Catweasel Mk 2 Anniversary for A1200 - Disks Unreadable

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Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • Hi Jens and team,

    I have recently obtained a Catweasel Mk 2 Anniversary via Amibay from a reputable source. The seller had never installed it since purchasing it from amigakit some time ago. I hooked the board up to my A1200 in line with the photographs on the wiki and connected a 3.5" PC Drive that was also supplied. The drive clicks on boot up just like an Amiga drive but marks any disk inserted as unreadable. I tried a Panasonic 3.5" drive that I currently have running in a PC and it gave the same results.

    I ran the memory test program that is on the drivers disk and it failed all tests, including the memory test. Does this mean it is dead? Is there any way or where I can get it repaired?


  • The test program is a good indicator, but it should only be used if the computer is started without startup-sequence. It's an engineering tool that expects the controller in completely "untouched" state, and it leaves the computer in an unknown state, so it may be unstable afterwards. Needless to say that the tool can only be run once, and then a reset is required. Remember that the disk in unit 0 will be overwritten on two random tracks, and that the disk should be write-enabled for all four steps to succeed.

    The drivers have last been touched well over ten years ago, and I don't know if they even work on newer Kickstart/WB versions than V3.1. So please use V3.1 or V3.0 - this is what they are known-good with.

    A common reason for the Catweasel to fail is improper grounding. The clock port cable does not provide much grounding, so it's very beneficial to also use the power connector, not only to provide extra power to the board, but also to lower the noise level on the GND rail.

    What's the power supply and accelerator that you're using?

  • I have the A1200 MB in an Elbox case with a 350W Power Supply via a Mediator board. I have a Blizzard 040 accelerator via the bridge board with 128MB RAM in the socket. I ran one of the smaller 4 pin power connectors on the PSU to the middle connector on the Catweasel but admittedly didn’t have this connected the whole time.

    I’m running KS 3.1 but have WB 3.9 BB2 installed which I thought at the time might have presented a driver problem. I will try with a WB 3.1 boot and see if that makes any difference. And I’ll try the test program with a naked WB 3.0 boot as well just for fun.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • with a 350W Power Supply

    Hmm.. too powerful, probably not with 5V as the main regulation rail. Please read our PSU FAQ, and especially if it's the PSU that was shipped with the Elbox tower case, then you should replace that with a DC-DC converter based solution. The PSUs that Elbox shipped with their cases have already caused a huge amount of extra work here when they were "new" (some time between 1999 and 2003), even resulting in me flying to England to take a look at an installation where Buddha controllers kept failing a number of times. After my visit, the customer exchanged the power supply, and to my knowledge, the Buddha controller still works today.

    OS3.5 and OS3.9 didn't make substantial changes to the driver model - only added NSD64 as standard, but since floppy disks are way smaller than 4G per medium, this does not affect compatibility. If you can see some activity on the connected floppy drive (showing that basic register access to the Catweasel is working), my money is on a power supply and/or shielding problem.

  • The last reply was more than 365 days ago, this thread is most likely obsolete. It is recommended to create a new thread instead.