Partitioning 16 GB Compact Flash card with WinUAE and PFS3


Lately I’ve noticed a lot of questions on how to partition and prepare Compact Flash card (or HDD) for use with Amiga, so I’ve decided to write this tutorial on how to do it and format them as PFS3 partitions.

At least this is how I do it :). Using PC with WinUAE to prepare everything and just pop finished card in Amiga, ready to go.

Preparing Compact Flash card

Regardless if you’re going to do it with real Amiga or with WinUAE, first step is to prepare CF card. For Amiga to be able to use it we need to “clean” any file and partition structures that are present on the card. Luckily, there’s a tool included with windows to do just that, it’s called “diskpart”.

First thing first, connect your CF card to PC, it doesn’t matter how you do it. Integrated card reader, USB card reader, whatever you usually use.

Now we need to start Command Prompt with elevated permissions, aka “as Administrator”. If you have Windows 7 and UAC turned off applications start “as Administrator” by default, but I guess most people use default settings. Anyway, press Start key on keyboard (or click Start icon on taskbar), type “cmd” (without quotes of course, every command I have written with quotes is supposed to go without them, unless explicitly state otherwise). It should find either Command Prompt or cmd.exe, in my case (Windows 10) it was Command Prompt, but if I remember correctly on Windows 7 it says only cmd.exe. Regardless, right click it and choose “Run as administrator”.


Now type “diskpart” and press enter key


This will load diskpart. Now lets see what drives we have available, type “list disk” and press enter, this will list all disk drives that are present in your computer. Find the one representing your CF card. In my case it was 16 GB CF card so it’s the last one, where is says 14 GB. Note that it’s “Disk 5”.


To select it type “select disk #” where # is number your CF/HDD got, followed by enter of course. In my case it was “select disk 5”

You should get message that Disk # is now the selected disk. To make sure type “detail disk” and press enter



It will output details of currently selected disk. Double check you’ve selected the correct one. If you clean wrong disk it’s bye, bye data. After you’re sure you’re sure 🙂 type “clean” and press enter. You should get a message saying it’s been successfully cleaned. If there was some kind of error make sure you’ve started Command Prompt as administrator.


And that’s it for preparing your CF/HDD. You can check with “detail disk” and/or “list disk” (selected disk will get * sign in front of it) commands to see if it’s been cleaned.



Tools and preparation

To make it a bit easier I’ve prepared small pack of tools and file systems. Simply unzip them in folder and assign the folder as hard drive in WinUAE, we’ll get into more details a bit later. Inside the archive is

  • Diskmaster – Norton Commnder like file manager
  • HDInstTools
  • HDToolBox
  • loadmodule – command line tool, used for loading modules, we use it to load updated scsi.device that enables large hdd usage
  • Reboot – command line soft reset tool
  • CLI – Shell
  • scsi.device – doobrey’s pacthed scsi.device v44.20, I use it without problems with all my A600/A1200
  • FS folder – I’ve included few filesystems in this folder, few versions of FFS and latest (at the moment v18.5) PFS3 AIO, you can get newest version from aminet
  • scsi folder – Here I’ve included two scsi.device files I used so far. scsi.device.44.20 is the same one as above, scsi.device.43.45 is patched version of scsi.device 43.43 from WB3.9 BB2 update, reason I included it was because I had problems with 44.20 when used on regular A500 with KS3.1, for some reason it was crashing when it tried to load it, but this version, 43.45, worked fine. I guess it might be something to do with 68000 CPU, when I connected ACA500 with ACA1220 (68020 CPU) to this same A500 it worked fine with v44.20. So just in case, here are both versions.

Dropbox download

WinUAE settings

We’re almost ready for actual work, almost :). First, run WinUAE as administrator, same as with command prompt. Find it’s shortcut (or WinUAE.exe), right click it and choose “Run as administrator”. This will allow WinUAE to access CF card, otherwise OS will block direct access to it.

To make it a bit faster I set WinUAE to emulate a bit beefier then standard Amiga. These are setting that I use for prepping CF cards, WB installations, file copying and so on. I saved it as config so I don’t have to set it up every time.

WinUAE CPU Settings

02 WinUAE Chipset Settings

04 WinUAE RAM Settings

For ROM settings use Kickstart 3.0 or 3.1, whatever you usually use, for floppy settings mount either Workbench or WorkBench Install floppy (again, either 3.0 or 3.1, whatever you usually use) and set it to turbo speed (slider to maximum left), to speed up WorkBench load.

If you use Workbench floppy instead of Workbench install floppy you’ll get one warning from HDToolBox later on, nothing important, we’ll get to that later, doesn’t really matter.

Now go to HDD settings (CD & Hard drives) and click “Add Directory or Archive…” button

06 WinUAE HDD Folder Settings

Browse to the folder you unpacked archive from previous chapter. For “Device name” and “Volume label” enter whatever you like. I simply enter “f” in those fields and I’ll use “f” throughout this tutorial. No special reason, that simply means that within workbench you’ll be able to find those files in drive “f”.

07 WinUAE HDD Folder Settings

Now we need to add CF card to our virtual Amiga. Click “Add Hard Drive…” button, in new window click on the drop down menu and choose your drive.

08 WinUAE HDD Settings

09 WinUAE HDD Settings

Also, from drop down menu that says “UAE” choose “A600/A1200/A4000” and click “Add hard drive” button.

10 WinUAE HDD Settings_

Finally, all preparation is done. All that’s left is to click “Start” button and load Workbench. You haven’t forgot to assign WB3.x floppy to floppy drive, have you?

11 WinUAE Startup

Preparing the card

After it finishes loading you should get something like this

12 WinUAE WB

First thing we need to do is load patched scsi.device, original one is limited to 4GB and since our card is 16 GB we need to do something about it. If you’ll use 4 GB card you can skip this scsi.device thing, or if you use direct scsi enabled filesystem you can use up to 8 GB HDDs, like PFS3DS, but I prefer to use scsi.device approach even with 8 GB cards.

To load it we need to get to Shell. Since there’s no Shell on Workbench Install floppy I’ve included it in tools archive. Open drive “f” and you’ll find Shell there

13 WinUAE WB_alt

Alternatively, if you used Workbench floppy to boot you can also find Shell in Workbench floppy, System drawer.

