Reviving my Amiga 1200, Hard Drive setup and Amiga OS 3.5 installation


My Amiga 1200 has been retrieved from storage, re-capped and a 16 GB CF card and reader was obtained to restore Workbench 3.1 to. My aim is to upgrade to AmigaOS 3.5 so it is close to how it was when I last used it circa 2003. 

Here, I just wanted to chronicle the process that worked for me so I could repeat it in future should I need to, and it might help someone out.

WinUAE Setup

First of all I needed to obtain the Amiga 1200 3.1 kickstart ROM. I have an old copy of Amiga Forever and their 3.1 ROM seems to be only for the A4000 which seems to not work very well for the IDE controller emulation. I believe newer versions of Amiga Forever do include the correct A1200 compatible ROM version

I’m specifically using WinUAE 5.0.0. I'm not going to detail the specific setup and installation and configuration of folder paths for WinUAE here.

Once WinUAE was installed, I modified its shortcut to always run as administrator so that it can access the USB CF card reader later. The CF card was previously cleaned of all partition data using DISKPART and the CLEAN command.

I have found a ROM dump for my Blizzard 1230 IV card so I will be emulating that too within WinUAE.

I chose the following settings in WinUAE.

Quickstart - Model A1200, configuration Blizzard 1230 IV

Under Hardware, selected 030 CPU, turned on JIT and set the JIT cache size to 16 MB.

Under ROM, I selected the A1200 3.1 rev 40.68 version. Mine were labelled 391773-01/391774-01.

On RAM, I added 16 MB of Z3 Fast. My Blizzard card has 16 MB installed.

On Floppy drives, I selected the Workbench  3.1 ‘Install’ ADF for DF0. I am using the ESCOM disks. The emulation speed was set to Turbo (slider all the way to the left).

On CD & Hard drives, I selected "Add Hard Drive..."

When I selected the hard drive, the CF card appeared in the list with an UNK file system (because it was cleaned with DISKPART earlier and there is an "unknown" file system). Select the drive ID as 0 and the type to HD. Tick ‘Read/Write’ so I can write to it later. Set the controller to ‘IDE (Auto)’. Click Add Hard Drive.

Under Display, I set the Display to 800x600 windowed mode

Under Configurations, saved the configuration for later as 'Amiga 1200'.

I could then Start to start the emulation.

Partition and Format the CF Card

I ended up at the Workbench 3.1 desktop with the Install3.1 icon on the desktop.

Open the disk then open HDTools drawer and then launch HDToolBox. The CF card should be detected. Click Change Drive Type. Click Define New..., Read Configuration and Continue.

I changed the filename to CF16GB.

Note that the size should be the full capacity of the CF card, 16 GB in my instance, however large drives may show as minus figures here as such mine did. Click OK and OK again.

I can now partition the drive. I’ll be using a ~500 MB for the System partition, where Workbench will be installed, ~2000 MB for a Work partition and ~2000 MB for a Games partition. Partitions over 4 GB aren't supported without newer Kickstart ROMs and/or Amiga OS 3.1.4 and later. I am leaving free space on the CF card as I don't think I will need it.

By default, it will split the drive evenly in to two partitions. I’m making three partitions so I need to make the first partition smaller, the second partition then needed moving down, and finally a third partition can be added.

I named the partitions DH0, DH1 and DH2. Ensure that DH0 was ticked as bootable.

For each partition, click Advanced Options then Change... and set the Max Transfer value to 0x1FE00.

Press OK and then Save Changes to Drive. Click Continue if prompted about destroying existing data (I was redoing this process on an already configured CF card for the purpose of writing this guide).

Exit the tool and restart when prompted.

Workbench booted from the Install disk with three new drives on the desktop labelled DHx:NDOS. I formatted these in turn using the Quick option.

DH0 is to be named System35, DH1 is to be named Work and DH2 is to be named Games.

The CF card is now ready for Workbench 3.1 to be installed.

Workbench 3.1 Install

Open the Install3.1 disk again but this time open the Install drawer. Double-click ‘English’.

Follow the wizard through, swapping disks via pressing F12 as required. I selected the British keyboard layout.

