Super simplistic SD2IEC tutorial

I just got in an SD2IEC for use with my Commodore 128 (and VIC-20). I was concerned about tutorials I found on the WWW which indicated downloading some software from mostly broken links. Well, here’s my simplified tutorial, with NO DOWNLOADS NECESSARY.

  1. Get a 2GB or smaller SD card.
  2. Format it with a single FAT32 partition (I used gparted).
  3. Optionally copy desired .prg files onto the card
  4. Insert card into SD2IEC; plug it into your Commodore 64/128/etc

That’s it! Hopefully you know the obvious things, like powering down the Commodore computer before plugging or unplugging the SD2IEC although I actually think it’s okay to hot plug/unplug it.

Simple tutorial for using Commodore computer with a floppy drive (or SD2IEC) if you don’t already know:

To load most old school disc based games from back in the day:

  1. LOAD"*",8,1

To load a BASIC program or prg with BASIC stub:

  2. RUN

To load the first program (assuming it’s BASIC or ML with a BASIC stub):

  1. LOAD"*",8
  2. RUN

To get a file listing of what’s on the floppy/SD CARD:

  1. LOAD"$",8
  2. LIST

Note that as far as the Commodore computer is concerned, “$” is a BASIC program just like any other BASIC program. So, it will overwrite any program you may have loaded at the time. This could be particularly annoying back in the day, if you were programming a BASIC program and wanted to know what was on a floppy disc before saving it. Oh well, the old adage ever applies - save often!

Other tutorials suggest downloading various programs to control the SD2IEC and I’m sure they’re great for helping you do disc management and stuff, and fast loading … well, I’m just saying you can use your SD2IEC perfectly well without any of that stuff.


Nice tutorial @IsaacKuo - it’s good to see that one can simplify a recipe.

Not having grown up with the Commodore filesystem interface, I’ve always been a bit mystified by the LOAD syntax, so thanks for explaining that clearly.

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Thanks! I could note that many Commodore computers also had more convenient disk loading and directory commands, but the above arcane commands still work on them.

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Getting hold of 2GB (and smaller) SD cards, i.e. SD not SDHC, may be very difficult now. I have a number of retro setups which need such cards, and they just stopped selling them around here many years ago. I trawled some shops in Japan about six years ago and got myself a collection of 2GB cards which should cover my needs, but the last time I was there (2019) I didn’t see any 2GB cards anymore in the ordinary shops.

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1GB and 2GB SD cards seem to be easy to mail order, from Amazon or eBay for instance. I happened to have a 1GB SD card lying around.

Oh, I think not every SD2IEC is made with a full size SD card slot. But when I shopped around online, they also had 1GB and 2GB microSD cards. Those are so annoyingly small for a use case where you’re regularly removing and inserting them, though!