ATARI 8-Bit Systems


The Atari released the Atari 400 and Atari 800 8 bit systems in 1979. These were 6502 based systems and included custom chips to provide support for Player/Missile graphics (Sprites), display list based graphics modes, four channels of audio and more. Star Raiders was a first-person space combat simulator released in 1980 that showcased a lot of the capabilities of the hardware.

Many revisions and enhanced versions of the systems were released over the years starting with the 1200XL in 1983 followed by the 600XL and the 800XL. In 1985 the 65XE and 130XE replaced the XL systems. Support for the 8-bit line was officially dropped in 1992.

Applesauce Support

Disk Types

Reading and writing the following Atari 8-bit disk types is supported:

Atari 8-bit
5.25“ SD (Single Sided - 90 KiB)
5.25” ED (Single Sided - 130 KiB)
5.25“ DD (Double Sided - 360 KiB)

File Systems

File System support for the following Atari 8-bit operating systems is available:

Atari 8-bit
Atari DOS 2.x

Applesauce will be able to verify directories and files in these disks as good or bad. In addition you can export individual files. Exported files can be saved in raw data format or converted to modern text formats.

Disk Image Formats

The following disk image formats are supported.

Atari 8-bit

Atari disks are single sided and either single density or, with the released of the 1050 drive, “enhanced density”. Atari later released the XF551 drive which supported double sided/double density disks. Many users would notch the diskette and use the other side creating what is known as a “flippy” disk. Thus to image Atari disks it is generally recommended you find a third-party Apple II drive which could reach 40 tracks and install an Applesauce sync sensor. Many such drives exist such as the MicroSci A2 drive.

For double sided XF551 disks a PC drive can be used.

General Information

Drive Information


The most common format, used by the Atari 810 drive, is a single sided single density 40 track disk with 18 sectors of 128 bytes per track. Single sided double density disks that used 256 bytes per sector were common with third party drives.

When the Atari 1050 drive was released an “Enhanced Density” was included that was 40 tracks with 26 sectors of 128 bytes per track.

The Atari XF551 drive added a double sided double density format of 40 tracks of 18 sectors with 256 bytes each using both sides of the disk.


Useful for image verification.

Windows Mac Linux
Altirra (Atari 800/XL/XE) Atari800MacX (Atari 800/XL/XE)