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Old 29 December 2012, 14:30   #1
foob
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Would anyone be able to help with identifying problems with a new A600?

First of all, hi. long time lurker only just managed to buy my first amiga and thus finally created an account.

I have just receivedmy very first Amiga (A600 w/ kickstart 37.299). I have never had an amiga (even as a kid) and always longed for one so this christmas was kind to me, and i was lucky enough to have one purchased for me from Amazon. However, when trying to use it, a few things seem to be a little out of sorts. Although, because i'm fresh to this scene, im not sure what is out of place and what isnt. I was hoping a few of you could look at my list of little problems and tell me if theres anything i should be concerned about or can fix myself easily. I have done a bit of research on my own but again, im still not sure about stuff.


First of all, the amiga that was purchased came from Amazon, second hand used (obviously). it appears physically in good condition with slight yellowing to keys as would be expected and was included with a few original disks (games etc), but did NOT come with Workbench. Now, 90% of the disks that came with the Amiga do not work with roughly the same error (Disk Block Read Error sector <xxx>), and one or two of the disks ive purchased on ebay too. However, one or two DO work perfectly fine, including the EasyADF software i purchased from amigakit which appears to be a brand new floppy (with a CF reader). What is very frustrating about this is i bought a set of matching workbench disks from ebay (2.05) and these do not work either (which according to the auction text were good condition and tested working, although pinch of salt because "ebay"), and i need these disks to be able to create other disks using EasyADF and a few sealed blanks i bought on ebay too. Given the ratio of disks that do not work, i am unsure whether or not i have a faulty floppy drive or im just simply intensely unlucky with my disks.

Secondly, i'm concerned that this Kickstart ROM will not allow EasyADF to work even if i did have working workbench disks. From what ive read, the 37.299 ROM "does not include a PCMCIA driver" which to me does not make any sense, as why have the slot on there if it wont work? The description on the site where i purchased EasyADF only mentioned that it was compatible with an A600 and didnt mention anything about various kickstart requirements, and amigakit is usually very good with that kind of stuff given the products it sells). Am i going to have to upgrade my Kickstart ROM before even attempting to write .adf's to floppy?

Thirdly, assuming i do have to upgrade the kickstart ROM, is there any guides out there on how to do this? ive had a good look around google and youtube and suprisingly i can't seem to find anything on it at all. I'm competent with PCs and from what ive seen of the inside of the amiga it appears i can just lift the chip out with a screwdriver and pop in the replacement but i would very much like to have a guide or just a few do's and don'ts handy before i start pulling stuff to pieces that i've never had any prior experience with.

Sorry for the wall of text, cheers.
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Old 29 December 2012, 14:53   #2
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Your disk problem could be anything from actually bad disks (they are bit rotting a lot nowadays) to a bad disk drive. If some disks are read OK I would lean towards thinking all the disks that fail are actually faulty. This is perfectly "normal", 3.5" double sided disks seem to be on the peak of bit rotting.

The only way to know if the disks are actually fine is trying them on the Amiga of someone who knows 100% their disk drive is 100% working. Also try to clean your disk drive with a disk drive cleaning kit, and if a disk makes a "whistling" sound, throw it away.

I can't comment on the PCMCIA issue, I am not totally sure about it, but to upgrade thr ROM you have to change the kickstart ROM chip inside the Amiga. it's a very easy operation, really. as you are competent and already figured out how to do it yourself, just take the usual care when dealing with electronic components (like grounding yourself as to not kill the chip with static).
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Old 29 December 2012, 14:58   #3
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Hi foob,

Welcome to the world of Amiga.

Use the search function on this forum and I'm sure you will find the answers you need.

AFAIK the 37.299 kickstart only has problems with Harddrives and not the PCMCIA.

It does sound to me that the floppy drive is faulty.

The only problems you might have using EasyADF is, the amount of memory you have and the lack of a Harddrive to load/store the floppy image(s) to/from.

If it was my A600, I would.......

Upgrade the kickstart to 3.1.

Upgrade the memory from 1mb to 2mb.

Add a Harddrive.

Arnie.
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Old 29 December 2012, 15:38   #4
foob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Also try to clean your disk drive with a disk drive cleaning kit, and if a disk makes a "whistling" sound, throw it away.
30 seconds after i posted i saw one of these on amigakit and ordered one anyway, its on its way.


As far as the memory and using EasyADF... i assume you mean RAM? what kind of problem would this actually present if i kept it at 1MB? I'm actually trying to avoid installing a hard drive and using WHDLoad for things because i actually enjoy and prefer having to load from floppy. As long as i can write an .adf to floppy (And it works) then i will be 100% happy with my A600.
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Old 29 December 2012, 15:44   #5
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People got to stop blaming disk drives first thing when disks don't work because it only makes people waste time, effort and money in fixing/acquiring disk drives.

