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-   -   Amiga 500 not booting, but power light is on, need help (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=92463)

Amifan23 19 May 2018 09:11

Amiga 500 not booting, but power light is on, need help
I have an old Amiga 500 with an internal hard disk - Now I was testing it and the power supply works fine, as the Amiga power light can turn on, but there is no sound showing the Amiga is working - cannot remember if the Amiga has to make any sound while turned on, should it have to make any sound ? - The color of the power led when on is green - While the power light is on and green, the diskette drive light doesn´t turn on, is always off.
The Amiga internal hard disk got loose and needs soldering in one of its cables - I cannot boot the Amiga using the hard disk, and I cannot either boot it using a floppy disk, I can insert a floppy in the internal diskette drive, but the diskette drive doesn´t spin, it does nothing, the floppy disk stays inserted without booting at all, and the diskette drive won´t turn on its light, as said before.
So, I cannot either know if the Amiga A520 modulator works fine or not, because as the Amiga cannot boot, there is no video signal to be sent to a TV set.
I would like to know if there is a possibility that the motherboard is dead, or it can be fixed somehow adjusting any part inside - There is no service for this kind of computers in my country, so I will be grateful for any help !

MigaTech 19 May 2018 10:30

When you first power the Amiga on does the screen flicker or stay solid black? Also what does the CAPS LED do? Sometimes the CAPS LED offers a flashing code, indicating something has failed and/or an error.

Do you have enough experience to remove all devices and test bare motherboard? If so do this, sometimes it is better to eliminate all other peripherals and check lone motherboard. You might just get a boot screen by doing this.

When did the Amiga last boot successfully and what did you do after that boot, that may of contributed to this error? It shall be a process of elimination to solve this problem.

Take your time and keep reporting your progress here. There are some very competent Amiga users on this site, that shall offer good help.

Amifan23 19 May 2018 19:11


Thanks for your reply - When I first power the amiga I cannot see anything special on the TV screen, is blank - I connected a video cable to the video output of the A520 modulator and to the video input of the TV set, seems like the TV receives the video signal but shows a blank screen, should it have to show a hand holding a diskette or so ? - The power LED of the Amiga stays green but doesn´t show any flashing -

I could open the Amiga to look inside, but don´t have enough knowledge of the internal circuits to know which one to test or where is the issue - I remember some years ago I removed the case and saw that the hard disk inside was loose because one of its cables needed to be attached, this is needed soldering - The Amiga was configurated to boot first using the hard disk, and last successful boot was many years ago, but as a long time has passed since I last used it, I don´t know what happened.

Having the hard disk unable to boot because of that cable, it would be useful to know if the Amiga can boot at least inserting a floppy, that would show if the Amiga is working or not. So if someone could give me some instructions to fix the diskette drive booting, that could be a workaround.

Is there any alternative way to attach the loose cable of the hard disk without soldering it, to know if the Amiga can boot using the hard disk ? I don´t have a soldering iron, and either don´t know how to use it.

MigaTech 19 May 2018 20:32

It is hard to say without knowing which IDE adapter you have in your Amiga. Do you know what type IDE adapter is installed? Whichever one it is, it must be piggy backing the 68K.

Could you open your Amiga and take some pictures so we can get a better idea? If you could get it to boot then we could set-up the priority boot order. Although if it is 1.3 ROM, it should have quite simple boot options and no early boot menu.

To enter early boot menu on later ROM chips, you would hold down both mouse buttons when first powering on, until boot screen appears. This won't work though due to your Amiga not booting initially and possibly having an early ROM chip installed.

You didn't explain what the CAPLOCK LED is doing on powering up, only the main power LED. Watch the CAPLOCK LED when you power up the system, see if it is blinking any sequence.

This system really needs to be opened up and everything disconnecting in order to target the fault. It would be a process of elimination before assuming it is IC failure.

Amifan23 19 May 2018 22:41


I took some pictures of my Amiga without the case so you can see the hard disk, it is a Seagate one, I will see how to post them here - I tried to attach manually the loose cables to the contacts of the hard disk, but it didn´t work - I will see if the CAPLOCK LED works fine.

Amifan23 19 May 2018 23:05

Here you have some pictures of the Amiga 500 without the case:




If you need more I can take.

Amifan23 20 May 2018 02:12


Update - I pressed the CAPLOCK key in the keyboard, its led turned on, and to my surprise, the diskette drive LED turned on green and started working again ! When connected to the TV via the A520 modulator, now it shows a hand holding a diskette and says it is 1.3 kickstart, so the modulator works fine too ! The drive LED is green when on, and when I insert a floppy and is reading it, the LED turns yellow.

