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Old 08 July 2010, 18:24   #1
alkis21
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What do you do when your Amiga hardware is cursed?

I am not a spiritual person and I do not believe in the supernatural. But lately, I'm beginning to wonder...

I bought my first Amiga (500) in 1987, and I sold it 5 years later to buy an Amiga 1200, which I still have. In January 1993, I purchased my first hard disk ever. 340 MBs, which seemed like more than enough for the time.

I still have that one too.

This hard disk had a weird story from the very beginning. As I discovered years later when I open the Amiga, there was no IDE cable connected to the motherboard; instead, the idiot who had installed the hard disk (externally) had soldiered the wire on the pins. You don't believe me? Take a look:



Furthermore, Workbench was not correctly installed. Having no prior experience in hard disk, I did not figure out that I had to reinstall it until much later.

But anyway, this disk served me well for years, but at some point I began to want more. So I bought another disk which was about 1.5G IIRC. It worked for a week before I suddenly died on me. So back to the old one.

Years later, I learned about SUBWAY and the possibility to add USB ports to my Amiga. I thought great, here's my chance for extra storage. This actually worked, but the WHDLoad incompatibility problem meant that I couldn't install all games to a pen drive as I had intended. So back to the old one.

A few months ago, I decided to buy one of those CF adapters and a card. I actually had a friend clean up the pins for me so I could finally use an actual cable. The card was never recognized in my Amiga. It worked fine in two other Amigas I tried. So back to the old one.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw that someone in a forum was giving away some free old PC stuff, one of which was a 1GB hard drive. I thought, well it's not too big but it's still three times the size of mine so I'll take it. Bad sectors that Disksalv couldn't fix. So back to the old one.

Keropi heard of my miseries and sent me a spare drive he had, 3.2GB which would be perfect for my needs. It arrived today. It makes a bad mechanical noise and HDTools never recognizes it. So back to the old one.

So I am asking you fellow Amiga experts, is my Amiga cursed? Is there some sort of spell that has condemned me to spend eternity with that 17 year old hard drive?

Keropi will actually send me one more disk. If that doesn't work either, I'm bringing an exorcist.
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Old 08 July 2010, 18:30   #2
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Ouch,

if nothing appears to be recognised in HD toolbox, be it CF card or Hard drive then its time to recheck the pins on the IDE Header, there may be a bad solder/short, after all the abuse its had its tough to figure out whats going on. If the CF card works in other Amigas then something is wrong with hthe hardware. If an exorcist doesn't work, i hear voodoo is a good substitute
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Old 08 July 2010, 18:33   #3
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No, just the CF card and that last hard drive weren't recognized. The cursed hard drive works fine, and the one that had bad sectors was recognized too. The pins look fine, the person who took care of them is a very competent electrician.
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Old 08 July 2010, 18:59   #4
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Originally Posted by alkis21 View Post
The pins look fine, the person who took care of them is a very competent electrician.
An electrician did this? Man, that's really bad, they should know better then that

Anyway, forget about keeping it this way and get rid of this mess asap. Then get some proper cabling. This could solve these problems just like that, and it's always better anyway (you really don't want this ).

Also, watch out with old, used drives. They wear out, and can cause problems. Use a new drive if possible.

I can't begin to express the horror of this situation, it's downright evil

Edit: I failed to spot it before, but this guy even soldered an HD power connector to the Amiga's power input. Man, what was he thinking? I suggest you get rid of that as well.
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Old 08 July 2010, 19:05   #5
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No no, an electrician *fixed* it. The pins are squeaky clean now and a proper cable is attached. See?



It seems that the image I posted is so horrible that people are not reading the text. That's understandable.
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Old 08 July 2010, 20:19   #6
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Hi there alkis21,

I wonder if the electrician checked the underside of the motherboard to see if the solder had flowed and cause a bridge/short between any of the header pins. Taking the shielding off is a bit of a bugger as you need to remove all the nuts from the sockets on the back to do it, still worth a look though. At worst the header and corresponding chips could be damaged from static discharge and the likes. If you have no joy then there is always Fleabay where a replacement motherboard can be found quite easily now and then.

A good visual examination of the header top and bottom is still a good and free option, its surprising how often small shorts are not noticed even when the parts have been looked at.
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Old 08 July 2010, 21:39   #7
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That first picture highlights the dark side of Hardware pr0n, Im sure everyone will agree ;-(
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Old 08 July 2010, 22:31   #8
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That first picture highlights the dark side of Hardware pr0n, Im sure everyone will agree ;-(
Too right M8, especially when a cable with the right connectors on doesn't cost a great deal of money, that type of work should be left for obsolete connectors or never done at all unless it was an absolute necessity
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Old 09 July 2010, 08:46   #9
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I remember the instructions that were provided by Bytes and Pieces with all of their kit. It went something like "And to Electrical / electronics engineers: you should follow these instructions too. You might think you know best and don't need to take anti static precautions, but I get more stuff back from engineers than any other group because you all think you know best. Please, follow the instructions or your warranty will be void".
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Old 09 July 2010, 09:19   #10
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my first thought:

Good luck with your Amiga.
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Old 09 July 2010, 14:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen1 View Post
Hi there alkis21,

I wonder if the electrician checked the underside of the motherboard to see if the solder had flowed and cause a bridge/short between any of the header pins. Taking the shielding off is a bit of a bugger as you need to remove all the nuts from the sockets on the back to do it, still worth a look though. At worst the header and corresponding chips could be damaged from static discharge and the likes. If you have no joy then there is always Fleabay where a replacement motherboard can be found quite easily now and then.

A good visual examination of the header top and bottom is still a good and free option, its surprising how often small shorts are not noticed even when the parts have been looked at.
Thanks for the tips, but I'm pretty confident that the pins are working fine. The cleanup operation was like 6 weeks ago and I've been using my hard disk since then almost daily with no problems whatsoever.

I started this topic to find out if anyone else's Amiga displayed such sort of paranormal phenomena, but I see that everyone is fixated on the butchering that the guy who installed my first disk did. I can't say I blame you...
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Old 09 July 2010, 14:52   #12
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Why would anybody even solder the cable directly on the pins ?
I'm glad you got that mess cleaned up.
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Old 09 July 2010, 15:42   #13
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Why would anybody even solder the cable directly on the pins ?
Very good question. What could possibly be the benefit of such an action!?
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Old 09 July 2010, 15:44   #14
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No connector?
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Old 09 July 2010, 15:48   #15
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No connector?
or possibly broken ?


It is also possible that one of the CIA chips has had partial damage... its also possilbe that this motherboard requires some fixes... its also possible that its possesed b the devil (insert either Bill here) and hates everything but the little hdd..
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Old 09 July 2010, 18:26   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroplay View Post
Why would anybody even solder the cable directly on the pins ?
Do you know how many years I've been asking myself the same question?

Anyway, why didn't you all say that all I had to do to break the curse was to post in the EAB forum about it? After low formatting the drive in a PC, it works fine.
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Old 09 July 2010, 18:40   #17
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Anyway, why didn't you all say that all I had to do to break the curse was to post in the EAB forum about it?
You think that should be added to the rules & help?
Great that the curse is broken now
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Old 09 July 2010, 18:40   #18
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Hehe excellent.
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Old 09 July 2010, 18:41   #19
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We thought we'd let you find that out for yourself
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Old 09 July 2010, 18:49   #20
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We thought we'd let you find that out for yourself
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