MyIDE cartridge setup basics:
This document is intended to assist the neophyte Atari 8 Bit User in setting up an Atarimax MyIDE cartridge on an Atari XL 8 bit computer as a multicart for gaming.
Prerequisites that are helpful would be familiarity with PC hardware (especially the IDE bus) and with MS/DOS and command line executables.
The MyIDE Cartridge is a device that allows you to hook up your 64k Atari 8 Bit computer to a modern IDE device, including hard drives, or, with an adaptor, a Compact Flash Card.
The MyIDE Cartridge supports two major forms of configuration.
You can set up logical hard drives on your IDE drive up to 16MB in size, with a limit of 8 logical drives.
You can also set up the remainder of the space available on the drive as "Image Space" that will hold individual .atr Atari Disk Image files.
The MyIDE cart will support both configuration schemes at the same time. That is, you can have a 16mb Hard Drive partition set up and loaded with executable binaries and you can have image space filled with .atr Disk images.
For this document, we will be discussing setting up MyIDE with a small IDE hard drive using this configuration scheme.
The MyIDE cart is designed with an emphasis on using a physical connection between the 8 bit and a modern PC, and/or having a floppy drive on the 8 bit system. For this example, we're assuming that we have neither.
The equipment required is:
A modern PC with an Internet connection
An Atari 8 bit PC, 64k or better, most likely an XL series.
A MyIDE cartridge from Atarimax
An IDE hard drive, cable, and case to power the drive.
ATR2MyIDE by Nacho Cientos
http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.ph ... opic=86977
MyIDEtool by HiassofT
http://serious-dial.atari.pl/makeATR/pl ... _v0.06.zip
MyPicoDOS image for emulation
I use all of these applications extensively. ATR2MyIDE is the easiest application for copying ATR image files from a PC to an IDE drive prepared by the MyIDE cartridge. It has a clean and intuitive GUI interface and runs under Windows.
MyIDETool is a command line utility, and as such, is a little more difficult to learn and use, but is also a critical application for setting up your MyIDE cartridge to its full potential.
Notes: 8.3 filename conversion without special characters can be achieved by copying .xex and .atr files to a CD and burning with 8.3/no special character filename support.
Preparing your drive:
To start, connect your Atari to your hard drive via your MyIDE cartridge.
Power up the Atari, then power up the hard drive. Once the screen displays that it sees the drive as available, hit FIRE to enter the Flash menu.
Select the FDISK program.
Press N (init), A (auto) and allow FDISK to detect the drive. If the drive geometry is detected incorrectly, use M (manual) instead of auto and enter the correct values for cylinders, heads and sectors.
Press I (image). Enter 1 (one) for Cylinder HiBye. Enter M (Support MD, 1040 sector images).
Press M (make). Enter 1 (drive # 1), enter 65535 (sectors, the largest number possible, 16mb). Enter D (density, double).
Repeat and enter 2, 3, 4, etc for drive number, depending on your drive size and needs.
Press E (exit) and S (save). You'll see flashing colors around the border of your screen, then the MyIDE cart will hang trying to reboot (because there is no OS on your newly created drive).
Creating a Hard Drive Image File:
The next step is creating the Hard Drive image file. You can use either APE or MakeATR for this step. I'm going to use MakeATR for this example.
Open MakeATR, from the Directory tab, click on Create. A new dialog will open. Click Custom. The default # of sectors, 65535 is right for a 16mb hard drive image. The Format at the bottom will give you two options for a drive this size, Sparta or MyDos. For this example, we'll use MyDos. Now click OK.
You'll return back to the Directory tab, and you'll notice additional buttons are now available (Insert and New Directory). Click Save As and title your file whatever you want, for example, "Atari.atr".
To make this a bootable image with DOS on it, we'll now use the Atari emulator, Atari800Win Plus version 4.0. Boot the emulator with MyDOS. Once everything is loaded, select <FILE>, detach disk, disk 1.
Goto <File>, select <Attach Disk>, select Drive 1. Now browse to the ATR image you made in the first step above and click it to load it.
Once the disk is loaded, type <A> to check the directory. You should have no files and 65491 free sectors.
Select H to write DOS files to the disk. Type in <D1:> and hit <ENTER> at the "drive to write DOS files to?" prompt.
After this step, type A to run a disk directory. You should now have two files on your drive, DOS.SYS and DUP.SYS and 65446 sectors free. You now have a bootable 16mb Image of an Atari MyDOS hard drive. Close Atari800Win Plus 4.0.
Open MakeATR again. Select Open from the Directory tab. Select the ATR image you have created (ATARI.ATR in this example). It will take a few seconds for makeATR to process the image.
When it is done, you should see DOS.SYS at 018 sectors and DUP.SYS at 27 sectors in the information window.
You can now use the File Operations menu <Insert> command.
Clicking <INSERT> will open up a browse dialog.
Browse to the folder on your drive where your XEX, BIN or COM files are.
