Besides hard disk drives HDDRIVER supports removable media drives, e.g. Syquest, ZIP, JAZ, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, GigaFile and UltraSatan. Media changes are detected automatically and reliably. HDDRIVER offers optimal support for memory cards like SD and CF, which are an inexpensive and noiseless alternative to hard disk drives.
On the part of HDDRIVER there is no upper limit for the capacity of drives or memory cards. With the ACSI bus in order to use more than 1 GiB of capacity a suitable host adapter is required. Because TOS, MagiC and MiNT do not access media based on the SCSI Driver, in practice the usable capacity is limited to 2 TiB (2048 GiB). The SCSI Driver (and tools like HDDRUTIL or DISKUS) support 64 bit sector numbers and thus can access even larger drives.
With HDDRIVER it is child's play to exchange data with PCs and Macs using removable media/memory cards, completely without any additional software or inconvenient and slow cable connections. In combination with MagiC or MiNT this even works with long filenames and very big partitions (FAT32). Additionally, with MiNT and HDDRIVER you can access Linux partitions (ext2). HDDRIVER supports both the legacy MBR (Master Boot Record) and the modern UEFI GUID Partition Table (GPT) partitioning scheme and thus is fit for the future.
HDDRIVER is completely coded in assembler. ACSI and IDE drives profit from settings for extra fast data transfers. With MagiC SCSI and ACSI transfers can run in the background. Owners of a Thunder IDE interface can boot HDDRIVER into TT-RAM, which considerably boosts the IDE transfer rate. AUTO folder programs like FOLDRxxx, CACHExxx or SCSIDRV are unnecessary, which speeds up the boot process for all Ataris. Because HDDRIVER can boot the AUTO folder and accessories from any partition by pressing a key, also a boot selector is often unnecessary.
With the HDDRUTIL tool storage media can completely or partially be copied, e.g. in order to create backups or to exchange data. With many optical drives storing data on DVD-RAM, DVD+RW and BD-RE media, in particular for backups, is supported. Furthermore, complete media or single partitions can be saved as image files or loaded from image files.
For HDDRIVER data security plays an important role. The data transferred are optionally verified in order to detect errors when writing data. Selected partitions can be write-protected, which is a good protection against accidential changes. Important areas of a drive (root sector and boot sectors) can separately be protected against unintentional changes. If a device supports a self-test, it can be triggered by simply a mouse-click.
HDDRIVER is more than just a driver. A set of tools with a graphical user interface completes the distribution. Media can be formatted, devices can be configured, and self-tests can be executed. Drives can be parked and media ejected, the password-based read/write protection of ZIP/JAZ drives can be configured, and much more. Besides the HDDRUTIL tool an accessory and CPX modules provide for conveniently managing numerous settings, without you having to be a hard disk wizard.
HDDRIVER supports the SCSI Driver interface for a unified access to peripherals. This open software interface, which is not limited to SCSI devices only, is used by a range of other drivers and applications. Optical SATA drives innately use SCSI commands anyway, for IDE and SATA hard disk drives HDDRIVER emulates them. This means that any application can access IDE, ATAPI and SATA drives as if they were SCSI devices. HDDRIVER's SCSI Driver supports 64 bit sector numbers, so that drives > 2 TiB (2048 GiB) can be addressed with their full capacity. Additionally, HDDRIVER supports the complete set of functions defined by the latest XHDI standard.
With MagiC, MiNT or Big-DOS and HDDRIVER up to 31 drives and big partitions can be managed. Single partitions can be mapped to the drives A: and B:. Non-blocking data transfers with the ACSI or SCSI bus result in increased speed when using HDDRIVER with MagiC, because you can work with your Atari while data are being transferred in the background.
Features like booting from any partition, SCSI initiator identification and bus arbitration (for a maximum of compatibility with the SCSI standard), automatically parking drives etc. can be taken for granted with HDDRIVER.
While the development of other drivers has been abandoned, the HDDRIVER software package is still actively maintained. The scope of delivery includes a detailed printed English or German manual. In case of problems or questions users get support by the FAQ, by email or in the HDDRIVER forum.