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Old 19 May 2018, 18:29   #1
hth313
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A3000 no longer boots from hard disk

I do not know if this is due to hardware, software or me, but my Amiga 3000 no longer wants to boot from hard disk.

I can boot it from floppies, HD partitions show up when started. It looks good inside HDToolBox and the system partition is marked for boot and priority 1. In the boot ROM 3.1, it is not recognized as bootable, neither will the 1.4 kickstart boot it (when powered on). I tried reinstalling the operating system again and also the superkickstart image.

It just does not want to boot from hard disk. When trying, it only comes up with a blank screen and hangs there. It worked a few days ago.
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Old 22 May 2018, 01:30   #2
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Having googled, duckduckgoed and binged myself blue from this, I am ready to give up.

For the purpose of others finding this, the best advice I managed to find is https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...re/S3GHCZpgyHo which basically summarize:

Quote:
The WB_2.X partition must be formatted as FFS, no international support, no cache support.
The device must be named exactly WB_2.X.
The filesystem in the RDB must be useable under 1.3, version 40.1 of the FastFileSystem library works, version 45.x, etc, does not. Or the file system in the RDB may be empty.
My last discovery, the block size must be 512 bytes. OS 3.9 defaulted to a 1024 byte block, that does not work.
Lastly, a file named kickstart must exist in WB_2.Xevs/KickStart.
The kickstart must be an Amiga 3000 version and must have the "bonus" code appended at the end so the file size will be slightly larger than 512K.
No other files are need for the rom soft kick to occur.
Unfortunately, it does not help me. I put the boot partition first, 160MB, 512 bytes blocks. I use FastFileSystem 40.1 without any international of directory cache support. Named it WB_2.x (for 1.4 kickstart), put the superkickstart in devs: and yes, it used to work a few weeks ago.

No matter if I try kickstart 1.4, 2.04 or 3.1 the result is the same, it will not boot from HD. All HD partitions are recognized and auto mount, but it just refuses to boot from it. And I marked it as bootable, both HDToolBox from 3.1 and 2.04 agrees, the bootable option it is ticked, and the system is DOS/1 (basic FFS).

As far as I can see, everything works and looks right, except that any bootable HD partition is not recognized as bootable by any kickstart.

Is there any way to look at a boot console or into a syslog?
If not, then I give up, I cannot think of anything else to try. I will now let this machine gather some dust and perhaps go for a SCSI2SD after the summer...
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Old 22 May 2018, 08:09   #3
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There is no console or syslog I'm afraid.

This sounds very strange that your disk shows up but doesn't boot. In this case it doesn't seem like it's a hardware problem, but something went wrong with the partitioning.

I don't quite understand from your story: did you partition the disk and then it stopped working after you did this, or did you just take a previously working system and one day it stopped booting with no changes done?

If you don't mind erasing the disk, you could give it one more go with the 3.1 Install disk's guided SetupHD script. If it detects an A3000 superkick system, it will create a superkick compatible partition map on the disk. You need to load the kickstart 3.1 from a superkick disk before starting the partitioning, makesuperdisk on aminet will help you write out such a disk.
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Old 22 May 2018, 12:11   #4
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So the disk seems to work fine when booted from floppy, hdtoolbox says it's ok and bootable, but it does not actually boot ?
Well, it appears it does recognise it as bootable, else it would probably not block you with a blank screen when you try.

You do not need console/syslog, all you need is Amiga Early Startup Control, aka Boot menu.
So press both mouse buttons when booting.
Select "Boot options" from the menu.
Now look in the list of active devices. What does it say ?
If everything looks ok (which i suspect), try "Boot with no Startup-Sequence".
What happens then ?
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Old 22 May 2018, 19:49   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I just did a reinstall (again), it does not help.

In the boot menu, only the floppy drives are bootable, all HD partitions show up, but are marked as "not bootable".

Here is the long story. I have not used the Amiga for 25+ years, so I am a bit rusty on it. I started off with 2.04, used the install script and it helped me partition the 18GB drive into a WB_2.x and a Work: partition. This worked fine and the machine could boot. I set the machine up further on the network, all was good.

