And in addition, there are problems using vintage Amigas......

Going through my small cache of software, I discovered, in its original box, an OS 3.5 compact disk, with the familiar Boing logo. My A3000 in Montana was attached to a non-functioning CD-ROM drive which must have been working at one time. I think this computer also has a Picasso II Board, since the WB display, like the A4000, is in color with the same "USS Enterprise"-like photo which I added. The CD drive in the 4000 is original and works fine, with a bunch of CUCD disks I had accumulated before "Amiga Computing" magazine ceased publication around 1998. I assume the A4000 is running OS 3.5 since I have the disk.
I tried everything I could to get the CD drive to work on the A3000, and suspect it might still work, but I left it in Montana and ordered another drive, which I took with me to California, along with another A3000 with a 110 MB Quantum hard drive which had a load of software which worked sporadically. I'm not sure that is because of the drive itself, or because of the SCSI controller. Or maybe, corrosion on the board. I had earlier removed all of the batteries from all my Amigas, and there is no visible evidence of damage to the mother boards. About this time I sought help from various Amiga sites on facebook, and eventually AmiBay, and with help with the Amiga 3000 in California, I got the drive to work. There is a trick to this, however, as it does not always automatically load on startup or reboot.

The secret seemed to be finding the CD0 datatype in the storage drawer and putting it into the datatype drawer, with the help of AsimCDFS and AsimCDFS Buffer. How I did this is still a mystery to me. Because of the spotty behavior of these ancient mechanical hard drives, I decided to replace them with CF or SD cards, just as I replaced the drive in my A1200. Since these are IDE units, I ordered a Buddha board from Germany, which is my next project, along with replacing the CD drive in my A2000HD, whose drive is similarily intermittant or "spotty'. This unit also has a GVP G-Force 040 board with a bunch of extra memory. So far I haven't destroyed anything yet, and with a little help from my friends....I'll get by.

Turning my attention to the A2000HD, where the performance is "spotty", ie, unexpected but recoverable crashes, I decided to try to attach a 4 GB CF card, relatively cheap (Transcend) from ebay, as well as daisy-chaining a 4 GB SD card, same brand beyond the CF card. After a few stops and starts, unable to mount the CF card, using my newly acquired new Buddha card, I finally came onto the solution, using a 98 MB IDE hard drive, two of which I unthinkingly brought from Montana. I attached it to the Buddha card, and it mounted and I transfered Data and Programs to the hard drive using the DOM that came with the board. I can see why folks don't want to use the DOM module, since it transfers everything into one file called System, and makes another empty file called Work. At least, it gets the job done rather quickly, but doesn't allow much customizing of the Workbench.

After mounting the IDE hard drive, it was no problem mounting the 4 GB compact flash card, and eventually copying all my Programs, System, and Data from the 140 MB Maxtor I had in the A2000. It still occasionally "freezes"--blank screen-- but I don't think it is either the fault of the hard drives or the CF card, as just this morning I noticed some green corrosion on the 3 or 4 pins of the main 68000 (or 68020) chip closest to where the original barrel battery had been. Too much of a project to replace it with a lithium "coin" battery, since it requires de-soldering the holes and resoldering the new battery cage. I suppose it might be done, carefully, with the right equipment, without removing the motherboard from the case, but that is another story. Here are a few photos to complete this section of the blog.
IDE.JPGOpen.jpgBuddha Flash.JPGEverything.jpg
The next project was to replace the CD-ROM drive. The first one I got from ebay, supposedly "brand new", did not open so I returned it. Another one is arriving in 48 hours, so will try again. Having gotten one CD-ROM to load on my 3000 using a thick Centronics-type cable, I guess I can try to stumble through it on the 2000 using the ribbon cables.

I received a Motorola CD-ROM drive from ebay, wonderfully packed and in great cosmetic and operative condition. Somehow I got it mounted. It helps to have CD0 icon in Devs/DosDrivers, and Mount CDO command in startup-sequence, or both. Only the detached CD drive connected to the A3000 shows the drive on startup or reboot, and loads the disk when insertedl. I still have to figure how I got this to happen as the internal CD drive on the A2000HD is identified on "Information" but does not appear as an icon (CD0). There is also the problem on both units of the messages "Please insert AmisCDFS_Buffer in any drive" and "Please insert AmisCDFS in any drive." I have to click "cancel" on each before Workbench and its icons, including CD-ROM icon loads on the A3000.

I added the CD Drive unit in the large A2000 bay with 4 screws, which required removing the entire right upper unit, including power supply and floppy disk drive. That allowed me to clean up some corrosion on the right side of the motherboard, especially around the inserts of the 68020 chip. Since I was still having problems booting up workbench on the A2000HD I replaced the Denise chip with a new one, thinking this a cheap alternative to correct display problems, and replaced the SCSI chip on the A2091 board thinking this was keeping the hard disk to load.

Continuing this blog after 3 months of intermittant efforts, I have not made much progress, but until today (Ma 31, Memorial Day in the USA) I had 2 working Amigas with hard drives, plus an A1000 which my son and grandson have discovered to play Pac-Man 87 from floppy disc, using joystick but no sound. They are competing for the highest score, and this keeps the grandson from pursuing violent games on my android phone. Today I swapped CD drives on the A3000, external scsi, working, and A2000HD, internal, CD not loading.

End result: I discovered I have 2 CD drives which don't work, and the swap has confused the A3000 not to boot from the hard drive. At least it boots from the Buddha CDI card, to which I had transferred all files. This does not recognize the previously-loading scsi CD drive, since it is IDE based (I guess). I'm hoping a few days rest will allow the 152 mb Maxtor hard drive to recover. Doubt if I will be able to upgrade these ancient scsi-based Amigas, but I've got 2 working A1200s and one A4000 which still work as they should.
  • CF Card Mounted.jpg
    CF Card Mounted.jpg
    191.2 KB · Views: 4
  • corrosion.jpg
    207.5 KB · Views: 6


There are no comments to display.

Blog entry information

Read time
5 min read
Last update

More entries in Member blogs

More entries from jnfweber

Top Bottom