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Old 01 June 2019, 22:52   #1
NeoMK
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
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No visible folders on A500 with M-Tec AT500 68020 WHDLoad

Spec:

A500 (Rev.6A)
1Mb Chip RAM
4Mb Fast RAM (Z2?)
- on-board RAM from M-Tec 68020 Accelerator
M-Tec AT-500 IDE Controller
Kickstart/Workbench 3.1

After digging out my old A500 after well over 20 years stored in a loft and getting it back to a running state (needed cap replacement and new membrane) I was curious to see if I could get the WHDLoad SD Card 44-pin IDE solution to work with the external M-Tec AT-500 IDE Controller.

Having used WinUAE in the past, the idea was to get a working solution on the PC before using it on the A500. I have configured WinUAE to match my A500 configuration as closely as possible. (see attachment)

I followed various guides (mainly 16-bit Dust) to create a triple partition SD Card - spread over 8GB. Despite the limitations of HDToolBox, I configured
a DH0: 1GB, DH1: 3.5GB, DH2: 3.5GB (approx) - running under Workbench 3.1. Before going any further with the WHDLoad installation, I tested the SD Card in the A500.

The SD Card booted up fine, but only DH0: could be seen. DH1 and DH2 reported NDOS and were not recognised.

Note.
Having done a lot of reading, I seemed the PFS3AIO filesystem was a
good choice. In the end, I went for scsi.device 43.45. (44.20 may be a issue I have heard with an A500/KS 3.1).

Even though I was using PFS3AIO 19.20 (latest I believe), scsi.device 43.45
and confirmed the DH0 startup-sequence edit to include 'loadmodule' was
working via the command 'version scsi.device' from Shell, real hardware still could not see DH1 and DH2 even though in WinUAE - there was no problem.

Having done testing, I managed to get further via a fresh attempt at setting
up the SD Card/Hard Drive via the A500. Once I discovered that only by
selecting the SCSI_DEVICE_NAME tooltype on 'HDToolBox' to "mtec-at500.device" could I detect the SD Card. (scsi.device was no good)

I concluded that I could get a DH1 drive detected if the total size of the partitions was kept under 4GB. Though not totally happy, my end configuration was therefore:

DH0: 220 MB
DH1: 3870 MB

I then copied over all my WHDLoad games and demos to DH1 via a mapped PC drive under WinUAE, but then began a new problem. Even though I could see all folders and files using DiskMaster on both real hardware and WinUAE, I could only see the folders when browsing under Workbench via WinUAE. On real hardware, no folders could be seen under DH1.

I didn't think too much of this as I intended to use AGLaunch. I then installed WHDLoad and AGLaunch. I continually had "object not found - agl:c/wbrun failed returncode 20" error when launching any game/demo - both under WinUAE and real hardware until I installed the latest version of WHDLoad. (AGLaunch was already up to date)

After this, WHDLoad worked for the first time - under WinUAE. Great.
However, the above error persisted on the Amiga itself.

I presume this is linked to the .info problem when viewing folders on real
hardware? Can someone help - how can the same SD Card function fine under WinUAE but will not work under real hardware?

I presume the capacity problem is a limitation of the M-Tec AT500 IDE interface or device driver?

Appreciate any help - especially with the .info folder display issue.
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Old 02 June 2019, 17:47   #2
Pollock
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 66
you're using PFS03, which is great, but wont work with larger drives, you need to use PDS03, it's the direct SCSI version of PFS3

identifier : 0x50445303

Max transfer etc. is the same. have fun.

How are you creating partitions that large? HDToolBox will feed you nonsense.
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Old 03 June 2019, 07:47   #3
Jope
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Location: Helsinki / Finland
Age: 39
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PFS3AIO will work with large drives no matter what you choose as the dostype.. PDS\3 just instructs it to attempt directscsi first, PFS\3 has it try several access modes, directscsi last.
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Old 14 July 2019, 18:19   #4
Ric
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: DeBary U.S.
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I've been looking for a similar solution for well over a year. A couple of days ago I decided to give it a try again. I'm going a little more conservative with a 2GB Transcend CF, and I'm about to conclude that even that is too large for the MtecAT-500. Partitions that I've made using Mtec's own partitioning program will not mount but the 1st partition upon reboot. I haven't even been able to use a WinUAE prepped CF on the Mtec (it won't even see it), although I havan't tried it with PFS3 yet. So, after resorting to accepting a single large drive, the task of filling it up is where new problems creep up. Since I couldn't possibly do that without the aid of WinUAE, by so doing I always end up with endless checksum errors when returning the CF to the MTec. I don't think the controller is seeing enough space, and probably limited to around 500mb or less.
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