Cloning an Amiga Hard Drive

I’m currently in the process of cloning an Amiga Hard Drive to send to Kakbixlis my Greek friend and Live Video Chat Co-Host on Mark Fixes Stuff. Well, no actually I’m also doing one for my mortal enemy Stephen “Evil Dr RGVX” Twigg of RetroGamerVX fame (check out his channel).

The first task was to create a new set of plain old Workbench 3.1 disks, as mine are pretty old, and magnetic media falls to it’s knees with the ravages of time. Unfortunately, DD diskettes are rare and hard to get hold of, so I’ve been using HD disks in their place for about 10 years now. They work OK, although the science says that the HD recording material needs a stronger write current than a DD drive can muster. Happy to say that my HD (high density) floppy Workbench 3.1 disk backups are still working OK. Bear in mind that they’ve been in the loft all this time too, and you’re starting to see that the HD solution might be workable if not ideal.

BTW, I really HATE crappy scribbled diskette labels, so created a set of my own that can be printed on an inkjet printer.

The full set of floppies copied fine using the Workbench I have installed on my own HDD. As a test I then installed Workbench (using the new floppies) onto the first of the HDDs to ensure that the disks read OK, which went great.

I created the appropriate partitions, and although the hard drives drives were 6.4Gb (and larger) I made *sure* that the combined size of both of the partitions didn’t exceed 4gb, and that the partitions were in the first physical 4gb of the drive. There are patches and fixes out there to go past this limit, but to be honest a 600MB Workbench partition and a 3.2gb work partition is MASSIVE in classic Amiga terms.

I then fully formatted both partitions to ensure that they were physically working fine.



Here’s a picture of my disembodied Amiga 1200 hooked up…….

Notice the diskettes with my custom label 😉


Pay attention to the double IDE connection, as this is going to come into play right now!

With the disks tested and the hard drive checked out, I then promptly removed them!

I wanted to clone my own Amiga setup form my 4gb Compact Flash setup. To do this I created the same partition sizes and types on the hard drive and then started cloning my 4GB compact flash Amiga workbench AGA setup. I’ll do this to both of the the physical hard disks. The first one is in progress right now, but will do the second when this completes. Hope it works when it’s competed.

If anyone is curious, this is done though a shell and is relatively simple.

Of course, you’ll need to connect up both drives first, but the Amiga file system is a simple beast, and all you really need to do is copy the files across to a formatted partition that’s the same size or larger than the original.

Then for each partition you wish to “clone” type the following:

copy sourcename:#? targetname: all clone

…so in my case I had a Workbench and made a slightly larger Workbench2 partition, so *I* typed:

copy workbench:#? workbench2: all clone

I then repeated this for the “Work” partition, cloning it to the “Work2” partition. After it’s complete I’ll boot with just the hdd attached and remove the 2’s.

When it’s finished both Kakbixlis and RGVX will benefit from a “delivery”….

It might take a while though as it’s taking some time to wade it’s way through the WHDLoad collection *cough* 😉


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