SuperDOS 5.1 (with manual)

SuperDOS 5.1 (C) 1988 Paul Nicholls

SuperDOS 5.1 - Screenshot 01

SuperDOS 5.1 – Screenshot 01

  • All densities
  • Manual included on disk

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 08:45:13 +1000 (EST)
From: Mark Perry <mperry AT cairo DOT anu DOT edu DOT au>
Subject: Superdos docos!
To: Tim <timuszyn AT cse DOT utoledo DOT edu>
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII


SuperDOS V5.1 was designed for the more advanced user who needs a DOS
with true double sided, double density operation. The aim was to keep
the program short and powerful. Until now Atari DOS 2 seemed to be the
most convienient DOS to use but was only capable of single density and
was memory inefficient. Other double density DOS’s are available but
they use heaps of memory or are extremely slow because you need to load
a file to perform each function.

SuperDOS combines many functions (and more) from some of these giant
DOS’s into an easy to use, menu driven DOS needing slightly more memory
than Atari DOS 2.0S but using seven sectors less on the disk and therefore
taking less time to load. With 64K RAM XL/XE and all SUPERRAM models,
DUP is hidden in RAM under the OS or in the ramdisk and available
imediately with NO loss of the resident program. The 256K SuperRAM ramdisk,
plus 130XE, Axlon, Bucholtz, Newell, Peterson and RAMbo ramdisks are

1. SuperDOS for Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/65XE/130XE computers, Atari 810,
1050, XF551 and compatible disk drives.
2. Single, Enhanced and Double density plus double sided, double density
3. Handles up to 4 disk drives plus a ramdisk plus up to 8 concurrent files.
4. Auto density enables SuperDos to automatically configure to the density
of the disk in the drive.
5. With auto density you can copy files from single to double density (or
vice versa) with only one drive.
6. RESTORE deleted or open files, either from SDUP menu or BASIC with XIO
7. Use upper, lower case, inverse characters or numbers even as the first
char of a filename.
8. Short SYS files allows maximum use of disk space and memory.
9. Variable XL/XE key delay and repeat rate.
10. Ramdisks: SuperRAM & Peterson with 256K, 130XE with 64K or Axlon,
Bucholtz, Newell, or RAMbo with 180K. Enables instant loading of files.
11. Autoload all files with “RAM” filename extenders from drive one to the
ramdisk during boot process.
12. With SuperRAM or 64K RAM, SDUP is available the instant you type DOS and
the resident program is saved. No MEM.SAV waiting.
13. Use single keystrokes to list drrectory or select items.
14. Copy to or from casstette “C:” device using long or short IRG. Copy all
SYS files except DOS.SYS using wildcards.
15. A verification prompt message gives you a chance to change your mind
about copying a file.
16. Write DOS.SYS file only or format a disk with skewed sectors using
SuperMAX, US Doubler or Atari XF551.
17. Copy sectors and display bad sector numbers. Copy only the used sectors.
18. Option to format destination disk during disk copy. It formats in the
same density as the source disk.
19. Enter sector numbers in hex or decimal. Default is hex use # for decimal.
eg #370.
20. Write with or without verify. Toggled from SDUP menu.
21. Drive status (density, sides) is displayed on top of the screen above
SDUP menu.
22. Concise menu with plenty of room for directory listings. There are 2
columns on dirs.
23. Annoying Atari 4 line scroll removed.
24. A red screen border indicates next operation may write to the disk.
Purple for format.
25. A red or green screen border to indicate write or read in next operation
of copy file disk or sectors.
26. A binary save that even saves carts.
27. A copy from DOS 3 using 1 or 2 drives and wildcards.
28. SuperBIN – a boot program to display a menu of file names and load and
run the bin file you choose.
29. Display the conmfiguration block of drives. (not 810 or 1050)
30. Trace and link data of files and patch around bad sectors.
31. Option to display deleted or open filenames.
32. Alter the number of open file or drive buffers from the AUX menu.
33. Choice of resident or non-resident SDUP. Enables instant access to DOS
menu on 400/800 or option to disable the ramdisk.
34. SUPERBAS – an AUTORUN.SYS file to display a menu of BASIC programs to
load and run.
35. I/O defaults to the ramdisk if one is available.
36. Use ESCAPE when booting to format a ramdisk leaving all normal 130XE
banks free (requires 128K)