Once installed, the floppy image was ejected and the Amiga emulation restarted to boot into Workbench 3.1 from the System35 partition, DH0.


Right-click on the Workbench window and from the menu, turned off the backdrop. Right click again and from the Window menu, selected Snapshot > All. This tells Workbench to keep the backdrop turned off.

I went to System / Prefs / ScreenMode and increased to colours to 64. I also unticked the Height default option and changed it to 245. This is because from testing with my VGA monitor on the real Amiga 1200, the bottom of the window is cut off at the default height of 256.

Amiga OS 3.5 Install

Amiga OS 3.5 cannot be clean installed; it must be installed over the top of an existing Workbench 3.1. In my real Amiga 1200, I have a 4xIDE adapter and an IDE CD-ROM. I cannot emulate that in WinUAE so instead, I will share the contents of the Amiga OS 3.5 disk as a "hard drive".

I have previously created an ISO of my Amiga OS 3.5 disk which I extracted using 7-Zips to a folder that I can share to the Amiga. You should change the folder in Windows so that the "read-only" flag is cleared. This process doesn't seem to work if I "mounted" the ISO, or shared the CD-ROM drive.

Press F12 to bring up WinUAE.

Under CD & Hard drives, click Add Directory or Archive..., and click Select Directory. Browse to directory containing the extracted contents of the 3.5 ISO. Set the Device name to CD0 and the volume label to exactly "AmigaOS3.5" (without quotes). The volume label has to match what the real CD would look like when mounted on real hardware. Untick Bootable. Select OK then restart the emulation.

The AmigaOS 3.5 CD icon should be present on the Workbench desktop, I opened it and went into the OS-Version3.5 drawer and launched the OS3.5-Installation.

I selected the OS3.5 PRE installation option and followed the wizard through.

Later when this CF card is used in my real Amiga 1200, it will use an Elbox 4-way IDE adapter, but I will install their software for this. As such, I selected No when prompted about this during the installation.

The PRE installation option reboots at the end. After the restart, I re-ran the installer but chose the MAIN option. During the install, I selected the File-Printer and PostScript printers, in case I ever want to "Print" something from the Amiga. I unticked the American layout and selected the British layout. I opted to install the optional backdrops as I had the space for them.

It wanted another reboot after the install was finished.

I unmounted the shared Amiga OS 3.5 CD "folder".

Success! I now have a "clean" Amiga OS 3.5 install on a real CF card that I can transfer to my real Amiga 1200, however.... I need some further steps and tools first so I will configure those in WinUAE as it will save hassle later.


The first thing to install on a clean Amiga OS 3.5 install are apparently the BoingBag 1 and 2 packages. I didn't know these existed and thus never used them back in the day but my understanding is that they are equivalent to Service Packs on Windows.

I have these downloaded in LHA format. I will mount them in WinUAE so I can access them in the emulated Amiga.

For reference, they were downloaded from:

I remembered to right-click on each file and unblock it.

Press F12

Under CD and Hard Drives, click Add Directory or Archive. Click Select Archive or Plain File, and browse to the BoingBag 1 LHA file. I set the device name to PC1, unticked bootable and clicked OK.

BoingBag35-1.lha appeared on the desktop. I opened this and opened the BoingBag_1 drawer and double-clicked BoingBag_Installation to run the installer. I chose Expert user and proceeded through the wizard. It wanted another reboot so I let that happen.

Once back on the Workbench desktop, I pressed F12 and went back to CD and Hard Drives. I removed the PC1 device re-added it but this time pointing to BoingBag 2 LHA file. Remember to untick Bootable. I had to restart the emulation this time to get the icon to appear on the desktop.

Open the BoingBag35-2.lha icon on the desktop then open the BoingBag2 drawer and click the Installation icon. This again is another wizard that I proceeded through. Again using the Expert mode to see all responses. Yet another reboot was required to finish. For some reason, it tried to boot to this mounted drive instead of the System partition from the CF card so I pressed F12, clicked the PC1 device and selected Remove to remove it from the emulation. Another Reset returned me back to Workbench.