13 WinUAE WB

Switch to drive “f” by typing “f:”, followed by enter key, and finally type “loadmodule scsi.device” and press enter. This will load new scsi.device to memory and reboot our virtual Amiga. After it boots again, we can go back to shell and type “version scsi.device”, output should say version 44.20.

14 WinUAE WB

If you reboot from WinUAE (F12 and then “Reset” button) or stop/start emulation again, you’ll have to repeat this “loadmodule scsi.device” procedure, loadmodule survives only soft reset (ctrl + amiga + amiga, or reboot from command line, remember that Reboot file from zip archive?).

Now that we’ve loaded patched/updated scsi.device we can proceed. Open F drive, HDToolBox drawer and finally run HDToolBox.

15 WinUAE WB_alt

HDToolBox should load and show one unknown drive. So let’s introduce them, click “Change Drive Type” button.

16 WinUAE WB

Click “Define New…”

17 WinUAE WB

And Finally “Read Configuration”, to get drive geometry information.

18 WinUAE WB

You’ll get one info dialog so just click Continue and you’ll get correct geometry values. Don’t mind Size negative size. That’s only visual, HDToolBox wasn’t meant for drives so big so they never bothered to use big variables, this is simple programming variable overflow, drive will be formatted correctly.

If you want to precisely set partition sizes you can use calculator I made, at bottom left there’s link to PDF on how to use it. You just need Cylinders, Heads and Block per Track values from this HDToolBox window.

20 WinUAE WB

Now just click “Ok” on this and next window.

If you used Workbench floppy to boot you’ll probably get warning complaining how it can’t find L:FastFileSystem, just click continue. Reason for this is that Workbench floppy doesn’t have FFS driver on it. It’s on Install floppy, where HDToolBox usually is so it can find it automatically. If you used Workbench install floppy to boot you’ll simply be back to starting HDToolBox window.

22 WinUAE WB

Now that we’re back at starting window, you’ll notice that all buttons have unlocked and that drive is no longer “unknown”. Click “Partition Drive” button

23 WinUAE WB

Add checkmark on “Advanced Options” checkbox

24 WinUAE WB

Edit “Partition Device Name” from UDH0 to DH0 (I guess it doesn’t matter, but traditionally HDD partitions are named DH0, DH1 and so on), and click on “Add/Update…” button.

25 WinUAE WB

Again, if you used Workbench floppy to boot, you wont’ have anything in the list. If you used Workbench install floppy you’ll have Fast File System loaded. If you don’t intend to use it, simply select it and click “Delete File System” button.

To add new file system click on “Add New File System…” button

26 WinUAE WB

And type path to file containing desired file system. In that zip file from beginning I’ve put them in FS folder and file name is pfs3_aio-handler, so in this case I typed “f:fs/pfs3_aio-handler”, and click “Ok” button.

27 WinUAE WB

Now we need to enter DosType for PFS3, for PFS3 it’s


For PFS3DS aka PDS3 DosType would be 0x50445303 (pfs3_aio-handler supports PDS3, you just need to type this instead of PFS3 one, everything else is the same) and FFS would use 0x444F5301, just for info.

You can leave “Version” and “Revision” fields at default values, sometimes I edit “Revision” to 5 since this is PFS3 v18.5 but it’s not like it really matters. Again, click “Ok” button.

29 WinUAE WB

Now we have PFS3 loaded. We can load more filesystems, I’ve included few FFS versions in FS folder. When I started with Amigas few years ago I usually used FFS for DH0 and PFS3 for DH1, but actually there’s not much point to it, PFS3 is better (more modern) than FFS, and OS had to load two drivers so that resulted in a bit more memory used.

30 WinUAE WB

Now to set the partition up. I’ve resized it to 500 MB. You can do this via partition slider, which is unprecise, or by directly entering Start Cyl and End Cyl values. Which is what I did. To get those values you can use calculator I mentioned earlier. Finally, click on “Change…” button.

31 WinUAE WB

First click on “File System:” block thingy until it says “PFS\03” and then edit MaxTransfer value to 0x1fe00 (these are zeroes, not “O”s) AND PRESS ENTER TO CONFIRM THE VALUE. This is a “feature” on this window, if you enter the value and click “Ok” it will not apply but revert to original value. You have to press enter and then click “Ok” button.

32 WinUAE WB

Now set second partition to size you want. I usually use all of the rest of space for it, you can simply stretch it, no need to be precise for that. And repeat last step on it (Change…, File System, MaxTransfer). After you’re done with both (or more) partitions click “Ok” button to return to main HDToolBox window. All that’s left is to click “Save Changes to Drive” button. Only visible difference will be drive status, it will change from “Changed” to “Not Changed”.

33 WinUAE WB

34 WinUAE WB

Exit HDToolBox and reboot. In some rare occasions new partitions appeared immediately after I saved changes in HDToolBox, but in 90% of cases they didn’t. After reboot they appeared.

Easiest way is to double click Reboot icon that should be in “F” folder so do it. Or open shell again, go to drive “F” and type “reboot” followed by enter. But double clicking Reboot icon is faster/easier.

If you reboot from WinUAE control panel, you’ll have to do that “loadmodule scsi.device” thingy again. Alternative is to reboot via keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Amiga + Amiga).

35 WinUAE WB_alt

After reboot you may have to wait few seconds (3-5) for partitions to appear. But they should appear.

39 WinUAE WB

Select first one (DH0), press right mouse button and go to toolbar at the top, choose “Icons” and “Format Disk…”

40 WinUAE WB

Enter name you want your drive to have, like System, Main, Workbench… whatever, uncheck “Put Trashcan” checkbox if you want (I uncheck it) and click on “Quick Format” button. This is a must when using flash media like CF cards.

41 WinUAE WB

You’ll get two warnings asking you if you’re sure you want to format it, click “Format” button on both dialogs.

42 WinUAE WB

43 WinUAE WB

Lastly you’ll get one more dialog, simply informing you about some PFS3 info, click “Ok” and wait a bit for format to complete.

