How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

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How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby alexh » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:31 pm

I need to replace the hard drives on the two Atari Falcon's I bought. I've no experience in doing this.

Do I just attach it and it appears in GEM where I format it?

Or is there some sort of OS I need to install? I've heard of MagiC and MinT but never used either. All I really want to do is play games and demos.

Hard disk drivers? What are they needed for? Does everyone use HDDriver?

Can you prepare a falcon hard drive on a PC using Hatari?

Is there any performance benefits of using SCSI over IDE?

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby kristjanga » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:52 pm

you need to install a driver HDdriver is the best one

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby alexh » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:58 pm

How do you install it? Boot from floppy and it is self explanatory? It partitions, formats etc?

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby asm1 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:23 pm

Alexh

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=18730

I asked in the Hatari Forum about Prepping a CF under emulation for when I get my Falcon.
Apparently Gemulator supports CF and they appear in the Atari Desktop like normal Hard drives.

Benefits of SCSI over IDE ? same as Amiga I guess 0% CPU load :)

cheers

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby wongck » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:39 am

alexh wrote:I need to replace the hard drives on the two Atari Falcon's I bought. I've no experience in doing this.
Do I just attach it and it appears in GEM where I format it?
Or is there some sort of OS I need to install? I've heard of MagiC and MinT but never used either. All I really want to do is play games and demos.
Hard disk drivers? What are they needed for? Does everyone use HDDriver?
Can you prepare a falcon hard drive on a PC using Hatari?
Is there any performance benefits of using SCSI over IDE?


I done this many times and have 3 spare IDE notebook HDD for my Falc.
1. Copy all HDDriver programs into a floppy. Important ones are hddriver.prg and hddrutil.app.
2. Power off (duh!) and remove the old HDD.
3. Insert the new HDD. Make sure it's master IDE (should say how to do it on the HDD itself)
Make sure pins 1 is correctly aligned :wink:
4. Power on the Falc and you see 2 floppy icon only. Insert your floppy.
5. Execute hddriver.prg. You will see flashing on the screen it driver looking for your hard disk.
6. On desktop, click Options>Install drives. Nothing should appear .... you need to partition it :roll:
7. Execute hddrutil.app.
8. Select Harddisk > Partition.
9. You should see your new HDD description, select it. OK.
10. The partition table will display and you may see some PC partitions there.
11. Just overwrite with the partition dimension you want (Falc can see up to 1GB but 1022 MB works better).
12. select TOS compatibility (as you don't swap internal drive :) )
13. You may want to partition 2 extra big partition for Fat32 and Ext2 FS if you are going to use MiNT later.
14. Click OK to begin partitioning and answer remaining question correctly.
15. Reboot your Falc again and run item (5) and then item (7).
You should see a C: patition when doing item (5) or more if you decided to partition more partitions.
16. In hddrutil.app, select FILE > Install HDDRIVER. This will write auto boot on your hard disk.
When ask to select a drive/partition, select drive C:
17. Reboot your Falc.
18. You will see that HDDRiver detects drive C: (and other some partitions if you made them).
19. On your desktop, click Options>Install drives. You will see drive C: there.
:cheers:
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby alexh » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:55 am

Oooh. Ta very much.

What about OS? Do the majority of Falcon users just use the built in Gem? Or MagiC? MinT?

There is the original stock Atari 80Mbyte HDD fitted but it boots directly to GEM and only showing the two floppy drive icons you mention. What are the chances it has just lost it's settings? Should Options->Install devices work?

Edit : No :(

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby wongck » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:17 am

alexh wrote:Oooh. Ta very much.
What about OS? Do the majority of Falcon users just use the built in Gem? Or MagiC? MinT?


If some steps are missing... let me know. But I think you can suss it out on your own as the steps are pretty detailed.

The built in GEM 4.0x can see up to 1GB as mentioned. So you can use that.
I use both good old GEM with WinX as well as MiNT. With MiNT, I get all the FAT32 stuff and networking stuff.
Really depends on what you want to do.
For software developement, as I use Pure C + Pure debugger, I can only use it properly on GEM.
When I do networking, FTP and the odd browsing, I use MiNT.
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby wongck » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:34 am

alexh wrote:There is the original stock Atari 80Mbyte HDD fitted but it boots directly to GEM and only showing the two floppy drive icons you mention. What are the chances it has just lost it's settings? Should Options->Install devices work?

