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Old 07 June 2004, 15:57   #1
D-Dan
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Thumbs up Preparing an Amiga HD without an Amiga

Hi there,

I was asked this morning if there was anyway to prep a new HD on an emulated Amiga, and as far as I knew, there wasn't, but being the curious soul that I am, I decided to play - and guess what, it can be done, so I thought I'd post details here for anyone that wanted to do it themselves.

Firstly, you'll need a couple of things:-

A PC running Windows 2K/XP with WinUAE installed (Other versions of windows can't use native Amiga HDs with winUAE).
The AROS CD
A bootable AmigaOS hardfile/PCDirectory, with a working HDToolBox on it
A full HD that you can trash the data on.

Once you're sure you meet the requirements, follow these steps, and you'll have a native AmigaHD, fully prepped without a real Amiga:-

i) Make sure that there is nothing on the drive that you want.
ii) Fire up AROS (from the CD will do) and launch the AROS HDToolBox
iii) Find the drive that you want to install as an Amiga drive and install it with an RDB (Check out the "Change type" option to do this)
iv) Once done, create a partition on the drive (A single partition for the whole drive will do for the moment - you will re-partition later)
v) Save the changes, quit HDToolBox and take out the AROS CD, then reboot.

Part one done

vi) Load up WinUAE, ensuring that you use a config that will open the GUI and not boot straight in to AmigaOS
vii) In the Harddrives tab, click "Add harddrive" - your newly partially prepped HD should be available. You will still need a bootable config as the first entry (PC Directory or hardfile - it doesn't matter)
viii) Once the system is booted, open a shell and launch HDToolBox with the DEVICE=uaehf.device parameter
ix) HDToolBox should now have the new drive available. Re-install the drive in HDToolBox (as if it were an unprepped drive on a real Amiga) and then go on to partition it as normal. At this point, you can use any Filesystem you want (FFS, SFS, PFS etc.)
x) Once the drive is setup as you want, save the changes, quit HDToolBox and reboot the Amiga (not the PC)
xi) After the reboot, the unformatted partitions should be available to format, copy your system to etc.
xii) Finally, after installing your software to the "Real" harddrive, open the WinUAE GUI (F12) and remove any PCDirectory/Hardfile entries that you no longer need, save the config, and then try booting it. Everything should be just the way you want it

I've tested on my own system, and it works like a charm. However, you should only do this if you are giving the entire HD over to AmigaOS (and don't do it on your Windows drive - else you'll lose Windows after the first part).
If anyone does try it, and is able to then test the disk in a real amiga, let me know how it works. AFAICT it should work without problem.

Steve
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Old 07 June 2004, 16:00   #2
Peanutuk
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What is AROS?
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Old 07 June 2004, 16:21   #3
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www.aros.org

This is a great idea if you don't have any real workbench disks. You can install everything from the pc right?
 
Old 07 June 2004, 16:38   #4
D-Dan
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This is a great idea if you don't have any real workbench disks. You can install everything from the pc right?
Pretty much, provided you already have it on the PC somewhere (Or the AOS3.9 CD).

If it's not the CD, you'll need to prepare a Win dir as a hard disk temporarilly, then once the real HD is prepared, you can simply copy the stuff across.
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Old 15 July 2004, 15:23   #5
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Okay, I'm just beginning to get a real Amiga setup going again and I have a few questions.

Am I right in thinking I could prepare my hard drive using a hardfile in WinUAE, then prep the real HD with the AROS CD and copy the files over from the hardfile to the real hard drive. In theory, would the hard drive then boot or am I just wasting my time with the hardfile?

In this thread D-Dan mentions that I could install SFS to the boot drive without needing an initial FFS partition. Does this mean I could have one continuous 30Gb drive under WB3.0 and if so, how in the world would I go about setting this up?
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Old 15 July 2004, 20:22   #6
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WinUAE can be forced to install all drives even if they don't have an RDB.. Then you don't need to mess with AROS.

