ATAPI support in CardWare for DOS/Windows 3.x

Starting from version 6.00.010 CardWare for DOS/Windows 3.x supports ATAPI devices including CD-ROMs/CDR/CDRW devices (later commonly named as CDx), attached to the PC via PCMCIA-2-IDE adapter.

ATAPI disks are supported as usual with hot-swapping. The only limitation: the disk should be attached to the PCMCIA-2-IDE adapter and powered on BEFORE PC-Card is inserted to the PC slot.

However CDx devices requires support from Microsoft MSCDEX.EXE driver.

PCMCIA-2-IDE adapter could be inserted prior to BOOT of PC or hot-inserted. Please notice, that CDx device should be attached to the PCIMCIA-2-IDE adapter and powered on BEFORE PC-Card is inserted to the PC slot. After insertion of the PC Card, you should hear 3 beeps. It means, that CardWare correctly recognized CDx and registered CDx driver to DOS.

After card is inserted you should run MSCDEX.EXE (DOS 3.0 or later) with the following parameters: "MSCDEX.EXE /D:PCATACD1". MSCDEX will show you the drive letter of the installed CDx drive. After this CDx device should be fully functional.

Please be aware of following limitations:

  1. At the moment CardWare supports only one CDx attached via PCMCIA-2-IDE interface. Any additional CDx attached to PCMCIA-2-IDE card(s) will be not recognized by CardWare.
  2. CardWare does not support audio disks yet.
  3. Since MSCDEX does not support hot-removal of CDx devices from system, the drive letter assigned to the CDx device will persist in the system even after PCMCIA-2-IDE controller is unplugged. Of course this drive letter will be no longer accessible. If after hot removal you re-insert the PC-Card again, you should not try to run MSCDEX again. You will be able to use CDx using the same drive letter as before.