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Old 04 January 2019, 20:07   #1
Starglider 2
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Best way to back up A4000 hard drive?

Hi guys, I may be obtaining some historically significant Amiga 4000s and the first thing I want to do (if they work) is back up the HDs. I'm not too interested in upgrading the machines as I'd like to keep them as they are, but I just want to protect the data.

What's the most cost effective and simplest method to clone the data?

Thanks!
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Old 04 January 2019, 20:23   #2
shaf
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if they already have SCSI i would back up CD-ROM or Tape Drive.
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Old 04 January 2019, 20:30   #3
malko
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I would plug a second HD and copy the content.
Liked to use lha for backing up my HD
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Old 04 January 2019, 20:35   #4
davide78
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If the HD is IDE you can just put it into a USB box and do the backup using a PC. The simplest thing is to create an image of the HD that you can use with an emulator or to restore the data on the original hard disk.
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Old 04 January 2019, 21:03   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davide78 View Post
If the HD is IDE you can just put it into a USB box and do the backup using a PC. The simplest thing is to create an image of the HD that you can use with an emulator or to restore the data on the original hard disk.
Is there such an option for SCSI?
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Old 04 January 2019, 21:41   #6
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I use this:
adapter

I just copy complete partitions to a compact flash, accessible from the back of the A4000.
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Old 04 January 2019, 21:51   #7
TjLaZer
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Best way to back up A4000 hard drive?

Cheapest way would be to hook up a second IDE hard drive and just copy it that way or you can get a IDE Zip drive as well if you don’t have SCSI. IDE to CF or SD adaptors also work that way you can add them on the PC and boot from them on WinUAE.

As you probably already know the RTC battery is the biggest problem along with the SMD caps leaking will most likely be a problem.
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Old 04 January 2019, 23:07   #8
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Probably the two simplest options are either using a suitable adaptor to read it on a PC (be careful not to let Windows format it as soon as you connect it), or add a second hard drive and use Amiga OS itself to do the copying. Depending on the size of the drives and what else you have in the machine, using a CD burner could also be an option, but bear in mind that to properly preserve the data, you should either use an Amiga-specific filesystem on the backup medium, or archive everything first. This will mean you keep the Amiga-specific metadata like protection bits, comments, datestamps etc.

Finally, if you have a network card in the machine, and it's all working, you can use smbfs, FTP or similar to transfer archives off the machine without needing another drive.
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Old 05 January 2019, 15:46   #9
davide78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starglider 2 View Post
Is there such an option for SCSI?
SCSI is rarely used nowadays, so I am now aware of any modern option. There may have been some SCSI to USB adapters available back in the day, but I suspect they would be quite hard to find.
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Old 05 January 2019, 18:31   #10
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If there is valuable content on harddrive I would work with it as expecting the worse (bad sectors, unreliable) so any try to power up OS could lead to additional stress on drive and hw failure. I would first image on PC (or MAC) to have backup.

- no powerup in Amiga
- put it in PC with Linux and immediately make image of whole drive with ddrescue utility
- IDE - its easy to find older PC with IDE controller onboard or IDE2USB
- SCSI - Adaptec 2940UW scsi PCI cards are easy to find and very cheap

Only after you have image saved I would powerup it in Amiga

In case you would like to help just let me know
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Old 07 January 2019, 00:03   #11
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Thanks everyone.

One thing is I have a Mac not a PC. Would anyone know the command or process to clone the drive to a backup file on my internal Mac drive?

I'm going to go with this Mac compatible kit I think:

AGPtek SATA/PATA/IDE Drive to USB 2.0 Adapter Converter Cable for Hard Drive Disk HDD 2.5" 3.5", Compatible with USB 1.1/2.0/3.0, With External AC Power Adapter Included https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BIE996S..._sPNmCb89T5NJC
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Old 07 January 2019, 00:25   #12
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For examples as described here

http://www.happymac.info/cms/knowled...-ddrescue.html
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Old 07 January 2019, 00:32   #13
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Thanks, but isn't ddrescue only for use if there are errors? Is there a simpler way assuming the drivers are ok?
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Old 07 January 2019, 00:44   #14
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Not really, since a Mac or PC cannot (easily) read the Amiga file system*. It will show up as uninitialised, so really the only way to use it from the Mac OS itself is to use dd or similar to create an image of the hard drive as a file. Once you have that done, your data is relatively safe. You can use that image to write to another drive / CF card or whatever, or read it using FS-UAE.

