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Saving files to disk drive emulators


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Unlike some other makes, the Atari computers don't have any access to drives without DOS or a special driver loaded. The special driver is mainly used for software that doesn't need all the features provided by DOS.


Most versions of DOS are booted from D1: at power-up, there is also SpartaDOS_X which is ROM/cartridge based.



Edited by BillC
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I mount a blank ATR in slot 2 then point writes to D2: for saves. I'm pretty sure double density size support for ATR images is broken in current firmware for SDrive2 ARM, so you will need to use single density or 1050 enhanced density sized ATR images with that device.


Easiest way to make a blank ATR is to copy over and rename one of your existing ATR images with a PC. Name it something like 'blank.atr'


Mount a DOS boot disk image in slot 1 on the Sdrive2 ARM, new blank.atr image in slot 2, boot the atari into DOS. Format D2: from within Atari DOS. Done.


If I recall correctly, many of the application and utility softwares will let you specify D2: as your save file target..i.e. word processors, data base, etc.

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How do I "mount" a blank ATR file? Do you mean establish a folder and give it that name."blank.ATR".


Okay, basics: a file with the extension ".atr" or ".ATR" is - in Atari-speak - a file that is formatted in such a way that Atari emulators, peripheral device emulator software like RespeQt, AspeQt, or APE/ProSystem see it an Atari disk. Not a file on a disk, the actual disk itself. In reality, it's a file that acts as a sort of container for Atari-format files and data contained inside it. But to Windows, OS X, or Linux, the .ATR file is just a file like any other.


So, to use a new .ATR file with your software or hardware device, you first use a program to create the new .ATR. I have no idea how anyone else does it, but any Atari emulator or peripheral emulator has an option to create a new disk image. When you do that, you're creating the blank "disk." You then need to format that disk in your DOS of choice. Some software lets you do that directly without booting DOS on your Atari or emulator. It basically builds a formatted disk image file.


Anyway, when that's done, you have a blank disk image, your .ATR file, that your Atari or emulator will see as a fresh disk ready to use for whatever you want. For example, using Altirra you can open up the menu for disk drives, click the little arrow-looking button next to one of the drive slots and build a new, blank disk image right there. From the pop-up that appears, you can create your .ATR file of any size/capacity you want, and leave it blank to be formatted by the emulated Atari system itself, or build a pre-formatted .ATR file in any of several file systems.




You can also create a disk image in RespeQt, though you can't build it pre-formatted - you'd have to take the new blank disk file and use your Atari to format it:




Once you create this .ATR file, however you do it, you simply move it wherever you need to move it for whatever you need. In my case, I might create this file on my PC using Altirra, do some stuff with it in emulation - format it, create some files in Altirra and save them to that .ATR file - then move that file to an SD card to use in my UNO Cart, copy them to a CF card to use with the SIDE loader and my SIDE2/Ultimate 1MB in my 1200XL, or simply move them over the network to the Raspberry Pi which I have connected to my Atari as a disk emulator.


So long story, short: an .ATR is seen by your Atari, your emulator or peripheral emulator as an actual disk. You can think of it as a container file, much like a ZIP file, that has other files inside it. You can make blank ones in several different ways, format them however you like, then move them around and use them just like software versions of real disks.


Hope all this helps!

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