On the Drew ][ blog, there's a post about a utility for Linux called part_vulcan that can create a partition map for a Vulcan hard drive controller. I've tried to mirror what was done to run the utility in the blog post as closely as possible. I used what I'm reasonably sure is the the same Linux Live CD, compiled the program and ran it on several CF cards. The partitions created on the cards will show up in the boot menu of the Vulcan, but when I try to run the Partition Manager program on the install disk in order to format them I get the usual "COULD NOT READ VALID PARTITION BLOCK. PRESS 'Y' TO CREATE NEW ONE." error with it failing when I press 'Y'. The ROM on my Vulcan card is the Vulcan Gold ROM (2.0) and the Partition Manager version is 2.04, both of which are the last versions known.
Has anyone sucessfully managed to get this program to work? I've only gotten certain 32MB and 64MB cards to work on the Vulcan, but I've noticed that it's possible to dump a .DD (in my case using WinHex) image of a card that has been formatted successfully and restore it onto a card that does not format successfully using the Vulcan utilities and it will work. Ideally, it should be possible to generate images of successfully formatted cards of any size.
A friend of mine did a couple of CFs for me. I don’t have any Linux or similar computers and lack familiarity with them but he’s knowledgeable in that area. He did a 512mb and a 128mb CF that I've used.
If you have an x86 based computer (a.k.a. a "Windows PC"... gag, cough, cough...) you can probably run Linux off a USB drive and run the utility.
I got it to work, but the procedure was very bizarre and glitchy. After partitioning the card from Linux, you have to go into the Vulcan's boot menu and not pick not "boot from slot" but "select boot partition" and pick a partition on the card to boot from. The Vulcan will sometimes switch back to booting from the next slot if there's nothing on the partition, but it's not guaranteed; usually it just crashes. If the first partion doesn't work, try the next; sometimes picking a non-existent partition will work. Some CF cards won't even work with this procedure. Once that's done I booted into ProDOS 8 and ran PART.MANAGER from there (which seems to make it more stable). If all is successful it'll display the interleave prompt mentioned on the blog post and you can set up the partitions.
The absolute maximum size for a drive is 512MB with 16 partitions but it's not terribly practical; you can only have 4 active partitions with a hard upper limit of 32MB, even if you use HFS. This forces you keep going back into PART.MANAGER and swapping the active partitions around, which isn't too convenient as it forces you to hard reboot on every change (program won't even let you quit). 128MB with 4 ProDOS partitions is probably the sweet spot.
I have found that it's possible to take an image of a successfully formatted CF card and restore it onto a CF card that won't format no matter what and it'll work.
I'm uploading pre-formatted CF images so that future Vulcan users don't have to go through all this. I threw a quick install of GS/OS on them as well so they'll boot right up.
32MB Vulcan (SanDisk).ZIP
32MB Vulcan (Viking).ZIP
64MB Vulcan (Viking).ZIP
96MB Vulcan (SanDisk).ZIP
128MB Vulcan (BSA).ZIP
128MB Vulcan (SanDisk).ZIP
256MB Vulcan (Viking).ZIP
512MB Vulcan (Viking).ZIP
This is great.Thanks you for making all those images. If I can get them to work this will save hours of time!!!!Some quick questions. What program in windows do you use to make the CF cards from your images?Have you tested them?...and finally is it possible to use a CF card from a different manufacturer but with the same memory size?
Looking forward to trying this out when my Vulcan card arrives.
Glad you saw this post, because I missed it somehow!?
Sadly, this post is a year old and the OP doesn't look like they've logged on since...... I'm not sure there is going to be a response.
Here's a good place to start. Assuming you have a Mac it's pretty easy. Of course I haven't tested it yet.....but it wrote out the image to my CF card easy enough.
I just made a small change and addition to the project and sent a pull request to the original author. I don't know if they will accept it or not. All I did was fix a compiler warning and add a minimal makefile so you can just download the code as a zip file, unzip it and type "make" and it will build (assuming you have gcc installed).
If you are on Ubuntu and don't have any dev tools installed this should get you started:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install build-essential