Making HDToolBox work with CF cards

 
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This is a quick tutorial which explains how to get the standard HDToolBox included with AmigaOS 3.1 and lower to work with Compact Flash cards. Do have in mind however, that this info doesn't apply to HDToolBox in AmigaOS 3.5 and 3.9, since these versions haven't got the same issues. Also, if you think the instructions below really seems like too much hassle, an easier alternative is by simply using one of my Amiga911 disks or A911Extras packs, which includes a fixed version of HDToolBox 40.4. Just head over to the Downloads section of  http://amiga911maker.site11.com to find some links.


The Problem
After attaching the Compact Flash card + adapter inside the Amiga, the CF card will either not show up in HDToolBox, or an error message appears upon choosing it and clicking the "Change Drive Type" button of the program.


The Solution
In order to fix this problem, HDToolBox needs to be patched by using the stuff found in this HDToolBoxPatch.lha archive, and for doing this you will also need gpatch.lha as well. You may notice that the readme of the first archive mentions the term "optical drives", but don't be confused by this, because much of the same issues goes for Compact Flash cards too.


Patching HDToolBox
Applying the patch can be done manually with a hex editor by following the instructions included in the HDToolBoxPatch.lha archive, but for most people, it might be safest to do this by using GPatch instead. The instructions below assumes that version 40.4 of HDToolBox is the one to be patched, so here's what to do:

1. Copy HDToolBox to the Ram Disk and rename it to HDToolBox-OLD
 
2. Extract the HDToolBoxPatch.lha & gpatch.lha archives, and copy these two files to the Ram Disk:
    HDToolBox40.4_MO.gpch
    GPatch-2.6

 
3. Open a Shell, and enter the following two lines:
    CD Ram:
    GPatch-2.6  HDToolBox-OLD  HDToolBox40.4_MO.gpch  HDToolBox


Now you should have a new patched HDToolBox file in the Ram Disk.
 

NB! The old GPatch-2.6 tool is the only one that works with these .gpch patch files.



HDToolBox and Kickstart 2.0
For rounding off this short tutorial, I thought that I could mention a little tip I read on a forum some time ago:  If you want to setup a harddisk on a Kickstart 2.0 Amiga, have in mind that HDToolBox 40.4 will actually work with this old KS version. Using HDToolBox 40.4 or 40.3 instead of older versions is highly recommended, since they are both easier to use and supports a lot more controllers. HDToolBox 40.4 is a part of Workbench 3.1, where it's included on the Install3.1 floppy. But remember that even though this version of the program works on Kickstart 2.0 Amigas, you cannot boot from the Install3.1 disk under such circumstances, this is because it will fail upon running the LoadWB command (invalid resident library).





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