Hard disk driver update plan

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AtariZoll
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Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:19 am

TOS/DOS compatible partitioning is pretty much useful and makes data transfer with some modern computer + OS very easy - of course mostly in case of Flash cards.
There is only 1 downside with it, as I know: in case of IDE, so CF cards too, there is need for byte swapping to be DOS compatible. And that makes transfer speed on Ataris much slower. On Falcon it is about 1/2, on ST(E) about 1/3 (slower shifts in CPU) . So, idea is to make mixed type partitioning and of course support for it in driver. On card will be pure TOS (GEMDOS) type partition(s), where no need for byte-swap, so it will be as fast as possible, and will be TOS/DOS compatible partition(s), what can access in Windows, Linux ...
And here comes one more catch: Windows normally can access only first partition on removable mass storage, so Flash cards. There are some drivers to override it, but not so easy to install. So, I guess that best way is that on Atari it boot not from first partition on card, but second one - that will be of course C on Atari, and first one will be D - by default, since it will give best speed. But there are some things to consider, and that may depend from users, their habits ... :
Who wants max speed should go on only one DOS/TOS compatible partition - that will be used to copy there files from PC, and then on Atari can copy/move them on faster partitions. In this case, I guess that that partition should be last on Atari - not physically, just as drive letter.
Those who don't want to bother with extra moving from slower to faster partitions on Atari should create more TOS/DOS compatible partitions, and still having C as fast one. In this case Windows driver extension for access all partitions on removable is almost a must.
So, I will work on this in next weeks. Would be good to hear some things from interested people - what SW they use, some habits, maybe some ideas - but things are that we can not do exactly what we want in many cases - there are TOS, Windows limitations what can not override with hard disk driver SW.
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby dimfil » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:39 am

This is very interesting and of course will be quite helpful!

At the moment, on the cf card installed as ide master in my falcon, I found no way to override byte swapping while partitioning.
In other words, I can prepare dos compatible partitions but then the cf is not bootable on the Falcon. If I don't choose byte swapping, then no windows compatible partitions are possible. So I am stuck with TOS partitioned cf and I use other methods to transfer files.

Forgot to mention that on my Falcon I use hddriver 10.10. If I'm missing something in the procedure, I would be grateful for any help!

I already have your driver for other st's used on ultrasatan. Is there a different version for ide on Falcon?

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:46 am

Actually, I just explained that 'no autoboot' problem for 2 people - here, and in Atariage recently. At my best knowledge (and I even talked in past about it with Uwe) you can not do it in Hddriver. Unless it is solved in latest versions - but then it would be mentioned in change/update lists. In other words, if there is byte-swap involved, no autoboot with Hddriver.
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby dimfil » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:09 am

AtariZoll wrote:Actually, I just explained that 'no autoboot' problem for 2 people - here, and in Atariage recently. At my best knowledge (and I even talked in past about it with Uwe) you can not do it in Hddriver. Unless it is solved in latest versions - but then it would be mentioned in change/update lists. In other words, if there is byte-swap involved, no autoboot with Hddriver.


Yes, sorry, later on I did see your other post that explains that problem.
I understand that you now give efforts towards that direction, to solve it! Hope to have good news from you soon!

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:48 am

To be precise: I solved autoboot from byte swapped IDE disks, so CF cards too on Atari long time ago. This new plan is in purpose to combine good speed and DOS compatibility on same disk, CF card.
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AdamK » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:50 am

With ACSI devices on ST (Satan, UltraSatan, Cosmosex) there is no need for byteswaping.
Atari: FireBee, Falcon030 + CT60e + SuperVidel + SvEthlana, TT, 520ST + 4MB ST RAM + 8MB TT RAM + CosmosEx + SC1435, 1040STFM + UltraSatan + SM124, 1040STE 4MB ST RAM + 8MB TT RAM + CosmosEx + NetUSBee + SM144 + SC1224, 65XE + U1MB + VBXE + SIDE2, Jaguar, Lynx II, 2 x Portfolio (HPC-006)

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:02 am

AdamK wrote:With ACSI devices on ST (Satan, UltraSatan, Cosmosex) there is no need for byteswaping.

Indeed - otherwise I would mention them too, not only IDE. Thanx for your clarification.
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby dimfil » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:15 am

AdamK wrote:With ACSI devices on ST (Satan, UltraSatan, Cosmosex) there is no need for byteswaping.


Yed, I am aware of that.
It was my first problem to face after starting to preparing the cf card on the Falcon.
But Peter, to be honest, I was not aware that your driver in the ide version works OK regarding that matter. Maybe I missed that info while checking your site. I already use your driver for ACSI but I do not have the ide version. I will contact you via email.

