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Compact Flash card initialization

For work with hard disks or Flash storage cards they must be first initialized - partitioned, formatted. Here I will give instructions and software for initialazing CF cards for work with CF_LBA ROM   . LBA has benefit that no disk geometry setting, so with one ROM you will be able to work with many different CF cards.
I made simple programm for partitioning CF card to 36 areas, A-Z and 0-9. Files go in areas by begin letter.
cfinit pic

In programm is predefined how many promile of disk space goes for each area. Ratios are defined by experience - there is much more game name beginning with S than with Q, for instance. It may be corrected, but not from programm. Programm will not work good with very small disks - 8 or 16 MB. It may produce zero lenght areas. Such disks should be initialized 'manually', there is source code on site. Areas 0-9 are intended for work, temporary files.
The programm, name may be Whole Disk Init, in TAP and Z80 format: WDINIT   . To make start easier, I prepared same programm on hdf disk image INITME - put image on CF card with hdfgrab (from hdfutils - get it on RamSoft site). It requires CF-IDE adapter and DOS.
For most of people better way is USB card reader and Windows XP. In same archive is file 'initme.raw', what is headerless version. Programm Drive Image can write sectors to physical disks under Windows XP.  It works with USB and other drives, you may attach CF card via card reader or CF-IDE adapter. Use it verry carefully, it may destroy whole hard disk datas.
Select attached drive, usually USB is last, and marked as removable. Never select Drv. 0 - it is your main hard drive with Windows! Click 'Write to drive' button.  drimifs  Select file initme.raw, from above link, and programm will write it to attached drive, after warning. It will report about data amount written: drimifWith it, media is ready for run init on Speccy.
Btw. work in Windows XP is much-much faster than work with hdfutils in DOS. Drim works with USB card readers, PEN drives, IDE hard disks and probably with SCSI ones (not tested). I cloned whole 128MB CF card to image file in 54 seconds. Must have admin rights to read/write on drives in XP. Drim works not in Win 98/Me.

Then attach CF card to Speccy via IF, enter: CLEAR 29999  |  LOAD "a"  |  RUN  .  Disk will be initialized in less than minute.

There is more comfortable initalization on PC with new version of Drive Image: Usage of Drimg.      It can init new BigSector formats too.

Limitations of filesystems: max size of 1 area is 32 MB (because of 16 bit sector addressing - similar as by old DOS). With new BigSector ROM it is 64 MB. It means that 32 MB x 64 = 1.1 GB may be filled with old FS, and 2.2 with BigSector one..
Keep in mind that on 128 MB can put 3000-4000 programs.

Image file with couple hundred good classic 48K games and some utils:  StartPack - 6 MB rar archive, for 128MB disks.

PP