ATA PC Card Driver


This driver allows you to use ATA (ATAPI) PC Cards with BeOS R4.5.x x86. You can do the followings:


This section describes how to install BeOS to your notebook PC from a PC-Card connected ATAPI CD-ROM drive.


Notebooks that can't use a floppy drive and a PC Card (CD-ROM) simultaneously (e.g Libretto) are not supported.

If your notebook has BIOS configuration item to switch CardBus or non-CardBus, choose non-CardBus. Disable the CD-ROM bootable feature if any.

Use the AC adapter (or battery) for your CD-ROM drive's power supply or it may malfunction with power supply from the PC. A card with both CardBus mode and 16-bit mode must be set to 16-bit mode.

It is recommended that a BFS partition be created in advance with PartitionMagic etc.


Create an installation floppy with this driver included. Prepare a blank floppy. Procedure depends on your environment.

Now you have an installation floppy with the driver.


Connect the CD-ROM drive to the notebook PC (either slot will do if your PC has two), insert the R4.5.x CD-ROM and boot the system with the installation floppy you have created above. You can install BeOS when the Installer comes up.

With a similar procedure you can boot BeOS R4.5 demo CD.


This section describes how to use ATA/ATAPI PC Cards with this driver. You can use ATA flash cards, ATAPI CD-ROM drive, digital camera memory cards etc.

As this driver controls PC Cards by itself, it cannot coexist with BeOS R4.5.x standard PC Card support. You cannot hot-plug the cards and have to boot BeOS with your cards inserted.


Refer to "INSTALLING BEOS" for configuration of the PC and the cards.

If you use a desktop PC with a PC Card adapter, the adapter must be ISA connected. You cannot use parallel/IDE/SCSI/USB connected adapters, PCI connected only (i.e. CardBus only) adapters or adapters compatible only with limited types of cards. In addition, reserve as "legacy ISA" as many IRQs as the cards you are to use simultaneously.


Extract the archive, go to the directory and run:

$ make install

The driver (atacard) will be copied in ~/config/add-ons/kernel/busses/ide/. Then edit /system/boot/Bootscript so that BeOS standard PC Card support (cardmgr) won't run.

Reboot BeOS with the card(s) inserted. You should be able to mount and access your cards as well as ordinary hard disks and CD-ROMs.

To enable BeOS PC Card support again,

$ cardmgr &

or restore Bootscript and reboot.

To uninstall this driver, go to the directory and run:

$ make uninstall

Be sure to restore Bootscript.


If it does not work well, try again after getting more free IRQs by disabling some internal devices (e.g. serial port, parallel port, infrared port, internal modem and sound). Of free IRQs this driver will use the one with the smallest number but it may not work with specific IRQ(s) depending notebook PC models. Find a working IRQ by adjusting IRQs. FYI here are IRQs that could be freed and their common usage:

IRQ3	serial port, internal modem, infrared port etc.
IRQ4	ditto
IRQ5	sound (Sound Blaster compatible)
IRQ7	parallel port
IRQ9	free (USB controller, CardBus controller, internal Ethernet port etc.)
IRQ10	ditto
IRQ11	ditto
IRQ12	PS/2 mouse compatible pointing device
IRQ15	(secondary IDE)

File a report following the below procedure if the driver does not work yet after adjusting IRQs.


Boot any operating system on the notebook and check free IRQs. Insert the card and check resources (I/O address and IRQ) the card occupies.


Gather the card's information as follows. The same card will give you the same result on any environment so only one attempt is enough.

Let me know the followings:



In addition, trace the driver's activities as follows:

  1. Boot the installation floppy you created.
  2. Press the space key while "Be Boot Loader / Loading..." is displayed. Boot Loader menu screen appears.
  3. Enter "Select safe mode options", activate "Enable console debugging" ([X]), exit from "Return to main menu" and choose "Continue booting".
  4. Messages flow on the text screen. When the screen stops with the following messages, write down all the messages shown in the screen at that time.
    Welcome to Kernel Debugging Land:
    Running on cpu 0, iframe @ 0xfc00b430

    Type c [Enter] to continue. Repeat the above procedure when it stops again.

  5. Send me the messages you have written down.


This package is freeware. The author is not liable for the result of operating this software. The author is under no obligation to fix bugs. The latest version is available in the author's web page.

Copyright (C) 1999 ITO Takayuki. All rights reserved.

GNU tar and GNU zip are free software licensed under the GNU General Public License. You can obtain the complete archive including the source codes at your nearest GNU archive site or the master site. Refer to the included file "COPYING" for GPL.

RaWrite2 is free software. You can obtain the complete archives at your nearest Linux archive site, e.g. Walnut Creek CDROM.

dd is free software by me. Contact me for details.


Many thanks to Mr. Makino who provide me with the original idea and many suggestions in Be The Edge BBS and the volunteers who sent me alpha testing reports.



First release. Disclosed to alpha testers only. Worked with only PCGA-CD5 and CBIDE II.


Improved intialization and worked with more cards.


Inquiry for occupied resources and analysis of the card's CIS are implemeted. Editing config.h and compiling the source are now unnecessary. Made publicly available.


Driver itself is not updated. MKFLP.BAT and documentation are updated so that installation floppy can be made under Windows NT too. Included some tools needed for creating boot floppy under Windows. Included Hardware Compatibility List.


Driver now installed under ~/config rather than /system. Windows NT support improved.