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ScuzzBlog: Diaries July 2019

Entry 18th July 2019: Post 01: Amiga 1200 HD - The old freezer trick.

Amiga 1200 HD - The old freezer trick.

Having recovered three Amiga 2.5" drives from the grave having
placed them in cold storage, literally, I vowed never to let them
die again by not using them. So much so that in my blog of Jan 18
I wrote at the foot of the entry for the 18th January 2018 ...

So my three salvaged 2.5" drives work. Just keep them functioning by switching on each day. Only way it seems or they will just lock up
Click for the blog Thing is I was of the opinion that indeed I was switching on the three Amigas regularly to check their status. WRONG !!. What I did last August was unforgivable, cus when I swapped a couple of A1200s over to undertake some VidiAmiga work in the main room, I managed to accidentally move one of the Amigas I was checking onto a high shelf. I then placed another A1200 in its place that really was not under anything like the same scrutiny. I do not have these computers connected to monitors and just check from the lights and noise emanating from the Amiga 1200 and hard drive. So when I was investigating yet another matter here I discovered a rogue Amiga sitting atop a box for a Sega Mega Drive. And then the horror began to sink in. I rushed to the emergency room and plugged in but sadly the time had been enough to render the drive static and broken yet again. Worse is that I had used it last to back up the A2000 that I was actually doing some checks on. I was totally gutted. I could not get the drive working. I tried all day and the next and eventually gave up. I then ordered a new 2.5" drive from China. Be aware that I do not use the new flash drives. And so the new drive arrived and yesterday was to be the day that I would install the brand new 2.5" laptop style drive.


I cannot stress enough that what I do here should not be undertaken unless you fully accept the consequences and am a nutter like me. I decided to have one last go at the drive. So I took the 2.5" drive and placed in a sealed freezer bag. I then folded a sheet of aluminium foil into a tray and placed the bag in the tray. I then placed the tray, bag and hard drive in the upper freezer compartment of the fridge. I left the drive in the compartment for over four hours and then removed the drive. This is the tricky bit. You cannot afford to let the drive warm up in any way and when you remove the drive it will attract warm moisture and the air will rapidly attain a point of zero dew point and condensation will form on the surface electronics of the drive. But if you warm the drive to lose the moisture you defeat the object. So I placed the drive in highly flammable paper towel and attached the Amiga ribbon so that it sits outside of the Amiga case. I then fire up the Amiga and cross everything. It worked. IT BLOODY WORKED. The drive returned and so I didn't need the new drive from China. How cool is that. I had intended replacing the ROMto this machine just to check there wasn't a problem. In digging out the ROMs and hard drive installers I found my mini library disk box of the 3.1 Developer Update disks which must have been the last thing Commodore did before they went bust. There are also the various ToolKits which are labelled Private and Confidential and which must not be copied. Interesting that the 3.1 OS was never released by Commodore and yet I have Commodore disks and the Escom versions. Black normally suggests German origin and probably the licensed versions. Inside the computer was another surprise and that was the Blizzard 1230IV. Not something you happen upon by accident. I say all these things in total honesty. I really didn't know this Amiga was perched up on the shelf and I had no idea there was a Blizzard 1230IV inside. You have to realise that I have so much kit here I have no idea in truth just what I have. I try to record when I can, but I soon tend to forget. I took some video of the drive working and also faulty, plus what I discovered when I booted her up. There is no sound on the video for the monitor shots cus my lovely neighbours were doing the battle of the loudest lawnmowers so I gave up with sound. There really was only me clicking anyway. Only an idiot allows moisture and electronics to come into contact with each other.... That would be me.


Video of busted drive and then the working drive

Drive contents and the very wonderful Ishar

SysInfo for some basic details

Amiga 1200 HD - The old freezer trick.

And she is still working just fine.
I never really give up on anything here.


Just as a final comment, can I just say that
a real honest to goodness Amiga 1200 feels
way better when you can hear the hard drive
spin up and the floppy drive clicking. It
warms my heart more than you can ever know.

The heart and soul of the Amiga

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Last updated 18th July 2019

Chandraise Kingdom

Keep the Faith
scuzzscink 2019