44 WinUAE WB

Repeat for second (and all consecutive ones if you made them) partition, this one might take 30-60 seconds to complete as it’s quite a bit larger. After it’s done you’ll have two partitions, 500 MB and 14+ GB formatted as PFS3.

45 WinUAE WB

Now you can install Workbench on it. But remember, if you make hard reset you’ll have to manually load patched scsi.device  again, BEFORE you make any change to filesystem. Usually first partition will be accessible since it’s 500 MB, but DH1 will be NDOS again until you load scsi.device.

If you install Classic Workbench you can simply copy this scsi.device to DH0:DEVS folder, it will load it automatically on boot. If you install “plain” Workbench you’ll have to manually add it to startup-sequence. Tutorial on how to do this is here.

Just be sure to use same scsi.device you used to when partitioning the drive. There are more than one, others might work, but they may also result in corrupted data.

Posted on October 13, 2015, in Amiga, Retro computing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 102 Comments.

  1. Martin Rieder

    Great guide. I have a 32GB Transcend CF card. But I keyep getting an “NOt af valid DOS disc” when I try to format the large DH1 partition. The small system (DH0) partition works. Any ideas as to why?


    • Are you sure patched scsi.device is loaded? When you enter command

      version scsi.device

      if it was loaded it should say 44.20 if you used version from the guide.


      • Martin Rieder

        Yes it’s loaded and the version is the same.


      • Strange… although I never used card bigger than 16 GB, but people were using this method for 100+ GB HDD’s.

        What exact CF is it? I have 16 GB Transcend 133x in my A1200 and it works fine. First partition is 500 MB and second one is the rest.

        You used PFS3 filesystem on both partitions?


      • Martin Rieder

        It’s a 32 gb 133 trandscend. And yes, pfs3 on both partitions.


      • Honestly I don’t know what could be the problem. Only other thing that comes to mind is if you forgot to set max transfer mode on this second partition, or if you used full format instead of quick format. But I doubt it.

        Have you tried making two partitions instead of this one? Like system partition, first additional partition, second additional partition instead of just system partition and one additiaonal partition?


  2. Martin Rieder

    It’s wierd. When I drag the slider to create the second partition, it counts to 4 gb and then starts over. It’s like it just won’t accept larger than 4 GB partitions, even with the scsi.device loaded and the PFS3 file system…


    • That’s OK, it’s just cosmetic, display thing. It “can’t” count so high, when it was made big hard drives were around 120 MB so they didn’t bother to go above 2^32, i.e. number that displays partition size is 32bit and when it “spills” over it goes from beginning. But partitions are created correctly. I think that either HDToolBox or HDInstTools from archive above can display correct numbers, although it’s not important as it’s only display/cosmetic.

      If you use partition size calculator I linked in the guide and use calculated values you’ll get correct partition sizes.


  3. I just want to say THANK YOU!!!! I’ve been going crazy trying to accomplish this… Very precise and well done guide… KUDOS!!!


  4. Art Steinmetz

    Amazing guide. Thanks for putting in all the TLC to make this pretty foolproof. I tried it on a SanDisk 8GB card and it worked perfectly. I tried it on an old 256MB PNY card and HDToolBox did not see anything, with or without the new scsi.device. The card did have a working FAT32 file system before I CLEANed it with DISKPART.


    • Have you tried it on real Amiga or only in WinUAE? But I doubt it would make any difference. Some cards simply won’t work. I had 16GB Kingston card that would appear in HDToolBox intermittently, but even when it appeared, and I set it up, it would in most cases loose data. It worked fine on PC as memory card, just not on Amiga.

      Another potential problem is so called “removable bit”, for CF card to appear as HDD it needs to have this bit disabled in it’s configuration. If it’s set than that card reports to the system as removable storage and there can be trouble when you try to use it as storage.
      That’s done at manufacture time and in most cases it’s not user changeable. To change it you would need special tool from manufacturer of that card, if there is one.

      Maybe that’s why you’re having problems, but who knows. Some people say that even if card is set to removable storage they were able to use it with amiga.


  5. Cant get this to work. Every time i try save after entering everything nothing happens but if i set it standard without changing any advanced settings it saves and lets me exit. tried 16gb and 4gb sdhc cards


  6. I don’t know whuy but it just started working by itself after creating a new winUAE config and setting the emulation to a1200 compability max settings. with no owerclocking.


    • SDHC cards via SD to CF adapter or SD to IDE adapter? All in all I had mixed results with SD cards via more than one adapter so that’s why I use CF cards. They’re more expensive than SD cards but at least they work. Never had problems with these Chinese no name ones and Transcend ones.


  7. Hi,
    thanks for this great tutorial! 🙂
    I have a problem while setting up my 32GB CF Card. I followed every step:
    formated CF to 32GB in windows.
    started cmd as admin
    used diskpart and cleaned the CF card
    configured UAE and included the CF Card as Amiga600/1200/4000 IDE 0 Device
    booted from wb 3.0
    loaded and checked scsi.device
    started hdtoolbox and read out the configuration of the Card.
    It shows 62041 Cylinders, 16 Heads, 63 Blocks per Track and 1008 Block per Cylinder.
    if I use your calculator it should be 29.82 gigabytes, but HD ToolBox shows a Size of 1862 Meg.
    When i create 2 partitions i get the same size: 500MB and 1362MB. So something is wrong while reading out the Card.
    Do you have any Idea what would help me?



    • Nothing is wrong :). If you look at my pictures it says my card is negative -1104 MB :). It’s only visual thing, cylinder, head and block values are all that matters. if you get correct size when you do the math by hand (or via calc) that’s OK and 29.82 GB sounds OK for 32GB CF card.

      Thing is HDToolBox is very old program. In times when it was made 100 MB (that’s MB, not GB) was huge storage space. So when programming authors of HDToolBox used small (from today’s point of view) integer number to store drive size for display, they never thought someone would use hard drive so big with it, I think it shows correctly up to 2 GBs. And result is this, when it tries to display drive size it overflows few times variable that stores display drive size and shows the end result.

