A little info on my experiences with SDrive.
Full developement credit/creators(C.P.U.(2008), Robert Petružela (Bob!k), & Radek Šterba (Raster)) is at:SDRIVE. Please refer there for their updates.
How to Use
Jump to:Getting DOS onto a disk image...HERE
Jump to:Moving a library...HERE.
The Atari does NOT read the sd card directly. The mpu does that and gives back what the atari can read. So, format the SD card on the PC(fat16, 64megs to 2gigs). Copy the SDRIVE.ATR to the root directory. You can then create directories for other types of files...
And copy some ATRs over and rename for blank disks...
SD1.ATR, SD2.ATR, DD1.ATR, DD2.ATR
Then put .ATR files and folders into the folders ....
../GAMES/Y/YOOMP.ATR, YOOMP.XEX, ...
WOW! No messing with partitioning on the sdcard!
Now might be a good time to copy this to a backup on the PC.
Pull the card once done writing, put into sdrive(powered or un powered). Once A8 turned on and sdrive booted, the 4 yellow LEDs will be on showing that it has mounted the sdrive.atr as the special boot disk, it will boot to the menu.
Use the menu keys to scroll around to take left files/.ATRs and mount onto a drive on the right. Note that what ever is on D1: will be the boot program/disk, unless swapped. So find Demo3.ATR :) and press "1" to put it onto D1:. Press the INVERSE key, sdrive will boot that image and run it.
Changing a dip switch to other numbers will make that drive number the boot drive, unless swapped.
BOOT button will remount and run sdrive.atr. RESET button returns sdrive to default, forgetting drive information.
You will need empty images of the various disk formats in order to create new disks to write data to. I have a set ....HERE(92K rev:07Jun09). I have re-done them formatted, and added one with MYDOS 4.5.1M. (02June09)I have added an ATR of MYDOS 4.5.1M configured for a 320K 130 XE....HERE.
Contains:90K SGL(810), 128K SGL(1050), 180K DBL, 360K DBL, 720K DBL, 1Meg DBL, 8Meg SGL, and 16Meg DBL. Expands to 27 Megs when un Zipped! I keep them in a BLANK folder, then copy to the folder where I will need one, and rename it. The Atari can not do any of this! While they are all initted(formatted), you can CONFIG/FORMAT/INIT them again with the DOS you like that supports that size. Once done, you should recopy the formatted images to the PC and SD card to use as the future blank source.
You should copy the sdcard to a backup on the pc at regular intervals.
Already this IS one of the easiest and coolest drive setups yet.
Waiting for card.
Card inserted, system drive(sdrive.atr) found.
Card inserted, system drive menu running. Boot drive now D1:.
My removeable Drive Bay version.
Making it work with real drives, the first time(rev 01sep2k9).....
I have a LOT of disks I want to move over. I have a big Atari library I would like to re-archive from the 1meg floppies they are on. So, the first test is HOW TO GET MYDOS ONTO AN ATR IMAGE. You can use other DOSES.
The problem is, you can't turn off the A8 computer or you loose Sdrive settings and the empty disk image(s). I set my ATR8000(read "disk drive") with a MYDOS 4.5.1M boot disk. I had the ATR8000 turned OFF but connected.
Turn on the computer. Since Sdrive comes up in system mode(with an sd card inserted), it booted to the menu. With the Sdrive menu showing, I switched to the ATR folder(directory), mounted the MYD451M.ATR onto D2:, then turned on the ATR8000. Press OPTION, then press RESET on the A8. Mydos booted from the real drive 1. I then setup and formatted the "disk" in drive 2 for 90K in this case, and wrote DOS files to it. These are done quite fast. Getting a dir of D2: shows the files now in it.
Turn off the A8 and the ATR8000. Wait, then turn it on again. Sdrive boots to the menu. Mount the DOS Image as D1:(MYD451M.ATR). Press the Inverse key. The computer reboots from the disk now mounted as D1:. And Fast. I copied my BOOT.EXE to the Sdrive.atr image so its available at any time. I can now boot DOS very quickly.
This is much the same method I used to get Paperclip onto a disk image.
Also, for many copy protected multi disk games, you can copy all of the disks 2 and up, but still boot from the master disk as needed.
And, this lets you use SIO2PC as D1:, P:, and R:. Even with protected disk images in Ape Pro.
One note is that on the ATR8000, take the data cable off all drives not being used or they will interfere when booting.
I have already copied empty ATRs into folders where I want to start working with them, giving them useful names. Remember that in short form, the first 6 letters, tilde, and a number show in sdrive menu. I just stick to 8.3 convention, however games may benefit from the long format.
Mount up to 3 ATRs into D2-D4, (D1=DOS). Press Inverse to boot D1:.
I found that FORMATTING is not needed, only INITIALIZE. Disk size is set by the image, just need to write directory and vtoc.
I have found that disks over 180K SD and all DD need to be configured by number of sectors and density(as a high capacity disk. Using tracks and sides always produces a 1050 disk size.
90K:720 sectors, sgl dens
130K:1040 sectors, sgl dens
180K:1440 sectors, sgl dens dbl sided, or
8M:65535 sectors, sgl dens
180K:720 sectors, dbl dens sgl sided
360K:1440 sectors, dbl dens
720K:2880 sectors, dbl dens
1M:4004 sectors, dbl dens
16M:65535 sectors, dbl dens
Wow, a disk with 65491 useable dbl dens sectors. Something I could never get to work with 800XLDJ and never got far enough with MyIde. We will see if its reliable.
