Amiga Hard Disk Guide

By Peter J. Hutchison - April 2001
                  1   Choosing a hard disk
                  2   Installing a hard disk in your Amiga
                  3   Partitioning a hard disk
                  4   Changing or Upgrading the FileSystem
                  5   Installing Workbench on your Hard disk
                  6   Installing software on your Hard disk
                  7   Looking after your hard disk
                  8   Problems that may occur
                  9   Using Large Hard Disks
                 10   About the Author

                             Choosing a hard disk

      The  type  and size of hard disk are the main requirements  when
      selecting a hard disk for your Amiga.

       Types of interface

      IDE  -  Intelligent  Device  Electronics.   A  simple  interface
      designed  mainly  to add hard disks (upto  2)   to  a  computer.
      Modern  interfaces,  using Atapi,  can make it possible  to  add
      upto  4  devices including CDROMS.  IDE also refers to  ATA  and
      EIDE which are also compatible.

      SCSI  -  Small  Computer System Interface.  A  faster  and  more
      powerful  system then IDE which allows upto 7 devices  added  to
      the  computer  through  a daisy chain.  SCSI-3  drives  are  not
      usable at the moment.

       Other sub-types:

      UDMA  -  Ultra  Direct Memory Access.  Speeds  up  transfers  to
      33MB/sec.  Amiga does not directly support this but such  drives
      'should' work on older interfaces but work at slower speeds.

      ATA  2/ATA 2 FAST - Fast IDE interfaces normally appear on newer
      computers  such  as PCs.  Now supported by the IDE  replacement,
      the 'Power Flyer' from Power Computing.

      You  may come across other types but they are incompatible  with
      the Amiga. eg. MFM, ESDI, FireWire, USB.

       Size of hard disks

      The  physical size of a hard disk can vary from 1½"  to  5ĵ"  in
      size.  The most usual sizes are 2½" and 3½" sizes. The height of
      the  hard disk depends on the number of platters (surfaces)  the
      disk has: full height, half height, slim etc.

       Capacity of hard disks

      The  capacity of hard disks has doubled approx.  every two years
      and  it  is  now possible to get 40Gb hard disks!  It  is  quite
      difficult these days to find small capacity hard disks.

      If you own upto Workbench 3.1 without FFS updates,  then you can
      use upto 4Gb (spit into 2x 2Gb partitions) Hard Disks.

      If  you own Workbench 3.5,  and/or PFS2 or 3 or SFS then you can
      use  much  larger Hard drives of 4Gb or more.  Please note  that
      the  size  can be either quoted as formatted or unformatted  and
      may be rounded to nearest 100Mb.
       Makes of Hard disks

       Known Compatible drives:

     Hitachi DK221A-34 (340Mb)
     Hitachi DK223A-11 (1.1Gb)
     Quantum Fireball 540
     Fujitsu M1606S (SCSI, 1Gb)
     Quantum Fireball TM3220S (SCSI, 3.2Gb)
     Quantum Fireball 1280A (1.2Gb)
     Seagate ST3144A (124Mb)
     IBM 360Mb
     Western Caviar (4Gb)
     Seagate ST5127A (1Gb)
     Seagate Barracuda ST32550N (SCSI, 2Gb)
     Conner CPF1060S (SCSI, 1Gb)
     Seagate ST1080N (SCSI, 1Gb)

       Problematic drives:

       IBM (80Mb) - slow spin up
      Fujitsu 1Gb - slow spin up
     Seagate Hawk - unreliable

       Interfaces available in Amigas

       A500 - None
       A600 - IDE (2.5")
      A1200 - IDE (2.5")
      A1000 - None
      A2000 - None
      A1500 - None
      A3000 - SCSI (3.5")
      A4000 - IDE (3.5")
     A4000T - SCSI (3.5")
       CD32 - None
       The above are the recommended types and sizes to use in your Amiga.

