SD Card troubles [solved]

Everything related to using the HxC Floppy Emulator hardware on your Atari.

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SD Card troubles [solved]

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:33 pm

Today I wanted to add a power lead extension to my SDCard HxC inside the STE to move the device outside of the case.

I first tried with open STE case, connected cabling and the HxC still worked.
I then put the thing together, the leads to the HxC tunneled through the floppy slit and boom ... the HxC somehow did something to my SD card :(

(Yes I should have removed the card but everything was without power when I put the connectors back.)

The HxC now says "No SD/SDHC Card detected .... reading FAT" something it starts to make a grinding noise with the beeper. No access anyway.

The SDCard now pretty locks up my Windows, I cannot access the contents nor format it from there.
Under Linux I can somehow access the card but it seems trashed (instead of a former 32GB, it shows a 1,1 somewhat which can't be formatted or partitioned.
The card is toast :(

I now tried a backup SDcard with 1GB size. I could format it under Windows, fill it with files. The HxC still says "no Card detected".
I formatted it with Linux, both plain VFAT and FAT 16, HxC still say "no card detected". All the times only the CFG and AUTOBOOT.HFE for ST were present on the card.

(I faintly remember the HxC did not like that 1GB card in September too when i firstly installed the device, on the now trashed 32GB SDHC, it was simply open shipping case (it was fresh), putting the files onto it, and then that one worked :?

I'll have to digup fresh SDHC cards anyway BUT: is there a possibility the HxC got a problem now? It has power, shows text, makes noise, the STE does not complain, it detects an empty floppy drive. The 34pin connector only fits in one direction, same for the power lead which was tested beforehand and the HxC booted then.

So any ideas and suggestions welcome!

PS: the hxC reports firmware Revision B at boot.
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby CiH » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:41 pm

Hi Simon,

I can't help directly, but I'm offering a bit of moral support in telling you that you're not the only person with failed storage media out there. :mrgreen:

My own experiences with duff storage include several old IDE and SCSI drives which finally made their way to the dump last summer, Some of these have died of old age/natural causes over the years, others were sent to me by other people, but did not survive the arduous journey through the postal system. There's a couple still to dispose of even now.

I've got what is probably a counterfeit Kingston CF-card which worked with a standard Falcon 030, but declined to work with a CT60, or in a SCSI card reader. It's taken a couple of decent Sandisk CF-cards to renew my faith in being able to source working storage media for my Falcon. :D

With my Ultrasatan, I've been fine, but I managed to ruin one SD-card through user error in the early days of the original Satandisk, but I managed to take it back to the store and get a refund :)
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:19 pm

simonsunnyboy wrote:Today I wanted to add a power lead extension to my SDCard HxC inside the STE to move the device outside of the case.

I first tried with open STE case, connected cabling and the HxC still worked.
I then put the thing together, the leads to the HxC tunneled through the floppy slit and boom ... the HxC somehow did something to my SD card :(

(Yes I should have removed the card but everything was without power when I put the connectors back.)


mhh i am not sure that the hxc is the root of the cause ;) . Look like there was a power short cut somewhere....

simonsunnyboy wrote:
I'll have to digup fresh SDHC cards anyway BUT: is there a possibility the HxC got a problem now? [...]

So any ideas and suggestions welcome!

PS: the hxC reports firmware Revision B at boot.


Yes : The External RAm is powered with the 3.6V regulator. If you see "Rev B" this mean that the uC cannot access it anymore.
The voltage regulator is probably dead. That's why you cannot access any sdcard anymore.
Can you check the regulator output voltage ?

You can find all you need to find the problem and repair the board there :
http://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_driv ... or_Kit.zip

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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:35 pm

I am totally unable to repair anything with SMD things :( Is there anyone I can send it for repair?

*EDIT* As a suggestion for future firmware upgrades, why not display "External RAM IC Error" in this case instead of the less correct "No card"?
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:30 pm

simonsunnyboy wrote:I am totally unable to repair anything with SMD things :( Is there anyone I can send it for repair?


Probably Lotharek.


simonsunnyboy wrote:*EDIT* As a suggestion for future firmware upgrades, why not display "External RAM IC Error" in this case instead of the less correct "No card"?


No cause Rev B board don't have this RAM.

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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby lotharek » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:47 pm

yep, send it for repair please and od not worry - sounds like Vr

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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:14 am

That would be great! Lotharek, I'll email you for details :)

HxC_mounting.jpg


As the device sofar still runs with likely only this regulator blown, can I assume that my cabling is basically ok? I isolated the power cable inside the STE with red isolating tape at the prolonging connection. The 34pin cable goes from socket to socket.

I fear blowing something again if I reconnect a repaired HxC.....
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby simonsunnyboy » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:23 pm

As Lotharek checked my device and it seems fine now, I wonder what was the real problem. Beside checking a fresh SDHC card, I will retry with my strange 1GB plain SD Card. What I am now asking for is: does anyone have a 1GB SDCard in use with the HxC device, with Atari .HFE disks and the autoboot image?

If so, could you please make an image file of it so I can try a known-to-work 1GB card image on my device? For transfers we will find a way.

Thanks for your support, that esp. includes Jeff and Lotharek too!
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby wongck » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:42 pm

I am using a 1GB Sandisk on my SD HxC on my Falcon. (HxC firmeware 1.6.0.0, hardware revision B as well.)
Works on 030 mode as well as 060 mode.
I am using only HFE created by the HxC software on the PC.
I do not run games images from it as I tinker with Mint and I do not use AUTOBOOT.HFE on it.

