Question for the hardware gods.
I don't think the storage medium matters. The size does, of course. (Size matters apparently!)
Let me explain what I'm trying to do to see if anyone has any ideas. I've added a SCSI2SD
card to my A2000. I've tried various microSD sizes, but understand that there is the magical 4GB limit which can cause a lot of issues if you go beyond it, and have read a ton around this in particular. I bought a 2GB and 4GB card. Either should be fine since both are massive in Amiga terms but small enough to not have to deal with the > 4GB issue.
I am not using this as a boot drive. If I was, I'd make the partitions 15MB, X & Y, where X and Y are virtually equal parts of the remainder from 2GB. But I'm not doing that. I'd be fine with one single 2GB storage drive, or one drive with two partitions of 1GB each. Either way I don't really care.
My hardware that matters:
GVP GForce030 Combo (SCSI card)
Quantum 49GB SCSI harddrive (ID 0)
Syquest Drive (SCSI, ID 4)
Those really are the key ingredients i think.
Originally, I tried to use the GVP FastPrep software to prep and format the microSD. Well, at first it didn't even see it. I had to set the SCSI ID via software
between my Mac and the card over USB so there weren't any conflicts. I set it to device ID 5.
After trying again, FastPrep saw the card but the settings it gleaned were all horribly wrong. Attempting to Prep or format would hang the software, do nothing, or cause a Guru Meditation. Good times. After a bit of research, FastPrep apparently is often avoided with this type of procedure as it just wasn't meant for it. I wonder what the GVP limits are... doesn't seem to be documented anywhere.
I decided to download and install HdInstTools
for 1.3, which in Amiga terms is insanely modern for 1.3 users as it was written in late 1999! My copy booted into German for some reason, and it took me several tries to change the default language to English. But once I did - wow. Awesome program! Very much like HDToolBox which is the de facto hard drive tool in 3.1-land, and works extremely well.
Here I could set the File System (FFS) as well as Partition the Drives. I could re-assign the drive letters (which I did) to DH3, DH4 and DH5 to guarantee no conflicts with my boot drive partitions, which I'm keeping for now. Also, I un-checked the new partitions from being Bootable but made them mountable
, and once again made sure the file systems were FFS.
It's pretty much at this stage where everything has gone awry at some point. If I reboot the machine to make the partitions take hold, I'll get an error saying the Device 5 is not a DOS disk. . . if I pop out the SD card, and reboot, it will ignore the device 5 and boot normally.
If I don't reboot after partitioning, I can actually go into the Format screens. Quick Format, which everyone recommends for 3.1 users, fails every time literally as soon as I click the button. "Format" (not low-level, but full) will actually do it's job! I'll get a disk icon on the Workbench desktop and even see my custom label.
It looks like it's working!!! Then, on reboot, all of my new drives disappear.
If I go back into HDInstTools, my card is found and the partitions are all there, staring back at me. But the formatted drives don't seem to exist.
I feel like I've probably been on the precipice of solving this multiple times, but keep falling off the same damned cliff. Groundhog day, big time.