Newb - How to load .MDR image?

A place to discuss the ZX80's and ZX81's younger brother - the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
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Spinnetti
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:29 pm

Newb - How to load .MDR image?

Post by Spinnetti »

Here in the states we never got the speccy, but always wanted one. Microdrives were especially magical to me back then which also never came here. Fast forward, and I have both a nice (mint) 48k speccy with new membrane and composite mod, and interface one, and a vdrive in a 3d printed case (and a couple real microdrives with refelted carts too). I popped in a 4gig SD, and formatted without issue. Now for the dumb questions:

1. Do I have to enable the toolkit every time I power it up? (type run at boot) or is that a one time thing?
2. I got a .MDR of a random game to try out. I dropped it on the root of the SD card and that didn't work. If I look for all files, it shows, but doesn't recognize it if I try to load it. I thought maybe I had to have a directory, so I made a directory (GAMES) and dropped it in there, but still same result.

How do I actually load the . mdr file? I thought it was .ld"gamename" or .ld"gamename.mdr" but neither works. what's the secret sauce? I realize its simple, but not if you've never used this stuff! :)

I'll be quite chuffed to finally load off the vdrive onto a real speccy (instead of an emulator). Once I can do that, I'm on to writing some games in .asm :) (moving up from doing the same on the zx81)

Thanks!
Sinclair AM mini radio
TS1000/Composite
TS1500/Composite
TS2068/Stock
Spectrum 48k/Composite
Spectrum+/Composite
Interface 1 & Microdrives + Speccy Vdrive
QL/Minerva w/TKII/Custom PSU/QL-VGA
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Erm
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:07 pm

Re: Newb - How to load .MDR image?

Post by Erm »

You should consult the vDrive ZX manual for that. You do have to install the toolkit first (and always, at least if you want to change what images are assigned to the virtual drives - but once you have all 8 setup with different images then you can load them without the loading the tk).

You have to also make sure you are in the directory that the .mdv file is contained within, with the .cd command.

And you have to specify the virtual drive number, so .ld 1 "name"

Manual is here, is does take a bit of getting used to:

https://vdrivezx.files.wordpress.com/20 ... -v1-16.pdf
I'm Chris, a Brit in Germany (Chr$ on the QL forum).
Spinnetti
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:29 pm

Re: Newb - How to load .MDR image?

Post by Spinnetti »

Thanks. I have the manual, I guess I just don't understand it. I installed the toolkit, formatted the card, created a directory, put a MDR in it, changed to the right directory and listing the files shows my file there, but .ld 1 "filename" just gave me a flashing question mark like it wasn't parsing the command. Hmm. more faffing about I guess.
Sinclair AM mini radio
TS1000/Composite
TS1500/Composite
TS2068/Stock
Spectrum 48k/Composite
Spectrum+/Composite
Interface 1 & Microdrives + Speccy Vdrive
QL/Minerva w/TKII/Custom PSU/QL-VGA
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Erm
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:07 pm

Re: Newb - How to load .MDR image?

Post by Erm »

If it doesn't accept .ld 1 "filename" then that could indicate that the toolkit is not loaded.

With no SD card in the vdrive, reboot the Spectrum and enter RUN (the keyword).

Or, is there perhaps an image already assigned to vdrive 1?
I'm Chris, a Brit in Germany (Chr$ on the QL forum).
Spinnetti
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:29 pm

Re: Newb - How to load .MDR image?

Post by Spinnetti »

Toolkit says its installed. Do I have to assign my file to vdrive one? I can't just drop it in there?
Sinclair AM mini radio
TS1000/Composite
TS1500/Composite
TS2068/Stock
Spectrum 48k/Composite
Spectrum+/Composite
Interface 1 & Microdrives + Speccy Vdrive
QL/Minerva w/TKII/Custom PSU/QL-VGA
User avatar
Erm
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:07 pm

Re: Newb - How to load .MDR image?

Post by Erm »

Spinnetti wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:50 pm Toolkit says its installed. Do I have to assign my file to vdrive one? I can't just drop it in there?
The .ld 1 "filename" is what should assign the image to vdrive 1. Assming the file is on the root of the SD card and you haven't changed directories. Have you initialised the SD card? That will format it and setup the config file.... only then can can put the .mdr files onto it.
I'm Chris, a Brit in Germany (Chr$ on the QL forum).
Spinnetti
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:29 pm

Re: Newb - How to load .MDR image?

Post by Spinnetti »

Thanks. Hmm.. Will try a different file.

SD card initialized fine. and I can create and switch to directories - maybe just a bum file.
Sinclair AM mini radio
TS1000/Composite
TS1500/Composite
TS2068/Stock
Spectrum 48k/Composite
Spectrum+/Composite
Interface 1 & Microdrives + Speccy Vdrive
QL/Minerva w/TKII/Custom PSU/QL-VGA
User avatar
Bora66
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:35 am

Re: Newb - How to load .MDR image?

Post by Bora66 »

I know your problem, it is because the image you are trying to make work is not assigned to a virtual drive. The user manual is comprehensive but IMHO, not very clear for the first time users, I had quite a struggle with it first. The concept of directories, banks, drives, images can get very very confusing. Read the part called "Managing vDrives" at page 9, and understand the .MKDRV command. Create 8 vDrives, and assign them all to .MDR images. Once this is done, this configuration will be written to the SDCard, and will be accessible with or without the Toolkit. All the usual Microdrive commands will work with the 8 "virtual drives" you've created. I.E;
CAT n
or
LOAD *"m";n;"Filename"
or
FORMAT "m";n;"Cartridge Name"
etc, where n is the number of the virtual drive you created.
As far as I know, there is no way to make Toolkit available on boot, other then using RUN as the first command. But I prefer the original commands and I rarely need the toolkit.
You can always drop a mail to Charles Ingley, the creator of vDrives. He is a great chap and very supportive of his products.
His support email is: vretrodesign@gmail.com
Spinnetti
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:29 pm

Re: Newb - How to load .MDR image?

Post by Spinnetti »

Thanks! I've got it set up on the desk now, so Can give it another go. I did find it all quite confusing never having had any of the speccy/microdrive stuff back in the day.
Sinclair AM mini radio
TS1000/Composite
TS1500/Composite
TS2068/Stock
Spectrum 48k/Composite
Spectrum+/Composite
Interface 1 & Microdrives + Speccy Vdrive
QL/Minerva w/TKII/Custom PSU/QL-VGA
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