Hard drive format

AmigaOne X5000 platform specific issues.

Hard drive format

Postby Steff » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:18 am

What is the method of formatting a new hard drive to go into the x5000 from a PC?
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Re: Hard drive format

Postby tonyw » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:33 am

It doesn't matter where it came from.

Can you boot the X-5000 already ? Or are you sitting there with a CD/USB stick in your hand and don't know how to start?

My suggestion would be (others may have alternative suggestions):

1. With the power off, connect the drive to the machine whereever you would like it. Assuming you want to boot from it, you must connect it to one of the on-board SATA ports, since U-Boot does not support PCI add-on cards.
2. Boot the system.
3. Once the system is running, open Media Toolbox ("MTB"). You should see the disk drivers displayed - you probably want "p5020sata.device".
4. Once you select that device, you wil be presented with a display of all the partitions on the disk that are known to AmigaOS. If it's a disk from a PC, you won't see any of its partitions and its contents will be destroyed if you go any further.
5. If the disk has been used in another machine, you should select "Edit RDB/Install" and click the "Install/read Configuration" button at the top. You don't need to click anything else on this page except "Save". Selecting "Save" will write an Amiga Rigid Disk Block (RDB) to the disk and make it an Amiga disk from now on. The X-1000 and later machines don't use "SLB", so you don't need the "Amiga OS Boot Code (SLB)".
6. Use MTB to define your partitions (you can have as many as you like, of any size). It is wise to make system partitions no bigger than 500 MB and to keep them "clean", that is, don't add lots of programs and games to the system partition. Put them all on another partition where they can remain undisturbed by system updates. Define at least one other partition of the same size, that you can use as a backup of the system.
7. For each partition, you must select whether it is to auto-mount (normally Yes), be bootable (only if it has a System installed in it), and the file system to be used for that partition. MTB usually selects a "device name" in the series of "DHn", but you can enter any unique name you like. I tend to use a different series for all the partitions on each disk, eg "DKn" on one disk, "DLn" on another, etc.
On an X-5000, you don't need a "Swap" partition or a "Boot" partition. The SD card on the motherboard holds the boot code (called "amigaboot").
8. If you are a novice at this, select "Standard filesystem" and "Long Names". You can always experiment with newer file systems later.
9. When you have finished your definitions, you must select "Save to Disk" to make the changes permanent, otherwise all your work will be lost and the disk will not be modified.

You will have to reboot after you have finished. When MTB asks you, select "Yes" and it will initiate a "warm" reboot for you. After a few seconds, you should see all your new partitions on the Workbench, displayed as "Uninstalled".

10. You will have to "Format" each one to make it usable. Just click on the drive icon, then with the right mouse button, select "Format". The Format window should open. If it is an FFS ("Standard file system") partition, then you willl see some customising tick boxes. Make sure that "Long Names" is selected. Other file systems may or may not present choices.
11. Click "Quick Format". Don't use "Format" on a mechanical hard disk (it might take days) and NEVER on an SSD (it will tell the drive that the whole contents are used and make it very slow).
12. Repeat step 10 for each partition and you should be done.
cheers
tony
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Re: Hard drive format

Postby Steff » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:39 pm

tonyw wrote:It doesn't matter where it came from.

Can you boot the X-5000 already ? Or are you sitting there with a CD/USB stick in your hand and don't know how to start?

My suggestion would be (others may have alternative suggestions):