You just need to be careful that you don't overwrite the disk where you're running Windows from.
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Old 15 July 2004, 20:49   #7
thomas
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Quote:
Does this mean I could have one continuous 30Gb drive under WB3.0
You can, if your controller supports either TD64 or NSD commands (e.g. Elbox FastATA or Blizzard SCSI controllers).

With the internal IDE bus and SFS version 1.84 or earlier you can have an 8GB partition in the beginning of the drive and nothing more.

In order to use the entire disk, you need a special IDE driver. This has already been discussed here: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=12588
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Old 16 July 2004, 02:05   #8
D-Dan
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WinUAE can be forced to install all drives even if they don't have an RDB.. Then you don't need to mess with AROS.

You just need to be careful that you don't overwrite the disk where you're running Windows from.
and it can be done if you start WinUAE.exe with the -disableharddrivesafetycheck command line option to show the hdd anyway.

But as Jope says - be very careful you don't touch your Windows drive - ALL drives will be available to HDToolBox to prep/trash for you.
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Old 20 July 2004, 16:16   #9
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I have partitioned the drive with AROS but some perculiar things are happening inside WinUAE.

I cannot see the drive with HDToolbox (but I can see and partition it with HDInstTools from Aminet). I started HDToolbox from shell with device=uaehf.device with no luck but changing the tooltype SCSI_DEVICE_NAME=scsi.device to uaehf.device recognises an unknown device. Changing the heads and cylinders to what I think it should be results in the drive having a negative size however everything is recognised in HDInstTools as a 28,900 Mb.

If I partition the drive with HDInstTools only the last partition on the drive ever shows up as a NDOS device on the workbench. What am I doing wrong? I have IDEFix installed if this makes a difference but to be honest I'm finding it all quite confusing having been away from serious Amiga use for a little while.

Edit: They've just appeared so I might be able to get it working, I'll explain when I know what's going on.

Last edited by darkwave; 20 July 2004 at 16:25.
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Old 20 July 2004, 16:50   #10
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I've just installed a drive under winuae and all I used was an adf image of wb disk and that's it.

Mine also came up as a negative size but I just let the settings stay, it works perfectly fine here!

It was just a matter of booting from the floppy, opening hdtoolbox (with uaehf.device as the tooltype)

I did have to make sure that I'd got rid of any other drives that I'd mounted (I had 2 other virtual hdds from windows dirs) and it recognised it fine. I then added sfs and formatted them with no probs.
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Old 21 July 2004, 18:42   #11
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Darkwave,
- just use one tool to do everything, don't mix hdtoolbox and hdinsttools.
- hdtoolbox devicename.device - you don't need to specify device= if you start it from the command line
- device names are case sensitive!
- sysinfo is a good tool for displaying all devices that are in memory
- since you have hdinsttools, use that. hdtoolbox before 3.9 is not good with big drives
- some versions of hdtoolbox also have an "overlapping partitions problem" which will lead to data loss if you don't catch it when you partition the drive.
- the drive was most likely "unknown" because you hadn't detected it yet in hdtb and no rdb was installed?
- _always_ quick format hard drives on an Amiga.

That's about all I can think of.. You seem to have the disk ready now, so I'm a bit late.. Hope some future soul can use these guidelines.
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Old 20 June 2007, 23:59   #12
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Originally Posted by D-Dan
and it can be done if you start WinUAE.exe with the -disableharddrivesafetycheck command line option to show the hdd anyway.

But as Jope says - be very careful you don't touch your Windows drive - ALL drives will be available to HDToolBox to prep/trash for you.
Has this option been removed from the latest version? I've got Winuae installed on my XP based desktop, Winuae v1.2 and it accepts the command line switch, but on the Winuae v1.4.2a version on my Vista laptop, if I use the switch it comes up with the message that it can't find any emtpy or RDB drives. Is that a WinUAE or Vista thing?

Annoyingly, my laptop can read CF cards, but the desktop can't

Ah, just looked at the top of this post, it mentions that WinUAE can only do Amiga disks on XP or 2000, would that be the problem? If so, it's time to either (a) get hold of a CF reader for the desktop or (b) bung Virtual PC on the laptop and dig out the old Win2K disks!