       IDE/SCSI Controllers

      If you have a Zorro based Amiga,  it is possible to purchase IDE
      or  SCSI  adaptors  and  add   a   hard  disk  that  way.   Some
      accelerators cards now have built in SCSI interfaces:

     Commodore A2091 SCSI For A1500,A2000
     Oktagon 2008S SCSI for Zorro Amigas
     Warp Engine accelerator with SCSI-2
     Squirrel SCSI For A600 and A1200
     Blizzard accelerators have a SCSI option
     Appollo accelerators have a SCSI option
     CyberStorm accelerators have a SCSI option (SCSI-2/3)
     Viper 520CD has a IDE interface for A500
     A570 Hard disk for A500
     GVP HC-8 SCSI

     Buddha IDE Controller for any Amigas
     Alfa Quattro IDE interface for A4000

      For  A500  owners,  the hard disk is usually  supplied  with  an
      interface to be attached to the expansion port on the left  side
      (on the A1000 it is on the right side).

      The  A600  and  A1200 has a PCMCIA port and hard  disks  can  be
      added via a SCSI interface such as the Squirrel or Dataflyer  or
      a  special Overdrive hard disk.  Accelerator cards also have the
      option to add SCSI interfaces.

      Attaching more than one hard disk

      If  you  want to add a second hard disk then you must  note  the

      For  IDE  systems  the hard disks must  be  able  to  switch  to
      master/slave  mode through a jumper on  the  back  of  the  hard
      disk.   If the disk does not have such a jumper then you  cannot
      attach  a  second  disk.   2.5   Drives  do  not  normally  have
      master/slave jumpers but most 3.5 drives do.  For SCSI  systems,
      all  you need to do is set the SCSI ID number to an unused value
      (0-6) and add it to the scsi chain and check termination.

      This  entirely depends on where the hard disk  is  going  to  be
      put.   Most  external HDs are very easily attached  and  require
      just  common  sense  (See  instructions  supplied  with  HD  for
      details). Internal HDs are a bit more complex:

       A600/A1200 (Internal)

      Unscrew  the two halfs of the Amiga.  Remove the top half.   The
      keyboard  may need dettaching via the ribbon mear  the  back  on
      the  Amiga.  Insert the short IDE ribbon cable in the  interface
      located  in  the small cradle in the metal shield  on  the  left
      side  of  the Amiga.  Make sure the cable orientation is correct
      as it also supplies power to the HD!  Attached the IDE Hard disk
      to  the other end of the cable and place it on the supplied hole
      in the sheilding. Now reassemble the Amiga.

       A4000 (Internal)

      Unscrew the lid of the Amiga.  The hard drive will need a cradle
      and an IDE ribbon cable (if not already supplied).  Unscrew  the
      cradle from the Amiga and screw the HD into the cradle.

      The  cable should be attached to the multi-pin connector on  the
      mother board and the cable to the back of the hard disk.   Check
      that  Pin 1 matches the 1 on the HD.  The A4000 comes with extra
      power cables (four wires with a white coloured plug at the  end)
      from  the  PSU,  attach this to the back of the HD.   Screw  the
      cradle into the Amiga case at the back of the Amiga next to  the
      PSU. Reassemble the Amiga.

      If  you  are  adding  a second IDE HD then set the  Master/Slave
      switch  to Slave for the 2nd hard disk (these usually appear  on
      3.5" disks, not 2.5" disks).

      You  will  need  a 2-way split IDE cable for  both  HDs  as  you
      cannot chain them like SCSI disks.

      For SCSI,  ensure that the new HD has its own unique SCSI id and
      insert  it into the SCSI chain,  also change the termination  if
      necessary  or  you  may find that some SCSI  items  may  not  be

      Usually,  instructions are supplied by the retailer  or  if  you
      are  unsure how to install a hard disk or if your Amiga is still
      under warranty get the dealer to fit it for you!

      Partitioning a hard disk

      The  standard partitioning software is called HDToolbox  and  it
      is  usually  supplied  on  the   Install  disk  with  Workbench.
      Sometimes  third  party software is supplied  such  as  GVPPrep,
      RDPrep and so on.

       1. Locate and run HDToolbox.

      2.   The  program will search through available SCSI  slots  and
      then display a menu screen.  (NB:  IDE drives on A1200/A600  are
      listed as SCSI,  even if they are not,  this is normal). If a HD
      is  not found,  change the tooltype SCSI_DEVICE_NAME=scsi.device
      to the correct device name. Rerun HDToolbox.