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AdamK » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:30 am

I think that the better way is to do byteswaping in hardware - just by modifying the cable, or by simple interface,
Atari: FireBee, Falcon030 + CT60e + SuperVidel + SvEthlana, TT, 520ST + 4MB ST RAM + 8MB TT RAM + CosmosEx + SC1435, 1040STFM + UltraSatan + SM124, 1040STE 4MB ST RAM + 8MB TT RAM + CosmosEx + NetUSBee + SM144 + SC1224, 65XE + U1MB + VBXE + SIDE2, Jaguar, Lynx II, 2 x Portfolio (HPC-006)

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:19 am

AdamK wrote:I think that the better way is to do byteswaping in hardware - just by modifying the cable, or by simple interface,

Yes, that's actually the best way, and is simpler than making some special partitioning scheme. However, there was no real interest for commercial version of driver for twisted cable, so I think that not much people made twisted cable. In some cases it is probably not so easy even to place cable in whole thing. And there is autoboot problem too - you need modded TOS for it with twisted cable - well, users of older TOS need it anyway for IDE boot :D
Nothing is simple here :D
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:21 pm

I did some testings to see what partition layout will be best, how to hide pure TOS partitions from Win . Surprisingly, writing code $14 for it did not result in it being hidden (and that's code for hidden part.) . Actually, whatever code I put in MBR, it will be detected if is valid DOS FAT16, even in Linux Ubuntu.
So, it seems that practically only way is that TOS partition is swapped for WIn, so it can not mount it. Will probably ask for format - so user need to take care and skip it, for health of his files :D And first partition must be DOS type - in this case actually TOS/DOS type, otherwise Windows will not detect further ones, even if they are all DOS type.
All it means that first partition on mixed type partitioning must be TOS/DOS compatible. And then it will be accessible with Win, Linux. And it will be only one on Windows without patch for seeing multiple partitions on removable (like cfadisk) . Where it is installed, further DOS compatible partitions will be accessible.
On the Atari, for better performance drive C will be first only TOS (so for Atari non byte swapped) partition. What is physically not first on media. But as usual, user can swap default C with some other at driver boot process.
So much for now.
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AdamK » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:11 am

That is, because modern OSes do not care what code is in partition table, they check data structures on partition and try to figure it out.

I'm no expert in MBR partitions, but I think that you do not need to describe all partitions in MBR partition table. Write only description for the one you want to share, and PC OS should not see others (well, maybe Linux will see it if the kernel is compiled with Atari partition table support)
Atari: FireBee, Falcon030 + CT60e + SuperVidel + SvEthlana, TT, 520ST + 4MB ST RAM + 8MB TT RAM + CosmosEx + SC1435, 1040STFM + UltraSatan + SM124, 1040STE 4MB ST RAM + 8MB TT RAM + CosmosEx + NetUSBee + SM144 + SC1224, 65XE + U1MB + VBXE + SIDE2, Jaguar, Lynx II, 2 x Portfolio (HPC-006)

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:27 am

First to say that I made 1 mistake in yesterday testings. So, partition hiding actually works, I just did not use proper code for large FAT16 partitions. TOS type partition will not appear in Windows or Linux at all.
Considering MBR - there are 4 slots, so you can describe 4 'partitions' . But I put it in quote because such 'partition' is extended partition container too. And that can hold unlimited number of, chained. Usual way is 1 primary, and rest as extended. So, 2 slots are used only.
It was one of mine ideas too, that putting there only DOS compatible partitions, and solve location of necessary parameters for AHDI partitions in some non-standard way. That has downside that hard disk utility SW like CHKDSK3 will not work with TOS partitions. So, better to go regular way as much possible.
My memory served this time well - I checked, it is Ubuntu 14.04, 32-bit (may be 64-bit too, did not use it) which has AHDI partition support. But I don't remember does it include non byte swapped ones (which are swapped for DOS, Linux, Win) in case of IDE disks, medias. So, I need to dig it, or DL again, and test with it.
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby AtariZoll » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:36 am

Installed and tested Ubuntu 14.04 - I think little better than some years ago. Actually, TOS (AHDI) partitioning support is pretty much limited. Only small (under 32MB) partitions are mounted and accessible. And they are actually same as TOS type partitions in that case. So, all what Ubuntu has as Atari GEMDOS filesystem support is recognizing AHDI type MBR and GEM, but not BIGGEM partitions. And it is same in Ubuntu 17 .
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby DarkLord » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:03 pm

Hmm, I use Mtools with Kubuntu Linux here to access the files on my STacy's
Ultrasatan, 2 gig SD card with no problems at all.

Don't know how they do it but it works. :)

Of course, I think this is something entirely different than what you are
working on.

Good luck and thanks for your continued Atari support - appreciated!
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Re: Hard disk driver update plan

Postby Saturnin51 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:21 pm

My solution for data transfer from my Falcon to my PC with Ubuntu-Mate 16.04LTS : Use of Iomega 2 Go cartdrige formatted with HDDriver and RAW type (FAT16 in fact), readable directly by Ubuntu on the PC. No slow rate, huge capacity, perfect !
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