Getting your Amiga ready for AmigaOS 4.1 Classic

So, you have your Amiga with Blizzard PPC or Cyberstorm PPC and you want to get ready for the day your AmigaOS 4.1 Classic CD arrives!  There are a few things you should take into consideration prior to installing AmigaOS 4.1 for Classics.  What should you do to prepare?

1) Let’s talk about the minimum system requirements and the recommended system requirements:

The minimum requirements are:
  • An Amiga 1200, 3000(T), or 4000(T) with Blizzard PPC or Cyberstorm PPC accelerator card
  • Minimum 128MB memory installed on Blizzard PPC or Cyberstorm PPC
  • Kickstart 3.0 ROMS
  • IDE or SCSI CD-ROM drive (on Cyberstorm PPC) for installation
  • 1GB hard disk drive on IDE internal port or Cyberstorm PPC SCSI
  • Amiga 880K Floppy Disc Drive
The recommended configuration (in addition to the minimum) is:
  • Prometheus or Mediator PCI BusBoard with a compatible Radeon graphics card
  • RTL8029 based PCI Network card
  • ZorRAM 128MB or 256MB Zorro 3 Memory card (or other compatible Zorro 3 memory card) (Amiga 3/4000 only)
  • 20GB or larger hard disk drive on Cyberstorm PPC SCSI or internal IDE port
  • 256MB RAM (Blizzard PPC only)

2) Make sure your machine is in good condition.

How much dust is in your machine? Maybe it’s time to clean the inside – and make sure you take anti-static measures at any time you have the case open.  Blow that dust out, get your machine cleaned up, make sure all cards are properly inserted.   Be very careful working inside your machine and if you are unsure about anything talk to your local user group, post on a forum, or contact an Amiga Dealer.  Inspect for any capacitors that may be leaking – they are normally the small round silver and black components.   Amiga 3000 and 4000 users should inspect the battery – the “barrel” shaped component – those can also leak, too.  Many users have chosen to remove the batteries altogether to prevent any possibility of leakage.

Check the fans in your computer.  Are they dust free? Are they making whining noises? Cooling, especially of the PowerPC processor, is critical.  If you have never replaced the fan you may want to consider installing a new fan.   If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, contact your local user group or Amiga Dealer for assistance.  Again, take all and every precaution working inside your computer.  Take your time and don’t make any quick decisions.  Think about everything you are doing inside the case.

Is everything working fine under AmigaOS 4.0 or AmigaOS 3.9?  It will be best prior to installing AmigaOS 4.1 Classic that you know your machine is fully working.  Make sure your floppy drive works.  Can you successfully format a floppy disk?  Can you copy files to your floppy and delete files?

3) Verify your PPC processor is working

AmigaOS 4.1 for Classics requires that all of your hardware is fully functioning.  That means that your PowerPC CPU must be operational.   Some of you may not even know if the PPC chip is actually working.  There is an easy way to test this.  You can download the PPC-Test floppy disk from here:  This is a floppy disk that you can boot from  to test the operation of the PowerPC CPU.  Both tests should come back with “OK” if the PPC CPU is working.

You may already have AmigaOS 4.0 or AmigaOS 3.9 installed.  AmigaOS 3.9 came with optional PowerPC support.  If your existing PowerPC applications are working then you will be fine.

4)  Take some time to think about what partition or disk you will install AmigaOS 4.1 Classic on.

You will have to install on a blank partition, and that partition should be inside the first 4GB of the drive space due to limitations on the original scsi.device of the Amiga 1200 and 3/4000.   Have your partition or drive in mind, and make sure you understand how to set partitions as bootable, how to put file systems on the disk, what an RDB is, etc.   There will be information on this in the “Installation Guide” that will ship with AmigaOS 4.1 Classic.  In the meantime, it may be helpful for you to read up on this now.  There is much information available on this on the various Amiga Community forum websites.  (Don’t worry, the AmigaOS 4.1 Classic Installation Utility will also walk you through this).

5) Think about what hardware you have and if you want to get the best experience possible with AmigaOS 4.1 Classic.

Do you want to use a Radeon card? If so, you will need a Mediator or Prometheus PCI bridge.  Both of these are still for sale as new from Amiga dealers.

6)  Get involved.

Talk to other users.  Share your experiences.   Participate and read the forums – there is a wealth of information on Amigas out there.    We are a small community so everyone’s participation is helpful and contributes to the overall success of the platform.

7) Last of all, have fun!

We are making this release so you can enjoy your machine and keep your Classic up-to-date.  You may move on or up to a Sam 460 or X1000 later, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy using your Classic machine for many years to come!

Before I sign off on this post I just want to say “Thank you” to all of the users out there!  Thanks for the positive comments and thank you to the entire Amiga Community for keeping the spirit alive.  Without everyone’s hard work and dedication none of this would be possible!

Darren Eveland


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