My MorphOS Computer Problems

by Eric Schwartz
From the AmiTech Gazette, July 2018

Greeting Amigans! I don’t know if it’s been a good summer so far, but it has been interesting at least. Apparently my backyard has become a wildlife preserve for foxes, which I personally chose to find awesome. (video evidence available upon request).

It’s not as easy to find Amiga news currently, as the site has been down for months now. Perhaps the headline news of recent is the release of MorphOS version 3.11, mainly consisting of bug fixes and minor updates, as befitting the smaller decimal number increase. I was initially planning to hold off on the upgrade until I had less work to do, but my G5 system seemed to make the decision for me.

I was having problems, which turned out to be a disk error in the system partition. It’s unknown exactly what caused it—presumably something like a reboot or crash or something while the disk was writing—but the system was becoming nigh-unusable because of it. It also prevented me from upgrading the operating system until the error was fixed.

I tried running the “SFSDoctor” disk scan and repair utility after booting from the Morph 3.11 CD, but the program kept hanging before it could fix anything. Since it was looking like an impasse, I took a different approach. When I set up my G5 system, I gave it a terabyte hard drive, which, not being on a Windows machine nor used to download tons of HD videos, is drastic storage overkill. Since I had at least one mostly-empty partition still available, I set it as bootable and made a fresh install of MorphOS 3.11 to that partition, figuring that would give me a good place to work from to either salvage the old system drive, or start anew if I couldn’t. The plan apparently worked, as I booted from the new system partition (AKA “Gadget”) and ran SFSDoctor from there to fix the “classic” system partition without a hitch.

Exactly why the program ran well from a hard drive boot and not a CD boot I can’t say. Regardless, the problem was fixed, the system is booting properly from the originally intended drive partition, and now I have a redundant system installation should it come in handy later. On the downside, I didn’t get any appreciable work done that day, as all my time was taken up diagnosing and working to fix the machine’s problem(s), as well as the OS installation that wound up linked to it all. I suppose I should count my blessings, as a lost day of productivity is infinitely preferable to an unusable system and all the lost work that would cause.