Amiga hardware info, help and support with a focus (but not limited to) North American NTSC experiences. Open to all.
User avatar

by Oldtriguy1960 posted Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:12 pm

Hi everyone,
I just joined the group so please forgive me if I make some inappropriate posts..
I have an Amiga 500 (USA version) that I’m interested in selling. My question is: what concerns do I have to have about removing all personal data from it prior to selling it?
I’ll add that it has not been used for the last 20 years or so and is not currently set up and running. Are there certain memory chips I could/should remove?
Or must I set it up and get it running so I can do a master reset to remove all stored data ( I have no idea how to do that now, but could learn).
I’d appreciate any input, recommendations, suggestions, etc.
User avatar
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:59 pm

That's a lot of stuff to sift through.

First question: is there "trap door" RAM in that 500? A lot of those expansions had a RTC (real time clock) on the board. If you've got one of those in the 500, those batteries can leak and destroy motherboards. Get that sucker out of there if you have one in there.

Beyond that, the only personal data I can imagine you might worry about would be if you have a hard drive for the thing plugged into the side via the expansion port. And even then, what kind of software were you running that might be sensitive? Something like Word Perfect Library, with calendars and contact info?

Maybe post a few pics of what you have and we go from there? Happy to assist.
User avatar

by Oldtriguy1960 posted Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:03 am

Thanks for the reply Intric8,

I'll work on getting it out of storage and checking it's condition and taking some pics. Maybe this weekend if I get a chance.
Things always seem to crop up that need taken care of that make me adjust my mental "to do" list.

The info I'm concerned about is if I had saved any spread sheet or word processing data or pics that had private data included like social security number or email addresses or maybe passwords or even other types of info like addresses/contact info for friends. It's been so long that I don't remember what all might be on there, but don't want anything left on there when I sell it.

User avatar
Zippy Zapp

by Zippy Zapp posted Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:32 am

The A500 by itself cannot retain any information there are no chips that store information after power off. But as intric8 said, if you have added some sort of mass storage device to it then you would want to wipe that out. For the A500 back in the day it would have been a side expansion so you will know right away if you have that. The only other way you could store personal information would be on floppy disks. Did you have a monitor that went with it? You could try hooking it up and booting it from your disks and see what happens.
User avatar

by oldbull posted Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:29 pm

Hello, as others have said there are no "back-in-the-day" internal upgrades to the A500 that store personal information. I shot a couple phone videos to help explain things. If you had a hard drive, it would be an external box that plugs in here.

As for the battery Mr. Intric8 mentioned, that is located here. Please note I am pulling the circuit board horizontally to remove it.

I know you said you do not want to keep the computer, but a working Amiga will fetch a higher price than an untested one. If the machine was not tightly wrapped up and has dirt or dust on it, check inside before you power it up. This person's video was my reference for how to get inside and inspect. I'm waiting on parts to get my Amiga to boot before I take the time to make it pretty so i went out-of-sequence from what he did.

Regarding floppies, take them on a case-by-case basis. Games won't have your personal info so you don't need to check those discs. In case you forgot, WORKBENCH is the boot disk. The A500 will likely ask for it when powered on.
When you first attempt to power up, do not connect the hard drive or external floppy, Just use the power supply, monitor, and mouse. The machine should ask for a Workbench disk.

Put that floppy in the internal drive and pray. After about a minute of coffee grinder noises, you should see the old familiar screen. Move the mouse around and click things to make sure the mouse works.

Power down, eject the Workbench disc and connect the external floppy drive if you had one. Power on again and there should be an additional icon once you get to the Workbench screen. Stick a disc in there and see if it reads.

Power down, eject the Workbench disc and plug in the hard drive if you had one. Power on again and see if the computer goes to Workbench without asking for a floppy. Regardless of whether the Amiga boots from your hard drive, there should be an icon for the hard drive when you get to Workbench. Click it and see what old documents are still there. Click-and-drag the desired documents to the Trash Can. Then go up to the menu bar at the top of the screen and "Empty Trash".

Job done. Your personal files are gone. If you want to clean up the exterior a bit, refer back to the RetroManCave video I shared.
User avatar
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:37 pm

That is so fantastically helpful - thank you for doing that, oldbull.
User avatar

by Oldtriguy1960 posted Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:07 pm

Thanks everyone for all the good info.
I don’t have a monitor for the Amiga. I used to have that RF adapter to allow connection to a regular TV and did that for my set up. I think I still have that adapter, but don’t know that I have a “regular” tv that will work with it. So I may be asking about different ways to get a display going.
User avatar

by oldbull posted Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:18 pm

Amiga 500 has a composite video output. It's labeled "mono" because it provides a black-and-white picture (monochrome), good enough to see if the machine boots. It's located on the far left rear of the computer next to the RGB port. Just connect that to the yellow "video" jack on your tv.

Oh yea, the mouse goes in JOYSTICK 1.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests