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Old 22 September 2007, 13:51   #1
Bloodwych
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Lightbulb ClassicWB Large Hard Drive Support (> 4GB)

Important Notes
  • Read the documentation and familiarise yourself with the tool “Check4GB” by Thomas. It’s in the drawer “MyFiles/LargeHD/Tools/Check4GB” and will be useful in explaining and checking for 4GB compatibility.
  • The recommended tool to install filesystems and partition drives is the standard HDToolbox. Be aware that it fails to display numbers greater than 4096MB (4GB) and may even display the partition diagram incorrectly. Even so, HDToolbox can work on larger partitions if the numbers are entered correctly for cylinders/heads/sectors on the Install Drive page as well as start and end cylinders for partitions.
  • Remember, it may be a good idea to keep the boot partition relatively small and ALWAYS within the first 4GB of space regardless of which solution is used. Exceptions are when using SFS v1.84, PFS Direct-SCSI or FFS v44.5 outlined in Solutions 1 and 2, where you may get away with one large 8GB partition but it’s not recommended.
  • Also be sure that any partitions that go beyond the 4GB barrier are not altered using tools like Reorg, DiskSalv etc if those tools do not offer 64bit support. Check the utility for >4GB support first!
  • When formatting partitions beyond 4GB, ALWAYS use the quick option.
  • As far as I know, all versions of SFS require at least Workbench 3.0 and a 68020. v1.84 may be the exception, but I can’t find information regarding its requirements. Workbench 2 and 68000 users should therefore use the FFS or PFS unless they know otherwise.

Short quick tutorial for up to 128GB hard drive support in ClassicWB

A tutorial video is provided on the main ClassicWB site.

http://classicwb.abime.net/classicweb/tutorials.htm

Open up Dopus and in the left window go to the “MyFiles/LargeHD/128GB Support/SCSI_IDE_43_24/Patched” drawer and in the right window go to the “Devs” drawer.

In the left window, you will see various scsi.device files that have been patched for you and are ready to install. To make things easier, each one has been named as to identify what hardware it is for.

Select the correct scsi.device for your hardware (eg A1200IDE.scsi.device for a standard A1200) and copy it to the “Devs” drawer. Rename the new file “scsi.device”.

That’s it! Reset your Amiga and it will now patch the scsi.device with a newer version. To check, open up a shell prompt and type:

Version scsi.device

You should now get a version number of 43.24, replacing the older 37/40.xx series. To reverse the operation and revert back to the older version, simply delete the file “Devs/scsi.device”.

Use HDtoolbox or other partitioning software to install either the latest SFS found in the "System/SFS" drawer, PFS found in the "MyFiles/LargeHD/128GB Support/PFS" or the patched FFS found in the “MyFiles/LargeHD/128GB Support/FFS43_20/Patched” drawer on to your hard drives RDB (Rigid Disk Block). The file system will be auto mounted at boot.

Now you should have large hard drive support enabled.


Long detailed tutorial for large hard drive support

Introduction

Large drive support (>4GB) under Workbench 2.0/2.1/3.0/3.1 requires some limitations to be overcome in order to work successfully.

The two main problems are the hard drive controller, the “scsi.device”, and the actual native Fast File System (FFS). Both must use the same method to overcome the 4GB barrier; essentially you have to be sure the drive controller and the file system speak the same language or command set.

The three common command sets used in this tutorial are “NSD”, “TD64” and “Direct-SCSI/HD_SCSICMD”. If the hard drive controller and file system both support one or more of these, the 4GB barrier can be breached.

Here is a list of common controllers and file systems (Thomas et. al. 2009):
  • scsi.device V37/40: NSD -> no, TD64 -> no, SCSI -> yes, but only up to 7.8 GB.
  • scsi.device V43+: NSD -> yes, TD64 -> no, SCSI -> yes
  • scsi.device V116+ (IDEfix): NSD -> yes, TD64 -> yes, SCSI -> yes
  • cybppc.device (and most other Phase5 controllers): NSD -> no, TD64 -> yes, SCSI -> yes
  • FFS V40 and below: NSD -> no, TD64 -> no, SCSI -> no
  • FFS V43: NSD -> yes, TD64 -> no, SCSI -> no
  • FFS V44 (FFSTD64): NSD -> no, TD64 -> yes, SCSI -> yes
  • FFS V45 (OS 3.5 or 3.9): like V43
  • PFS: NSD -> no, TD64 -> yes, SCSI -> no
  • PFSds: NSD -> no, TD64 -> no, SCSI -> yes
  • SFS V1.84: NSD -> yes, TD64 -> yes, SCSI -> yes
  • SFS V1.279: NSD -> yes, TD64 -> yes, SCSI -> no

OS 3.5/3.9 overcome this limitation by replacing the “scsi.device” at boot and using a newer version of the Fast File System. The ClassicWB OS35/9 therefore has this support built in.

