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Old 09 March 2012, 05:17   #1
onlychipmem
 
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How to set up Pretec 4MB PCMCIA SRAM on A600?

Just received a Pretec 4MB PCMCIA SRAM card.
I want to use it in an A600. I've read various reports,
everything from that any PCMCIA SRAM will
"just work", to "you have to use an A1200 to prepare".
What is the correct method to set up an SRAM card
for use in an A600? I do not own an A1200, and have
never seen one, nor do I know anyone who owns one,
so if that's what it takes, I'll be shipping this card back
to the supplier.

The card is definitely detected, 'cause if I boot
without the card, load prepcard, and insert the
card, the screen changes.

If I remove the battery from the card, and insert
it, prepcard lists that the battery is FAILED... so
I'm pretty sure the card works.

I've tested it with two different A600 boards,
but I get the same results in each case, so I
don't think there's anything wrong with either
of the machines.

Kickstart 37.299 / Workbench 2.1
Unable to prepare card: Error while writing changes

Kickstart 40.063 / Workbench 3.1
Unable to prepare card: Card is write protected

The same message results regardless of which way
the write protect tab is switched to on the SRAM card,
and if I pick to prepare as disk, or to prepare as ram.
Any ideas? Is this brand new card bad? Is there some
newer-more-recommended way to prepare the card
as fast ram?

What is attribute memory, 'cause this card is listed
as not having it.. is that required to use the card
at all?

Thanks for the assistance
 
Old 09 March 2012, 06:10   #2
jimbob
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kilmacolm
Age: 44
Posts: 632
Prepcard is the correct program to use, shouldn't make any difference whether you use A600 or A1200.

Sorry if this is too obvious but are you sure it isn't already working as fast RAM when you run prepcard? The menu bar at the top of workbench will show approx 4 000 000 of other mem.

If you reboot an A600 with an SRAM card inserted that has NOT been prepcarded as a disk, it will usually just work as RAM with no messing about.

BTW, do you have other PCMCIA cards, CF adaptor or whatever, do they work properly?
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Old 09 March 2012, 06:24   #3
onlychipmem
 
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That would have been too nice if that was the case...
(or either exactly what I expected before trying one)

But alas, I get 0 other mem. I tried restarting the machine
with the card inserted (and did this with the write protect
switch in each position just to be sure), but it's just not
using it.

The exact readout of the prepcard tool is as follows
though in case it'll be useful in order to proceed (this
is the one from the extras disk of 3.1):

(with nothing in the pcmcia slot)
Device: No card inserted
Format: N/A
Geometry: N/A
Battery: N/A
Information: N/A

(with the card inserted, battery in)
Device: Unknown
Format: Unknown
Geometry: N/A
Battery: N/A
Information: N/A

(with the card inserted, battery out)
Device: Unknown
Format: Unknown
Geometry: N/A
Battery: FAILED
Information: N/A
 
Old 09 March 2012, 06:29   #4
onlychipmem
 
Posts: n/a
I do have other pcmcia cards, but they're nothing from amigas
(just trying to get started on this front)

So I doubt I have anything that would work, but...
ok.. I lied..

just stuck a pcmcia modem in, and it gave a popup message
about card data being corrupted, after which I clicked ok, and
got this readout (so.. we have proof that the pcmcia interface
on the a600 is good):

first fields are
Unknown
Unknown
N/A
N/A

But card information shows:
U.S. Robotics
SP1336
Version 5.0 Sportster V.34/ X2 upgradable
 
Old 09 March 2012, 06:39   #5
onlychipmem
 
Posts: n/a
Stuck another pcmcia modem in, so I can write out the full message
I was mentioning before:

Warning!!!
Card data appears to be CORRUPT!
Recommend: Prepare card before use.

Not that it matters I suspect, but.. just to be verbose. I don't think
prepcard was meant to be used on pcmcia modems...
Neither do I see the need to fill this thread with the pcmcia
info strings of my stack of cards, but.. it might be fun (and
at this rate, more likely to detect than this sram card)
Oh.. the olicom tokenring card info string was this:

Olicom
TR 16/4 II
Version 4.1 003221
 
Old 09 March 2012, 06:41   #6
jimbob
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kilmacolm
Age: 44
Posts: 632
Ok, should be something in the device section at least. Maybe you can enter it manually.

Hold right mouse button in prepcard and there is an control->advanced settings menu item. Go in there, toggle the type round to static ram, any speed may be good with a newer card but I guess try 250ns to start with. Try auto size, no error detection, 512 block size. (This is what my 2Mb card has.) continue, try prepare as system ram, it may or may not be happy with this, try rebooting here anyway.

If this doesn't work you can next try experimenting with the unit size and number, each time make sure the total size value is still correct. I think it should be 4194304 for a 4 Mb card.
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Old 09 March 2012, 07:38   #7
onlychipmem
 
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okay .. prepcard, advanced settings, sram, 250ns, auto size,.. etc.
but when I click continue, and then click prepare as system ram, I'm
still getting the write protect message, but I reboot anyway...
still 0 other mem.

attempted same thing with write protect in opposite position...
same results.

Next time I tried manual size, the lowest one where you can get
4mb is by picking a size of 128k, and 32 units...continue,
attempt to prepare as system ram, it complains about unable to
write, reboot, still 0 other mem..

try again with write protect in opposite position.
same results.

again.. 512k, 8 units,..
same same

and finally 2m, 2 units,
same same

-- okay, back to the 2.x kick/work

on the 2.1 prepcard using advanced settings, I did manage to
get a different error message than the 3.1 one gives. No matter
which size is set, it emits:

Unable to prepare card:
Card is smaller than Advanced Settings indicate.

It says this even with the smallest size possible, so .. whatever
it's trying to do to the card to confirm the size, this card doesn't
seem to like. And if the kickstart code is using a similar check,
that might explain why this card isn't automatically appearing as
fastram.

I'm going to have to stop working on this for the night, but thanks
for the input jimbob. I'll check back on it tomorrow and see if there
are more suggestions (perhaps I'll confirm that I can write to the
card using a pc laptop too, so I'll at least know which way this
write protect switch is supposed to be for write enable)
 
Old 10 March 2012, 00:00   #8
onlychipmem
 
Posts: n/a
Alright, didn't see any other responses, so I returned the SRAM card to the supplier for a refund.

At least I now know that a compatible SRAM card would "just work" as fast mem if it was there on boot.

Thanks again for the replies. This thread can be closed.
(I don't know how to do that.. appeal to the moderator perhaps?)
 
 


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