      3.   At the top of the screen a list of drives is shown  at  the
      top.  If it is not recognised then 'Unknown' would be listed. If
      it is unknown, then do the following steps:

       a) Click on the item and select 'Change Drive Type'.

       b) Click on 'Define New...'

       c) Click on 'Read Configuration' to read the drive's settings.

       d) Click on OK until the main menu appears.

       4. Now select 'Partition Drive'.

      a)   A  new  screen  with  a  graphical  representation  of  the
      partition(s)  on the hard disk appears.  Sometimes a  hard  disk
      may be set up with one or two partitions.

      b)   You  can resize partitions using the blue triangle  to  the
      appropiate size.

      c)   You  can  delete  unwanted   partitions  by  selecting  the
      partition with the mouse and select 'Delete Partition'.

      d)   If  there  is  space,  then selecting 'New Partition'  will
      create  a  new partition for you by clicking in the free  space.
      Use DHx for partition names where x is 0,1,2 etc..

      e)   To  make  a  partition bootable,  click on  the  appropiate
      partition e.g.  DH0 and click on Advanced Options and  tick  the
      'Bootable'  option.   Make sure no other  partitions  have  this

      f)  Click on Change and more options will appear,  click in  the
      MaxTransfer box and change the default value (0xfffff)  to a low
      value  eg  0x1fe00.  This will prevent corruption  when  copying
      large files onto the hard disk. Click on OK.

      g)   If  you  have  made a mistake,  you can always,   click  on
      'Cancel' and exit HDToolbox.

      h)  Once changes have been made to your satisfaction,  click  on
      OK and then on the main screen select Save Changes to Drive.

      i)   Exit HDToolbox and reboot your Amiga.  This will force  the
      system to read the new settings on bootup.

      5.   Boot  off a copy of the Workbench disk or the Install  disk

      6.   You  can  now  format the new partitions using  the  Format
      option  on the Workbench Icon menu.  If the disk icons  fail  to
      appear you will need a new version of FFS.

      Most  people  use  the filing system provided  on  the  ROM  (ie
      resident File system,  also known as DOS1).  For most users  the
      FastFileSystem is the default.

      It  is  possible to choose an alternative file system  for  your
      hard disk.  If changing to a different file system than you must
      backup first, or you may loose all your data.

      Other  filing  systems include AFS (Advanced File System),   PFS
      (Professional File System) and SFS (Smart File System).

      To upgade to a new file system, complete the Following steps:

 1. Copy the new file system to the L: directory.
 2. Start up HDToolbox and enter Partition Drive screen.
 3. Select the partition you wish to update.
 4. Click on Advanced Options and then on 'Add/Update...' button.
 5. Click on 'Add New File System ...' and a dialog box will appear.
    (you can use Update if updating an existing file system).
 6. Enter path and name of the new file system e.g. 'L:FastFileSystem'.
 7. It will display the DosType (in hex) & the version, revision numbers.
 8. Click on OK until the main menu appears.
 9. To commit the changes click on 'Save Changes to Drive'.
 10. Exit and reboot to use the new file system. If necessary, format the
     new partition ready to be used.

      1.  If you have an Install disk then run the language version of
      the installation script in the Install drawer e.g.  English  for
      English speaking users.

      2.   If  you  do  not have the install script then follow  these

      a)  Boot off a Workbench disk and double click on the Shell icon
      to open a Shell window.

      b) Insert the Workbench disk and type:

     COPY WORKBENCH3.0:#? DH0: All Clone Quiet

      NB:   If you have a different version of Workbench,  change  the
      name  of  the disk used to the one inserted (type  INFO  to  see
      whats mounted). DH0: is the bootable partition.

       c) Insert the Extras disk and type:

          COPY EXTRAS3.0:#? DH0: All Clone Quiet

       d) Insert the Fonts disk and type:

          MAKEDIR DH0:Fonts
          COPY Fonts:#? DH0:Fonts All Clone Quiet

       e) Insert the Locale disk and type:

          MAKEDIR DH0:Locale
          COPY Locale:#? DH0:Locale All Clone Quiet

      f)  The Storage disk contains extra drivers and may be installed
      later.   Not all the files are required but copy the  files  via
      Workbench if they are needed.

