Traditionally, most Amigas were designed to boot from a floppy disk. . The Amiga can easily make its own bootable floppy, but only after it’s already booted. If you don’t have a floppy ready, you’re out of luck, as PCs can’t easily make them for Amigas. [Roc] uses the amigaXfer startup method to solve this exact problem.

Shorting several pins together can unlock a serial debug mode that can be used to boot the machine.

Available on Github, the amigaXfer tool can perform several tasks with the Amiga through its serial port. The Amiga must first be powered on while connected to another computer running amigaXfer via a serial connection. When the Workbench floppy prompt appears, amigaXfer’s CrashEntry function should be triggered and the BERR and GND pins of the Amiga’s 68000 CPU should be connected for just a fraction of a second, triggering the Amiga to go into a special serial debug mode. This allows amigaXfer to take over, allowing the disk to be formatted and written with an error boot block and this disk can then be used to boot the Amiga without the need for hacking.

This is a great way to get your Amiga up and running if you’ve just bought it off eBay and it didn’t come with any discs. From here you can use amigaXfer to load other Amiga programs via the same serial cable you used for the boot process. The hack isn’t limited to the Amiga 500 either. It should work on a range of machines, including AmigaOS versions 1.x, 2.x and 3.x.

Unlike the Commodore 64, we probably won’t see a brand new replica of Amigas anytime soon, but we can dream. As always, if you have them, send your hottest Amiga projects to the tip line!

You Can Now Bootstrap Your Amiga Without A Floppy With This One Weird Trick