After taking the Archos Overdrive apart I discovered inside was a 3.5 inch IBM 224mb hard drive.  At the time of buying it I compared it to having nearly 200 floppy disks worth of storage at my fingertips. An Olympic sized swimming pool of space to store all that data. 

So I just need to take this drive out and plug it into my trusty IDE to USB converter that has server me so well over the years and make an image using a Windows imaging tool or an emulator like Win-uae. Simples.

That didn’t work. Windows saw I had plugged something in but said it was 0kb in size and that it wanted to wreck it by initialising it. If you are reading this and doing something similar DON’T INITIALISE!

So I read Linux loves the Amiga file format system and wouldn’t have any troubles reading it. So I plugged the same IDE to USB into my Linux Mint laptop. It didn’t mount which I hear is probably for the best as mounting it may have written files to it which we don’t want. So I went to the terminal and typed FSBLK to get a list of attached drives. It showed up again but still didn’t look right and I couldn’t access it.

So for the next step I purchased an IDE to SATA converter and plugged that back into Windows 10. Nothing.

This wasn’t going well. I went off to the garage to rescue an old PC which I had not long gutted. On opening I discovered I had taken out the IDE cable and Ram. So back into the garage to find where I had put those. Eventually I had the bare bones of a PC ready to go.

So I made a USB drive with Linux System Rescue installed, connected up the Amiga hard drive and powered it up. Once it had finished booting I was left at the command prompt. StartX got me into a familiar-ish looking desktop environment. I then launched a terminal which looking back seems a bit daft now as I was already in the shell before launching the GUI desktop. Anyway FSBLK showed me the hard drive was there and it was reporting back over 200 mbs in size. Hoorah. 

Ok now to image it. From the command prompt I entered ddrescue \dev\sda amigadisk.img logfile.log

What this did was to create an image file in my systemrescue USB home drive of the connected Amiga Hard drive. The hard drive was identified as \dev\sda when I ran the FSBLK so if you are copying me make sure you identify your hard drive correctly as it may be sda, sdb, sdc etc depending on your set up.

It purred quite happily for about 5 minutes and I watched the percentage go up. Finally, it was 100%. So I now had a 245mb amigadisk.img file sat on my home drive. Now the problem was I knew that once I powered down the USB stick would revert back to its original state and the Amigadisk.img file would be gone, I had to get it off.

So I stuck a second USB pendrive in and went to copy the file over when I noticed it wasn’t appearing in any file managers and wasn’t mounting. I had flashbacks to Homer Simpson when he was attempting to buiild a BBQ episode at this point. So after a quick google on how to mount a drive which was something like mount \dev\sdb \media\usb so I was mounting the deviced sdb and it was now visible in file manager as usb. Great I copied the amigadisk.img off of the linux boot disk. It was finally safe.

I double checked the USB in Windows and sure nough the file was still there, why wouldnt it be… I copied it over and immediately made a backup locally and copied a backup onto onedrive.

So next step is to view the contents.