I don´t know if I was just lucky and if this will last, but I could boot some original floppies I had which came with the Amiga - Other floppies do not boot, I suppose they require other kickstart to run, don´t they ?
It seems some floppies use kickstart 2 and above in order to boot, is this possible ?

Now, hoping the Amiga goes on booting fine with the diskette drive, I would need to set-up the priority boot order, as you mentioned, how can I do this ?

MigaTech 20 May 2018 04:12

This is good, at least we know the Amiga is working OK and no IC issues. The drive looks to be a strange choice for that A500, it looks like a low capacity type. They must of selected this one for 1.3 workbench and ROM set-up. Although there is no limit the 1.3 would rely on the firmware of the IDE adapter. Your images are good clear and in focus, only I cannot see the board that allows the drive to be connected to the A500.

Still never mind as I do not want you to disturb anything else it may cause more harm at present. You stated the system is loading software, can you connect the HDD? Do you ever remember this system booting from HDD before all this happened?

Anyways if you can connect the HDD and it still doesn't boot, try loading workbench 1.3 from floppy and see if the drive partitions are detected in workbench. The drive partitions should show up once the workbench has finish loading from floppy.

If you connect the HDD and it stops the system from booting and/or the FDD from accessing, then the HDD could be at fault or failing. (Listen for any drive sounds from the HDD.)

Autoconfig was present in 1.3 ROM but it isn't as advanced as the later ROMs. Most users change the older 1.3 ROM for a later 2.0 or 3.1, this allows improved hardware support and early boot menu set-up.

Those disks you have I need more information about them in order to advise. At least now you have a semi working Amiga again. As for your CAPLOCK incident, luck could be a factor but these older Amiga computers can be very temperamental. So a little TLC goes a long way.

Try these next steps mentioned and report back your progress. It is excellent you have managed to get this Amiga working to some degree so far. Keep at it and maybe you can get that HDD booting again too!

Amifan23 20 May 2018 07:40


I continued testing the Amiga and the diskette drive still works fine after some hours - On close inspection the hard disk shows at least 4 cables that are loose and need soldering - I think it was badly fitted inside when the work was done, as the motherboard metal cover was cut and the hard disk just rests on the cover so the cable soldering was not enough protected -

I attach two more pictures where you can see that on the back the cables look like they were just glued or something to the metal - It worked fine for many years, and the Amiga booted from the hard disk without problems, but you would expect that sometime the cables get loose in that condition. Here are the links:



I booted the Workbench 1.3 till the end as you adviced me, but only shows the RAM and a floppy on screen, so it doesn´t detect any hard drive - The reason should be that the hard drive won´t run as it has too many cables loose - I think the hard drive cannot be fixed unless a good soldering is done -

The problem now is that each time I want to boot a different floppy I have to turn off the power supply to change the disk and then turn it on again - So, is there any way I can make the Amiga boot primarily through the diskette drive ?

MigaTech 20 May 2018 14:33

Hmm, that looks quite a bad job whoever installed that drive. I am amazed it ever worked. You are correct it wouldn't detect unless all cables were connected again. I thought maybe you could have had a chance at connecting all the cables to the HDD and then loading workbench 1.3. Now you have updated images, it is not very likely. When you first power up the Amiga does it display the 1.3 screen with hand holding disk and can you hear FDD clicking?

If so then when you place a disk in FDD it then starts to load? If this is the case, then the Amiga is acting normally. If a program is already loaded in memory you always have to switch of the computer, in order to load another program/game. You can soft reset using both Amiga keys and CTRL key but hard resets after loading software are advised.

How confident are you at removing that top shielding? I still cannot see the IDE board/adapter. Those wires that are loose, look like power cables and they may have hardwired it altogether. If this is the case we need to find another option of powered that HDD, then it still may work.

Can you see what model number that HDD is and what capacity, maybe then we can arrange new power source for it. I am guessing the power is 5v. Some early HDDs did run 12v but until you list this HDD model number it is hard to say.

These next steps are a little more difficult if you have never done this sort of procedure before. So take your time and make sure you remove cables and peripherals carefully.

