For the Commodore 64 & 128 Computers

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Hard Drives




Editing SYSGEN



SCSI Adapter

Multiplexer Unit


Drive Case & Cables

The Wall

DOS Commands

Software Installation

INSTALLING Lt. Kernal DOS software:

Performing a SYSGEN (the process by which DOS software is installed onto the hard drive) is similar to the process of installing software on a Windows or MacOS system. However, as you'll learn below, there is one extra step to installing LTK DOS. The underlying reason for this is because of the Host Adapters' design. Therefore, if this is the first time you've installed LTK DOS software on a Lt. Kernal, I suggest you read all of the sections in SYSGEN and Hard Drives before installing the DOS software!

So, if you connect a hard drive to the Host adapter and apply power, one of two things will happen:

  • The system will bootup from the DOS software that is currently installed on the hard drive. But, if this happens, you can't install New DOS software with the system running under LK DOS.
  • If you replaced the hard drive, the Host simply tries to access DOS on the drive until it 'times out'. The computer then returns to the normal Commodore Startup screen. However, this ready prompt too is not the recommended place to install all versions of DOS software.

Regardless of which version of LK DOS software you want to install or reinstall, the following procedure is used to properly install DOS software onto the Lt. Kernals' hard drive. First, the software installation process requires either a Commodore 1541 or 1571 floppy drive connected as device #8 to your computer. The procedure is different and may seem inherently dangerous, but it is the Manual's recommended method:

(Note; when installing LK DOS on a newly formatted hard drive, you will receive an Error! Installation will attempt to load previously installed data from the hard drive. Since it can't find data on a formatted drive, the Error will report that "... the serial numbers do not match .. do you want to install anyway?". Enter 'Y' and continue)
  • (IF your Lt. Kernal system is working and you are Re-Installing LK DOS, then:)
    • With system running, enter D 9 and hit Return (change the LTK to device #9)
    • SKIP down to 'Insert Side A' step below
  • Power down the Commodore and external hard drive enclosure
  • Ensure that the Host adapter is properly connected to the Commodore (see Host installation)
  • Disconnect the SCSI data cable (DB-25 cable connected between the Host and hard drive; either end)
  • Power-up the Commodore. With no hard drive connected, the screen will remain blank (don't freak) for about 1 minute until the Commodore times-out and returns to a normal Startup Screen:
    • If you're using a C128, enter GO64 (first time SYSGENs are done in C64 mode)
    • When the C64 startup screen appears and you are using a 1571, you must set your 1571 to 1541 mode (U0>M0) (OPEN15,8,15,"U0>M0";CLOSE15)
  • Re-connect the SCSI data cable
  • (An alternate approach is to leave the DB-25 cable connected and the hard drive turned off)
  • Power-up the hard drive enclosure
  • Insert Side A of the SYSGEN floppy disk into the 1541 or 1571 drive
    • for 1571, first enter 'OPEN15,8,15,"U0>M0";CLOSE15 and hit Return
    • (1571 drive must be in '1541' mode or single-sided mode)
  • LOAD"*",8,1 - or - LOAD"b",8,1 (it's safer to load "b")
  • Installation begins by loading three files from the disk; 'b', 'sb2' and 'setup' (v6.xx - v7.x)
    • 'Setup' checks the hard drive to determine if it can properly connect and send data to the hard drive
    • Erases the current (or non-existing) DOS logical unit on the hard drive and presents:
    • Loads "ltkernal.R " & "ltkrn128.r" files from the floppy (including drive parameters you entered)
    • Creates the following disk-structure and files on the hard drive:
      • Systemconfigfile
      • Systemtrackfile
      • discbitmap
      • systemindex
      • fastcopy modules
  • Now that the hard drive is configured to accept data, installation continues by sending the 'processor' and 'command' DOS programs to the hard drive on a space or Logical Unit ("LU") reserved only for DOS (LU 10). During the loading, you'll be asked to turn the disk over and press Return to load the remaining files.
  • On the Monitor, you'll see each file name load from the floppy disk and then write to the hard drive.
  • When all DOS files have been stored, SYSGEN performs a Checksum on all files in LU 10 (the DOS logical unit). If the Checksum agrees with what is stored in the 'Checksum' program file, DOS installation is done.
  • If Checksum returns an error, you'll be asked to perform a SYSGEN again.
    • IF you installed DOS on a previously working hard drive, this error Occasionally happens and may simply be due to a power spike. Reinstalling DOS should be successful.
    • HOWEVER, if you've Modified your SYSGEN DOS disk with different hard drive parameters and you've attempted to reinstall LK DOS several times, the problem is most likely that you have entered illegal drive parameters on the SYSGEN disk. (see Hard Drives, Editing section)
  • After successful DOS installation, you are told to do a FULL RESET. This means to power-down the Commodore for a few seconds and then power-up again or press Reset.
  • What should happen next is the Commodore will bootup from the DOS software on the hard drive and present a new Lt. Kernal Startup Screen. This screen Only means that installation was successful! You must now CONFIGure and (maybe) ACTIVATE the system! The Status line should display:
    • C64(or C128) D#08 LU#10 USER#00 PORT#00 READY
  • (As stated above, every time you perform a SYSGEN on a newly formatted hard drive, you'll Always received the 'serial number' error message! But, if your hard drive parameters are correct and you continue with installation, software is Always successfully installed. In fact, the Error indicates that SYSGEN has successfully communicated with the formatted drive)
  • Whether you just reinstalled LK DOS on a working system or installed LK DOS for the first time on a new drive, you must CONFIGure the system and, if it's a new drive, ACTIVATE the hard drive LUs (Activating a hard drive logical unit (LU) creates an indexfile and Bitmap for that LU) Activating a Logical unit is necessary before you store files in that LU. (LUs are not HD Partitions; only LK DOS-generated Storage areas similar to 'partitions'.)

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