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Ultimate1MB+Side2 Issues


Gohma
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Hello friends,

I have gotten ahold of the U1MB and Side2 combo from lotharek, and have gotten the U1MB installed without any issues. I have been getting a disk error whenever I try to copy files from my computer onto the CF card. The card I have is a 32gb Sandisk card, but reformatting multiple times on my computer with different blocksizes for FAT32 has been unsuccessful. If there is any documentation that I could read through to get this set up and working, I'd love to have it. But as far as I can tell everything is installed correctly, I just can't get this card to work. icon_confused.gif Any ideas what it could be?

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Hi. No DOS drivers on the Atari 8-bit currently allow writing to FAT partitions. The SpartaDOS X FATFS.SYS driver remains read-only for now. You can, of course, write ATR and XEX files to the FAT partition using your PC's card reader and then mount/load those files using the U1MB's built-in loader.

 

On the subject of hard disk preparation, you might read the APT user's manual:

 

https://www.atari8.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/APT-Software-Manual-4th-Edition.pdf

 

In the same website's "firmware" section you'll also find completely rewritten firmware for the U1MB, although you should probably thoroughly acquaint yourself with the "theory of operation" first.

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Hi. No DOS drivers on the Atari 8-bit currently allow writing to FAT partitions. The SpartaDOS X FATFS.SYS driver remains read-only for now. You can, of course, write ATR and XEX files to the FAT partition using your PC's card reader and then mount/load those files using the U1MB's built-in loader.

 

On the subject of hard disk preparation, you might read the APT user's manual:

 

https://www.atari8.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/APT-Software-Manual-4th-Edition.pdf

 

In the same website's "firmware" section you'll also find completely rewritten firmware for the U1MB, although you should probably thoroughly acquaint yourself with the "theory of operation" first.

Hello flashjazzcat, thank you for the reply. My issue (which I should have described a bit more thoroughly) is that my compactflash card cannot be seen by the Side2. I've been trying to get it recognized so I can update the firmware as described in your manual on updating the U1MB, so I can reformat with fdisk on the atari itself and use the side2 as a hard disk. Is there anyway I could verify that this card is 100% compatible with the Side2 in particular? I have access to a PC and a cf reader, but I'm scratching my head as to why this card refuses to work.

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OK. I assume you're using the original BIOS (multi-coloured logo and a small white menu on a black background which should appear when you hold down the Help key and then press Reset). If so, you need to enable "SIDE Hardware w/button", save the settings, then reboot. This step enables the built-in PBI BIOS which actually drives the SIDE cartridge's IDE interface. Once that's done, FDISK should pick up your CF card and prompt you to initialise it.

 

There isn't really a user guide for the original firmware (aside from the hard disk side of things, which is covered in the document to which I previously linked), but we should at least be able to get the CF card prepped such that you can perform any updates you decide to carry out.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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Well, I'm back from work and trying out what you've said. You are correct in I have the original BIOS, which I set to SIDE hardware w/button. But, when I do that. I get the SpartaDOS in the U1MB, not from the SIDE. If I set it to SIDE hardware without/button, it accesses the SpartaDOS in the SIDE, but I get a generic "disk error." When I go into fdisk anyways, I get Enumerating devices... for seemingly indefinitely.

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Unfortunately I do not have an SIO2SD or PC. When I switch the switch back to up, it opens up the SIDE loader but says "No partitions!" Even though I do have a FAT32 partition on their loaded up with the updater for the U1MB. The SIDE loader version is 1.29 if that helps at all, thank you for the help so far!

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Nope, it came with your alternative loader. It's got the same general layout as the pictures I've seen of yours, so I assume yours came preloaded onto it.

 

That's interesting. Did you purchase it direct from Lotharek? EDIT: Well, it seems you did.

 

As for the partition issue: if FDISK isn't recognising the device even when the PBI BIOS (Side Hardware) is enabled, I'd venture that this is a hardware issue with the chosen CF card. The card doesn't have to be pre-partitioned in any way beforehand: FDISK will create an MBR, FAT and APT once the driver recognises the media.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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I'd hazard to guess it's the cf card as well. I'll return it and get another to see if it's the issue. I got both directly from lotharek, will report back if there's any issues with the new card. Thanks for running me through the steps though, I wanted to make sure this wasn't some benign issue that could be solved with a switch flip or keypress at start up.

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Thanks for confirming. One thing: you should be seeing the "old" loader when you press "L" inside the BIOS setup menu (since the U1MB apparently has the original firmware on it, and the SIDE2's ROM is completely redundant when used with Ultimate). I'm just thinking that the "alt" loader on the SIDE cart may not be compatible with the original PBI BIOS on the Ultimate board.

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I do get into the original SIDE loader no problem, but even in there it says FAT32 partition not found. Multiple reformats on my computer got me nowhere so I definitely think the card in the issue now.

 

Having gone through something similar when I got mine... yeah, it's likely the card. A lot of them seem to be non-standard. I went through the same thing until I found a card that worked and then everything just did what it was supposed to with no fuss.

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Do you have the name of the one that ended up working for you Lord Thag? I would like to order the right one this time, I bought my 32GB Sandisk because it was the only one available locally, 32GB is overkill for the atari so I'd like to size down.

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Do you have the name of the one that ended up working for you Lord Thag? I would like to order the right one this time, I bought my 32GB Sandisk because it was the only one available locally, 32GB is overkill for the atari so I'd like to size down.

Sure. You want to stay away from the newer cards, anything with 'extreme', 'ultra' or anything of the sort. No super fast access speeds or modern features. Stick with older, bog standard Sandisk cards, 2gb preferably, but the older standard 16gb ones work as well (that's what I use). Amazon has them occasionally, but ebay is a good source too.

 

That said, sometimes a bad PC format will screw up a good card too.

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