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View Full Version : Asking for assistance with a new project to document classic floppy disk contents



keenerb
March 29th, 2016, 06:46 AM
If this already exists, someone please let me know!

Many classic DOS games have been re-released over the years on CD-ROM and as pre-installed images via gog.com

These are difficult (or impossible) to parse back into the original floppy contents.

I'm hoping to create an online resource/database of original floppy folder/file structures to help people who legitimately own these software to recreate the original floppy disks when possible. I'm not asking for original disk images or anything like that, this is a metadata only project!

Basically, I'm asking for assistance from anyone who has a collection of original MS-DOS installation disks. I'd like a straightforward directory list from any classic game media you've got, with a game name and disk number/disk size. A simple "dir /s > disk1.txt" and rename it "Bard's Tale D1 720k.txt" as a reply would be more than satisfactory. I'd personally be most interested in the SSI Gold Box games, Sierra graphical adventures, Ultima series, Bards Tale, and other multi-disk RPGs.

Even if you have floppies with read errors, a simple "dir" command might work just fine and give the information I need!

I'm not really picky how the text files are transferred; you can attach zip files to replies here if the admins/forum rules permit, or you can provide a pastebin.com or pastie.org link, or email them to classicfloppies@gmail.com. They should be tiny enough to not cause much of a hassle...

hargle
March 29th, 2016, 07:20 AM
I'd really like to see CRC-32's of all the file data you're collecting. Yes, it gets a bit more difficult than a dir/s >report.txt but it isn't much more difficult than zipping the contents up and then exporting out the listing of the zip to get all the details.
I do a lot of this work for the total dos collection and can certainly help. I have plenty of disks for the ones you've listed already and hundreds more.

keenerb
March 29th, 2016, 07:29 AM
I'd really like to see CRC-32's of all the file data you're collecting. Yes, it gets a bit more difficult than a dir/s >report.txt but it isn't much more difficult than zipping the contents up and then exporting out the listing of the zip to get all the details.
I do a lot of this work for the total dos collection and can certainly help. I have plenty of disks for the ones you've listed already and hundreds more.

CRC-32 would be perfect, I agree.

But, a dir listing would grab the file size as well, which is probably "good enough" for most purposes, and it'd be MUCH faster really.

Unless your Total Dos Collection is already broken down by disk image? I have to admit this is the first I've heard of it. :(

I'm also hoping this might be fairly version-agnostic; a minor patch to Champions of Krynn, for example, might not change the names of the files on the floppies but the file sizes themselves might have significant differences...

SomeGuy
March 29th, 2016, 08:33 AM
I think this wold be a worthy project, and worth expanding beyond just games.

There have been a number of times where finding a directory listing online has helped me correct problems with floppy disk images. It is easy for time stamps to get messed up. Newer OSes incorrectly insist that the DOS directories must always be sorted alphabetically, sometimes destroying an intended order. Often people forget specific disk volume labels are required by the setup program. I could go on and on.

However, You will likely run in to many cases where repackaged CD version will no longer correctly fit on a floppy. In many cases data files may have been expanded, or executables may have been modified to remove old copy protections (or include newer ones :P ) Or weirder yet, when an original was a booter and had no file system at all.

Stone
March 29th, 2016, 08:54 AM
I have these games (https://www.dropbox.com/s/yqvgqifyfuo0tzq/GamesList.zip) on a CD.

The games are all from the early 1990s and are ZIPS of the original disks.

keenerb
March 29th, 2016, 09:03 AM
I have these games (https://www.dropbox.com/s/yqvgqifyfuo0tzq/GamesList.zip) on a CD.

The games are all from the early 1990s and are ZIPS of the original disks.

So each disk is a seperate zip file?

A list of each zip's file contents would be a great start to this project.

keenerb
March 29th, 2016, 09:05 AM
I think this wold be a worthy project, and worth expanding beyond just games.

There have been a number of times where finding a directory listing online has helped me correct problems with floppy disk images. It is easy for time stamps to get messed up. Newer OSes incorrectly insist that the DOS directories must always be sorted alphabetically, sometimes destroying an intended order. Often people forget specific disk volume labels are required by the setup program. I could go on and on.

However, You will likely run in to many cases where repackaged CD version will no longer correctly fit on a floppy. In many cases data files may have been expanded, or executables may have been modified to remove old copy protections (or include newer ones :P ) Or weirder yet, when an original was a booter and had no file system at all.

Yeah, and quite a few games (especially later ones) came shipped as installers on-disk; there was no way to run them natively from floppies.

Obviously you can't put the extracted files back into the installer very easily...

Stone
March 29th, 2016, 09:47 AM
So each disk is a seperate zip file?Yes...

fs5500
March 29th, 2016, 02:46 PM
I'm also collector of IBM PC games as Floppy Disk Image or BOX retail.
Unfortulately Floppy Disk Image of IBM PC disks are not dumped so much than Apple II / Commodore 64.

KC9UDX
March 29th, 2016, 03:45 PM
I'm also collector of IBM PC games as Floppy Disk Image or BOX retail.
Unfortulately Floppy Disk Image of IBM PC disks are not dumped so much than Apple II / Commodore 64.

Mainly because popular modern PCs don't natively handle those disk formats. It's kind of ironic.

fs5500
March 29th, 2016, 03:55 PM
>Mainly because popular modern PCs don't natively handle those disk formats. It's kind of ironic.

Apple II, Commodore 64 game and program disks are dumped as disk image though it is cracked or not.
But IBM PC's program disks are Not dumped as disk image so much, but ripped files only.
If disk image dump tools were available in early 1980s, more disk image would be dumped.

KC9UDX
March 29th, 2016, 06:29 PM
I doubt it. Disk imagining didn't become necessary nor prevalent until full system emulation became commonplace.

SomeGuy
March 29th, 2016, 06:46 PM
Even back in the day, if an IBM PC game or application program could not run from a hard disk without a magic keydisk in the drive, nobody wanted it and magazine reviewers would raise a stink. Since there was actual competition consumers would sometimes just take their money elsewhere, or they would "crack" the software just to use it as they needed.

Unlike Apple II where even the last IIGS had to have a single-sided double density 140k 5.25" drive just like the original to run common Apple II software, IBM PCs were rapidly getting upgraded from 180k, to 360k, to 1.2mb 5.25", 720k and 1.44mb 3.5" floppies, and with hard drives, and LANs, and CD-ROMs, and ZIP drives, and on and on. There was little value seen in preserving the original copy protected disks, even if there had been more common duplicators.

Syclops
May 6th, 2017, 07:30 PM
I've got boxes and boxes of backup disks from about 500 games from the 1980's and 1990's I use to have on various formats of 3.5" and 5.25" 1.2MB and 360KB Disks.

I don't have the originals any more, I donated the Original Boxes, Disks, Manuals etc... about 20 years ago to a charity that provided free computers to people with cancer and other illnesses that had them bed ridden or homebound.

joannsmith
July 1st, 2017, 03:41 AM
Yep, CRC-32 would be perfect.