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ATTENTION: Apple released the 10.1.2 update on 20 December 2001. This update includes a few Apple-supported drivers that enable PC Card ATA functionality. This project's driver should now only be used as a programming reference. If you have installed the driver, please refer to the instructions in the release for backing out of changes before you update.

Mac OS X PC Card ATA Driver


This is an implementation of a sixteen-bit PC Card ATA driver for Mac OS X (and Darwin). This driver will support PC Cards that have an ATA interface such as micro disk drives, CompactFlash cards, SmartMedia cards, and Sony Memory Sticks. It is also a good reference for others wanting to write PC Card drivers.

At present, the driver is intended for developers, testers, and the not-so-weak-of-heart. Since one must install post-10.1.1 kernel extensions (at or near the Darwin repository's top of source tree), there are no packages or disk images. Rather, the instuctions on building and installing the driver are included with the source. If you plan to try it out, be aware that a kernel panic can render a media card's file system unusable and possibly require that the card be re-formatted.

New for this release

The current version of the driver is much more stable than the previous one. Kernel panics are rare and the driver functions as it should modulo formatting a media card (formatting with the FAT file system or UFS file system works whereas attempting to format a card using the HFS or HFS+ file system sometimes fails.)


I wrote this driver to provide another way to transfer images from various digital cameras and for flexibility. While ImageCapture provides image transfer functionality, it does not support all cameras and necessitates extra cabling. Also, since CompactFlash cards et al are really just ATA devices, this driver affords formatting them in other than FAT12 (the de facto file system for digital cameras).


The project is located here:


Thanks to Greg Block, Rick Sulack, and Chris Sarcone.

Copyright (c) 2001 Michael Fox All rights