There are 4 standard disk formats used by SuperDos, Atari and Atari
compatible disk drives.
1. (S)INGLE – 720 sectors of 128 bytes. 810 format.
2. (E)NHANCED – 1024 sectors of 128 bytes. 1050 format.
3. (D)OUBLE – 720 sectors of 256 bytes. SuperMax, Us Doubler, Happy format.
4. (X)TENDED – 1024 sectors of 256 bytes. SuperRAM, 130XE & Peterson
5. (2) SIDES – 1440 sectors of 256 bytes. Atari XF551 format.

Works the same way as DOS 2 with these extra steps:

1. During the boot process (after about 5 sectors) a test is made for
SuperMAX or Atari XF551 and the baud rate is adjusted.
2. With 64K RAM XL/XE, the “SDUP.SYS” file is now loaded and hidden in the
RAM under the OS or in the ramdisk.
3. With SuperRAM, the 130XE or other ramdisk, the ramdisk is initialized
(if ESC was pressed the 1st 4 130XE banks are not used) and all files with
the “.RAM” extention are copied to the ramdisk.
Press BREAK to abort it.
4. Continue as DOS 2. Load and run “AUTORUN.SYS” and pass control to
cartridge or SDUP.SYS.

The same thing happens no matter how much RAM your Atari has.

1. A check is made to see if “SDUP.SYS” is still intact in RAM under the OS
OR in bank 2 of the SuperRAM ramdisk OR it is in the resident program
area. If it is then the DOS menu appears instantly.
2. If SDUP.SYS in not in RAM then it is loaded from drive 1.
3. If the disk in drive 1 does not have SDUP you are returned to the calling

At the top of screen you’ll see the status line. It indicates which drives
are available and the density of each of them.

At the prompt “SELECT ITEM OR RETURN” the following commands are available.
Only one keystroke is required.

#1-4 List the directory of drive 1 to 4.

#5-8 List the contents of the ramdisk.

A. DIRECTORY Also may be used with the ramdisk. The directory listing may
have some info you have not seen before.
“- DELETED .TXT 014” Deleted file
“? OPEN .TXT 000″ File opened but never closed.
” 011″ This file uses sectors beyond 720 and
only available in Enhanced density or
2 sided.
Use the /N option to skip OPEN and DELETED files
(eg “D1:*.*/N,E:”)

B. CARTRIDGE XL/XE users have the option of enabling or disabling BASIC.

C. COPY FILE Copy AND duplicate file. A red or green border will indicate
the next read/write operation.
1. You may enter one OR two filenames seperated by a comma.
a. Enter one filename for one drive copy. eg “D:TEST”
b. Enter two filenames for two drive copy.
eg “D1:TEST,2:TEST”
c. Enter two filenames (one or two drive copy) to APPEND
or RENAME while copying.
2. Auto-density configures SUPERDOS and the drive to the
density of the DISK in the drive. You can then copy
between densities with one drive.
3. The cassette “C:” device may also be used. The default is
short IRG (Inter Record Gap). This is the same as BASIC’s
CLOAD and CSAVE. To specify long IRG use /L.
eg “D:TEST,C:/L” copies the file from disk to cassette
using long IRG.
4. Wildcards may be used in both source and destination
5. All “SYS” files except “DOS.SYS” may be copied using
6. The wildcard mode displays the verification prompt “TYPE
“Y” TO COPY – D1:TEST”. Press “Y” to copy the file or any
other key to go onto the next file.
7. To use the wildcard mode to copy all the matching files
after the first “Y” response enter the /N option in the
destination filename. eg “D:*,2:*/N”
8. To use the wildcard without any verification prompts enter
the /N option in both filenames. eg “D:*/N,2:*/N”

D. DELETE Same as DOS 2

E. RENAME You can rename using wildcards. “*.DAT,*.BYT” renames all the
files with the extender “DAT” to “BYT”. However, you still
need to be careful not to specify a file that already exists.

