Atari ST hard disk driver SW 
For ST, STE, Mega ST, Mega STE, IDE for Falcon, ACSI for TT
 
 This hard disk drivers are intended mostly for newer storage devices and adapters - like Satandisk, UltraSatan, IDE hard disks or Compact Flash cards. May work with older hard drives too, but it is not guaranteed. Supported is SCSI via ICD or Mega STE internal adapter. Concept is:  simple usage, fast work, not one universal driver for all HW, but separated driver installers for diverse adapters, storage - like ACSI, IDE ... It gives less problems by install and lower RAM usage.  All SW is written in pure ASM, what means fast work too. 
  Important part of package is partitioner SW - partitioning storage media is first step in usage.
 
  Video of partitioning and driver install on Atari without floppy drive, with help of image file with 1 short partition containing all SW, after writing it on SD card with USB card reader you do following on Atari :
       

  How to make all partitions visible on desktop in TOS 1.xx :
p/T1xPad.png
  Select C (or A or B), then Options, type in drive letter (D-P), give name, Install. You need to repeat procedure for all partitions. Save Desktop when all done.

  Partitioning with 2 SD cards:
       


SW for writing image files on Flash cards in Windows, via USB card reader: Drive Imager .
Of course may do images of cards, and there is file transfer too. Added little guide for proper writing on cards under latest Windows versions.

How to make all partitions accessible in Windows 10/8: New guide


 
Oktober 2014 updates:  Correct capacity displaying for very large medias - up to 9.9 TB.
         Support for Uwe S. Hddriver type TOS/DOS compatible partitions.
         Better editing of FAT32 partitions in partitioner.
         Windows LFN filtering - works on TOS 1.00, 1.02, 1.04, 1.06, 1.62, 2.06, 3.06 - UK,US,DE,FR .

   

    Will not see this anymore:

p/CantDelF.png

   Incorrect used space shown without filter:

  p/incorLNFinfo.png     

   Correct used space show, for same partition:

  p/CorLNFinfo.png




  Driver optimised for UltraSatan adapter
  Features:

  • TOS/DOS compatible multiple partitions
  • Access to AHDI partitioned, Uwe S. Hddriver type Win/TOS partitoned medias.
  • Hot-swap support
  • Easy selection of active C partititon during boot
  • Low RAM usage, fast work - pure ASM code
  • Works on ST, STE, Mega ST, Mega STE, TT .
  • Min TOS v. :  1.02
  • Ideal for gaming - easy setting, usage, no Timer dependance
  • Windows LFN filtering


  Driver optimised for Satandisk adapter
  Features:

  • TOS/DOS compatible multiple partitions
  • Max supported SD card size is 2GB - unique feature
  • Easy selection of active C partititon during boot
  • Low RAM usage, fast work - pure ASM code
  • Works on ST, STE, Mega ST, Mega STE, TT .
  • Min TOS v. :  1.02
  • Ideal for gaming - easy setting, usage, no Timer dependance
  • Windows LFN filtering

  Driver  for IDE adapters
  Features:

  • TOS/DOS compatible multiple partitions
  • Easy selection of active C partititon during boot
  • Low RAM usage, fast work - pure ASM code
  • Works on ST, STE, Mega ST, Mega STE - if equipped with regular IDE IF .  Falcon .
  • Min TOS v. :  1.02
  • HW high-low byte swap option for faster work
  • Easy usage, no Timer dependance - good for gamers

  How to make all partitions accessible in Windows: Forum thread

  Price is 10 Euros for any version, or for multiple versions (all cost total 10 Euros too). Just describe your HW, and I will post you proper versions. All drivers have 2 execs: installable for autoboot, and direct runnable. And there is partitioner SW too, of course.  Preferred payment is via PayPal. Contact via e-mail:    petari@8bitchip.info  .


 Little technical info:

 There are 2 main types of partitioning by Atari ST hard disks: AHDI and DOS type partitioning. In fact, they differ very little, and no any support for AHDI type partitioning in TOS.
 It is all on driver SW.  More relevant is FAT16 partition's type, and since it is handled via TOS, better said GEMDOS, it is only little DOS FAT16 type compatible - only for partitions smaller than 32MB. All above, called BigDOS is not compatible, because of different parameters (logical sector size, cluster sizes). Because we want our Atari medias (Flash cards in first place) to be easily accessible on some PC, MAC,  TOS/DOS compatible partitioning is welcome. Partitioner creates all FAT16 partitions TOS/DOS compatible. It can create FAT32 too, but it is usable only with Mint and Magic. And of course, FAT16 has some limits here, depending of TOS version:  TOS 1.02 : max part. suze is 256MB. (TOS 1.00 is not supported). TOS 1.04-3.06 : max part. size is 512MB. Falcon TOS supports max 1GB partitions, but for now my partitioner can create max 512MB on Falcon too. And 1GB is not recommended anyway - larger sectors, more wasted space.

Will be added more ...


Concept, background, history: I started with Atari hard disk driver SW programming somewhere around 1996. Main reason was that most of existing drivers in that time worked not well with IDE hard disks - and I had then only IDE hard disks - Conner of 80MB, IBM drives of 160MB and similar. And I went immediately on DOS compatible solution. It was not hard, because used only small FAT16 partitions, below 32MB size, which are compatible with TOS. Driver self used CHS addressing (max 512 MB accessible), and it was OK for existing drives.
Unlike usual solutions for Atari, I place autoboot loader not on first partition (something like hddr.sys), but on free space after master boot record.
There is normally 30KB space, enough for any driver version (what may be even packed) . Beside beeing simpler, faster, it offers selection of active C partition during autoboot - user can select which of physical partitions D-P to swap with physical C, so it will become current C (while physical C will become current D-P (what is selected) ). Since on C are placed all AUTO start programs, drivers, ACCessories, Desktop.inf etc, it results in very simple environment change, by current user needs - may have setting for some work, programming, another for music, third for gaming etc. As Atari boots very fast, you can switch in couple seconds.

Driver development continued with arriving of new adapters, larger drives. Especially when Flash cards arrived on market - they are ideal for our oldtimer - low power consumption, not hunderts of GBs (useless on ST), easy attaching on PC, etc.  All it needed new solutions, like TOS/DOS compatble BigDOS partitions, support for new adapters and similar.  Work on TT needs special care about CPU cache and Fast RAM.

Comparing with most popular Hddriver: I will not go here in which is better - it is not on me to talk about it, and it is very subjective - people have different needs, use computer differently. Hddriver gives support for everything in single driver file, which may be slightly modified during installation, setup. It supports almost everything, so CD ROMs, Milan and other Atari clones.  My drivers are usually specialised - there is separated installer for different hard disk adapters. I think that it is good for users - simpler set up, and less RAM usage.  I don't have lot of now obsolete settings, like cache and others - new drives are fast enough, and big cache gives not visibly faster work, but takes RAM. No plans for now for CD ROM support, TT, Falcon SCSI support - it may be in case of enough interested people.  Price is much lower - I offer support for less HW, and don't want to get rich with this :-)
But some money is needed in all this - you can not develop HW driver without spending some money on equipment, storage devices and similar.







    PP , Oktober  2014.

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