Frequently Asked Questions

(for pointers of utilities mentioned in this section see Bridgeboard Tips and Utilities)

Q: Is there a video driver that allows me to display the PC screen on my AGA machine or graphics card?

A: There is no such driver, and probably will never be as the amount of data that would have to be transferred from the PC to the Amiga would probably make the display update very slow.

Q: How do I install the AMouse3.drv in Windows?

A: The AMouse3.drv (comes with Janus 2.1), will operate under Windows 3.0 and 3.1, however you have to install it manually. First install Windows, then enter your Windows directory and edit the file called "SYSTEM.INI".Find the line called "mouse.drv=#####" and set it to "mouse.drv=amouse3.drv". Lastly, put a copy of the AMouse3.drv in the "system" directory found in your "windows" directory. (Also see the section on Setting up an OEM mouse driver for Windows for the proper Windows method.)

Q: How do I run my Bridgeboard with the CGA driver under Windows 3.x?

A: "Be warned: It looks like utter crap. However, it works." - Kirk Strauser

If you can't/won't get a VGA card for the Bridgeboard, here is how to install the CGA driver (this only applies to Windows 3.x; Windows 95/98 requires VGA minimum).

There is a CGA emulation driver located in the JANUS directory called VDDCGA.386 which is needed to use Windows in CGA mode. However, the file alone is useless; the Windows 3.x CGA driver disk is needed and available at (you might need to register with the Microsoft site first), which points to 'CGA.EXE'.

Expand the file to its own disk by running it from a floppy or by running 'CGA.EXE A:'

Delete the file VDDCGA.38_ from the disk, and copy the file VDDCGA.386 from the PC JANUS disk to it.

For kicks, you can change the "CGA" description in the OEMSETUP.INF file to something like "Bridgeboard CGA Emulation". This is now the CGA Driver Disk.

[For convenience, I have included the CGA Driver Disk in the archive BBCGA.ZIP with the guide]

Install Windows using the custom install method (or run Setup under DOS to bring up the configuration program for Windows if already installed).

Once at the 'hardware and software components' screen, go into "Display:"

Select "Other", point it to the CGA Driver Disk and select the CGA driver.

Continue installing Windows (or restart it).

Please note that under AmigaOS 3.1 the colors might be worse than other versions of the OS. You might also have select 'Restore Settings' from the Project menu of the PC Color program to get the proper display.

Q: Can the A2386SX Bridgeboard be upgraded to a higher processor or speeded up?

A: Yes, it can be upgraded all the way up to a 486SLC at 75 MHz. Some hardware improvements can also be made to the memory access. More info can be found in the Bridgeboard CPU upgrade guide.

Some PC software utilities (such as CalcQF) will allow you to alter the RAM refresh rate, which can yield some speed improvements.

It has also been reported that changing the crystal oscillators with faster ones will allow to speed up the Bridgeboard, but beware that some (older) ISA cards might not function as well at the higher speed.

Some video cards also set their own bus speed on the system, which would yield accellerated displays.

More information on overclocking an A2386SX can be found on the Amiga Hardware and Overclocking page at

Q: Can the A2286 AT Bridgeboard be upgraded or speeded up?

A: Yes. An A2286 Bridgeboard user has been able to upgrade it with a Cyrix Make-it-a-486 (486SLC33) upgrade. Since the daughterboard is above the processor, the connector for it must be extended to accommodate the upgrade. This will unfortunately take up the space of two Zorro slot when installed.

It has been reported that Windows 3.1 runs on the upgraded Bridgeboard, but Windows 95 fails to install properly.

Also, from Scott Drysdale:

"it might be possible to find a 286 to 386SX upgrade widget, but you'd have to look real hard. and you might have trouble fitting it on the 2286, since the CPU's under the daughterboard. you'll also have to expand beyond 1M of RAM with an AT bus memory board, which will give you a blazing 8MHz memory bus.

you should try to find an A2386SX. if you really want to use the 2286, fix it!

the 2286 has a couple of hardware bugs that affect the keyboard and A20 gate control.

here's one that's easy to fix, and should be done to all 2286s. the problem is that the 8042 responds to too many I/O addresses. the fix makes it respond only to the proper I/O addresses.

  • put the bb in front of you with the component side up and the edge fingers towards you.

  • remove U72 (8042 on the daughterboard) from its socket and carefully bend pin 6 so it sticks straight out. put the chip back. pin 6 should be hanging out in the breeze.

  • solder a wire from U72 pin 6 to J17A pin 30. J17A is the connector nearest you that attaches the daughterboard to the main board. the pin you need is 2nd from the left on the upper row.

    this fix will also drastically speed up 2286<->amiga communications (fake pc hard drives that live on amiga drives, aread/write, etc).

    the other bug is that the simulated keyboard in the ABT/DBT chips doesn't handshake properly. it should do this:

  • wait for the 8042 to indicate it's ready for data.

