[Coco] Multipak and Drivewire

Robert Gault robert.gault at att.net
Fri May 15 10:13:24 EDT 2015

Ron wrote:
> Hi Bill, Michael..
> Michael, your timing was perfect with your questions about DriveWire, HDBDOS,
> etc...  I'm in a situation where I'm struggling to figure out how to backup real
> physical floppy disks to my DriveWire 4 system.
> My configuration is as follows:
> Coco 3
> MPI (upgraded PAL)
> Distro Super Controller (I) in MPI slot 4.  EPROM 0 is default, boots to RGBDOS
> and is physically connected to my floppy drives.
> multiFLASH cart in MPI slot 3.  This has HDBDOS "flashed" and allows access to
> DriveWire.
> No matter which MPI slot I select (with MPI selector switch or poke), I am
> unable to figure out the correct combination to allow access to the physical
> floppy drives and DriveWire drives.  I have a pretty good understanding of the
> various (but similar) DRIVE commands needed to enable/disable real vs virtual
> drives.
> I'm wondering if I will need an actual HDBDOS EPROM (for DW) burned and
> installed in a floppy controller cart to access both types of drives at the same
> time.  Am I running into a situation where both carts would map to the same
> address space and I'm unable to use both at the same time?
> Thank you for any help anyone can provide!
> -Ron


Are you sure your report is correct? You say you are using RGBDOS in the Disto 
controller but there is no reason for that as you don't report having a Ken-Ton 
hard drive system.
Did you mean Disk Basic?

Anyway, when running Drivewire HDBDOS, your default configuration at turn on is 
all drives are on Drivewire. As stated many times on this list, there are 
several commands that set the number of floppy drives active vs 256 Drivewire 
DRIVE ON - all drives are on Drivewire
DRIVE OFF - drives 0-3 are hardware floppies
DRIVE OFF n - where n is a number 0-3, n is the last active floppy drive
DRIVE #n - where n is a number 0-255, n selects the active Drivewire drive

Given your setup, set the MPI to slot #4, LOADM a disk version of DW HDBDOS, and 
enter DRIVE OFF. That will give you access to 4 floppies and DW drives 4-255.
It would be easier if the disk ROM in the Disto controller was DW HDBDOS. 
However, I think you should be able to set the MPI to slot #3, and still access 
your floppies if after turning on the system, you may need to set the MPI to 
slot #4 via software but possibly not. You would still need the DRIVE OFF command.


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