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Old 05 September 2019, 19:37   #1
RedAvatar
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Can't get CF PCMCIA to work

I bought a A1200 a few weeks back and it came with a PCMCIA-to-CF adapter as well as a few CF cards (mostly Kingston ones). Because the CF hard drive (using IDE-to-CF) was rather outdated when it came to WHDLoad and was running Workbench 3.0, I decided to upgrade to 3.1.4, got new ROM chips to go with the software and installed everything on a brand spanking new 32GB Transcend CF.

So far so good. But now I wanted an easy way to move files to my Amiga without having to screw the lid off so PCMCIA seemed like the best solution. Now, I know that (a) mounting an Amiga formatted "drive" is a pain in the ass because you need the correct amount of cylinders etc. and that (b) mounting a FAT drive requires extra files installed.

So I did the following:
- I installed CFD (1.32) from http://aminet.net/package/driver/media/cfd
--> copied compactflash.device to SYS:DEV as the readme told me to
--> copied CF0 to SYS:DEV/DOSDRIVERS

- I installed FAT95 from http://aminet.net/package/disk/misc/fat95
--> copied FAT95 to SYS:L

After that I tested FIVE compact flash cards from various brands. I got two results:
a) nothing would happen. No icon would appear, nothing
b) an icon would appear with the word "Uninitialized" - it seems this is 3.1.4's way of saying NDOS. I can't format the drive (Object is not of the required type) or do anything with it when this happens.

I've formatted the CF cards under Windows in various ways - from FAT to FAT32 using different cluster sizes but it doesn't seem to matter.

So I bought a new PCMCIA adapter AND a Sandisk CF card so I now had Transcend, Kingston, Sandisk, Extrememory and some Chinese brand off Aliexpress. Sandisk would not show any icon.

I then tried to install 1.33 of CFD. Again, no fix.

Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong? Does 3.1.4 need extra steps perhaps ?

Last edited by Jope; 06 September 2019 at 08:02. Reason: disabled smilies
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Old 09 September 2019, 20:01   #2
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No-one who has any idea ?
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Old 09 September 2019, 20:36   #3
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I'd say that we need more information:
1) memory expansion/CPU accelerator card installed in the A1200
2) brand and supplier of the PCMCIA-to-CF adapter; E.g. Amigakit, ... and are the supplier's drivers installed
3) brand, model, size, and file system format of each CF card tried with test results
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Old 09 September 2019, 21:17   #4
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Don't use Kingston. They suck, i know they work for some people, but in general they suck. I have had little luck with Kingston, and even less with Transcend.

Use a Sandisk card, even for the PCMCIA slot.
make sure it's not more than 4GB in size.
use DISKPART from an elevated DOS prompt, and check the partitions etc. on the card, clean with DISKPART as required.
Check the card with PrepCard in WB, can you see anything?
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Old 09 September 2019, 23:16   #5
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To answer both posts:

- You can't buy 4GB Sandisk cards anymore new so I bought the lowest which was 16GB. Since you mention 4GB being the limit, i'll have to get one off eBay

- I used the brands I mentioned above, formatted as both FAT and FAT32 respectively

- I tried partitioning only 2GB as a test but that didn't work either

- I have two adapters: one that came with the A1200 I bought which I assume worked and another that is being sold by Vesalia Online:

https://www.vesalia.de/e_amigapcmciacf.htm

I bought the second just in case the first was broken but both give identical results which make me assume both work fine.

The Diskpart and clean steps i've always used before. I think it may really be down to the CF card not being liked by the Amiga. I'll buy a second hand 4GB Sandisk card and try that.
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Old 10 September 2019, 00:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedAvatar View Post
To answer both posts:

- You can't buy 4GB Sandisk cards anymore new so I bought the lowest which was 16GB. Since you mention 4GB being the limit, i'll have to get one off eBay

- I used the brands I mentioned above, formatted as both FAT and FAT32 respectively

- I tried partitioning only 2GB as a test but that didn't work either

- I have two adapters: one that came with the A1200 I bought which I assume worked and another that is being sold by Vesalia Online:

https://www.vesalia.de/e_amigapcmciacf.htm

I bought the second just in case the first was broken but both give identical results which make me assume both work fine.

The Diskpart and clean steps i've always used before. I think it may really be down to the CF card not being liked by the Amiga. I'll buy a second hand 4GB Sandisk card and try that.
Howdy.

It wont work correctly with anything larger than 4Gb, even if you partition it down to something smaller.