  • shift data out to the 8042.

    instead, it does this:

  • shift data out to the 8042.

  • wait for the 8042 to indicate it's ready for data.

    the effect is lots of lost keystrokes when running in standard (286) or enhanced (386) mode, because the 8042 is frequently doing something other than listening to the keyboard.

    the A2386SX has a PAL, EPLD, and matching 8042 code changes to fix this bug. there's no fix for the 2286"

Q: Why are there files missing in my setup?

A: Appendix E of the Bridgeboard manual lists all the files that are supposed to be in the appropriate directories, but in page 4-24 of the Bridgeboard manual, the missing command 'XCOPY A:\DOS C:\JANUS' has to be executed in order to copy all the required files.

Q: My Bridgeboard is beeping, what's wrong with it?

A: When the Bridgeboard encounters a problem, it will beep. First make sure the configuration on the PC side matches the one of the Amiga side. For other problems, a full list of beeping codes and their meaning is available.

Q: Will Windows 95 run on my A2386SX Bridgeboard?

A: Windows 95 will run on a A2386SX Bridgeboard, although it has been reported that the AREAD and AWRITE utilities may not function unless they are used under a real DOS session (not under Windows 95).

Q: Will Windows 98 run on my A2386SX Bridgeboard?

A: Windows 98 has the following requirements: 486 CPU, math coprocessor and 16MB of RAM. Provided that you have those requirements, you should be able to run it; I have yet to hear of anyone that's tried it.(See Bridgeboard Tips and Utilities for ways to meet these requirements). The restrictions of Windows 95 probably apply to Windows 98.

Q: Will OS/2 run on my A2386SX Bridgeboard?

A: OS/2 will run on the A2386SX Bridgeboard, however, OS/2 requires almost everything to be 'real' (a dedicated mouse, a dedicated hard drive and floppy drive, etc...), otherwise the emulated peripherals won't be recognized.

Q: Can I add more than the maximum on-board amount of memory?

A: It is possible using an ISA expansion card that can hold the memory. You must then adjust the "Off-board Ext Memory" value in the PC's BIOS.

For the A2386SX, a second way is to replace the Bridgeboard's ZIP chips with a SIMM adapter in which you can use 16MB SIMMs for memory. This requires modifications to the board and BIOS.

Q: Can I use some of the Amiga's memory for use by the Bridgeboard?

A: There was a shareware program that was written called AmigaEMS which allowed to use some of the Amiga's memory for the Bridgeboard, but it doesn't seem to be supported any longer (no way to register).

Q: Can I use the Amiga's serial port for the Bridgeboard?

A: Not directly. However, you can share a device on a serial port on the Amiga if you have an extra Amiga serial port and a serial port on the PC using the Connect program on Aminet.

Q: Where can I get the Janus disks?

A: They're no longer sold by any Amiga dealer. Your best chance is to ask other Bridgeboard owners on the internet newsgroups.

Q: Can I setup a TCP/IP connection through the shared memory of the Bridgeboard/Amiga to have them 'networked'?

A: No such driver has been written (probably due to lack of programming info). It must be done the usual way: a network.

Q: Can the Bridgeboard share the Amiga's ethernet card?

A: No, but the opposite is possible using EmuNet or Etherbridge on Aminet.

Q: Can the Bridgeboard have a hard drive/partition that is greater than 500MB?

A: Yes. You will need to setup your hard drive as usual (either a dedicated hard drive or a drive partition using JanusTools) and then run a hard drive installation program to format the disk to full size, such as Ontrack's DiskManager ( or similar program, which is often included with the drive or available from the manufacturer's web site. Once done, you can use the drive as usual.

Q: Are the Bridgeboards Year 2000 Compliant?

A: As with most older PCs, the A2386SX and A2286 Bridgeboards are not Year 2000 compliant and will not rollover the year correctly. However, they will keep the century information correctly after a reboot; all that is needed is to manually set the correct date with the DATE command after the rollover. Please note that ATIME from Janus 2.1 will fail with an error "Amiga date not valid for MS-DOS" when the Amiga's date is in the year 2000, so it will be useless beyond 1999.

There are a few utilities that fix the Year 2000 problem by monitoring and correcting the date during the first boot after the rollover occurs.

For more information on the cause, effects, possible solutions and fixes on this problem, please check the Year 2000 Information Center at

Is it possible to integrate a extension rom?

A: : You can load BIOS extension ROMs like SCSI boot roms or XT-IDE by merging it with pc.boot or pc.boot.2386sx on 2KB boundries. (requires BIOS shadowing ON at A2386 to work, at least for me)

Is it possible to speed up a extension rom on A2386?

A: : Bios extension ROMs (on EPROM or from amiga side) can be slow on A2386. To speed up disk access significabtly, you can set up EMM386 or QEMM shadow RAM for the memory area of the ROM.

_ Text based on BBFAQ © Sébastien Boisvert. Special TNX to fgh@A1k Last Update: 09.04.2024