Atarimax Ultimate SD Multi-Cart for the Atari 5200
Advanced SD Multi-Cart for Atari 5200 Game Systems
©2015 Steven J Tucker
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Chapter 3: Formatting your SD Card
Supported Memory Card Types and Formats
The Ultimate SD Cartridge onboard CPU can read MMC, SD and SDHC memory cards formatted in the FAT or FAT32 filesystem.
While FAT and FAT32 filesystems are typically found on Windows computers, Linux, Mac and other systems can also format cards using this standard. Mobile devices that support SD cards such as MP3 players, phones and digital cameras will typically format SD and SDHC cards in these formats as well.
All other filesystem types (Ext3, NTFS, HFS+, etc) are not supported and will not be recognized by the Ultimate SD Cartridge.
Mini SD and Micro SD cards can be used if placed in appropriate SD card sized adapters.
Formatting a Memory Card for FAT/FAT32 using Windows
For most SD cards, FAT32 will be the default filesystem type assigned when the card is formatted.
To format the card, simply right-click on the SD card drive icon in Windows Explorer and select 'Format'.
In the 'File System' dialog, select 'FAT' or 'FAT32' only.
All other options can be left to default settings.
Formatting a Memory Card for FAT/FAT32 using OSX
When formatting your SD card in OSX, be sure to choose MS-DOS (FAT) as the desired filesystem.
After formatting your card using Disk Utility, check the volume information to verify the filesystem is now FAT or FAT32.
Preparing your formatted card for use in the Ultimate SD
The Ultimate SD cartridge expects to find its menu software and your program/game images in the \5200 folder in the root directory of your SD card.
To obtain the latest menu software, visit the Firmware Update Thread in the forums here.
Unzip this archive to obtain the latest menu software in the file SD5200.STO.
If it does not already exist, create a folder called '5200' in the root directory of your newly formatted SD card.
Place the menu software file, SD5200.STO in the \5200 folder.
Place the SD card in your Ultimate SD cartridge and power on the system to boot the menu software.
Placing ROM images on your SD Card
By default, the menu software on your Ultimate SD cartridge will always boot up in the \5200 directory of your SD card.
You can navigate to any part of the SD card, including back to the root directory, using the on screen menu.
An easy way to organize and access your ROM images quickly is to create one or more subdirectories in the \5200 folder to hold your ROM images.
For example, you could create a subdirectory as "\5200\ROM Images (A-F)" and place all of your rom images starting with the letters A-F in there.
Once you have placed your ROM images on the card, just select the directory from the on-screen menu and press FIRE on the Atari 5200 controller to display its contents.
The Ultimate SD menu software supports nested directories of any depth up to 512 characters in total length, so feel free to organize your rom images and directories as you see fit. No special 'menu files' or menu creation is required, the Ultimate SD cartridge will dynamically read the filesystem contents and display them using the on-screen menu.
Because sorting lists of long FAT32 filenames is a tedious operation for an embedded CPU, I recommend you keep the number of ROM images per directory to less than 100 files, even though the menu software will support up to 512 files per directory.
If you need to have a directory with a large number of files, you can greatly speed up display of the directory contents by disabling directory sorting in the cartridge options menu.
You can always access the cartridge options menu by pressing '*' on either keypad.
With sorting disabled, reading even a full directory of 512 long FAT32 filenames will take less than one second. Enabling sorting will slow directory display times noticeably after you reach about 100 files or so per directory.
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