[Coco] OS9 help needed.

Bill Pierce ooogalapasooo at aol.com
Sun Dec 23 13:06:30 EST 2018

Walter, Bob is correct, though there "may" be 40trk descriptors on the modules disk, to use those you have to build another boot. DMode and Cobbler is the easy way to do it. But getting vanilla OS9 working is NOT going to solve your problem as DriveWire4 will ONLY work on NitrOS9!!!

Now, on your previous email about 40trk & DW4...
I had intended to reply, but it was around 3 AM and I wasn't in the mood to do detailed instructions LOL

To make the type of boot you want, you'll need to have a few things set up...

#1. HDBDOS. If you do not have a working HDBDOS rom, then the easiest way is to load it from cassette. You'll need the DW3 enabled version of HDBDOS ("hdbdw3cc3.wav"). There are several way to load this onto cassette or directly into the Coco, so I'll not go into this here. You'll eventually want this on ROM to replace the DECB rom in your controller. All the HDBDOS roms can be found here:


Just unzip the HDBDOS-1.5.zip file and get the "hdbdw3cc3.wav" file.

#2. DriveWire4. No, NOT DriveWire3, but DW4. DW3 does not support 1/10th the features of DW4. It can be found here:


#3. NitrOS9 v3.3.0. You want the disk image already configured for DW4. You DO NOT want to use any release other than the latest/current release of NitrOS9 and you CERTAINLY DO NOT mix/match modules from any other releases of NitrOS9/OS9.
You'll want the one labeled "NOS9_6809_L2_v030300_coco3_dw.dsk". It can be found here:

https://nitros9.sourceforge.io/snapshot/ NOS9_6809_L2_v030300_coco3_dw.dsk

If you are running a 6309, then the 6309 disk can be found at the same location with the same name but 6809 replaced with 6309.

#4. Last but most important of all, you need a DriveWire cable. These can be bought (Cloud9, EBay) or built yourself. If your PC does not have a DB9 serial port, you'll also need a DB9-to-USB adapter ($12-$15 anywhere that carries computer parts).

Now, with all these items ready, we can get started...

First, make sure your DW4 cable is plugged into both the PC & the Coco3, and start DW4 (Coco powered down). It "may" want to download Java (if it's not installed), if so, then you'll have to add this step. DW4 should just take you straight to the download site if needed.
Once DW4 is running, click "Config/Simple Config Wizard".
Click "Next"
Select "Coco3", click "Next"
Now select the Comm Port in which your Coco is plugged into. Click "Next"
Click "Next" as the default port setting will be correct... do NOT alter these.
Click "Next" for the MIDI port (don't worry, you don't need MIDI hardware)
Click "Next" for the virtual printer.
Finally, click "Finish"

DW4 should now be setup for a real Coco 3 :-)

Next, power up the Coco and cload hdbdos from the wav file or cassette and type "EXEC"
You should now be in HDBDOS with a cmd prompt.
In DW4, mount the above mentioned NitrOS9 disk image in slot 0.
On the Coco, type DOS<ENTER>. In just a few moments, you should be booted into NitrOS9 and have full access to double sided, 40 track disks as well as drivewire disk images. Have fun :-)

>From here... you are on your own!!
I do not teach "NitrOS9 101"... yet...

If you have questions, I charge one 6 pack of Bud Ice (bottles only) per question... After 3-4 questions, answers are not guaranteed to be legible... email me personally :-)
Bill P.
ooogaloapasooo at aol.com

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