Diskettes are bit rotting like crazy. I don't have a single disk that works. I have 4 disk drives to test them with, all working, and they don't work in any of them. Every time I get disks with a computer or else, they don't work.

SPS people said it in their site:
Quote:
Estimates put the life of floppy disks from anywhere between 10 and 30 years. Our practical findings show that disks from 1985 are frequently found “rotten”, and thus we would estimate around the 20-year mark is about right for 3.5” DD floppy disks.
http://www.softpres.org/glossary:bit_rot

I made the mistake to buy more disk drives because disks weren't working and everyone was suggesting I had a "faulty disk drive". I wasted a lot of money in the process.
I bought computers with allegedly faulty disk drives, only to find out all the disks the seller tested the machine with were the culprit. ALL of them, in the hundreds.

Buying a disk as "tested" means nothing nowadays, I can test a disk today and tomorrow it might have errors. Disc block errors are probably media problems rather than disk drive problems.

In brief: make 101% sure your disks are not crap before you go out and buy a new disk drive. It would be a waste of money. Seeing as your drive reads some disks, I would say it's OK or maybe a little dirty. Disk drives either work or not work, they don't usually work partially.

Buy yourself a hard drive, memory and maybe an accelerator, as Arnie suggests, and play games off hard drive using WHDLoad. Forget about floppy disks forever.


(I don't think you need more than 1MB for putting images to disk. RAM isn't used, the image will be stored in CF and written directly to floppy)
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Old 29 December 2012, 15:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
People got to stop blaming disk drives first thing when disks don't work because it only makes people waste time, effort and money in fixing/acquiring disk drives.

Diskettes are bit rotting like crazy. I don't have a single disk that works. I have 4 disk drives to test them with, all working, and they don't work in any of them. Every time I get disks with a computer or else, they don't work.

SPS people said it in their site:

http://www.softpres.org/glossary:bit_rot

I made the mistake to buy more disk drives because disks weren't working and everyone was suggesting I had a "faulty disk drive". I wasted a lot of money in the process.
I bought computers with allegedly faulty disk drives, only to find out all the disks the seller tested the machine with were the culprit. ALL of them, in the hundreds.

Buying a disk as "tested" means nothing nowadays, I can test a disk today and tomorrow it might have errors. Disc block errors are probably media problems rather than disk drive problems.

In brief: make 101% sure your disks are not crap before you go out and buy a new disk drive. It would be a waste of money. Seeing as your drive reads some disks, I would say it's OK or maybe a little dirty. Disk drives either work or not work, they don't usually work partially.

Buy yourself a hard drive, memory and maybe an accelerator, as Arnie suggests, and play games off hard drive using WHDLoad. Forget about floppy disks forever.


(I don't think you need more than 1MB for putting images to disk. RAM isn't used, the image will be stored in CF and written directly to floppy)
This being the case, how useful is it to turn new and sealed 1.44MBs into 720ks? ive already bought a pack of 10 and converted them for experimental purposes but i havent yet been able to test them given i dont have a working workbench disk yet.

Also, qhat would be the best way to aquire a known-working workbench disk? i mean technically i own the originals now so getting an imaged copy wouldnt be out of the question i assume. Problem is, there is noone around here that i know of that owns an amiga (hence the purchase of amazon, as sadly there arent even any enthusiant shops around here either)
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Old 29 December 2012, 16:03   #7
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This being the case, how useful is it to turn new and sealed 1.44MBs into 720ks?
Not useful at all. The problem gets wose the more dense the media is, this is why my 5.25 double sided C64 floppies are still kind of OK while my Amiga disks are all but dead. Also 1.44 disks nevr liked that and didnt last long.

I'll say this again: forget about floppy disks. You have a hard drive capable Amiga which is a blessing.


Quote:
Also, qhat would be the best way to aquire a known-working workbench disk?
Sorry, but none. If i had ANY blimming working floppy disks I'd gladly send you a copy, alas, I don't and I am not looking forward to buy any more. Maybe Amigakit has some? Or someone in Amibay that can be 100% vouched for. but I wouldn't blame them if the disk gets faulty after they send it out or something.

You definitely should get a hard drive solution, although with the EasyADF kit, you can actually use that external CF as your hard drive and forget about fitting an internal one (specially if your kickstart gives you problems with the internal one). Again, if I had any working fucking floppies, I'd send you a bootdisk that boots a workbench off the PCMCIA CF.
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Old 29 December 2012, 16:39   #8
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If no CF/HD is available, then you can use Ram: but, you need at least 2mb.

The problem is that without a Harddrive or PCMCIA adapter (with CF card), you are restricted in the use of EasyADF and you will have to rely on Ram:

I'm assuming you only have 1mb Ram: (open the trapdoor on the bottom of the Amiga, if it's empty, i.e no card installed, = 1mb)

Either upgrade to 2mb or buy a PCMCIA adapter and CF card. Or both.

