SX32 Hard drive & IDE issues

Hard drive not booting problem

A fairly common problem is that you install a hard drive into a SX32/Pro and it will not boot. It works fine in another Amiga but not the SX32, why?

You need to disable the custom boot code option in the Rigid disk block/partition. You must use HDToolbox to do this, RDPrep sets the parameters incorrectly. Here is how:

  1. Load HDToolbox.
  2. Select 'Partition drive'
  3. Select 'File System'
  4. Select 'Advanced Options'
  5. Select the boot drive (HD0: or DH0:) and un-tick the 'Use custom Boot Code' option.
  6. Save settings to the drive and reboot.

Oh, don't forget that you may need to cut pin 1 (the red stripe) of the hard drive to solve spin up problems.

Buffered (or not) IDE port

The SX32 Pro is classed as having a buffered IDE port. I do not think it buffers all of the control signals (and DCE ignored my emails asking them). I have tried adding external IDe devices or long cable lengths and the SX32 has refused to boot.

As far as I could tell with my test equipment, the address lines used by the IDE port are not buffered and are driven by the CPU.

So how do you add another CDROM or extra hard drive?

Buy a 4 port IDE expander!
It is also worth noting that some IDE drives do not like another device on the same port as them, I have this situation in my A1200.

If adding another CD-ROM, you may want to disable the internal CD-ROM by unpluggin it, the CD32 will boot fine but you will lose 100% CD32 compatibility.

Updated 14 April 2021