Struggling with outdated drivers and tools for Atari 16/32 bit computers is frustrating. When it is about an up to date driver and powerful tools for maintaining mass storage devices Atari users rely on HDDRIVER. Be it TOS, MagiC or MiNT, be it ACSI, SCSI, IDE or SATA. No matter which drive and which capacity: With HDDRIVER you fully exploit the capabilities of your Atari (there are more than you might think), not only with respect to drive capacities and partition sizes In contrast to other drivers the software is continuously developed further. The current release is version 11.11 from 5/12/22.
The HDDRIVER software package offers much more than only the driver. It includes a set of maintenance tools with a user-friendly interface. Formatting, partitioning, copying, configuring, testing and much more - no problem at all. Media changes with removable media drives or memory cards are detected automatically. HDDRIVER supports all fully Atari compatibles and many emulators. With Hatari or ARAnyM you can even directly access native devices under Linux from within the emulated Atari.
Besides hard disk drives HDDRIVER supports removable media drives, e.g. Syquest, ZIP, JAZ, MODs, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, GigaFile or UltraSatan. Media changes are detected automatically and reliably.
On the part of HDDRIVER there is no upper limit for the capacity of mass storage media. With the ACSI bus in order to use more than 1 GiB of capacity an ICD compatible host adapter or an ICD compatible device like the GigaFile or the UltraSatan are required. TOS, MagiC and MiNT limit the usable capacity to 2 TiB (2048 GiB). Tools like HDDRUTIL or DISKUS support 64 bit sector numbers and thus can access even larger media.
Rewritable optical media (DVD-RAM, DVD+RW, BD-RE) can be used without additional software for storing data on a regular TOS filesystem. Simply use the DVD writer of your discarded PC as a backup drive for your Atari data!
With HDDRIVER it is child's play to exchange data using removable media/memory cards, without additional software or inconvenient cable connections. In combination with MagiC or MiNT this even works with long filenames and very big partitions (FAT32). Additionally, with MiNT and HDDRIVER you can access Linux partitions (EXT2). HDDRIVER supports both the legacy MBR (Master Boot Record) and the modern UEFI GUID Partition Table (GPT) partitioning scheme and thus is fit for the future.
HDDRIVER is entirely coded in assembler. ACSI, IDE/SATA drives and memory cards profit from settings for extra fast data transfers. Owners of a Thunder IDE interface can boot HDDRIVER into TT-RAM, which considerably boosts the IDE transfer rate and saves valuable ST-RAM. Optional blitter support also results in a higher IDE throughput. With the multitasking operating system MagiC SCSI and ACSI transfers can run in the background.
AUTO folder programs like FOLDRxxx, CACHExxx, JARxxx, POOLFIX3 or SCSIDRV are obsolete, which speeds up the boot process and keeps the AUTO folder clean. The functionality of these programs is included in HDDRIVER. Because HDDRIVER can execute the AUTO folder and accessories from any partition by pressing a key, a boot selector is often unnecessary.
For HDDRIVER data security plays an important role. The data transferred are optionally verified in order to detect errors when writing data. Selected partitions can be write-protected, which is a good protection against accidental changes. Important areas of a drive (root sector and boot sectors) can separately be protected against unintentional changes. If a device supports a self-test, it can be triggered by simply a mouse-click.
HDDRIVER is more than just a driver. A set of tools with a graphical user interface completes the distribution. Media can be formatted, devices can be configured, and self-tests can be executed. Drives can be parked (automatically) and media ejected, the read/write protection of ZIP/JAZ drives can be configured. Storage media can completely or partially be copied, e.g. in order to create backups or to exchange data. With many optical drives storing data on DVD-RAM, DVD+RW and BD-RE media with TOS filesystems is supported. Complete media or single partitions can be saved as image files or loaded from image files, and much more.
An accessory and CPX modules provide for conveniently managing numerous settings, without you having to be a hard disk wizard.
HDDRIVER supports the SCSI Driver interface for a unified access to peripherals. This open software interface is not limited to SCSI devices and is used by a range of other drivers and applications. Optical SATA drives innately use SCSI commands anyway, for IDE and SATA hard disk drives HDDRIVER emulates them. This means that any application can access IDE, ATAPI and SATA drives as if they were SCSI devices. HDDRIVER's SCSI Driver supports 64 bit sector numbers, so that drives > 2 TiB (2048 GiB) can be addressed with their full capacity. Additionally, HDDRIVER supports the complete set of functions defined by the XHDI standard.
With MagiC, MiNT or Big-DOS and HDDRIVER up to 31 drives and big partitions can be managed. Single partitions can be mapped to the drives A: and B:.
Features like booting from any partition, SCSI initiator identification and bus arbitration (for a maximum of compatibility with the SCSI standard) can be taken for granted with HDDRIVER.
While the development of other drivers has been abandoned, the HDDRIVER software package is still actively maintained. The scope of delivery includes a detailed printed English or German manual. In case of questions users get support by the FAQ, by email or in the HDDRIVER forum. The free Hddriver News app ensures that you stay up to date.