Adding an Internal HD will probably mean upgrading the kickstart to 37.300, 37.350 or 40.63 (3.1).

Last edited by Arnie; 29 December 2012 at 17:46.
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Old 29 December 2012, 16:44   #9
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i can send you the disks,if its ok by the mods.


which workbench disks would you like?

thats of course if your drive is ok.
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Old 29 December 2012, 16:53   #10
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You definitely should get a hard drive solution, although with the EasyADF kit, you can actually use that external CF as your hard drive and forget about fitting an internal one
Now this intrigues me. I was not aware this was possible. As far as i could find anyway. Please tell me more about this.

Also, as far as the workbench disks from amigakit, the only ones i could find (and, i cannot find them as of today but maybe its just me) were the ones for Kickstart 3.1. They were 22 not including the 15 for the ROM and P&P which is just a price i would prefer not to pay right now.

One thing i did find though, is that they have a 2.05 ROM Kickstart 37.250, which supposedly includes hard drive support. Would it possible to get away with this ROM, and from what i gather i'd have to use winUAE or something to install workbench to the CF card? (i have all versions of the workbench .adfs already)
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Old 29 December 2012, 16:59   #11
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If no CF/HD is available, (as in this case), then you can use Ram: but, you need at least 2mb.

Your problem is that without a Harddrive or PCMCIA adapter (with CF card), you are restricted in the use of EasyADF and you will have to rely on Ram:

I'm assuming you only have 1mb Ram: (open the trapdoor on the bottom of the Amiga, if it's empty, i.e no card installed, = 1mb)

Either upgrade to 2mb or buy a PCMCIA adapter and CF card. Or both.

Adding an Internal HD will probably mean upgrading the kickstart to 37.300, 37.350 or 40.63 (3.1).
Sorry, this was posted after my reply so i didnt get to see this before i submitted.

I already have a CF adapter (i bought it along with the EasyADF software) and a 4GB CF card seperately, although its not a Transcend one (Kingsotn, to be precise). Also, i am a naturally curious person and ive already wondered what that trapdoor was for and peeked inside. It is empty, and thank you for telling me what actually is supposed to go in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy bates View Post
i can send you the disks,if its ok by the mods.


which workbench disks would you like?

thats of course if your drive is ok.
Thank you for your kind offer, but if you don't mind i would like to wait until i have ad the chance to try my disk-drive cleaning kit first. If its simply a case of a dirty drive and i do have a working set of bench disks i see no reason to inconvenience you over something as selfish as my own impatience. I have put 1st class on these anyway so i should get them by Tuesday/Wednesday hopefully if the christmas post doesn't throw a spanner in the works.


EDIT;- i have just thought of some information i should probably provide here. I was sent only 3 workbench disks (Bench/Fonts/Extras). i notice in my .adf collection that there are 4 .adf files present, the fourth being a disk labelled Install which i presume is for HD users to install workbench directly to the HD. Will this be a problem? From what gaps i am filling in myself, if i have to use winUAE to install workbench to the CF card, shouldnt i be able to use the .adf file i have to do that OK? or am i waaaaaaaaay off and it works nothing like i am assuming it does.
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Old 29 December 2012, 17:09   #12
Arnie
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You already have a CF card & adapter

Now you can write your own WB disks. All you need now is a way to read the CF card on the PC.

PCMCIA slot

CF card reader to USB

Express card adaptor to PCMCIA

Once connected to the PC copy the adf's to the CF card, pop it into the Amiga, use EastADF.

EDIT: Make sure to tape over the left hole of any 1.44 floppies you use. The standard Amiga floppy drive (well mine does ) has trouble reading these disks if you don't.

Last edited by Arnie; 29 December 2012 at 17:12. Reason: added info
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Old 29 December 2012, 17:27   #13
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EasyADF requires a Workbench Disk though. (It asks for a Workbench Disk if you want to boot from it)

I would suggest upgrading the Rom and use an internal CF HDD as has been said by others, then you can just install the EasyADF software to your HDD and store the ADF's there too. You can then use PCMCIA to transfer any new files to your Amiga.

A trapdoor Ram upgrade will also be very useful or Kipper2k's 4mb internal upgrade:

http://kipper2k.com/amigaforsale/

This will even allow you to play games via WHDLoad and thus eliminating the need to use unreliable floppy's.

Like Roy I can also send you the Workbench Disks you need if you get stuck

I also can help with setting up an internal HDD, I might even have a spare 37.300 Rom here that will help you use CF HDD.

All the best.