Other issues can arise from software such as defraggers and disk repair tools (eg Reorg and DiskSalv) not being able to work with partitions above 4GB due to lacking the necessary 64bit support.

This guide is for getting the original ClassicWB packs (and therefore Workbench 2.0/2.1/3.0/3.1) working with partitions beyond 4GB by essentially adding the support OS 3.5/3.9 already has.

Solution 1 – only use partitions within the first 4GB

Just because you have a drive that’s huge, you don’t have to use the full capacity on your Amiga. 4GB is a lot of space for an Amiga Workbench.

Due to FFS needing to validate when errors occur, you should keep your partitions 2GB or under even though you are able to create one big 4GB partition. The validation process requires a lot of time and memory and this may be problematic on a single 4GB partition. You’ll also require a lot of memory for disk tools too if they are made to work with one big partition.

The best option would be to have a smaller boot partition, say 200-1000MB and the remaining space split into one or two storage partitions. The ClassicWB supports this and can move drawers such as Games and Demos to different partitions easily – see the tutorial videos.

Be careful not to overstep the 4GB barrier – it’s not immediately obvious that you have until you start filling up the drive and run into errors. The actual barrier may be in the 3.7-3.9GB region when partitioning. Use the “Check4GB” tool in the “Myfiles/LargeHD/Tools” drawer to help check if a partition is ok.

Solution 2 – 8GB Support using a Standard FFS v40.1/40.4 patched with “TD64” and “Direct-SCSI/HD_SCSICMD” to become FFS v44.5

In the “MyFiles/LargeHD/8GB Support” drawer, a patched version of the standard FFS is provided, v44.5. This release supports “Direct-SCSI/HD_SCSICMD” and “TD64” allowing 8GB of drive space to be used without the need to replace the hard drive controller, the “scsi.device”.

In order to use this patched FFS, you have to install it onto the RDB (Rigid Disk Block) of your drive using drive partitioning software so it will be auto mounted on boot. You can use the standard HDToolbox for this, being aware of its 32bit limitations listed in important notes above. Alternatively, replacement partitioning software is provided in the “MyFiles/LargeHD/Tools” drawer which may have 64bit support and display the correct figures for drive size without manual input.

Again, the actual barrier may be in the 7.7-7.9GB region when partitioning. When formatting partitions beyond 4GB, ALWAYS use the quick option. Use the “Check4GB” tool in the “Myfiles/LargeHD/Tools” drawer to help check if a partition is ok.

Also be sure that any partitions that go beyond the 4GB barrier are not altered using tools like Reorg, DiskSalv etc if those tools do not offer 64bit support. Check the utility for >4GB support first!

Solution 3 – 8GB Support via SFS v1.84 or PFS (Direct-SCSI version) using “Direct-SCSI/HD_SCSICMD”

Replacement and much better file systems are provided with the ClassicWB called Smart File System (SFS) and Professional File System (PFS) that don’t require a validation process when errors occur. They also have improved performance and support partitions beyond 4GB.

In the “MyFiles/LargeHD/8GB Support” drawer, a special older version 1.84 of SFS is provided, before it switched developers. This release supports “Direct SCSI” and allows 8GB of drive space to be used without the need to replace the hard drive controller, the “scsi.device”. The corrosponding PFS file can be found in the “MyFiles/LargeHD/128GB Support/PFS” drawer, making sure you use the Direct-SCSI version.

In order to use SFS or PFS, you have to install them onto the RDB (Rigid Disk Block) of your drive using drive partitioning software so they will be auto mounted on boot. You can use the standard HDToolbox for this, being aware of its 32bit limitations listed in important notes above. Alternatively, replacement partitioning software is provided in the “MyFiles/LargeHD/Tools” drawer which may have 64bit support and display the correct figures for drive size without manual input.

Again, the actual barrier may be in the 7.7-7.9GB region when partitioning. When formatting partitions beyond 4GB, ALWAYS use the quick option. Use the “Check4GB” tool in the “Myfiles/LargeHD/Tools” drawer to help check if a partition is ok.

If you decide to set up partitions using SFS, ClassicWB support can be installed by double clicking the icons found in "MyFiles/Install/SFS" drawer. This will add SFS friendly drive tools to the popup menus, alongside the FFS ones. These SFS tools are 64bit compliant and can be safely used on partitions beyond 4GB. There is currently no support built in for PFS, so be careful to use only PFS friendly tools on such partitions if repairing or defragmenting disks.

