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Old 20 April 2010, 17:24   #1
ppsh41
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Commodore A590 restoration story

Mission objective: Commodore A590 restoration, SCSI drive installation, setup copied from an existing WinUAE WB1.3 disk file.

First of all I prepared a complete setup on WinUAE, with all the necessary software (productivity, graphics, utilities, and so on). Workbench version is 1.3. (I love 4-color systems) .
Workbench version must be the same for the preparation and the use on the host system. Formatting the hard disk with WB3.1 and using it with WB1.3 did not work for me, due the different Fast File System version.

Next, I connected a 50-pin SCSI hard disk to the Adaptec SCSI controller on the PC. The SCSI ID of the disk is 0.
WinUAE has recognized and mounted the disk, so I used HDtoolBox from the A590 companion disk for partitioning. But first I set this string in tooltypes: SCSI_DEVICE_NAME=uaehf.device
(This is valid for older versions of HDToolBox. For newer version, try: DEVICE=uaehf.device)


I left most of the options as default. I set the disk bootable, FastFileSystem, priority=0 and name DH1. Mask and MaxTransfer untouched.

Then I formatted the disk from the Workbench or from Shell (with FASTFILESYSTEM option only) and I copied the entire WinUAE disk from the Shell with the command:
copy DH0: DH1: CLONE ALL
(in this case DH0: is the WinUAE disk and DH1: is the SCSI disk)

Before shutting down the PC, I changed the SCSI partition name as DH0, to avoid booting problems on Amiga.


Now the installation on the Amiga side. This is the beast:
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Inside there is a WWI-era 20 Mbyte Western Digital disk, on XT bus. Access time is 80 ms, very slow.
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The nude motherboard of the A590. Rom version is 6.1, so the max disk capacity supported is 1 GByte. Also there is full of Ram, 2 Mbyte.
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The first step is to change the front jumper from XT position to SCSI position. This is only related to the Led function.

The new disk installed. I used the original screws. The disk is a IBM 0662 SCSI-2, 1 Gbyte, 5400 rpm, low profile. Taken from my Silicon Graphics Indigo.
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I used a VERY SHORT 50-pin cable to not obstruct the fan. In addition, the cable has all the individual wires, because the two connectors are not aligned.
If the cable is very short, you can leave off the SCSI termination jumper on the disc, as I did.
About the dip-switch bank on the rear side of the A590, only the first is ON (autoboot enabled), all the others are OFF.

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The system up and running. When I powered up the A500, the OS automagically starts, no other operation/software setup/change is needed on the A500 side.
The A590 is very clean compared to the super-yellowed A500. The nasty switch on the right side is a manual diskchanger (the internal switch on the floppy drive is broken).
The new HD has a nice 747-like sound on startup



A diagnostic utility shows the disk controller and the Ram fully working. SysInfo says 1,4 Mbyte/sec transfer rate, as expected for a DMA controller like the A590 with a stock 68000 Cpu.
The speed is very good and the new disk works like a charm. Plenty of space now.
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Old 20 April 2010, 18:14   #2
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Nice. I'm sure you're sorted now but other nice upgrades for A590 include:
  • a SCSI->IDE and IDE->CF adapter.
  • Self power
  • ROM v7
Remember that with Retr0Bright you can revert the colour of your A500.
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Old 20 April 2010, 18:27   #3
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You're right about everything (especially about upgrading the ROM), but about CF-IDE-SCSI adapter, I still prefer the noise of a real HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Nice. I'm sure you're sorted now but other nice upgrades for A590 include:
  • a SCSI->IDE and IDE->CF adapter.
  • Self power
  • ROM v7
Remember that with Retr0Bright you can revert the colour of your A500.
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Old 20 April 2010, 18:43   #4
coze
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nice story

how many partitions on your drive and what sizes ?
and what's that software running in the picture ?
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Old 20 April 2010, 19:08   #5
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For this test I used one single partition (the entire disk).

Normally, for 1 GByte HD, I tend to make 3 partitions:
System (DH0)=100 Mbyte (workbench and system files)
Work (DH1)=400 Mbyte (apps, user data)
Store (DH2)= all the rest (storage, backups, WHDLoad games, etc.)
but these are just my personal needs.

The software used for HD partitioning is HDToolBox by Commodore, the original version shipped with the A590 driver disk.

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nice story

how many partitions on your drive and what sizes ?
and what's that software running in the picture ?
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Old 20 April 2010, 19:13   #6
coze
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but sysinfo shows three partitions ?

as for software I didn't mean the partitioning tool. I mean the software/game running in the picture which shows your monitor and whole setup. is it a castle or something on the screen ?
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Old 20 April 2010, 19:30   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coze View Post
but sysinfo shows three partitions ?

as for software I didn't mean the partitioning tool. I mean the software/game running in the picture which shows your monitor and whole setup. is it a castle or something on the screen ?
Yes, in the Sysinfo screenshot you can see the alternative 3-partitions setup I've said before.

The monitor simply shows a picture in DeluxePaint IV. The picture is a 3D rendering done by me with Imagine 1.0 (the medieval castle of my town).
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Old 20 April 2010, 22:04   #8
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Since the 1.3 ROM does not have a FFS provision, you can add what file system you want.

You could use the FFS from 3.1 on a custom-edited A590.adf (just drop it in the L: drawer, replacing the old one).

Excellent for a humble A500.

BTW: WHDLoad in 1.3 A500?
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Old 20 April 2010, 22:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkauer View Post
Since the 1.3 ROM does not have a FFS provision, you can add what file system you want.

You could use the FFS from 3.1 on a custom-edited A590.adf (just drop it in the L: drawer, replacing the old one).
VERY interesting. Any problem in this case? sw compatibility? Setpatch?
Do you know what the advantages/bugfix of a 3.1 FFS compared to a 1.3 version are?

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BTW: WHDLoad in 1.3 A500?
No. If you are able to softkick the 2.x/3x Rom, yes
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Old 21 April 2010, 00:07   #10
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FFS 3.1 is faster and more reliable. Also accept larger partition size (4Gb per partition, but recommended to keep each one with less 2Gb for compatibility with old programs).

No software compatibility issues that I'm aware of.
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Old 21 April 2010, 02:05   #11
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I have an A590 with firmware 7.0, I initially fiddled about with it in KS1.3 and I can safely say that the format speed is like watching paint dry, a 100Mb partition took somewhere in the vicinity of 40 minutes or more, this is greatly reduced by using 3.1, software is readily available off

http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/a590#s_a590
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Old 21 April 2010, 19:30   #12
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I never do a full format on any SCSI drive. Kick formatting a partition will suffice in all cases (but drives with bad blocks, of course).
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Old 21 April 2010, 23:40   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkauer View Post
I never do a full format on any SCSI drive. Kick formatting a partition will suffice in all cases (but drives with bad blocks, of course).
Actually you got that backwards. You mean IDE. On SCSI you should do a full format to map out bad blocks, etc. Well atleast once and then you can do quick formats to speed it up if you just have to reformat shortly after and not a long time later.

Last edited by TjLaZer; 22 April 2010 at 04:59.
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Old 22 April 2010, 06:34   #14
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I do the "check for bad blocks" option always I install a new SCSI HD via winAUE (faster).

Then, no need to full format any partition in the Amiga.
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Old 28 April 2010, 05:47   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Nice. I'm sure you're sorted now but other nice upgrades for A590 include:
  • a SCSI->IDE and IDE->CF adapter.
  • Self power
  • ROM v7
Remember that with Retr0Bright you can revert the colour of your A500.
Wow ! Im impressed with RetroBright !!!
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