Setting Up UAE4ARM on Pandora with WHDload

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BAfelton posted an excellent tutorial on the Pandora boards on how to set up and use UAE4ARM on Pandora. I thought it was great and deserved a full post here as well. You’ll find the exact same instructions below, with some additions from my part as well… and new screenshots, since I replicated all steps to make sure it worked as expected on my side too.

You need to get the following better getting started:

  • UAE4ARM, from TomB on the Pandora boards. it used to be in beta for a while but has been released in October 2015. It works very well and there is no issue to use it presently. Note that this is only if you want to install UAE on the Pandora – if you are using a different machine (a PC or whatever hardware running UAE), the rest of the guide should still apply.
  • Kickstart ROMs from the Amiga. Unlike modern PCs, the Amiga used physical ROMs to store some key software libraries, while running other OS parts from disk. You should get all kickstart versions, from 1.2 to 3.1. Up to you how to get it, but legal ones are only supposed to be available via AmigaForever distributed by Cloanto, the current owner. Or you could dump the ROMs if you still have the original Amiga hardware. They should renamed this way:

1.2 : kick12.rom
1.3 : kick13.rom
2.0 : kick20.rom
3.0 : kick30.rom
3.1 : kick31.rom

  • Workbench 3.1 disk images (there are 6 of them) in adf format. Again the legal distributor is Cloanto and you can find them in the AmigaForever distribution.
  • A blank .hdf file, that will be used as a hard disk image to install the workbench. You can get a 512 Mb disk image from BAFelton on Google Drive (no registration needed). That image is zipped so you need to unzip it before moving ahead so that you get an actual .hdf file.
  • LHA, one of the most popular archiving tools on Amiga. We will need to install it in order to uncompress the following 2 files.
  • Installer program, to make it possible to install WHDLoad that will be used to store games on the hard drive image.
  • WHDLoad itself, as a lha archive.

Now for the step by step instructions.

1. First, Start UAE4ARM once from the Emulators menu, and quit right after. This way it will create the uae4arm folder in your appdata folder in the Pandora.

2. In the uae4arm folder, you should have a kickstarts folder. Put all the kickstart files in there after you have renamed them.

3. still in the uae4arm folder, create a “Games” folder, and inside that one, put the LHA, installer, and WHDLoad archives.

4. Create a new directory, for example “AMIGA” somewhere in your SD Card (not in uae4arm). In that directory, put the .hdf blank disk image, as well as your Workbench adf files (all 6 of them).

5. Now start UAE4ARM again. Go in Paths, and make it so that System ROMs point to your kickstart folder in uae4arm:

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5. Go in the CPU menu item, and change the CPU to 68020, and CPU Speed to 14 Mhz.

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6. Now in the Chipset menu, ensure the Chipset is of the AGA type.

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7. Now in the ROM menu, go and grab the path of your kick31.rom in the uae4arm/kickstart folder. This will make sure the emulator uses the Kickstart 3.1 by default.

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8. in the RAM Settings, put 2 Mb of Chip RAM, and 8 Mb of Fast RAM (adjust the sliders accordingly).

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9. In Misc, Make it so that the Pandora Speed is equal to your model’s. If you use a 1Ghz model, it should be set at 1Ghz as well.

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10. I’d recommend you hit the Configuration tab and save the default configuration at this point. What we have so far is to set up the Amiga Hardware to be that of an Amiga 1200 with expanded RAM, and a recent kickstart 3.1 version. Now we will move to the software part.

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11. Now let’s go in Floppy Drives – we will insert a floppy disk image in order to install the OS. I.e. the Workbench.

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12. Select for DF0: the Workbench 3.1 Install disk.

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13. We are going to install the OS on a hard disk, so we need to set up the hard drive as well. Go in Hard Drives menu.

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14. Select the first item on the top, and hit the [ Add Hardfile ] button to select the blank hdf file we have stored earlier. It should be in your “AMIGA” folder. Give it a Device Name of “DH0”.

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15. It should look like that when you are done. Note that the path should be obviously different on your setup, depending on where you have saved your files.

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16. Now it is time to boot up ! Click on [ Start ] at the bottom right hand corner. Pretty soon you should reach this screen. Three icons show up. The RAM disk is a particularity of the Amiga OS, where it considers the RAM to be just like an actual drive you can access and store things into. DH0 should be your hard drive (blank at this moment) and another floppy icon should be the Workbench Install disk.

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17. Open the Install floppy, and double click on the Install folder.

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18. Double click on the English icon (or whatever language you prefer…).

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19. The install process should start. Select [ Proceed ] , then [ Novice User ] and [ Proceed with Install ].

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20. After a short while, it will ask for a different floppy disk, in order to install the whole Workbench system.

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21. Hit CTRL / Select on your Pandora, and go back in the Floppy Drives menu – and replace the Install Disk in DF0 by the disk required. Click OK and then [ Resume ].

