HFE image write errors

HxC Floppy Emulator on Amiga support
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Eamoex
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:14 pm

HFE image write errors

Post by Eamoex »

Hello Everyone,

so, I’m getting slowly to my dream setup. I’ve successfully hooked an HxC floppy emulator to my A2000 rev 6.3 build, which has a GVP HC+8 SCSI controller with a SCSI2SD adapter for hard drive.

Now, I use a PlipBox to talk to my network. The only working way I found to set this up (because I’m lazy and not very knowledgeable) is to use a network boot disk image which configures an on-floppy install of AmiTCP-3.0b2 on first boot. Of course, it makes a few configuration writes on the disk for that. It makes the network stack go well and I can login to the FTP dir on the Amiga. But as soon as I reboot the A2000, there are either:
  • weird stuff happening to that floppy image. Configuration parameters seem to still be there but I get errors (like login fails, password don’t work anymore, or device driver isn’t working anymore...)
  • or write error alerts on boot (which are not recoverable)
I suspect some writing errors from the floppy emulator. Is this a known occurence?

EDIT: I've just read in this forum post about the importance of SD card speed. Mine is class10 IIRC.

Jeff
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Jeff »

Hello,
Class 10 ok, but which brand and model ? (Recommended : Sandisk Extreme series)
Which image are you testing ?
Which kickstart/workbench version are you using on this Amiga ? (Definitively better with KS/WB version 2.0 or higher)

Eamoex
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:14 pm

Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Eamoex »

  • Card: 32GB SanDisk Ultra SDHC1 Class 10
  • Image: networkbootdisk.hfe (converted from ADF taken here, using HxC software)
  • KS/WB: 3.1

Jeff
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Jeff »

Eamoex wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:05 am
  • Card: 32GB SanDisk Ultra SDHC1 Class 10
  • Image: networkbootdisk.hfe (converted from ADF taken here, using HxC software)
  • KS/WB: 3.1
This is odd then... This KS/WB shouldn't cause any trouble.
I will try this image on my Amiga 600 to compare. (If possible ?)

Btw If i remember correctly i made some speed tests on these Sandisk Ultra years ago and they was somewhat slow with small packet write. If possible test another sdcard. Even some very old/small capacity models (<512MB) may be interesting.

Can you send me the hfe image to hxc2001 at hxc2001 dot com after the write attempt/failure ?

Eamoex
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:14 pm

Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Eamoex »

Okay, thanks for your reply.

I only suspect the emulator because there is no other explanation as to why things work fine with a fresh image and then degrade with writes.

Can't remember about what the emulator config options are, but I guess there's no point in searching there. I mean, if the Amiga sees the images and can read them, everything is supposed to work, right? (apart from the "card quality" problem)

I'll try another card.

EDIT: yes I'll send you the corrupt image. I need to recorrupt one though, because I trash them when it happens... :)

Jeff
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Jeff »

Eamoex wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:20 am
Can't remember about what the emulator config options are, but I guess there's no point in searching there.
Yes probably, but i forgot to ask you the firmware version you are using ?

Eamoex
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Eamoex »

FW: 1.8.2.40
TBH, I haven't paid attention to the firmware version. :oops:

Jeff
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Jeff »

I managed to make some tests with an SD HxC Floppy Emulator Rev F with the firmwares v1.8.6.20 and v1.8.8.1 with a standard A600 (KS2.0) :

-> I have done several configurations. The parameters appears to be correctly set.
-> No sector damaged (i used the HxC track/disk viewer)
-> I have extracted all the files from the images and compare them with the original image : all changes are matching with the settings i have changed.

So here i didn't manage to reproduce the issue.

So if this is a floppy emulator issue, this should be solved with a faster SDCard (i used an old 128MB ATP and an 8GB Sandisk Ultra SDCards for the tests). Another workaround : You can edit the configuration files on your PC / MAC with the HxC software, or preconfigure the image with winuae...

But :
or write error alerts on boot (which are not recoverable)
This remember me something. Are you using the file selector software ?
In the past i got some supports cases with virus infected Amiga machines. The file selector software can be contaminated by virus, very present into the tosec/adf files available on internet... Maybe this is the case for you too ? What about the hard disk ?
(Please note that once configured this image doesn't seem to write anything to the disk !)

Eamoex
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Eamoex »

Thanks for your investigation!

I don't use the file selector. And the image might be infected, true. But the HD? As far as this first-boot configuration thing on this particular floppy goes, there is no read from or write to the HD involved, so I don't think my HD install is infected (at least I hope so), and BTW I have no problem doing stuff from an HD boot (writing to disk, reading, playing games, installing stuff... what you do with an Amiga! :) )

Okay well, I have two things to try:
  • other SD card
  • firmware update
I'll do this testing and let you know how it turns out.

Jeff
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Jeff »

Many previous virus related issues was with machines with HDD ;)

What you may try : disconnect the hdd, use a fresh/newly converted hfe file, turn off the machine and wait some seconds to be sure that no resident piece of code stay in the dram before the first boot.

Eamoex
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Eamoex »

Okay, haven't tried remedies yet, just to recorrupt an image file for your information. It succeeded quite well this time, I haven't even had time to reboot, a write error occured even before the configuration of the disk could finish. I then got read errors as well, and rebooting from the floppy image gave obscure output in the CLI window (some outputs of commands I don't know, which probably were supposed to send to NIL: in the first place), and a halt to the prompt.

Here is the corrupt image.

Jeff
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Jeff »

Yes it appears that this Amiga is going nuts and is writing garbage to the disk... :
Screenshot at 2021-04-22 13-54-23.png
Screenshot at 2021-04-22 13-54-23.png (89.06 KiB) Viewed 1265 times
Have you disconnected the Hard disk before doing this test ?

Another point : Can you check the Amiga +5V voltage ?

Eamoex
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:14 pm

Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Eamoex »

Thanks for checking out!

Did not disconnect the HD. I think I'll first try what doesn't require opening the beast. Like a different card. I've been opening/closing this thing for 2 years... :mrgreen:

The PSU delivers nice steady voltages on all rails. I've overhauled it in 2018 with only matched values Nichicon caps.

So I need to test with:
  • other card
  • new firmware
  • HD disconnected
Will report when new stuff emerges.

Eamoex
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:14 pm

Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Eamoex »

OK the SD card is ruled out. Tried a 32GB SanDisk Extreme and got a read error during configuration. Stay tuned…

Jeff
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Re: HFE image write errors

Post by Jeff »

Eamoex wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:55 pm
OK the SD card is ruled out. Tried a 32GB SanDisk Extreme and got a read error during configuration. Stay tuned…
yes, i tried the same sandisk ultra last week and didn't managed to reproduce the issue... This is something else.

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