Last edited by jozza; 21 June 2007 at 00:05.
 
Old 21 June 2007, 07:40   #13
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but on the Winuae v1.4.2a version on my Vista laptop, if I use the switch it comes up with the message that it can't find any emtpy or RDB drives.
WinUAE needs full administrator rights for direct access to hard drives.
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Old 21 June 2007, 08:00   #14
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= right click on winuae icon and select "run as administator" (Vista has two "levels" of administrator-privileges)
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Old 21 June 2007, 23:19   #15
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Thanks thomas and Toni - I finally got it going late last night (early this morning) by loading up WinUAE on my old laptop with the CF card in a card reader and it worked a treat . I'll remember to fire up WinUAE as Admin in Vista in future though, a lot easier, thanks again.
 
Old 11 December 2008, 09:42   #16
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flee... newbie trying to get things working..

Hi Guys, I am extremely new to the Amiga scene. Never touched one in my life but just got my hands on an Amiga 1200 and want to get it going and with some games on it. Unfortunately it came with no disks and I assume the HD inside it has been erased or something. I am wanting to prepare a HD in XP/WinUAE that I can put directly into the Amiga. There seems to be a lot of talk here and a lot I don't understand and also many methods described here. I guess I am looking for the easiest way to get it done. I currently have WinUAE with workbench 3.0 etc. I have a 30 gig 2.5 inch usb drive that i plan to drop into the amiga. I am not fussed if I can't use all 30 gigs though it would be nice of course . I might even move to a 8 gig CF card possibly. I connected the USB drive and booted winuae with the disable safety thingy for hard drive, then added the usb HD, clicked read/write and left controller as UAE (is that what it should be?) set the floppies to load as wb 3.0 and the install 3.0 booted into amiga os.. in amiga gui, went into install->hdtools->hdtoolbox , no drive was found.... I appreciate many of you are experts and probably get sick of asking newbie questions but we all have to start somewhere . If someone has some time to help me get it going it would be much appreciated. I basically just want to load up the real amiga with games and plug it into the TV. I used to own an Atari ST many many years ago and was going to pick up one of them but after retro sites finally realised the amiga might have had the edge hehe. cheers
 
Old 11 December 2008, 10:24   #17
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Quote:
and left controller as UAE
Quote:
went into install->hdtools->hdtoolbox , no drive was found....
There are two methods to get this working:

1. if you want to leave UAE as controller (which is easier but less compatible to the real machine), you have to select HDToolBox' icon and choose Icon -> Information from the menu. Go to the tooltypes and find the one which reads scsi_device_name=scsi.device. Change it to tead scsi_device_name=uaehf.device. If the entry is surrounded by brackets, remove them. Save the changes and run HDToolbox again, it should now find your HDD.

2. change the controller type to IDE0. Then go to the ROMs tab and check from which kind of Amiga the ROM file is. If it is from an A1200, go to the chipset tab and change the chipset from generic to A1200. The same goes for an A4000. If it's from an A500/600/2000, set chipset to A600. All other models don't have an IDE bus and this method doesn't work.

In both cases make sure to create partitions only in the first 4GB of the drive.

Be prepared that HDToolbox can only display numbers which are less than 4GB. So if you create for example a 15GB partition, it will show it as 1GB. Make sure that the sizes of your partitions are really correct, don't believe what HDToolbox shows you.

I repeat, just to make it clear: all partitions you create must fit into the first 4GB of the drive. Making multiple 4GB partitions does not work. Using the area outside the first 4GB of the drive is for experts only and you should try this when you are a little more experienced with AmigaOS.
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Old 12 December 2008, 04:02   #18
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Thomas:

Thanks very much for your help. When I thought about it logically I realised I was never going to need more than 4 gigs anyway. I would struggle to fill 4 gigs with games. After being on the PC for so long you tend to forget that games were usually on one 3.5 inch floppy .

I have therefore bought a 4 gig CF card and an CF->IDE adaptor and will go that route.
Luckily the card I bought happened to be on the list of working cards, I didn't think to check that until after I had bought it .
 
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