What software do you use to make an image?
I am on Win 8.
I can make you an image with my normal boot floppy (which is just a normal HFE) inside.
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby simonsunnyboy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:06 pm

I used the Windows GUI converter and the Linux command line tool. However images done with the latter never made it onto my card. Disk images converted from No Fragments with the Windows GUI worked well.
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby wongck » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:30 am

Sorry, I don't get it.
Did you mean an image of my entire SD card or just the HFE image?

I was thinking of entire SD card image, which is 1 GB capacity but with only my 1.44MB boot floppy inside (plus the HxC config files), which makes it just like less than 2MB at most (may be smaller if compressed). I can even remove more files from the boot floppy so it will be smaller. So you apply the entire image to the SD card and it looks like it is mine, to test on your hardware. Only thing is, I do not know what software can do that on Windoze... Norton Ghost?

If you mean the HFE image, I just used the Window GUI version (well I don't have an Linux installation, but you already know that :wink: ).
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:02 am

i mean an image of an entire 1GB SDCard containing only 2 .hfe files for Atari ST use and the configuration file.
The autoboot with the menu and something else to select for a change, nothing more.

A 1GB file which I can write to card with the dd command and which will compress down to 1MB for easy transfer.
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby wongck » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:08 pm

DD for Windoze.... where?
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby wongck » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:57 pm

I found a DD for Windoze.
Created the image file and ZIP it up but it is still 1GB in size. Guess it is not really empty but contains sector information etc.
I tried to upload to you but it just hang at 0%. How to get it to you?
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:10 pm

If it doesn't compress too well, I think the card was never really formatted and still contains old data which is just not referenced anymore.

For a download I would use a shared account, Dropbox or Ubuntu One or something like that...but I still think the image of 1GB card with only 2 images on should compress down to 2 or 3MB at all if the rest is really empty.

In this case, downloading anything larger would be a true waste of bandwidth for nothing.
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby wongck » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:16 am

simonsunnyboy wrote:For a download I would use a shared account, Dropbox or Ubuntu One or something like that...but I still think the image of 1GB card with only 2 images on should compress down to 2 or 3MB at all if the rest is really empty.


You reckon that I should just make a new SD card?
I would do that as I am thinking of updating my firmware anyway (I only have 1 SD card for my Atari, 1GB is plenty of space for me).
The newer firmware v1.7.x.x has more SD compatibility as stated in the release notes plus some Atari bugs fix. :wink:
May be I do it this weekend.
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby wongck » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:02 am

So I reformated my SD and upgraded my firmware to 1.7.2.
Seems to work as normal for my SD.
PM you my image.
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:59 am

Thanks, I got it via PM. As you see, if the card is really empty, the zipped image is certainly not 100s of MB large. This is due to the fact that deleting of files normally only wipes the sector references in the FAT but not the used sectors themselves. If you make an image of all sectors, it naturally images the contents too, even if the FAT does not refer to them.

The same can happen with .ST or .MSA disk images. Take a floppy image, put 600K of files on it and then move all those files to the TOS trash can. After closing the emulator, you can zip up the .ST file and you will see, it will be larger than a few K, even if it has no files on it.
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby wongck » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:29 am

Yes, I know.
It was MicroSlop Quick Format option that was the real culprit, that just zapped the FAT as empty.
Once I deselected the Quick Format option (seems like default "on" in windoze), it cleans out the sectors.
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:22 am

I got my supposedly to be fixed HxC back but now I have strange effects on my STE. I hope they can be attributed to putting the thing badly togther :(

The STE shows 4 bombs more or less directly at startup, it doesn't boot from the HxC although at a third try or so the HxC display atleast showed "AUTOBOOT.HFE" and trying to look at the FAT. It does a lot of beeps and vibrations at startup too.

What worries me even more, if I now connect the old true floppy drive on the connectors, the STE switches the display off (!) and nothing works at all. I had hoped that it still worked with the floppy drive attached.

I will dismantle the STE later today and see if I find any problems with my cabling. But if not, what could cause the 4 bombs now?
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Re: SD Card troubles

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:23 pm

This STE is a strange and fragile beats - I don't know why it worked stable sofar.

On Lotharek'S advice, I measured the voltages on my floppy power supply cable. I obviously flipped +12V and +5V over after a quick measurement so I opened the STE and changed the lead with no HxC and no classic floppy drive connected.

I then powered the STE up with no lid and - I got 4 bombs , every time, after the TOS 2.06 RAM test. I almost gave up but I gave the HxC one go.

I turned everything off, connected the HxC, put the SD card in and powered up. To my amazement, the STE booted up correctly and the HxC works again. I got the flopy selector and I could boot several disks. Sofar I didn't see the bombs anymore.

At the moment, I have the beast running with a simple demo screen, one of the Stax menus which displays stuff and does music. If it doesn't bomb over a running time of 30minutes or so while doing nothing to the STE, I will assume the STE is basically fit again.

But I don't yet know what was the problem to cause the bombs without a drive connected. It is a 4MB STE with TOS 2.06DE. I found a single wire inside that seems to connect at the powersuplly or something but it was always isolated with black tape on the other end. Therefor I always assumed, all is ok and the cable there is ok for being not connected.

In 25 years, the first time that I see very strange happenings with my beloved STs :(
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