Author: shalroth (cpc10-seac22-2-0-cust612.7-2.cable.virginm.net)
Date: 04-27-2014 05:26
Well. It works well.
I got a cheap generic CF-IDE adaptor and put a 256MB card in it. I had to set the jumpers to the 'slave/master' position but there were only two options and one of them was bound to be right. The arrangement of the cable meant that the end connector with the shorter distance to the middle connector was the one attached to the Falcon, the middle connector goes to the IDE Disc and that left a long run of cable for the adaptor. It may be possible to run it out of the case to make it an external device, but I won't ever make any mechanical modifications to my stock Falcon, it's sacred. There's plenty of power available for both devices.
HDDriver (worth the money, I urge every serious A16/32 user to buy it) spotted the card right away (after I told it to check IDE 1&2 not just 1). I partitioned the card to be compatible with TOS 1.6 and Windows (I got a warning that my partition scheme would only work in MiNT and MagiC at first - not sure how I fixed it but I did somehow) by simply dividing into four partitions to match my HD. It didn't even need formatting, and was ready to use immediately on reboot.
I transferred the contents of the hard disc to the card (most of it at least - the card is too small) using GEM at first, but later using MagiC. Then for the true test - I put the card in a USB read into my Mac - and all four partitions appeared straight away with all files intact.
It's definitely a project worth considering, and it should cost less than £60. Most of the cost is HDDriver, but it's well worth it, Dr. Seimet is a wonderful person and it's quite possibly the last piece of serious Atari Software to be maintained and actively supported. At the moment I'm just relieved to have finally been able to back up fifteen year's worth of files (some of them huge) but I can foresee this being useful as an aid to upgrading to a bigger hard drive (I'm going to do this and replace my 524MB disc with a 4GB disc, using flash as a transfer medium) or even just going fully solid-state - which I may consider.