ShapeShifter Troubleshooting Guide

ShapeShifter can act a bit strange at times and some of its features are not obvious. Please consult this FAQ list if you are having problems with ShapeShifter.


Will there be a PowerPC version of ShapeShifter?

A PowerPC ShapeShifter for AmigaOS is not planned.

How do I type a '~'?

Try <Alt>-<N>, followed by <Space>. If that doesn't work, activate the USKEYMAP tool type and use the "`/~" key. For other keys, consult the "Keyboard" desktop accessory.

How do I rebuild the desktop file when starting the Macintosh?

You have to hold down the left Amiga key and the right mouse button on startup. The key combination <Alt left><Amiga left> doesn't work because this combination is intercepted by the Amiga operating system as a replacement for the left mouse button.

How do I prevent volumes being ejected on restarting the Macintosh?

Hold down the Alt key (or the right mouse button), choose the "Restart" menu item and keep holding the Alt key until the Macintosh screen is cleared.

I have xx MB of memory in my Amiga, but ShapeShifter is using only a small part of it.

ShapeShifter can only use a contiguous memory block. E.g. if you have 2MB of Chip RAM, 8MB of 32 bit Fast RAM and 4MB of 16 bit Fast RAM, the theoretically available amount of memory for ShapeShifter is 8MB (and not 14MB). The Amiga operating system will, of course, use some of these 8MB for itself.

In spite of my 68040, the Macintosh emulation is slower than on an Amiga 3000. How can that be?

You are probably using a 512K ROM. This ROM is not completely 68040 compatible and ShapeShifter has to turn off the data cache to make it run. If you use a 1MB ROM (e.g. from a Quadra) the speed should increase notably.

How can I install the Macintosh System without HD floppy drives?

(According to Mike Carlson):

How do I print under ShapeShifter?

You need a suitable Mac printer driver. For Epson-compatible parallel printers you can use "Chuck's Printer Driver", for HP DeskJets/LaserJets you need "HPDJ 3.0". Simply configure the Mac printer port for the parallel port and choose it from the Mac printer driver. The serial settings don't matter but you should turn on "Hardware Handshake".

You may also use the commercial package "Power Print" that includes drivers for the most popular printers. For more info, contact:

  GTD Softworks INC.
  4664 Lougheed Highway
  Suite #188
  Canada V5C6B7

  Telephone: ++1-604-291-9121
  Fax:       ++1-604-291-9689

I can no longer format 720K disks under System 7.5/7.6. With 7.1 it worked.

Due to a brain-damaged modification to the Disk Initialization Package, System 7.5/7.6 refuses to format 720K disks unless the "720K Disk Formatter" extension is present. If you give ShapeShifter the tool type "720KKLUDGE", it will format these disks with 719.5K. Apart from losing 512 bytes of disk space, it doesn't make any difference. 719.5K disks can be read on a real Mac as can 720K disks under ShapeShifter with System 7.5/7.6.

The Macintosh doesn't boot. How can I now quit ShapeShifter? The Finder is not loaded.

Press <Ctrl><Shift left><Alt left><Esc>. ShapeShifter should then quit itself.

Nothing works! After starting ShapeShifter, I only get a white/gray/dithered gray screen.

In rare cases, it may happen that the Macintosh won't boot or might crash on startup. Then you should try the following:

If that doesn't help, then I don't know (i.e. bug reports are useless).


I have changed the graphics settings and now there is only garbage on the screen. How can I now quit ShapeShifter?

Press <Ctrl><Shift left><Alt left><Esc> (eventually hold it down). ShapeShifter should then quit itself.

When I switch from the running emulation to my workbench screen, parts of the screen get overwritten with Macintosh graphics.

If you are using CyberGraphX, consider using Picasso96 instead. Otherwise there is no real solution for this. Press <Ctrl><Tab> before switching screens and take care that no Macintosh program is drawing on the screen as long as the Workbench screen is in front to minimize the effect. If you can live with a graphics slowdown, you may also activate the gadget "Refresh always" in the graphics settings.

With a graphics card under CyberGraphX/Picasso96, I rarely get graphics errors which disappear with ShapeShifter 3.5.

This is probably due to the QuickDraw acceleration. It can be turned off with the "NOQDACCEL" tool type.

Why are the graphics only in grayscales?

Open the Monitors control panel on the Mac and switch to color.

Will there be video drivers for the OpalVision/IV24 cards?

Not from me.


PrepareEmul fails to work, it just reboots and reboots. My Amiga is softkicked.

PrepareEmul doesn't work with softkickers. The only solution is to patch the Kickstart file as shown in the manual.

PrepareEmul fails to work on my expanded A1200.

Start PrepareEmul with the "A1200" switch.

PrepareEmul still doesn't work.

Try the "A1200" switch even if you don't have an A1200.

PrepareEmul still doesn't work.

See the manual for alternatives.

Turbo cards

I have problems on my A2000 with G-Force040 accelerator and a 1MB ROM.

(According to Oliver Stein):
Find the program "Set040" by Nic Wilson and insert the following line in your "Startup-Sequence" right after PrepareEmul:


If you remove all 16 bit Fast RAM from your system, you are able to use the original (AmigaOS) "68040.library", but then you have to use the "A1200" option of PrepareEmul.

(According to Stefan Raudonis):
The program "GVPCPUCtrl" must not be started in the Startup-Sequence. The command alone, without parameters will cause programs to crash under ShapeShifter.

I have problems on my A2000 with a Fusion-Forty accelerator.

To get rid of ALL problems regarding the Fusion-Forty and ShapeShifter and to be able to use ShapeShifter's MMU features, install the original (AmigaOS) "68040.library" in LIBS: and insert the following two lines at the top of your Startup-Sequence:


Or, if you are softkicking a different ROM image:

  SetFF FASTKICK devs:kickstart AMAXIV

You don't need "PrepareEmul" then.

I have problems with my Phase 5 68060 board.

Turn off the "CyberPatcher" utility.


My SCSI devices are not being recognized.

  1. The name of the SCSI driver must be spelt correctly. E.g. on the A3000 this is "scsi.device" in lowercase letters, without quotes, and without "DEVS:" in front.
  2. The IDs of the devices you intend to use must have a checkmark in the SCSI settings (the gadgets directly near the digits 0..6).
  3. The SCSI bus must be correctly terminated.

I cannot use DeviceDisks and/or SCSI devices with my Oktagon/AT-Bus 2008/ AlfaPower/TandemAT/ALF-2/ALF-3 controller.

You have to use "SSIOktaPatch". Please read the file "ReadMe" in the archive "SSOktaPatch.lha".

I have problems with SCSI devices on a Fastlane/CyberSCSI/Blizzard SCSI card.

See the ShapeShifter manual.


What is "AHI" and where do I get it?

AHI (Audio Hardware Interface) is a device-independent audio driver by Martin Blom. More information and AHI itself can be found here. ShapeShifter requires ahi.device version 4 or higher.

I can't use my sound sampler. The Amiga hangs as soon as I click on the "Record" button.

Your CPU is probably not fast enough to do the sampling. The CPU load of sampling at 22kHz equals that of a serial transmission at a sustained data rate of approx. 250000bps. As you need a fast CPU to do this with the "serial.device", you need a fast CPU to do sound sampling under ShapeShifter. "But my A500 can sample at 48kHz!" you may answer. Then name any Amiga sound sampling program that multitasks while sampling.


ShapeShifter runs on the "DraCo" computer by MacroSystem. There are only a few things to take care of:

Possible problems on the Amiga side

Some properties of ShapeShifter may lead to problems on the Amiga side or may disturb concurrently running Amiga programs:

Christian Bauer