Advice on Installing OS 3.9 on an A4000 desktop

jackson312

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I am new to the Amiga platform. Instead of walking into the woods without a flashlight, I though I’d post here to see if anyone has some thing I should look out for, or advice.

I have an A4000 (desktop) I bought from someone in Canada (not via EBay). Right now there is a generic OS 3.1 install on a 4 Gig IDE. Drive. I’ve had problems getting stuff like Deneb USB to install and work since there seems to be lots of libraries missing, not to mention the “Installer” which I managed to copy off the ASIM CDFS floppy, but Deneb still complains about it being a older version and old Poseidon will install, the other tools won’t. The XSurf network card won’t install either, so I have no way of getting other software on my machine.

So rather than struggle with OS3.1, I decided to give 3.9 a try.

I have a 3.9 CDROM I bought from Jon Hare and I would like to do a fresh install of it onto the machine.

The machine has 128 Megs of RAM on a Warp Engine 040 and 16 Megs via RAM on the motherboard. The machine has 3.1 ROMs.

I also have an A2091 with 7.0 Roms and the 08 Western Digital Chip on it. I am using that just for an external CDROM. Trying put fit an internal CDROM was a tight fit, so I decided against it. A SCSI one was impossible.

I would like to replace the IDE drive with a SCSI and use the SCSI controller on the Warp Engine for that. I have tons of SCSI disk around since I have a lot of SGI workstations and accessories.

I was planning on using a 32Gig Seagate SCSI drive as the main boot drive. I have an 80 to 50 pin converter. I will jumper the drive to 0 (actually no jumpers).

I’ve heard that I should create a boot partition no larger than 4 gigs (from the beginning of the drive), it is true?

What is the max partition size of OS 3.9? I would want to create a second partition for the rest of the drive.

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks,

Jackson
 

User1301

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Just to see what was what I'm afraid my approach would be > take existing IDE hard drive out; put in different IDE hard drive and run a 3.9 install and see what I got. Not overly technical I agree but hey if everything worked first time - it would be great and it would give a good base line to work from :)

You will undoubtedly get better and more learned advice from the others here though (Zetr0, Merlin, Harrison, RKauer, andylandy; r0jaws and so on hehe)

Cheers

John
 
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rkauer

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Basic advice: create a small boot partition. For 3.9 not much over 120Mb up to 240Mb.

Then partition the drive in how many other parts you want, not using more than 4 visible in total.

I also strongly recommend a dedicated partition for YAM (the e-mail program) and other smallish (around 40Mb) to use as cache for the browser. If those became corrupted nothing really valuable will be lost.

A partition of ~4Gb for games is more than enough.
 

jackson312

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So you can have non-visible partitions as well as visible? In the "PC" world you can have many partitions on a drive, but only 3 "primary" (bootable) partitions. This goes for any OS (Linux, which is what I work with the most), but they are all visible (need to be mounted).
 

rkauer

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On Amiga all partitions can be auto-mounted (select on HD tools of your choice), and on 3.5/3.9 you can choose which ones will be visible (check on prefs).

Also you can mount not-mounted partitions using any Amiga OS version, at least from 1.3 onwards.
 

Kin Hell

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@ jackson 312

Nice Rig m8. :nod:

SCSI all the way m8y & run the Hard Drive from your Warp Engine SCSI. Be sure you're running 60ns SIMMS on her though. ;)
SCSI to SCSI is great on Amiga's, but you could ditch the A2091 & get rid of the Wait-States involved with the ZORRO Plane & the Mobo by chucking the CDROM on the Warp Engie SCSI as well. ;)

RE: Boot Partition, rkauer is spot on. Keep it small & don't forget, AmigaDOS Hard drive utilities are useless beyond 4GB. With a drive of that size, you'd be better off with another FileSystem such as PFS3 etc. FileSystem will determine your Max Partition size. Afaik, 32GB is the max size allowed for Partition size under FFS, but it depends on the block size. Go over to Amiga.org & ask the question to thomas (a guy in Germany) or do a Google search for it.

RE: Hiding Partitons under OS3.9, go to Prefs/Workbench & hide all you like. (y)

Best wishes.

Kin
 

jackson312

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Forgive my ignorance, what what is the Afaik filesystem? I am familiar if FFS and the OFS. Is it something supported by directly by 3.9, or would I need an additional driver disk of some sort.

I will inquire about the max size of FFS on a large disk. I am guessing you would want to go with something larger than the typical 512. For Linux FSes, they all use 4096 on disks larger than a few megs (ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS).
 

fitzsteve

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Ive setup my last two drives with SFS and have found the performance much better than FFS :)
 

jackson312

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How do you set the drive up with a FS that is not naively supported?

