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Old 15 November 2020, 02:39   #1
Nostalgeek
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HDToolBox and SD card formatting issue

Hi guys, and there it starts...getting back into Amiga and already tripping on the first step


I'm trying to prepare a SD card on my PC for future use in my new A1200.


Purchased AmigaOS 3.1.4 (that's what the kickstart ROMs in the A1200 are), I am setting up latest WinUAE and setting my SD card as a hard-drive, IDE Auto, check read/write and lock options (tried without the lock option as well and same result).


Prepared the SD card with DiskPart and Clean in Win10.


Run the 3.1.4 installer adf, go in HDToolBox, and I'm greeted by this window first every time, which I haven't seen in online tutorials or videos (see first attachment) which lets me think something isn't right.


Still, I can see the drive, I go in Change Drive Type, Define New, Read Information and everything comes up correctly with the size properly reported (tried 4GB and 16GB cards).


I go in Partition Drive, create two partitions the first one bootable and keeping most of it default, press OK, press save changes to drive, all is well or so it seems.


Press exit and I receive this message telling me I need to reboot and that's my only option except cancel, again something I haven't found in tutorials (see second attachment).


And after reboot...nothing. No unformatted disk mounted. Going back in HDToolBox, I get the same first warning about disks having changed and if I check partitions it seems my previous changes are lost.


I am doing something wrong? Tried different cards, and two different card readers and I don't understand it...


Thanks for the help!

EDIT: obviously title should say "partitioning" and not "formatting"...doh.
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Last edited by Nostalgeek; 15 November 2020 at 02:40. Reason: title error
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Old 15 November 2020, 10:55   #2
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The first message appears if you add a second harddrive to the same controller and the first one has the "last drive" flag set. This flag tells the driver to stop scanning for devices so that your new drive would be ignored on boot-up. You should do as advised, check the other harddrives and save their changes.

The message also appears if you remove the last drive and the remaining drive does not have the "last" flag set.

The second message always appears if you change something. Mounted partitions cannot be changed on the fly. You always have to reboot to apply changes.

That the changes don't make it to your SD card might be a Windows issue. Make sure that WinUAE has admin rights and that your antivirus software does not block access to the SD card. Also search for other threads on this topic. It's a common issue.
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Old 15 November 2020, 11:41   #3
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Thank you Thomas!

So I don't have any other drive, only this one in the list, so I'm not sure I understand.

Second message didn't really surprise me, it sounds obvious enough, but I've seen a video of a guy installing 3.1.4 on YT and after he created the partitions he simply exited HDToolBox without the message, then manually rebooted so I just thought I'd mention it.

Always run WinUAE with admin rights and only got basic Win10 defender.

I tried to search the forums but haven't had much luck, but must admit it was already late and thought I'd just post before going to bed I will search better now. I might also try another computer just in case. Thanks again!
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Old 15 November 2020, 13:55   #4
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OK so it's a bit weird, at least to me. Found those guys in the first comments of this article with exactly the same issue (including HDToolBox "forcing" the reboot on exit):

http://tech.webit.nu/partitioning-16...nuae-and-pfs3/

The third comment said he had the same with WinUAE 4.40, and went back to 3.1 and it worked fine for him there. So I tried it too, following the article's procedure (including using the updated scsi.module) and...everything worked fine. As soon as the partitioning was done there, I went back to 4.40, uninitialized drives showed up, I could format them and install 3.1.4 correctly.

At least it's working but I'd be interested to know if I did anything wrong with 4.40? Also please let me know if there's anything I can do to help getting to the bottom of this, I'll happily do more tests if necessary
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Old 15 November 2020, 21:17   #5
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Strange. I can't duplicate this. Could you find out which was the last version that works for you?
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Old 15 November 2020, 21:26   #6
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The one I ended up using that works is 3.6.10, I basically went for the latest 3.X I could find. I now notice I used 32bits version for 3.6.10 while my 4.40 is 64bits, in case that may make a difference?

I'm happy to do more tests if that helps but probably tomorrow if that's fine, I'm currently copying games and it's taking ages
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Old 16 November 2020, 19:47   #7
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Yes, 32-bit vs 64-bit can make a difference.
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Old 16 November 2020, 21:48   #8
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OK I've made some more tests. When I say "problem" it means exact same behavior I described in my first post. As a summary my initial results were:
- WinUAE 4.4.0 64b, KS/WB 3.1.4: problem
- WinUAE 3.6.1 32b, KS/WB 3.0: works

Today I made some more tests:
- WinUAE 4.4.0 64b, KS/WB 3.0: problem
- WinUAE 4.4.0 32b, KS/WB 3.0: problem
- WinUAE 4.4.0 32b, KS/WB 3.1.4: problem
- WinUAE 3.6.1 32b, KS/WB 3.1.4: works
- WinUAE 3.6.1 64b, KS/WB 3.1.4: works

At this stage it looked obvious by elimination that it wasn't an issue of KS/WB or 32/64b versions so I tested other versions directly:

- WinUAE 4.0.0 32b, KS/WB 3.1.4: works
- WinUAE 4.0.1 32b, KS/WB 3.1.4: works
- WinUAE 4.3.0 32b, KS/WB 3.1.4: problem
- WinUAE 4.2.1 32b, KS/WB 3.1.4: works

So yeah, looks like the issue started with 4.3.0.

If there's anything else you want me to test please let me know!
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Old 17 November 2020, 22:12   #9
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I can find any direct harddrive access changes in 4.3.0.

After card has been partitioned and formatted using "working" version, does it work normally (mount/boot) in "non-working" version, including writing?
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Old 18 November 2020, 12:14   #10
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Yes! That's actually how I did it - only did the partitioning on 3.6.1 then switched back to 4.4.0 and did the formatting there and kept using it since then with no issue.
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Old 18 November 2020, 13:46   #11
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It sounds like saved data disappears when reseting.

Does it work if you use hdtoolbox to save changes. Quit emulator completely. (F12 -> Quit or ALT+F4) Run it again. Does partition changes now stay?
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Old 18 November 2020, 14:58   #12
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Nope, it doesn't tried right after clicking "save changes to disk" first then also after clicking "exit" and I'm prompted to reboot. In both cases no partitioning is done at all.

Easy to spot when relaunching WinUAE as the SD card keeps the [UNK] tag.
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Old 18 November 2020, 15:07   #13
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What if you also eject and insert the card after quitting emulator?

After partition table has been successfully written, can you use "non-working" version to modify partition tables without changes disappearing after reboot? (for example simpy changing partition name or number of buffers)
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Old 18 November 2020, 15:49   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Wilen View Post
What if you also eject and insert the card after quitting emulator?

You mean from the host PC right? Same result.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Wilen View Post
After partition table has been successfully written, can you use "non-working" version to modify partition tables without changes disappearing after reboot? (for example simpy changing partition name or number of buffers)

Yes! I've been able to view and change partitions in HDToolBox on 4.4.0 after partitioning on 4.2.1 and the changes were kept
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Old 20 November 2020, 21:06   #15
Toni Wilen
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It still sounds like something prevents write access when card is "empty". There is no difference if you clear the card, then remove and re-insert it?

Compare also winuae logs (winuaelog.txt, you can enable it for example by ticking logging option in misc panel list), perhaps it tells something about failing to open it read-write?
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