Howto: Creating a fully virtual GSOS system - from scratch

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Howto: Creating a fully virtual GSOS system - from scratch

Postby david__schmidt » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:24 pm

Part 1: prepare your CF or USB media.

  1. On the modern side - create the maximum size virtual disk ProDOS can see:
    • Windows: fsutil file createnew boot.po 33553920
    • Mac/Linux: dd if=/dev/zero of=boot.po bs=512 count=65535
  2. Get a hold of all seven GSOS 6.0.1 install disk images wherever pirated disks are housed - or rip your own legitimate copy using the CFFA3000; I.e.
    • Disk 1 of 7 Install.2mg
    • Disk 2 of 7 System Disk.2mg
    • Disk 3 of 7 SystemTools1.2mg
    • Disk 4 of 7 SystemTools2.2mg
    • Disk 5 of 7 Fonts.2mg
    • Disk 6 of 7 synthLAB.2mg
    • Disk 7 of 7 Apple II Setup.2mg
    Note - you'll likely only need disks 1-5
  3. Copy boot.po and the seven GSOS disks to your CF or USB media.

Part 2: prepare the GS and CFFA3000

  1. Move your CF or USB media to the CFFA3000 in your GS and boot to the CFFA3000 menu
  2. Go to item 4, SmartPort Assignments
  3. Hit Return on the install disk image - it needs to be first on the list
  4. Hit return on boot.po, which will be the disk that we'll install GSOS to
  5. Hit Return on the rest of your GSOS install disks (likely just 2-5) to assign them to SmartPort devices - that will fill up the default 6 slots available; you can configure more if you really want SynthLab
    prep.png (4.2 KiB) Viewed 25133 times
  6. Hit Esc and quit/reboot.

Part 3: format 32MB "hard drive"

We need to get GSOS to format the virtual hard drive. To do that, we have to run the formatter utility on one of the install disks.

  1. After rebooting, you should be looking at the "Apple II GS Installer-Easy Update" screen - but don't install yet, we still need to format the virtual hard drive
  2. Click the "Quit" button to get back to the launcher
    i1.png (16.04 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  3. Click the "Disks" button to see all your mounted disks
  4. Click on ":SystemTools1" disk, click the "Open" button
    i2.png (13.8 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  5. Double-click or click the "Open" button on "Adv.Disk.Util"
    i3.png (13.59 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  6. Click the "Disk" button until you see "Uninitialized or no disk in drive" AND you have a hard drive icon
    i4.png (12.49 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  7. Click the "Initialize..." button
  8. Name your boot drive and click the "Initialize" button
    i5.png (13.2 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  9. When complete, click the "Quit" button.
    i6.png (12.61 KiB) Viewed 25135 times

Part 4: install

With the formatted hard drive prepared and all of the install floppies ready, go ahead and fire up the installer again.

  1. Either navigate to the Install disk and double-click on the Installer application, or reboot to get the installer running again
    n1.png (13.57 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  2. Ensure the disk you just initialized is selected, or navigate to it with the "Change Disk" button
  3. Either choose "Easy Update" - it'll install and you'll be finished very quickly
    n2.png (15.89 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  4. Or... choose "Customize"
    n3.png (15.9 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  5. Select all the bits you want
  6. You probably want to unselect synthLab if you didn't mount that disk
    n4.png (19.25 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  7. Click Install
  8. You may get several messages asking if you want to skip or perform updates... click "Perform This Update" on them all
    n5.png (21.4 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  9. Progress is indicated
    n6.png (17.44 KiB) Viewed 25135 times
  10. On completion - click "OK" button, then "Quit" button.
    n7.png (19.69 KiB) Viewed 25135 times

Part 5: prepare CFFA3000 for final configuration

Now you need to unmount the install diskettes and make the boot.po image be the first/selected one so it will be the thing that boots from now on.

  1. Get to the CFFA3000 menu however you prefer - reboot and hit "M" key, or Control-OpenApple-Escape key sequence and navigate to it via the control panel
  2. Go to item 4, SmartPort Assignments
  3. Tab over to the right side
  4. Using the arrow keys, highlight each of the installer disk images in turn and hit the "-" key to remove them; leave boot.po there so we can boot from it now
    post.png (3.55 KiB) Viewed 25133 times
  5. Hit Escape to back out, then quit/reboot out of the CFFA3000 menu system
  6. Booting the GS now and forever should boot into GSOS until you change the disk assignments.
Last edited by david__schmidt on Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 157
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:32 pm

Re: Howto: Creating a fully virtual GSOS system - from scrat

Postby drkenb » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:45 am

David - Thank you so very much for putting together this cookbook! I was starting to do the same thing, trying to collate all my notes into a single document because my memory is not what it used to be (not that it was ever much good to begin with!), but this is wonderful. Thanks! Ken
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:18 pm

Re: Howto: Creating a fully virtual GSOS system - from scrat

Postby roughana » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:38 pm

Then find all the patches and apply them.
For example:

Surely someone has done this already and made it available somewhere?
Alex's WhatIsTheApple2gs site has some hard drive images with lots of stuff installed.

Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:41 pm

Re: Howto: Creating a fully virtual GSOS system - from scrat

Postby DrTom » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:31 am

To: David Schmidt

David I would like to get in contact with you. Can you please post something
here? So I can contact you.

DrTom Bailey
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:32 pm

Re: Howto: Creating a fully virtual GSOS system - from scrat

Postby RiverCityJim » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:27 pm


Thanks for your help in getting us newbs started with our CFFA3000 cards!

I have formatted my USB/thumb drive (16GB capacity) in the .PO format, then used Sweet16 to mount a 100MB 2mg disk image, mount it within Sweet16, and process the installation of GS/OS 6.0.1 using the install disks onto the disk image. Then I copied the 2mg file over onto the USB thumb drive, followed by the 6 install disks, and put the USB/thumb drive on the CFFA30000 card for starting up.

However, when I started up my IIgs and pressed 'M' for the CFFA3000 menu, it loaded and then crashed into the Monitor (see enclosed image). In the enclosed photo, ignore the red-lined words, as that is just my trying to get back to the CFFA3000 menu, or BASIC...or something! I tried rebooting and only very briefly pressing the 'M' key - same crash...

Couple of questions for some help in troubleshooting this issue for my IIgs and CFFA3000 card:

1) Have you had reports of problems from other people using Sweet16 for the installation process? (as opposed to GSPort, which on my Book Air gives me a message that the drive image has been corrupted when I try to start it up).

2) On my Apple IIgs (ROM 01), I have the CFFA3000 card in slot 2, and assigned for slot 7 also. My only other card in the IIgs is a Vince Briel RAM GS 4 RAM card (purchased from him assembled, without the SIMMs on it - I purchased the SIMMs and installed them on the Briel card). Have you heard of any incompatibilities between the CFFA3000 and the Briel RAM GS 4MB card?

Thanks for whatever light you can shed on this matter.

Jim R.

P.S. I have tried this with the CF card (a 256MB SanDisk) removed as well - still crashes.
Photo of CFFA crash screen
CFFA_crash.JPG (1021.14 KiB) Viewed 17949 times
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