Contents of the MVA.DOC file
Please Read this entire document before using MVA
MVA.COM MULTI-VOLUME ARC Utility
2.00 April 22, 1988 - Many Bugs Fixed
Keith P. Graham
238 Germonds Road
West Nyack, NY 10994
MODEM: PC-Rockland BBS (914) 353-2157
MVA.COM is a utility that allows some ARC utilities
to create and read .arc files which span over many
floppy diskettes. Very large arc files can be placed
on separate diskettes to be re-assembled later.
Obvious applications are the distribution of very
large arc files without having to chop the system into
smaller files as well as a slow but compact backups.
MVA.COM will also allow un-arcing using Phil Katz's
PKXARC or Vern Buerg's ARCE programs.
MVA.COM is a "Passthru" program which allows it to
load as a memory resident program only while another
program is executing.
The syntax for using MVA is:
MVA PKARC arc parameters <- creates an archive
MVA PKXARC arcname.1rc [files] <- extracts file(s)
MVA ARCE arcname.1rc [files] <- extracts file(s)
MVA ARCV arcname.1rc [files] <- lists file(s)
MVA is the name of the Multi Volume Arc program and
PKARC, PKXARC, ARCV and ARCE are names of some of the
archive utilities which work with MVA. I have not
tested the original SEA ARC utility and I have
discovered that Vern Buerg's ARCA utility uses seek
commands in a way which makes MVA crazy so it creates
defective arc's (Vern, stop seeking past the end
of the created file!)
MVA will only read or write to the A: and B: drives.
This keeps things simple for me, but you may look at
the DOS assign command if this is a problem or I
could be persuaded to change this if there is a
When creating a file, MVA will detect an "out of
disk error message and report it to you. You will
be given the 3 choices:
Esc = quit. This will end MVA.COM and the
arc utility that you are running
and will leave you with a partial
arc file which may be unusable.
A or B = the next diskette drive to use. This
allows you to flip-flop between
drives for creating new files.
The first diskette will rename your arc file with
an extension of 1RC and the next disk will have a
an extenstion of 2RC. You are allowed up to nine
diskettes in this version. After 9 diskettes you
will get errors. A future version (if there is any
interest) will continue.
When un-arcing or listing he contents of an arc file
MVA will watch for moves beyond the end of the disk.
Again you will be asked to ESC or put the drive letter
of the next drive. You can also enter "E" to convince
MVA that this is indeed the end of a file.
******* IMPORTANT *********
AFTER MVA READS THE LAST DISK YOU MUST ENTER "E"
BECAUSE ALL ARC UTILITES RUN UNTIL THEY RUN OUT OF
If MVA asks again for the next disk you will enter
"E" again. Some ARC utilities check more than once
for EOF conditions. Never enter Esc unless you want
a corrupted file.
The copy command can be used to break up existing ARC's
into multiple volumes by entering:
MVA COPY file.arc A:
or a broken up file can be reassemble by entering:
MVA copy a:file.arc c:
If the default drive is a: or b: the program will get
upset if you try to use MVA. Don't try it.
MVA is scrambled for security. It unscrambles itself
as it loads, but it doesn't arc well as a result.
This is the first time I have tried this. The security
isn't great, but it keeps 8 year olds out of the
text portions of the program.
MVA works with PKARC to create files and manipulate
files. It works with ARCE and ARCV, but I ahve done
only limited testing. This is a beta test and I am
looking for problems that I did not anticipate.
I also hope that Phil Katz, Vern Buerg and SEA make
multi-volume arcs a standard feature and then this
klutzy work-around program will not be needed.
MVA has a copyright, but it can be passed around
as long as no money is charged (except a copying fee)
for its distribution. I expect nothing (unless this
becomes a big hit) in the way of fees, but have you
mailed PKWARE, SEA or Vern Buerg that check yet?
If you need MVA to distribute software you may register
with me at the address above for $5.00 as a distributer
and sales after the first 100 pieces require a license
fee of $0.25 per piece sold.