Edit : No :(


It's missing the driver.
You can try the demo of hddriver
or the free icd pro 6.55
or the free cecile (but in French)

I think there is a english version of cecile but I cannot find the url (yeah... again)
Basically the steps for installing different driver will be similar.
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby nativ » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:11 pm

wongck wrote:
alexh wrote:There is the original stock Atari 80Mbyte HDD fitted but it boots directly to GEM and only showing the two floppy drive icons you mention. What are the chances it has just lost it's settings? Should Options->Install devices work?

Edit : No :(


It's missing the driver.
You can try the demo of hddriver
or the free icd pro 6.55
or the free cecile (but in French)

There is AHDI the ATARI Harddrive driver v 6 somewhere on the Atari forum wiki?

I will see if I can knock up a floppy boot disk for you, of one of the free packs. A generic booter. Will be at least a week though!

It's always possible that the config files are corrupt or missing causing the failed boot, or even that IDE is disabled in NVRAM? I think??

If Hard Driver was installed ( I am not sure about others ) you are able to hold CNTRL "drive letter" to Boot from specific drive. I take it you are getting no text appear on boot up?


Regards

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Last edited by nativ on Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby alexh » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:17 pm

No text. It is possible the hard drive is unreadable. I hear it clicking for self check on power up and it seems to spin.

Dunno if it is significant but there is no RAM test displayed at the start. Is this the default NVRAM setting? If not perhaps it does have the hard drive is disabled in NVRAM? How can I clear the settings and is it wise to do so?

Thanks for the offer of the boot disk but currently I've no way of writing it. Someone has offered me a second hand copy of HDDriver 8.23 for €25 which seems a reasonable price.

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby nativ » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:27 pm

alexh wrote:No text. It is possible the hard drive is unreadable. I hear it clicking for self check on power up and it seems to spin.

Dunno if it is significant but there is no RAM test displayed at the start. Is this the default NVRAM setting? If not perhaps it does have the hard drive is disabled in NVRAM? How can I clear the settings and is it wise to do so?

Thanks for the offer of the boot disk but currently I've no way of writing it. Someone has offered me a second hand copy of HDDriver 8.23 for €25 which seems a reasonable price.


Okay

No way of writing? no floppy drives? on a PC?

I can always use snail mail?

I think possibly no RAM check default in NVRAM.

You clear setting's with CNTRL UNDO, They are reconfigurable with NVRAM tools, this was intended as an ATARI engineer feature I believe. On reset the machine will, ( I think ) drop to 40 column display with RAM / ROM test and ATARI Logo.

Regards
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby alexh » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:33 pm

Press the reset button then hold : left ALT + CTRL + right SHIFT + UNDO ?

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby nativ » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:44 pm

Yeah that's probably it. Late night.

It may be the Ide is old and gone anyway.

It doesn't work if you boot leave for a min then warm reset? ( so it has spun up, in theory! )


Regards
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby alexh » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:48 pm

I'll try that too.

Just had a nice surprise. I looked up CA401294-0001 which was written on the RAM card and it's a 14Mbyte one :)

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby nativ » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:52 pm

I keep wishing for 14 MB in my Falcon!

Just found some american supplier of 4*4mb 30 pin chips, hopefully that will work out.


You will rarely use 14MB, unless hopefully you become a musician, democoder or 3D artist. :D

Regards
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby Mal7921 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:24 pm

Have you tried Barrie at www.keychange.co.uk? I got a 14MB upgrade from him a few years ago, reasonable price and apparently faster than the Atari 14MB boards (According to others anyhow)
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Atari 260ST, 520ST, 520ST+, 520STfm
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Atari Falcon, 14MB, 40GB IDE drive

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby alexh » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:31 pm

DJBase, a member here, sells them on here for ~€25 depending on where you live

Image

Last year there was a guy selling them for about the same price over at http://forum.atari-home.de/index.php?topic=5647.0

http://blog.h-brothers.com/2009/07/14-mb-falcon-memory-board/

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby wongck » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:11 pm

nativ wrote:You will rarely use 14MB, unless hopefully you become a musician, democoder or 3D artist. :D

Will need that amount for Mint.
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby wongck » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:22 pm

nativ wrote:There is AHDI the ATARI Harddrive driver v 6 somewhere on the Atari forum wiki?


