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MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:25 pm
by duncan
Having decided to give my Q60 a spruce up by transfering it from the original now ageing beige box to something smarter in black I also decided to replace the ageing noisy hard drives with something quieter.

I got a pair of 'small' 120GB solid state SATA 3 disks with IDE to SATA bridge boards.

The little SSD hard drives work perfectly and silently but when I partitioned them with MKpart_exe the program would not accept any given size for the 4th partition except "the rest of the disk". Which actually was the 4GB smsq/e limit for hard disk size.

What puzzles me is that the 2 disks that were being replaced both had 4 partitions of 255MB exactly and both hard drives had a capacity greater than 4GB in size originally.

I don't remember how I did that originally. This time I merely over wrote the entry in the patition table for the 4th partition with the correct size and formatted it.

Is there a version of MKpart_exe that allows the correct size partitioning of all 4 partitions of the Atari hard disk format for disks greater than 1GB in capacity?

Is there any reason in smsq/e that the limit of 4 partions from the Atari format need to be retained? The actual partion table is very simple - 4 12 byte entries giving type, location and size but located at a fixed position in the first sector of the drive at $01C6.

Any/all answers gratefully received
Cheers

Re: MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:58 pm
by Derek_Stewart
Hi Duncan,

It is great that the Q60 is working.

The MKpart programme is not very good in my humble opinion. As you said, the programme allows 3 Primary partitions of any size, but the 4th Partition is the rest of the drive.

I supplied the Q60 with a 10Gb Hard Drive, if the MKpart was used, there woukd 3 x 256Mb partitions and 1 9.25Gb Partition, clearly silly situation. I never used MKpart, for inflexible partition sizes produced.

I used to load Shoestring Linux from CDROM disk and use atari-fdisk, which allowed any 4 Parimary partitions of any size and can label the partition to QWA, so SMSQ/E can format the QWA partion.

I really wanted a QL version of atari-disk, but it seemed a little hard to get the source code to compike on the Q60 under SMSQ/E.

I used to image the Q60 hard drive setup, with Shoestring Linux and save over a Ethernet connection to a Raid server. This allowed me to produce a standard Q60 10Gb hard drive setuo with SMSQ/E aplication software and Linux installation.

If ther is another way, I would be interested in the details..

Re: MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:07 am
by mk79
No idea about this Atari stuff, never had a need for it. But as far as I know the latest SMSQ/E for Q40 now also supports QLWA ("QXL.WIN") container files on FAT32 discs, so maybe Atari partitions aren't needed anymore.

Re: MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:11 am
by duncan
Hi Derek,

Thanks for the reply. I was never able to get shoestring linux up and running on my Q60. I have had a RPi for a few years now and thought to use it to partition the disk with atarifdisk, but alas atarifdisk is obsolete software on the RPi linux side and not supported. The simplest way to get what I wanted was to use Wolfgang Lenerz's WinEd to edit the size of the 4th partition to the correct size.

I imagine it should be possible to either using WinEd or a SBASIC program to write a saved image of the first sector of correctly sized partions to a disk and then format them, thereby avoiding MKpart_exe.

Cheers

Duncan

Re: MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:25 am
by duncan
Hi Marcel,

You are correct, the latest SMSQ/E for Q40 now also supports QLWA ("QXL.WIN") container files on FAT32 discs, but the Q60 initially boots from a rommed version of smsq/e which I think in the case of my Q60 is 2.95 or thereabouts, so no "QXL.WIN" container support on first boot as the latest smsq/e is installed from disk which is also convenient as it is freqently updated.

So basically since I need at least 1 partition on disk I wanted as many as I could have, ideally 8 but the atari partion format scheme as implemented appears only to support 4, and MKpart_exe annoyingly will only create 3 valid partitions.

I plan to use the 2nd SSD to carry "QXL.WIN" files as I believe now upto 16 can be installed, but not all in use at the same time.

Cheers

Duncan

Re: MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:42 am
by bixio60
Hi,
since when I decided to move to SSD, with my Q60, using mkpart was always complicated.
My old classic HD had 3 partition: 2 atari and one for Linux and all was fine, as soon as i moved to ssd using mkpart always created issue (I forgot what issue i had because it is a long time ago)
My strong personal suggestion if to move to the new QLWA on Fat32 that works perfectly, obviously you must also upgrade the rom to the latest SMSQ/e

Fabrizio

Re: MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:49 am
by Derek_Stewart
HI Duncan,

SMSQ/E v2.95 is a very old version, I thought all the Q60 ROMed versions of SMSQ/E were v2.98p, as there was an issue with v2.98, which I can not remember the exact details.

I prefer to have the Q60 soft loading the the main operating system, this gives more flexibility on which system is required: SMSQ/E, QDOS Classic, Linux.

I did have a look for the source code to atari-fdisk, but it seems to unavailable, most Linux distributions do not support it, due the age and usage of the application.

Pity the MKpart_exe source code was not available for possible updated changes, maybe a quick disassemble would be in order.

Re: MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:00 am
by mk79
duncan wrote:You are correct, the latest SMSQ/E for Q40 now also supports QLWA ("QXL.WIN") container files on FAT32 discs, but the Q60 initially boots from a rommed version of smsq/e which I think in the case of my Q60 is 2.95 or thereabouts, so no "QXL.WIN" container support on first boot as the latest smsq/e is installed from disk which is also convenient as it is freqently updated.

So basically since I need at least 1 partition on disk I wanted as many as I could have, ideally 8 but the atari partion format scheme as implemented appears only to support 4, and MKpart_exe annoyingly will only create 3 valid partitions.
Or just get a cheap EPROM programmer like a TL866II and be done with it ;)

All the best, Marcel

Re: MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:36 pm
by duncan
Hi Marcel,

Or just get a cheap EPROM programmer like a TL866II and be done with it


Had a look at the other thread "Q40 & Q60 Roms" it looks like hard work and I think I will leave EPROM programming for the experts.

Hi Derek, yes you are correct my Q60 does have smsq/e 2.98p in the rom. I think 2.95 might have been the version I had on a Q40 when I had one.

Cheers
Thanks for the advice.

Duncan

Re: MKpart_exe for Q40 & Q60

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:10 pm
by Derek_Stewart
Hi Duncan,

I used to programme the Q60 roms with SMSQ/E v2.98p, but I updated this to SMSQ/E v3.10 which was the last version to fit into the roms.

But now there can be compressed roms images, which I have been a little remiss in not producing the roms for the latest SMSQ/E.

I will see if I can get the Q60 motherboards I have working and try the compressed roms.

I have dissassembled MKPART, which only took 10 minutes with DISA, just need to understand it all