Before you begin, earth yourself out by touching a bare metal radiator. This is so you have no static build up which can harm IC chips. Then take some more pictures, specially of cables so you have reference when reassembling back together. You shall need to remove the keyboard cable first and get that keyboard out of the way. Then disconnect any remaining cables to the HDD, so you can free that. Then on that top shielding you should notice small bent over lugs holding it down to the bottom section. These need to be straightened upright. Then there are 2 screws near the side expansion port that have to be unscrewed. You should then be able to remove the top section of the shielding. Once you remove the top shielding you should see the IDE board, attached to the motherboard. Take more pictures as you work, you can never have enough back reference. We need to see that IDE board, so we can work out a new power source for that HDD.

Update us with your progress and HDD model/capacity information and image of that IDE board. Then we can move on to the next stage of this repair.

If you do not feel confident enough and/or need more detailed help, then just ask. I do not want you to attempt this, if you are not confident enough. Although this is the only real way to gain confidence and learn more about your Amiga computer.

Please keep us updated on your progress.

ElectroBlaster 20 May 2018 23:17

I am very interested to know what IDE adaptor is on that! I am going to assume an early ICD Board placed into the 68000.

The power lead going to the hard drive looks a real bodged up job!

Could possible be something like this, if its been in there for some time:

The drive and RF sheilding need carefull removal, more pictures of the internals so you can see what you are working with.

Just go slow and be carefull, if its all sorted and made to work 100% it will be worth it :)

Amifan23 22 May 2018 09:43


Hi, I come back with updates - I was asked about the Hard Disk model, it is a Seagate MODEL ST 35 I A /X with 5 v / 12 v ( volts ) - At least this is what I read on one side. It is a low capacity one, I suppose it has less than 100 MB or so.

The Hard disk finally got all the cables that were attached to the back completely loose, because of handling, but I found a workaround by joining all them together and attach them in a similar way as they were originally, using insulated tape.

I don´t know if these cables have something to do with making the diskette drive working, because for some minutes the diskette drive LED stopped responding, but after I attached the hard disk loose cables to the back of the shielding, the diskette drive started working fine again.

I finally managed to remove the top shielding of the motherboard by following your instructions - I took some pictures of the motherboard and the hard disk attached to it. I also took a couple of pictures of the side of the hard disk, where it shows the MODEL details.

Here are some pictures of what I found:







If any of the links fails to load just look inside the album called "Amiga" in tinypic, which has 12 pictures, including the ones I posted before - Hope this helps !

MigaTech 22 May 2018 13:17

The IDE adapter is the exact one I thought it might be. I also assumed the HDD would be low capacity. Just didn't want to comment before hand, in case they wasn't.

Anyways, one again you offer good pictures of the peripherals. The power cables are probably hardwired into the FDD power of the motherboard. You need to remove all those loose unwanted dangerous wires and replace with the following. These are Y splitter cables and make for a better job.

This is the first one you need


This is the second.


This second cable is a little long at 160mm, you could search for a shorter one if you wanted. I just listed this as an example. It would do the job, only you would have a little extra wire to conceal inside the Amiga.

Power cable procedure

You use both together to form one useful cable. Start with the first cable, take one of the FDD power connectors and plug that into the FDD power port on the motherboard. This shall offer the cable its power feed. Then with the second FDD connector on that cable, you plug this into your FDD.

Now, with the second cable you plug one of the X2 female Molex connectors into the male Molex on the first cable. Then using the last female Molex connector on the second cable, you plug this into the HDD. I trust this isn't too confusing? Just ask if you are unsure. All we are doing is forming one cable from the 2 to form a Y splitting power cable, for both FDD and HDD.

The FDD power connector on the motherboard offers enough power for both the FDD and HDD, as long as your PSU is up to it. Check if you PSU is the 60w A500 type. If not, it should still be OK to power both drives, the 60w is just better overall.

Making up this cable is pretty straight forward and you should see what I mean, when you receive the cables. They are cheap enough and should solve your power issues for the HDD.

Just to be sure you have everything correctly connected up. Update us with another image of your progress with these cables, before powering up! This way you can be certain you do not damage anything and/or have everything correctly connected.

Amifan23 22 May 2018 20:32


Thanks for your reply - On first look at what you wrote I basically understand the idea, have one cable to give power for both the FDD and HDD - I would need to read more carefully the details -

The first problem I see is that the links you provided lead to a seller that doesn´t ship to my country, Uruguay, as South America is excluded - Can you find another seller that ships to South America ?

Second concern that comes to my mind: does the HDD have an input for connecting this cable I would make ? And if I connect this cable, what happens with the cables ( both the ones still attached to the HDD and all the loose ones ) that the HDD has now ? Can they be removed then ?