I had a fear that the partitioning was not good and when enough of the latent Amiga knowledge came back to me I could see that it made a too large Work: partition, way over 4GB. I was also not so happy with the WB_2.x partition being so small. I got hold of 3.1 and decided it was time to do it right. I repartitioned it into a 160MB WB_2.x, and a 1.6GB Work:, the latter with SFS. Then I formatted it in the Workbench.

In 2.04 the install script that asks if I am using an A3000 superkickstart and does the partitioning for you, but this is not the same in 3.1. Here it seems you must partition first and then run the installer. Installing the superkickstart is done with a separate HDSetup installer script.

So I went ahead and loaded the 3.1 kickstart floppy, installed the 3.1 AmigaOS on the fresh WB_2.x partition followed by putting back the 3.1 superkickstart file on it using the HDSetup installer, reading the kickstart floppy again.

It seemed fine first, but at some point shortly afterwards, it just stopped working. I cannot recall the exact steps and point anymore, but it very soon just stopped booting from the HD.

Previously when booting from the HD, the HD light will go on for quite some time before doing anything, then flicker and stepping for a very short moment and it was up. Now it makes some head moves, no long HD light and a white screen and does not get any further.

If I hold down both mouse buttons after a reboot, I get the early boot menu. In it I can see df0:, df2: and all three HD parititions I have (WB_2.x and two SFS partitions). Only df0: and df2: are marked as bootable. The WB_2.x partition is ADOS/scsi-6 and not bootable.

I tried with the 2.04 kickstart, it also says not bootable. HDToolBox has the WB_2.x marked as bootable (both 2.04 and 3.1 versions).

Booting from floppy works and it comes up with all HD partitions mounted.

In HDToolBox the WB_2.x partition has the following settings:
Size 162MB (it is the first partition on the HD), name WB_2.x, Bootable, Start Cyl 2, End 71, total 70, Buffers 30, HostID 7, Boot priority 1, Standard File System, Fast File System ticked, no International, no Directory Cache, Identifier 0x444f5301, Mask 0xfffffffc, MaxTransfer 0xffffff, reserved blocks at beginning 2 end 0, no custom boot blocks, file system block size 512. I have installed Fast File System 40.1 size 24588 on the HD.

I am not sure if it takes the 40.1 FFS and how to switch between that and the one in the ROM?

Before updating to FFS 40.1, it had 0.35 or 0.37 (I think), but it did not work at that point either. It was one of the things I tried after getting into this mess.
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Old 22 May 2018, 21:03   #6
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You speak of WB_2.x, is it the device name you use in partitioning or the volume name the workbench will show under the disk icon ? Or maybe both ?
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Old 22 May 2018, 21:15   #7
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WB_2.x is the device name, for volume name I use System3.1.
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Old 22 May 2018, 21:59   #8
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Ok i wanted to verify there is no name conflict.

But now it's even more mysterious. There must be something specific to A3000...
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Old 23 May 2018, 09:41   #9
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The A3000 bonus is doing something weird here. Based on my understanding it adjusts the partition priorities and bootable/mountable statuses in memory on the fly to help a dual boot machine boot from the correct WB_1.3 or WB_2.x partition depending on which superkick was loaded.

With your current 3.1 setup, do you see the OS loading the kickstart, or do you always have to load the kickstart from floppy on a cold boot?
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Old 23 May 2018, 15:40   #10
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wondering if the old ffs and scsi devices are overwriting bits of your boot partition when you are setting up your large sfs partition. Maybe try starting again only using a single 160MB WB_2.x partition? Get it all up and running and get the newer ffs and scsi device installed in 3.1 and leave ffs out of the rdb?

also are you sure the bonus code is in your kickstart file and it's not just a regular kickstart (check file size) ?
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Old 23 May 2018, 20:06   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
The A3000 bonus is doing something weird here. Based on my understanding it adjusts the partition priorities and bootable/mountable statuses in memory on the fly to help a dual boot machine boot from the correct WB_1.3 or WB_2.x partition depending on which superkick was loaded.

With your current 3.1 setup, do you see the OS loading the kickstart, or do you always have to load the kickstart from floppy on a cold boot?
When starting cold with no mouse buttons down, it flickers around a bit in the usual way while the HD is spinning up, and ends with a white screen and gets stuck there.

It is not possible to see a loading kickstart message. As far as my memory goes, you do not (normally) see that either when loading from HD.

