This FAQ is based on information gathered from the relevent
comp.sys.amiga.* and demon.tech.amiga newsgroups, FTP and
WWW sites and my own personal experience. Others are reworks of
questions that have come up ICPUG SE meetings and while I've been
giving technical support. Some questions have links mainly to files
on the Aminet or pages on other sites. In the cases of Aminet
links, most files will be in the hard/hack
directory. The questions have be sorted under headings for easier
If you have any information to add or correct please e-mail it
to me firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. How do I add a second internal floppy drive to my
A. You will need to physically mount the drive in its bay. Then
connect the Power and Data cables. Then you must then close
Q. Can the A4000[T] support 8 Meg of CHIP
A. There is a jumper (J213) on the mother board which sets the
SIMM type for CHIP RAM. This can be set to 8 Meg, but the Alice,
and the rest of the AGA chip set, does not yet support 8 Meg of
Q. Are the Zorro II/III slots parallel? How are they
A. The slots are powered up in series from the one closest to
the power supply (leftmost in the A2000 an lowermost? in the
A3000/A4000). For this reason it is important to add FAST RAM into
the first slot so that it is available when other cards (especially
hard disk controllers) are recognised. If FAST RAM is found then
such cards' drivers will be loaded into FAST RAM, giving a
considerable speed increase.
Q. I get no mouse movements on my A1500 (A2000). I've
tried a different mouse, but the problem remains. All other IO
devices work, so the CIAs are not faulty. How can I fix
A. Based on information from Trouble.txt
on the Aminet, you should check the 74LS175 (U202). Sometimes the
mouse port can come loose from the board. If this is the case,
replace the port, by soldering another onto the board.
Q. What is the Amber Chip for?
A. Amber is the custom de-interlacer chip found in the A3000. It
is also found on the 2320 Flicker Fixer for the A2000. This card
uses the video slot.
Q. What is the 26 way internal connector, behind the
serial port in the A2000 for?
A. It's an internal serial port for use with certain internal
MIDI interfaces. It has no real use as if you connect a PC style
serial port header, the port will still be addressed as
serial.device, unit 0
Q. How do I add a second internal floppy to an
A. You will need to use a three way cable, which as a twist in
it for one connector. Plug this connector with a cable twist into
DF0: (so that it remains DS0) and plug one of the other connectors
into DF1: (DS1). The third connector should go on the mother board.
Then you will have to set the following jumpers on the mother
A3000[T] DF1: J351 must be shorted between pins 1-2.
A4000 DF1: 880K J351 must be closed
DF1: 1.76M J351 must be open
(No internal floppy) J351 must be open
Q. How can I use an A3640 (040) processor board in an
A. The board is a direct replacement for the A3630 processor
board. For more information see the guide to using the A3640 in an
Q. I have an internal SCSI CDROM drive working, except
for audio out, in my A2000. I've got the same drive in an A4000,
which has an audio input on its motherboard. Is there an audio
input on the A2000's motherboard? If not how can I use the CDROM
drive's audio output?
A. There is no audio input on the A2000's motherboard. You could
possibly solder the wires from the CDROM to the PHONO sockets. You
might need a resistor in between (possibly variable?). Apparently
there is such an input on the A2000 mother board, somewhere on the
internal serial connector, CN304.
Q. How can I upgrade the two 8 Bit ISA slots in my A2000
to 16 Bit?
A. You just need to add the missing connectors (16 Bit
extensions) to the mother board.
Q. How can I add an external floppy drive to my
A. As this Amiga has no external floppy drive port, it is
officially impossible to add an external drive. There is however a
modification that can be made to the floppy controller module to
give an DB23 external floppy drive port.
Beige Wedge Amigas
Q. How do I upgrade my A500 to 1 Meg CHIP RAM and and the
A. The method required depends on the mother board revision.
Full instructions on these two modifications and others are
available as Trouble.txt
On the Aminet. The 1 Meg CHIP Agnus (8372A) must be in place, but
not necessarily in 1 Meg mode for you to be able to use the Super
Q. Can I use an A500 power supply with my
A. Yes. The connectors and voltages match perfectly. The higher
watt rating should help to solve some power problems and will not
do any damage to you A1200. Make sure you use the heavier type
(about the weight of a brick), however as the lighter (the weight
of a tin can) will not make much difference for solving power
Q. How can I disable the RAM on my A501?
A. The EXRAM line will need to be cut. A switch can then be
connected to toggle RAM on/off by reconnecting this line. You'll be
able to find the necessary pinout information in your A500
Q. I have a ESCOM AT A1200. Some disk-only games and
demos refuse to work, but work perfectly on other, older A1200s.
