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Configuring and setting up

This section deals with configuring your computer, the various configuration settings applicable to IDEFS and getting your computer to 'boot' from an ideA hard drive.

4.1 Auto-detection of drives

At switch on you will see a message at the top of the screen -

    Waiting for hard drive.....

The interface is looking for devices and, after a pause, will declare what it has found. eg. with a hard drive and a CD ROM you should see -

    1 IDE Hard Drive(s) found
    1 CD-ROM Drive(s) found

As drives are automatically detected you do not need to configure the number of drives. Sometimes a drive may not be detected. There are two main causes for this, assuming the drive is working properly.

  1. The drive may be slow to initialise and so not respond quickly enough
  2. Removable media drives may not respond properly without a disc.

The amount of time the interface waits before deciding a drive is not attached is a compromise between waiting long enough so slower drives respond and not waiting so long as to make the start-up process unduly tedious. If a drive is not detected you can override this and make it recognise a drive even though it can't auto-detect it.

First make sure the problem is drive detection and not some other fault. Wait until the computer has started up properly, ensuring that any removable media drives have a formatted disc inserted, then press RESET to re-boot. If the drive is now recognised you can proceed to set the auto-configure override. If not the problem is probably not drive detection.

You must know the device number of the drive. An internal Master is device 0 and an internal Slave device 1. An external Master is device 2 and external Slave device 3. With the Blitz interface 'internal' and 'external' refer to the socket furthest from the edge of the PCB and the socket next to the edge of the PCB respectively.

The command to override auto detection is -

    Configure IDEFSDiscs <n>

Where <n> is a bit mask defining the device number. Therefore -

    Device  0 = 1
    Device  1 = 2
    Device  2 = 4
    Device  3 = 8

These numbers can be added together if more than one drive isn't detected. The default is zero which means that auto detection is used.

Don't try to use the RISC OS Configure to set the number of IDEFS drives. This deals with drives connected to built-in IDE interface, not ideA drives.

4.2 Changing the delay time

The defualt time is 7 seconds, which is a good compromise. This can be varied by a '*' command. If a drive is not detected you can extend this time. Some modern drives may be ready very quickly, and you may wish to reduce the time to speed up the time the computer takes to 'boot'.

Press F12 and type -

    Configure IDEFSStartUpDelay <t>

where <t> is the time in seconds you want the interface to wait.

4.3 IDEFSDirCache

This sets the amount of memory reserved for remembering where files are on a drive. The default value is zero, which means that a size is chosen automatically depending on how much memory is fitted in the computer. Normally this will be satisfactory but you can set a value if you you wish.

4.4 CD ROM drives

These are automatically detected at start-up, but you must use !Configure to set the number of CD ROM drives or do this from command line.

With one CD ROM drive press F12 and type -

    Configure CDROMDrives 1

and press RETURN. Now press CTRL BREAK to re-boot and you should find that when the desktop reappears you have a CD drive icon.

Note that the number of drives configured is the total number of CD ROM drives, not just the number connected to the ideA interface. For example, if you have an IDE CD and a SCSI CD you would need to configure the number of CD ROM drives as 2.

4.5 Booting from a hard disc

If the ideA hard drive is an additional drive and you wish to continue to boot from your original drive then ignore this section.

For a machine to 'boot' from a drive three things must be done.

  1. Set the configure option to tell the computer to run a boot file
  2. The filing system and drive number must be configured to the drive you wish to boot from.
  3. The drive must have the correct OPT setting and contain a valid !Boot file or application in its root directory

To deal with the first item press F12 and type -

    Configure Boot

and press RETURN.

Assuming you wish to boot from an ideA drive you must configure the filing system to IDEFS and the drive to the one you want to boot from. Normally this is drive 4 and this is the default setting. Press F12 and type -

    Configure Filesystem IDEFS
    Configure IDEFSDrive 4

If you have removed an ADFS hard drive you should also type -

    Configure Drive 0

to set the default ADFS drive to drive :0 (the floppy drive).

If you purchased a drive from APDL with your interface or specified that you wanted it to be 'bootable' when you formatted it, it should already have it's OPT setting correctly set, but if not, press F12 and type -

    Mount :4
    OPT 4 2

This assumes you wish to boot from IDEFS drive 4. If you want to boot from another drive you would Mount that drive.

4.6 Spindown

Some drives can be stopped or 'spun down' to save power and noise. The main reason for this is to preserve battery power in notebook computer. Although some 3.5" drives support the feature we do not recommend that you use it with 3.5" drives even if it does work. Modern 3.5" drives are designed to have very long lives and are intended to run continuously. Repeated starting and stopping them can shorten their life. The only time this feature should be used with a 3.5" drive is when the drive is very rarely used and so is not started up often.

The delay can be set from the drive menu. Enter a number in the range 0 to 255. Zero means spindown is disabled, any other number is the delay period in multiples of 5 seconds. If the drive has not been accessed for this time it will spin down. Once a drive has been spun down there will be a delay before it can be accessed as it gets back up to speed, and the length of this delay will depend on the individual drive, but it can be expected to be in the range 3 to 5 seconds for a modern 2.5" drive.

May drives will ignore times less than a minute so if you use a number less than 12 it may not work.

4.7 Password protection

This enables a drive or partition to be protected by a password. There are three levels of protection, Read Only, No Access and Read/Write.

Read Only means that data can be read from the drive but nothing can be Saved to it and existing files cannot be altered or deleted. This is useful for protecting files from accidental or unauthorised alteration or deletion but it does not stop them being loaded or programs from being run.

No Access stops all access to the drive. You will have to enter the correct password when you click on the drive icon before you can access it.

Read/Write enables all normal drive access. As you need to know the old password in order to set a new one, if you set Read/Write protection this effectively stops anyone else (accidentally or deliberately) setting up protection to stop you getting access to your drive.

You must enter a password twice. This is to ensure you have typed it correctly as once a password is set up it will not be possible to unprotect the drive without using it.

When you set up a password it only takes effect the next time the computer is switched on.

Make sure you don't forget your password. If you do you will not be able to use the drive. It is possible to disable password protection but it is very difficult and can only be carried out by our engineers. If you forget your password we may be able to unprotect the drive for you but we reserve the right to charge for this service.

4.8 Use of Password Protection

As well as the more obvious uses this, in conjunction with partitioned drives, is especially useful in schools. If a drive is divided into two partitions and Read Only protection set on one and Read/Write on the other you can then put all your applications, fonts, and other fixed data onto the Read Only partition where it cannot be altered or deleted by pupils. !Scrap and any other data which needs to be changed or modified can then be placed on the other partition.

Unlike most protection systems this is very difficult to circumvent, but make sure your pupils don't know your password and that you don't forget it!

Suggestion . If the computer is used by others, particularly in a school, set a password even if you don't really want one and set access to Read/Write. This will stop someone else setting a password and shutting you out of your hard drive!

4.9 Setting options from the command line

Most of these options and others can be set by * commands. To avoid making this manual too large these are not explained here but if you press F12 and type -

    Help IDEFS

you will be shown all commands concerned with the ideA filing system and you can then get help on specific commands.

The various * commands are also described in detail on the Utilities disc.


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