PDA

View Full Version : Imaging Atari 1040ST floppy disks



vladstamate
January 17th, 2016, 02:48 PM
Hi,

I have a good number of Atari 1040ST disk (3.5" floppies) that I would like to image to have a backup. And at some point to re-image disks back in case originals break.

So far I've tried WinImage from Windows and it reports "No disk in drive" even though the disk is read just fine by my Atari. I successfully used WinImage to make backups of most of my old DOS games so I know it works fine.

I then thought I should use dd in Linux. That reports "Input/Output Error" and does not read anything.

This makes me think the disks are formatted in such a way that the PC's floppy drive cannot read them. Is that true?

What are my options for making backups? Those disks are not going to last forever.

Regards,
Vlad.

Chuck(G)
January 17th, 2016, 02:55 PM
No--1040ST disks should be readable on an ordinary PC. Are you perhaps trying to use HD floppies in an HD drive without covering over the density indicator hole. 1040ST, unless the machine has been modified, are 2D, not HD, so you need to cover that hole so they look like 720K floppies.

...Also, try them on a PC using IMD.

vladstamate
January 17th, 2016, 03:08 PM
Ah good point, I did not think that they are 2D and not HD. I've also found this (ST Recover):

https://strecover.codeplex.com/

and I am trying it now. It produces .ST files and not .IMG (which is what I want for archival purposes).

krebizfan
January 17th, 2016, 10:51 PM
Another disk imager for Atari ST is at http://atari.8bitchip.info/floimgd.php

This also explains some of the more troublesome alternate formats that were used on the ST but don't do as well on PC floppy drives.

vladstamate
January 18th, 2016, 04:44 AM
The wall I am hitting now is that fdrawcmd which both imagers use requires Windows 2000 (or newer) and a real floppy drive not USB. The machines that I have that contain real floppy drives are either Win 95 or Win 98. In newer machines I only have USB drives. I assume this software was written around 2000-2002 when people still have real floppy drives in Win2K machines.

Either way I am annoyed that dd does not work. The hole on the disk is clearly covered to indicate a NOT 2HD disk yet no PC floppy I've tried (real or USB) in either Linux, Win95 or Win10 can see it.

One other thing I can try is to force the floppy drive type from BIOS to something lower than 1.44Mb, say 720Kb and then use Linux or Win95 to try to image it again.

krebizfan
January 18th, 2016, 05:02 AM
Maybe you can try one of the other disk imagers from http://www.atari-wiki.com/?title=Disk-Imagers A DOS imager might work better.

720kB Atari ST disks should be readable even from USB drive if the USB drive supports 720kB disks; the Atari oversized FAT shouldn't be a problem. You will need an internal drive for the 10 sector track (800 kB) formats. 11 sector tracks and some of the exotic formats with non-512 byte sectors are not easily read with PC floppy drives.

g4ugm
January 18th, 2016, 09:34 AM
As Atari disks are 360K or 720K many of the normal imaging programs don't work. You might want to try GEMXPLORER

http://www.emulators.com/explorer.htm

g4ugm
January 18th, 2016, 09:37 AM
Ooops one more trick. If you can find an emulator that supports both real and virtual floppies you can use one of the Atari copy utilities to copy the disks...

vwestlife
January 18th, 2016, 10:36 AM
If the Atari has more than one floppy drive and the disks are not copy-protected, format some blank 720K disks on your PC, and then use the Atari to make copies of the original disks onto those new disks. When the Atari formats a disk it writes the FAT in a slightly different way that may cause compatibility problems when attempting to read the disk on a PC. But if you format the disk on a PC first, you can write data to it using the Atari and then read it on a PC without any problems.

Or at least that's what I discovered when I was attempting to transfer data back and forth between my ST and PC. :)

vladstamate
January 18th, 2016, 12:23 PM
Thank you all. Using the website that krebizfan provided I managed to make .ST images using makedisk and then write them out to another floppy using stdisk. For this particular one I was trying first (King's Quest III) I believe I hit the copy protection as the image (in STEEM) as well as the new disk (in the actual 1040ST) I created wants me to insert disk 1 (I assume that is due to the copy protection kicking in).

However I am satisfied for now, as I can backup all my programs and data. Thank you all again, could not have done it without your help!

g4ugm
January 18th, 2016, 12:29 PM
Some copy protected disks can be copied using a Blitz Cable...

http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/interfaces.php#if_blitz_cable

vladstamate
January 18th, 2016, 02:02 PM
That is interesting, I read their page a bit. Thank you for mentioning it, I did not know about it.

1ST1
January 19th, 2016, 12:03 PM
The wall I am hitting now is that fdrawcmd which both imagers use requires Windows 2000 (or newer) and a real floppy drive not USB. The machines that I have that contain real floppy drives are either Win 95 or Win 98. In newer machines I only have USB drives. I assume this software was written around 2000-2002 when people still have real floppy drives in Win2K machines.

No, it's not only because the software is old. It is because these programs are directly programming the registers of the PC-Floppycontroller. In USB drives there is no such compatible controller. USB drives behaves like SCSI devices, they don't know track sector side if the Windows OS is accessing them, instead they have blocks (sektors) to access. The translating into track, side, head is done by the USB drive internally. That means, these drives only support standard format, 720 kbB, 1,44 MB, no other as their firmware doesn't have support for such formats. Some newer USB floppys even don't support 720 kB format anymore.

You can use floimg on Windows 2000 to 10 (32-Bit Windows), you can use makedisk for MS-DOS, or you can use JayMSA on ST, but then you need possibility to transfer the disk image to PC, like SD-card hardidisk replacement, network solution (netusbee) with FTP client/server or ParCP-USB. All of these work fine in their environement.

I mainly use a IBM Thinkpad A31p for which I have Ultrabay 2000 floppy drive, docking station and floppy which can be connected to the docking under Windows XP. Also with Thinkpad R51/52 with dockingstation + drive that works, or you use Thinkpad A2x which stiull has fixed internal floppy drive. I also use makedisk on a TA Walkstation 386 and then transfer via parcp-usb to modern machine, or STacy with JayMSA and again parcp-usb.

Chuck(G)
January 19th, 2016, 12:08 PM
720K ST floppies are pretty darned close to MS-DOS floppies. In fact, there are several freeware program to replace the boot sector with a DOS-compatible one, so that the floppies can be read both on Windows/DOS and the ST.

1ST1
January 19th, 2016, 12:10 PM
This incompatiblity was fixed in TOS 1.04. And alternatve format utilities for ST even avoid this issue even on TOS 1.00. But anyhow, if you have an ST disk with 10 or 11 sectors, more than 80 tracks, these USB floppys will fail. I checked that already with several ones.

Chuck(G)
January 19th, 2016, 12:24 PM
Sure, and I've heard of people running certain (-2) WD1770 FDC at 500KHz bit rates to get high-density floppy support. But a 10-sector 3.5" ST floppy is an 800K one, not 720K.

1ST1
January 19th, 2016, 12:54 PM
800 kb formated disk is still the same data rate (8 MHz) as 720 kb formated. It's only software, shorter gaps between the sectors, more compact sector headers. This is well described in the "Scheibenkleister" book.

500 kHz to get HD??? With WD1772 in ST, you have DD (double density) at 8 MHz FDC clock, that means 9-11 sectors. To be able to access/write HD disk format, you need to double it's clock to 16 MHz (or to lower the floppy rpm from 300/min to 150, like stupid AMIGA does). Onlly 1772-02-02 can support 16 Mhz for short time (overclocked), or you need ATARI AJAX controller which is 1772 compatible and even can support 32 MHz (ED disks), what is nowhere used in ATARI scene...

g4ugm
January 19th, 2016, 01:13 PM
I think GemExplorer will read some of these odd disks...

Chuck(G)
January 19th, 2016, 03:38 PM
800 kb formated disk is still the same data rate (8 MHz) as 720 kb formated. It's only software, shorter gaps between the sectors, more compact sector headers. This is well described in the "Scheibenkleister" book.

Read the bit about USB floppy drives just before my post. Formats in USB commodity floppies are fixed at 9/512 and 18/512 (and sometimes 8/1024 (PC98 format). If you have a tenth or eleventh sector on a track in DD, you're not going to see it with a commodity USB drive. You need a legacy drive for that.


500 kHz to get HD??? With WD1772 in ST, you have DD (double density) at 8 MHz FDC clock, that means 9-11 sectors. To be able to access/write HD disk format, you need to double it's clock to 16 MHz (or to lower the floppy rpm from 300/min to 150, like stupid AMIGA does). Onlly 1772-02-02 can support 16 Mhz for short time (overclocked), or you need ATARI AJAX controller which is 1772 compatible and even can support 32 MHz (ED disks), what is nowhere used in ATARI scene...

I wasn't talking about the FDC clock--that can be any multiple of the cell frequency. Normal HD floppies have a 2 usec. cell time or 500KHz. I've got FDCs here (e.g. Intel 82078) that use a 48MHz clock.

1ST1
January 19th, 2016, 10:21 PM
Read the bit about USB floppy drives just before my post. Formats in USB commodity floppies are fixed at 9/512 and 18/512 (and sometimes 8/1024 (PC98 format). If you have a tenth or eleventh sector on a track in DD, you're not going to see it with a commodity USB drive. You need a legacy drive for that.
I don't tell anything different. And that's one reason why floimg (and other tools like that) can't support USB FDD.

1ST1
January 19th, 2016, 10:26 PM
Some copy protected disks can be copied using a Blitz Cable...

Blitz Cable is ok, but you need to have ST and ressource to transfer the image to PC if you like to store it relyable (or even share over internet). The other choice would be Kyroflux, USB based floppy controller to raw access all kinds and sizes of shugart bus based floppy drives. http://www.kryoflux.com/.