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Author Topic: How to Partition and Format 16GB CF cards or larger.  (Read 9619 times)


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Offline sir_bacharachTopic starter

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How to Partition and Format 16GB CF cards or larger.
« on: May 30, 2014, 06:55:20 PM »
Things I used:
  • Any Size CF Card (To use as Amiga HDD, I chose 16GB)
  • A second CF card formatted in Windows as FAT95 (To use with PCMCIA adaptor and used to transfer data between PC and Amiga, 2 or 4GB will do)
  • A PC USB Card reader (or internal reader on PC)
  • An Amiga PCMCIA CF Card adaptor (for transferring data)
  • An Amiga Boot disk that will read PCMCIA Flash cards. (If you struggle to create one, ask and I'll tell you how I made mine)
  • An IDE, CF card Adaptor for the Amiga
  • At least one Kickstart for use with WINUAE (There are tools you can use to rip your own Kickstart from your real Amiga)
  • WINUAE installed on a PC, set up to read ADFs as fast as possible, I just replicated the configuration of my real Amiga, but set the speed to 'As Fast as Possible'
  • ClassicWB downloaded to PC
  • WB3.1 disks in ADF format on PC

Things to note:
Preferably, any removal or insertions of cards should be done with the PC or Amiga switched off to avoid any accidental corruption of data.

Whenever you type something into a field, press ENTER or it will not save the value, when you re-open the window it will be gone.

'CF (Amiga)' = CF Card you will be using as your Amiga HDD
'CF (PC)' = CF Card you will use to transfer your files between Amiga & PC

  • Use Diskpart on the PC to clean the CF (Amiga) card you intend on using as your Amiga HDD (This gets rid of any unwanted PC data that your Amiga can't touch).
  • Format CF (PC) Card that you will be using to transfer data with the PC using FAT95 and the quick format option (Only ever use Quick Format with Solid state drives as it causes unnecessary wear to perform full formats)
  • Using WINUAE, install ClassicWB into a folder on the PC, using ADFs of your WB3.1 disks as well as ClassicWB for the install.
  • Test your new install of ClassicWB to make sure it boots within WINUAE (If it doesn't you're doing something wrong and should not proceed)
  • Copy the installation of ClassicWB into a Folder on CF (PC) called 'CWB31'
  • Insert CF (PC) into PCMCIA CF card adaptor and insert the PCMCIA adaptor into your Amiga.
  • Instert CF (Amiga) into the IDE CF Card adaptor and connect it to your Amigas IDE port.
  • Boot your Amiga from your Boot disk that allows you to read CF cards in the PCMCIA port. (Once booted you should see your CF (PC) but not CF (Amiga), if you don't see this yet, you've done something wrong, in which case don't proceed)
  • Open your CF (PC) folder and CWB31 folder, Open MyFiles>LargeHDD Support>Tools>HDInstTools and Launch HDInstTools (Don't use the one that came with your WB disks)
  • Click Setup Drive>Hold Right mouse button>Select Enquiry (This should populate the fields with your CF (Amiga) card)
  • You can Change the Vendor and Name if you like (I didn't use any special characters, I chose KINGSTON for Vendor and 16GBCF for Name). Click Use/Save.
  • Click File System, delete any file systems you see, then Add a file system, and search your CF (PC) for SFS file system, it should be CWB31>MyFiles>LargeHDD Support> 128GB > SFS. You should find SmartFileSystem. Select that one and Make sure the DOSType field is 'SFS\0' (remember to press ENTER) click Use.
  • Partition Drive, delete any existing partitions. Create your first partition, it should be less than 4GB, but for a ClassicWB3.1 install I found that 500MB was more than enough.
  • Click Edit Partition on your new partition. The name should be DH0, (Do not use another name)
  • Choose File System = Custom Filetype.
  • DOSTYPE = SFS\0 (Don't forget to press ENTER)
  • Max transfer should be 0x001FE00 (Otherwise you will get read/write errors and again, don't forget to press ENTER)
  • If you don't have a lot of memory to play with keep the buffers as their default 30, but if you have a ton of memory like I do (128MB of Fast Ram and 2MB of Chipram) I've changed my buffers to 500 (Press ENTER)
  • I changed my Cylinders to 3519 which changed the size of my boot partition to 512MB, the amount of Cylinders is relevant to the partition size. (Press ENTER)
  • Make sure Bootable is ticked
  • Click Save/USE
  • Add more partitions (I just added one second large one but you can use multiple smaller partitions if you like, there are no size limits on these ones as they won't be boot partitions).
  • Make sure you do everything as you did with the first partition only make sure Bootable is NOT checked and choose a cylinder size that reflects the amount of MB you want to use, by default it will have the largest possible amount of cylinders that remain. (Don't use the Slider to choose the size of the partition as it doesn't work, you need to alter Cylinders, so say for example the default figure was 10000 and the partition size showed as 14GB, if you wanted 2x7GB partitions you would just divide the 10000 by two and you'd get 5000. Again, remember to press ENTER on all the fields you alter and remember at this point all drive names should be In numeric order DH0, DH1, DH2, DH3 etc.)
  • Once all your partitions are set, click Save Changes to Drive, it will ask to reset the Amiga, follow the instructions.
  • Once you've reset the Amiga you should see your partitions you have made but they will displayed as DH0:NDOS etc. (Because they haven't been formatted yet).
  • Use HDInstTools to Format the boot partition DH0: (Do NOT format any other partitions yet as your Amiga can't use them yet. If you try at this point, you will have major problems. You can rename your drive on this screen or you can rename it later, but don't rename it on the partition screen.
  • Once format is complete, go into CF (PC)>CWB31>Programs and look for DOPUS and run it.
  • On the right hand side you will want to display your DH0: (That you have just formatted) and on the left you will want to display your CF (PC)>CWB31 folder.
  • Copy the contents of that folder (Not the actual CWB31 folder, just everything inside) to DH0:
  • Once this is done exit DOPUS, remove all floppy disks and reboot.
  • You should now have booted into ClassicWB on your new DH0: Drive.
  • At this point you won't be able to see your CF (PC) card as you haven't yet set your install of WB to read PCMCIA CF cards yet (You just need to set your install up in the same way as you did your boot disk, ask if you need help with this).
  • Now you need to open DOPUS again and look for Myfiles>LargeHDD Support>128GB>Scsi.device Doobrey.
  • You need to copy the relevant scsi.device for your system into DH0:/Devs folder and rename this copy to scsi.device as it will have a longer name such as scsi.device.a1200.
  • Once this is done exit DOPUS and reboot (This will Load the newer SCSI.DEVICE)
  • Your Amiga should now be set up to use large HDD partitions. To confirm you need to find Myfiles>LargeHDD Support>Tools>Check4GB> and run that app, it will tell you if your Amiga can use all your partitions, if any of them don't say OK and say something like * S, it means you've done something wrong so far, such as not copied SCSI.DEVICE across properly. (Sort this out before proceeding to the next step)
  • As long as all is OK, you can now use HDInstTools to format the other partitions you've made (Don't format your boot partition again as you'll lose everything you've done so far). You can rename them when you're formatting them, it should say Harddisk, but change it to something like Storage or whatever you want.
  • I found that I could only format one partition at a time using the tool, then I would have to reboot and reload HDInstTools and format the next.
  • Once all partitions are formatted, reboot and everything should be ready to use.
  • At this point I turned the Amiga off, put the CF (Amiga) into my PC (Whilst switched off) then booted up and ran WINUAE to transfer all my WHDLoad Games and Demos to my storage drive. I find WINUAE is a lot faster for this.
  • Once everything is how I want it and I have tested the CF (Amiga) card in my Amiga to make sure it's all working fine, I put my Amiga back together and all future file transfers, I just use the CF (PC) card to transfer anything else.