1. With the power off, connect the drive to the machine whereever you would like it. Assuming you want to boot from it, you must connect it to one of the on-board SATA ports, since U-Boot does not support PCI add-on cards.
2. Boot the system.
3. Once the system is running, open Media Toolbox ("MTB"). You should see the disk drivers displayed - you probably want "p5020sata.device".
4. Once you select that device, you wil be presented with a display of all the partitions on the disk that are known to AmigaOS. If it's a disk from a PC, you won't see any of its partitions and its contents will be destroyed if you go any further.
5. If the disk has been used in another machine, you should select "Edit RDB/Install" and click the "Install/read Configuration" button at the top. You don't need to click anything else on this page except "Save". Selecting "Save" will write an Amiga Rigid Disk Block (RDB) to the disk and make it an Amiga disk from now on. The X-1000 and later machines don't use "SLB", so you don't need the "Amiga OS Boot Code (SLB)".
6. Use MTB to define your partitions (you can have as many as you like, of any size). It is wise to make system partitions no bigger than 500 MB and to keep them "clean", that is, don't add lots of programs and games to the system partition. Put them all on another partition where they can remain undisturbed by system updates. Define at least one other partition of the same size, that you can use as a backup of the system.
7. For each partition, you must select whether it is to auto-mount (normally Yes), be bootable (only if it has a System installed in it), and the file system to be used for that partition. MTB usually selects a "device name" in the series of "DHn", but you can enter any unique name you like. I tend to use a different series for all the partitions on each disk, eg "DKn" on one disk, "DLn" on another, etc.
On an X-5000, you don't need a "Swap" partition or a "Boot" partition. The SD card on the motherboard holds the boot code (called "amigaboot").
8. If you are a novice at this, select "Standard filesystem" and "Long Names". You can always experiment with newer file systems later.
9. When you have finished your definitions, you must select "Save to Disk" to make the changes permanent, otherwise all your work will be lost and the disk will not be modified.

You will have to reboot after you have finished. When MTB asks you, select "Yes" and it will initiate a "warm" reboot for you. After a few seconds, you should see all your new partitions on the Workbench, displayed as "Uninstalled".

10. You will have to "Format" each one to make it usable. Just click on the drive icon, then with the right mouse button, select "Format". The Format window should open. If it is an FFS ("Standard file system") partition, then you willl see some customising tick boxes. Make sure that "Long Names" is selected. Other file systems may or may not present choices.
11. Click "Quick Format". Don't use "Format" on a mechanical hard disk (it might take days) and NEVER on an SSD (it will tell the drive that the whole contents are used and make it very slow).
12. Repeat step 10 for each partition and you should be done.


Hello Tony. Thanks for your very informative reply.
I still cannot get past "booting the system". I have tried the Enhancer CD, i downloaded the AmigaOneX5000InstallCD-53.25 CD and burned it. There is DVD activity but then everything stops, still with a Grey screen.
This is getting so VERY VERY frustrating !!!! :evil:
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Re: Hard drive format

Postby Steff » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:20 pm

I have now got a little closer. After doing all you have advised, after the "warm" boot, the screen now advises: "Not a DOS disk in device DH0 Process: 6 "Initial CLI" and i can go no further.
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Re: Hard drive format

Postby tonyw » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:26 am

That's because the system is trying to boot from your new DH0 partition, which you haven't yet formatted or supplied with a system.

This could be because the "boot Priority" of DH0: is higher than that of your boot device (DVD or USB stick). Somehow you must prevent that.

I suggest that you use U-Boot.

1. While the Boing Ball is spinning (before it gets shot at), press any key on the keyboard. You should then see the "AmigaOne Early Startup Control" screen.
2. Press "M" to get to the command line.
3. Type "printenv" (no quotes) and <Enter>. You will see a list of all the known variables held in memory on the SD card. I bet that there is NOT one that says "bootable_only".
4. Type "setenv bootable_only 1" (no quotes) and <Enter>. That will ensure that the system does not try to boot from an invalid partition.
5. Type "saveenv" and <Enter> to save the new variable. If you like, you can type "printenv" again to see the saved result.
6. Type "boota" to reboot.

That should allow you to finish booting from the install medium (DVD/USB stick). If that fails:

Can you boot from cold with the install medium? If so, boot to Workbench and run Media Toolbox again.
7. Select the device (p5020sata.device) and your device.
8. Select "Edit partitions and file systems".
9. Select your DH0: partition and turn off the "Bootable" flag.
10. Reboot and proceed to install the system from the install medium.
11. When you have installed the new system, turn on the "Bootable" switch again.

Good luck! Remember, just go slowly and don't panic. Got your towel?
cheers
tony
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Re: Hard drive format

Postby Steff » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:15 pm

tonyw wrote:That's because the system is trying to boot from your new DH0 partition, which you haven't yet formatted or supplied with a system.

This could be because the "boot Priority" of DH0: is higher than that of your boot device (DVD or USB stick). Somehow you must prevent that.

I suggest that you use U-Boot.