      For example, if that variable can store numbers from -10 to 10 and you have 45, it would start count from 0 and reach 10, but it still has 35 to account for, so it overflows to -10 and continues to count up and again reaches 10. Up to now it “used” 31, 0 to 10 (10), and -10 to 10 (21), so it still has 14 to go, and since it overflowed again it again starts from -10 and stops at 3. So instead of 45 it shows 3. This is what happens with HDToolBox :).

      Same thing with partition size display. You can ignore 1862 and simply use values from calculator to determine partition sizes. Regardless of what it showed resulting partitions will have correct sizes.

      Alternatively you can try with HDInstTool from Aminet, it was updated to correctly show big hard drives. It’s almost the same as HDToolBox, differences are minor. Only thing you need to watch out for is not to mix HDToolBox and HDInstTool. If you set up with one don’t modify partitions with the other and vice versa. They don’t play well with each other. Just use one or the other.


  8. I have 16GB sandisk. Tried different tutorials. Sometimes using UAE as controller. Sometimes IDE. Tried multiple versions of scsi.device. Followed your tutorial. Everything looks okay when partitioning/formatting.

    Then I start copying files to the disk and I get:

    PFS-III Error Request
    Device DH1:
    Wrong index block id

    Any idea what’s wrong?


    • Whar pfs3 version do you use? That also happened to me about a year and a half ago. Turned out Psf3aio had a bug. Current version on aminet is fixed.


      • I used ClassicWB. I think it has pfs3 version 18.5. Will check. After this error I switched to another machine with FS-UAE and a different CF card reader. With this machine I was able to finish the setup. I successfully copied lots of demos and games using Dopus. It did however stop copying after about 5 Gb of games. No error, just stalled. When I looked at the bottom I could see there was no memory left. I configured the machine with 8MB fast mem because that was how far the slider went. I will try another time with loads more Z3 memory and see if that finishes correctly.

        Is this a typical thing to happen?


      • I think it might be due to buggy PFS3 version. Thing is Tony Willen corrected this bug, but didn’t change PFS3 version so it remained at 18.5. I’d suggest to download latest version from aminet and try again

        last update was 2.3 and one of two fixes was: “Fixed very old PFS3 bug that caused Wrong Index Block ID error message. Only affected partitions larger than 5G.” Which seems like your first error.

        Maybe FS-UAE does something different so you didn’t get that error, but in the end it still didn’t work correctly.

        So far I haven’t had any issues (except that Block ID error before it was fixed) so I can’t say if that’s typical. It didn’t happen to me :/. Although I never used 32GB, only up to 16GB cards, although I doubt it’s related to card size.


  9. I checked and ClassicWB comes with PFS3 AIO version 2.3 so I think I had a genuine issue with the Card Reader that caused a genuine error.

    I’ll try copying the games with more memory and see what happens.


  10. Just a btw…. Even loading the new scsi.device it doesn’t see my CF card in hdtoolbox. I have to use uaehf.device.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What have you selected in hard drive settings when you added CF card in winuae?

      If only uaehf.device works you probably have UAE selected, for scsi.device you need to set it to emulate real IDE controller

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi. Yep. Settings exactly the same and no dice. This isn’t a transcend 16gb card I’m working with, it’s a 512 old Fuji thing I’m testing pfs3 with as I’m unfamiliar with it, just while I wait for an 8gb transcend. That said, it does show up for me to do something with in real Amiga.


      • I received my 8gb, it’s already setup with pfs3 with small wb, and 2x 3.9gb. I plan to set it up larger wb and 1 other large pfs3. I should be able to setup as PFS3DS without needing the scsi.device, correct?


      • In that case I don’t know what could be the issue. Uaehf.device should work only if you choose UAE controller for HDD. If you select A600/A1200/A4000 controller only scsi.device should work. Unless there’s some bug in WinUAE. For this issue I’d ask at .

        Well, yes and no. SCSI device is still needed, but it’s not important if it’s patched 4GB+ HDD’s or not. Direct SCSI variant supports up to 8 GB if I remember correctly.


      • Yeah I meant the patched version.. Just tested the 8gb transcend in winuae, same problem, no device showing up, and none of the already formatted partitions are showing either. I’m gonna stick it in the amiga and use PDS3 to create 2 partitions (WB/Data) Should be good to go with no extra faffing.. Thanks for tips.


  11. Fantastic guide, thank you! I am about to start on this journey, can you recommend brand and speed of CF cards? I know you can get cards much faster than 133x now, have seen some at 400x and 800x by Sandisk, would the speed make a difference?


    • Out from branded ones I tried Transcend 16GB 133x (orange colored card) and Kingston 16GB 266x (red card). Transcend worked fine, plugged to PC, did diskpart clean thingy, partitioned via WinUAE, installed Workbench (I use Classic Workbench, not vanilla one), and everything went fine from the start.

      For my next Amiga I bought Kingston 266x card, it was a bit cheaper ($4-$6, it was regular store I bought them from, not a shady one that sells fake cards, although I haven’t heard of stores like that where I live) and people were saying they had no problems with it either. But I had all kind of problems with it. Card not showing up in HDToolBox/HDInstTools, partition(s) not showing up after it looked like it worked. Few times it looked as if it finally worked and booted, but after few restarts it crapped out again. I even tried to use real Amiga instead of WinUAE to partition it, but it was similar, in the end it partitions got corrupted. All the while it worked correctly as storage media on PC so it wasn’t this particular card that was faulty, but in the end it died completely. I guess all those partitioning and diskpart/clean killed it. I got a replacement one, same Kingston 266x card and it behaved exactly the same. It wouldn’t work with Amiga no matter what I did. After few days of experimenting it died the same way as first one so I gave up….

      Apart from these two I got few cheap no name ones from ebay (white ones from image at the top) and they worked flawlessly, no problem with partitioning, or lost data in most cases. One 8GB died after a month, I guess that’s why they cost 1/3 (when compared with Kingston) or even 1/4 (when compared with Transcend) of the price these branded ones cost. People have also used Sandisk cards, but again, I don’t know if all of them would work.

      I don’t know why Kingston one(s) behaved as they did because some people recommend them. Maybe this 266x one isn’t good for Amiga, there are 133x ones, black/green colored (picture of some flower and leaves is on it), maybe people used these and the thing is that 133x cards are more compatible than newer ones.

