Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

gazcbm

10 PRINT "8 Bit Hero"
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Posts
1,067
Country
UK
Region
Manchester, UK
Hi All,

I have some questions about partitioning my hardisk. I have been following the guides below which are very detailed but seem to go vague in the areas I am interested in :)

http://wiki.classicamiga.com/How_to_ins ... hin_WinUAE
http://wiki.classicamiga.com/Installing ... _or_larger)

I have a 20Gb drive (which has no information on heads cylinders etc etc) I understand from browsing that I must have a boot partition of around 100Mb-2Gb (according to the collective various posts I have read). So lets say, I have a 500 MB boot partition, I would then like the rest of the disk to be on large partition. Is this possible?

I have created the 500Mb boot partition, but the remaining free space is showing as 2GB?!? I created the partition anyway and continued with tutorial, hoping that the IDEFIX software would make something magic happen. Unfortunately my second partition is still reporting as 2Gb :-(

I would appreciate any help you guys can give
Thanks
 

Harrison

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Posts
10,153
Country
UK
Region
West Sussex
Re: Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

It's great to see you are using my Wiki guides. :)

It is also very useful to know of any information they currently do not cover, or something that isn't clear or is confusing, so that I can work on them some more and add this additional information into the guides to help complete them fully. I already have planned to add screenshots showing HDToolkit for each step of the partitioning process.

Regarding your question. Yes you can have a boot partition of say 500MB, and then the rest of the disk as a single large partition using the rest of the HD space. But you will need to use the SFS file system for this because the standard FFS only allows you to use the first 4GB of HD space on any dsized HD or you start to get data corruption past the 4GB limit.

As you are following the guide. Take into account that HDToolkit will not correctly show the total size of the HD partitions for a drive larger than 4GB. But it will still partition the drive correctly. Also are you using the SFS file system? If not you will need to otherwise you won't be able to partition properly beyond the first 4GB. Finally once you have partitioned the drive you must use the SFSFormat command that comes with the SFS files you download as detailed in the guide at the bottom in the section Formatting the new partitions. http://wiki.classicamiga.com/How_to_ins ... partitions

If you format the SFS partitions with the standard workbench format command you will corrupt them.

I hope that helps. Please ask anything else as it will also help me improve the guides if possible.
 

gazcbm

10 PRINT "8 Bit Hero"
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Posts
1,067
Country
UK
Region
Manchester, UK
Re: Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

Hey Harrison,

Thanks for the reply AND your guides!!

I have followed the guides but my understanding falls down around the large partition concept, a couple of screenshots for the HDtoolkit would be a great help.

As far as I am concerned I have created a "good" boot partition (I found the slider a bit hit and miss so its a 547Mb ish partition) this includes the SFS filesystem.
At this point I had a question...

* The SFS file was stored in the "work" folder/hardfile. When I added this to workbench, is it then stored internally or will workbench always look to find the file again in the "Work" folder/hardfile?

For the second Partition I selected the remaining free space and created a partition regardless of reported size. This was using the same process above so it should be a good partition. I then installed the IDEfix software and just selected all the defaults, I was a little unsure of whether the defaults were required or necessary ??!!?

Both the partitions were formated correctly using the sfsformat which are read and writeable in workbench.

In workbench my large partition is showing as 2gb ish which raises my second question..

* How can i confirm that the partition is actually the size that it should be and that the SFS is running?

Thanks for your help so far.
 

Harrison

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Posts
10,153
Country
UK
Region
West Sussex
Re: Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

* The SFS file was stored in the "work" folder/hardfile. When I added this to workbench, is it then stored internally or will workbench always look to find the file again in the "Work" folder/hardfile?

It only needs to access the SFS file to load the SFS file system into the HD partition table. Once it has done this the SFS filesystem is on the HD and it doesn't need to load it again from Work or any other location, so nothing to worry about there. You are only accessing it once form the Work folder to load it, nothing more.

For the second Partition I selected the remaining free space and created a partition regardless of reported size. This was using the same process above so it should be a good partition.

If you followed the same process exactly then it should be OK. Just to check, for the second partition you did follow all steps exactly the same? Editing the second larger partition by selecting it, clicking on change, selecting SFS/00 and then typing the mask, maxtransfer and blocksize info and pressing return after each entry? If so then it should be OK.

And you already said you formatted the partitions with the SFSformat command so that should be OK too.

