amiga OS 3.9 – how to install SmartFileSystem – large HD support – migrating your Amiga OS

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Today an article on how to install SmartFileSystem on Amiga OS 3.9. There is also a part on migration to SFS for the one who want their entire OS hard drive booting directly in SFS.

Why ?

  • FFS is “Fast File System”
  • SFS is “Smart File System”

With FFS :

I’ve been more than once in front of the problem of partition validating for ages in cause of a crash when some writing was going. This is not so annoying when it is a FD that is 880Kb big, but when it is a 3Gb partition…

As I have backups of my files, what I did was to reformat the partition each time, and copy back the files (faster then waiting for the revalidation!).

Other problem is the speed of this filesystem.

Last minute note : to avoid long validation, you can use the tool “disksafe”, that you can find on aminet.

With SFS :

the speed is better, there is no revalidation, and the defragmentation is included “on the go”, and you have a better Large HD support.

AROS : will access the partitions natively in a more robust way than with FFS.

And I’ve made absolutely all the possible errors, so I want to share my experience.

COUNCILS

Note 2018 03 09 : After experimenting a lot, you should keep the first partition in FFS to be able to share your files with your linux system, like in those two articles :

Install Amiga OS 3.1 for your real Amiga (1200) using FS-UAE on linux ubuntu
access amiga FFS Hard Drive (or CF) under ubuntu

Don’t forget : each time you change a parameter inside HDInstTools, please, press “ENTER”. If you don’t, the entry won’t be validated.

Before a change on a partition can be taken in account, you must *reboot* your system.

Note 2018 03 09 : After experimenting a lot, you should keep the first partition in FFS to be able to share your files with your linux system, and use “disksafe” from aminet for a safer FFS use

SOME USEFULL SOFTWARES

Summary

  1. get SFS
  2. get HDInstTools
  3. Install the filesystem on the boot block to enable it at boot
  4. copy your system to the new drive
  5. install nSDPatch to your new OS installation
  6. get all your partitions working

Partitions parameters summary

  • File System = custom,
  • DOSType = SFS\0
  • Mask = 0x7fffffffE (there are 6 “f”),
  • MaxTransfer = 0x0001fe00,
  • block size = 512 bytes
  • buffers = 100

It is CRUCIAL to respect those parameters.

 

The hardware

I do not use WinUAE or this kind of (very usefull and handy) tools to do the transfer. I’m on a single amiga 1200.

Note 2018 03 10 : it has changed now, i use FS-UAE under linux a lot a lot now, it simplifies the life so much 🙂

To be able to go from a filesystem to the other, I bought a 2 CF card to IDE reader :

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My 2 CF card reader
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My leds are beautifull 🙂

Get SFS from Aminet

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Launch easynet
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when done, go on aminet and search for SFS package
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get the most simple “SFS.lha”
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decrunch it (here I use DOpus) and copy the content of the drawer “AmigaOS3.X” to L
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here it is 🙂

Get HDInstTools from aminet and install SFS

Because it is a better tool than hdtoolbox for this.

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download and decrunch hdinst.lha
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launch HDInstTools
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HDInstTools choice of the good device. If you want to be sure, you should open an “informations” window on your OS partition to know where it is located, then here chose *the other one* !
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So now you choose to install the new filesystem with “Dateisystem” (you can have HDInst in english with the langage menu). We need to install it on the boot block, using this way, to make it available on boot (and then allowing to have the OS partition in SFS)
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you must delete the in place FFS filesystem (if any), and add the SFS one with “Hinzufgen”

Note 2018 03 10 : After many experimentations, my advice is to keep the fist partition (under 2Gb) in FFS to make the share with linux possible. So here : do not delete FFS, just ADD smartfilesystem

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you go to L: and choose your “smartfilesystem” file
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you must change the “DOS\3” to “SFS\0”

Partition your drive:

after saving the modifications to the card (you have to get out of HDInstTools and then restart the amiga)

when done, you open again HDInstTools and enter inside your device.

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create your partitions
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Here are the properties to put : File System = custom, DOSType = SFS\0 Mask = 0x7fffffffE (there are 6 “f”), MaxTransfer = 0x0001fe00, block size = 512 bytes and buffers = 100. It is very important to respect those parameters.

Note 2018 03 10 : After many experimentations, my advice is to keep the fist partition (under 2Gb) in FFS to make the share with linux possible. So here : let the first partition in FFS. Change only the second partition to SFS.

Partitions parameters summary

  • File System = custom,
  • DOSType = SFS\0
  • Mask = 0x7fffffffE (there are 6 “f”),
  • MaxTransfer = 0x0001fe00,
  • block size = 512 bytes
  • buffers = 100

It is very important to respect those parameters.

Save and you restart your computer.

Formating the first partition

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you should now see this kind of things on the workbench : Not initialized partitions. Normally only the first one should appear if your CF is more than 4 Gb big, and you need one more step to make the second appear. If none appears, repeat the previous steps and verify the parameters of your partitions, because at least one should be there.

Note 2018 03 10 : SFSFormat command is a “quick format” one. You can also use the “Format” option of Amiga OS 3.9 if you want a complete format.

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format your partition using the “sfsformat” command given by the sfs package.
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press return to format
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if everything was ok, you should get back to the shell without any message

Copy your Amiga OS Files to the fresh new SFS partition

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Using DOpus ?

You should now be able to reboot with your new partition.

LARGE HD SUPPORT

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you must install NSDPatch package, so search for it on aminet
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choose version 43.20
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install it
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cool, it’s done

 

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add this to your startup-sequence, just after Setpatch command. If you have problems to make your partitions appear, try your setpatch command *without* the “skipromupdates scsi.device”

 

/Users/jess/Desktop/SFS/IMG_20170222_091410.jpg
This is a part of the cli window with NSDPatch boot messages. You should *not* have “Activation DH1: failed” (DH1 or whatever is the name of your device)
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you can edit the NSDPatch config file, and comment all the lines you don’t need (in order to speed up your boot time a little)
/Users/jess/Desktop/SFS/IMG_20170222_132231.jpg
Tadaaa ! Your partition should now appear. If not, have a look to the parameters using HDInstTools, and verify the output of the NSDPatch command. Try also your “Setpatch” without any “scsi.device”.
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time to format your new partition
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Like for the first partition, the SFSFormat command should end without any messsage
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Your 2nd partition’s alive and usable

SAFER FFS USE

Last update 2018 03 10

As your first partition should be kept in FFS to help sharing with linux, you should use DISKSAFE for a safer FFS use.

RESOURCES

How to add a 8 GB Compact Flash hard drive to your Amiga 1200 (works with 4 GB too)
Watch this video on YouTube.
i use an extention wich protect your privacy
 

Author: jess

for a long time amiga, aros & demos lover and musician (linux musician, drummer, modules in protracker and octamed, recording and mastering in ardour)

34 thoughts on “amiga OS 3.9 – how to install SmartFileSystem – large HD support – migrating your Amiga OS

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