I always have to load a kickstart floppy to get the machine up in any meaningful way. This has to be done by holding both mouse buttons down while booting and it will show the kickstart menu. Here I can choose to boot from floppy or HD, either 2.x or 1.3, all four combinations.

A cold boot with a genuine 2.04 Commodore superkickstart floppy inserted results in a white screen, it does not attempt to load the kickstart from the floppy.

If I load the kickstart using mouse buttons down and the boot menu it results in that it goes to the purple screen animating inserting a floppy. A soft reboot with both mouse buttons down gives the 2.04 boot menu with DF0 and DF2. Advanced options shows the HD paritions, the WB_2.x partition is DOS1 scsi-6 and Pri N/A (not bootable). Playing with the no Startup-Sequence and Enabled togglers going back and forth has no effect, it stays not bootable.

I need to speculate now and looking at the evidence it is able to get the information about partitions from the HD. This means it knows that the boot partition is supposed to be bootable as it is just a bit among the others. I mean, it cannot just get the rest without getting that information.

When I try to cold boot without holding down the two mouse buttons it goes to a white screen and hangs there. It also ignores the kickstart floppy on a cold boot. To me it means that kickstart 1.4 thinks it can boot from HD, but it fails and hangs. Maybe the 2.04 and 3.1 are "smarter" in that they realize it does not work and instead go to the start screen with insert a floppy (I do not know if that even exists in the special 1.4 kickstart ROM).

Maybe there is something more to it that needs to be present in the boot partition, perhaps even in the file system that is not right.

Looking at http://wiki.amigaos.net/wiki/SCSI_Device in the bootable section, it mentions in the comment about the bootable bit that this partition is "intended to be bootable (expected directories and files exists)". This 'intended' is interesting wording and I wonder what the 'expected directories and files exist' means precisely. Unfortunately, it is not further explained.

However, looking at http://www.thefullwiki.org/AmigaOS under 'Handlers, AmigaDOS and filesystems' about SYS:, it does not seem to be very picky about that directories should exist, there seems to be fallbacks for everything. Besides, there is a plain installation on that boot partition.
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Old 23 May 2018, 20:36   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalek View Post
wondering if the old ffs and scsi devices are overwriting bits of your boot partition when you are setting up your large sfs partition. Maybe try starting again only using a single 160MB WB_2.x partition? Get it all up and running and get the newer ffs and scsi device installed in 3.1 and leave ffs out of the rdb?

also are you sure the bonus code is in your kickstart file and it's not just a regular kickstart (check file size) ?
I will wait a bit further before throwing away the other partitions. I consider the idea of going back to 2.0 and see if that works, but not just yet.

The strange thing is that everything looks good to me, except that it will not boot from HD. I mean, the partitions look fine and are found and auto mounted. Once booted from floppy, they are just there and works without any issues.

The devs:kickstart file has size 526848 (0x80A00) which I think is the size it should be. AFAIK it only needs devs:kickstart when cold booting, a warm boot is normally able to use what is already in memory.
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Old 23 May 2018, 20:50   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hth313 View Post
When starting cold with no mouse buttons down, it flickers around a bit in the usual way while the HD is spinning up, and ends with a white screen and gets stuck there.

It is not possible to see a loading kickstart message. As far as my memory goes, you do not (normally) see that either when loading from HD.
My compact flash equipped 1.4 A3000 is slow enough to show the progress texts when loading the superkick, so I'm sure it is readable when booting off a spinning drive too.

Quote:
I always have to load a kickstart floppy to get the machine up in any meaningful way. This has to be done by holding both mouse buttons down while booting and it will show the kickstart menu. Here I can choose to boot from floppy or HD, either 2.x or 1.3, all four combinations.

A cold boot with a genuine 2.04 Commodore superkickstart floppy inserted results in a white screen, it does not attempt to load the kickstart from the floppy.

If I load the kickstart using mouse buttons down and the boot menu it results in that it goes to the purple screen animating inserting a floppy. A soft reboot with both mouse buttons down gives the 2.04 boot menu with DF0 and DF2. Advanced options shows the HD paritions, the WB_2.x partition is DOS1 scsi-6 and Pri N/A (not bootable). Playing with the no Startup-Sequence and Enabled togglers going back and forth has no effect, it stays not bootable.