Please note, Atari file format is 8.3 format with no special characters. If you've downloaded your ATR and XEX files off of the Internet, especially as part of an archive file (zip, arc, etc), you may find that your filenames are in Win 32 long format.
The easiest way to convert these to an 8.3 format with no special characters is to BURN the files to a CD image, but in your burn settings, select 8.3 filenames with no special characters. This will vary from software package to software package (e.g., Nero, NTI, Roxio Easy CD Creator, etc.) and is beyond of the scope of this document to discuss.
If MakeATR is complaining as it copies files to your ATR image file, this is most likely the reason. MakeATR will actually open a dialog that says "File name is too long. Use 8.3 chars." If this is the case. Click OK and it will give you an opportunity to change it by hand.
Obviously, this is too time consuming, so use the method I suggest above to automatically convert the long filenames to 8.3 format.
Once you've gotten your files converted, click Insert, browse to your directory, select your files and click OK. You may need to break up your executables into one or more sub-directories depending on how many executable files you have.
Once you've got things set up the way you want, select <Save As> and save ATARI.ATR once more. You now have a 16mb bootable hard drive ATR image file that is loaded with executable game applications and MyDOS.
Making the ATARI.ATR image your 1st Partition on your MyIDE IDE drive.
Now we'll use myidetool to copy the file we've made to the hard drive that we'll be using. This is where things get a little tricky. You'll need some way of interfacing the IDE drive you plan on using to your PC.
Either hook it directly to your IDE bus, or use a IDE-USB external case to interface the drive. You're going to need to know what you're doing for this part, and you should understand how MyIDEtool works very well before you try and do any of this, because you could possibly corrupt your PC disk if you type in the wrong command.
The exact steps are going to vary from system to system, but in general, from a DOS prompt you're going to type SOMETHING like.
C:\myidetool.exe \\.\PhysicalDriveX -p 1 -w ATARI.ATR
Which will copy the ATARI.ATR image you created in the last step to the 1st partition you defined on the hard drive.
Note: One way or another, you're going to have to have your paths correct to invoke myidetool.exe and for it to see ATARI.ATR. You could be in the directory where you saved ATARI.ATR and you could type in the absolute path of the myidetool.exe application, or, easier yet, you could copy ATARI.ATR to the directory where myidetool.exe resides. Again, if you don't understand MS/DOS, command lines, and paths, this is going to be difficult. You'll need to read the myidetool readme.txt file that is included with this application and get a good idea of how myidetool.exe works before you attempt this step.
Attaching IDE drive to MyIDE cart and Atari:
Once you've completed the step above, you should have a bootable 16mb partition 1 on your MyIDE hard drive that also includes whatever EXECUTABLE (.xex) applications you loaded on the image. Best of all, you do not have to actually boot into MyDOS to access and load these apps (and you may, in fact, not want to do it this way). Connect your drive to MyIDE and boot your Atari to the main MyIDE screen. Once you have confirmed that it sees the drive, hit <FIRE> to enter the Flash Menu. In the Flash Menu, select PicoDOS. From PICO Dos, you can browse the contents of the xex files on your Partition 1 and load them by highlighting them and hitting the fire button. You can also navigate and directories or sub directories using PicoDOS.
Copying Image Files to Image Space on the IDE Drive:
The final step is to copy image files to the image space on the MyIDE IDE hard drive. MyIDEtool.exe places some significant restrictions on what kind of file it will copy to image space, and is particular about file size and density. Many of the .ATR images available on the net are "K file" images. These images are made in emulation by loading a ROM or CART image into memory, and then hitting ALT-K to dump the code into a "K File" .atr image. The consequence of this is that while a genuine .ATR image is a certain size (usually about 91k for a standard ATR image), the K-File images are all kinds of different sizes, from about 4k to 32, 64, 78k, or larger. MyIDETool.exe doesn't like this and will choke on many ATR image files.
ATR2MyIDE, on the other hand, is far less picky about this.
ATR2MyIDE is a Win32 GUI application interface, and it is pretty straight forward how to use it. Simply SHOW Discs Available, select the correct disk and confirm that the heads and sectors are detected correctly. Correct this using Device Parameters if it is not detected correctly, use the ATR File Browser to browse to your .ATR image collection, highlight the ATR images you want to add, click OK, and click START to copy them to your drive. Again, your drive must be attached to your PC for this step, either directly via the IDE bus, or via a IDE-to-USB solution.
Once you've got all the files you want added, click START, and go have a cup of coffee. It'll take awhile to copy any significant number of ATR images over. Once you're done, move the IDE drive back to your Atari, and you can access the Image Space by booting into 48k or Basic while holding down the Start button from the main MyIDE menu. My Start button is a little erratic, so I find it is easier to select the Option in FDISK that boots right into Image Partition Space when you select 48k or Basic from the MyIDE main menu.
See the MyIDE documentation for more details about how to configure this.