Forum Updated! 

Main Menu

X68000 Noob Questions

Started by cawley1, January 02, 2018, 08:43:01 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Well, I finally decided to take the plunge and import myself an X68000 from Japan - something I have been meaning to do for the last 15 or so years!

It's not here yet, but I went for an XVI unit and sure I paid more than I should at 77,000 Yen. Yahoo Auction prices seem to be pretty erratic, and while it's not had the caps done, it's is fully tested and has a new PSU installed. I'm going to have to get the caps done at some point soon, I would imagine.

Anyway, I am sure there will be a few posts from me over the coming weeks as I find my way around it. I have managed to source an XSIMMVI and a hard disk cable, and have some specific questions relating to that...

1) Is the AztecMonster SCSI to CF still available? Is Artmix/Stratos still going, or is there another reliable adapter solution to use?

2) I have a SanDisk Ultra 25 MB/s 4GB Compact Flash card. Would this one be suitable for the HD image?

3) Is there any floppy I need to boot the first time I have the CF card installed, or will the computer pick the boot up from the CF hard disk?

4) When I install the XSIMMVI PBC, do I need to go into a BIOS to tell the computer there is the additional 4MB of RAM, or does it configure itself by me setting the jumpers? I am not sure if the disks coming with the computer are in that great a shape, so I might need some help getting hold of the program to access that, as I don't have a 5 1/4" drive anywhere here.

If anyone can help out on the above, I would really appreciate it.



1. Looks like it's still available:
2. I'm not sure about Sandisk, but personally, Transcend cards work great. Kingston CF cards never seem to be able to boot on any machines for me so I would avoid those in case the SanDisk doesn't work.
3. I think the default setting on the X68000 will try to boot from the floppy first, and if one is not inserted, it will boot from the HDD/CF adapter. There is also a setting for choosing the SCSI drive ID in the bios, so if you set your CF/SCSI adapter correctly with the dipswitches, it should work without having to change anything using a floppy. I haven't done this in a really long time though so somebody may correct me if there is something else to it.
4. X68000 does not auto-detect the amount of memory - you need to use the program called 'switch.x' to change the memory amount and other settings in the bios. This is available through the master disk floppy, or any of the HDD images floating around.

Edit: also, regarding the price you paid, honestly, X68000 is an amazing PC, so I don't think you'll be disappointed even if you spent that much. I've spent more than that on accessories alone, lol. I have a PC98, PC88, X68K, FM Towns, MSX, IBM DOS PC, and an Amiga, and the X68000 is still my favorite retro PC :P. Make sure you check out ChoRenSha68K if you like Shmups.


Let me try and give you more info to help you out.

1) Capacitors is one of the main killers of these systems, but not only one.  In older systems, it's the capacitors in the power supply.  In newer systems, the power supply capacitors are good, but it's the surface mount / SMD capacitors on the motherboard.  I have an X68000 compact where the capacitors just destroyed too much of the motherboard to make it work again.  Traces eaten, through holes destroyed.  There's just too much surface area that is gone (and that's what I can see! who knows what is going on under CPU and memory chips!)

2) The other killer is the SRAM battery.  Replace that with a LIR-2032.  Never CR-2032 unless you install a diode on the +ve terminal to prevent the battery from being charged by the system.

3) The only other source of failure is the 3.5" floppy drives in newer systems.  They seem to be as fragile as snow flakes!!  The older 5.25" floppy drives are A LOT more versatile.

4) I strongly recommend going with the SCSI2SD solution.  It's much newer cheaper, and I got good guides now showing how to get it to work with X68000.  :)

5) Once you got SCSI booted, you don't really need floppy support.  The only time a working floppy drive is a MUST is with old SASI based X68000 systems.  They need the SASI bootloader to be loaded into SRAM to allow SCSI bootup.  Once that is fixed, FD not needed.  Newer SCSI based machines can boot SCSI2SD with no issues.


Since OP mentioned the power supply has been serviced, there's a good chance they added a battery holder already so just double-check that. Also, he didn't mention the Compact model so he might not have to worry as much about the floppy drives being dead if they are 5.25", though replacing all capacitors is probably a good idea anyway.


Hi guys,
Thanks for the replies... I should have said it's not an XVI Compact unit, but the original with 5.25" drives. I received it today, and it's in excellent condition with only minor scuffs to the left side of the case and nothing to the front or right side, so that's a bonus!

I don't think any work on caps or batteries has been done. Is there anywhere I can buy a full capkit for the XVI, or do I need to order them all individually?

I got a reply from Artmix about the AztecMonster - it's no longer available. They do a new SCSI2CF called the RaizinMonster, but by my reckoning this is too big for inside an X68000!

Is the SCSI2SD a better option, for a SCSI sysem? I can get one from AmigaKit here in the UK, which would be an easy option, I am guessing this one would work...

What size MicroSD would I be able to use for the image? I have plenty of 16GB card, but smaller ones are hard to come by new...

Any advice appreciated.


scsi2sd is a great option. You can do internal install or (my preferred method) external! This allows you to access the microSD chip for updates without having to open the system.

SCSi2SD also have nice 3D printed external cases. 

16gb will be fine. Only the first 1gb will be used.

External visual condition of a systems says nothing on the condition of the electronics.


SCSI2SD it is, then. I look forward to putting it all together!

I know external condition is no indication of the electronics inside - I just like a tidy case! I will have to get this recapped at some stage soon, is there anyone in the UK who can do this, as I don't fancy doing it myself.

I have read a couple of guides on removing the side panels on the X68000. Is this easy to do, without breaking the nine plastic tabs? I don't want to bugger it up when I come to install my XSIMMVI and SCSI2SD...



Taking the sides off my XVI is definitely a huge pain for me. I actually leave one side not clipped in just so I can access the CF card without having to deal with that. The clips aren't that weak, but take care when opening them. It's hard to get enough grip to actually pull the panels back. I would suggest putting something like folded pieces of paper to keep the tabs slightly separated from the front piece as you start pulling the panel back. I use a 16GB CF and I have 4 partitions that are ~4GB each, so it's definitely possible to use more than 1GB, but it requires some tinkering with utilities.