View Full Version : Amiga Upgrade

February 1st, 2017, 07:12 AM
I want to add a hard drive to my Amiga 500 (someday), but my system is running Kick and Workbench 1.2. I understand to support a hard drive I need at least version 1.3. I am hoping to pick the brains of those who might have done this upgrade on the best way to go about it.

I don't completely understand the relationship between the ROM and the Workbench software. I have a 1.3 disk that seems to boot the system fine, but I assume that things won't work right unless I have a 1.3 Kick ROM as well.

When searching the internet I seem to find stuff for emulators, but I hope to update an actual Amiga. If I have this wrong I would be happy to be straightened out. I come from a PC backround. The Amiga is a rather strange beast to me.

February 1st, 2017, 07:28 AM
I only have experience using Commodore's A590 hard drive, and that needed Kickstart 1.3 (or greater) to boot from the hard disk. However Kickstart 1.2 will work however you'll need to boot from a floppy disk that has a startup script that then reassigns the system devices to the hard drive. Back in the day I ran my system like this before I upgraded to Kickstart 1.3 (and then eventually 2.04). I think the A590 manual discusses this.

February 1st, 2017, 10:04 AM
Thanks for the reply. A couple more questions if I may. The upgrade to 1.3, did you buy the ROM? I take it that burning one is against copyright. Is there someplace that sells the 1.3 ROMS, or should I just look for one on eBay? I am also curious about what type of drive is in the A590? I mean is it IDE, MFM, SCSI? All of the drives I have seen on eBay carry a pretty big price tag, so I'm trying to research this a bit before I dive in.

Agent Orange
February 1st, 2017, 10:10 AM

Check this link out - https://www.amigaforever.com/

February 1st, 2017, 10:49 AM
A great site for sure. I believe that's where I got ahold of Amiga Explorer, which I use extensively. I am maybe being thick, but it seems that they are selling ROM images and Workbench software for use in emulators. I can't find any actual ROMS for sale there.

February 1st, 2017, 11:10 AM
One could burn the ROM image to a physical ROM.

Otherwise, buy a ROM set from someplace like http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=889

February 1st, 2017, 04:20 PM
I am also curious about what type of drive is in the A590?

Depending on sales region, the A590 either came with an XT drive or a SCSI drive. The controller card can handle both (and has separate headers). My A590 came with a 20MB XT drive, but now has a 170MB SCSI drive in it. Note that the XT drive isn't compatible with most IDE drives. If my SCSI drive dies I'll probably consider getting SCSI2SD as a replacement.

However instead you may want to consider modern hard drive solutions such as the ACA500, ACA500 plus, or the kipper2k A504IDE or A508IDE.

February 2nd, 2017, 08:22 AM
Wow! The A590 has 8 bit IDE and scsi both. I'm putting the A590 on my wish list. I also appreciate the info on some newer hardware for upgrading the machine I didn't know was out there. My trouble is that I just love old hard drives (me and my lost causes). I have quite a number of them of all types nowdays. I also am after the experience of using my old computers "in period". I wanted an Amiga back in the late 80s, but it was well out of my reach. Now I'm just playing with it like I would have then.

February 2nd, 2017, 01:39 PM
The Dataflyer has both (optionally) as well. Be careful if you buy one though to make sure it doesn't just have one or the other.

None of the hard drive interfaces that I know of require a certain Kickstart. But like stated earlier, you'll need 1.3 if you want to boot directly to the hard drive.

Frankly, 1.2 and the floppy-to-hard drive boot is not terrible, other than having to always have that boot floppy in the drive at boot time.

February 2nd, 2017, 05:24 PM
590's are kind of pricey, and they make an already wide A500 machine even wider.

February 2nd, 2017, 07:09 PM
When my A500 was my primary machine, it took up the whole desktop. Two add-ons on the left, and a slew of things plugged into the back. I actually had it out of the case, with the keyboard in front of the PCB. I had a bunch of things plugged into the right too, some kind of multiple joystick adaptors or something.