ResiDOS Installation

Installing for the first time

Installing ResiDOS is simple. First download the appropriate version of the installation software for your interface from the downloads page and load it into your Spectrum. The software is provided in the form of an emulator TAP or TZX file, so you will need to transfer it using software such as playtzx or an emulator. You'll find suitable software on the World Of Spectrum site. Once it's transferred, just LOAD it into your Spectrum and follow the simple on-screen instructions.

During installation, the program will confirm the size of your interface's RAM (usually 128K, 512K or 1024K).

Once you have changed the jumpers on your interface as instructed, the Spectrum will reset and you should see the ResiDOS boot screen appear!

Upgrading to a new version of ResiDOS

When a new version of ResiDOS becomes available, installation is even easier. Just load the installation program, and it will automatically detect your existing version. You can then choose to upgrade, and the system will be automatically updated, leaving all your installed ROMs and tasks still in the interface's memory.

If you choose to re-install, the normal installation procedure will occur. This will wipe all the packages, ROMs and tasks from your interface's memory.

If you have the FATfs package installed, then instead of loading the installer from tape you can simply copy the installation files (residos.bas and residos.c) onto your FAT16 card, and LOAD them directly from there, using LOAD %"residos.bas".

One final possibility (if you have the TapeIO package installed) is to copy the installer tape image (residos.tzx) onto your card and then load it with %tapein "residos.tzx":LOAD "".

Setting up your hard disk or CompactFlash

From v2.00, ResiDOS can work with cards and disks formatted to one of two different filesystems:

The base installation of ResiDOS only supports IDEDOS drives, so in order to allow use of FAT drives, you must install the optional FATfs package. In the future, other filesystems may also become available.

You can use any combination of IDEDOS and FAT drives. If you have two drives or cards, you can format one with IDEDOS and one with FAT. If you have only one card, you can choose either system. It is also possible to divide a single card between IDEDOS and FAT; see this page for details (although please note that it was written for the +3e, and so the syntax of the commands is slightly different).


FAT has the following advantages:

IDEDOS has the following advantages:

Setting up a FAT drive

ResiDOS cannot directly format FAT drives. Instead, format your card or disk with your PC. You need one or more FAT16 partitions. In Windows XP, this is done by selecting "FAT" as the format type; do not select "FAT32", as the FATfs package does not support it at the time of writing.

Then, after installing ResiDOS and the FATfs package, simply insert the card into your interface and reset the Spectrum. It should be automatically detected and mapped to one or more drive letters (shown on the startup screen).

Setting up an IDEDOS drive

Before you can use your hard disk or CompactFlash, it needs to be initialised with the IDEDOS system. ResiDOS can work with two different physical drives, normally known as the "master" and "slave" unit; in all the following commands, the first number given identifies the unit number, which is 0 for the master and 1 for the slave.

The first thing to do is make sure that ResiDOS understands the structure of your disk. Normally, it automatically detects this and displays the details on the boot screen. However, if for some reason this doesn't work, you can manually specify the parameters (shown on the drive itself, or to be found on the manufacturer's website) with the following command:

(The above command assumes your hard disk is the master drive (unit 0) and has 977 cylinders, 10 heads and 17 sectors). Once you have entered this command, the details are permanently stored in your interface's RAM.

You can re-enable auto-detection for the master drive (unit 0) with the command:

If you want to disable detection of a drive altogether, to save a bit of time on boot, you can do so with the following example command, which disables detection of the slave drive (unit 1):

When you're sure that ResiDOS knows the correct details, you need to initialise the disk. Note that doing this erases everything currently stored on the disk. The command to use is:

This initialises the master drive (unit 0), allowing up to 15 partitions to be created. You can specify any number you like for the number of partitions, but note that the more you allow, the slower certain partition management commands will be. Each partition can be up to 16Mb in size; I'd recommend calculating the number you would need to completely fill the disk, and adding several more for a bit of elbow-room. So, a 1Gb disk could use about 1000/16=63 partitions, and you might wish to specify around 80.

From v1.92, it is possible to share a disk between ResiDOS and another filesystem (such as FAT). To do this, you need to limit ResiDOS to using a limited number of cylinders on the disk. The command to use is:

This formats the master drive as before, but only the first 200 cylinders will be used by ResiDOS, leaving the rest available for other filesystems. For more information on how this works, and how to create an effective shared disk, see the explanation on the +3e website about sharing disks (note, however, that the syntax of +3e commands differs from the ResiDOS syntax described here).

Once the disk is initialised (you only ever need to do this once) you can use the partition management commands to add some partitions for storing your files.

Switching disks or CompactFlash cards

To switch to using a different hard disk or CompactFlash card, you can use the following command:

This will unmap all existing drives and re-detect your disks/cards, automatically mapping any drives back again as it would do on boot. Your BASIC program and all other data will be unaffected by this process, so it's a very useful command for transferring files from one CompactFlash card to another.

Note that once your disk is initialised, ResiDOS stores its details (about cylinders, heads, sectors etc) on the disk itself, so when swapping disks or CompactFlash cards there is no need to set these details again.

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