To check the partitions and see if they are OK you can use the SFSCheck AmigaDOS command that also comes with the SFS files. You can load it from a shell/CLI as you did the SFSFormat command.

If your harddrive partition is called DH0: and DH1: you would type:

Code:
SFScheck DH0: 200 lock

and then


Code:
SFScheck DH1: 200 lock

If the partitions are not using SFS this utility will report that the disk isn't using the correct format. It is important that you include the lock part of the command as this locks the drive during the test, preventing any other programs from accessing it and creating false error codes during the checking process. The 200 in the command is for the cache SFScheck uses to read ahead and speed up the scanning time. You can try higher numbers but a fast process will be needed if you set it too high.

If the SFScheck utilities reports everything is fine then Workbench is just reporting the HD size wrongly. I've not personally had this issue running a 40GB under Workbench 3.1. The largest 27GB partition on the HD shows correctly. Although I do have IDEFix installed.
 

gazcbm

10 PRINT "8 Bit Hero"
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Posts
1,067
Country
UK
Region
Manchester, UK
Re: Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

Hi Harrison,

I have just gone through the procedure again just in case I missed anything.

Interestingly, the 1st partition reports fine when I use sfscheck, the second partition throws an error saying out of memory (I have a screen shot but dont know how to attach to the forum).

In terms of IDEfix, I think this is installed correctly. I have an unregistered version at the moment so I get nag screens etc. Workbench is still saying 2,131M for the second partition (Again I have a screenshot of this and also what the partition diagram looks like in HDTool)

Could this be because I am still operating with WinUAE?

Gaz
 

Harrison

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Posts
10,153
Country
UK
Region
West Sussex
Re: Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

Nope. The drive should work perfectly with WinUAE. I've never encountered any problems using Amiga formatted drives and WinUAE.

You are probably getting out of memory errors when you test the drive due to the emulated Amiga not having enough fast ram, or you could try changing the 200 number in the SFScheck command to something higher or lower and see if that fixes it.

Maybe try deleting the larger partition in HDToolkit and then remaking it, running through all of the steps again as you do. I have found in the past that sometimes partitions don't work correctly the first time, but remaking them fixes the problem.
 

gazcbm

10 PRINT "8 Bit Hero"
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Posts
1,067
Country
UK
Region
Manchester, UK
Re: Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

:cry:

Just tried that again, still exactly the same. Could it be that IDEFix isnt installed correctly?!

Also just cranked up the memory and played around with higher and lower numbers, still get the memory error message
 

Harrison

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Posts
10,153
Country
UK
Region
West Sussex
Re: Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

What version of Workbench Install disk are you using?

Are you using the most up to date version of the SFS file system? On The SFS website there is a main SFS download, plus an update. It's recommended to download both. The update contains a newer version of the actual L:SmartFileSystem file that you load when partitioning the drive.

The only other thing I can suggest you try is the alternative partitioning software HDInstTool which you can read about and download from here. HDInstTool is a much better and easier to use utility compared to Commodore's HDToolKit. I'm going to be updating the guides on the Wiki to mention it as an alternative to HDToolKit.

HDInstTool works in a similar way to HDToolKit, but it is much easier to edit and add partitions and it correctly reports the size of each partition too.
 

gazcbm

10 PRINT "8 Bit Hero"
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Posts
1,067
Country
UK
Region
Manchester, UK
Re: Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

Harrison,

Firstly, thanks for your help so far it is much appreciated.

This evening I have been playing around and have tried a completely new disk. The same thing occurs so I thought I would just try filling the large partition with files over and above what was being reported and sure enough, it is allowing me to do so. I guess for some reason, workbench is just not picking up the true size of the drive ( I am using the Workbench 3.1 Disks).

I might have a play round with hdinsttool tomorrow
 

gazcbm

10 PRINT "8 Bit Hero"
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Posts
1,067
Country
UK
Region
Manchester, UK
Re: Hard Drive, The missing middle section.

I havent had chance to play around with this still as things are a bit manic with xmas around the corner.

I guess I will give it a whirl again after xmas now, I didnt want you to think all I wanted was a fix for my problem and then for me to never post again :)

I love the way you can set a drive up in an emulator and then plug it directly into the real thing and have it boot first time!! Just think how much more efficient the world would be if we everyone used Amigas!!!! <drifts into dreamy thoughts>
 
Top Bottom