      As for the speed, 133x is more than enough. That 133x/266x/400x/800x thing is from CD-ROM age, 1x equals 150 kB/s, so 133x = 133 x 150kB/S = 19.950 kB/s, almost 20 MB per second so it’s not that slow. Especially for Amiga. Amiga IDE port is PIO Mode 0 which is highly dependent on CPU/memory speed. Maximum speed it can achieve is around 2.5 MB/s which is way slower than what 133x cards can do, i.e. card is not the bottleneck here, amiga is. Standard A1200 can do 1 – 1.2 MB/s, if you have some accelerator it can get to 2 MB/s.


  12. I’ve set up an 8gb Transcend CF card with workbench partition and 7gb DH1 partition. Works great in Winuae but won’t boot on my A1200. Do I have to have my dh0 partition in ffs format: I’m running ClassicWB and it only allows me to format in PFS.


    • Did you use IDE as HDD controler in WinUae or UAE? Also, did you set ClassicWB to load patched scsi.device that supports 8GB hard drives?


      • I set it asA600/A1200/A4000 as per the guide and loaded scsi.device from F: shell.

        As In say it works great in Winuae but It just boots to Rom on my Amiga 1200


  13. Managed to get my 16gb running on A1200. Set it up in Win 7 instead of Win 10 and everything works s great. Don’t know if Win 10 (anniversary edition) was the problem but copying through Dopus on Winuae is much faster in Win 7 than Win 10 on my machine.

    Thanks for a great tutorial. I would never have managed it without your help


    • Glad you got it working. Strange that windows version made this kind of issue. I made this tutorial using Windows 10 and it worked. Maybe something changed in subsequent update/upgrades. This was done on “vanilla” Windows 10 Pro, also known as version 1507, since then there were two upgrades, version 1511 in November last year and version 1611 (also known as Anniversary Edition, the one you have) in July this year.

      I’ll have to try and set up one CF with current version to see if there are some issues.


  14. Hello !, great tutorial 🙂

    I have a question, I followed your tutorial and all worked fine in WinUae

    But when I transfer my micro sd-card to my Amiga 2000 it says DF1:NDOS :/

    I load the patched scsi device OK but I think the problem is that I am running off a GVP 030 40Mhz/SCSI Card (gvpscsi.device)

    I presume this will only work with Amiga 4000’s and 2000’s with like a A2091 SCSI Card ?



    • Unfortunately I have only “small” amigas, 500/600/1200 so I haven’t tried with big box accelerators.

      You say micro SD card, you use some other kind of adapter? Not something related to Compact Flash cards? If it’s a SCSI device, what kind of adapter you use to connect your SD/CF to it?

      Did you set workbench to use scsi.device or gvpscsi.device? Scsi.device is only for internal IDE controller, that’s why it wouldn’t work if you use it on addon card that has it’s own controller. Try copying your gvpscsi.device the card and using it instead of scsi.device when you come to real machine (it won’t work in WinUAE).

      Another thing that comes to my mind is setting WinUAE to emulate your GVP card. I remember that it had an option to load addon card firmware and to emulate it, at least these popular ones. I think it can emulate your accelerator. If you manage to configure it try to set it up with that WinUAE config. But use gvpscsi.device instead of scsi.device. You’ll also have to “tell” HDToolBox to use it, as it uses scsi.device by default.

      P.S. I just noticed you wrote DF1:NDOS. Is this a typo? DF1 should be floppy drive, DH is HDD.


    • That’s unfortunate. Burning the ROM in chip isn’t a problem, adapter PCB is :/. AFAIK it’s not simply PCB with alternate traces but also small GAL chip with memory mapper logic. And that logic isn’t available freely so you can’t DIY it. If not it wouldn’t be hard to make them.


  15. Heya,

    Thanks for getting all of this together. I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to get everything together and working out how to use pfs3 on an 8GB card in my A600. Set up a 4 gig no problem, as I didn’t need the patched scsi.device. Worked like a charm!

    Now I’m trying to set up the 8GB card now, but once I enter loadmodule scsi.device and hit ender, it goes into an endless reboot loop in WinUAE. I did notice during the loop that the “Power” text at the bottom flashes 5 times, and then reboots and repeats.

    Any ideas? i followed the directions to the letter, and I can’t figure it out.


    • What configuration have you set up in WinUAE? I’ve just tried in WinUAE 3.3.0 and it loaded patches scsi.device fine. I used standard A1200 config, haven’t configured HDF file or CF card, just booted from WB floppy and tried to do loadmodule, it rebooted once and new scsi.device was loaded. What version of patched scsi.device you used? I mostly use 44.20.


      • Hiya,
        Thank you for your quick response!

        I just set it up exactly as in your instructions (setting it up as a 1200), and it loaded the device no problem (version 44.20). Maybe something funky with the 600 emulation? I’m going to prepare a CF card, and see if the 600 will boot from it.


      • Which kickstart and workbench version do you use? Also, is your A600 default or has it some accelerator installed? I’ve just tried with few variations of A600 configs and have stumbled on this issue if I set emulated Amiga to have 68000 or 68010 CPU, if I set it to 68020 it works fine. I have ACA620 in my A600 so that might be why I never had issues with it. I guess there are some functionality in 68020 CPU that are needed for scsi.device 44.20.

        BUT I remembered I had these kinds of issue when I was trying to set up my A500 which had 68000 CPU. I solved it by using scsi.device 43.45, I’ve just tried it with emulated A600 and it also works. So you can try using that version with loadmodule and see if it helps.


  16. Got it! I’m using kick 3.1, and WB 3.1. I only have a 1MB expansion at the moment, so just the plain old 68000.

    Finally got a chance to sit down for a bit, and I used the 43.45 version and it’s booting no problem. Had a couple of trial and error moments, since this is the first time in about 20 years that I’ve touched an Amiga.

    Thanks again for the advice and guidance, not to mention your time doing your own trial and error.


