> On Jun 18, 2016, at 1:29 PM, Eric Auer <e.a...@jpberlin.de> wrote:
> Hi guys,
> (sorry about the long mail...)
>> During the discussion of version 1.2, this was my interpretation of 
>> how this should be handled and what was implemented when the 
>> user installed FreeDOS in normal mode. Having a failed install (by 
>> not booting into FreeDOS) was unacceptable behavior. Therefore, 
>> the installer would normally backup and then over-write the boot...
> Well, as mentioned several times in the 1.2 discussion, losing all
> your data is even more unacceptable, so there should be a choice ;-)

No data is lost unless the user intentional destroys it themselves. 
The boot sector and boot code is backed up prior to being over-written.
This occurs in either normal or advanced mode.

> On dedicated harddisks or virtual computer images, which optionally
> could be auto-detected by the installer, it is of course nice to do
> automatic "rude" installs which makes sure that DOS boots afterwards.
> But the user should have the choice between "rude" install, "no"
> install at all (simply use "live" DOS as booted from USB stick)
> and as 3rd choice "manual" install, where the user has to do the
> partitioning and formatting by hand before running the installer
> which limits itself to install DOS to any user-chosen directory,
> even asking whether SYS should be run and whether config/autoexec
> should be overwritten or just prepared under another name :-)

If the user has already prepared a drive C: prior to using the installer,
the installer will see this and will not auto-partition the hard drive. It will
also not even prompt to partition the drive. If the user has also formatted
the drive, the installer will skip this as well. 

Other things, like not installing the SYS files, not installing boot code,
not installing new autoexec & config files are all optional in advanced 

Personally, I think anyone who is running the installer on a system
that is to be multi-boot or some other situation, should run the installer
in advanced mode to fully control its behavior.

>> code during installation. This action can be overridden if advanced 
>> mode is used during the install. There were many pros and cons 
>> to this being the default action.
>> The installer will not destroy partitions...
> As long as the installer makes it clear that you have a CHOICE,
> as long as that choice is not what happens by default when you
> just press Y or enter, this is already quite reasonable :-) As
> you see, people ARE scared that the install can delete data.
>> * The installer checks if there is a drive C: visible to FreeDOS. 
>> If does not find one, and that drive is blank it will use fdisk to 
>> automatically partition the drive in "smart" mode. Otherwise, if
>> there are partitions existing on the drive, or it cannot figure 
>> out what should be partitioned, or if it is in “dumb" mode. It
>> will launch fdisk and let the user deal with it.
> How does it decide about the "blank" aspect?

It uses multiple tools and parses results from queries to fdisk.

If there are any partitions present, the drive will not be 
auto-partitioned. If there is a drive that fdisk lists as hard drive C:,
it will be used. 

>> * Installer checks if drive C: can be read by FreeDOS. If not, 
>> it will format it.
> It should NOT do that by default if you ask me. It should rather
> say something like "There is a C: but it does not work for DOS.
> If you just made the partition for DOS, you can press F now to
> let me format C: Otherwise, please leave the installer and take
> care to make C: accessible for DOS, in any way that seems good.”

As I said, I left out all question prompts the installer asks in the 
logic summary I posted. The installer does not just format a drive.
It asks first. 

It doesn’t even partition without asking. The partitioning behavior is
slightly different in advanced and normal modes.

When drive needs to be partitioned:

Normal mode:

        Does all that detection stuff.

        Asks if user wants to partition or quit?

        If so, and can auto-partition, it does so. If it cannot auto-partition
        it launches fdisk.

        After partition. Asks to reboot or exit.        

Advanced mode.

        Does some detection stuff to determine bios drive.

        Asks if user wants to partition or quit?
        Launches fdisk set for the bios drive.

        After partition. Asks to reboot or exit.        

> (the above example deliberately uses "F" instead of "Y" to make
> sure that people have to think before they just press "agree”)

Advanced mode.

>> * The installer transfers the system files and overwrites the
>> boot code. 
> That, too, might want to ask the user first…

Advanced mode.

>> Advanced mode, provides these capabilities:
>> * never auto-partition 
>> * option of long-slow formatting.
>> * installing to drives other than C: (configured as C: for booting)
>> * not transferring the system boot files
>> * not over-writting the boot code.
>> * lots of other stuff.
> That is nice but I wonder if it is necessary in that style:
> Advanced mode could also let the user do the partition and
> format step and offer the easier-to-implement second half
> of the install only: Install to user-selectable directory,
> then invite user to optionally add SYS files / boot sector.

Advanced mode. 

An advanced user can switch into and out of advanced 
mode at any prompt in the installer.

> I am aware that this is a rather controversial topic :-)
> For easy improvement, maybe the installer could initially
> say something like "if this is a dedicated DOS PC, maybe
> virtual, select easy install now. If you have other data
> on the PC, please select advanced manual installation..."
> The rest of the installer can probably stay as it is :-)

Wether or not I agree, the installer is not supposed to
show any signs of an existing advanced mode. It is 
to have only a few simple and friendly questions from
start to finish. Having an advanced mode was permissible 
as long as their was no visual indication of its presence 
durning the normal install process. Basically, the user must 
know that there is one to be able to access it.

So, spread the word far and wide. It has an advance mode and
how to get there.


        Run "setup.bat adv” from the command line.


        Pressing CTRL+C when the installer is waiting for user input
        brings up another option box to quit, continue or switch 
        in/out of advanced mode. (this is my preferred method)

>> The FreeDOS 1.2 Preview releases contain several boot images.
>> sudo dd if=FILENAME.IMG of=/dev/USBDEVICE
> That is okay for Linux users, but those probably would use
> GPARTED for the partition and format step anyway ;-) Many
> Windows users might prefer something simpler, like DOSBOX.
> Also because of the nice "old sound card" simulations :-)

There are rough directions on using the installer with DOSBox 
in the FDI Readme. 


> Or of course some tool or howto for making it REALLY easy
> to make a bootable USB stick which can be used without the
> need to install DOS to any harddisk?
> Cheers, Eric

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