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Old 26 September 2008, 02:43   #1
NovaCoder
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Installing SFS on a CF for running OS 3.9

After mucking about a bit on my own last night and stuffing it up, I've just found this really handy guide by the kind Mr Gorilla - > http://wiki.abime.net/amiga:killergo...winuae_realhdd

Does anyone have any other advice/comments?

And what do these settings acutally do?

Mask = 0x7ffffffe (There are 6 f’s)
MaxTransfer = 0x1fe00
Blocksize = 512

I've noticed that OS 3.9 defaults my block size to 1024, what's the diff (I assume it's performance/vs memory usage)?

I think these settings are critical to ensure CF compatibility.

Thanx

Last edited by NovaCoder; 26 September 2008 at 03:23.
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Old 26 September 2008, 07:49   #2
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In a blind fit of RTFM, I've answered most of my own questions which I'll post here for other users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mask
The Mask field can be used to tell a filesystem that the device which comes with your (harddisk) controller cannot directly access its data in all regions of memory available on your system.

When a device has been properly written it should be able to cope with data located anywhere in memory. For those devices the Mask should be set to 0x7FFFFFFF. Only badly written or very old devices need a different Mask -- in other words, the Mask value is a compatibility kludge to fix broken devices.

For example, some devices can't access data starting at an uneven address in memory. Some even can only access data when it starts at an address which can be divided by four. In the first case you would set the Mask field to end in 'FFFE', and in the second case to 'FFFC'. If your controller can handle addresses without alignment restrictions then you can set it to 'FFFF' (which is of course the preferred value).

There are also devices which can only access memory in the 24-bit memory area (everything below the 16 MB boundary). Usually these are Zorro-II controllers which cannot directly access memory located on, for example, an accelerator card. For these devices you should the mask to 0x00FFFFFF, indicating that the device can only access data in the 24-bit address space.

Devices which can access data located anywhere in memory (a SCSI controller which is embedded on an accelerator card, or a Zorro-III IDE or SCSI controller) should have a mask of 0x7FFFFFFF.

Remember, the Mask value needs to be set for each partition. Just changing one Mask value will only affect a single partition, not the entire drive. Also don't forget that each harddisk controller can have different Mask settings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTransfer
The MaxTransfer field can be used to tell a filesystem that the device which comes with your (harddisk) controller can't handle more than a specific amount of data in a single access. This problem usually occurs with IDE drives, which usually have a limit of 64 or 128 kB which can be transfered at once. You can set the MaxTransfer field in HDToolBox or in your mountlist.

When a device has been properly written it should be able to cope with any amount of data being transfered. These devices can have a MaxTransfer value of 0x7FFFFFFF. Only badly written or very old devices need to set a smaller value in MaxTransfer -- in other words, the MaxTransfer value is a compatibility kludge to fix broken devices.

In any case, if you have a SCSI drive, then a MaxTransfer value of 0x7FFFFFFF should be just fine. For IDE drives, you probably need to set it to 0x1FFFE or to 0xFFFE. Those values represent 128 kB minus 2 bytes and 64 kB minus 2 bytes respectively.

An incorrect MaxTransfer value can usually be detected by copying a few large files (more than 200 kB) to such a partition. If the large files are damaged while smaller files are undamaged then this is usually an indication that the MaxTransfer value is too large.

Remember, the MaxTransfer value needs to be set for each partition. Just changing one MaxTransfer value will only affect a single partition, not the entire drive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlockSize
Performance with large files, for example 5 MB or more, isn't very good when you use the default blocksize of 512 bytes with FFS. Larger blocksizes can fix this problem but introduce other problems.
This is also handy -> Drives larger than 4GB

All info gleaned from -> SFS
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Old 26 September 2008, 11:49   #3
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Originally posted by BlockSize? User not in eab member list

Anyway, so
1. Get SCSI controller+Acard SCSI-IDE adapter+IDE to CF adapter+CF card for performance and less problems
2. Partition to 4GB partitions, Format quick to SFS, get the SCSI driver for your controller, and go

Mask = 0x7fffffff
MaxTransfer = 0x7fffffff
Blocksize = 512

...and experiment around a bit with huge blocksizes and test them with large file copys and file compares to max it out, then reformat and install everything

BTW, *is* CF faster than SD nowadays? I've heard two sides of the story, had something to do with writes. Can someone give a guided tour among <anything that is not a harddisk that connects to something than can be plugged into an Amiga SCSI controller via adapter> ? :P
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Old 26 September 2008, 16:32   #4
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Damn, so close but no cigar

Followed Gorilla's guide and got right to the last step which is to (quick) format the new partitions. This is where I've got a problem. I'm using the latest version of SFS 1.279 and there doesn't seems to be a matching version of all the tools? I tried V1.277 of sfsformat but that craps out on me with a guru.