  17. Thanks for the guide, it was helpful when migrating my stuff from an old small CF card to a new large 16GB card.


  18. I still can’t get it to see the 8GB when formatting. It’s an 8gb transcend 133x CF. I have loaded the patched scsi.device, though it doesn’t change anything as far as hdtoolbox goes. I’ve entered exact figures using your calculator. Tried a newer HDToolbox which sees the drive as 8gb, and I can make 1 partition fully 8gb, but when it comes to using WB to format it, it only ever sees 4gb (well about 3300mb). I’ve used pfs3 and pds3. I’m about to give up, it’s doing my head in.


    • I had the same problem. If I remember rightly it’s to do with the scsi.device. It doesn’t work with 8gb cards. Try using the default scsi.device in classic workbench, i.e. don’t change the scsi.device.

      If this works please post result, it will help others


      • Makes no difference which scsi.device I use, WB still only sees <4GB. However, while copying over classicwb and all my games using Dopus, it does show the correct size, and lets me fill it right up. WB still reports it all wrong though, but that's ok I guess.


      • When WB was made disk sizes were way smaller than GB so I guess they thought nobody would ever connect something like that, if it would even exist :). Same as original HDToolBox. But it can use all of the space without problems.

        Just a sidenote. It’s not recomended to switch scsi.device files. If you use one version to create partitions and format them and then you switch to some other versions you could end up with corrupted partitions at some point. Just FYI if you didn’t repartition and format when you switched between them.


  19. I followed it exactly but when i go to install classicwb it says that the disk dh0 is write protected and it wont proceed installing classicwb.
    i have only an 8gb card, they show up great on the workbench desktop, i even wrote the using dopus in winuae into dh0 because before that it kept saying could not locate!

    finally got it on there and now it just goes through the install of classic workbench of the adf disk drive, but installing it to the cf drive partition ive made (500mb dh0) it just keeps saying the disk is write protected!!! its wrecking my brain


    • 1) Make sure when you add a hard drive in WinUAE that you tick the Read/Write box
      2) Run WinUae as Administrator.


    • As GaryC says, it might be Windows permission issue.

      I’ve read that some people had problems on some windows editions, I’ve tried on Windows 10 and before that I used Windows 7 without issues, so I can’t say that for sure.

      Have you tried installing regular Workbench from floppies? Just to check if it’s something ClassicWB related or global.


  20. David James-Turvey

    Thanks for the reply. I followed the steps to the finest detail. Read/write selected etc. Run as admin etc etc.
    Regular workbench install is fine. No problems. Installs every disk fine. However it boots great in winuae but does not boot in my 1200. The light on the cf adapter is constantly on.

    At first i had an issue as it says to install classicwb as dh0. But the cf card is formatted as dh0. So when i go to install it says that is not at dh0. So i had to mount the system.hdf of classicwb in dh1 boot priorety 1. Boot ot up im winuae. Copy to folder called pc. Then copy to db0 on the cf.
    Even doing that and removing all drives. Loading the cf (500mb dh0. 3.5gb db1 about 3.4gb dh2) and then the classicwb 68k install.adf disc in df1.. with the successfully in dh0.. it says write protect.

    Its driving me mental. Am going to try on win 7. Going to try with new cf adapter too


  21. ah i give up on it, just going to get a 4gb already done off ebay. ridiculously difficult this is. i updated the pfs aio handler to the latest one thinking the bug fix in the latest one would sort it, now im several steps backwards where the drive wont even show up at all to partition it. just blank. and its formatted as it was before from scratch following the disk part steps and everything. winuae sees it, hdtoolbox does not. and it was read fine all of the times ive tried this over the last few days. i give up this is impossible


    • got it to load up by formatting it in disk part 3x! loaded scsi module.. now it said cannot open pfs3_aio-handler. im done! thanks for the guide etc but this is going right in the bin. maybe will try again in a year or so, for me – ebay getting one already done! chow!


      • I think issue lies in ClassicWB. I never tried to install it the way you do. Although I also use it on my Amigas. I mount CWB hdf file and one folder on my PC in WinUAE, set CWB the way I like and then simply with zip everything in DF0 with Dopus to one ZIP file to my mounted folder (also it doesn’t hurt to copy Amiga (un)zip executable to the same folder).
        After that I prepare CF according to this tutorial, add that folder with prepared CWB zip to mount list that same folder, boot from WB floppy, load scsi.device to have support for bigger HDDs/CFs, and lastly using CLI run unzip command on that CWB using DH0 as target.

        Alternatively you could simply add CF card to mount list after you set CWB and simply copy everything from CWB partition/HDF file to your CF bootable partition. Workbench doesn’t need any complicated stuff as today OSs do. Only requirement is that partition is marked bootable in HDToolbox. If it is, it will run.

        Btw. are you sure you connected CF adapter to Amiga correctly? I mean pin number 1 on IDE port to pin number 1 on CF adapter? Unfortunately I don’t remember if my adapter had light always on or off, before I soldered a wire to make LED work as it should.


  22. im going to give it one more go! ive got a new usb adapter, i got a good 2 more hours to try il let you guys know on here the steps i took to get it working for me coz something dodgy is going on, even people on forums etc have the same issues but usually the replies are “format windows” or “should have been born an elephant”. things like that
    i appreciate the help, this is probably the most frustrating thing to do next to modding a wii!


  23. Hi! The dropbox download no longer works. Could you fix the link? Thank you!


  24. Ricardo Vinicius Machado de Souza

    hi my friends, i have the same problem. i ´m trying to create cf 4, 8 and 16 gb for my amigas 600 and 1200 with winuae and appear a lot of problems …i get the RDB, ok but when i trying copy the classic workbench to partition dh0 500 mb after a few seconds/minutes appear block id error in dh0. i use pfs3aio_handler, , i have ks 3.1. i see a lot of tutorial and no one works with my cf 4gb, 8 8b and i´m trying usin amikit, but the same problem appear, maybe diferent error name, and don´t work.


  25. Hi. Tried this guide with an 8GB CF. It works fine under emulation but when I try it on real hardware (A500+, kick 3.1, Vampire 2+) the system (WB 3.1) doesn’t boot (shows a blank screen and the drive is “ticking”). if I remove the “loadmodule system:scsi.device” from startup-sequence it loads up and shows all partitions but I get all kinds of read errors when running whdload games at some point, almost always on every single game. Im kinda new to all this so please help me solve this – idk what to do!