I need to speculate now and looking at the evidence it is able to get the information about partitions from the HD. This means it knows that the boot partition is supposed to be bootable as it is just a bit among the others. I mean, it cannot just get the rest without getting that information.
Ok, something is up with the SCSI controller, HD or its partitioning for it to behave like this. The 1.4 ROM is notoriously picky about the partition, but I couldn't really figure out what it could be based on your details above.

You wrote in some other post, that you did the partitioning semi manually. The HDSetup script on the 3.1 install has a few options, one for partitioning (do this first, it doesn't actually lowlevel format anything), then when you run HDSetup again, you can choose the other one for reading out the superkick file off your superkick floppy.

I guess my recommendation for now is to kick up using your 3.1 superkick floppy, then boot from the 3.1 install floppy and do the partitioning + formatting using HDSetup. Then if it quits out, run it again and choose to update the superkickstart.

Quote:
When I try to cold boot without holding down the two mouse buttons it goes to a white screen and hangs there. It also ignores the kickstart floppy on a cold boot. To me it means that kickstart 1.4 thinks it can boot from HD, but it fails and hangs. Maybe the 2.04 and 3.1 are "smarter" in that they realize it does not work and instead go to the start screen with insert a floppy (I do not know if that even exists in the special 1.4 kickstart ROM).
There is no bonus code to mess around with the partitions found on the RDB when the 1.4 ROM is running, but after 2.04/3.1 are running, the bonus will fiddle around with the partitions after the devices have been set up in RAM. Something is off in your partitioning / formatting, because it thinks the WB_2.x partition is not bootworthy.

Quote:
Maybe there is something more to it that needs to be present in the boot partition, perhaps even in the file system that is not right.

Looking at http://wiki.amigaos.net/wiki/SCSI_Device in the bootable section, it mentions in the comment about the bootable bit that this partition is "intended to be bootable (expected directories and files exists)". This 'intended' is interesting wording and I wonder what the 'expected directories and files exist' means precisely. Unfortunately, it is not further explained.

However, looking at http://www.thefullwiki.org/AmigaOS under 'Handlers, AmigaDOS and filesystems' about SYS:, it does not seem to be very picky about that directories should exist, there seems to be fallbacks for everything. Besides, there is a plain installation on that boot partition.
If you have a bootable, formatted partition, the machine boots into a CLI window, where you can't do anything because there are no useful commands in ROM.

The 1.4 ROM is satisfied as long as devs:kickstart is found on your correctly partitioned + formatted WB_2.x partition. Once kicked up, the RAM based kickstart will then continue to boot into a useless CLI window. :-)
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Old 24 May 2018, 05:47   #14
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Quote:
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My compact flash equipped 1.4 A3000 is slow enough to show the progress texts when loading the superkick, so I'm sure it is readable when booting off a spinning drive too.


Ok, something is up with the SCSI controller, HD or its partitioning for it to behave like this. The 1.4 ROM is notoriously picky about the partition, but I couldn't really figure out what it could be based on your details above.

You wrote in some other post, that you did the partitioning semi manually. The HDSetup script on the 3.1 install has a few options, one for partitioning (do this first, it doesn't actually lowlevel format anything), then when you run HDSetup again, you can choose the other one for reading out the superkick file off your superkick floppy.

I guess my recommendation for now is to kick up using your 3.1 superkick floppy, then boot from the 3.1 install floppy and do the partitioning + formatting using HDSetup. Then if it quits out, run it again and choose to update the superkickstart.
Many thanks for all the help!

Problem solved! My A3000 can now both cold and warm boot from the boot partition on the HD!

You are correct, it shows loading kickstart from HD briefly too as you mention.

I let the script do the partitioning (fixed the size of DH1/Work afterwards), then reinstalled everything and put the 3.1 superkickstart in devs: using the script and it works!

I also found what is causing the problem I suffered from and that is SFS. Once there is an SFS filesystem/partition on the HD (not bootable) and there is a cold boot, then the problem is back. It does not seem to help to remove it manually, the problem remains. Allowing the install script do the partitioning restores normal operation.

I simply left SFS out for now and use FFS for Work: too and the machine works fine. I used the SFS.lha from aminet.net.
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Old 24 May 2018, 05:55   #15
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Excellent.

Strange that SFS is problematic here. Which DOSType did you install it as?