F. LOCK Same as DOS 2

G. UNLOCK Same as DOS 2

H. WRITE DOS You can write both “DOS.SYS” and “SDUP.SYS” or “DOS.SYS”
only. Just follow the prompts.

I. FORMAT You may select the formatting density: Single, Enhanced,
Double, Extended or 2 sides. Follow the prompts.
1. You can only format with skewed sectors in Double or 2
sides with the Atari XF551 or in Single or Double density
if your drive is fitted with SuperMax or the US Doubler,
thus allowing extremely fast read/write speeds.
2. The Enhanced density format is compatible with DOS 2.5
but with 1011 free sectors. (Dos 2.5 doesn’t use sect 720)
3. The 2 sides format is upwardly compatible with standard
DOUBLE density. (ie the files and free sectors on side 2
are invisible to single sided drives.)
4. You may format the ramdisk, as you would a floppy disk,
but memory requirements limit the type of format. If you
pressed ESC during the boot process then you must reboot
if you want to recover the reserved 64K. See NEW DISK
COMMANDS for ramdisk formatting details.

J. DUP. DISK Copy disk or sectors. Unlike DOS 2 this option copies ALL the
used sectors of a disk. It even copies boot disks. If all the
bytes of a sector are the same value then the sector is not
1. If no sectors are specified then the entire disk is copied
and you have the option of formatting the destination
disk. The formatting density is taken from the source.
2. If sector numbers are entered then only that range of
sectors is copied.
3. If any disk erros are encounted you’ll see the message
“BAD SECTOR – XXX “Y” TO RETRY”. A “Y” will retry as many
times as you want or any other key will continue with
the next sector.
4. You may copy disk or sectors to or from the ramdisk
provided your ramdisk can match the density of the disk.
5. You may enter sector numbers in hex or decimal. (Default
is hex, use “#” to specify decimal. eg #370)
6. A red or green border indicates the next read/write.

K. BIN. SAVE Same as DOS 2. Memory addresses may be decimal. eg #20788.
You can even save roms without error.

L. BIN. LOAD Same as DOS2

M. GO ADDRESS Memory addresses may also be decimal.
1. If you type RETURN only, you can run at the address of a
previously loaded binary file. Note: the run address is
destroyed when the program area is destroyed.

N. RESTORE or “undelete” restores OPEN or DELETED files. You’ll see the
Type in the name of an open or deleted file (wildcards may
be used). These files are indicated by – or ? in the dir
list. CAUTION: A directory list may show a used, deleted
and/or open file with the same name. If you RESTORE this file
you may finish with two files with the same name. To avoid
this RENAME the file currently in use then RESTORE. If you
have written to the disk since deleting a file then RESTORE
may encounter errors. If so, then only those sectors BEFORE
the error will be restored and you’ll see an error message.
If the first sector does not belong to the file then the file
will remain deleted.

O. VERIFY Toggles the SIO write command between write with verify “W”
and write without verify “P”.

This file has some seldom used commands and is loaded using the “L” command
from the SDUP menu.

#. LIST DIRECTORY Type 1 thru 8 to list the directory of drives 1 to 8.

P. INITIALIZE DOS After you have altered the number of open files or drive
buffers or toggled the resident SDUP option you will need
to initialize DOS. This will destroy any BASIC programs.

Q. COPY FROM DOS 3 Copy files from an Atari DOS 3 disk to a DOS 2 disk. It is
used exactly as the C. COPY FILE command.

Follow the prompts.
1. SUPERBIN may not work with every BINARY LOAD file
because it requires some memory. SUPERBIN errors cause
a cold start.
2. The correct density will be selected for you. You can
delete “DOS.SYS” and “SDUP.SYS” as they are not used.
3. CAUTION: The SUPERBIN menu displays only 24 files and,
as there are only three directory sectors allocated,
writting more than 24 files may overwrite existing

S. CONFIG. BLOCK The config block is a set of 12 bytes in the disk control
microprocessors memory inside the disk drive. This
command merely displays this information to the screen.
Note: Atari 810 and 1050 drives do not have config blocks
(unless upgraded) and sending this command produces an
SIO error.

