Commodore Amiga Retro

Please remember that text for pages was originally
written for my Amiga 1200 to read... so thin paragraphs

Hard Drives

Hard Drive Expansion Sidecars

A590 A590 A590

A further A590 added - This time with all inner packaging

a590 a590 a590 a590

a590 a590

Commodore A590

gvp gvp gvp gvp

gvp gvp gvp gvp

gvp gvp prep gvp


gvp gvp gvp gvp

arcos arcos

Arcos Overdrive

M-Tec M-Tec

M-Tec AT-500

FastTrak FastTrak

FastTrak and FastCard Hard Drive

Hard Drives

3.5 2.5 Server Server

Hard-driving with an A500

The Amiga A500 was not really designed to have
a hard disk attached - that`s why there`s no socket
on the back to plug hard disks into. Instead, they have
extra circuitry to interface hard disk units to the
computer system.

Hard drives for the 500 come in the form of SCSI units
plugged in via an external interface unit to the side
socket on the machine. There were a number of units
available to the A500, some of which I list as follows..

CBM A590 Commodore 1991 289

a590 A500

Commodore`s official 20Mb hard drive which though
popular is painfully slow. Has a habit of crashing
the machine for no good reason. The set-up software
is good. Additional 2Mb of memory can be added via the
unit. There is also an SCSI controller for connecting
other units. This unit has its own seperate power supply
like the A500 brick but with a circular connector.

GVP Impact II Great Valley Products 1991 499

gvp A500

This unit was held in high regard, manufactured to a high
standard and priced accordingly. The machine has a switch
to disable the hard drive so you can play auto-booting
game disks. The switch is labelled "autoboot" and "game"
The unit has four SIMM connectors, so adding up to 4Mb
of memory. There was also a different SIMM type for 8Mb
The unit boasts a SCSI connector built into the back of
the unit. The set-up software FaastPrep has two ways of
operating, automatic and manual. The drive was certainly
the fastest available.

Oktagon 500 BSC 1991 499 with 52Mb hard drive
The unit is from Germany. Consists of a box that goes into
the left hand side of the computer, from which there are
two connectors, one SCSI and the other power. The hard drive
unit sits on the desk and is about the size of a floppy drive
You can`t plug extra memory into the box. A good SCSI controller
but poor hard drive.

FastTrak Xetec 1991 599


The Xetec comes in two parts, the interface which plugs
into the side of the machine, and the main hard disk
which sits in a massive case the size of a briefcase
The hard disk carrier has its own power supply. The
software is easy to use and makes the set-up simple
Memory can be expanded to 8Mb and the unit can take a
second SCSI hard-drive.

Internal Hard-Drives
You can fit internal hard-drives to the A500
ie The Novia 30i ICD 1991 399
or The Prima 105 ICD 1991 499
Will mean taking out the screws and disassembling the A500
involving removing the 68000 processor chip. A board is then
plugged into the empty socket. - A tricky job for a beginner

IVS Trumpcard IVS 1991 399
You can fit this not just to the A500 but also the A1500/A2000
Sadly its only as fast as the A590 and certainly takes a
long time to boot up. The base unit does not have any extra
memory, these have to be bought seperately. The memory card
can take up to 4Mb of RAM. The unit does not come with its own
PSU as standard. The unit does appear ugly, though it is reliable

Supradrive 500XP Supra Corporation
This unit has a similar spec to the GVP. Its a SCSI based
drive, with a connector at the back for extra expansion
and the facility to add a full 8Mb of extra expansion. This
unit does not use SIMM modules, RAM chips are fitted into the
the unit. No power supply is fitted though it will run off
the A590 power unit. Bundled with the easy to use software
would have been SuperBack, a good hard disk back-up utility
Not a particularly good hard-drive and crashes and refuses
to work with some software

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Last updated 30/07/08