What's going on?
A. The new A1200s had a HD floppy drive set by jumpers
as a DD drive. This has caused problems with custom disk loading
routines. There is a hardware fix available called A1200FDfix.lha
on the Aminet.
Q. What causes the conflicts between PCMCIA cards and
A1200 RAM boards?
A. The 68ec020 used in the A1200 can only address 8 Megs of FAST
RAM. The PCMCIA slot uses 4 Megs of this address range whether
you're using a PCMCIA RAM card or not. This means that only 4 Megs
of addressing space is available for a trapdoor RAM boards. Newer
accelerators will solve this problem as 68030 has its own larger
address range. Some older accelerators use 4 Meg of the 68ec020's
addressing range so the same problems will occur.
Q. I want to use an external keyboard with my Amiga. How
can I make a suitable adaptor?
A. The following shows the pin outs for all the Amiga's external
Pin A1000 A2/3000 CD32 A4000
1 +5V KCLK DATA I/O
2 CLOCK KDAT TxD n/c
3 DATA NC GND Ground
4 GND GND +5V +5VDC (100mA)
5 +5V CLOCK Clock
6 RxD n/c
A1000 is RJ12 jack.
A2000/3000 is a 5-pin DIN female.
CD32 is a 6-pin miniDIN female.
A4000 is a 6-pin miniDIN female.
You will have to match up the signals above with the connector on
your Amiga's mother board. If you're adding an A2000 keyboard to an
A500 (the keyboard interfaces are almost identical) you will need
to add a transistor at 2N3904 if you want CTRL+Amiga+Amiga
resets to work. Please note that external keyboards don't have LEDs
for Power and Disk activity.
PC AT keyboard adaptors are available for the A1200. This is
probably the best option. For more information see the hard/hack
directory on the Aminet:
Q. How can I upgrade my REV 3, 5, 6a, 7 A500 to OS 2.x
A. The installation of the new ROM depends on the mother board
revision. For the REV 6a and 7 (A500+) boards the ROM
can just be placed directly into the socket, located to the left of
the 68000 CPU. The REV 7 (A500+) has a 42 Pin socket and the ROM
has 40 so check that the ROM isn't placed in the top two points, as
per the diagram:
-| |-<------Don't put any of the ROM's pins in hese two holes.
1 -+--_--+- 40
2 -| |- 39
-| ROM |-
However, if you have a REV 3 or 5 pins 1 and 31 must be connected.
For more details see here
Q. What are the Pin outs for the A500/A1200
A. Looking into the plug
|3 \/4 | Pin 1 +5v 4.5A Pin 4 Signal ground
| 5 | Pin 2 shield ground Pin 5 -12v .1A
|2___1_| Pin 3 12v 1A
Q. What are the pinouts for the A1200's LED
From left to right,
Pin 1 (Black Wire !) Supply to Power LED
Pin 2 (Red Wire) Supply to Floppy LED
Pin 3 (Orange Wire) Supply to HD LED
Pin 4 Not used
Pin 5 (Green Wire !) 0v common for the LED
If you are going to connect these wires to a tower case's LEDs you
will need to connect a resistor (possibly 330 Ohms) in series with
each of the supply wires to stop the leds blowing.
Q. What are the pinouts for the A1200 mouse port (daughter
IDC PINS ON MOTHERBOARD. PINS ON MOUSE PORT
1 2 3 4 5
. . 5 . . . . .
9 . . 4 . . . .
8 . . 3 6 7 8 9
7 . . 2
6 . . 1
These match up pin for pin.
CDTV and CD32
Q. I have an A570 CDROM drive...
A. See the A570 FAQ for all questions related to this CDROM
Q. What are the pin outs for the CD32 power
View straight on. 4 pin din.
1 +5V .' V `.
2 +12V |1 2|
3 Ground `.3 4.'
4 Unknown `---' Shield
Put a ground jumper from pin 3 to the shield.
Q. What are the pin outs for the CD32 AUX port? How can
this be used as a serial port? What problems are there when using
this as a serial port?
View straight on. 6 pin mini-din.
Female type. Combined kboard/serial.
1 I / O Keyboard data _ _
2 I / O Serial transmit/TXD .' V `.
3 Ground / 6 5 \
4 +5V DC |4 O 3 |
5 (I)/ O Keyboard clock `-. 2 1 .-'
6 I Serial receive/RXD `-----' Shield
To use this port as a serial port, see CD32_Amiga11.lha and
Q. How do I stop my CDTV/CD32 resetting when I take the
- There are no RTS/CTS pins for high speed modems.