I'll ask the author...watch this space
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Old 26 September 2008, 19:09   #5
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Damn, another Software Failure. Those darn amateur coders who can't code for our OS. (c) CBM, lol :P

Still, nice thread this. Please report your finds NovaCoder

May I request a sticky "brag thread" about what speeds different users' CF/SD cards are, where people with insight into the jungle that is memory cards can share their machetic knowledge? I will start one and see if it takes off...
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Old 26 September 2008, 19:21   #6
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Regular format should do exact same thing, send "format partition" packet to filesystem (remember to use quick option)
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Old 01 October 2008, 04:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Wilen View Post
Regular format should do exact same thing, send "format partition" packet to filesystem (remember to use quick option)
As far as I know you have to use the SFS formatter to format SFS partions.
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Old 01 October 2008, 04:20   #8
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Ok, I finally got this working last night.


It appears V1.277 is the latest release of the complete toolset and that V1.279 is just a minor update of the driver (i.e. you can use the 1.277 toolset with the 1.279 driver[fileystem]).

I had to do a full (slow) format of my CF to FAT32 using WinXP as it was not playing ball before I could install SFS correctly (which might be down to a pervious stuff-up on my part?).

The only thing that I did different from the guide was to use OS3.9’s HDToolBox (the theory being that it’s more compatible with a 4GB CF) and also to delete the existing filesystem (fastfilesystem) from the boot sector of my CF. I’ve now got a 4GB CF (Sandisk Ultra 2) with 4 SFS partions (the 1st SFS partion is bootable) and a happy OS3.9 install

As mentioned in the guide, when loading the SFS filesystem you must type in the following DosType: 0×53465300

I wonder how I'd get on with an 8GB CF?
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Old 01 October 2008, 08:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaCoder View Post
As far as I know you have to use the SFS formatter to format SFS partions.
I have always used regular WB format. (never managed to get sfsformat to work..)
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Old 06 October 2008, 15:27   #10
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ok stupid question what benefits do u get by switching from FFS to SFS,
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Old 06 October 2008, 16:30   #11
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what i got from the description, its faster, its safer (wont get corrupted, if the machine resets, while editing files). have a look at SFS_OLD.guide in the sfs archive ( http://aminet.net/disk/misc/SFS.lha ) and there is an update:
http://strohmayer.org/
http://strohmayer.org/sfs/files/SFS_1.279_68k.lha
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Old 06 October 2008, 16:32   #12
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- It's faster.
- Support for much larger partition sizes.
- No validation problems if power cut during a write to disk.

I use SFS on my 8GB CF card and it works flawlessly.
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Old 06 October 2008, 21:40   #13
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Steven, how about writing a guide for the benefit of Mr. Whatisit? (c) Beatles... I mean for us Amiga fans?
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Old 07 October 2008, 06:39   #14
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It was the only way I could format a 7+ GB partition without running into error after error.
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Old 07 October 2008, 19:46   #15
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trying to use a HDF under winuae with SFS formatted, but it doesnt see the drive when i load my FFS HDF file, so i can format it.
i run winuae, i select create to create a new hard drive and its got SFS there, so i put a tick in the box, then i select my normal FFS drive to load so i can format it but when its loaded nothing in the box, and yes i did add it to the add hard image i would have thought it would have come up with HD2:???? or HD3:???? or something.
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Old 17 October 2008, 02:15   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy2004 View Post
trying to use a HDF under winuae with SFS formatted, but it doesnt see the drive when i load my FFS HDF file, so i can format it.
i run winuae, i select create to create a new hard drive and its got SFS there, so i put a tick in the box, then i select my normal FFS drive to load so i can format it but when its loaded nothing in the box, and yes i did add it to the add hard image i would have thought it would have come up with HD2:???? or HD3:???? or something.
Did you follow the Gofilla guide?
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Old 18 October 2008, 19:30   #17
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Even with SFS the first partition should still be kept under 4gb shouldn't it?
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Old 18 October 2008, 21:30   #18
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I am pretty sure that partitions can go over 4Gbyte with SFS. But I too have heard about leaving the boot partition under 2Gig cannot remember why?

You might have problems with HDToolbox?
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Old 18 October 2008, 21:37   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
I am pretty sure that partitions can go over 4Gbyte with SFS. But I too have heard about leaving the boot partition under 2Gig cannot remember why?

You might have problems with HDToolbox?
Exactly what I thought.
You have to use it to set the HD up before you can use SFS so I assumed the boot partition should remain under 4gb.
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Old 18 October 2008, 21:48   #20
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How many times does it need to be explained?

Partition must be <4G AND must be completely under 4G of drive (=start of drive, must not cross 4G "boundary" or be over 4G "boundary") if:

- filesystem does not have 64-bit support (SFS does)
- device driver does not have 64-bit support (built-in IDE driver DOES NOT have 64-bit support without patches)

= boot partition generally MUST be <4G and must not cross 4G border.
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