Solution 4 – 128GB support by replacing the scsi.device

The hard drive controller, or more specifically the "scsi.device", has to be replaced if you want to use up to 128GB capacity. Many opt to use the commercial tool IDEFix found on Aminet. Once replaced, a 64bit capable file system like the latest SFS or a newer version of FFS can be installed on the drives Rigid Disk Block (RDB) to set up partitions beyond 4GB, using a drive partitioning tool.

Free alternative solutions to IDEFix are provided with the packs in the “MyFiles->LargeHD” drawer. This drawer contains patched versions of a newer “scsi.device” and also a FFS that supports large drives should you decide not to use the latest SFS or PFS.

Even with all this in place, the boot partition must remain within the first 4GB of the drive, or the original “scsi.device” controller won't be able to reliably access it before the replacement has had chance to take control.

Instructions for using the ClassicWB’s free large hard drive support.

Part 1 - Patching the scsi.device

A tutorial video is provided on the main ClassicWB site.

http://classicwb.abime.net/classicweb/tutorials.htm

Open up Dopus and in the left window go to the “MyFiles/LargeHD/128GB Support/SCSI_IDE_43_24/Patched” drawer and in the right window go to the “Devs” drawer.

In the left window, you will see various scsi.device files that have been patched for you and are ready to install. To make things easier, each one has been named as to identify what hardware it is for.

Select the correct scsi.device for your hardware (eg A1200IDE.scsi.device for a standard A1200) and copy it to the “Devs” drawer. Rename the new file “scsi.device”.

That’s it! Reset your Amiga and it will now patch the scsi.device with a newer version. To check, open up a shell prompt and type:

Version scsi.device

You should now get a version number of 43.24, replacing the older 37/40.xx series.

To reverse the operation and revert back to the older version, simply delete the file “Devs/scsi.device”.

Part 2 - Replacing the File System

You have three choices now as to which file system you want to use with your new “scsi.device” – SFS, PFS or a patched FFS.

SFS
The latest SFS can be found in the “Expansion/SFS” drawer along with documentation. Links below also contain various tutorials on how to install this file system to your drives RDB using partitioning tools.

Once you have achieved this, please install the ClassicWB’s built in SFS support. Go to the “MyFiles/Install/SFS” drawer and double click the “Install_SFS_Support” icon. This will add tools in order to deal with SFS partitions alongside the ones already present for FFS. These SFS tools are 64bit compliant and can be safely used on partitions beyond 4GB.

PFS
The latest PFS can be found in the “MyFiles/LargeHD/128GB Support/PFS” drawer along with documentation. Links below also contain various tutorials on how to install this file system to your drives RDB using partitioning tools.

No built-in support exists for PFS currently, so be careful to use tools which are PFS friendly if repairing or defragmenting a disk.

FFS
A patched FFS is also provided for Workbenches (eg 2.1) or hardware that can’t use SFS, or those who wish to stay with FFS. It’s found in the “MyFiles/LargeHD/128GB Support/FFS43_20/Patched” drawer. A tutorial linked below shows you how to install this on your drives RDB using partitioning tools.

Also be sure that any partitions that go beyond the 4GB barrier are not altered using tools like Reorg, DiskSalv etc if those tools do not offer 64bit support. Check the utility for >4GB support first!

Final Words

When formatting partitions beyond 4GB, ALWAYS use the quick option. Use the “Check4GB” tool in the “Myfiles/LargeHD/Tools” drawer to help check if a partition is ok.


Important supporting Information, Tutorials and Links

Here is a brilliant guide from Thomas:

http://translate.google.co.uk/transl...hdd/index.html

Some very important reading can be found at the old SFS webpage:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~hjohn/SFS/drives.htm


Useful Links:

General Updates for >4GB http://os.amigaworld.de/index.php?lang=en&page=37

IDEfix http://aminet.net/search?query=idefix
NSDpatch http://aminet.net/search?query=nsdpatch
TD64 (patched FFS) http://aminet.net/search?query=td64

SFS Homepage http://strohmayer.org/sfs/
Old SFS Homepage http://www.xs4all.nl/~hjohn/SFS/index.htm
Old SFS v1.84 with up to 8GB support built-in http://www.xs4all.nl/~hjohn/SFS184.lha (uses "Direct SCSI" mode so no scsi.device patch required for 8GB or under)

PFS http://www.angelfire.com/amiga/greed/index.html
PFS Defrag http://www.keithhalstead.name/pfsdefrag/


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Last edited by Bloodwych; 27 January 2012 at 15:26.
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