I assume you would have to setup the boot partition with FFS and then create other partitions using tools for the other FS (as well as adding a driver/library so the OS can mount it and read/write it).
 

jackson312

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I bought this so I can one day get rid of the A2091. I'll have to find a cable that can go from the Warp Engine, to the SCSI HD, then over the Zorro support bridge to the rear of the expansion card area:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270624169555&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

For now I will live with the A2091 as I am only using it for the external SCSI CDROM drive, not for HD access.

Maybe I'll write up a summary for other new comers once I get everything figured out.
 

Kin Hell

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Smart FileSystem is here, http://strohmayer.org/sfs/ & is 100% free & documented.

RE your SCSI Cable. All you need is a length of 50 Way ribbon cable & a few IDC Headers & you are good to go. If you shop around, you should be able to acquire a Backplane plate that already has a SCSI Port in it. They are normally 25Way for SCSI II, though you could be really posh & use a 50Way micro affair. Pick whichever is more convenient for your External hook-up cable. Be Sure to terminate both ends of the the SCI Bus though. External SCSI Device do not need to be Powered up for Termination to function.

Also, dont put the SCSI Cable over the ZORRO retaining bar. Instead, remove the two securing screws, lift the bar off remembering correct orientation & then lay the SCSI cable over the ZORRO backplane. You will see a wide cut-out in the ZORRO Board specifically for this purpose.
When refitting the Retaining Bar, be sure not to nip or pinch your SCSI ribbon cable. ;)

Have fun. (y)

Kin
 
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ajk

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If you were wondering how the file system installation is done, basically you just do "add filesystem" in hdtoolbox to add it, then set the desired partition to use it in the partition settings. The details can be found in the SFS docs and many guides on this forum and elsewhere in the net :)
 

rkauer

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You can't add more than 2 file system on the lowest level block of the Hard Drive (Also Known As RDB: Rigid Disk Block/RDB), so you "only" can have two at a time recognized without mounting the "foreign" partition(S) after the Amiga booted.

The boot partition can be the one you like it to be, FFS, FFS from 3.9, SFS, PFS2/3, AFS, etc. Just keep it small.

On the other side, I prefer and so strongly recommend you to keep the boot partition with FFS from 3.9. This will make it have the ability to re-validate itself from a crash, a thing that AFS/PFS & SFS cannot do. If a partition is not validated ( =defective), you'll never get it back from the land of the deceases...

Also, although the SFS/PFS/AFS are marvellous in speed, they have their own issues, as they cannot have parallel writings. They struggle on parallel readings, but that is not a problematic issue. That problem is one you'll see often in daily usage, but when it arrives, then will be too late to save data from the affected partition.
 

jackson312

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What are the different meanings to the partition names. I took an old IDE disk and repartitioned it under 3.9 (emergency floppy + CDROM). The Disk had previously had 3.0 on it. It had the name "HD0". When I re-partitioned it I have it the name "DH0" which is what I saw on a 3.1 disk. When I rebooted (for the changes to take effect, the disk vanished. It was no longer visible.
 

rkauer

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Use the HDToolbox from 3.9 CD (using the boot disk) and redo the partitions. Remember to click on the "visible" gadget and also on "bootable" for the boot partition.
 

davideo

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It had the name "HD0".

IIRC The naming convention is to do with the brand of HD.

For instance my 4000D has the following

IDH0 to IDH2 on warpdrive.device 6 (SCSI)
SDH0 on scsi.device 1 (IDE CARD)
MDH0 to MDH5 on scsi.device 0 (IDE HDs)

Yes that's right a total of 10 HD :D :D :D

Dave G :cool:
 

Kin Hell

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Naming Partitions under AmigaDOS can be quite confusing due to the Syntax HDToolbox uses. If you had a Seagate Drive, you'd get the default SDH0, SDH1 etc. Maxtor chuck an M up fromt & IBM an I....

In HDToolbox or HDInstTool, just name your Partitions with real names such as:

Workbench or WB3.9 or such. Name the others with real term names like, Games, Work, Store & such. Also for doing this, you dont get a shed load of Devices when searching though your Hard Drive listings. This will happen if you leave the default HD0 affair on HDToolbox & then rename the partition on your desktop.

Best wishes.

Kin
 

rkauer

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Heck, you can name your partitions the way you like!

Call one Samantha, other Daisy, another Ron_Jeremy, as you want! Just use less than 20 characters and don't use invalid ones, like "/" or "!", nor spaces (avoid spaces in partitions names, some programs will have a pink fit with they).
 
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