HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

HxC Floppy Emulator on Amiga support
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AC/DC HACKER!
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HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

Hello Jeff and everyone else helping,

I have an Amiga 4000 Desktop with a CyberStormPPC. I also got a hold of an Amiga 4000T (after production was done...Motherboard. A DIY project and the guy did pretty well - previous owner. That came with the Rev. F, and I wanted to use it with my A4000 Desktop. Only ID0A is active. The HxC functions very well, and it's firmware is 1.8.2.40, which I flashed it to the newest a while ago.

What I've noticed is, without using "No Startup-Sequence" at all, my Amiga OS and Workbench 3.5 reads, writes, and formats pretty well DD. Sometimes when I use Format it will give an error sound, sometimes more than once but it will continue on and the emulated floppy is able to be written to, files coped to, copied from to RAM: and so on. The program to change some basic settings and select Floppy Images is functioning very well.

Now to what I've noticed a problem with... When I have mounted a self-created emulated floppy with the configuration program as well as some degraders, the floppy disk usually reads fine when swapping (prettying left or right button), when Workbench 3.5 is loaded. But not always, there will be an "error noticed, retry sound" at least once...maybe twice. If I have multiple images configured to mount I can select between them...example...

My current list of images consist of Self-made bootable floppy.
Black Golf Disk A.
Black Gold Disk B.
Black Gold Saves.

(For any whom might wonder, Black Gold is playable via Floppies with OS 3.1 to 3.5 if you use Degrader or TUDE to disable caches AND use NOFASTMEM when inserting another disk with these programs on it After it's booted to Workbench an use Shell to do it, doesn't matter what kind of FAST memory you have. I have 16MB on Motherboard and BigRamPlus (256MB) and 128MB on CSPPC. The Airplane moves at correct speed and Drilling is correct speed also..)

Usually Black Hold A and B will give a retry sound, and then be displayed fine on Workbench and when I click for it to display contents that usually goes fine also. Close that window, press Left button on HxC and the Bootable floppy is active, first disk. Once in a rare while I'll hear the retry sound. If I click to see the contents, the Icons are usually displayed fine without ANY retry sounds. If I run/execute the HxC program it will usually load completely without a problem. ONCE in a while during loading I'll hear the retry sound, but always succeeds. Never a stop from a crash. It also saves the new choices OR without making a new choice accepts save from F10 well.

I started checking into this a lot more. I have discovered that somewhere it's related to SetPatch it seems. If I boot to a Workbench 3.1 emulated floppy and then swap the disks with the Left/Right buttons I don't hear any more retry sounds. I've used several 5 to 10 minutes switching them around, and everything is reading without a problem. If I boot 3.5 without a Startup-Sequence and enter SetPatch (44.6) so it does the patches, then insert the SC Card and swap the floppies, the retry sound will happen. Also, between tests of OS 3.5 and 3.1 I use a Reset program to preform Hard Resets so I don't have power off the Amiga 4000. But sometimes I do that also, power it off.

So, I'm coming to an "Ahhhh..." and that "newer" SetPatch are causing problems. My A4000 Desktop is not stock, back in the days I was pretty active with keeping with all kinds of cool stuff. Which is why I'm checking between Floppy Workbench 3.1 and my OS 3.5 which is now running from a CompactFlash - and very, very well.

All in all, HxC Rev. F is functioning very, very well. From AmigaDOS formatted disks to Custom Bootloaders. It's also working very well with Directory Opus 4 and 5, I love 5!!

I have disabled 68060 Caches from Amiga's Boot Menu as well as SetPatch's NOCACHE switch - doesn't make a difference. No Caches related. I'll investigate further, but if you or anyone else has any ideas I'm joyful to entertain them. Also read something about an older Firmwork 1.6 or so that might help?

OS 3.9 using a newer SetPatch, this retry or checksums are happening. I haven't encountered any checksum or sector errors, YET, but read where others are. Only retries.
Last edited by AC/DC HACKER! on Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AC/DC HACKER!
Posts: 15
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

I've also used DiskSalv 4 to check the emulated disks, and everything checks well. I've also used by Ami-Back Tools to check. Zero errors.. I do not hear ANY retries while disks checks are being preformed.

Jeff
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by Jeff »

If i understand you correctly you have a disk change detection issue ? What do you call "error sound" ? this is the head stepping during a read retry ?

AC/DC HACKER!
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

Jeff wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:11 am
If i understand you correctly you have a disk change detection issue ? What do you call "error sound" ? this is the head stepping during a read retry ?
Hiya, Jeff.

