I'm in the process of restocking a lost collection of retro machines, including a couple of A500s, a 500+ and 2 A2000s (rev 4.1 and 6) in various states of disrepair. For one of the 2000s I would like to have the ability to transfer existing data and programs from a SCSI hard disk to an IDE unit but I really can't work out how I can have 2 mass storage controllers in a single machine, either on a 500 or a 2000.

For instance, I have an A500+ with a Wicher accelerator installed, along with an A590 hard drive. I can only access one mass storage controller at a time - if the Wicher is in, the A590 isn't available. In my head this is something like device ID conflicts and I would love to be able to archive off all this lovely stuff from both the A590 and the internal SCSI drive in one of the 2000s (Wicher experiments pending) - and I may get to a point where I want CD/DVD storage and more hard disks in the 2000 than the Wicher can provide. Does anyone have any pointers or hints, or even better any experience of doing the same without resorting to SCSI <-> IDE adaptors?

EDIT : The A590 is using an XT drive, NOT a SCSI drive!

  • Should theoretically be possible. Do you have RAM on both the Wicher and A590, and if so is all the RAM showing up properly? If not that might be part of your problem, you could try disabling the RAM on the A590 (JP1). – mnem Dec 10 '18 at 15:07
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    I tried both setting the RAM jumper on the A590 to Amnesia, and both removing the SIMM from the Wicher and disabling the onboard MMU. No change unfortunately! – DrMistry Dec 10 '18 at 15:10
  • Is the A590 showing up in autoconfig at least? Can you see it in sysinfo, etc? – mnem Dec 10 '18 at 15:16
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    Nope, no sign of it at all. The Wicher appears as desired whatever the RAM and IDE configuration is. I'm not in front of the machine right now, but I will as soon as I can. – DrMistry Dec 10 '18 at 15:23
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    That would make sense - I also have an A570 CD Drive which won't play with the Wicher. I'll contact the hardware dev and see what I can find out. – DrMistry Dec 10 '18 at 17:21

The Amiga can support multiple mass storage controllers, subject to the following necessary limitations:

  1. Any time multiple controllers are using AutoConfig, each controller must correctly support the AutoConfig protocol. This means it must pass the token to other controllers on the bus so that each controller gets a chance to configure itself.
  2. Each mass storage controller needs a device driver, and the name of the device drivers should not conflict.

I suspect you have an issue with #1 on your A500 because the CPU socket AutoConfig board does not allow other AutoConfig boards to co-exist on the Zorro bus. That's why the Amiga does not see the A590 when the CPU socket board is installed.

The Amiga OS has a specific solution for unique naming of the device drivers when you have both the internal IDE and a Commodore SCSI controller installed. The IDE interface will use "scsi.device", and the SCSI controller will use "2nd.scsi.device". Lots of 3rd party IDE controllers also use "scsi.device", making it compatible with this solution. And, lots of 3rd party SCSI controllers use their own driver (e.g. "gvpscsi.device") to also avoid naming conflicts when there are multiple mass storage controllers.

Of course, the usual way of cloning HDD's on an Amiga is by having multiple HDD's connected up to a single controller. That does not seem to be an easy option for your circumstances, since you have a mix of ST-506 and SCSI HDD's and limited no ability to move the controllers between machines. I think you are best off getting a second SCSI HDD for backing up the A2000 using its existing controller, whilst simply using floppies to backup the A590 without the CPU socket board installed.

  • iirc the A590 supports using an external SCSI drive along with the internal XT-IDE one at the same time. Doesn't fix his Wicher problem, but it would let him use the same external SCSI drive with both the A500 and A2000 for making backups. – mnem Dec 10 '18 at 18:12
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    Thanks, that sounds entirely logical and in line with what I've read elsewhere. My current plan is to use the plipbox I have running on the A500 and get another running on the A2000 - I can then lha and shift things around via a local FTP server. Really I'm just holding the 590 and 570 for nostalgic reasons, and have a stock A500 I can use them with when the mood takes hold! – DrMistry Dec 10 '18 at 18:22

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