Back in October of 2016 when I got a large stash
of Amiga hardware and software, in the collection there were two complete A2000 machines.
One (let's call System A) was the previous owner's daily driver - an early rev 4.5 motherboard with HDD, G-Force 030 40Mhz (an impressive CPU upgrade combo card with RAM as well as a SCSI controller) a Syquest drive and 16GB RAM and megaChip (2 MB Fast). All in all, a beast of a machine.
The other 2000 (let's call System B) had a 030 Derringer board CPU upgrade, dual floppies, a Syquest and ~4MB RAM. This was a more modest system, and what he called his backup machine.
Both machines still had their barrel batteries soldered to their motherboards when I received them, and both were leaking.
System A had extensive battery damage and only booted once (and never to HDD) before simply showing a black screen of death. System B booted just fine from day one. Ironically, my previous owner's backup became my daily driver. I upgraded System B to 12MB of RAM and installed a SCSI2SD card as well, giving it more storage than I will likely ever need. But if I do, I can simply pop in another SD card at a later date. The issue with System B is that the Derringer card (an old original CPU upgrade that is very hard to find and was made in - I think - 1990 or so) is so big and tall
, it actually makes very light contact with the disk drive bracket that sits above it. As a result, sometimes on rare occasions the mouse will start to freak out. Pushing lightly down on the mouse cable gives the chip its space back, but is not a great long-term solution. The truth is my best bet is to grind down the floppy bracket, or find a way to make it sit slightly higher while still conforming to the original case.
Last month I acquired a motherboard replacement for System A
, this time a rev 6.2. I fear for the long term health of System B and want to get System A back in business -- at least until I can find the time to deal with that Derringer issue.
This weekend I pulled the dead motherboard out of System A and and replaced it with the newly acquired one. Before doing the swap I desoldered the old battery posts and cleaned the acid away - I was stunned that the old battery had been removed but the board not cleaned.
Next I soldered in the a new coin battery. I also moved the megaChip over from System A's dead MB to the new one, and degraded the Kickstart chip from 3.1 to 1.3. After putting it all back together, I fired it up and voila!
Everything was looking great so far. My son begged me to fire up Wings of Fury
, which I'm in the middle of playing these days and I couldn't resist. I hooked up the 1084s and it looked absolutely gorgeous.
Then I popped in the G-Force 030 (40mhz) CPU/SCSI combo card, which has been sitting in my closet since last October, waiting for this day. I scoured multiple sites for the proper jumper settings (there are a ton). After several hours, I believe I got them all exactly as they should be back to their default settings for a 40mhz card. I made it so it would ignore the SCSI drive and powered it up with the WB floppy.
Everything was still looking great. The G-Force card was being recognized, RAM was shown properly, etc.
The final step: hooking up the hard drive. And this is where the Catch-22
has me stuck at the moment.
If I hook up the hard drive (an old Quantum, which I believe to be functional) and enable the drive on the SCSI card, when I boot up the machine the hard drive overrides the floppy boot sequence. So, because the old drive (I think) has WB3.1 on it, the boot process freezes on a light gray screen. The machine never seeks the floppy and everything just sits there.
If, like in 3.1, I could hold down the mouse buttons and tell the machine to launch from floppy I might be able to get around this. But as it stands right now it’s a total head scratcher. I can’t load a hard drive installation floppy disk because the hard drive seems to be getting in the way of the boot sequence. Rather than be ignored because the data is goofy, the machine just hangs and never hits DF0.
I’ve considered hooking the drive up to my functional 2000 and setting it up over there - just to see if that's possible. Or, even more sketchy, un-hooking the SCSI cable during bootup, then attaching it after loading Workbench - just to see if HDInstTools can find the drive after the fact...
I need to find a way to simply format it, I think, and start from scratch.