Reverse-engineering WD1000, WD1001 hard disk controllers

Eric Smith spacewar at
Sat Nov 19 18:06:31 CST 2016

I've been working a little bit off-and-on for years on reverse-engineering
the WD1000 and WD1001 disk controllers (8X300/8X305-based), and their
clones. I've only made any significant progress within the last few days,
after hacking together my own disassesmbler which deals with the Fast I/O
Select PROM. I do NOT recommend using this disassembler yet, for reasons
that are explained in the README, but I've put it on github:

I've made some progress interpreting the firmware of an early WD1000, which
only had 512 words of firmware, and didn't support run-time configurable
sector size selection. So far I've figured out how they handle the host
reading and writing the task file, dispatching the commands, and much of
the sector ID search.

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