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Old 18 April 2016, 15:19   #1
TTSAddict
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Floppy disk Quirks of PFS3

Hi there
I was prepping a 32GB SDCard for my A1200, intended to use in an IDE-adapter.
I would have liked to directly hook the adapter to my PC but my mainboard doesn't have any IDE ports, while the other PC here has only ONE and it either didn't recognize the adapter or the port wasn't working. I dunno. So I hooked it up to WinUAE through an external cardreader.
I made an OS3.9-installation on the PC-drive with a 68020/2mb chip/32mb fastram/KS3.1 config, and installed PFS3-AIO afterwards. Partitioning went smooth as was installing WB3.1. Yep I have to use WB3.1 on my real hardware since its totally stock. My 8mb card died a few weeks ago.

So basically the order was like this
1. install os3.9 in mounted directory
2. install pfs3-aio to os3.9
~edit 2b. installed boingbag1+2
3. partition sdcard with hdtoolbox from os3.9
1x bootpartition, fastfilesystem, sized 1,9GB, bootable
1x pfs3, taking up rest of space
-> quickformat both partitions
4. Remove Mounted directory and boot from wb3.1 installdisk
5. WB3.1 installation
6. copy Mr Wilen's patched version of scsi.device to DEVS:, loadmodule-command to C, add "loadmodule scsi.device" as very first entry to startup-sequence
7. install pfs3-AIO
I also installed IDEFix97 because I didn't know what it really does. Using IDEFix97 without the patched scsi.device did NOT work.

So far so good. But I've run into problems

  • Copying files from a mounted directory to the sdcard with DirOpus5 freezes the whole emulated system after a while. Mousepointer still moves and you can drag screens but nothing else. Warm-reboot revives the system. During filling the card it did this about 10 times. Never left the PFS3-filesystem damaged afterwards, although sometimes a whole bunch of files and directories were missing that were supposed to be copied while it froze. Sometimes one single file had the wrong filesize when it froze in the middle of it, just had to recopy. The filesystem itself was fine everytime, checked with PFS-doctor. - Could this be a DirOpus-issue? It never ran out of memory, DirOpus was using Fastram the whole time.
  • I formatted the bootdrive with FFS. NOW somebody mentioned that you can boot the system straight from a PFS3-partition. How can the ROM even access such a partition when PFS3 is not loaded yet?
  • File-transfers. I am anxious to put this card back into my PC-cardreader again, I'm afraid Windoze would mess with it unsolicited because it can't 'see' the RDB-partitions present on the card. Is there any Windows-driver available that enables the PC to read an RDB-drive? PFS3 even?
  • Would it be possible to re-do the above task skipping the OS3.9 part? I tried using the tools that come with idefix and pfs3 but they didn't recognize the SDCard. The WB3.1 version of HDToolBox did see the Card but I wasn't sure how to proceed with all the wrapped variables and it also couldn't automatically detect the drive attributes, thats why I went the detour through OS3.9. Also tried to run that HDToolBox-version on WB3.1 but didn't succeed yet. Don't know if that would work at all.

Last edited by TTSAddict; 18 April 2016 at 20:46. Reason: unimportant sidenote
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Old 18 April 2016, 15:41   #2
demolition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTSAddict View Post
  • Copying files from a mounted directory to the sdcard with DirOpus5 freezes the whole emulated system after a while.
    ...
  • I formatted the bootdrive with FFS. NOW somebody mentioned that you can boot the system straight from a PFS3-partition. How can the ROM even access such a partition when PFS3 is not loaded yet?
  • File-transfers. I am anxious to put this card back into my PC-cardreader again, I'm afraid Windoze would mess with it unsolicited because it can't 'see' the RDB-partitions present on the card. Is there any Windows-driver available that enables the PC to read an RDB-drive? PFS3 even?
  • Would it be possible to re-do the above task skipping the OS3.9 part? I tried using the tools that come with idefix and pfs3 but they didn't recognize the SDCard. The WB3.1 version of HDToolBox did see the Card but I wasn't sure how to proceed with all the wrapped variables and it also couldn't automatically detect the drive attributes, thats why I went the detour through OS3.9. Also tried to run that HDToolBox-version on WB3.1 but didn't succeed yet. Don't know if that would work at all.
1. I've had this a few times as well, not sure why it freezes. If I restart WinUAE and try again, it may or may not stop again, but if it does, it is not at the same point so should not be a memory/stack issue.
2. It puts the PFS3 handler in the RDB so the Amiga can first load the handler (which contains code to handle the partition format) and can then continue to boot from the partition, no matter which file system was used. This also means that the Amiga in theory could boot directly from a FAT partition, although it would never be able to recognize MBR partition tables.
3. I've never had Windows automatically format a CF card. When you insert it, it will ask if you want to format it, so if you accidentally press yes, then it is your own fault.
4. The HDToolBox in WB3.1 should work, however it will not show the correct numbers on a drive of that size so it can be a little tricky to do right. You will probably need to install a fixed scsi.device though instead of the one that is supplied with 3.1.
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Old 20 April 2016, 12:08   #3
TTSAddict
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Funny sidenote about paragraph three:
I need to get over my anxiety and have to re-put the card into the PC at least once more anyway.