I don't know if it's possible on a Mac with FS-UAE, but another approach under Windows is to access the drive directly from WinUAE and then copy your files to another drive, either real or virtual.

* Under Linux you can actually mount the Amiga drive and read the contents with a bit of fiddling, so it might also be possible under MacOS. However, doing so will lose the Amiga-specific metadata as soon as the files are moved or modified.
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Old 07 January 2019, 00:48   #15
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For IDE drives, connect it to a modern computer and create an image (not a file copy) of the full drive.
For SCSI drives, if you have no scsi equipment/-experience/-experienced friends, you could also consider attaching a SD or CF card to the a4000 IDE and write an image of the whole SCSI drive to it. You’d need a tool like TSGUI to create the image.
http://aminet.net/package/disk/misc/tsgui

Copying files instead of creating images is an option but in the amiga days there were lots of encrypted/pw protected/disabled/hidden partitions etc so you might miss stuff that others could find from an image.
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Old 07 January 2019, 00:48   #16
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Thanks! I guess my follow up question is whether there's a similar app to ddrescue that uses a GUI for creating block by block images? Perhaps even the built in Disk Utility...
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Old 07 January 2019, 00:50   #17
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Using dd on linux or mac is the best option really. It will backup the whole disk structure including any boot / partition information all in a file that can be restored to another disk as Deadalus describes.
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Old 07 January 2019, 01:07   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Not really, since a Mac or PC cannot (easily) read the Amiga file system*. It will show up as uninitialised, so really the only way to use it from the Mac OS itself is to use dd or similar to create an image of the hard drive as a file. Once you have that done, your data is relatively safe. You can use that image to write to another drive / CF card or whatever, or read it using FS-UAE.

I don't know if it's possible on a Mac with FS-UAE, but another approach under Windows is to access the drive directly from WinUAE and then copy your files to another drive, either real or virtual.

* Under Linux you can actually mount the Amiga drive and read the contents with a bit of fiddling, so it might also be possible under MacOS. However, doing so will lose the Amiga-specific metadata as soon as the files are moved or modified.

There is NO NEED to read Amiga filesystem on MAC at first.


First what one should do when dealing with old harddrive of unknow state is to make bit by bit / block image. When this image safely saved than you can move to second step - actualy reading the content - what is another story and can be achieved numerous ways.


DDrescue is aimed at harddrives with errors but you never know in what state the old drive is. When drive will be error free than ddrescue will make image at same speed as classic dd command or any other disk image utility. Advantage is that with ddresuce you are prepared for the worst.
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Old 07 January 2019, 10:19   #19
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I agree with k0x: the first thing to do is to create an image of the disk and save the data. You don't know what is the state the disk is.

Once you have the image you also know the state of the disk and you can proceed to read the content. Either from the disk image or by mounting the actual disk in FS-UAE. I confirm that it can be done also on a Mac: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=91910 Or even from the A4000, if the drive is ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starglider 2 View Post
Thanks! I guess my follow up question is whether there's a similar app to ddrescue that uses a GUI for creating block by block images? Perhaps even the built in Disk Utility...
Disk Utility can create disk images of Mac and PC formatted disks, but I don't know if it can do it also for other types of disks. An amiga disk is partitioned in a different way than Mac/PC disks, and Mac OS basically considers it as empty. I recommend to use ddrescue anyway.

Last edited by davide78; 07 January 2019 at 12:25. Reason: improvement in the English
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Old 07 January 2019, 11:47   #20
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I wouldn't even consider using anything other than dd(rescue).
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