Atarimax Logo

Atarimax "MyIDE+Flash" Cartridge

IDE Interface System for Atari 8-bit Computers with Flash BIOS - 08/20/2006

©2006 Steven J Tucker


Please Note:

The "MyIDE+Flash" has been supersceded by the new MyIDE-II CompactFlash Cartridge.

Both the "MyIDE+Flash" and "MyIDE Internal Upgrade" kits are still available for purchase while supplies last.


<-- Introduction
Back to Main Page
Chapter 2 -->

Chapter 1: MyIDE+Flash Quick Start Guide

Setting up and initializing your Hard Disk for its first use.

Video Tutorial

Click on the picture to see a video
of these steps being performed.

(requires free XviD codec for playback)

Setting up your MyIDE device for the first time is similar to setting up a PC hard disk for the first time.

Before you can boot from your IDE device, we will need to create partitions by using the FDISK program included with your cartridge, then format those partitions with MyDOS and write DOS system files to your partitions so they can be booted.

Connect your Hard Disk, IDE Flash Module or Compact Flash adapter to the IDE port on your MyIDE+Flash interface.

Power up Atari first, allowing the system to reach the built in MyIDE boot menu.

If your IDE device requires external power, power on the device now and wait for "Drive is Ready" to appear on the Atari's status display.

Your MyIDE+Flash cartridge has a number of built-in programs that can be accessed by selecting "3/Fire/Maxflash" from the IDE Boot Menu.

Press "3" or access the Maxflash menu.

Select the "Mr Atari's FDISK" program from the on-screen menu.

To initialize your IDE device for the first time, select the INIT menu option using "n" on the keyboard and select "A"uto to allow FDISK to determine the correct parameters for your device.

If for some reason FDISK cannot identify the parameters for your device, you can use the "M"anual Init option to enter the Cylinders/Heads/Sectors for your device and continue with initialization.

Now we will create a hard disk partition to use as drive #1.

Press "M" to Make a new partition. For the purposes of this tutorial we will make it the maximum size of 16MB.

Enter "1" for the drive number, then enter "65535" for the number of sectors and "D"ouble for the density.

The on-screen menu should now show one partition of 65535 sectors in the right hand column.

You can return to FDISK later to add more partitions or set other options.

We will now save the partition table to the IDE device and exit by selecting "E"xit from the menu and "S"ave when prompted.

At this point the MyIDE OS will attempt to restart, booting from IDE partition #1. Since there is no data on partition #1 yet, the computer will probably just stop with the MyIDE BIOS revision displayed at the top of the screen.

At this point the MyIDE partition table has been written and you can power off the Atari and prepare for the next step, making your partition bootable.

Making your first partition bootable by writing MYDOS to it.

MYDOS Disk Utility Package

Making your partition bootable requires writing DOS system files to the partition using a DOS that can recognize and boot from hard disk sized partitions.

For the purposes of this demonstration we will be using MyDOS 4.53, which is an excellent Atari DOS compatible that can recognize and use partitions as large as 16MB each.

Loading MyDOS requires booting it from an APE/SIO2PC connection, or from a floppy disk.

Click here to download the ATR disk image of MyDOS 4.53 suitable for use with APE.

Insert the MyDOS disk or disk image into drive #1.

Turn on the Atari to reach the MyIDE boot menu, making sure your IDE device is ready.

MyIDE will be default attempt to boot from hard disk partition #1, but just this once we want to disable that and force the computer to boot from our MyDOS 4.53 disk or disk image.

To do that, press "SHIFT+CTRL+D" on the keyboard to disable access to the MyIDE hard disk partitions.

Now, making sure floppy drive #1 is ready, press options "0" to boot with BASIC disabled. Your Atari computer should now boot from the floppy disk or disk image in drive #1 and the MyDOS 4.53 utilities menu will appear after a moment.

Now that MyDOS has successfully been loaded into memory, we want to re-enable access to the MyIDE partitions.

Press "SHIFT+CTRL+R" to re-enable the MyIDE partitions. A short flash may be seen on screen when this happens.

We must now re-configure MyDOS to properly recognize partition #1 as a hard disk and not the floppy disk it was booted from.

To do this, press "O" to select the MyDOS 'Configure Drive' option.

MyDOS will prompt you for some information about your partition. The correct answers for the purposes of this tutorial are:

Q: "Remove Drive?"

A: "N"o

Q: "Is Drive Configurable?"

A: "Y"es

Q: "High Capacity Drive?"

A: "Y"es

Q: "Drive size (in sectors)?"

A: "65535"<return>

You should now be back at the MyDOS command prompt and we can proceed with formatting of the partition and writing of system files.

Format partition D1: using DOS. (Press "I", "1" <return>, "Y"). This will perform the high level format of your partition and write the DOS file system structure to the partition.

Write MYDOS System Files to your Hard Disk partition to make it bootable. (Press "H", "1" <return>).

Setup and initialization of your first MyIDE partition is complete.

The next time you boot your Atari with the MyIDE interface inserted you will be able to boot directly from your hard disk!

Normal Hard Disk Boot

MyIDE+Flash Boot Menu

Insert MyIDE+Flash interface into the cartridge slot of your 64K Atari XL/XE Computer.

Power up Atari and wait for the MyIDE boot menu appear.

If your IDE device requires external power, apply it now and wait for the 'Busy or Locked' message to change to 'Drive is Ready'.

Make boot-choice from the on screen menu to boot your Atari from the hard disk. Options will vary depending on the boot rom you have installed in your cartridge.

Important Hot Key Combinations Active while using MyIDE

Note, these keys are active at all times that the keyboard interrupt is enabled.

These additional options are also available when booted from an ATR in the image partition.

Copying ATR image (games, etc) to the Image Partition.

Video Tutorial

Click on the picture to see a video
of these steps being performed.

(requires free XviD codec for playback)

If you have set up the 'image space' on your IDE device, you can copy whole floppy disks or disk images to this area and boot them from the IDE device.

To access the image space menu, boot your IDE device normally, then hold START and press RESET. The MyIDE image space menu will appear.

It is also possible to access the image space menu from the MyIDE boot menu by holding down START while selecting your boot option. For example holding down START while selecting "0" to boot without BASIC enabled will go directly to the image space menu instead of booting your hard disk partition.

The image space menu will appear as a 4 digit image slot number, followed by the options '<' 'C' 'B' 'N' '>'.

Use the joystick to navigate the image space menu right and left and move the joystick up and down over a number to select a different image slot.

Press fire to activate a menu option.

Image mode options:

To copy an image from a real disk (or SIO2PC connection), place the disk to be copied in SIO drive #1 and activate the MyIDE image space menu.

Select the slot number to fill using the joystick, the default is '0001'.

Move the joystick to the right and select the '>' option. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to do this, answer 'Y'es or 'N'o.

After copying is complete you will be returned to the image space menu.

Booting an existing image from the MyIDE Image Space

To access the image space menu, hold down START while selecting your boot option from the MyIDE boot menu.

For example, "START+0" to enter the image space menu with BASIC disabled.

The image space menu will appear as a 4 digit image slot number, followed by the options '<' 'C' 'B' 'N' '>'.

Plug in a joystick in port #1 move the joystick up and down over the numbers to select the image to boot.

Move the joystick to the right to select the 'B'oot option, then press fire to boot the selected image.


<-- Introduction
Back to Main Page
Chapter 2 -->