T. TRACE AND PATCH Use this command to PATCH around bad sectors (ie SIO
errors only) on a disk. You may have noticed DELETE does
not delete a file with bad sectors. (DOS 2 doesn’t
either). TRACE AND PATCH will trace a file until it
encounters a bad sector and then look look for the next
sector on the disk belonging to that file. It then points
(alters sector link data) the sectore before the bad
sector to the next matching sector and decrements the
number of sectors belonging to that file. If there are bad
sectors in a file then you’ll loose the data in the bad
sectors but you can access the remaining data or delete
the entire file.

U. XL/XE KEY RATE Alter the key delay and repeat rates for the XL/XE OS
only. To alter the rates in DOS on the disk, you’ll need
to write the DOS files.

V. FILE BUFFERS Alter the number of open file buffers. You need one file
buffer for each concurrently open file. To alter the file
buffers in DOS on the disk, you’ll need to write the DOS

W. DRIVE BUFFERS Alter the number of drive buffers. You need one for each
disk drive. To alter the drive buffers in DOS on the disk,
you’ll need to write the DOS files.

X. RAMDISK ENABLE Toggles the ramdisk. “1” indicates that during the boot
process the ramdisk is to be initialized.

Y. RESIDENT SDUP Toggles between the resident and non-resident SDUP.
1. The value of the OS variable MEMLO ($2E7) is altered so
the user program will be destroyed.
2. With less than 64K RAM a resident SDUP ensures that
your user program is always safe and DOS appears
instantly. Unfortunately this also means less memory.
3. With SUPERRAM or 64K (or more) SDUP is always loaded
during the boot process and hidden under the OS or in
the ramdisk. With a resident SDUP you can reserve
memory from the DOS buffers (usual MEMLO) to the end of
SDUP for your own use (see Memory Map for addresses).
This could be usful for co-resident machine language
and BASIC programs.

Z. EXIT TO SDUP Returns you to the SDUP menu.


CmdNo Operation BASIC Examples
34 $22 RESTORE XIO 34,#1,0,0,”D:RESTORE.BAS”


0 $00 Format in the current density of the drive.
33 $21 Format in the current density of the drive except if in
enhanced then format single.
34 $22 Format in enhanced density.
102 $66 US Doubler only. Format using AUX2 (set to 1 or 129),
AUX3, AUX4 (skew table) and FILENAME DATA.
105 $69 SUPERMAX only. Format in the current density (not
available in enhanced) with skewed sectors.
161 $A1 Atari XF551 only. Format in the current density using
skewed sectors.

0 $00 Format ramdisk using maximum density and memory avail.
1 $01 Format ramdisk single density, 64K, 502 free sectors.
(SuperRAM, 130XE or Axlon)
2 $02 Format ramdisk single density, 90K, 707 free sectors.
(SuperRAM or Axlon)
3 $03 Format ramdisk enhanced density, 128K, 1011 free sec.
4 $04 Format ramdisk double density, 180K, 707 free sectors.
5 $05 Format ramdisk Xtended density, 256K, 1011 free sec.
(130XE SuperRAM only)

0 $00 Ignored
1 $01 Set density using the information in FILENAME DATA and
then format.
128 $80 Format but don’t write boot sectors, VTOC or directory.
129 $81 Set density using FILENAME DATA, format but don’t write
boot sectors, VTOC or directory.

US Doubler only. Low and high byte pointer to a skewed
sector layout table.

Used only if bit 0 set in AUX2 and if the disk drive has a config.
block. eg SuperMAX.

“D:h??R?@@#” Set single density.
“D:h??Z?D@#” Set enhanced density.
“D:h??R@DA@” Set double density.
“D:H??RADA@” Set 2 sides, double density.