      3.   Remove any disks and reboot the Amiga.  It should now  boot
      using the files stored on the Hard Disk.

      4.   Run  each  of  the Preferences programs  to  configure  the
      keyboard,  mouse,  screen and printer as you see fit. Some files
      may  need  to copied to DEVS drawer first for Printer,  Keyboard
      and Monitor drivers from the Storage disk.

      1. Most application software can be installed in three ways:

      a)  Using an Installer script. If no Installer program is found,
      copy  the program from the Install disk to the C directory.   If
      possible use the latest version, the current version is v43.3.

      b) Using an AmigaDOS shell script.

      c)   Copying  the  Drawers or files via  Workbench  (or  a  File
      Manager)   by  dragging  the files  from  one  disk  to  another
      location on your Hard Disk.

      2.  Using method (c) is sometimes hit and miss and some programs
      require extra libraries and drivers to be installed seperately.

      a)   All files ending with .library should be copied to the LIBS

      NB:   It is now common for some programs to have their own  libs
      drawer e.g.  MUI.  Also,  never replace a library with an  older

      b)   All files ending with .device should be copied to the  DEVS
      drawer.  Printers,  keyboard maps,  monitors, Datatypes are also
      stored in Devs and in Classes as well.

      c)   All  files  ending with .font with their drawer  should  be
      copied  to  the FONTS drawer.  Compugraphic fonts are  installed
      here,  run Intellifont to install the new font.  Run FixFonts if
      adding or removing bitmap fonts.

      d) Handlers are stored in the L: directory.

      e) Scripts, config files and so on can be stored in S: (or ENV:)
      f)   Check  the program's manual to see what should be installed

      g)   If  the program asks for you to insert a volume you  should
      note down the name of the volume and then add an ASSIGN to  make
      a fake volume (or logical volume)  which points to the directory
      on your HD.  These can be added to your s:user-startup or Assign
      Manager program if you use one.

        e.g. The game Xtreme Racing requires an volume called XTR

                       ASSIGN XTR: Dh1:Games/XTR

      3.   Check the program runs by double-clicking on the icon,   it
      should  run  okay  or give a requester asking for  a  particular
      library, device or whatever.

      4.   If  the  program  has  its own preferences  menu  or  prefs
      program,   run  that so that it's set up correctly.   Check  the
      manual to see what preferences to set to.

      5.  If you are unable to run a program,  check its requirements.
      It  may  require a particular version of WBench,   a  particular
      processor (maybe an FPU or MMU unit),  amount of memory or  disk
      space. Check requirements in the program's manual.

      6.   If  you are still unable to run a program,  find a copy  of
      SnoopDos,  run it and then try running the program. The log from
      Snoopdos  can  tell you which files it fails to  open  and  what
      versions are required.

    NB: Some open failures are ok to ignore but to decide whether it's
        important or not is dependant on your experience.

      7.   Not all software is installable on hard disks.  Disks  that
      appear as DF0:NDOS or DF0:???? cannot be installed unless  there
      is  an  installer program.  A lot of old games can be  installed
      using  patches  to copy the disk to the hard disk  and  run  it.
      Check aminet in game/patch.

      It is important that you look after the hard disk so that it  is
      well  organised  and  does not fill  up  too  quickly.   I  read
      somewhere,  that a certain person was having problems  with  his
      computer  and  could  not save data until somebody  pointed  out
      that his hard disk was full!

      The following tips should be noted:

      1.   Allows  backup your hard disk.  The cheapest method  is  to
      backup  your hard disk onto floppy disk.  It would  be  wise  to
      invest  in some good backup software and external backup  device
      e.g. Tape drives, Zip drives etc.

      You  do  not  always have to do a full backup but an incremental
      every  day,   week or 2 weeks is advisable.  It depends  on  how
      important the data is up to you.

