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Old 13 October 2018, 00:10   #1
FLiP79
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CF/HDD appears only after HDtoolbox execution

Hi, I'm going crazy with this problem on my A1200 (KS 3.1 from Cloanto) and a 4GB CF with an IDE adapter: no matter what I do (preparing it on WinUAE, partitioning directly on real Amiga...), the CF doesn't boot, and it doesn't appear on Workbench screen even if I boot from the floppy.

But if I start HDtoolbox, the CF partitions appear instantly after its initial scan and they work perfectly. What can I do?

Thanks in advance
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Old 13 October 2018, 03:35   #2
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Is the file system installed onto the RDB?
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Old 13 October 2018, 03:49   #3
FLiP79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Acid- View Post
Is the file system installed onto the RDB?
RDB? This is the first time I hear this, I'm looking for it on the internet to learn

Anyway... I've tried to partition and install WB 3.1 onto the CF with WinUAE, and everything work (in emulation): the CF boots and bring me to the Workbench screen. The same prepared CF doesn't boot when I put it in the real Amiga 1200, along its adapter.
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Old 13 October 2018, 10:38   #4
thomas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLiP79 View Post
But if I start HDtoolbox, the CF partitions appear instantly after its initial scan and they work perfectly.
Can you run this program instead: http://thomas-rapp.homepage.t-online.../hddreport.lha
Does it also make the partitions appear?
Can you save the report and attach it here?

When the partitions appeared once, do they disappear if you remove the floppy and press Ctrl-A-A?

Before you make the partitions appear, if you open a Shell window and enter Info, are the partitions listed?
If you enter Assign, are the partitions listed anywhere?

If they are listed by either Assign or Info, does a cd partname: make them appear? (Replace partname by the name of one of the partitions, for example DH0.)
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Old 13 October 2018, 13:58   #5
FLiP79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas View Post
Can you run this program instead: http://thomas-rapp.homepage.t-online.../hddreport.lha
Does it also make the partitions appear?
Can you save the report and attach it here?

When the partitions appeared once, do they disappear if you remove the floppy and press Ctrl-A-A?

Before you make the partitions appear, if you open a Shell window and enter Info, are the partitions listed?
If you enter Assign, are the partitions listed anywhere?

If they are listed by either Assign or Info, does a cd partname: make them appear? (Replace partname by the name of one of the partitions, for example DH0.)
Hi Thomas, thank you so much for your help!

1. I tried HDDreport, it doesn't make the drive appear. I'm attaching the report it generated, that shows no HDDs (hddreport1.txt)

2. Then I tried "Info" and "Assign" from the shell, they didn't show any hard drive (assign_before_hdtoolbox.jpg and info_before_hdtoolbox.jpg)

3. Then I launched HDtoolbox, that made the partition appear as usual (for the moment I'm keeping a single small partition on the CF).
So I launched HDDreport+Info+Assign again, and all of them are reporting DH0 as expected (see hddreport2.txt + assign_after_hdtoolbox.jpg + info_after_hdtoolbox.jpg)

4. Hard drive visibility DOESN'T survive a soft reboot with CTRL+A+A.

Finally, I have to add some additional detail:

- The HD LED on the Amiga is always on. And also the LED on the adapter. It never turns off;

- This Amiga is back from a large amount of (bad) mods that the previous owner has done in the past. In particular, he attached an IDE cable under the motherboard to use an external CD ROM, soldering all the pins and pasting the cable to the motherboard with hot glue ... I removed all that crap. Then I tested the pins from above to below and all of them seem to work (I hope so).

- In at least two moments... I've seen the CF work. It was the first first time I mounted the adapter, when it booted the ClassicWB that I installed on it, even if it gave some low RAM errors on Workbench because I tried it without the memory expansion installed. It was when the external cable was still present, but I attached the adapter to the embedded IDE connector directly on the Amiga; yesterday, during the many tries, it seems to have survived at least ONE reboot and the partition appeared without any additional step, at Workbench screen (starting from the "Install" disk). Then I rebooted again but it never appeared again.