Note: # represents an inverse @.

Superbin is a binary loader that resides on the boot and directory sectors of
a disk. It is used to LOAD and RUN games or any other program that will load
using the “L. BIN. LOAD” option of the SDUP menu. You won’t need any “SYS”
files on a Superbin disk and only three directory sectors (24 files) are
allowed. You will fill the rest of the disk with your binary load files.
(They must have a RUN address). When you boot a Superbin disk it will
display a menu of files on the disk. You make your selection by pressing the
appropriate key and the file is loaded and exectued for you.

Superbas displays a menu of BASIC programs and you can select a program to
LOAD and RUN. To create a Superbas disk:
1. Format a disk and write DOS.SYS only.
2. Copy the SBAS.SYS from your SuperDOS master disk and rename the file
3. Copy your BASIC programs onto the disk.
4. Rename the BASIC programs with exteners to filenames without extenders.
5. Lock the programs you wish to be displayed on the menu.

Superdos always allocates buffers for double density operation. It is
initally set for two drives and three concurrently open files. Use the
AUX.SYS menu to alter Superdos to your own requirements. You’ll need to write
the DOS files on the disk the keep the change. These options affect the
of memory you have available.

If you have extra memory for a ramdisk, the ramdisk will be initalized using
the maximum format available when you load Superdos. You can keep the first
64K free (ie the normal 130XE RAM) by pressing ESC during the boot process.
If you don’t have enough RAM this may result in no ramdisk but allows you to
run programs that require this RAM. The ramdisk is accessed using DOS and is
assigned as drives 5 to 8. Some programs (eg AtariWriter) only provide access
to drive one. To use these programs:
1. Remove the disk in drive one and turn it off. You may now load and save
but all IO is diverted to the ramdisk.
2. Turn drive one on to use it again.

Address Contents
0000-05FF RAM Operating System
0600-06FF RAM Unused
0700-1CCD RAM Disk Operating System (File Management System)
1CCE-22CD* RAM Drive and File Buffers. MEMLO Min – $1ECE, Max – $28CE
*22CE-3749 RAM User program area or SDUP
374A-7FFF RAM User program area or SDUP buffer area. If resident SDUP,
then MEMLO=$374A.
8C00-BFFF RAM User program area or screen display.
ROM Cartridge.
C000-DFFF RAM Unused.
E000-FFFF RAM SDUP or temporary storage of user program
C000-FFFF ROM Operating System and Hardware Registers

* Varies according to the number of drive and file buffers allocated.

130XE banks not reserved.
Type of ramdisk Single Enhanced Double Extended
Superram, Axlon 800 0-7 0-9 0-14 NA
Superram, Bucholtz, Newell, RAMbo XL 0-5 0-7 0-12 NA
Superram, Peterson XE 0-5 0-7 0-12 0-15

130XE banks 0-3 reserved.
Type of ramdisk Single Enhanced Double Extended
Superram, Axlon 800 NA NA NA NA
Superram, Bucholtz, Newell, RAMbo XL 4-9 4-11 NA NA
Superram, Peterson XE 4-9 4-11 4-15 NA

1. Some key DOS 2 addresses remain unchanged in SuperDOS to allow programs
that use illegal entry points to run.
$07E0 DOS initialization
$1540 SDUP initialization
$179F entry point on DOS call

2. Two new vectors have been added to Superdos.
$07DA – Binary Load vector. Entry: A=Filename address lo byte
Y=Filename address hi byte
Exit: Y=CIO code.
$07DD – SIO superspeed and ramdisk vector.
Set up the DCB ($0300-$030B) as for any SIO (as you would for
$E459). All commands may be used with disk drives. Ramdisk
commands are: STATUS “S” (ramdisk format type), READ “R” and
WRITE “W”. Entry: Parameters in DCB. Set DUNIT to 5-8.
Exit: status in DSTATS ($0303).

3. Version byte is at $07D9. $50 is Version 5.0

System disk (ATR): SuperDOS 5.1
Manual (ODT): SuperDOS 5.1 manual

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