MDFS::Info.Comp.BBC.IDE Search

BBC IDE Hard Drive Interface

IDE Interface and hard drive

This is a design for a replacement IDE interface that can be used with almost any off-the-shelf IDE drives with ADFS and HADFS. Robert Sprowson was a great help in getting the initial prototype working.

I've kept the design as simple as possible. You can build one youself, or I can supply the interface pre-assembled. The drive can be sat on top or beside the computer, or you can mount it in a case.

The interface has no 1MHz terminators or through-connector, so may need additional termination if you have anything else plugged in. All BBC filing systems use 8-bit sectors, so only half the actual drive space is usable without using specialised software.

IDE Interface ADFS Support HADFS Support

Purchase options

Blank PCB, ADFS ROM £12.00E12.00In Stock
PCB, ADFS ROM and components - self-assembly kit £24.00E24.00Out of Stock
Assembled PCB, ADFS ROM £36.00E36.00Out of Stock
Assembled PCB, leads, ADFS ROM, formatted drive around 200M - just plug in and go. Note:Not outside EU. £42.00E42.00Out of Stock
Sterling prices include UK postage. Euro prices include postage within EU. Payment in Sterling or Euro notes or cheques payable to 'J.G.Harston' drawn on a UK bank. Orders to 70 Camm Street, Walkley, Sheffield S6 3TR. Email me for prices outside the EU. Euro prices are calculated at 100p to the Euro (E1.00 to the pound), rounded to the nearest 10c.


Of course, hardware is useless without any software to drive it. I've patched ADFS 1.50 for the BBC Master to access IDE devices instead of SCSI devices. HADFS 5.30 or later for BBCs and Masters will access IDE drives. I have written HDInit to format drives. I supply the replacement ADFS or HADFS on an EPROM with any IDE PCB, along with a disk with HDInit and other utility programs.

I recommend using HADFS if you want to use hard drives on a BBC B, as ADFS claims a lot of memory, pushing PAGE up to &2100, and needs a 1770 floppy controller to access floppy disks.

05-May-2009: *NEW* HDInit version 1.12 displays full device identity information by default.

24-Mar-2007: *NEW* HDInit version 1.11 initialises HADFS disks and can partition a disk between ADFS and HADFS.

HDInit Drive Initialiser HDInit.txt documentation ADFS 1.53 ROM HADFS 5.50 ROM
IDEDump test program IDEDump.txt documentaion Drive Compatiblity list Drive Identity Data

Related Files and Links

HDInit.ssd 1.12 05-May-2009 HDInit.ssd 45K DFS disk image containing HDInit.
IDEPatch 1.17 23-Feb-2005 22K Patch for ADFS 1.50 to create ADFS 1.53 to access IDE hard drives. Also includes the patch to preserve directory context on Control-Break.
HADFS 5.50   ROM550
HADFS ROM and HADFS system disk.
BBCIDE 0.12 20-Dec-2004 13K Emulated IDE interface for BBC emulators running on RISC OS. Works with Warm Silence's 6502Em patched with my 65Patch and any emulator that implements the external emulated hardware protocol.
coding         Sample 6502 code to access IDE devices.
Specs.htm         IDE I/O port specification.
16bit         16-bit IDE interface. Robert Sprowson translated my design notes for a 16-bit interface into a full PCB. All BBC filing systems use 8-bit sectors, so using a 16-bit interface will not magically double your available drive space. However, if you want to experiment with accessing DOS-formatted hard drives or CR-ROMs you will need a 16-bit interface.
RetroClinic         RetroClinic produces IDE interfaces with Compact Flash card adaptors.

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Last update: 02-May-2009