2013-01-05 · in Media Archiving · 389 words

I wasn't entirely sure quite how many A1200s I had when I started doing this. Turns out I've got three: my original one, and two that came from friends. One is a nice clean unexpanded example in its original box:

Desktop Dynamite A1200 box

This is the same bundle that I had originally, so I've got two essentially identical software sets. I don't think I ever played any of the games that it included, but I got plenty of use out of DPaint IV and Wordworth.

About A1200 #3

The other machine was used by a friend's family. I thought it'd be in better condition than mine, but it must have sat somewhere damp for a while -- the shielding is actually rusty inside:

Rusty A1200

It still works fine, though, and at least it's still got the proper mounting bracket for the 2.5" hard disk — which is my original 85MB one, an IBM WDA-280.

IBM hard disk

Imaging the hard disk

This drive wouldn't spin up using my usual USB adaptor. Looking at the datasheet, it needs 750mA at 5V to start up — so it's not going to work from a USB port, and there's no external power connector.

The solution was to put the drive in a PC laptop — it's deeper than a modern 2.5" drive so it sticks out the bottom, but the connector's still in the right place.

Not quite the right size disk

I PXE-booted the laptop into a Debian rescue environment, and dd-ed the drive onto a USB stick.

Extracting the data and emulating A1200 #3

Unlike my A1200, this disk image has some reserved blocks at the start.

Disk a1200-hd2.ahd: 10 heads, 17 sectors, 989 cylinders, RDB: 3
Logical Cylinders from 1 to 988, 87040  bytes/Cylinder 

Device          Boot Mount Begin End  Size Pri BBlks System
a1200-hd2.ahd1  *    *         1 988 83980   1 0     Amiga FFS Int.

amiga-fdisk reads the partition table happily, but ADFlib refuses to recognise the header, and it won't boot in FS-UAE, with the Amiga ROM claiming it's a bad filesystem. To get FS-UAE to boot it, I had to extract the partition with dd, then unadf it into a directory for FS-UAE's virtual filesystem:

dd if=a1200-hd2.ahd of=tmp.ahd bs=87040 skip=1
mkdir "Dad'sDisk"
unadf tmp.ahd -d "Dad'sDisk"

While it's got quite a lot of new software installed, the OS install and startup-sequence etc. are snapshots of mine from 1996, just before I replaced it with a bigger disk.

Second A1200 emulated in FS-UAE