AHDI is located here at this url.
I personally do not recommend it as it's rather old and may not have lots of stuff implemented (like 2nd IDE HDD support).
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby wongck » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:27 pm

alexh wrote:I'll try that too.

Just had a nice surprise. I looked up CA401294-0001 which was written on the RAM card and it's a 14Mbyte one :)


That sysinfo program I pass to you yesterday will tell you the amount of ST-ram on the 1st page, same page as the Tos version.

I never had a Atari 14MB board. Mine is a 3rd party one, and not as nice as djbase's board.
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby wongck » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:30 pm

alexh wrote:What about OS? Do the majority of Falcon users just use the built in Gem? Or MagiC? MinT?


If you want to use MiNT, I recommend that you make a couple of larger disk partition for FAT32 and Ext2 filesystem.
You can check out how to make the partition from my web page on mint filesystem here http://phsw.110mb.com/sw-e2fs.html :wink:
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby wongck » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:49 pm

On that sysinfo program, press F2 will give you the drive c: etc etc that are available to the Falc.
This is a nice way to check if your HDD partitions are there.
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby alexh » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:19 pm

Thanks for your advice... gonna get it onto floppy drive asap.

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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby Foxxy74 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:26 am

wongck wrote:I have done this many times and have 3 spare IDE notebook HDD for my Falc.
1. Copy all HDDriver programs into a floppy. Important ones are hddriver.prg and hddrutil.app.
2. Power off (duh!) and remove the old HDD.
3. Insert the new HDD. Make sure it's master IDE (should say how to do it on the HDD itself)
Make sure pins 1 is correctly aligned :wink:
4. Power on the Falc and you see 2 floppy icon only. Insert your floppy.
5. Execute hddriver.prg. You will see flashing on the screen it driver looking for your hard disk.
6. On desktop, click Options>Install drives. Nothing should appear .... you need to partition it :roll:
7. Execute hddrutil.app.
8. Select Harddisk > Partition.
9. You should see your new HDD description, select it. OK.
10. The partition table will display and you may see some PC partitions there.
11. Just overwrite with the partition dimension you want (Falc can see up to 1GB but 1022 MB works better).
12. select TOS compatibility (as you don't swap internal drive :) )
13. You may want to partition 2 extra big partition for Fat32 and Ext2 FS if you are going to use MiNT later.
14. Click OK to begin partitioning and answer remaining question correctly.
15. Reboot your Falc again and run item (5) and then item (7).
You should see a C: patition when doing item (5) or more if you decided to partition more partitions.
16. In hddrutil.app, select FILE > Install HDDRIVER. This will write auto boot on your hard disk.
When ask to select a drive/partition, select drive C:
17. Reboot your Falc.
18. You will see that HDDRiver detects drive C: (and other some partitions if you made them).
19. On your desktop, click Options>Install drives. You will see drive C: there.
:cheers:



-Make sure 1 partition is smaller or equal to 31 MB to boot from
-Write the partitions in GEM or BGM (standard Falcon can't read F32 without Mint/Magic)
-
* these I had to learn the hard way,otherwise the Falcon couldnt read the HDD at all!
At point 6, in my TOS (4.04) It says Install Devices instead of Install Driver .

cheers :cheers:
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Re: How to prepare a Falcon hard drive.

Postby wongck » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:40 am

Foxxy74 wrote:-Make sure 1 partition is smaller or equal to 31 MB to boot from


Are you sure about this.... the max partition on Falcon is 1GB.
But I do 1022 MB as it seems to not work if you put in 1024 MB.
All my Falcons are having boot partition of 1022MB.

Go into HDDutil to see the OS limitation.
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