Adding a Hard Drive to your Megafile 44 explained

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Timnaber
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Adding a Hard Drive to your Megafile 44 explained

Postby Timnaber » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:03 pm

I am new to the forum and thought I would share my experience with adding a hard drive to a Megafile 44 (MF44)

I scoured the forums and found vague instructions, incomplete instructions and instructions that were downright wrong.

This setup even works with a Megafile 30 (MF30) as the first HD in the chain. An additional option could be to use a SCSI to SD adapter and put an SD card as the second Hard Drive instead of a real Hard Drive. I think I am going to try this.

This is not a screw by screw description because if you are willing to open your MF44, then you know how to accomplish everything in my explanation.

1.Open your MF44 and remove the shielding. You will notice there are two 50 pin headers one of which the SyQuest 44 (SQ44) is plugged into. The other one is empty.
2.You will also notice there is a bracket that seems to be specifically made for adding a hard drive along with an additional power plug and an activity light plug for a HD. If your HD power connector comes straight out of the back your drive, it may not fit when attached to the bracket. I also tried a 90 degree power extension and it was still too large to fit. So, I zip tied the HD to the bracket, seems solid enough. I believe removing the power socket and soldering a "power extension tail" directly to the Hard drive may work. I have not tried this.

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3.Make sure that the SQ44 drive is set to drive Unit 0 and the HD you are using is set to unit 1. There is nothing else to do with the SQ44 drive. Leave it where it is.
4.Remove the mounting bracket from the chassis and mount the HD to the bracket, but do not mount the bracket back to the chassis yet.
5.With an additional 50 pin ribbon cable, attach it to the HD and the empty 50 pin header, pin 1 to pin 1 of course.
6.Connect the power and the activity light cable if your hard drive has pins for it. It is not necessary to connect the activity light cable for this set up to work.
7.Mount the bracket to the chassis (If your HD power connector comes straight out of the back your drive, it may not fit when attached to the bracket. see #2 above) replace the shielding, screw the case back together.
8.There are dip switches on the bottom of the MF44, turn 1 off, turn 2 on and turn 3 off.

I used HDDriver 10.03 and both drives show up. You can also test before putting everything back together to make sure the drive you are using does not have parity enabled. It will not show up if parity is enabled.

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ST: Falcon 030 14MB, 32 Gig PATA SSD; Mega STe 4 Meg; Mga 4 stock (2), 1040STf 4 Mg; 1040STf Stock(2); Megafile 44 (2); Megafile 30 (2)

8-Bit: 320XE w/Ultraspeed+/FIXXL; 320XE; 130XE w/Ultimate 1MB; 800XL w/Ultimate 1MB; 800XL w/Omnimon XL/Boss XL/Omniview XL; 800 w/Incognito; 48K 800; Black Box Enhanced (3); 1050 Super Archiver II; 1050 Happy (2); XF551 360K(2); XF551 720K; 8-bit Hard Drive Tower 480 MBs.

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Timnaber
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Re: Adding a Hard Drive to your Megafile 44 explained

Postby Timnaber » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:55 pm

I see there are a few views on this topic. Is anyone going to attempt it? If so, please post your results.
ST: Falcon 030 14MB, 32 Gig PATA SSD; Mega STe 4 Meg; Mga 4 stock (2), 1040STf 4 Mg; 1040STf Stock(2); Megafile 44 (2); Megafile 30 (2)

8-Bit: 320XE w/Ultraspeed+/FIXXL; 320XE; 130XE w/Ultimate 1MB; 800XL w/Ultimate 1MB; 800XL w/Omnimon XL/Boss XL/Omniview XL; 800 w/Incognito; 48K 800; Black Box Enhanced (3); 1050 Super Archiver II; 1050 Happy (2); XF551 360K(2); XF551 720K; 8-bit Hard Drive Tower 480 MBs.

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Re: Adding a Hard Drive to your Megafile 44 explained

Postby mlynn1974 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:35 am

I was offered an MF30 a number of years ago, but declined it due to the fact that the power supply was broken.
I would be concerned about the reliability of 20+ year old (40-200Mb) IDE hard disks to be honest. They're really past their service life.
Also how would the power supply hold up to multiple hard disks?