The 'About' screen in Workbench now shows Workbench version 44.5 which my understanding is a fully up to date Amiga OS 3.5 version.

LHA Utility

Many Amiga applications come compressed as LHA files. As such I will need the LHA tool to access them later.

I downloaded LHA from Aminet (

This was mounted in the same way as the BoingBags. I used CTRL+ALT+Insert+Home to reboot the Amiga.

LHA22.lha drive appeared on the desktop. Showing all files gives us the LHA file we need to copy to the also hidden C folder on the System35 drive.

Once copied, I ran the Shell and executed the lha command without any parameters. This displayed the help information to confirm the file was working.

The shared "drive" was removed via F12.

Directory Opus

For reference, I got help with installing DOPUS with the help of this YouTube video:

I would like DOpus 4. I got this free from a CU Amiga magazine cover disk back in the day and I thought it was the best program to use to browse files such as Aminet compilation CDs. I found a surviving copy here:

I opted for the 4.12 version as this is the one on the magazine cover disk (the "About" screen once installed proves it it to be the CU Amiga version. The 4.12 package was a zipped floppy image without an installer.

Once mounted (and the Amiga rebooted), I had the folder on the desktop that I could open. Remember that there's no installer with this version so it had to be installed manually as follows.

Create a new drawer in my Work drive called DOPUS, then copied the DirectoryOpus executable from the floppy image to it.

Launch DirectoryOpus from the DOPUS drawer in Work.

From the DF0:Libs/ drawer, copy them all except icon.library to the DH0:/Libs directory. This should copy 6 files. Without Amiga OS 3.5, i.e. on a Workbench 3.1, the icon.library file will be missing by default so it should be copied.

To the root of the DH1:DOPUS/ drawer, copy the DF0:c/dopusrt file.

Also to the root of the DH1:DOPUS/ drawer, copy the DF0:s/ files called ConfigOpus.HLP, DirectoryOpus.HLP.

Finally, from DF0:/Modules, copy ConfigOpus to the DH1:DOPUS/ drawer.

The DOPUS drawer on DH1 should then have these 6 files inside of it.

  • ConfigOpus
  • ConfigOpus.HLP
  • DirectoryOpus
  • DirectoyOpus.hlp
  • dopusrt
Close Directory Opus and eject the Directory Opus floppy image via F12.

Re-launch Directory Opus from DH1:Work/ and right-click to access the menu. Select Configure then Drives. Click Get drive button to add the current DF0, and the DH0/1/2 drives instead of the defaults it had for HDx. Click Okay to save the drives, then Save to store the configuration. Click Okay again to close the configuration tool.

4xEIDE Software

Once the CF is back in my actual Amiga 1200, I will need access to the CD-ROM drive. This is done using the Elbox 4xEIDE software from

To save writing this to a real floppy disk, I will simply be copying the required files to the Work drive so I can access them once out of WinUAE emulation.

In the Work drive, I created a new drawer called 4xEIDE-Installer.

I now need to mount the 4xEIDE4.7.adf I downloaded in WinUAE and copy the contents to this drawer. I used Directory Opus for this purpose.

There is also an LHA file to download from Elbox. This appears to be the same contents as the floppy image, though the floppy image has an LHA for an older version included too.

The installer will be performed once this CF card is back inside of my Amiga 1200 but it is just going to be a case of running the provided install script from the drawer.


Putting the CF card back in my Amiga is the next port of call so again, I will edit this post if there is anything to note when doing that. I'll put an edit on this blog with anything to note when installing the 4xEIDE software.

Before any of that however I will take an image of the CF card so if I screw anything up, I can revert back to the image.

This has been an interesting look back at installing Workbench, something I've not done since 1999/2000 when Amiga OS 3.5 was new, although I think I installed it over the top of an established Workbench setup rather than clean installed 3.1 then upgraded. I never used the BoingBag updates as I didn't know they existed until researching for this blog post.

I would like to get Wordsworth 6 installed again (I have the original boxed version somewhere) and install my favourite games from back in the day such as Frontier: Elite II, Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2, Desert Strike, and Theme Park. I would love to find a good working version of OctaMED so I can play around with making music again too.