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New "mass:" capabilities of uLE :

--------------------------------In uLE v4.32 a new revision of the usbhdfsd driver is used, as improved by 'rada
d' to support multiple USB storage drives and partitions, and the uLE FileBrowse
r has likewise been improved by me ('dlanor') to support this. The current imple
mentation will allow up to 5 simultaneously connected USB drives to be accessed,
though you will need a USB hub to be able to connect so many, since the PS2 its
elf only has two USB ports. Each drive may also have more than one partition, ea
ch of which will then appear as an independent "mass?:" drive in uLE, with the m
aximum number of such logical drives being 10. Note however that fully incompati
ble partitions do not count here, such as NTFS drives. Such partitions will just
be ignored by uLE.
As before, uLE does not load USB_mass drivers until the user attempts to access
mass:, and it is only when the user browses to the basic "mass:" device that the
new features are enabled. Until then only that one "mass:" drive will be visibl
e in the root device list of the FileBrowser.
But once you have browsed to mass: uLE will scan the ports for USB drives, and w
ill present these in the root device list the next time you browse there. The sa
me also applies to devices added or removed by 'hotplugging' during a browser se
ssion, as the changes will then be displayed the next time you browse to the roo
t device list. (If already there, press 'Triangle' to refresh the list.) But the
re is one limitation, as the scan for changes will be skipped if less than 5 sec
onds have passed since the previous scan.
The maximum list of USB_mass drives currently looks like this:
mass:
mass1:
mass2:
mass3:
mass4:
mass5:
mass6:
mass7:
mass8:
mass9:
Backwards compatibility with old applications' use of "mass:" :
--------------------------------------------------------------When uLE is launched with a given drive set the assignation of logical drive num
bers is made in such a fashion that "mass:" will be the same drive seen as "mass
:" by most older applications, capable of accessing only one USB drive. This is
to allow simple cooperative use of one drive between uLE and such applications.
But if you hotplug drives after launching uLE, then this relationship will not n
ecessarily hold true. For such cases you should relaunch uLE, to test which the
'real' "mass:" drive is, that old applications may access. This is important, fo
r example, when you intend one of the drives to also be used by USBAdvance/USBEx
treme, or by various emulators.
Another thing to remember here is that current implementations of SMS, the media
player, do not support more than one partition per USB drive, though it does al
low multiple drives. So when using uLE to prepare media files for SMS on a USB d
rive, you should always use only the first partition. This applies mainly when u
sing the internal drivers of SMS. If you use old external drivers with SMS, then
it works just like other old applications.

Additional considerations related to new "mass:" capabilities :


--------------------------------------------------------------It is also permitted to use the form "mass0:" to access the "mass:" drive, but f
or compatibility reasons the "mass0:" form will not be displayed as such in the
browser.
One more important thing to realize is that hotplugging may leave 'holes' in the
drive list, as the remaining drives will keep their old drive numbers when one
or more other drives are removed. So if you started with a 4-drive setup and the
n remove the first and the third drives (mass: and mass2:), then the root device
list will only show the following USB_mass drives:
mass1:
mass3:
And if you then reinsert the drive that previously was mass2: into any free USB
port and refresh the device list, that drive will then be shown as "mass:"...
Even more confusingly: If you instead insert a drive having three partitions, th
en these will be designated as "mass:", "mass2:" and "mass4:" for the case above
, as "mass1:" and "mass3:" are already used for other drives...
This new FileBrowser capability may take some getting used to, and for safest us
age I recommend having some file or folder in the root directory of each USB par
tition, that uniquely identifies both that particular drive and that particular
partition. Otherwise you may mistake one drive for the other, with disastrous co
nsequences when making a backup for example (restoring old stuff when you wanted
to backup new stuff, or vice versa). So take care.
And since this is a brand new feature based on a brand new driver revision, be a
ware that this stuff has not yet been as rigorously tested as the old drivers. S
o be careful, and try to always have a backup of the files you work with.
Best regards: dlanor