- The serial pins are at 0/5V, if the computer you're connecting
it to has a different voltage (eg. the Amiga serial port's pins are
at +/-12V) then you need a level converter between the two.
- The serial pins may not be properly buffered to use safely with
some external devices. You could damage your CD32 if you try to
hook them up without an external buffer. A diagram of a buffer is
given in the posting mentioned above.
A. If you boot from CD-ROM, the CD32 resets when the lid is
opened. You can either run a program such as NoReset that disables
this or boot from another device, such as RAD, floppy, or hard
Q. How can I use non-autobooting CDROMs, such as Aminet
4, with my CD32 linked to my Amiga?
A. You can boot from a CDROM which disables the RESET function,
using NoReset. Due to a (yet another) strange oddity in the
Commodore 3.1 CDFileSystem, you can only use CD-ROMs with a
lower or equal ISO revision than the disc you booted from
(this is irrelevant to SX-1 users, for they are likely to boot from
hard drive or floppy). The Aminet 4 CD and the GoldFish CD-ROM set
by Fred Fish are two examples of discs that use a higher revision
than the Weird Science Network CD. This means that you can't access
the discs properly or at all.
Alternatively, you can set up a RAD disk, which will survive
reset and boot from that. Instructions for doing this are found on
the Aminet as Aminet4_CD32.txt.
Q. How can I upgrade my CDTV?
A. Expansion devices have always been limited. However most
upgrades for the A500, which sit in the 68000 socket can simply
plugged in. Also a 2 Meg Agnus daughter board can be added to give
an extra Meg of CHIP RAM. For more information, including how to
upgrade to OS 2.x see the CDTV Technical Page.
Zorro Cards and other interfaces
Q. Which IO card is better, the GVP IO Extender or the BSC
A. There have been several reviews and comparisons in recent
Amiga magazines. The IO Extender has better (faster) Serial ports,
but the MultiFace III has a far better Parallel port (Scanner and
network support) and adequate Serial ports. The best thing to do is
to check the comp.sys.amiga.reviews archive for the
reviews of the MultiFace III and IO Extender.
Q. I have an A2000 with a GVP SCSI Series II hard card
with 8 Megs of RAM on board. If I add a Picasso II, will there be
A. Yes. The Picasso II has 2 Megs of its own RAM which it maps
into the Zorro II address range. This RAM will cause an addressing
conflict with the 8 Megs you already have. The solution is to drop
the 8 Megs down to 6, by changing the jumper settings (if this
amount is possible) and the Amiga's AutoConfig will sort out the
rest of the Zorro II addressing.
Q. What are the pin outs for the 10 way second serial
connector on the GVP IO Extender?
A. This is the pin out for the 10 way header on the board.
CN4 : |5 4 3 2 1|
|- 9 8 7 6| if you use a ribbon cable, it will be correct almost
1 = DCD 6 = DSR
2 = RxD 7 = RTS
3 = TxD 8 = CTS
4 = DTR 9 = RI
5 = GND
Q. What are the DIP switch / Jumper settings for the
A. See http://www.nationalamiga.com/t-A590.html.
Q. I have experienced strange problems when using a
MultiFace III IO card and a FastLane Z3 SCSI card. My Amiga 4000
doesn't boot, however when either of these cards is removed the
system works perfectly. How can I fix this so that both cards can
be used simultaneously?
A. When using the MultiFace III and the FastLane in the A4000,
the FastLane should be in a lower slot (closer to the motherboard)
than the MFC III. If the Multiface is lower than the FastLane,
using the software PIT0: device will cause the
system to lock up.
Q. Why were the original Amigas so slow?
A. One reason is that the 7.14 MHz clock speed is timed to the
PAL/NTSC video rates. This was done to give the Amiga such good
video capabilities. In the early days, people used to add 16 MHz
68000 processors for extra speed. They weren't much faster because
everything in the Amiga was locked to 7.14 MHz (1/4 of the PAL
rate). Even in newer Amigas the custom/IO chips still run at this
Q. I have an A500 with a 030 25 MHz accelerator with no
32 Bit RAM. I find this very slow, compared to 25 MHz A3000s If I
upgrade to an A1200, should I buy a 68060 50 MHz
A. You must remember that accelerators need 32 Bit RAM for a
full speed increase. The A500 is still a 16 Bit machine, so any
operations external to the accelerator will be slow. For this
reason it is important to reduce such external operations by
fitting RAM to an accelerator and if possible SCSI hard drives as
well. The A3000 has 32 Bit architecture, RAM and the Zorro III bus.