  26. Hi, I followed the guide and it works with 3.1 WB smoothly, yet I need to update the scsi.device version to 43.45, since I later installed CWB 3.9 over the 3.1 WB and that has a bug with it’s 43.45 driver. (Red screen of death) on real hardware but fine on WinUAE

    What are the steps to do that please, if you know? Thanks


    • Usually scsi.device is in devs folder and it gets loaded from there automatically. So just copy new scsi.device in that folder and overwrite the old one and it should work.

      But I’d be carefull and backup everything before this. Usually it’s not a good idea to switch scsi.device versions. You choose one when partitioning the drive and stick to it because the hacks they used to make them work with bigger drives are not the same in every version. In some cases (if you’re very lucky) it’ll work, in other it will appear to work but in a bit of time your drive will get corrupted and in last case it will corrupt your drive straight away.


  27. I backed up the CF to a image and enabled 43.45 scsi.device after editing the startup-sequence and copying the patched version over.

    In case users want to use 3.9 after 3.1, they may run into this issue, so I have left the details about this bug here detailed in this link.

    OS 3.9 Boing Bag 2 issue
    Scsi.device v43.43 from OS 3.9 Boing Bag 2 attempts to support 48bit LBA addressing required for drives larger than 128GiB.
    Unfortunately it was not implemented correctly in v43.43, and only later fixed by Toni Wilen in v43.45.
    OS3.9 BB2 uses its buggy LBA48 code with any drive above 4GiB that reports LBA48 capability, and will guru immediately after BB2 setpatch has rebooted the system.

    If you have such a drive/card and want to use OS3.9 BB2, the solution is to skip the scsi.device rom update from BB2. There are at least two ways to achieve this:
    1 Loading a newer version of scsi.device (43.45) with LoadModule >NIL: DEVS:scsi.device NOREBOOT and Setpatch SKIPROMUPDATES “scsi.device” QUIET
    2 Using maprom feature or an actual EPROM to load a custom 3.9 ROM with a newer scsi.device and SetPatch NOROMUPDATE QUIET


  28. Thanks for posting up this guide. I’m new to Amiga and finding formatting a 16GB Sandisk Extreme card difficult.

    – I can install the initial DH0 500MB partition, but dragging the slider to make one second large DH1 partition is flaky – if the entire remaining space is selected, it only detects < 2GB. Drag it around here and there I can get 3 – 4GB.
    – Can you please re-upload your calculator? That might be why I'm having issue as the incorrect cylinders/heads are displayed.




    • I updated the link, Dropbox changed it’s policy and way it serves files. Unfortunately they disabled opening files directly the way they did before so you have to download calculator HTML file and open it from your computer. But I made it from the start that all needed resources were inside that one file so there shouldn’t be any problems.

      Unless you open it with Internet Explorer, I think it blocks scripts inside HTML files you run from your local drive, in this case code that calculates Blocks/Cylinders. So you have to click one extra “allow”. If you use other browsers it simply works.

      About that < 2GB issue. That's normal. It's only display issue. When you move that slider cylinders are adjusting correctly. I guess Commodore guys never though someone would connect drives with capacity of few gigabytes. In those days 120 MB drives were huge :). They probably used unsigned integer to display that value, which would translate to 4GB maximum. So when you go over 4GB value "overspills" and it starts again from 0.

      But, as I said, that number is only for display, it calculates it from cylinder/block values, internally it does the right thing what to do. That's why I made that calculator thingie, to know what size I'll end up exactly :).


  29. David Johnson

    I kept getting the “NOt af valid DOS disc” error when trying to format the 2nd partition on my 8GB SD card. I ended up making the 2nd partition 3.5GB and added a 3rd partition of 3.5GB and then they both formatted without any issue.


  30. Did everything like you said, however after saving changes to CF card, drives do not appear under Workbench. Not even if i click on reboot icon. Just to clarify i set my workbench partition to 300 MB, all partitions have max transfer set to 0x1fe00 and im using scsi.device version 44.20. What to do?


    • Not much comes to mind. First thought was if you set “A600/A1200/A4000” mode in WinUAE settings, but if you didn’t HDToolBox wouldn’t see any drive.

      Who is manufacturer of that card? Maybe that’s the issue. I had similar problems with Kingston card (red sticker, 16GB x266). It would either not bee seen, or it would have errors in few minutes after setup.


  31. Tero Gylldén

    Best tutorial for pfs3 so far, thanks. I’m new with Amiga and have some difficulties. Loaded scsi.device 44.2 and partitioned 16GB Kingston CF using pfs3. Everything seemed to be fine after installing classic wb. Copied scsi.decive into devs-folder and checked the version after boot it’s correct. Also got WHDLoad games to load in winuae from DH1 which is bigger partition over 13GB.

    But, when I plug the card in A1200. It boot’s well but WHDLoad games won’t work. If trying to start WHDLoad it gives error message “Can’t find ‘LAUNCH:GamesMenu/’. Any ideas what’s wrong?


  32. Can it be partition/pfs3 problem somehow eventhought everything seems to be ok? Max transfer-values also rechecked. I have tried this quite a many times with some problems and actually now only partitoned DH0 (1GB) with your instructions first and partitioned the rest for DH1 after that in ClassicWb. I’m not quite sure did I made the second partition when 44.2 scsi.device loaded yet. How critical this may be? Should I try to repartition DH1 once again now being sure 44.20 is loaded?


  33. Tero Gyllden – Just a guess (as not yet got round to setting up a CF card with this guide yet, but do you need to install WHDLoad ?


  34. It is installed by defaut and as mentioned it runs from cf-card when using on pc with winuae but doesn’t start when plugging the card into real Amiga. Btw If I now try to repartition DH1 on ClassicWB’s side, do I need aio-handler?


  35. Btw. If I test with 4GB card and FFS do I just use DosType 0x444F5301. Do i still need to change max transfer to 0x1fe00 or use the default?


