Amiga 1200 with a large harddrive


When I was reviving my Amiga back to life, one task was to replace old 840 MiB 3.5" drive with a drive that would actually fit inside the case. This would leave me with two options: 2.5" harddrive, which would be cheaper and would have more capacity, or IDE-CF-adaptor and a CF-card, which would be completely silent, and would drain less power. Solid-state harr drives, essentialy IDE-CF-adaptor with built-in CF-card would not be an option. Since I am cheap, I would try the hard drive option first with an old 3.5" (80 GiB) harddrive.

Miserable failure

While I was quite convinced this would be doable, simply put, I couldn't pull this out. I am going to put my notes here anyway, I'm sure someone else will succeed. Again, these instructions will not get you to fully utilize your >8.6 GiB harddrive with Amiga 1200 with Kickstart 3.0 without Blizzard's turbo card. Legally and cheap, anyway.

As result, I fall back to CompactFlash -- IDE -adaptor, and go on with perfectly quiet 2 GiB of very fast storage that also drains less power. At around 60 euro it's not such a bad deal after all. 2 GiB is far more I can image I would need anyway.



  1. Connect HD.
  2. Boot from WB install floppy.
  3. Parition hard drive with one partition smaller than 2 GiB. There is HDToolBox on the installation floppy somewhere.
  4. Create an ordinary FFS filesystem (i.e. with Format).
  5. Install Workbecnh.
  6. Reboot to fresh installation of Workbench.
  7. Launch Shell.
  8. Install lha (use pc-formatted floppy). (local copy). All you need to is to run the self-extracting archive.
    1. mount pc0:
    2. makedir sys:foo
    3. cd sys:foo
  9. Install "Installer". (Aminet)
    1. lha x pc0:installer.lha
    2. copy path/to/Installer Sys:System
  10. Install IDE-Fix '97 (Aminet)
    1. lha x pc0:idefix.lha
    2. Launch installer, follow instructions.
  11. Reboot
  12. Install NSDPatch. (Aminet)
    1. lha x pc0:nsd.lha
    2. Launch installer, follow instructions.
  13. Install HDInstTools (Aminet).
  14. Unpack SFS. (Aminet, current website, original website).
    1. lha x pc0:sfs.lha
  15. Install SFS.
    1. Run HDInstTools.
    2. "File System..."
    3. "Add"
    4. ".../AmigaOS3.x/L/SmartFilesystem"
    5. "Load"
    6. Name: (unchanged)
      DOSType: SFS\0
      Version: 1
      Revision: 270
    7. "Ok"
    8. "Use"
  16. Partition harddrive (still in HDInstTools).
    1. "Parition drive..."
    2. "Delete Partition"
    3. "Yes"
    4. "Add Paritition"
    5. "Edit Paritition"
    6. Name: HD0
      Size: ??? (1,024,128 KiB) (overkill)
      File System: Custom
      DOSType: SFS\0
      Buffers: 100
      Bootable: check
      Priority: 0
      Bootblocks: 0
    7. "Use"
    8. "Add Partition"
    9. "Edit Partition"
    10. Name: HD1
      File System: Custom
      DOSType: SFS\0
      Buffers: 100
    11. Set the size to maximum (*).
    12. "Use"
    13. "Use"
    14. "Save changes to drive"
    15. "Yes"
    16. "Yes"
  17. Install Workbench all over again.
  18. Install lhA all over again.
  19. Install "Installer" all over again.
  20. Install IDE-Fix '97 all over again.
  21. Install NSDPatch all over again.
  22. Create filesystem on HD1.
  23. (Done.)

(*) At this point I always bumped at 8.6 GiB limit. I could never partition my harddrive above 8.6 GiB boundary. Obviously some people have succeeded in this either by softkicking to Kickstart 3.1 and using scsi.device and/or HDToolBox from AOS 3.5/3.9. Unfortunately I couldn't softkick to 3.1 -- nor could I access AOS 3.5/3.9, so I was stuck at 8.6 GiB.

Useful links / reference