      2.  Optimise the hard disk using a defragmentation utility. This
      speeds  up  the  use  of  the  hard disk  as  files  can  become
      fragmented over time.  This only requires doing at the most once
      a month.

      3.  Delete programs that you are no longer using .  Archive data
      onto  other  media if it no longer being used,  you  can  always
      copy it back if you want it.

      4.   Get  some disk repair tools such as DiskSalv or Quarterback

      This  will enable you to repair any errors that may appear  when
      the Filing System is damaged by errant programs.  They will also
      allow you to Undelete files you accidently removed.

      5.  To save disk space,  it is advisable to install some sort or
      real-time  dearchiving utilities such as  PowerPacker,   or  XPK
      utilities  which allow you to compress files to save  space  and
      then unarchive them on-the-fly when you want to read/view them.

      6.   Make  a  note on paper the type,  size and details  of  the
      partitions  (see  Advanced   options).   If  the  hard  disk  is
      accidently  erased then it may be possible  to  setup  the  hard
      disk as normal.

    The RDB-Salv utility could be a life saver!

 Useful software to have:

     HDToolbox         - HD Preparation
     HDBackup          - HD Backup
     BRU (CLI Backup)  - HD Backup

 Freely distributable:

     ReOrg 3.11        - Disk defragmenter
     Defrag            - Disk deframenter
     AFSOptimiser      - Disk defragmenter for AFS
     HDInst            - HD Installation tool
     FixDisk (WB 1.3)  - Disk salvager
     DiskSalv 2 (WB2+) - Disk Salvager
     AFSUndelete       - Undelete for AFS
     PFSUndelete       - Undelete for PFS2/3       
     MRBackup          - Backup
     ABackup           - Backup
     FFSTD64           - 64 bit File System patch
     RDBArc            - RDB Backup
     MyFormat          - Format replacement
     Format64          - Large disk formatter
     SFS               - Smart File System
     IDEFIX 97         - CD/IDE NSD Support
     ReadRDB           - Read/Backup RDBs
     AmigaOS 3.5/3.9 (with FFSv45), Power Computing etc
     Quarterback v6.1 & Tools, Quasar
     Diavolo Backup 2000, Schatztruhe (NEW)
     AmiBack 2, Amiback Tools
     Amiga Repair CD incl. DiskSalv 4, Schatztruhe
     RDB-Salv (RDPrep also has a facility to save RDB info)
     Professional File System (PFS3), Greed, Weird Science, Schatztruhe

Web Sites:

      As  with  any hardware or software,  there may be problems  that
      may occur when setting up or using a hard disk.

       1. Programs won't load or run and data is corrupted.

      This is mostly likely due to the MaxTransfer settings being  too
      high  for  the  Amiga to cope when copying files onto  the  hard
      disk.   Load  HDToolbox  and  goto Partition  Drive,   click  on
      Advanced  and  then on Change.  Set the MaxTransfer  value  from
      0xfffff to 0x1fe00 and OK and Save Changes.

      Reboot  and  the new settings will be used.  You  will  need  to
      reinstall programs that don't load.

       2. The Amiga reboots and the disk light is constantly on.

      Best  thing to do is boot with both mouse buttons held down  and
      wait  until the hard drive light goes out.  When the  hard  disk
      filing system (FFS)  is damaged the AmigaOS automatically runs a
      Validation routine on the partition affected.  Do NOT reboot  if
      this  happens,  wait until it finishes before running  anything.
      Use  a  utility called WaitValidate in your startup-sequence  to
      cause the bootup to pause while validation is in progress.

       3. Read/write errors are occuring on the hard disk.

      This  is more serious as this a hardware fault on the hard  disk
      surface.   These are known as Bad Blocks and can be  mapped  out
      from  the  Filing  System by Using the  Verify  Data  option  in
      HDToolbox or use Quarterback Tools in Repair mode to  check  the
      hard disk surface for these Bad Blocks.