I have Kingston cards, and none of them work with the PCMCIA slot, even a 512Mb one i have. Get a used Sandisk card no bigger than 4Gb
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Old 10 September 2019, 00:53   #7
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Have you checked/inspected and cleaned the PCMCIA slot pins for damage and corrosion?
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Old 10 September 2019, 00:58   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarmon View Post
Have you checked/inspected and cleaned the PCMCIA slot pins for damage and corrosion?
it's a good call, and always worth checking, but it's seeing *some* of them, the NDOS disk type that he can't touch, is actually working, as it's showing the NDOS drive, it's the geometry of the card that stopping it working correctly.
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Old 10 September 2019, 08:34   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarmon View Post
Have you checked/inspected and cleaned the PCMCIA slot pins for damage and corrosion?
I did actually - I was worried one of the pins would be bent but nope, all looks OK. If the 4GB Sandisk doesn't work I'll have to consider corrosion as a reason - perhaps one of the pins doesn't connect well and causes a problem. How I'd remove corrosion on those pins I'm not sure - it's very hard to reach and you have to do one pin at a time.
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Old 10 September 2019, 11:28   #10
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I used this guide to get my CF card working on my Amiga 1200 2B:

https://exthema.io/category/cf/

I note that your original post did not mention about any changes to the startup-sequence with CardPatch and CardReset (before LoadWB):

Code:
C:CardPatch
Run >NIL: C:CardReset TICKS 50
Also, I'm not sure if this really makes a difference, you did not copy CF0.info to SYSEV/DOSDRIVERS
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Old 10 September 2019, 11:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollock View Post
It wont work correctly with anything larger than 4Gb, even if you partition it down to something smaller.
This isn't true. Larger cards work, and you don't need to partition them. In fact, if you have partitioned them with HDToolbox, that's a likely reason why they don't work in the PCMCIA slot.
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Old 10 September 2019, 23:22   #12
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Quote:
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This isn't true. Larger cards work, and you don't need to partition them.
I've a 16gb micro sd that works fine in the pcmcia slot as 1 fat32 partition.
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Old 11 September 2019, 12:13   #13
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Some accelerator cards / RAM expansions map their memory into the PCMCIA area which prevents the PCMCIA slot from working. Remove the accelerator / RAM expansion from the trapdoor slot and try again.
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Old 11 September 2019, 13:35   #14
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How did you get the cfd and fat95 files to the Amiga in the first place? Did you extract the .lha file on the Amiga (physical or WinUAE) or on a PC/MAC OS?

Sometimes you can get corruption if you extract .lha files on a PC/MAC OS.
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Old 11 September 2019, 15:44   #15
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Your OP states you used CFD v1.32, but the latest is CFD v1.33:

http://aminet.net/driver/media/CFD133.lha

Might be worth updating to use the latest version.
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Old 11 September 2019, 20:00   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarmon View Post
Your OP states you used CFD v1.32, but the latest is CFD v1.33:

http://aminet.net/driver/media/CFD133.lha

Might be worth updating to use the latest version.
I tried both. Right now 1.33 is installed. No dice. And I got the top of the Amiga open and just swap the hard drive to WINUAE to move files to it. This is exactly why I need PCMCIA to work - the case doesn't like being opened this often. And I removed the 8MB Fast Ram card in all my tests and it didn't make a difference.
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Old 11 September 2019, 20:02   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarmon View Post
I used this guide to get my CF card working on my Amiga 1200 2B:

https://exthema.io/category/cf/

I note that your original post did not mention about any changes to the startup-sequence with CardPatch and CardReset (before LoadWB):

Code:
C:CardPatch
Run >NIL: C:CardReset TICKS 50
Also, I'm not sure if this really makes a difference, you did not copy CF0.info to SYSEV/DOSDRIVERS
From what I read, this only fixes slow downs and such - it doesn't actually stop things from working, just fixes some inconveniences. I didn't want to screw around too much in case it caused more trouble than need be. Most tutorials mention cardpatch as an optional step because of this which is why I haven't installed it yet. It's on my Amiga, though, but I wanted to rule out any other causes first.

But: no-one seems to touch upon the 3.1.4 part. Does anyone have 3.1.4 running with a PCMCIA adapter?
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Old 11 September 2019, 20:07   #18
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As per other similar thread, what CF PCMCIA adapter do you have. Post some pictures of it.
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Old 11 September 2019, 23:19   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedAvatar View Post
But: no-one seems to touch upon the 3.1.4 part. Does anyone have 3.1.4 running with a PCMCIA adapter?
Yes, it works just as it does under 3.1 for me.
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Old 12 September 2019, 20:02   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarmon View Post
As per other similar thread, what CF PCMCIA adapter do you have. Post some pictures of it.
Here you go:

https://i.imgur.com/h8WE5XA.jpg

Not visible: 32GB Transcend card which I use as hard drive. I suspect the "generic" cards are also Kingston going from the data label at the back.
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