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Post By dlanor
Mini manual for the LaunchELF FileBrowser
Mini manual for the LaunchELF FileBrowser –
Ok, here are the basics on how to operate LaunchELF for MC backups.
Unlike most other descriptions this one assumes no previous experience with LaunchELF.
With default settings the 'Circle' button means 'OK', while 'Cross' button means either 'Cancel' or 'Select' (a passive select which doesn't directly activate anything). We refer to them as the 'OK' button and the 'Cancel' button. So normally you activate a menu entry by using up/down arrows to highlight it, and then pushing the 'OK' button.
The reason why we call them "OK" and "Cancel" is because some prefer to have them reversed, so using the normal button names could be misleading. (Japanese standards are the opposite to US/European standards for this, and LaunchELF has japanese origins.)
In LaunchELF all file handling is done in the FileBrowser, which is one reason we made a default launch key definition for it. It will be in your menu even if you haven't added anything else to it yet. So you can start by using that to enter the FileBrowser. just use the arrows to highlight that entry, and then push 'OK'. Note that we often refer to the 'OK' and 'Cancel' buttons without mentioning the word "button". We just say "Push 'OK'" or "Push 'Cancel'".
In the browser you use similar menu methods to choose devices and folders that you want to browse the contents of, and in each of those you can use the 'Triangle' button to back out to the previous level. Pressing it many times thus brings you back to the top level, where you chose the device to be browsed. This is how browsing is performed in LaunchELF.
If you wish to leave the FileBrowser, simply push 'Select'. This works anywhere in the browser, EXCEPT when the submenu is open (described below).
While browsing you can push the 'R1' button, which will bring up a submenu, and while that is displayed all pad entries relate to that menu, so using the arrows will move the highlight cursor between entries in that menu, and pushing 'OK' means that you use the highlighted command. To close the submenu without using any command, you simply push 'Cancel'.
Most of the 'R1' commands can perfom some action involving the file that was highlighted when you pushed 'R1', but acting only on a single file/folder is inefficient when you want to deal with many. Therefore you can select many files/folders by moving the cursor to each of them in turn, and pushing 'Cancel' to set a selection star next to that entry. You can also Push 'Cancel' again to remove such a selection star from the currently highlighted entry.
Another quick way of handling many selections is to push 'Square' to reverse the selection state of all items in the current folder. So if nothing is selected when you use it, it works like a 'Select All' command. You can simply push it once more to get back to the previous state, if you change your mind.
When you have any selection stars in the browsed directory (even if you scroll them out of sight), then any R1 command you use will act on all of the selected items, only, regardless of what is highlighted.
So (for example) the 'Get Size' command from the submenu will then calculate the total size of all selected items, and if any of those are folders that will also include the accumulated size of all contents including similar size for all subfolder levels. That command is a good way to measure the total size of things that you plan to copy. (You need to know how much room is needed.)
Such selections relate only to the folder you are browsing, and are forgotten the moment you go to another folder (be it child or parent of the current), but there are two commands in the submenu that can memorize the current marks for later use. These are the commands 'Cut' and 'Copy'. Of these it is 'Copy' that is most useful for normal backups.
In LaunchELF most copying is done by first browsing to and selecting files/folders to copy, and then using the 'Copy' command. (This only copies the info about the selected items to an internal clipboard list.) Then you browse to the destination where you want the new copies to be placed, and there you give the 'Paste' command. It is when that command is given that the real copying takes place. (If you had used "Cut" instead of "Copy" then the originals would be erased after the pasting.)
That form of copying is not suitable for backing up game saves to non-MC media, however, or to restore such game saves from non-MC media to MC. This is because game saves can use special file flags that do not exist on any other storage medium than MC. That is why the submenu contains a second paste command, 'mcPaste' which is only selectable for copying between MC and non-MC devices.
Using 'mcPaste' instead of 'Paste' will preserve the special flags of game saves, provided that you use 'mcPaste' BOTH for backing up from MC to non-MC, AND later when you restore that backup to MC again.
If you make such a backup with normal 'Paste' by mistake, then the backup has none of the special flags, so they can't be restored later.
And if you have made the backup correctly with 'mcPaste', but use normal 'Paste' when you restore it to MC, then the new game save on MC will not have the correct MC flags.
So in dealing with MC backups on non-MC media, always use mcPaste BOTH when making a backup, AND when restoring it to MC again.
Actually we have tried to use flag values for normal 'Paste', when writing to MC, that do match what most games use for their saves, but if your game has used even one flag bit differently, then you MUST use 'mcPaste' to transfer those game saves between MC and non-MC media.
Once an MC backup has been made to a non-MC media you can make identical copies of that backup to other non-MC locations, using normal 'Paste'.
The reason why all of this works is that in the backed up form, each gamesave has been given a new extra file which holds all the special MC flags for the real files of that save. Once this file exists it can be safely copied by all copying methods, though only 'mcPaste' can be used to restore it to a working save on the MC again. In so doing the 'extra' file is used to check and restore the special MC flags of all original files in the save, and also of the gamesave folder itself. And, of course, that special flag file is never placed on the MC by 'mcPaste'.
In case you make mistakes in the use of 'mcPaste' VS 'Paste', it is good to know how to check for it afterwards. A backup made by 'mcPaste' will always contain the special file named "PS2_MC_Backup_Attributes.BUP.bin", and saves correctly restored by 'mcPaste' to MC should NEVER contain such a file.
Given the above, I am sure you can understand and learn to use the rest of the submenu commands on your own, so here I'll just mention which they are, with a very brief description:
'Delete' Erases all the selected items, or the highlighted one if none selected
'Rename' Allows you to choose a new name for an item
'New Dir' Allows you to choose a name used to create a new folder, which the browser then enters. This command is the only one that ignores both selection and highlight, and since you enter a new folder here all selections are forgotten. (Except any previously memorized by 'Copy' or 'Cut'.)
NB: Throughout the section on 'mcPaste' above, the word 'flags' has been used as a simplification for the real truth, which is that each item stored on an MC possesses a so-called mcTable data structure that contains not only file attribute flags, but also timestamps for the original creation and for the latest modification of that item (this applies to both folder items and file items). The user doesn't really need to know any of this, but I still want to mention here that it is this entire data structure, not just some flags, that is preserved for each item in each game save when 'mcPaste' is properly used for their backups.
Best regards: dlanor
Last edited by DSAPSX; 04-18-2013 at 04:44 PM.