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Old 17 January 2019, 11:57   #1
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CF Card as Hard Drive Puzzle

Last night I came across a CF card issue that has me stumped. I'm pretty well versed on the whole hard drives in Amigas situation, having been using large drives constantly since pre-OS3.5 times and never having a problem getting things working. Until now.

I have a CF card & IDE adaptor that I use for testing A600s and A1200s. It's 4GB, and has 2.05, 3.1 and 3.9 boot partitions (all ~150MB) and the rest is split into two ~1.8GB partitions. All are using PFS3-AIO, and all worked fine. The card was set up from scratch on a real A1200 using (IIRC) the 3.9 installation process to create the partitions and install 3.9, then installing the other systems on the other partitions. I took an image of that setup once it was created, and the image works fine in WinUAE with a 3.1 ROM A1200 setup.

I decided to write that image back to the CF card to have a clean setup, just to have a clean setup. After this was done however, the CF card is no longer recognised by my A1200 with original 3.1 ROMs. The 3.1 IDE boot delay is bypassed, but I just get the insert floppy screen and no partitions show up in the early startup menu. Tried a different hard drive, worked fine. Tried 3.0 ROMs, and the drive is recognised just fine.

I've never come across a hard drive setup that was recognised by 3.0 and not by 3.1. This was 100% consistent and reproducible on another A1200 (one was a 1D4, other was a 2B). Now, things get even weirder: I used Blizkick to softkick the 3.1.4 ROM, and the CF card worked fine. I then tried using Blizkick to softkick the 3.1 ROM, and that also worked fine.

So, to summarise:

- 3.0 ROMS: Works
- 3.1 ROMs: Doesn't work (but works fine with another hard drive)
- Boot with 3.0, Softkick to 3.1.4: Works
- Boot with 3.0, Softkick to 3.1: Works

I ran out of time on this so I've left it booting with softkick options for 3.1 and 3.1.4 so that it's usable, but it's annoying me now because I can't figure out what's wrong with the setup that means 3.1 can't pick it up from cold (or on warm reboot), but is happy to see it when softkicked. Anyone able to shed any light on this one?
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Old 17 January 2019, 14:52   #2
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Not really an idea but do you have tried to use a different filesystem (FFS/PFS3/SFS) for the boot partition(s)? Just to see if that makes a difference. And is the current PFS3-AIO in RDB or loaded from disk?
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Old 17 January 2019, 15:33   #3
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I haven't tried changing anything on the drive itself yet, but might change one of the boot partitions over, see if it makes a difference. The filesystem is in the RDB. It does feel like something funky like the filesystem not having time to initialise or something like that...
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