Re: Oh my aching fingers -- this is a long reply

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This message was posted by The Dumper, posted on July 12, 2001 at 03:21:08 coming from 216.127.80
This message is a reply to Disk Dual Help Needed posted from Jigsaw posted at July 12, 2001 at 01:32:37
> Here's my situation. I bought a Disk Dual used and I am having trouble getting it to work with both my PC and SWC DX2. I have not yet formatted my hard drive, as I am unable to get my computer to detect the Disk Dual even after installation. What do I need to do to configure my system to detect it? Why wouldn't my SWC DX2 detect the hard drive? DO I need to format it first? Any help would be appreciated.

> Jigsaw

The DiskDual is a box with a parallel to IDE/ATAPI converter chip in it. Pretty much any IDE/ATAPI CD-ROM drive should work with it. Unfortunately you have to be a bit more selective with a hard drive if you want to use it with your DX2 and PC.

It may take some effort to set up the DiskDual the first time you use it but it's worth the effort. I don't know everything about it but I'll relate what I do know and how I set up my DiskDual. The DiskDual uses FAT16, not FAT32. If you want to use it with your DX2 it has a 2GB limit on the space the DX2 can "see". You can buy a drive bigger than 2GB but the DX2 can only use 2GB of the space. Windows can use the part of the
drive above 2GB if you load the supplied driver.

Now on to the important stuff: most importantly the DiskDual doesn't work with a drive that has more than (from memory) 4095 cylinders. If you have a drive with more cylinders than that hopefully it comes with a strapping option to limit the number of cylinders. I used 10G-13G Maxtor drives and they have a cylinder limit jumper (which isn't listed on the drive itself, you have to download the installation manual from Maxtor). Some other drives come with similar options, but unfortunately I think not all new drives do so check.

OK, so I got my drive strapped for 4095 cylinders or less. I decided I wanted to load my drive on my PC and then put it in the DiskDual. I chose this method because even though you can load your HD in the DiskDual from the parallel port in Windows this would be really slow and I'm not even sure the DX2 could read the files transferred this way.

Prepare all the files you want to transfer to the new drive and put them in a directory somewhere, probably with subdirectories under the main directory to make it easier to navigate the files when you're done. Keep in mind that you don't want to have more than 8.3 names for these files or you'll be screwed when it comes time to copy them to the HD for the DiskDual (because you'll then be in real DOS mode). Also keep in mind that when the DX2 displays these file names there is no "." in between the 8.3 name so if you name a file "DEMONSCR.EST" in DOS it will show up as "DEMONSCREST" on the DX2. Remember these aren't zip files, they are SMC format files (with an SMC header) but you don't have to use a .smc extension on them when you name them.

Put the drive in the PC (strapped for slave if it's a secondary). I use Win 98SE. If you use Win 9x you MUST (let me stress MUST) do all your work on the new drive from "Restart in MS-DOS mode" (Start/Shutdown/Restart in MS-DOS mode). A DOS box in Windows doesn't work, it will store filenames in long filename format even if you have short filenames. Don't try to hit F8 on boot and pick MS-DOS because I think that's still the Windowized version of DOS. Boot Windows and then shutdown to "Restart in MS-DOS mode".

Now you are in MS-DOS mode. Run FDISK to partition the drive (say "no" to large disk support). Select the maximum size partition (2GB) for the first partition. I think I made my first partition active but this may not be necessary. You may create other partitions up to the size of the disk but you'll only be able to use these partitions in Windows, not on the DX2. Now I think it asks you to reboot. You must again boot into Windows and then shutdown to "Restart in MS-DOS mode".

Format the partitions you just created (you are still in MS-DOS mode aren't you?). Copy the previously prepared ROM files to the first partition on the new drive. You should only have 8.3 filenames showing up here. If you see long filenames you're not really in MS-DOS mode -- start over.

Power down the PC and transfer the drive to the DiskDual. Connect the DiskDual the DX2 and you're ready to go!

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