      If  you  know  where the errors occur on the hard disk  you  can
      also  manually  map them out using the 'Modify Bad  Block  List'
      screen  and  enter the Cylinder,  Head,  Bytes  from  Index  and

       4. Checksum errors, corrupted or undeletable files or directories.

      These  occur  when  the  filing  system  is  corrupted  and  the
      validation routine has not fixed them.  You need to run a Repair
      of  the  filing  System  using a program  such  as  DiskSalv  or
      Quarterback  Tools.   As shareware  version  of  DiskSalv  2  is
      available  on  Aminet (disk/salv)  or other PD  sources.   These
      tools will only work on partitions below the 4GB limit,   it  is
      not  possible  to repair larger partitions with FFS  with  these

      If  errors like these re-occur then only a reformat (high or low
      level) should cure it.

       5. HDToolbox does not recognise my Hard disk.

      First,  check that the hard disk isn`t a slow spin up drive.  Do
      a  warm  restart (Ctrl+Amiga+Amiga)  and see if the HD  is  then
      recognised.  If the HD is still not recognised, try cutting Line
      1 of the IDE cable.

      If  this  occurs,  the hard disk is either incompatible  or  has
      become irretreivably damaged.  I hope you have a backup  of  it!
      If  important data is on this hard disk then some companies  can
      retrieve it for you - for a price!  Try rebuilding the hard disk
      from scratch.

      If  you own an A600,  some models have an older version  of  ROM
      whose scsi.device does not recognise IDE drives.  You will  need
      to  install  a newer version of the ROM to use IDE hard  drives.
      The  Kickstart chip version must end with a  5  or  0  for  hard
      disks to be used.

      Make  sure  that the drive you do install is IDE and  not  SCSI,
      you  can  sometimes tell by either the label on the disk.   SCSI
      drives  tend to use 50 pin interfaces while IDE uses  40/44  pin

      HDToolbox  defaults to scsi.device,  other hard disk controllers
      will  use  their  own  device   drivers  e.g.   2nd.scsi.device,
      squirrelscsi.device etc.  They will be either in  Devs:   or  in
      ROM.   Check  manual  or  check memory  via  Snoopdos  or  other
      utility.   Change  the Tooltype SCSI_DEVICE_NAME=scsi.device  to
      the correct device name.

      If  using  AmigaOS  3.5/3.9 add the ASKDEVICE=TRUE  tooltype  to
      scan for hard disks on third party hard disk controllers.

       6. The partitions have disappeared!

      Unless  you  have  a  copy  of   the  hard  disk  and  partition
      information,   it is next to impossible to retrieve  information
      again.   Viruses also may be a cause of losing RDB  information!
      It  is  possible to recreate the partitions if the RDB is  saved
      either on paper or on disk from RDB-Salv program.

      Use  "Advanced  Options"  in HDToolbox  to  manually  enter  the
      partition data.

      Partitions  can also disappear if you are using  an  old  Filing
      System  on a Hard disk bigger than 4Gb as the current  limit  is
      4Gb  for FFS v40.  You need to upgrade to FF v45,  PFS3 or other
      filing system with updated device driver.

       7. Hard disk does not boot from cold or even a warm boot.

      This sometimes occur on particular models of hard disks.  If the
      hard disk does not boot from cold,  press Ctrl+Amiga+Amiga again
      to  boot up.  The hard disk sometimes takes too long to spin  up
      before the exec tries to read the hard disk's RDB.  If the  hard
      disk  does  not  boot  from cold or warm boots  then  check  the
      Bootable option for DH0 in HDToolbox,  cut line one of the cable
      to  fix  it  or  update Kickstart to 3.1 which has  a  built  in
      feature to wait longer for slower hard disks.

      8.   I  cannot  partition  my  hard disk  properly  (-ve  sizes,
      unaccessable partitions)
      The  Fast  File System (v40)  currently has a 2Gb limitation  on
      the size of the partition you can have on the Amiga.  Also,  you
      cannot  use  hard disks larger than 4.2Gb as it  cannot  address
      the  larger values,  in such a case use many smaller disks (SCSI
      is best here) instead.

      Older FFS may have lower size limitations,  these occur  if  you
      try  to add partitions above the limit and don't appear  on  the
      Workbench  or  cannot be formatted.  To solve  this  get  a  new
      version of FFS or upgrade Kickstart and Workbench.

