User avatar
Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:47 pm

I've been recovering from a nasty cough and cold all weekend, which naturally allowed me to do some hardware finagling on the 2000. Ever since I've had my Amiga 2000 I've not been able to get any of the 44MB SyQuest disks to mount.

For those not familiar with the SyQuest:
In 1986, SyQuest announced the SQ555 and its SQ400 associated cartridge, a 44 MB 5¼-inch removable cartridge hard disk drive, using the industry standard 130 mm disk as its medium. Double capacity versions, the SQ5110 and SQ800 were introduced in 1991. This generation of products became the de facto standard in the Apple Macintosh world to store, transfer and backup large amounts of data such as generated by graphic artists, musicians and engineers.
Well it became the standard for this Amiga, too.

And as many of you know, WB 1.3 is kind of the wild wild west when it comes to hard drives and other SCSI devices. These were the days of pre-HDToolbox, and in terms of the 2000 it really boils down to the software that came with your SCSI cards. In my particular case the GVP Faaastprep software.

I could get disks to engage the drive - meaning I could insert disks, push the door lock and watch the orange read/write light flicker and eventually see the separate green 'ready' light pop on as well. But for the life of me I couldn't get the disks to mount. To the computer they were essentially invisible, and therefore unusable.

Until now.

I'm going to do a deeper-dive post on how I got this all to work in the near future for other hardware nerds out there, particularly for the half dozen with 2000s who might want to do the same some day. But for today I'm basking in the afterglow of finally getting the SyQuest drive working in WB 1.3.

Imagine popping in a disk the size of most original Amiga hard drives. Pretty danged cool.

As a test I moved my entire installed copy of Eye of the Beholder II from my hard drive to a SyQuest disk. I then successfully played the game. Time to move every thing over I can get my hands on.
A SyQuest disk successfully mounted to the WB 1.3 desktop.

The SyQuest drive is ready for business and is munching a 44MB (42MB usable) disk.

User avatar
Zippy Zapp

Posted Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:06 pm

I always had Syquest drives going back, they are great. I still have a Syquest 5.25 88MB drive and about 10 88MB carts with some still have Amiga stuff while others have Mac stuff.

My favorite drive is probably the EZ drive 135mb. 3.5" SCSI. I have two of them and probably 30+ cartridges. Most of those are still sealed and the used ones have mostly early Mac 68k/PPC stuff on them. Much better then ZIP drives but the Syquest drives that followed were quite a bit more cheaply made and were prone to problems. That includes the EZ230, The SyJet 1.5GB and the SparQ which are very flaky. The older Syquest drives were built to last though and I still use them today. The SparQ and Syjet were a factor in sinking syquest as a company.

User avatar
Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:12 pm

Zippy Zapp wrote:The older Syquest drives were built to last though and I still use them today.
Yes, I've read in multiple places that the older, smaller SqQuest drives are very reliable. It wasn't until they started to go "big" that the disks became notorious for failing, sometimes right out of the packaging.

User avatar
Maryland, USA

Posted Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:20 pm

I still have a SyQuest EZ 135 setup that I use now and then. It works flawlessly, but I am running OS 3.5 on my A2000. I am sure that makes it easier.
I gave up on 1.3 back when 2.0 (or 1.4, depending) came out. I am all for trying to keep up with the new OS, usually.

User avatar
Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:10 pm

@motrucker Since I have the luxury (or mental illness) of multiple machines, that affords me to have 1.3 on my 2000 and 500, and 3.1 on my 1200s. I have another 2000 that has 3.1 on it, but it is currently black screened... :(

The OSes I use on their respective machines are the OSes that were made for them BITD. I recently let go of a mint NOS 2000 (rev 6.4) that had 2.0 installed on it and I really liked it, too. There are UI and UX features of 3.1 that I really miss on 1.3 - 3.1 is where I started with Amiga. But once I figured out some of the work-arounds it's not too bad. And the blue kind of grew on me - it's so different. I've read somewhere they did that for the colors to play nicer with TV screens in the very early days rather than dedicated monitors, but who knows. I have the chips to upgrade my 2000 to 3.1, but think I may keep it the way it is since I have other machines that already go that route.

And, at least today, most of the games and software I'm interested were aimed at the original OS/KS, particularly US-created NTSC stuff. I'll dabble in PAL sometimes, but most of the time I'm in NTSC-land.

I'm using my SyQuest as a mega-backup system right now. It sits quietly most of the time.

User avatar
Detroit, MI, USA

Posted Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:57 pm

Since I hacked the Magic WB 8 color icons into Workbench 1.3 I miss the blue so much... I mean back in the day I had experience with the grey Workbench. Games made after 92 usually booted into grey. Some of them did their own thing all together... I used to alter it all myself and change the mouse icon. But I miss good old blue so much.... I still get a taste of it however, as I often use Disk Master which does the blue/orange stuff.

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