We present below all features of our MacDisk. Please note that some of those features are of a rather technical nature and that you should not be afraid if you don't understand everything. The daily use of the program doesn't imply to know and understand each of them.
See also at the end some comments on the methods used to access physical drives.
For some items, we include links to other pages of this site presenting some explanations if you need them.
- Support of HFS volumes (classical Macintosh disks, cartridges and floppies) up to 9 GB
- Support of HFS+ volumes (Macintosh OS Extended volumes)
- Support of HFS CD-ROMs (usual Macintosh CD-ROMs) and of ISO 9660 CD-ROMs with or without Apple and/or Joliet extensions, even multisession ones
- Support of MS-DOS media handled by Apple PC-Exchange (MS-DOS disks loaded on a Macintosh and storing Macintosh files). See some comments on those disks.
- Support of NTFS (New Technology File System) volumes (under Windows NT 4, 2000 and XP) handled by SFM (Services For Macintosh). See also some comments on those disks. Please note that the program must run on a station under NT4/2000/XP to be able to access the Macintosh files on a NT server, because the functions used fort managing NTFS volumes are not implemented in the operating system under Windows 95/98/ME.
- New Explorer-like graphical interface, with an Explorer bar displaying the folder tree on the left and a Display panel with a columnar list on the right.
- Full contextual help system, in menus and dialog boxes.
- Copy of files/folders to/from the Macintosh volume, while reconstructing on the target medium the folder tree of the source volume.
- Selective copy of the data fork (default), of the resource fork or of both of them (MacBinary standard). See our page on file forks if you need some explanations on this matter.
- Swap of data and resource fork on the Macintosh medium.
- Edition of Macintosh file/folder names and Macintosh volume labels.
- Deletion of Macintosh files/folders (including non-empty folders, with their files and subfolders).
- Formatting of Macintosh diskettes, with an option 'Q' for quick reformatting (already formatted floppies, even PC-formatted ones).
- Formatting (initialization) of Macintosh volumes on cartridges and disks, with installation of a 4.3 driver. This is a high-level initialization and not a low-level formatting. We also offers a partitioning feature, which is helpful if you want to split the drive capacity (or want to create little partitions to burn Macintosh CD-ROMs). A Wizard helps the user to take the necessary decisions.
- Creation of subfolders on the Macintosh volume.
- Sensible treatment of accented characters in filenames.
- Support of long filenames, short filenames, with possibility of renaming on the fly.
- Full support of Macintosh long filenames.
- Display and edition of Macintosh file properties (attributes like creator, file type, creation date/time, date/time of last modification, etc.).
- Display of the raw contents of Macintosh files.
- Assignment of Macintosh file signatures according to the PC extensions ('MSWDWDBN' [MS-Word] for 'DOC', etc.).
- In the opposite direction, creation of filenames (short or long) with classical extensions ('XLS' for Excel files, 'QXD' for Quark Xpress files, etc.).
- Personalization of the signatures/extensions look-up table (see
- File search function on the Macintosh volume (search by name when you know the name of the file you're looking for, search by signature when you're looking for specific files, for an example QuickTime movies). This search function works on all kinds of supported volumes (HFS, HFS+, ISO, MS-DOS, NTFS).
- Drag and drop copy of files between Windows Explorer and the main windows of our programs.
- Creation of a log file to recorder all operations done in a work session.
- Conversion on the fly of certain font files. True Type fonts can be copied in both directions (without building fonts families on the Mac). Type 1 (PostScript) fonts are only transfered from the Mac to the PC. Next version should have this feature.
- Support of the MacBinary de facto standard (to build MacBinary files from Macintosh volumes for uploading to BBS or FTP sites and conversely to install on a Macintosh volume a MacBinary file downloaded from a BBS, an on-line service or the Internet).
- Duplication of Macintosh media (useful when you get a Macintosh medium from a partner and must send it to a service bureau; this way, you keep a copy, just in case, in a file or on another medium). Dump of the whole contents of the Macintosh medium to a PC file.
- With MacDisk comes a little text converter (Mactext) to convert some text formats which are generally ignored by the main word processors under Windows.
Low-level Disk Access
For a long period, we used the Aspi layer to access the physical drives on
the computer at the lowest level. This software layer was very convenient.
Its success was so big that some conflicts of interests appeared, and it seems
that developments ceased.
This happened at the worst moment (as always), while Windows XP (and, before,
Windows 2000) was changing its access methods to drives connected to the parallel
port, to the USB bus and to the FireWire (IEEE 1394) bus, that is almost all
drives with removable media.
We had therefore to ressort to the access methods recommended by Microsoft,
that is IOCTL (In/Out Control) and SPTI (SCSI Pass-Through).
Those interfaces are fine and allow to do the same work as the ASPI layer, but
the low-level access to disks is reserved to user with administrator rights.
This is not always the case, of course.
The solution we implemented uses a service (lsdiorw) running in the
local system space and executing commands sent by the main application,
running in the user space. When running idle (that is, when MacDisk doesn't run),
the service doesn't consume any system resource.
See our page on this service for more technical