If I wanted a HDD in my Atari I would buy an Ultrasatan.
Still got, still working: Atari 4Mb STe, 520STFM, 2.5Mb STF.
Hardware: Cumana CSA 354, Ultimate Ripper, Blitz Turbo, Synchro Express II (US and UK Versions).

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Re: Adding a Hard Drive to your Megafile 44 explained

Postby wongck » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:58 am

Timnaber wrote:I see there are a few views on this topic. Is anyone going to attempt it? If so, please post your results.

I used to have a shared scsi bus ( as per my signature) in the shoebox of my Syquest 44 (with an ASCI-SCSI adapter).
It was a Syquest along side with a SCSI HDD. But sad to say that the SCSI drive is dead now, and I have put an SD card reader in it's place.
I don't use this configuration any more as it was for my STFM, so must been over 20+ years ago.
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63/CTPCI+ATI+RTL8139+USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
Shared SCSI Bus:ScsiLink ethernet, 9GB HDD,SD-reader @ http://phsw.atari.org
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Greenious
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Re: Adding a Hard Drive to your Megafile 44 explained

Postby Greenious » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:57 am

mlynn1974 wrote:I would be concerned about the reliability of 20+ year old (40-200Mb) IDE hard disks to be honest. They're really past their service life.
Also how would the power supply hold up to multiple hard disks?


It's always been SCSI for ataris really, and SCSI drives have always been more reliable than IDE. But yes, they are getting old, are noisy compared to just about anything,,,

The powersupplys in the megafiles are designed for 5.25" units, "modern" 3.5" harddrives draws much less power than the old 5.25" bricks, so that is the least of my worries.
Updated my guides as of june 28th, 2016. Check'em out and feedback!
viewtopic.php?t=5040

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BoNuS
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Re: Adding a Hard Drive to your Megafile 44 explained

Postby BoNuS » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:41 pm

If have a original Megafile 44 and I might even go for this fix. Always nice to have some extra HD space and since I have several SCSI drives laying around here this could well be a nice thing to try :)
http://bonus.home.xs4all.nl/
2 x Falcon 030 - a mint Atari TT - Mega STE - 2x STE - 1x Mega 2 - 2x STFM - 1 x STF - 3x SC1224 - 2x SM124 - 1x SM125 2x Portofolio+interface
- 3x 1435 monitor - 1 x Ult.Ripper cardridge - Mega 1,2,and 4 ( just to much Atari stuff)

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Re: Adding a Hard Drive to your Megafile 44 explained

Postby Timnaber » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:38 pm

I know that the tech is getting old, there is just something about using equipment "made in the day" that was meant to be used on these machines. I guess that makes me more of a hardware guy than a software guy. <shrugs>

Don't get me wrong, my Falcon does have a 32 gig PATA SSD. I also own a first version CosmosEx (ACSI) and have on order 2 of CosmosEX ver 3.0. I will use them in combination with original hardware. I also have 2 SCSI to SD adapters, I will put to use somewhere, Most likely inside the MF44s.
ST: Falcon 030 14MB, 32 Gig PATA SSD; Mega STe 4 Meg; Mga 4 stock (2), 1040STf 4 Mg; 1040STf Stock(2); Megafile 44 (2); Megafile 30 (2)

8-Bit: 320XE w/Ultraspeed+/FIXXL; 320XE; 130XE w/Ultimate 1MB; 800XL w/Ultimate 1MB; 800XL w/Omnimon XL/Boss XL/Omniview XL; 800 w/Incognito; 48K 800; Black Box Enhanced (3); 1050 Super Archiver II; 1050 Happy (2); XF551 360K(2); XF551 720K; 8-bit Hard Drive Tower 480 MBs.

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Re: Adding a Hard Drive to your Megafile 44 explained

Postby Robber » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:34 pm

Timnaber wrote:I see there are a few views on this topic. Is anyone going to attempt it? If so, please post your results.



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