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22. After resuming, the Amiga will recognize the new disk and continue the install process. You will need to repeat the previous steps each time a new disk needs to be inserted (6-7 times). You only need to do that once.

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23. And then you should be done. To finish the install, go back in the emulator menu (CTRL/Select), remove the install disk from the Floppy Drives menu, so that the Amiga will not reboot from the Floppy Drive at next restart. Then [ Resume ] and [ Proceed ] – your Amiga should reboot.

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24. After Rebooting your screen should look like that: RAM Disk and DH0 only.

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25. We will leave DHO alone, and install our games in a different hard drive. But this time we will not be using an empty hard drive file, rather a directory. Hit [ CTRL ] and go back to the [ Hard Drives ] tab. Hit the [ Add Directory ] button.

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26. Call the Device “DH1” and give it the volume label name “Games”. For the path, just point it to the “Games” appdata folder of UAE4ARM we created in step 3.

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One you are done adding the directory the [ Hard Drives ] screen should look like the below screen. Note that the Size does not appear for DH1 since it’s a directory and not an image file.

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27. Hit [ Reset ] and you should now get the following screen when the emulator starts. As you can see the new hard drive is recognized and has the “GAMES” label. We are making good progress.

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28. Next we need to install the LHA archiver, so that we can use to uncompress LHA files. Open the DH0 Hard Drive, then keep the right mouse button clicked down to show a contextual menu. Select “Show > All Files”.

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That should show additional folders. Go ahead and open the “C” folder.

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Now Open the “Games” hard drive in a separate window, once again right click and “Show All Files”, so that you can see the LHA program displayed as an icon.

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You can now simply drag and drop the LHA icon from “Games” directly to the C folder to create a copy of LHA. You should end up with the following below.

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29. We are almost done. Next we will open a Shell. Go Back to DH0, then the shell icon should be, if I remember correctly in the “System” folder. Double-click on it to launch it. We are now back in a UNIX-like shell, and first you will change directory to move from DH0 to DH1:

cd DH1:

Now we will decompress two important setup files, the installer program, and WHDLoad. In the shell let’s start with the decompression of the installer, since it’s needed for WHDLoad. Just type…

lha x installer-43_3

You should then see the following progress in the shell. Note that the Amiga shell is not like Linux and does not care about the character’s case: something in capital letters will be recognized even if you use normal letters.

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Now let’s decompress WHDLoad while we are at it…

lha x whdload_usr

Once again it should take a little while.

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And once it’s one the operation should be considered “successful”.

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30. Now you can enter the Installer43_3 directory, and double click on the Installer executable (the one with a hammer icon). That will launch the setup program.

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Once done, do the same thing for WHDLoad, by going into its directory and hitting the Install icon (shown by a disk connected to a plug).

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Select Intermediate User (I think Novice cannot be selected) and for the next options just follow the defaults suggested.

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Now you are done and you can move to the next session where we will install some games.

Installing Games

You can visit whdownload.com to get hard disk versions of your favourite games. You can navigate through a list like the one shown in the following screenshot.

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You can then select a game and you will basically get a zipped file. Save it where you like.

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You can then unzip the zip file of your choice in your GAMES folder. When you start the emulation again you should then click on your GAMES volume to access the newly created game folder.

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Here we have, for example, BansheeAGA as a new folder. Go ahead and open it.

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You will find a small executable, looking like a small square. This is what you have to click in order to start the hard disk version of the game. Once you do so, you will see a popup from WHDLoad, asking you to donate to the project if you want to skip that kind of message before starting each game. You don’t have to, but it will take 20-30 seconds for it to disappear.

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Then your game should launch. Except when it does not. Sometimes you get the following message telling you that you are missing a kickstart file. This may sound strange since you are already running the emulation with a kickstart image…

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This is how you solve this issue. In the above case, the system is looking for a kickstart image called 40068.a1200. That is actually the 3.1 rom image of a Amiga 1200. You need to grab your 3.1 rom, rename it to kick40068.a1200 and place it in DEVS\Kickstarts along with the matching skick (RTB) files. What RTB files? Well, those files in this lha archive. You can just uncompress this whole list of RTB files and put them in DEVS:Kickstarts as well.

In case the system asks you for other kickstart files (the one I mentioned was only for 3.1), you can find how to rename the other roms in the following list: http://www.whdload.de/docs/en/need.html

And that should do it! Next time you try to click the squared icon, the error should be resolved and the game should start.

Have fun reliving the best Amiga years (or discovering them if you were born too late!) 🙂

One thought on “Setting Up UAE4ARM on Pandora with WHDload

  1. amiga88

    Cool tutorial. Thanks.

    Is it possible use the Pandora’s nubs rather than the dpad to play games with UAE4ARM? I’ve always had trouble setting game controls for the Amiga emulators on the Pandora. Could you make tutorial on that subject, please. I’ve looked for info in the forums, but can’t find reliable or up-to-date info.

    Cheers.

    Reply

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