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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
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Posted Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:39 pm

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.

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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:01 am

Yikes. I hate these kinds of problems, they are not always easy to diagnose. Have you had a look here to see if the colors indicate anything on your machine? http://members.quicknet.nl/rhm.herold/c ... eaning.htm

If it is indeed a CIA problem you could try swapping them or swap them out with the ones from your broken A2000 board.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:56 am

So I pulled out the G-Force 30 CPU/SCSI/RAM card and put in a simple GVP Impact SCSI card (series I). It has no RAM installed right now, and is just there to get your SCSI devices going. It has a minimal amount of jumpers - but I can only find the manual for the Series II, which is frustrating.

Regardless, when I plug this card in the system boots from floppy as it should. After using some GVP HDD installation software, I'm able to get my Syquest to mount. But it still can't hit the Quantum HDD. I'd be shocked to learn that the Quantum isn't set to SCSI ID 0, but that's really my only working theory right now. I also tried HDInstTools and it couldn't find the drive, either.

Someone I'm connected to on Twitter had an interesting idea. They suggested I put the KS 3.1 back in, try and see if I can change the SCSI ID to 0, then put 1.3 back in. That's the best idea I've got right now as I'm pretty sure 3.1 is installed on that drive. Why my software tools can't even see it, though, is baffling. When my software tries to find the drive, I can see a tiny green led on the bottom of the drive blink repeatedly - it's being hit somehow. But not in the right way (yet).

If the KS swap doesn't work, I'm not sure what I'll try next. Without the manuals showing the exact jumper settings, it's like a old point-n-click adventure made by the cruelest of game designers where there's no obvious logic involved - just a painful "puzzle" to eventually luck into.

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icbrkr
Particles! BBS
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Posted Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:19 am

I might not be following this as well as I should but there is definitely a boot order based on SCSI order.

Also, I don't know how the GVP works, but is it using scsi.device, or another driver?

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:32 am

I might not be following this as well as I should but there is definitely a boot order based on SCSI order.
That is correct. When I remove the G-Force card, it seems to follow the order correctly. When I insert the card, the process hangs and never lets the order flow as it should. It is 99% likely a jumper setting but I've not been able to figure it out. If I disable the SCSI drive on the card, though, the accelerator/RAM is recognized and all is well.

So, I pulled that card for now and have been trying to get a straight "Impact a2000 SCSI+8" card to work. It has slots for up to 8 MB of RAM, but those bays are empty right now. If I could simply prove that the drive is functional I believe I could work my way backwards towards the G-Force.

I have been able to prove that the SCSI+8 does indeed work. I got it to mount my SCSI Syquest last night, which is on SCSI ID #1. I just haven't been able to hit the HDD. I would think that the HDD would be set to SCSI ID 0, which is the most common. But so far it just hasn't shown up. Cables/etc are all connected properly.

So, as a last gasp hail Mary I'm going to grit my teeth and put the 3.1 KS chip back in tonight and see if that helps. If it is indeed on a goofy SCSI ID, and I can change it, I should be good to go.

Fingers crossed.
Also, I don't know how the GVP works, but is it using scsi.device, or another driver?
Off the top of my head IIRC the GVP cards use a proprietary driver like gvpscsi.device. Why do you ask?

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icbrkr
Particles! BBS
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Posted Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:15 am

I was trying to figure out why it was/was not showing up for you. I was curious if it might be the device driver that was loaded. Unfortunately, my experience with 1.3 is so limited.

What is your Syquest mounting as? Is it internal or external?

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:05 pm

What is your Syquest mounting as? Is it internal or external?
It's an internal drive, but it mounts (SCSI ID 1) as "removable storage". The way those work is after you boot WB, you have to manually launch the scsi driver to use the disk(s), which is totally fine. I only use them about once a quarter right now for backups.

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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:19 pm

Do you have any Mac computers, especially PowerPC Macs that you can connect the drive to? I have found Mac HD tools to be pretty decent at diagnosing SCSI drive problems. So if I understand it is hanging on boot (Grey screen) only with the card installed?

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:08 pm

Do you have any Mac computers, especially PowerPC Macs that you can connect the drive to?
The only "legacy" Mac I currently have (and I've owned a ton over the years) is a G3 Ruby iMac circa 1999 running OS 9.2.

That Mac is a PowerPC... but I'd need a G3 tower, I think, in order to do what you're talking about. It doesn't have SCSI.
So if I understand it is hanging on boot (Grey screen) only with the card installed?
Only with the G-Force accelerator, yes. If I use a jumper setting to disable the SCSI drive on that card, it'll boot fine from floppy. I can see the upgraded CPU and expanded RAM on the card by using the card's install/diagnotic floppy disk, too. But I can't setup the HD if the card's SCSI jumper is disabled. . . At least I know, worst case scenario, is that I could use the accelerator card for speed and RAM if I want. Down side of that, though, is the RAM expansion makes using the SCSI drive way faster when integrated with a HDD on the same card. But, I'll worry about that later.

When I remove that card and use a SCSI+8 card instead everything boots fine from floppy - I just can't see the hard drive via GVP Fast Prep or HDInstTools. And, to make matters worse, I can't locate a manual for the SCSI+8 to verify that its SCSI drive isn't being bypassed. It is not a complicated card at all, but it has about 10 jumpers and I've no idea what any of them are for. So, I'm flying a bit blind there. The only manual I've found is for the Series II which has a totally different layout and number of jumpers.

The G-Force card has jumper settings shown online on a couple of sites, but each site I go do uses different terminology and different default settings (and I'm pretty sure I tried them all).

But right now I'm focused on the SCSI+8 as I've had the most luck with it since it has successfully mounted my Syquest drive. Just not the Quantum hard drive.

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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:05 pm

Ahh. I see what you mean. Yes, sorry I should have qualified PowerPC with one of the beige models with built in floppy drive and SCSI, pre-iMac.

SCSI voodoo. ID numbers have to be correct as do termination. Not sure what else to try. :?





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