View Full Version : Problem with Amtrade Real HD drive on my A1200

23rd January 2015, 11:13
Hi guys,

I just acquired an Amtrade Real HD Drive for my A1200. It came with an adapter to use it as an external drive.

I hooked it up as DF1:, powered on my A1200 and it was detected, so at least it wasn't totally dead.
Tried a standard DD Amiga disk, read it perfectly.

So I then decided to try a HD disk with it. Grabbed a PC formatted one I had lying around, moved the necessary mountfiles, rebooted, inserted the disk and got a ??? icon for DF1 and PC1.
Not deterred, I tried the same disk in my PC and it turns out that couldn't read it either. A quick format on my PC and a file copy later it was working.
Back to my Amiga, tried again, same ??? icon.

Still not giving up, I grabbed a different HD disk, but the same symptom persisted.
Getting a bit frustrated, I decide to try a format.
First in DOS format. Right click, Icon menu, Format Disk.
Get the standard Format dialog, shows the correct size so it's definitely detecting the drive as a HD one.
Gave it a name, unticked the Trashcan option and picked a full format.
After about 30 seconds of thrashing, get the error "couldn't format cylinder 0" and the process aborts.

Getting peeved but try again as an Amiga disk.
Again, standard dialog, correct size detected.
Hit format and get the same again, "couldn't format cylinder 0".

I'm thinking maybe the drive doesn't like the adapter and it will be perfectly happy as DF0: as it was designed for, and which is how I intended to use it.

I will try it as DF0: this evening but does anyone have any other ideas?

23rd January 2015, 11:54
does the drive require any software in the startup sequence to use it as a hd drive?

EDIT: scratch that,its seems it dont need that at all?

23rd January 2015, 12:16
The instructions I've been able to find online imply no software config is needed.

23rd January 2015, 19:56
Try with various floppy disks, perhaps the problem is with that floppy disk and not the floppy drive.

24th January 2015, 17:38
Any difference with the drive installed as DF0: ?

25th January 2015, 00:00
No it was exactly the same.

I'm guessing there might be a problem with the circuit that makes the drive Amiga compatible?

25th January 2015, 07:28
Maybe... verify that it spins at half the speed when an HD disk is inserted.

26th January 2015, 14:03
Need to fix my external interface before I can test it again, I bent a couple of pins on the floppy connector. :(

1st February 2015, 22:52
OK so now it can't recognise any format I put in it!

PC or Amiga, DD or HD just gives DF1:???? or PC1:????

Definitely borked somehow.

1st February 2015, 23:25
have you tried cleaning the micro switches in the front of the drive?

the hd switch is on the right i think and the floppy insertion one is on the left(just to the right of the write protect switch thats next to it)...also make sure the floppy goes in and all the way down in to the drive.

the switch protrudes upwards as a black point of plastic that touches the back end of the disk when inserted.(on all the switches)
when they stop working(or cant be made to work due to the disk not touching them) you will have symptoms of no hd disk in the drive or no disk at all detected in the drive when inserted.(if it dont detect a disk the motor wont turn on)
the switches only have about 3mm of movement so you can probably see why im mentioning this.
you can actually actuate the switch next to the write protect switch and the motor will or should come on and it will look for a disk in the drive(youll see the light come on on the front of the drive)

worth a try...all you need is a can of switch cleaner or contact cleaner as its called you wont need much and spray a little into them and use your finger or flat screwdriver to "actuate" them a few times to clean them...dont take them apart though there really small and findly.
dont use wd40 or any oil based lubricant in the drive you will probably break it!

best of luck.

if all else fails i can look at the drive myself for you.

2nd February 2015, 13:27
Thanks Roy I'll give it a go and let you know how I get on.