Hmm, okay, yes, during the disk changing/inserting there is a problem. The "error sound" is what you hear when the head of a normal disk drive is moving in order to re-read the sector. So, yes, I'm hearing the head-stepping happening. That's what I meant by hearing it "retry"..and then it does it successfully. Also when loading a program, but that's more rare.

AC/DC HACKER!
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

Feel free to ask me more questions. I want to help make this hardware and software function better with AmigaDOS 3.x..

AC/DC HACKER!
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

The Floppy Emulator does make a head moving sound, which does sound LIKE the head movement of a Floppy Drive when detecting an error.

After further checking, when using my CyberStorm PPC/68060, and the CPU libraries are Not loaded via "SetPatch", either for 68040 or 68060, the unit doesn't have as many error "detection" noises as when SetPatch is run. So Floppies with a Custom Boot Sector don't come across this, at least not that I've heard. It's only when a Floppy is formatted for AmigaDOS using OFS or FFS.

Yesterday (as if it matters), I was modifying an OFS formatted Emulated Floppy, with some scripting and adding/removing files, rebooting and checking, when after a bit the retry (past an error) happened. It was "towards the end" of the disk, and suddenly a Hard Error happened on the "disk". I used DiskSalv 4 to repair it, which went okay, it seemed.. Until I attempted to write files to the disk that I had archived off. The error showed again, Directory Opus wasn't able to to the emulated disk anymore. I'm thinking its firmware related...?
I used the program downloaded from your Site to create Floppies, and made a new blank...and overwrote the old one. Put the SD Card back into the emulator, reset Amiga 4000, and copied my files to that image, after reselecting it through the File Mounter for the Hardware. Just to be sure it's read "new". Once Workbench was loaded, I used Directory Opus 5 to copy the files to the new emulated image and then renamed the image. All went well.

Still doing more checking.

Jeff
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by Jeff »

Which SD Card are you using ? A good one in class 10 ?

AC/DC HACKER!
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

A Lexar 300X class 10, 16GB Micro HC I which is white on top half and blue on bottom which I was using the most.

An all black Lexar Micro HC I class 10 16GB I'm not testing with.

Jeff
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by Jeff »

AC/DC HACKER! wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:57 am
A Lexar 300X class 10, 16GB Micro HC I which is white on top half and blue on bottom which I was using the most.

An all black Lexar Micro HC I class 10 16GB I'm not testing with.
It is probably interesting to try another one.

AC/DC HACKER!
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

What I'm noticing is...if I make changes to the directory order a little bit then moving everything off the SD Card and then back to it again seems to help keep the "Error, retry." to a lower amount.

Jeff
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by Jeff »

AC/DC HACKER! wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:17 pm
What I'm noticing is...if I make changes to the directory order a little bit then moving everything off the SD Card and then back to it again seems to help keep the "Error, retry." to a lower amount.
Have you tried another SD Card ?

AC/DC HACKER!
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

I've been switching between the 2 I described. I have another, a Samsung but I currently have Amiga partitions on that. However, I'm shifting data around so I should be able to use it also with the Emulated floppy soon. Since it's not a Lexar. I'll post here soon.

AC/DC HACKER!
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

I was at Walmart recently and bought SanDisk Extreme Plus 32GB (not that odd GiB thing) MicroSDHC UHS-1 Card. (3) 4K UHD.

I understand that 4K UHD is hype only, and it only means it's fast enough to handle that...which doesn't literally mean much. It's the first
|3| with a line under it that I have seen. I'm checking it..

AC/DC HACKER!
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

After a bit of testing with the new MIcroSD a lot of the same.

As long as SetPatch is not run / executed (using stock AmigaDOS / Workbench 3.1 or my very much updated AmigaDOS 3.5/3.9) then the emulator does very little "error detected" sounds. The game disks for Black Gold use a very generic Workbench and SetPatch is not included, thus not used. So I'm able to swap disks via the buttons on the device, and each disk is able to be read and validated without any problems or challenges.

I'm going to make a basic copy of my Workbench 3.1 disk...and disable SetPatch from running. Done. The changes SetPatch makes is what's causing the challenges. I'm investigating more. So far, the MicroSD doesn't seem to matter.

AC/DC HACKER!
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Re: HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F with AmigaOS 3.1 and 3.5.

Post by AC/DC HACKER! »

Testing the converted images with SetPatch has problems. I'm now testing images created by your Tool...and then writing to those images. Whether that means from converted images or physical Amiga Disk Drive (DF2:) to emulated DF0:.

Update 1:

I've made some Floppy images with your program "HxCFloppyEmulator". Copied the files to image that way and then used the Amiga program to mount the new images, and that didn't make a difference.

I recreated the "Black Gold" disks that way, but it didn't help.

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