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Old 14 September 2017, 02:09   #1
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Can I use an 8GB Compact flash card for hard disk in an A1200

I want to be able to play all WHDLoad games which would take up 5.3GB of hard disk device storage. I currently use a 4GB Compact Flash card that is not big enough. So I would need a minimum of a 8GB but also amazon.co.uk sells a genuine SanDisk 32 GB compact flash card for £22.

I would create a first partition of 500MB for Classic Workbench. After that can I create a 2nd partition using all the remaining space, about 29 GB,using PFS3 filesystem?

I thought I could put all the WHDLoad games on a samba network share and access that on the A1200 using a 3com 3c589 PCMCIA ethernet network adapter, Miami TCP/IP and smbfs program. But it seems that is not possible because WHDLoad suspends the whole operating system including network drivers and TCP/IP.

Last edited by Xav; 14 September 2017 at 02:21.
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:34   #2
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here is a good thread about the partition size issue.
you need to update the scsi.device - Don Adans or the one from aminet.

maybe ClassicWb already comes with one of them.
instead of PFS3 you should use the more recent version pfs3aio.
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Old 15 October 2017, 02:20   #3
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I did a mistake in cheaping out on getting a non branded 8GB Compact Flash card for £6 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/SODIAL-Prof...+compact+flash). It failed after 3 days of use but at least I will get a refund.

I have ordered a genuine San Disk 8GB Compact Flash card for £14

In the mean time I have learned about the different types of file systems. I have redone the 4GB Compact Flash using SmartFileSystem following this guide 'How to add a 8 GB Compact Flash hard drive to your Amiga 1200 (works with 4 GB too)' ( [ Show youtube player ]). That guide has a link to HDToolBox V6.9 that mostly shows correct drive capacity and partition sizes. But there are still some incorrect numbers. I have found that Classic Workbench - with patched V43. 24 scsi.device (for A1200) in Devs: won't boot on my A1200 with a Individual ACA1221EC accelerator plugged in with either the MapRom function disabled or enabled. But without scsi.device file in Devs: Classic WB can boot fine.

Going from Bloodywych guide (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=32256) I should be ok without needing a scsi.device to update the ROM if all I need is up to 8 GB hard disk device support.

Last edited by Xav; 16 October 2017 at 01:44.
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Old 15 October 2017, 19:10   #4
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SFS v1.84 will use directscsi, so yes. Any SFS release with a bigger version number will not work without a patched scsi.device.
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Old 15 October 2017, 22:37   #5
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IT is a bit of a waste; at least for classic WB. I have a 8 GB card that is more than half empty; and I have all the games I play, a ton of mods; a ton of demos and applications.

There are few great videos on youtube about how to prep the card;I did it so long ago, and then I made an image of my CF card so I can restore it at any time; so I don't really remember the whole thing; but it did involve change the file system with a more modern one; including some hex numbers; to have access to anything above 1 GB.
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Old 16 October 2017, 15:59   #6
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I installed all the WHDLoad games, AGA games and Demos from the Turran packs, and I still have lots of space in my 8GB card. This is thousands of demos and games, literally.

I had to patch scsi.device. I'm using one PFS3-AIO partition, the rest are FFS.

32GB seems overkill.
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Old 16 October 2017, 22:50   #7
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I can't edit the forum post title to change it from '32 GB' to '8 GB' which is what I am now intending to setup for the capacity of compact flash card. Like others have said 8 GB will be enough for all the WHDLoad games.
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Old 16 October 2017, 23:17   #8
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Originally Posted by Xav View Post
I can't edit the forum post title to change it from '32 GB' to '8 GB' which is what I am now intending to setup for the capacity of compact flash card.
I've done it for you.
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Old 25 October 2017, 05:49   #9
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Got the 8GB SanDisk Compact Flash card installed. I created a 490MB partition for Classic Workbench and a second partition using the rest of the space for WHDLoad. Dopus file manager shows identical A > Z directory byte sizes for the WHDLoad source and target CF copied directories so it seems I have setup SmartFileSystem correctly.

I got a Compact Flash kit that uses the spare trapdoor on the rear of the A1200. So now I don't have to open the case to insert\remove a CF. The H. Disk led on the case is now working which is a bit of magic because back in the 1980's/early 1990's to have a hard disk in a Amiga was gravy.


I have a spare 2.5" 20 GB SATA hard disk that was originally part of a Xbox 360 hard disk pack that attaches to the side of the console. I got it to work with a SATA > IDE adapter with my games PC. It was recognized as a 20GB disk in my A1200 with HDToolbox V6.9. But I don't know how to partition it and get it working in my the A1200 that won't boot with a scsi.device file in devs: because of a Individual ACA1221EC accelerator plugged in. I ran a Windows benchmark on it and it was much faster than the 4GB and also the 8GB CF cards I have. And that includes all transfer tests from 512 byte chunks doubling up to 64 MB. But as far as I know the A1200 IDE interface can only do up to about 3 MB a second max transfer speed so I will stick with Compact Flash. But still the A1200 boots into Classic Workbench Lite in 9 seconds that is faster than my games PC with Windows 10 on a SSD!

Last edited by Xav; 26 October 2017 at 04:17.
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Old 25 October 2017, 09:39   #10
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Setting up a hard drive is no different to setting up a compact flash card. You need to sort out the filesystem and scsi.device in exactly the same way. You're correct though, the IDE port is really the bottleneck for speed - even if the CF card is slower than the hard drive, it's probably still ten times faster than the IDE port can handle so I wouldn't worry about it. Good job getting it up and running! Now enjoy
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