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Old 16 September 2012, 16:55   #1
Bishmanrock
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Couple of daft questions about upgrading

Now then. I'm looking for some advice from a few people who have built their Amiga's up and what sort of direction I should go with mine.

A little history: My childhood consisted of an Amiga 1200, no harddrive, just pure gaming, so pretty much no experience with Workbench. As such, my sole focus is using it for games with minimal fuss as possible (although I'm technical minded, so I'm more than happy to fiddle around with things to get it to that state).

Fast forward: about a year ago I set it up with an internal 4gb CF harddrive with Workbench, and a 4gb CF in the PCMCIA slot to load games via WHDload. I like it, it works, although I miss the vintage feel of loading disks (of which I still have boxes laying around).

The whole thing ground to a halt though when trying to load Shadow of the Beast one day though, so I bought a Blizzard 1220 card and haven't had a single issue since.

So, as someone who has had a fleeting glimpse of Workbench following a guide online, but doesn't really understand the full potential, I'm trying to figure out a couple of things. So pre-warning: a couple of daft questions may follow.

1. Regarding my current set up. If I formatted the CF card into just a blank partition, would games recognise this blank harddrive as a store they could save to or not?

2. Off the back of that question, just how many Amiga games actually support harddrive saving? I seem to remember an awful lot asking for save disks to be inserted as a kid. Would this be a potential issue in the future if I made it just a pure gaming set up?

So the above two questions assume I'm going to ditch WHDLoad and go the physical media route, something I'm undecided on right now. Assuming I stick with WHDLoad:

3. Did I set something up wrong the first time? Every time I boot my Amiga up, I need to select "Show all icons" and then "Sort" because all the icons are everywhere. Should I need to do this every time? (This applies for both files on the "harddrive" CF and the external one.) It's a right pain!

4. Very noob question, but my floppy drive has conked out so I have no way of checking. To play games from disk, when you insert it does an icon just appear on the workbench desktop or something? I seem to remember trying before and got nothing, but my drive might've been failing back then so I'm not too sure.

I'm sure there's more questions, but it appears I've already written a wall of text so I'll leave it here now. Basically, I'm trying to decide wether I should stick with how I used my Amiga as a kid, or embrace WHDLoad. I'd appreciate any feedback from people who use theirs purely as gaming rigs. I'm leaning towards WHDLoad, it's just the having to prat about with Workbench and rearrange windows that gets on my wick.

Was also considering getting the tower case from Amikit, mostly because I'm limited for deskspace as it stands, and because it'll give me something to do!

Sorry for the hoard of questions, I'll stop now! Thanks in advance
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Old 16 September 2012, 17:55   #2
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A harddrive or CF card should at least have two partitions. One (usually the first one) for the operating system (boot partition) and a second for (in your case) games.

If a game is installed to harddrive it usually saves its data to it. I never needed a floppy for that.

The position for icons on workbench are saved to itself. I.e. gameX has an icon file "gameX.info". The icon will hold the position information. If there is no icon, nothing is saved.

In the workbench menu there is a point what saves current positions. Don`t know how it is named.

Floppy games what are in DOS format usually have an icon and it will be shown if insert. Other formats will just show a NoDOS disk icon and can`t start from workbench. To start this NoDOS games you have to instert the floppy and re/-start the Amiga.
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Old 16 September 2012, 18:05   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daxb View Post
In the workbench menu there is a point what saves current positions. Don`t know how it is named.
Ahh right, this makes sense. I'll go boot her up and see what I can find, cheers!
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Old 16 September 2012, 18:08   #4
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Originally Posted by daxb View Post
A harddrive or CF card should at least have two partitions. One (usually the first one) for the operating system (boot partition) and a second for (in your case) games.

If a game is installed to harddrive it usually saves its data to it. I never needed a floppy for that.

The position for icons on workbench are saved to itself. I.e. gameX has an icon file "gameX.info". The icon will hold the position information. If there is no icon, nothing is saved.

In the workbench menu there is a point what saves current positions. Don`t know how it is named.

Floppy games what are in DOS format usually have an icon and it will be shown if insert. Other formats will just show a NoDOS disk icon and can`t start from workbench. To start this NoDOS games you have to instert the floppy and re/-start the Amiga.
Snapshot.
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Old 16 September 2012, 18:17   #5
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Yup, Snapshot does it perfect. I'm a bit of a neat freak and like to have everything sorted perfectly, so that does me grand thanks!

EDIT: Is there any particular benefit to having two partitions?

Last edited by Bishmanrock; 16 September 2012 at 19:00.
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Old 17 September 2012, 07:06   #6
NovaCoder
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Pure gaming setup == WHDLOAD



Steps to gaming on a 1200

1) Install ClassicWB
2) Register WHDLOAD
3) Install tons of pre-built WHDLOAD packs
4) Play tons of games
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Old 17 September 2012, 07:16   #7
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Having two partitions is just good practise in general; you have a small (a couple dozen megs is more than enough for 3.1 at least) boot partition that holds Workbench and maybe some core utilities, but not much else, and then you have a separate work partition for applications and games (a third one for data is also common).

This lessens the likelyhood of a game or other software somehow corrupting the drive and preventing you from booting the system. Of course, it's in no way necessary and you can have everything on the same partition if you like.
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Old 17 September 2012, 17:36   #8
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Having two partitions is just good practice in general
Aye, well I have my PC set up with two partitions, but I just wondered if I wasn't going to bother with any additional applications if there was any justification. In terms of corruption, I'll probably make an image of the card when it's all set up so I don't have to go through the chew again so I have piece of mind on that at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaCoder View Post
Pure gaming setup == WHDLOAD
Yup, seems to be the most practical. I bought a license yesterday and got an email with the key today, swish! Decided to wipe my CF and start over, mostly there, got Workbench and everything on, just trying to remember how to get WHDLoad working. I did it once before so no doubt there's a guide flying about on Google, think it's something to do with the installer application not being on properly. I'll figure it out.