  36. Have you tried to go to LAUNCH:GamesMenu folder? I just checked on my install and this is softlink to DH0 -> System folder -> BMenu folder -> Files folder -> GamesMenu folder. So this looks like it’s a problem with DH0, not DH1.
    I had two kingston CF cards (same type, red 266x 16GB) but I wasn’t able to do anything with them, they would corrupt itself during installation, so I switched to transcend which worked without any fuss. Maybe it’s the card, but maybe not, because you got further than me with it, I got corrupted errors in both WinUAE and Amiga.

    All (re)partitioning should be done after patched scsi.device is loaded. Whats more, you shouldn’t even switch from one patched scsi.device to other version as that can corrupt the card (didn’t experience any of this myself, just read about it and made sure that I always load scsi.device before I do anything.

    You need aio-handler file on Amiga if you’re going to repartition. You’re basically deleting a partition and making a new one. Aio-handler is file system driver that you need to “install” to partition so your Amiga can get to content on that partition. Something like without it it can only access boot sector of the partition, and that’s where aio-handler get’s installed, so it loads it. And only after that amiga “knows” how to get to the rest of the partition.

    If you want to have FFS partition you need to add FFS driver instead of pfs3_aio-handler and use DosType 0x444F5301. But If FFS driver is accessible (exists in DEVS folder, I think) any new partition will automatically be FFS, just check that it has FFS driver loaded and correct DosType is set.
    MaxTransfer should always be set to 0x1fe00 regardless of file system (actually, I think that it’s not needed for PFS3 as it should force this value automatically, but when it comes to this it’s better to be safe than sorry). This value has to do with how much data Amiga IDE controller can transfer in one go. It’s hardware related limitation that we have to take care of.


  37. Thanks for your answers. I’m using exactly the same card. Actually I reistalled everything once again using scsi.device 43.45 and now eveything seems to work. If i still meet some difficulties I think I have to try another card.


  38. Hi, Thanks for the amazing guide. I am just at a dead end but I am unable to understand what is wrong. I create all the partition (dh0 dh1 and dh2) edited startup-sequence, put the file according the guide but at the reset (the hard one) the system can boot like it was unable to load the scsi.device from the dh0. If I boot using wb (3.1 install disk) and I reload from f the scsi.device and I use your reboot file (and eject the disk) it boot from dh0 perfect;y. And I able to see all the partition. I checked more than one time but the startup-sequence file in dh0 is exactly like the guide, same for the other file.
    I am using the last version of winuae, wb 3.1 (escom version), I used the a1200 driver in winuae for the ide. I am using a trascend 32GB cf150.
    I don’t know if there is a way to look the startup-sequence while it is running, but please, help me.


  39. Joakim Simonsson

    Hi and thanks for the tutorial. I have one problem: When I open HDToolbox when using my original scsi.device (ver40.20) I can see my SD card. However, after loading one of your provided scsi.device files as you describe, the SD card no longer appears in HDToolbox.

    I can continue with the rest of the steps, even if I didn’t load your scsi.device. But I am unsure if the result will be reliable and not result a corrupt file system.


  40. Hi,
    Great guide!
    But I have a problem… I have a 16gb Sandisk Ultra 50mb/s. I have done exactly as the guide, wiped the card clean in dos prompt, mounted the disk in WinUAE, loaded the scsi device, but in the HD toolbox it do not show up, it is all empty. I have tried with different CF readers and different computers. I downloaded the latest WinUAE, but it is till the same problem. The disk do not show in HD toolbox. I have tried different HD toolbox, both provided in the guide and in WB 3.1 Install.

    What have I done wrong?

    Best regards

    Patrik from Sweden


  41. Hello!

    I have done everything by Your tutorial and under WinUAE there is no problem at all, but on my real Amiga (CD32+TF328) only DH0 and DH1 partitions show up and the data on DH1 are corrupted. Is it possible that a real CD32 overrides the modded scsi.device somehow?

    Now I can use only 8 GB (half) of my CF card with SFS, partitioned by HDInstTools according to an other tutorial, but many thx. to You for giving the correct mounting method of CF card under WinUAE! 🙂


  42. Excellent, at my first try DH1 gave me some problems but repeating everything again solved the problem, i used a 16GB Sandisk Ultra and prepared it with MiniTool Partition, great tutorial


  43. Hello
    I will try this wonderful guide very soon.
    Do you know if it works on a 32gb CF?


  44. Hi Solo.
    Thank you for this “great” guide 😉
    Unfortunately I ran in to the same problem as others did with PFS-III Error Requester “wrong dirblock id”.
    I had to do it all over again, with the updated pfs3aio, since I used you PreTools download.
    The error was first apparent after I had used several hours copying games etc. and appeared when I tried to scan repositories in iGame.
    Great guide, it works, BUT you should really update your download pack to save anyone else this headache, please 🙂
    kind regards, Troels


  45. Thanks for the guide.

    I had problems when using scsi.device version 44.2, classic Workbench lite and ACA1221EC accelerator on Amiga 1200. The Amiga would not boot with that module installed, although the CF card worked fine in WinUAE with A1200 IDE mode emulation enabled.
    Using Don Adan’s scsi.device_A1200 version 46.0 solved the problem.


    • Actually, the problem persisted when running on the actual Amiga, even with 46.0… Partitions work fine after first having booted to the classicWB and then using loadmodule to load the scsi.device. Probably some issue with the classicWB’s boot sequence.


  46. I have followed this tutorial exactly, and I use a Sandisk 32GB Extreme CF card.

    But what ever I do, I cannot get the combined size of DH0 and DH1 past 4GB.
    And yes, I followed the instructions to the letter. Implementing the scsi.device (verifying it), loading the Professional File System Handler, change this in the HDToolbox and even the maxtransfer setting of 0x1fe00.

    Since that did not worked I used the suggested newer version of Hdinsttools. Yes, I ‘cleaned’ the CF card again and did not use in any way the old HDToolbox. But also this didn’t work, although the HDinsttools does recognize the CF card as 32GB. As last option I used the upgraded PFS3 also stated in this topic, but to no avail. I cannot get the remaining 28-30GB in 1 partition on DH1.





  1. Pingback: SanDisk 8GB CF – for Amiga – cloudsphereblog

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