In my recipe, I have a tiny 1MB WB_2.x partition that only has the kickstart, a few required shell commands and a very short startup-sequence that reassigns the default assigns to my PFS3 DH0: partition, and jumps to the startup-sequence on DH0:

The DH0: partition takes up the rest of the card.

I have no FFS in the RDB, it uses the ROM FFS in 1.4 and 3.1 to access WB_2.x. The PFS3 filesystem / partition have the normal 0x50465303 DOSType.
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Old 24 May 2018, 06:42   #16
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Excellent.

Strange that SFS is problematic here. Which DOSType did you install it as?

In my recipe, I have a tiny 1MB WB_2.x partition that only has the kickstart, a few required shell commands and a very short startup-sequence that reassigns the default assigns to my PFS3 DH0: partition, and jumps to the startup-sequence on DH0:

The DH0: partition takes up the rest of the card.

I have no FFS in the RDB, it uses the ROM FFS in 1.4 and 3.1 to access WB_2.x. The PFS3 filesystem / partition have the normal 0x50465303 DOSType.
I used SFS\0. Now I have a small 9MB boot partition with the essentials and an AS225 setup.

The RDB has FFS 40.1 on the HD which was put there by the partition script. How can I make it use the ROM version of the file system?

I was also a bit surprised by the issue with SFS. I have not used it before but it seems to be popular, so I thought it would be just fine. I am not a fan of FFS, having suffered several corrupted filesystems back in the old days...

FFS was actually a major reason to make me leave the Amiga in the early nineties. The A3000 served as a NetBSD entry level UNIX for several years after that. Today I have enough UNIX boxes and thought it would be fun to using an Amiga again...

Getting a better filesystem seems mandatory to me.. should I try PFS3 instead? I want something that is reliable and that can work with a disk larger than 4GB. I plan to keep individual partitions below 4GB.
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Old 24 May 2018, 07:30   #17
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I used SFS\0.
No fault there. Perhaps it just isn't 1.4 / bonus20 compatible.. It'd be interesting to do some experiments of my own, but my backlog of interesting projects is impossibly long. :-)

Quote:
The RDB has FFS 40.1 on the HD which was put there by the partition script. How can I make it use the ROM version of the file system?
You can just go into hdtoolbox, select add/update... and delete the ffs from the RDB.

Quote:
I was also a bit surprised by the issue with SFS. I have not used it before but it seems to be popular, so I thought it would be just fine. I am not a fan of FFS, having suffered several corrupted filesystems back in the old days...
I also hate FFS, went PFS2 back in the day and never looked back. These days I mainly run PFS3AIO.

Quote:
FFS was actually a major reason to make me leave the Amiga in the early nineties. The A3000 served as a NetBSD entry level UNIX for several years after that. Today I have enough UNIX boxes and thought it would be fun to using an Amiga again...
I had such a crap Amiga growing up, that I only got a taste of the UNIX fruit later when I got my first PC. I often thought about what NetBSD on A3000 would have been like back in the day, but these days I don't think I want to try it, the world has moved on and I have lots of free PCs I could install NetBSD on instead.. :-)

Quote:
Getting a better filesystem seems mandatory to me.. should I try PFS3 instead? I want something that is reliable and that can work with a disk larger than 4GB. I plan to keep individual partitions below 4GB.
I heartily recommend it.. You could try the latest version of PFS3AIO with the PDS\03 DOSType. You don't have to worry about any PFS3 partition size or location related concerns with the A3000 thanks to DirectSCSI, only the WB_2.x partition needs to be under 2GB and located under 4GB.
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Old 24 May 2018, 20:42   #18
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`

I heartily recommend it.. You could try the latest version of PFS3AIO with the PDS\03 DOSType. You don't have to worry about any PFS3 partition size or location related concerns with the A3000 thanks to DirectSCSI, only the WB_2.x partition needs to be under 2GB and located under 4GB.
I went for PFS3 as you recommend and it works just fine so far.
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Old 24 May 2018, 22:38   #19
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I'm glad you got your problem solved. I was going to say I have certain SCSI drives that won't boot on the 3000 after 3.1 is kicked in. It's odd- it will load the kickstart from wb_2.x and reboot, then lock up with the SCSI light on. Kicking in 2.04 instead, works fine. Using another SCSI drive installed the same way with 3.1, it will work. SCSI is just a mystic art...
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