1. While the Boing Ball is spinning (before it gets shot at), press any key on the keyboard. You should then see the "AmigaOne Early Startup Control" screen.
2. Press "M" to get to the command line.
3. Type "printenv" (no quotes) and <Enter>. You will see a list of all the known variables held in memory on the SD card. I bet that there is NOT one that says "bootable_only".
4. Type "setenv bootable_only 1" (no quotes) and <Enter>. That will ensure that the system does not try to boot from an invalid partition.
5. Type "saveenv" and <Enter> to save the new variable. If you like, you can type "printenv" again to see the saved result.
6. Type "boota" to reboot.

That should allow you to finish booting from the install medium (DVD/USB stick). If that fails:

Can you boot from cold with the install medium? If so, boot to Workbench and run Media Toolbox again.
7. Select the device (p5020sata.device) and your device.
8. Select "Edit partitions and file systems".
9. Select your DH0: partition and turn off the "Bootable" flag.
10. Reboot and proceed to install the system from the install medium.
11. When you have installed the new system, turn on the "Bootable" switch again.

Good luck! Remember, just go slowly and don't panic. Got your towel?


@Tony

There is a mine of information here that is not available in any documentation ANYWHERE !!! Key presses, syntax's, mnemonics, etc, etc. Little wonder i was not getting anywhere fast. People ASSUME that other people know all this (of which i do not). Assumption is the mother of all screw ups !!! I really appreciate you taking the trouble to impart this information. It's really helpful. As for the towel? Got binned days ago after my hairline receded to half of my scalp !! Its a pity there is not a manual available to show all this.

You are a diamond. Thank you !!
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Re: Hard drive format

Postby tonyw » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:18 am

It's all there, on the Hyperion Amiga Wiki. It's just in a form that makes it difficult to search, when you don't know what you are searching for.
cheers
tony
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Re: Hard drive format

Postby Hypex » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:24 am

I got caught in all this when I needed to transfer my XE HDD to my X1000 to transfer all my files. Long story short. The bootloader found my XE AmigaOS volumes and tried to boot off it! I didn't notice at first because all the labels were named "Amiga OS 4.1" something but knew something was wrong when every selection I tried was crashing. Then I saw my XE volumes were first in the boot list!

So then I picked what it would usually boot from but found it was still booting from the XE Workbench! Argh! It got worse as the early startup wasn't working because it ignored my mouse buttons! Double argh! This hasn't happened before. I'd gotten used to AmigaBoot being able to boot off the same volume as picked in the menu but here it was acting like SLB by loading Kickstart off one volume and booting Workbench off another. Very annoying "feature". I think BootDevice should be a requirement of installing a new Kicklayout.

I decided I would need to boot the CD. But I managed to load Kickstart off HDD by the time it was in the drive and then it booted off the CD. This was good as it was faster. And it had priority above the rest. So it booted the CD. My point here is that it is strange if the CD doesn't boot as in a normal setup the CD will always boot above all others. It's usually only when the HDD pri is set above 0 to values like 5 or 10 that this problem arises. And with a newly formatted HDD with standard boot volume settings this should never happen. :shock:

I then disabled the bootable flag but AmigaBoot still picked the Kicklayout. According to the docs it shouldn't do that so will look into that. :?

It only got worse from here when I decided to shrink my BOOT volume and copied amigaboot.of over only to find CFE couldn't find it any more. And when I tried to boot CD it couldn't find the CD in the drive. :o But that's another story. :D
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Re: Hard drive format

Postby Roland » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:10 am

Hypex wrote: I then disabled the bootable flag but AmigaBoot still picked the Kicklayout. According to the docs it shouldn't do that so will look into that. :?


This happens also in X5000, including USB disks if 'usb reset' is run before booting. If the env variable 'amigaboot_quiet' is set to 'N', all the volumes having Kickstart are listed. In the next boot step/menu (both mouse buttons kept down) only those volumes having bootable flag set are available for booting.
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Re: Hard drive format

Postby nbache » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:20 pm

There are some other UBoot variables which could help.

You can find some info here: http://wiki.amiga.org/index.php?title=A ... _variables

Specifically:

Setting os4_bootdevice to "auto" eliminates the need for the BootDevice module (unless you happen to need to boot from another partition than Kickstart is loaded from).

Setting bootable_only to "Y" makes sure only bootable partitions are shown in the boot menu.

It would be nice if such documentation were easier to find in a complete manner.

Best regards,

Niels
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