Image Map Image Map
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Atari ST Meagfile 30 question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    465

    Default Atari ST Meagfile 30 question

    Received yesterday another Atari, 1024 STf, eBay purchase. Included in the sale was a Megafile 30, for which I have no documentation and no practical experience. I do have a power cord and a data cable (19 pin) but before I apply power I'd like to ask for some guidance.

    Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

    Thanks,

    -CH-

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    465

    Default

    Found HDX utilities here: http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/Diskutils/

    Found documentation here: https://archive.org/details/ataristmanuals

    -CH-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4,757
    Blog Entries
    38

    Default

    The Megafile 30 is an RLL hard disk controller that hangs off the DMA port. The utility floppy contains the tools for partitioning and formatting the disk, plus enabling autoboot when you turn the machine on.

    That being said I personally have awful luck with RLL drives and the miniscribe in my megafile right now is 50% bad sectors.
    = Excellent space heater

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    libtard capital, California
    Posts
    969

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NeXT View Post
    The Megafile 30 is an RLL hard disk controller that hangs off the DMA port. The utility floppy contains the tools for partitioning and formatting the disk, plus enabling autoboot when you turn the machine on.

    That being said I personally have awful luck with RLL drives and the miniscribe in my megafile right now is 50% bad sectors.
    Depending on vintage, some megafiles have an ACB4000/4070 bridge between the drive and ACSI board. 50% bad sounded like head failure.
    Last edited by dorkbert; October 14th, 2017 at 10:26 AM.

  5. #5

    Default

    I own a Megafile 30 too which has not a single bad sector. If you want to completely re-init the drive (LLF, partitioning, formatting), let it first run for 10 minutes or so so that it reaches its operating temperature. The Megafile 30 had serious calibration issues when temperature changes so especially LLF should not be done when the drive is cold.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4,757
    Blog Entries
    38

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dorkbert View Post
    Depending on vintage, some megafiles have an ACB4000/4070 bridge between the drive and ACSI board. 50% bad sounded like head failure.
    No, it started at only a dozen bad sectors and just got worse each time I formatted it


    I'd expect nothing less from a Miniscribe.
    = Excellent space heater

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    465

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dorkbert View Post
    Depending on vintage, some megafiles have an ACB4000/4070 bridge between the drive and ACSI board. 50% bad sounded like head failure.

    Found this posting about use of ACB 4000 bridge: http://www.adsb.co.uk/bbc/winchester/

    Never seen one or heard of one 'til you mentioned it. I read recently that the Atari ASIC interface was like SCSI in terms of command syntax but different in signal voltages (inverted?) I gather that the Adaptec bridge (to ST-506 signals) enabled the use of ST-225s and such. In other words, who knows what's inside the box? Guess I'll have to check and report back.

    Also got a nice SF 314 that appears to be in good shape; clean and not sticky. Got the power supply for it but no data cable (14 pin DIN). Anyone got a spare or am I going to DigiKey again?

    Thanks for your replies.

    -CH-

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    465

    Default

    Connected the drive, SM monitor, mouse and CPU together. Powered up the peripherals first, then the ST. Machine booted from ROM, displayed monochrome desktop, responded to mouse input.

    Megafile 30 power light came on and drive spun up. No indication of presence of drive at the Atari desktop. I don't know whether that's due to lack of software, a configuration issue or indicative of a hardware problem.

    Took the cover off the Megafile 30, found an ST238. Interior of the case was clean, no evidence of leakage. Picture attached.

    Found a 14-pin DIN cable from Atarifreakz in UK.

    -CH-

    Megafile30.jpg

  9. #9

    Default

    If you don't get it working, how much do you want for it AS-IS?

  10. #10

    Default

    Those MiniScribe 3.5" MFM/RLL drives are awful. They were already problematic 20 years ago, and finding a fully working one today is a rarity. A Seagate 5.25" RLL drive will usually be much more reliable.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •