I have an Amiga, how can I set it up?

Well, this all depends which model you have, and identifying which model you have is the first step.

Also, it depends what you wish to do with it.

But before anything else, we need to discuss an important point.  Some machines will need some work done to them before they can be used.

These Amiga models all usually have a battery within the main machine, which can and most likely will leak, with battery acid corroding and destroying the main board and thus, destroying the machine: Amiga 500 plus, Amiga 3000, Amiga 4000.

These Amiga models have capacitors that burst and leak corrosive acid within the main machine, once again potentially destroying the main board: Amiga 600, Amiga 1200, Amiga 4000, CD32.  These capacitors need to be replaced by someone who is skilled in surface mount technology.  It doesn’t matter if the machine is used or not, these will need to be replaced.

Ok, now that we’ve discussed repairs, now we’ll go on to actually using the machine.

We’ll start with the easiest machines to get working, the CD-based CDTV and CD32.  For these machines, it’s as simple as placing the CD in the drive (CDTV will need the CD to be in a CD caddy), and turn it on.  If you don’t have any Amiga CDs, but you have access to a CD-R burner and the Internet, you’re in luck, as the Amiga CD machines do not have any copy-protection, and it’s easy to find CD images on the internet – although there are more images suitable for the CD32 than the CDTV, as the CD32 was more successful and the CD32 is mainly compatible with titles designed for the CDTV.

Now, the main thing that all non-CD Amiga models have is common is a 3.5″ Double Density Floppy disk drive (Some models came with a High Density drive, but these can read and write double density disks without a problem.  But if your machine didn’t come with any disks, how can you use it, particularly now that disks aren’t as common as they once were?  Thankfully, there is a solution, and it’s fairly convenient too.  You can purchase a “floppy disk emulator” device that accepts a USB device, such as a memory stick, on which you can store files that are images of Amiga disks – such as ADF or IPF files.  This device replaces the floppy disk drive, and you select which disk image it’s using with buttons on the device.  This is a fairly easy and convenient method, but because it’s still based upon using disks (even if they’re images stored on a USB flash memory drive) this will still be relatively slow – but it will work on any non-CD Amiga model.

Next, we’ll discuss machines with a built-in IDE interface, such as the Amiga 600, Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000