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Old 02 September 2013, 18:15   #1
Akira
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ACA620 locking up when full memory is addressed

I decided to make a thread about it since posting in the mega thread of these accelerators seems a bit fruitless and off-topic.

I am still having problems with the ACA620 accelerator.

WHDLoad basically refuses to work. All games are locking up. Some times at the splash screen, some times in game, in some games just when it says "loading". Everything else SEEMS to run fine and the memory tests do not seem to be failing. It's just WHDLoad which is being a dick.

If I boot into a clean shell, it doesn't seem to lock.
Seems to be related to ACATUNE. If ACATUNE allocates maxram, WHDLoad locks up. Without the 10 meg, it seems to run fine.
Tried erasing just the maprom function and that didn't help.
Also noticed: if I don't run ACATUNE every time, it doesn't show up the 10 megs, is this normal? I don't remember.

I had the machine running a game consistently for many many minutes, no problems. Definitely caused when extra memory added, runs fine with 5MB of RAM, not with 10MB of RAM. Anybody experienced this? I need to sort out this problem rather soon, I gotta know if I have a faulty board or what.

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Old 02 September 2013, 19:18   #2
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Does the machine freeze completely? If not, maybe you can make a WHDLoad CoreDump and send it to Wepl so he can examine it. Since only WHDLoad seems to cause problems I don't think your board is faulty (one never knows though of course).
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Old 02 September 2013, 19:20   #3
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Yes, unfortunately, it freezes completely. I do not think it's WHDLoad's fault, really. I bet that any other software that uses the RAM space above the 5MB will cause problems. Any idea what else I can use to fill up the RAM that much?

Also if this was a WHDLoad problem, I wouldn't be the first one facing it and Wepl would already have been advised, I think!
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Old 02 September 2013, 19:37   #4
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You could try to disable the memory space (I think there are some tools on Aminet for this) and see if this helps. E.g. Just remove the high 5MB and see if that changes anything.

As for not being the first one to encounter a problem with WHDLoad, there are lots of problems that may (or not) occur only with a certain configuration/CPU/machine etc. so it sure is possible that you could be the first one to experience it. Not likely but possible.
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Old 02 September 2013, 19:40   #5
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That is a great suggestion, didn't know you could do that. Thanks. Gonna look for some memory space disabler.
At first sight it seems the later 5MB are borked or being improperly inserted into the memory space by acatune for whatever reason.

Also I was wondering if my Chip RAM expansion could have anything to do with this. It seems to be working fine but it isn't a Jens Schoenefeld device, so maybe there is an incompatibility there?

I forgot to mention other things I have in my machine: a CF-IDE device and a PCMCIA card reader. I unplugged the PCMCIA device just in case to test and same results.
Machine has been recapped less than a year ago so it isn't that.
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Old 03 September 2013, 00:17   #6
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I have tried many WHDLoad games on my A600 with ACA620 without any problems. If your ACA620 is rev. 1. then it can be unstable, so check that it is revision 2. I think you should be able to see this in the pre-boot environment (both mouse buttons).

And you need to run acatune in your startup-sequence as the first thing. The last memory will be lost even in a warm reboot.

I have inserted the following at the top of my startup-sequence:
Code:
failat 200
version >nil: uaehf.device 1
if warn
 acatune -maxmem -maprom devs:kickstarts/kick40063.a600 -vbrmove >nil:
endif
failat 1
The reason for the extra code is to not have it run acatune when I boot the system in WinUAE.

Have you tested all the memory thoroughly? I normally use MBRTest which will turn off the OS and test all memory and not just what can be allocated.

As long as your chip mem expansion is working and can pass a memory test, I don't think that should be the cause of your problems.

Have you cleaned the CPU pins before installing the ACA620 (use IPA)? Oxidated pins could cause some bad connections and make it more susceptible to noise.
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Old 03 September 2013, 00:20   #7
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Oh I forgot to mention: yes, this is a revision 2 board. I bought it off Amigakit few months ago and it has the new model markings and whatnot (also the early startup text concurs) .

ACATUNE is the first thing in my startup sequence already. Currently it looks like:

Code:
acatune -maprom * -maxmem
Why does your command line not add the maxmem command? I can't have all the RAM without it. And what is vbrmove for?

I used MBRTest as suggested by yourself in that other thread when I first bought it. There were no problems really.

CPU pins were cleaned with isopropyl alcohol.
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Old 03 September 2013, 01:18   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Why does your command line not add the maxmem command? I can't have all the RAM without it. And what is vbrmove for?
If you look closer, the maxmem command is the first of the options.
Your command line should work fine, although you're missing >nil: so it won't open a CLI window.

VBRMove moves the vector base to fastmem instead of having it in chipmem (address 0 is default). Theoretically it will show a small speed increase, but it is very small and hardly measurable. If you require 100% compatibility, leave it off. According to http://aminet.net/package/util/boot/vbrmov23 X-Copy will not work under WB2.0 with VBR moved. It seems to run fine on my Amiga though, but your milage may vary.