This is why it is so much faster. For example a test render with
Cinema 4D on a A500+ with 4 Megs of FAST RAM took 12 minutes. The
same render on the same machine with a 40 MHz 030 took 8 minutes.
However the same render on an A2000 with an 40 MHz 040 and 8 Megs
of 32 Bit FAST RAM took less than 30 seconds. The final two tests
show the speed differences between two processors with the same
An accelerated A500 without 32 Bit RAM runs ~1.7 times faster
than a stock A500. A stock A1200 is supposed to be 4 times faster
than a stock A500, even though the it only has twice the clock
speed. The extra speed comes from the 32 Bit CHIP RAM and
architecture. So an 030 or 040 might be a better solution, giving
much better performance than your current system, at a lower price
than the 060.
Q. What's the difference btween the 68ec030 and the
A. The ec version is supposed to have a smaller memory addressing
range and can't be clocked as fast as a full 68030 can be. The ec
version also lacks a MMU. This means that virtual memory, kickstart
remapping, enforcer style debugging tools and UNIX systems (such as
Linux and NetBSD) can't be used.
Q. What is the "Expansion" drawer used for?
A. Some Zorro II/III cards without ROMs have drivers in the
"Expansion" drawer, such as the Multiface III and IO Extender.
Under OS 1.2, non-autobooting hard disks had drivers here as well.
With 1.3 and auto-boot support, these were dropped. Otherwise it is
Q. In the L: directory on my hard drive, there is a file
called 'FastFileSystem'. I can't find it on any of my Workbench
disks. Where has it come from?
A. This was part of OS 1.3. Now it is stored in ROM, so can be
deleted. It was most likely left over from upgrading or added by
some installation software.
Q. I'm left handed and therefore find difficulty using
mice. Apart from software based hacks, how can I modify my Amiga
mouse to swap its buttons round?
A. You can swap the mouse button wire over, so that the button
pressed with your index finger will have left function.
According to the A500 User Manual, it's the wires from pins 5 and 6
which carry the buttons' signals and therefore need to be swapped
Q. What do the various boot up colour screens mean? What
do the keyboard blinks actually mean? What diagnostics does the
Amiga run through at boot up time?
A.The failure colors are:
YELLOW 680x0 Exception is taken before the real Exec exception
handler is installed.
GREEN Chip memory fails. This can be a real chip memory
failure, or a problem writing to the CIA chip that
controls the ROM overlay.
RED ROM checksum failure.
BLUE Chip failure -- something's wrong with Agnus, Denise,
The keyboard self test results are:
One blink The keyboard ROM check failed
Two blinks The keyboard RAM check failed
Three blinks The watchdog timer test failed
Four blinks A short exists between two row lines or one of the
seven special control keys
for a more detailed description.
Floppy and Hard disks
Q. How can I add a HD floppy drive?
A. If you have a desk top A4000 or a late A3000[T] you already have
a HD floppy. There are some hacks on the Aminet to allow this on
other machines. However these were special half speed devices as
the Amiga's disk IO hardware wasn't designed to support High
Density disks. The best option is the power computing XL drive. If
you have an A4000T, with no external disk port, you will have to
get the internal version. A new half speed High Density floppy
drive is now available in internal and external form. If you have
an A1200 a device called the Cat Weasel allows you to
connect a full speed PC HD floppy drive. It is however better
suited to A1200Ts.
Q. After replacing my internal floppy drive, all my
floppy drives failed to work and info reports that I've got DF0: -
DF3: installed when I've only got and internal and one external
drive. What's going on?
A. The internal floppy drive cable may have been put in the
wrong way round.
Q. Why can't I use the parallel version of the Zip
A. Firstly the drivers aren't available. The reason for this is
that the Amiga's parallel port doesn't have the speed to drive such
devices. See the complete
comparison of the Amiga's and PC cones' parallel ports for more
reasons as to why use of these drives is impossible.
Q. How can I persuade the OS that my second floppy drive
is DF0: as my internal drive is damaged?
A. You could use a tool like Degrader, which allows floppy
drives to be remapped to others as well as disabled. Otherwise add
the following to your S:User-Startup:
; Disable DF0: and map DF1: in its place
Assign Dismount DF0:
Assign DF0: DF1:
This will fool any CLI commands, so you can CD to DF0: and DF1:,
reaching the same destination drive. Even DMS works with this
system. However most games and demos will use custom / non OS-legal
floppy addressing and will fail.
