way compatible to PCs or Macintosh computers.
Format Life Remaining Prints the current disk status and an indicator how bad the disk grew by usage since the last reformat process. This number is 100% for new disks and shrinks as soon as the disk develops bad sectors, e.g. by dust or dirt on the surface. The drive then re-arranges the sectors on the disk and stores your data on different places. This operation is totally transparent to you, and no need to worry about. This number can be restored to 100% by re-formatting the disk, i.e. by 'Format and Verify'.
Disk Life Remaining Prints the overall disk lifetime status. This indicates how many sectors grew bad since production of the disk, it is 100% and shrinks as soon the disk is reformatted and the drive had to map out bad sectors permanently as part of the certification process. If this number falls below 75%, replace the disk by a new one. See 'Disk Life and Bad sectors' for additional information.
Drive Info - Opens the drive information window and presents some internal data about your Iomega drive.
Hardware vendor The vendor of the drive. This is always "Iomega".
Drive Type The type of the drive, can be "ZIP 100", "JAZ 1GB" etc.
ROM Version The version of the firmware ROM in the drive.
ROM Date The production date of the firmware software.
AmigaOs Driver The name of the AmigaOs device driver your hardware is connected to, i.e. "scsi.device".
AmigaOs Unit The device unit, this is in most cases identical to the SCSI ID of the drive.
Driver Version The version and revision of the AmigaOs device driver.
Run Diagnostics Runs the selftest on the drive. Please insert a disk and push this button to start the selftest; the data on the disk will remain unchanged and it does not matter whether the disk is already formatted or not. IoTools will then run the internal test program of the drive, and will reply with either a success requester, or an error number. In the latter case, the drive is defective and should be repaired.
Start Drive - Restarts the drive in case it has been 'parked' previously, either manually or automatically. Unfortunately, it depends on the drive type and on the host adapter whether a drive that parked itself after the "drive spindown period" will be able to re-start automatically if it is accessed. In case this doesn't work, use this button to spin-up the drive and to make it available to the system again. If the drive has been parked manually, the drive will not spin up automatically in any case.

Park Drive - Parks the drive manually. This helps to reduce the noise and will also increase the lifetime of the disks and the drive. In most cases it is more convenient to setup the "auto spindown delay" which will park the drive automatically. Manually parked drives will never spinup automatically, and must me restarted using the 'Start drive' button on the main window.

Help - Runs the online help system. The IoTools.guide file should be installed either in the home directory of the IoTools program, the LOCALE:help/ directory, where is the language you prefer, i.e. "english" or "Deutsch", or in the GUIDES: assign. Its name must be "IoTools.guide" or IoTools will be unable to find it.

For information about other aspects and options available from within IoTools you must consult on the online help system.

Please Note: if you do not have any Iomega devices defined on your computer, you will receive the following message and once you acknowledge the message, all of the buttons in the IoTools window will become ghosted apart from Help.


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Disclaimer: Amiga Auckland have prepared the above information for the use of its members based on our experiences and as such is subject to revision at any time. Amiga Auckland cannot guarantee any of the information and cannot be held accountable for any issues that may result from using it.


Copyright 2006 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 24, 2006.