      If  using  the  standard FFS in ROM do not use  any  disk  space
      above the 4Gb limit as data can wrap around to the start of  the
      disk and overwrite the RDB thus losing all your partition info!

       9. How can I use large hard disks?
      If  you intend to use large hard disks/partitions,  then you can
      download the latest updates from Aminet:

     dev/misc   trackdisk64   - Trackdisk with 64 bit extensions
     disk/misc  FFSTD64       - FFS with Track disk 64 bit extensions
     disk/misc  Format64      - Format disks >4GB
      AmigaOS  3.5/3.9  has  updated FastFileSystem  and  patches  the
      scsi.device to allow bigger hard disks.  Please  note  that  the
      scsi.device   needs   the   ROM   update   to   work   with  the
      ide_scsi.device patchs to allow 8Gb or more hard disks.  The NSD
      patch  to  v40 scsi.device will only allow upto 8Gb Hard  Disks.
      You  can  also purchase third party filing system such  as  PFS3
      and SFS which supports large hard disks.

      10.   Can I use long filenames in Workbench? AmigaOS dos.library
      supports filenames upto 102 (incl.  .info extension)  characters
      long.  The FFS (incl.  AmigaOS 3.5/9)  can only support upto  30
      characters (incl .info).  To use longer filenames,  you need  to
      install  a  third party file system such as SFS (95  characters)
      or PFS3 (102 characters).

      From  Workbench 1.3,  the FastFileSystem was introduced to store
      files on hard disks.  The first Hard Disk for the Amiga was  the
      A590  with  a 20MB hard disk.  Later as the technology improved,
      disk sized doubled every year,  and now in 2001,  hard disks are
      on average 10GB or more in size.

      AmigaOS is a 32 bit system,  which means that it can store large
      numbers  from 0 to 2^32 (or approx.  4,000,000,000)  so  it  can
      safely  address hard disks upto 4GB but over that,  it will  not
      work. This applies to all Amigas will AmigaOS from 1.3 to 3.1

      Due  to  the  large  size of disks,  these  days,   AmigaOS  3.5
      introduced  New Style Device (NSD)  and 64 bit file  systems  to
      address  larger  hard   disks.    Also,   new  versions  of  the
      partitioning  software  HDToolbox,  a  new  Format  program  and
      patches to the OS have been introduced.

      Note,  if using another partitioning program eg SCSIConfig, then
      stick  to  using that instead of HDToolbox as they use different
      methods to read hard disk setup and you may lose partitions  and

      Amiga  Inc.  developed the NSDPatch which allow WB 3.1 users  to
      use  large  hard  disks  this  has been  incorporated  into  the
      SetPatch  command  which  must  be  run  when  Workbench  loads.
      Definitions  for each hard disk controller are included  in  the
      NSDPatch.cfg file to use the new NSD features.
      For  Amiga  OS  to boot the boot partition must  be  within  the
      first  4GB  or  if  using a direct SCSI file  system  (PFS3  for
      instance), within the first 8GB.

      When   using   the   internal   IDE   device   on   the    Amiga
      A600/A1200/A4000  there is a built in limitation  of  8GB.   For
      larger hard disks above the 8GB limit then you must install  the
      full  ROM  Updates  via  Setpatch  or  use  IDE-Fix  to  use  it
      otherwise you cannot address the whole disk.
      Further  information about Disk and File operations are  on  the
      AmigaOS    3.9    CD   in   Manuals/FAQ   directory    and    at .

       Author: Peter Hutchison
       Address: Halifax, UK


      Information  in this guide is accurate as far as  I  know.   Any
      modifications made to your hard disk is done at your  own  risk.
      I  cannot claim responsibility for any damage caused directly or
      indirectly by the advice given in this guide.

       Other Guides in the series:

       Workbench 1.3
       Workbench 3.1    
       Workbench 3.5
       Workbench 3.9
       PC Task 4.x
       Printer Guide
       Upgrading WB
       Expanding the Amiga
       Graphics Cards

                    Available from Aminet or my Web page.

                       Contacting me (about anything):

                                Email: pjhutch
                   Web site: