View Full Version : Copying from disk to disk/pc... how?

May 15th, 2009, 05:51 PM
I have a C64 I just got, with 1541 disk drive (and some other stuff that's irrelevant to the question :D)..

Anyway, it works great. I borrowed a case of disks from a friend, and want to yoink some of his programs and put them on disks of my own. From what I've read this is damned nearly impossible without a Commodore 4040 dual disk drive... I've decided to purchase another 1541 (I'll have it tomorrow) and will attempt to make it's device number be 9, and hopefully I can (to use some linux terms) cat the files from one device to the other, if not the contents of the whole disk.

Might someone help me with my predicament? Am I going about this the best way? I realize you can load basic programs into RAM, but some things I have just crash the C64 when you load them like a basic program, and I don't really understand how to format disks (though I've read some commands, and tried them to no avail).

I've heard of these X1541 cables that you can get to hook a 1541 drive up to a PC's parallel port. Do these work well? I assume I could use a cable like that to transfer disk images and disk contents back and forth, and with two 1541 drives it could provide an easy means of transfer from PC<->C64.. I also have a VIC-MODEM (1600), with no disks or documentation, so if that could be of use to me, please let me know (and perhaps how to go about using it..)..


May 15th, 2009, 06:23 PM
I've heard of these X1541 cables that you can get to hook a 1541 drive up to a PC's parallel port. Do these work well? I assume I could use a cable like that to transfer disk images and disk contents back and forth, and with two 1541 drives it could provide an easy means of transfer from PC<->C64..

I can't speak to your other problems, but the XE1541 cables (http://www.64hdd.com/64hdd/details/c64-xcables.html) work just fine. Forget the diode-less X1541--it's based on a shaky design. Spend a buck or two on some schottky diodes instead of the general-purpose variety.

May 15th, 2009, 07:01 PM
I found an arbitrary program on a Commodore 1541 demo disk I had called "COPY/ALL" that will do exactly what I was describing about copying from device 8 to whatever, it looks like "Jim Butterfield" thought along the same lines I just was. This will save me some time and headaches.

I'm still looking for a way to use my VIC-MODEM and other various points though.

I'll purchase (or build, if its easy enough) an XE1541 cable some time soon..

May 16th, 2009, 08:16 AM
There are a lot of copy programs that work with only one floppy drive. I don't know which sites host them though. If you get an X-cable (I would recommend swapping the diodes so you get a XM cable for use in Windows XP, Linux etc), I could put together a D64 image of some quality C64 copy programs in case you can't find them elsewhere. The freezer cartridges like e.g. TFC 3 also comes with their own copying programs.

May 16th, 2009, 05:56 PM
Copy specific files from 1541 to 1541, disk drive 8 to 9... how do I do this?

I have Copy/All but I'm having trouble understanding how to use it to this end (though I'm fairly certain it can do it).. I can copy entire disks with it, file by file, but can't figure out how to choose them..

May 16th, 2009, 06:08 PM
Have you tried RAWrite? Here is info (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RaWrite)

This would allow you to create sector by sector images of the disks and then re-write them to new disks. Should work with just about any disk your drive can read, plus it allows for a disk image to be filed somewhere (if you like).

May 16th, 2009, 06:15 PM
I don't have the cabling necessary to use RAWrite or a PC with a 1541 yet, I'm currently working with dual 1541 drives on a C64.

Anyway I figured out a workaround. Since I don't understand the program's mechanism for selecting files it lists based on the inputted filter, I am simply typing the entire filename as the filter, causing it to only select the one file I want copied.

May 17th, 2009, 10:49 AM
You have some file copying programs here, although not necessarily the best ones:

A couple more utility programs:

I used one called Super Filecopy 2 back in the days. It works very well with even a single floppy drive and allocates blocks in a non-standard way to minimize the number of head movements. I could dump it as a PRG if you like.

May 17th, 2009, 09:03 PM
I'd much appreciate that, carlsson. I assume (I last used a C64 as a young child in like 1993-4 or so.. so I'm rusty and relearning) that as a PRG it would be in BASIC format and I could manually type it and save it for use without the need to connect a 1541 to a PC or the PC to the C64, yes? If so, that would be quite useful until I'm able to get a cable.

Edit: I downloaded a PRG from one of your links and found it to be lovely jibberish.. any chance of a file copier in readable BASIC? That's all I can use to get programs on to my C64 atm unless I've got them on a disk/cart already.. I don't have a datasette..

While I'm on the subject of an XE/X/XM/etc. cable, I am thinking of getting this adapter instead, thoughts?


I assume that being an XE/XM switchable I'll get all of the functionality I'd want out of one of these cables.. There's also an "XA" variant.. what exactly is different about that one (A for active.. but I have no idea what or why)?

There's also this SD to user port adapter which I may purchase further in the future, if anyone has thoughts:


If my comprehension of the description is right, it will emulate a 1541 and allow me to run software off of a virtual 1541 drive based in a d64 image on the SD card, load files off of the fat32/16 space of the card, and numerous other combinations... it sounds convenient! :D

For now I'll stick with the adapter above, unless someone has a horror story about it..

May 17th, 2009, 10:28 PM
I assume that as a PRG it would be in BASIC format and I could manually type it and save it for use without the need to connect a 1541 to a PC or the PC to the C64, yes?
No, PRG is the native file format of a program. It might be Basic or machine code. A D64 image file contains several PRG files, but I thought in your case it would be just as efficient to get a single program to store onto a floppy than a full D64 image which only consists of one program anyway.

I don't know about file copiers in Basic. Despite you're having two floppy drives, I don't think you can create a direct link between them without reading data into computer RAM first. You will avoid a few disk swaps by using two drives but that is about it.

I don't have a datasette..
Oh, that is another thought but it would require you to either have a special cable or a regular tape recorder available to store programs to tape and then read them on the Datasette.

I have no experience of the adapter board, but consider it will take a bit more space at the back side of your PC than a cable would. Not a lot more space, but at least one or two inch. Otherwise I'm sure it well worth the money. Those can sometimes be found at eBay too, you may want to compare pricing.

As far as I remember, the XA1541 cable generally doesn't add more functionality but has even greater rate of compatibility than the XE/XM cables do. However I've used my homemade XM cable on at least three or four different PCs with different chipsets and architectures. I think you need to be unlucky to own a PC with a parallel port where it doesn't work.

The sd2iec is a nice device that (almost) replaces a floppy drive. Apart from the one you found at NKC Electronics, there is an enhanced product called uIEC which is firmware compatible and sold by Jim Brain, a member of this forum. You could transfer D64 images and supposedly use C64 software to write them to real floppy disks, or run them directly from the memory card.

The reason I wrote "almost" in the previous paragraph is that these SD based solutions don't have the processing power to completely emulate the CPU in a 1541. They emulate at a high level of functionality, which means custom fast loaders reprogramming the drive or computer generally won't work - there are some exceptions where certain fast loader protocols have been handled separately. It means the ideal setup would be a SD card reader as device 9/10 + real floppy drive as device 8.

May 18th, 2009, 08:22 AM
I have numerous computers to use, so I'll take my chances with the XE/XM switchable adapter (purchasing in a few min).

As for the SD, my end setup will hopefully be 1541 drives as 8 and 9 (which is what they are now), and the SD as 10. Copy/all, which comes on the test diskette for the 1541, copies between the drives and is written in BASIC.. I don't know C64 BASIC enough to read through it and figure out how to control it better though yet.

Anywho, thanks for all the help - when my adapter gets here I'm sure I'll be back for tips on good games and software to try out. :)

I'm still looking for information on my VICMODEM (1600), and I'd like a part number to look up for the Z80 coprocessor (and/or some information on it).. I'd like to see about getting CP/M on my C64..

May 18th, 2009, 11:08 AM
I seem to remember hearing CP/M on the C64 is horrendous, although I've never tried it myself. Only 40 columns, and too little RAM left for the Z80. But the device had one interesting impact on computing history; the reason the C128 has a Z80 CPU built-in. According to the tale some Commodore salesperson had promised the new C128 would run CP/M (through the cartridge) but technically the C64 Z80 cartridge didn't work on the C128 so they had to include one on the motherboard.