Q. How can Win 95 floppy disks with long file name
support be read?
A. Such floppies and hard disks can be read only using Win95 FS.
This filesystem does not support writing or reading from
Q. How do you use HDToolBox with third party SCSI
A. In tooltypes, add: SCSI_DEVICE="xxxscsi.device", where
xxx.scsi.device is the name of you SCSI controller's device driver.
For example gvpscsi.device, omniscsi.device, 2060scsi.device. This
will be case-sensitive. A full list of device drivers can be found
on National Amiga's WWW site
Q. I use AFS on my hard disks with a GVP SCSI
controller. Are there any known problems?
A. Yes. Don't use the GVP Prep tools. They are
incompatible with AFS and will damage the ridged disk block (RDB),
losing all your data. Use HDToolBox instead.
Q. I have an A4000 (IDE bus) and a A4091 SCSI card. Both
use scsi.device. How can I access the IDE hard drives and the
A4091's drives with HDToolBox?
A. The A4091 (or A2091 for that matter) can be addressed as
'2nd.scsi.device'. The IDE interface will remain scsi.device. When
updating software, remember that device drivers are case-sensitive
of the Amiga.
Q. What are the problems with the WD33C93A SCSI
controller chip? How can they be solved?
A. This chip used in the A3000, A2091 and GVP SCSI controllers
can cause lock ups and random checksum errors when one than one
SCSI device is used. There is a replacement chip, which is deficult
to locate. Also the GURU ROM seems to fix some of these
Q. I have a Surf Squirrel and SCSI board on my
accelerator. At boot up, the machine hangs for sometime and then
boots normally. How can I speed this process up?
A. If you have any removable devices such as a ZIP drive, check
that there is no disk in that drive as if one is found as UNIT 1,
for example, all other units will be searched. This can take a very
long time especially if all LUNs are checked as well as SCSI UNITs.
On the device with the highest UNIT ID you can set the
last-disk flag which will disable further searching. Some
controllers, such as GVP Series II and Phase 5 accelerator SCSI
cards prefer devices to be place in numerical order.
Q. I have a A2090[A] SCSI controller...
A. See the A2090
FAQ for all questions relating to this SCSI controller
Q. What software is needed to read from a SCSI CDROM
A. You will basically need a CDROM Filing System. One is
included with OS3.1, but it's not very good. The best at present is
AmiCDFS, available on the Aminet. Filing Systems consist of several
Each CDROM Filing System has various extras that also need to be
set up but these are documentated in the Filing Systems'
- Handler, this is placed in the L: directory
- DOSDriver, this contains information on your CDROM drive. You
need to add the name of your SCSI driver and the CDROM drive's UNIT
Q. I'm using a Microvitec monitor with my A1200 and suffer
from flickering horizontal lines and vertical bars with ghosting
text. How can I stop this happening?
A. This is a hardware flaw in the AGA chip set, which causes
vertical strips on screens using higher bandwidth screenmodes such
as MultiScan and DBLPAL. To fix this you need to add a resistor to
your monitor adaptor. Details of this modification can be found in
Q. How can I surpress interference with the A520 TV
A. Solder a wire from the hole in the PCB, next to the crystal
to the top of the crystal.
Q. Can I use the A520 modulator with the A1000 or
A. Yes, it plugs straight into the RGB port.
Q. ShapeShifter won't work with my new 060. Why?
A. This is a problem with the Mac ROMs and the 060. It is
rumoured that Apple have done this to stop Amigas running Mac
software better than real Macs can :-)
Q. Why won't Shapeshifter (PrepareEmul) work with my
accelerated A1200/A2000 (with Blizzard 2040?)?
Try MacMem, use PrepareEmul A1200 (this does the same as MacMem)
or see 'Here's What I did to get SS to work on an Accelerated
A1200' by Jeff Harris
Q. How can I use the PC ISA slots in my Big Box
A. These slots can only be used with a Bridge Board, either the
full emulator or the Golden Gate, which enables you to use cheap PC
hardware from the Amiga side only. Use of such a card, in a shared
PC ISA/Zorro will bridge this PC and Zorro interfaces,
allowing PC cards to be used. However these slots are powered, so
PC "Fan" cooler cards can be used with out a Bridge Board.
Q. Can a PS/2 keyboard (or whatever) be used in the PS/2
plug on the back of the 386 Bridge Board?
A. It's not a keyboard jack. It was intended to bean automatic
monitor switcher, if you had a GFX card in an ISA slot. Officially,
people say that the switcher circuit was never completed, others
say that you can access the pins of the port with a program and do