Steve.
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Old 29 December 2012, 17:30   #14
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I would install Workbench on the PCMCIA card. 4GB is MORE THAN PLENTY.
You could do this using WinUAE. Then you would have to transfer the bootdisk to floppy with EasyADF. Format your card as FAT32 and mount it in WinUAE as a FOLDER device, you could then install workbench on it using the ADF files you have (yes, use the Install disk)

I uploaded a bootdisk image to The Zone (CFbootdiskA600v2.adf) for you to hold on to. The disk mounts the PCMCIA CF device, then assigns all system paths to that drive. This bootdisc assumes you have succesfully installed a Workbench into your CF card previously. There are other versions of similar bootdisks that mount a virtual hard drive file created in WinUAE as a Workbench partition. You can use that method too, I use this because I find it more convenient.

I don't know how EasyADF works but if it has to have certain files in the CF card keep in mind they might get overwritten when you install Workbench to it.

The advantage f doing this is that you don't have to spend an extra dime. I wouldn't buy the 2.05 ROM, makes no sense. Just keep what you have and use the PCMCIA port as your hard drive. It's not any slower than the internal hard drive, at least not in the use I have given it (I load my WHDLoad games off it instead of putting them in my internal CF hard drive). Also the PCMCIA port is pretty useless except for those expensive SRAM cards I wouldn't get (I would get an ACA620 accelerator instead if I did want to add Fast RAm to an A600).
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Old 29 December 2012, 17:30   #15
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you can actually install workbench to a cf card in winuae using the 4 adf files you have.(in your case its probably 2.05?)



i think easyadf requires you boot from a workbench disk or harddive so you can install it.
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Old 29 December 2012, 17:34   #16
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I would install Workbench on the PCMCIA card. 4GB is MORE THAN PLENTY.
You could do this using WinUAE. Then you would have to transfer the bootdisk to floppy with EasyADF. Format your card as FAT32 and mount it in WinUAE as a FOLDER device, you could then install workbench on it using the ADF files you have (yes, use the Install disk)

I uploaded a bootdisk image to The Zone (CFbootdiskA600v2.adf) for you to hold on to. The disk mounts the PCMCIA CF device, then assigns all system paths to that drive. This bootdisc assumes you have succesfully installed a Workbench into your CF card previously. There are other versions of similar bootdisks that mount a virtual hard drive file created in WinUAE as a Workbench partition. You can use that method too, I use this because I find it more convenient.

I don't know how EasyADF works but if it has to have certain files in the CF card keep in mind they might get overwritten when you install Workbench to it.

The advantage f doing this is that you don't have to spend an extra dime. I wouldn't buy the 2.05 ROM, makes no sense. Just keep what you have and use the PCMCIA port as your hard drive. It's not any slower than the internal hard drive, at least not in the use I have given it (I load my WHDLoad games off it instead of putting them in my internal CF hard drive). Also the PCMCIA port is pretty useless except for those expensive SRAM cards I wouldn't get (I would get an ACA620 accelerator instead if I did want to add Fast RAm to an A600).
I am going to try this now, and will inevitabley fail in some way and ask for help shortly. Thankfully i purchased a USB CF reader when i got the card because i figured it would be useful at some point.
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Old 29 December 2012, 17:37   #17
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I liked doing the "Mounting ADFs" tutorial so maybe I should make one for the purpose of installing Workbench on a PCMCIA card reader because it's REALLY convenient and it should save people with Kickstart 37.299 a load of trouble. I really don't use my internal hard drive for anything but for booting workbench and the apps i use frequently, everything else is in my SD card on the PCMCIA port.

Let us know how it goes and whistle if you need help. Someone will probably post the bootdisk that uses an hdf hardfile instead, because I think some people were having trouble booting with my method (never understood why).
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Old 29 December 2012, 17:52   #18
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you can actually install workbench to a cf card in winuae using the 4 adf files you have.(in your case its probably 2.05?)



i think easyadf requires you boot from a workbench disk or harddive so you can install it.
I have just tried this and unfortunately, i don't appear to have any clue what im doing at all. Is there a step-by-step guide around anyone on how to configure winUAE to be able to do this? Bear in mind ive only just recently figured out how to get winUAE to even boot something at all so im not the greatest with the amiga stuff yet.

EDIT: i have maanged to google this;- http://guide.abime.net/wb2.x/chap2.htm

i am going to try it now and see if i get anywhere. If anyone notices any glaring errors with that guide or something else i should do please let me know so i dont break anything.
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Old 29 December 2012, 18:00   #19
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DON'T DO THAT.

That's for hardfiles or real Amiga HDs, not for your FAT32 formatted CF.

Mount the CF root as a FOLDER (Add Directory or Archive). and proceed from step 21.

Don't EVER format that
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Old 29 December 2012, 18:14   #20
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hi foob

well, here's a nice video tutorial on how to install wb on cf via uae.

[ Show youtube player ]
 
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