Okay one more for now:

5. Anyone have any experience with this: http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/...oducts_id=1085? I saw a few people were still getting flickering when using the DVI-I output. As there's no reviews for the product I just wanted to see what the general consensus was. Also kinda interested into just how crowded a A1200 case will get with that inside too?

I have more questions about towers, but I don't want to get too ahead of myself so I'll leave it here for now.
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Old 18 September 2012, 08:12   #9
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Originally Posted by Bishmanrock View Post
5. Anyone have any experience with this: http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/...oducts_id=1085? I saw a few people were still getting flickering when using the DVI-I output. As there's no reviews for the product I just wanted to see what the general consensus was. Also kinda interested into just how crowded a A1200 case will get with that inside too?
The Indivision AGA Mr2 is a great bit of hardware, the problem is the software is not quite there yet. When the software to configure it is eventually released it will be a must have. If you've got the money then buy one now before they are all gone!

Mine is running well even without the software update -> [ Show youtube player ]

Some users have got flicker and other issues, it depends on your monitor I guess.

They fit quite nicely in the case with Kipper's HDMI output (after you remove your RF) but you will not be able to mount a 2.5" HD using the standard cradle.

Also make sure you check out Classic Workbench which has WDLOAD etc all setup for you.
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Old 18 September 2012, 09:47   #10
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when you are in workbench and you insert a disk dose an icon appear , I guessing not

so

dose your floppy drive click ??
are the disk senseing buttons stuck ??
dose floppy light come on ??
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Old 18 September 2012, 17:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaCoder View Post
Also make sure you check out Classic Workbench which has WDLOAD etc all setup for you.
That looks beautiful and exactly what I need, thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfrog View Post
dose your floppy drive click ??
are the disk senseing buttons stuck ??
dose floppy light come on ??
I think one of the connectors had come loose internally, I pulled it open last night and noticed that it wasn't quite slid into place, must've nudged it when I was reseating the keyboard. Once I've got Workbench on again I'll give it another go and see what I can get out of it, although I do remember getting some clicking from certain disks even a few years ago.
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Old 20 September 2012, 17:03   #12
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Most games do not let you save to HDD.
WHDLoad solves this for you though, letting you save to HDD while the game still thinks it saves to floppy.
But be aware that you need to exit WHDLoad for the saves to be written. If you save and then reboot the save is lost..

Last edited by fgh; 20 September 2012 at 17:16.
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Old 21 September 2012, 01:07   #13
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But be aware that you need to exit WHDLoad for the saves to be written. If you save and then reboot the save is lost..
Already learnt that the hard way a few days back with Cannon Fodder. Ah well, that'll teach me.

I wiped my CF to put Classic Workbench on, and I can add it as a hard drive in WinUAE, but when I boot I can't seem to see it anymore. If I boot with a Workbench disk in to try and format it, it doesn't see anything there when I use HDtoolbox. The icon already has uaehf.device entered - actually, all the settings are the same as when I was fiddling with Workbench a few days ago which is why I can't figure it out.

It's proper doing my head in, was working a few days ago but now it's just vanished. Anyone have any ideas how I can get it back? I've been using EaseUS to unformat the card, or create a blank partition, I know this has worked previously but I'm just getting nothing now. Even more infuriating is that I actually started installing Classic Workbench a few days ago but decided to come back to it when I had more time, wish I'd just sat it out back then!
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Old 21 September 2012, 09:54   #14
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Try configuring WinUAE again from scratch (from a QuickStart), and add the card again?
Was the card cleaned after you starting installing ClassicWB?
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Old 21 September 2012, 12:27   #15
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But be aware that you need to exit WHDLoad for the saves to be written. If you save and then reboot the save is lost..
If you change WHDLoad.prefs (NoWriteCache) then write access to HD will take place immediately but you might dislike that.
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Old 21 September 2012, 13:57   #16
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Try configuring WinUAE again from scratch (from a QuickStart), and add the card again?
Some progress! The CF is now recognised in WINUAE, although when I boot it with a Workbench disk in the old partition shows up with :NDOS on the end, but is inacessible.

If I go into HDToolbox now, when I go into Change Drive Type I get two (KINGSTON and UAE-IDE), whichever one I go on if I do Read Configuration and then try to save it just gives me a "Volume Install3.1 is full", I'm not quite sure why it's referencing that.

I think my own inexperience probably lead me to this point, I probably broke it without realising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daxb View Post
If you change WHDLoad.prefs (NoWriteCache) then write access to HD will take place immediately but you might dislike that.
Didn't know about this, thanks for mentioning it, I can't imagine why I'd dislike it though.
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Old 21 September 2012, 16:02   #17
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As far as I understand you have no data on the card that you need to keep.
If the partition shows up in workbench, and you don't have any data on it, just go ahead and quick format it and that should be it, as long as it is partitioned the way you want it.
(Using separate partitions for system and data makes a lot of sense though.)

The KINGSTON and UAE-IDE entries you see are not devices found by hdtoolbox, they are drive definititions stored on your boot volume (install3.1 floppy).
Delete them, or something else on the floppy, read config again, and there should be enough space to store the new drive definitions.

Nice to know for later: If you are sure to select the correct definitions file, you can just select it instead of reading it again from the card, but I wouldn't do that in this case..

Edit:
Daxb: Thanks, didn't know that either. Good stuff!

Last edited by fgh; 21 September 2012 at 16:08.
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Old 21 September 2012, 17:17   #18
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That seems to have worked, I deleted the old entries and set up the new partitions, it's formatting away now so I'll see how it goes, thanks!
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