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Quad-density Autoboot disks?


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- a gamedos (with menu for multiple files): MypicoDOS by HiasSoft (for 360k we have BiboDOS, SuperDOS, MyDOS compatibility, afaik all higher formats are MyDOS only); if you prefer SpartaDOS format there is Micro-Sparta DOS...


- a bootloader (no menu, loads only one ML file): PicoBoot by HiasSoft for DOS 2.x disks, for Sparta and compatibles there is Boot.COM (on the SpartaDOS, BeweDOS, RealDOS disk)




(includes MyPicoDOs and Picoboot)



(Micro-Sparta-DOS 4.5 and 4.6)

Edited by CharlieChaplin
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Thanks for a quick reply. MyPicoDOS looks like the way to go. Going through the forums, I rediscovered this thread by kheffington:




I'm wanting to do something similar to the HDD images he made, but scaled down to a few XF-551 disks filled with favorite games.


Not sure how I missed out on the existence of Micro-Sparta-DOS...it looks like a nice alternative.


I was also trying to figure out this XF551 Utilities Disk found in the Page6 library. It may be obsolete software these days.

I'm not sure what DOS file structure it needs/wants for 360kb disks, but it seems interesting. NDOS?





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N-DOS or Nano-DOS converter by Stephan Baucke was/is a gamedos from 1984 for DOS 2.x ML-files (named *.COM, max. 18 files/entries in the directory, the rest was used by the gamedos). It works with 90k (DOS 2.0) and 130k (DOS 2.5) disks, maybe with other DOS 2.x versions also - but it is limited to max 128 Bytes per sector and thus does not work with double density. Nevertheless, Nano-DOS was extremely popular here in Germany, every PD-library and thousands of pirate copies did use Nano-DOS (most of the so-called "file-versions" of former boot tapes, boot disks and carts were loaded with Nano-DOS)...


When 180k and 360k floppy drives and enhancements became available, many programmers tried to make a gamedos similar to Nano-DOS but with 180k and/or 360k support. The gamedos on the XF551 utility disk is such a gamedos, it uses DOS 2.x format (MyDOS or BiboDOS compatible). But afaik, this XF-gamedos uses the XF551 speeder and if I remember correctly, when you initialize a diskette with this gamedos (first copy the programs, then write the gamedos onto the disk), it will work fine with an original XF551, but it will not work with other floppy drives, since it always tries to use the XF551 speeder and crashes or hangs if it is not available. So, if you only use an XF551 and never swap disks with other Atarians, this will not cause any problems - but if you also use other floppy drives or swap disk with other Atari users, better use another gamedos... (The sectorcopy program on that XF utility disk is the fastest one I have seen so far for the original XF551 drive and its XF-highspeed mode.)


MyPicoDOS has a highspeed version available, that supports Happy, Speedy and XF551 as well as floppy drives without speeder, so it will work with any floppy drive (use it with your XF and it supports XF-highspeed, use it with Happy or Speedy and it will support ultraspeed, etc.)... it even has a key to switch highspeed/ultraspeed mode off...



- gamedos for DOS 2.x format (MyDOS, BiboDOS, SuperDOS, etc.)

- supports 90k to 16MB

- supports MyDOS subdirs

- works with various speeders (highspeed version)

- requires 30-40 data sectors on the disk (a file named PicoDOS.SYS will be written onto the disk)

- supports "long" filenames of up to 40 chars.


XF-gamedos (from XF utility disk):

- gamedos for DOS 2.x format (MyDOS or BiboDOS)

- supports only 180k and 360k

- works only with XF551 speeder (XF-highspeed)

- hides itself in the boot and directory sectors (therefore does not require any data sectors, just like Nano-DOS)

Edited by CharlieChaplin
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Ok, I made a 1440 sector autoboot game disk using Matthias Reichl's excellent DIR2ATR from AtariSIO tools V0.30.

It should be possible to write the image out to any double sided double density physical media, although I haven't tried. ;)


This disk has MyPicoDos405B (barebone version: no highspeed SIO / MYDOS format), long filenames with 25 different Pacman games.


It's probably not a big deal for those who have been making such disks for a long time, but I am happy to have learned the process!


The next exercise on my learning curve will be to make something similar using MicroSpartaDos.


Thanks CharlieChaplin for posting all the useful facts here. kheffington's thread also helped greatly.


Disk is attached, tested on real hardware last night with SIO2PC USB and RespeQt.

DSDD-Pac-Games Disk.atr

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Maybe "SUPERBIN" - 3-sector loader from SuperDOS and loaded with L-command AUX.SYS...

They say that SuperDOS knows all disk formats.


SuperDOS knows XF-551, (but needs 12 bytes Config Block to be read from XF-551 or another drives [NOT 810 and 1050]!)

As Atari800WinPlus does not know what is XF-551 then we can not load SuperDOS 5.1 at all.

We can load SuperDOS 4.3 instead ...

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Maybe "SUPERBIN" - 3-sector loader from SuperDOS and loaded with L-command AUX.SYS...

They say that SuperDOS knows all disk formats.


SuperDOS knows XF-551, (but needs 12 bytes Config Block to be read from XF-551 or another drives [NOT 810 and 1050]!)

As Atari800WinPlus does not know what is XF-551 then we can not load SuperDOS 5.1 at all.

We can load SuperDOS 4.3 instead ...

So does SuperDos 4.3 have Quad-density support?

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Hi there, walter_J64bit!


Your question is as well interesting as very difficult for me.


I'll try to say that I achived some 5.1 - 3.4 interability (DOS loaded successfully), but I can NOT say that Atari800WinPlus is fully operative with it.


Here is a lot of screenshots.

At first, we are in Altirra environment. And Altirra knows XF-551!

And we are in 4.3 DOS!!!


We are trying X options of formating!


Here we are skewing sectors!

You can see here that ERROR- 139 achived...


Another trying...

Without skewing!

Seems like... ALL DONE...


An now we'll try to check If it's so. In 4.3 environment.


Here we can see that 4.3 shows that density is Double but not 2 (Quad!)


Anyhow we can load the first side from DSDD disks without problems but what to do with seciond side?


It's better to work with Altirra or Real HW!




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5.1 environment shows in Altirra 2 density!

And you can see recorded!!! DOS files and... 000 free sectors after...


I think that 4.3 knows only DD disks and can reed only one side of fully prepared DSDD disks.

And that X (in 4.3) means Clearing DIR-file without formatting all disk!


Thus only 5.1 with Real HW/Altirra! If you want DSDD to be achived!


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