Akira 22 May 2018 20:49


Originally Posted by Amifan23 (Post 1242924)
I don´t know if these cables have something to do with making the diskette drive working, because for some minutes the diskette drive LED stopped responding, but after I attached the hard disk loose cables to the back of the shielding, the diskette drive started working fine again.

That's a shit job and a half. You need to get rid of all this shit and start afresh.

Again I offer my help to you in case you want to take it. I have the power cable you need to connect the floppy and hard drive to the Amiga. Let me know and I'll send it to you.
There is no need for two cables as posted above, you can sort it out with just one.

Recommended: you should exchange that IDE clunker for a compactflash unit.

MigaTech 22 May 2018 21:24


Originally Posted by Akira (Post 1243033)
That's a shit job and a half. You need to get rid of all this shit and start afresh.
There is no need for two cables as posted above, you can sort it out with just one.
Recommended: you should exchange that IDE clunker for a compactflash unit.

@Akira, the OP is still learning and doesn't have much experience, Hence why I was helping him to build up a cable. It is possible to do all this from just one cable, only the OP doesn't have the experience. So I was offering him a simple alternative.

As you are so anxious to comment and help, you should send the OP the cable and continued support, if/when he request it. As for the CF adapter, I was going to help him with that later. We were just trying to get everything back on track, before making further decisions. If you had noticed, this Amiga wasn't even working for the OP to begin with. He has made excellent progress and continues to show great understanding. His English is also excellent.

@Amifan23, Ask Akira, to send you the cable he has? It may be more useful for you, specially if he has one with everything connected to one cable, rather than having redundant connectors etc. The main objective is to help you get your Amiga back on track. The CF HD is also something you might want to consider, it is solid state and no moving parts. It offers better tech and larger capacity over that antiquated Seagate drive. As Akira has offered to send you a cable, I shall hand over control of this repair to him. From what I know of him, he has the knowledge to help you all the way with these issues. If you require any further help from me, just ask.

@Akira, If OP contacts you and/or leaves a request here for that cable, you have control of this repair, explain to him in detail what he has to do. remember, he hasn't much experience but he is a fast learner, and shows determination when tackling the issues.

Akira 22 May 2018 22:09

Control of what repair? Since when do you control anything anywhere? When was this any kind of competition?
All I did was offer an alternative. But as usual in any thread I post where you sadly are also participant, you turn it into a big scandal.
This is a forum and people ask questions and others reply. Period.

Sorry for trying to help.

Paul_s 22 May 2018 22:12

eek I would be surprised if something hasn't shorted on the board with the modifications.

Have you tried stripping the A500 back to its default/stock configuration and trying again? I know it's been mentioned but only seen the pics.

MigaTech 23 May 2018 00:23


Originally Posted by Akira (Post 1243063)
Control of what repair? Since when do you control anything anywhere? When was this any kind of competition?
All I did was offer an alternative. But as usual in any thread I post where you sadly are also participant, you turn it into a big scandal.
This is a forum and people ask questions and others reply. Period.

Sorry for trying to help.

To answer this sensibly and avoid anymore misunderstanding, what I meant by control, is that the OP and I have been sorting this Amiga out over the last few days. He hasn't really been speaking to anyone else. So by directing him to you, he would understand that he didn't need to ask me anymore information. It was more a direction, rather than a command.

When you offered the cable, I suggested that you work with the OP explaining what was needed to complete the repair. I would no longer be involved as there was no need. It is better that only one member work with the OP, to keep confusion to a limit.

You continue to throw very derogatory statements towards me, in which I tolerate best I can. If you read my post again you shall notice that I mention you are more than competent, to help the OP. There isn't a competition, never was, never will be. PERIOD! Just cool your horses, jumping to conclusions and/or misunderstanding me. There was no animosity intended.

Help the OP as you first stated, send him the cable and explain it through. I no longer need to be involved as you are more then proficient. This is all I meant. Now please leave it at that and get back on topic.

Amifan23 23 May 2018 23:04


Hi - Having read your last messages and Akira ones I can tell you that there is no need that you quarrel or discuss, I really appreciate your patience and the time you spent explaining me step by step what to do, so I would like you to go on with your help if you can - At the same time I appreciate Akira´s help too, all the help is welcome.

What I need is the easiest solution I could get - If I had to re attach the hard disk I would need the proper cables, it would be easier for me to look for them where I live, providing they are available -

If I know how they are called in spanish, I can try to buy any, they won´t be that expensive - Are these cables known to work only with Amiga computers, or are they used for other purposes too, say Intel computers ?

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