Atari MegaFile Hard Drive Replacement

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Atari MegaFile Hard Drive Replacement

Postby sniperstorm » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:19 am

What kind of drives can I replace in a Megafile 30? I want to go larger much larger in the gig range. Any ideas?
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Postby Greenious » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:28 am

Megafile 30 uses MFM/RLL harddrives.

The largest of these drives were never even close to gb size, so you will never be able to go there with these.

The alternative, of course, is to rebuild it with a SCSI interface.
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Postby Chandler » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:08 am

forget it - megafiles are the worst hard drives ever made for the atari - MFM or RLL drives and it's real picky what ones you use in it - if you can find any of course......

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Postby Lando_C » Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:33 am

I have quite recently been in this neighborhood..
you need to know the geometry of your new drive mechanism and put that in a WINCAP file, for AHDI to be able to format/partition the drive. but MFM drives are rarely ever over 150 megs in size. I am looking for a SCSI interface atm..
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Re: Atari MegaFile Hard Drive Replacement

Postby calimero » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:48 am

Can anybody list which drive should work with Megafile controler?

or at least to give me some guidelines... :)


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Re: Atari MegaFile Hard Drive Replacement

Postby Lando_C » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:20 am

RLL drives are the ones with two edge connectors, one larger and one smaller, plus power connector. they are almost always in 5.25 inch size, full, half or quarter height. they ahould be rather heavy and noisy, and come generally in 5, 10, 20 , 40 ,80, 100, 150 megs sizes. They are quite rare because they are old and were expensive, so few were sold. If you do fins one, you will need to know its exact geometry and create a decsiption entry for it in the (hdx drive desciption file) to be able to reformat it and use with ahdi. Don't take chances with this, you need to know what you are doing, because there is no protection for wrong values, and that could damage your drive by smacking the read/write heads into the center or off the disc/into the case if you try to seek beyonjd the limits of the particular disk by entering wrong values ( i.e more tracks that there actually are )
UK 1040 STF, SE kbd, SE tos 1.04, gotekHxC+floppy B internally, ATX psu on the side
DE Mega 1
SE Mega 2, no keyboard
SE Mega ST 4
Megafile 20 with 2 MFM drive mechanisms (80+20 meg) in hacked case, ATX psu on the side
Megafile 30
Megafile 60
SH 204
SM124, SM125, Samsung SyncMaster 930mp 19 inch 4:3 lcd tv rgbscart and VGA for STHIgh
PC Intel i5 8G ram many disks
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Re: Atari MegaFile Hard Drive Replacement

Postby 1st1 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:07 pm

I never have seen MFM or RLL drives bigger than 40 (MFM) and 60 (RLL) MB. Maybe those bigger drives you have seen were ESDI drives, they used to have the same connectors, cables but different controllers, and they could have had much bigger capacity than the MFM/RLL-Drives, I had one with 320 MB in my PC. ESDI was more advanced technology and much more expensive and mostly found in servers and highend workstations at that time - but still cheaper than SCSI. All opf these kinds of drives were available in 5,25 full and half height and in 3,5 ich half height. My 320 MB ESDI drive was a 5,25 inch full height drive. If there were bigger RLL drives as I told here, they must have been quite unpopular as at that time as already the first IDE drives appeared on the market, starting with 20 MB. In my memories they directly replaced the MFM/RLL drives with these *from today seen* small capacities much below of 100 MB. Anyhow, when Atari introduced the SH- and Megafile series of drives with MFM or RLL drives they have been the state of the art. The problem was, that Atari was setting on these drives for a too long period of time. When the PC marked already completely changed to IDE and SCSI, Atari still was using RLL drives.

For nostalgic I still like these MFM/RLL drives which are not much more intelligent as a floppy drive. Downstairs in my collection I still kept a few if it would be necessary to replace or add one into my Megafile. Next winter I might try to revival my so called "c't Billiglösung", that was a project of german c't magazine back in year 1986 or 87. That was an adapter for ACSI to 8 Bit ISA and an Omti 8210 MFM controller from PC/XT. It was not really ACSI compatible, but with a driver from bootsector of a floppy disk it could then boot from the harddrive. It's still there, with my first two harddrives ever, the very slowest harddrives of the world, two pieces of Olivetti Lexikon 20 MB MFM-drives. 10 years ago I powered them up the last time, they still went into ready state after spin up.
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Re: Atari MegaFile Hard Drive Replacement

Postby calimero » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:33 am

Thanks for explenation!
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Re: Atari MegaFile Hard Drive Replacement

Postby Dark Willow » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:04 pm

I second the "don't bother" approach. A few years ago I had Megafile 30 die, and looked and MFM-RLL replacement drives, but it was far cheaper to get a SCSI or IDE host adapter, or get another Megafile if you want something simple (no host adapters etc.) Bear in mind though that all the Megafiles are old now, so using them for anything critical is begging for trouble.
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Re: Atari MegaFile Hard Drive Replacement

Postby Nikolas » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:41 pm

Ultrasatan -mmc/sd card reader/writer connects to acsi works wery good.
I have atari "shoe box" 20 meg. And is not for todays usage :)
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Re: Atari MegaFile Hard Drive Replacement

Postby calimero » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:57 pm

well... I plan to make video series:

"what went wrong?" where I will compare Atari, IBM and Apple technology at 1980s so I need original working MegaFile :)

for now, my megafile still works :)

(I put some hydrogen on it - I want to bleach plastic, to look new as much as possible :) )
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