Schoolboy errors:
  • When you partition your drive, Always use DH0: DH1: DH2: DH3 etc, as these are system reference names for your Amiga OS to use, you can rename them when formatting, for example, when I format DH0: to System:, my Amiga will still always see it as DH0:. If you don't follow this step, you will find you have trouble writing to the disk and you will probably end up losing all your data. This for me was the main thing that caused me to spend 3 weeks setting up my drive.
  • If your drives don't appear after partitioning them and after a reboot, you probably haven't installed the File System correctly and named the DOSTYPE SFS\0 and also set up each of the partitions to refer to SFS\0 as the DOSTYPE.
  • Remember to never format any other partitions other than the Boot partition until your OS is up and running with SCSI.DEVICE loaded otherwise you will cause write errors on your newly formatted drive and you will lose data and ruin the drive.
  • Remember NOT to hot-swap CF cards as you may cause errors on the drive and ruin it. When I put the card into my Amiga, I do it when it's switched off and same for the PC. And when I remove it from either Amiga or PC, it's switched off too.
  • Not setting the MAX transfer as I suggest will cause you to have crashes as the Amiga will try to read data quicker than the IDE port can handle. You could end up with corrupt data on your CF Card.
  • Not pressing ENTER after editing a field causes the info NOT to be saved.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 08:31:49 PM by sir_bacharach »

Offline lionstorm

Re: How to Partition and Format 16GB CF cards or larger.
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 02:01:44 PM »
Wow !
I dont have such big card but this should be a good read to people in need so thanks for the detailed instructions !

Offline delshay

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Re: How to Partition and Format 16GB CF cards or larger.
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 05:18:16 PM »
I formatted a 128GB CF from the A1200 PCMCIA slot,be prepared to wait around 2 to 3 mins just to quick format. This was just a test to see how long it would take,but it works with no problems.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 05:48:05 PM by delshay »
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Offline stefcep2

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Re: How to Partition and Format 16GB CF cards or larger.
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 02:04:38 AM »
instead of SFS, can I use PFSaio?

Offline sir_bacharachTopic starter

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Re: How to Partition and Format 16GB CF cards or larger.
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2014, 02:09:28 PM »
I've only tried sfs with this method but I think it should work fine with pfs. Not sure what pfsaio is either. Just remember you'll need tge dostype for pfs3 which I think is actually pfs\3. :)