Days before, I completely took apart the whole machine to get rid of a nasty mold smell since it had been stashed away in a moist basement. Most of the smell was emanating from the cables (floppy power/data, IDE cable, LED-array-cable), the white plastic pins underneath the key caps and from the inside of the floppy drive (propably due to the accumulated dust). I basically BATHED that drive in isopropyl. Was a challenge to put it back together. The mainboard had no smell at all whatsoever, but still had to clean some corroded pins.
After reassembling everything and putting the prepped SDcard in the A1200, it seemed to boot up but the 1084S only showed a garbled mess. My heart sank into the lowest point of my stomach. Turned off and completely took it apart again, save the keyboard. Optically, it was completely fine so I ran one more test and hooked up only the mainboard to power and the CRT. It was working, showing the purple boot screen just fine. Then it struck me that, the oblivious idiot that I am, forgot to change the Workbench resolution to PAL in WinUAE before removing the card.
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Old 20 April 2016, 13:02   #4
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I had problems transferring large chunks of data like you when using Dopus, the answer I found and it works everytime although it will take a little longer is to do the transfer in smaller chunks manualy Dir to Dir, works every time and PFS3aio is the best FS IMHO

Last edited by supaduper; 20 April 2016 at 14:04.
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Old 20 April 2016, 13:24   #5
TTSAddict
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What version of DirOpus did you use? I got these freezes with v5. v4 is an independent branch developed by other people if I'm not mistaken, right? I might try out that version with a different card later on, but for now I'm finished with moving stuff.

I've ran into another quirk with that SD2IDE adaptor I bought. It makes the Amigas HD-LED light up all the time instead of blinking only when the card is accessed. The onboard SMD-LED is working correctly tho. I wonder if there is a way to fix that. Maybe hook up the Amigas LED to the SMD-LEDs signal line via amplifier circuit. But I'm definately not capable of SMD soldering.
~edit: Found a fix for LED-issue, need a new tip for my soldering iron -> http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=...&postcount=120

Last edited by TTSAddict; 20 April 2016 at 14:36.
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Old 20 April 2016, 14:04   #6
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I used the Dopus that come with Amikit so whatever version that is, I had the same problem with V4.2 so it must be a bug or Buffer setting as a guess with all versions
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Old 20 April 2016, 17:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supaduper View Post
I used the Dopus that come with Amikit so whatever version that is, I had the same problem with V4.2 so it must be a bug or Buffer setting as a guess with all versions
I use this dopus and its stable and works well with long filenames and such. You might give it a try.

http://aminet.net/package/util/dopus/DOpus416JRbin

Old dopus 4.12 etc do not handle large disks and long filenames so well and also have some config bugs iirc.
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Old 20 April 2016, 18:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mech View Post
I use this dopus and its stable and works well with long filenames and such. You might give it a try.

http://aminet.net/package/util/dopus/DOpus416JRbin

Old dopus 4.12 etc do not handle large disks and long filenames so well and also have some config bugs iirc.
Cheeers mech will give it a go
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Old 28 May 2016, 04:36   #9
Leandro Jardim
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It does not freeze with DOpus only, it happens with Workbench and CLI too. I have the exact symptoms that you had with your AmigaOS too, but I can't understand if the problem is with WinUAE or PFS3. Someone could test PFS3 on a real Amiga and certify for us if the Amiga will freeze too. I would like to ask to Toni, if possible please, if him could debug on WinUAE and PFS3 such kinds of problems.

I asked that for Toni sometimes, but he always say it should be a problem of stack. There are some things I don't understand and which seem incompatible with a stack problem and is that, AmigaOS doesn't freezes always at the same file or time, sometimes it takes longer, or sometimes it takes less; also while copying all the files, the copy operation will getting slower until it stop totally and the system freezes; and also for the freeze to happen it's not needed to have a very big chain of directories to copy, it's necessary only a single directory full of files.
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Old 28 May 2016, 09:29   #10
Toni Wilen
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Either stack (c:copy needs lots of stack if directory structure is deep), also "too long" (>30 characters) file names can cause problems.

I don't know when 30 limit was fully fixed, if ever? possibly only in 3.5+?
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Old 28 May 2016, 14:38   #11
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I also had the same copy problems with AmikitReal and pfs3aio but if I booted without startup-sequence and ran Dopus 4 everything went fine.
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