- Also in the very first boot menu (Left+Right mouse button) DH0 is not appearing - even if I've seen it one or two times during my tests.
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Attached Files
File Type: txt hddreport1.txt (5.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: txt hddreport2.txt (8.3 KB, 11 views)
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Old 13 October 2018, 15:24   #6
meynaf
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It might be master/slave CF problem or something like that.
I remember mounting two CF on my ide-cf adapter and only one worked at boot, the other always needed to run HDtoolbox before. In addition the hdd led remained on until HDtoolbox got to run. Swapping the CF cards only changed which one worked...
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Old 13 October 2018, 15:29   #7
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Check continuity between IDE pins and their respective connections on the board,I have had a few where tracks are `open` especially as you say this was hacked around the IDE header, it does not take much to break a track , its a ball ache but worth it
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Old 13 October 2018, 15:50   #8
thomas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLiP79 View Post
1. I tried HDDreport, it doesn't make the drive appear.
Yes, now that I'm thinking about it, it cannot make them appear. HDDReport only scans device drivers which are already known to the system. This does not apply to scsi.device if it didn't find any units on its first start.

HDToolbox just tries to open scsi.device no matter what. This lets scsi.device go through its initialization process again and now the CF card is found by the hardware.

You could try the attached program to prove this theory. Just run it from the shell without arguments. It will either show the version and details of scsi.device (success) or state that it cannot open it (failure).


Quote:
4. Hard drive visibility DOESN'T survive a soft reboot with CTRL+A+A.
I suppose it's the CF card which does not initialize fast enough after a reset. It can well be that the amount of time required by the card's firmware to make the card ware up increases with its age. At one stage it's too slow to become active before the Amiga gives up.

To prove this you could cut the reset line from the IDE cable. It's the one which is marked red if the cable is connected in the right orienation. Then the card will remain invisible after power-on but will become active after Ctrl-A-A.
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Old 13 October 2018, 20:06   #9
FLiP79
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Yes, opendev absolutely works, it makes the hard drive appear

It's a problem to cut the reset line because my adapter is directly attached to the Amiga IDE port, I'm thinking about a way to isolate the pin...
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Old 15 October 2018, 07:09   #10
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There are some CF-IDE adapters that just don't work, too. I have an interesting one that works fine in my A4000, but will not work on my A1200 even though it also has the 44 pin connector. Has this one worked properly in the past?
I have also had luck with odd devices by using the IDEfix software - it seems to recognize devices that the Amiga scsi.device chokes on.
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Old 15 October 2018, 10:07   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamic_Computi View Post
There are some CF-IDE adapters that just don't work, too. I have an interesting one that works fine in my A4000, but will not work on my A1200 even though it also has the 44 pin connector. Has this one worked properly in the past?
I have also had luck with odd devices by using the IDEfix software - it seems to recognize devices that the Amiga scsi.device chokes on.
Today I'm receiving an alternate SD-to-CF card, just to try if it could be the CF controller (even if the CF I'm trying is a 4GB Trascend that I see everywhere in tutorials so I think it works with Amiga...). If this fails, I will try another adapter, maybe with a 44pin cable: so I will have the possibility to cut the first wire if things don't work.

In the meanwhile, I can also try IDEfix, but I don't understand how can it work if the CF doesn't boot at all: do I have to install it on a boot floppy that will work as a "starter" at every boot?
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Old 15 October 2018, 21:55   #12
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If you're not worried about ejecting the CF card an alternative is mSata to IDE. I use one in my A4000.
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Old 15 October 2018, 23:24   #13
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I've been having the exact same problem, A1200 Rev1D1, I bought a CF to IDE adapter and thought I would try a 4GB Lexar 133X CF I had left from an old camera.

I was able to partition etc. as expected using HDInstTools (a slightly more modern HDToolBox than was on the Commodore Install disk) and managed to install Workbench 3.0 using the Commodore Installer just fine.