Make sure the RED LED is out before removing the sd card, or rebooting the computer/sdrive.
Once I get disks formatted/initialized, its going back to the PC to copy them as the empty ATR images for future use.
Copying(rev 01sep2k9)..... Load up the D1-D3 slots in sdrive with initialized images, D1 at least must have DOS files. Write this down, location, size, and name. I made a form for this, in pictures.
Press OPTION(sdrive will make noise) to disable BASIC, Press RESET on the COMPUTER. DOS will boot into the menu(whatever). Get a Dir of D1-D3 to read their settings. I turn on/reset the ATR8000. Insert source disk into D4: and do normal copying. Even "J" Dup Disk works, to same type image. You can also run a disk file copy program.
Once done with copying files to D1-D3, and the RED LED is out(It will stay on during each entire file copy process), you can press the boot button on Sdrive, and reboot the A8(I keep a boot.com program on my sdrive.atr disk as DOS is persistant), or power down, then up(you'll loose your settings, but that is what the list is for).
Once you have made a session of image copies, its back to the PC for backup and adding more empty images where you need them.
I have renumbered the 2 ATR8000 360K drives to be 1 and 4. I also have an HD disk as 4. Each can be powered as needed. So I use them as my source for real disks to copy.
I am still experimenting with "J" Duplicate disk, some have reported errors/lockup above 1500. May be the compatibility thing. Not liking an image as not being exactly the same as a real floppy.
I spent a while transferring files from the ST using Speedier: at 19.2K and Ymodem batch over to a 16M image. Worked great. But slow.
My dream fix would be to change the RIGHT button to a BUMP button....press and the drives numbers go up to D5-D8, press again, then up to D9-D12, press, D13-D16(o.k. maybe not so useful yet), press, back to D1-D4. I could then move all of the disks to D5-D8 and use any real drives I want. Four Sdrives and 16 disks is up to 256 megs online.
More when I find out.
Moving a lot of disks/files into an image(sep09)...
I have the AACE(Austin, TX) 8 bit computer Library as seperate disks, and as an arced collection for backup.
I wanted to get them into an image for ease of use, and to put on my site for others to enjoy.
So, I started to copy the arced files to an image. I didn't want to use folders as the extraction on the PC may not support it. So I could get 64 files on one image. No problem. Adding more images is easy. Took 4 total to get the regular library over. During one chat session, I managed to get around 20 disks unarced in 5 hours. O.K. I wasn't there every second. But still a slow process, made faster by using SDrive. I was encouraged on chat to use MSDOS instead. So, I moved the SD card to the PC, copied the 4 images over to my XP machine. I extracted all of the files using makeatr.exe. Works very nicely. Imagic only CONVERTS from one format to another, not extract. I then moved the 250+ files to my Win98 machine as reports were that the XP unarc would not work on a8 files(I found this true on one test).
I spent quite a while trying to figure out why the DOS commands I could find for creating a script were failing. I finally decided that I was using an older MSDOS. I wanted to create a loop that would read each filename, take the name only, create a folder, then unarc to that folder. This DOS would not do it, and you can only do 1 item in a FOR loop. So, I finally created two loops, one that creates folders inside another folder from the filenames, and one to unarc to those folders. I found pkxarc.exe that would produce useable reults very quickly. Once done(in about 1 minute!, took all day to get to this point!), I used rename to change the extender of the folders to ".S" for single density disk as a default. I will later go thru and rename some to ".E" or ".D". In rare cases I will also specify "2" if dbl sided.
My structure is:
work\ (source arc files, pkxarc.exe, xa8.bat)
done\ (dest folders and files)
Only the folders, etc. starting IN done\ are copied to the final image.
My batch script is:
rem xa8.bat batch file for expanding a8 library
FOR %%I IN (*.0*) DO md done\%%I
FOR %%F IN (*.0*) DO pkxarc.exe -e %%F done\%%F\
rename *.* *.S
Crude and no error checking, but it worked.
I then sorted the disks into folders(in done\) by their category, A1, B1, C1, D1, etc. Then I had to find a util to get the files, in their folders onto a 16 meg image. Makeatr could not do this. Again, chat helped. Another MSDOS program, dir2atr.exe, made this simple, eventually. Use the command: dir2atr -d -m 65535 aaceli16.atr done\ makes it work. And instantly, a 16 meg image. Copied the 16 meg onto the SD, take it back to the SDrive, and my A8 now has the entire library at hand. A little more work making sure all is there, and some renaming, and I can place the image on my site.
I have more disks to do this to, some other groups disks and some magazines.
Note...My previous method for getting files to/from the A8 involves Speedier: at 19.2K, Bobterm, the ST, then ST to floppy to PC, or reverse. With SDrive, mount a file as a drive, go to DOS. Sdrive makes that file look like a drive. You can copy that file to a disk image mounted as any other drive number. Getting individual files out involves using Makeatr, Imagic, or APE.
Note...Nice. Something that works with real drives, and easily enough. Something SIO2PC is having trouble with still. In the testing stage.
A final note:If you haven't supported Steve Tuckers APE and its ATR images, maybe you should now.