How long have you had MBRTest running? It should run for at least a couple of hours (set it to pause on errors), preferably longer to be sure. If it doesn't fail this, I suspect it's a software issue. In my experience the standard WHDLoad settings should also work fine, so if you've changed anything there (except for quit key), try to revert to the original .prefs.
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Old 03 September 2013, 01:21   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demolition View Post
If you look closer, the maxmem command is the first of the options.
Damnit I am blind :P
I did add >NIL: to it, sorry I overlooked that too.

I've had MBR running for hours, really, as soon as I got the unit and was suspecting it. But it didn't freeze. I will try again, maybe the thing jus t wasn't properly seated again and needed a re-seating. Not sure.

The only option I changed in WHDLoad is to enable NoAutoVecs on whdload.prefs. I tried reverting that and the Quit key too, and still the same problems.
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Old 03 September 2013, 01:26   #10
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If you're running ClassicWB, try booting into the maxmem sequence by holding down LMB on boot, start AGLaunch and try to run a game from there. Just in case you have something in your SS conflicting.
Else do it manually by disabling SS altogether and running a game from a clean CLI.
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Old 03 September 2013, 02:25   #11
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No, I have my own, vanilla WB setup.
I also have tried booting straight to no startup sequence and booting a game with commandline. Same shit, games lock up when 10MB is present, not when only autoconfig 5MB are present.

What is the actual official bug/support site or mail I should contact regarding this? Because the thread in EAB obviously isn't and at this point I'd like some support from Jens himself.
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Old 03 September 2013, 08:08   #12
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You should create a support ticket on Jens' site then: http://www.jschoenfeld.com/home/indexe.htm

Last edited by TCD; 03 September 2013 at 11:38. Reason: Added an a
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Old 03 September 2013, 08:24   #13
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Akira i have had the exact same issues in the past as you are having, but i managed to get around it for now.

Basically whenever i had the ACA620 and the A604 trapdoor ram together, i would get freezes whenever i try to load a whdload game. And that was after cleaning and reseating both of them dozens of times.

Luckily i still have my original trapdoor card, and if i use the old one with the ACA620 my A600 works perfectly.

This probably doesn't help you any but i thought i would mention it anyway, maybe try your ACA620 without any trapdoor ram and see if it does the same thing.

I have no idea as to why the A604+ACA620 combo isn't stable on my machine, when the old trapdoor ram combo works fine, it's a strange issue!
And unfortunately i can't use my indi ecs without the A604(as far as i know), there both sitting in a drawer unused atm!
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Old 03 September 2013, 11:06   #14
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The problem is that if I take the trapdoor memory out, then the system won't have enough Chip RAM as I need it to. I use it plenty for tracking, so I seriously need the Chip RAM. But that's a great test, I'll try it out Hansel, thanks!

I don't have an A604, my unit is a Baseboard A601 by Expansion Systems (http://www.bigbookofamigahardware.co...t.aspx?id=1002)

Also thanks TCD for the link, I'll open a support ticket right now.
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Old 03 September 2013, 11:35   #15
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JEns answered real fast and this is what he had to say:

"Thank you for your request. This is not a general problem. Please turn to your reseller for further tests and possible warranty return. I'm closing this ticket."

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Old 03 September 2013, 14:58   #16
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Talking to myself after sending the corresponding Amigakit support...
I have been running the MBR test on the machine for a while now, first I did some hours without the extra RAm, no problems. Now it is on the 3rd cycle (50 minutes) on all the RAM and still has shown no errors.

I really don't know what to think. Jens said right away it was a hardware problem. But I don't want to send it to Amigakit and not have it replaced if they do teh same tests I am doing. And I have no idea how to test to see if it is just WHDLoad or what, since I can't dump a core thingy...

Really running out of ideas here, if all fdails, I'll send it to Amigakit after my gig next week and hope for the best.

[edit] Just finished a 3 hour test of the 10MB configuration. No errors on MBRTest. Reseted the Amiga with no startup-sequence to shell, typed acatune -maxmem, ran a whdload game, instant black screen freeze after WHDLoad splash (All Terrain Racing).

Reseted again to no startup-sequence, did NOT run acatune, loaded the same game, runs great.

Last edited by Akira; 03 September 2013 at 16:56.
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Old 03 September 2013, 23:55   #17
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I haven't had a chance to install WHDLoad yet, but I can reproduce your problem with ProTracker (3.15 and 3.61). I have an A600 (recapped), ACA620 and A604. If I don't run ACATune it loads and plays fine, if I run ACATune -maxram it freezes after a minute or two, sometimes faster. I also tried unplugging the A604 but it still freezes with the ACA620 with maxmem, and the A604 works fine if I unplug the ACA620.
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Old 04 September 2013, 00:02   #18
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Hey MagerValp, what revision board do you have? We might be onto something.
Have you tried running MBRTest for some hours like I did?
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Old 04 September 2013, 01:26   #19
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This does not look good from my point of view as I own an ACA620 and an A604N, both brand new and un-tested (too many problems going on here at he moment)

So when I finally decide to try these upgrades, my luck will probably fail.

I like using protracker alot and have whdload ready to go (regged mine years ago but hardly used it so far)

If I can I will try and stop being so bogged down and test stuff.
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Old 04 September 2013, 09:25   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Hey MagerValp, what revision board do you have? We might be onto something.
Have you tried running MBRTest for some hours like I did?
It's a rev 2, and I haven't tried MBRTest.
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