Rebooted, insert disk screen. No DH0 listed in early startup etc. Partitions only mounted once HDInstTools was started!

So I have tried the CF-IDE adapter that I have in the A600 which works perfect and suddenly the A1200 boots from the Lexar CF I couldn't get to auto mount on the CF adapter I had in the A1200.

Likewise if I put the CF-IDE adapter I had in the A1200 into the A600 (Kickstart 37.350) - suddenly that doesn't mount the partitions until running HDInstTools.

So it appears the CF-IDE adapter has some incompatibilities.

The one that doesn't work is labelled:
CF-IDE44/2.0mm Adapter V.B1

The one that works is labelled:
CF-IDE44/2.0mm Adapter V.H2

Not sure what yours is but that's what I have found out this evening.

Vicky
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Old 16 October 2018, 01:33   #14
FLiP79
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SOLVED

I received the SD-to-CF card. It didn't work with an old 16GB Kingston SD that I have (same as the real 4GB CF from Trascend), but it does work perfectly with a chinese "Pendrive" 8GB MicroSD, along with the SD enclosure. So now I have a microSD-to-SD-to-CF-to-IDE that works like a charm, that's crazy

The problem with the always-on LED (both on the adapter and on the Amiga LED) is still present... but it's a low priority defect, I will try another IDE adapter later.

@Marie: You are right, my adapter is V.B1 ... maybe is more "choosy", I don't know.

I'm attaching a picture of my 4-in-1 matrioska hard drive

I didn't understand why the Trascend has worked the first time I put it in the Amiga, it is still a mistery.

I want to say thank you to all the friends that partecipated to this discussion to help me, this community is amazing
This is the first time I asked for help here, and I don't think it will be the last one

Ciao from Italy
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Old 16 October 2018, 02:43   #15
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To fix the HD light issue, see "How to fix HD LED in cheap CF 44 adapters" post 86.

http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=734024&postcount=86
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Old 16 October 2018, 12:30   #16
Marle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLiP79 View Post
SOLVED

I received the SD-to-CF card...
That's a pretty crazy stack of adapters

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLiP79 View Post
The problem with the always-on LED (both on the adapter and on the Amiga LED) is still present... but it's a low priority defect, I will try another IDE adapter later.
I think this has some bearing on the card inserted. So for example, my AmigaKit sourced adapter and CF card has this issue on my A600 or A1200 when plugged in.

However if I use the Lexar 4GB 133X I was installing 3.0 on to last night, using the working AmigaKit sourced CF to IDE adapter doesn't have the light on constantly, whether in the A600 or A1200, the HDD LED works as expected.

So it's a combination of some CF cards and some CF adapters cause funny disk activity light behaviour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLiP79 View Post
@Marie: You are right, my adapter is V.B1 ... maybe is more "choosy", I don't know.
Me neither, I'm not in any way an electronics expert (I know nothing, I understand how stuff goes together and that's it) - in the event I've done what I should have done from the off, ordered the CF adapter from AmigaKit.

The annoying thing is I sought out an eBayer that was supposedly in the UK, and had the exact same photo of the working CF Adapter (V.H2) but in the end received a drop shipped from China adapter that was different from the photo...Anyway!

Grazie mille!
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Old 18 October 2018, 11:58   #17
Marle
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Just a funny addendum, I've requested a return for the adapter I bought on eBay that was advertised as being a seller in Liverpool.

Well you guessed it, drop shipped from China. It's been an amusing couple of days where the seller is trying to only partially refund as they know they'll have to accept that they are indeed not in Liverpool. Current offer is £1.60 for the item that cost about £4, but I keep saying full refund as the stamp will only be 50p or something like that

And yes, the replacement CF adapter from AmigaKit works perfect, without having to do anything to the partitions or reinstalling, works perfect. It also is identical to the one I have in the A600 so must be a V.H2 revision.

Last edited by Marle; 18 October 2018 at 22:17.
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