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View Full Version : Dumping raw hard drive images via parallel port and DOS



Kazblox
November 10th, 2017, 03:12 PM
Note: This is more of a general topic that would fit both in "PCs and Clones", "Later PCs", and "Pentium (First generation)", so I decided to post it here since this subforum gets the most attention.
Can it be done? Not as in files, but actually the raw contents of the disk. This is assuming the program has direct access to int 13h, and the client (a much more modern machine) syncs with the host and receives the disk image.

EDIT: For those who were looking to solve the mystery of what was booting up on my PS/2, see the third page.

SomeGuy
November 10th, 2017, 03:29 PM
Don't know about a parallel port, but if you have a network card you can boot a LAN Manager disk, run Norton Utilities, select the entire "physical" drive, and write the selection as a file to a network share. That has an upper limit of 2GB, but when you get larger than that, you are usually in territory where you can run a Linux CD and "dd" stuff. Similarly if you can attach another larger hard drive, or a zip drive, you can save the contents to one of those.

If the hard drive is not too large, you can manually calculate out how many sectors will fit on a floppy disk and the start/stop locations to split the hard drive image, then for each split select just those sectors with Norton Utilities, and write them to disks. Pain in the ass, but it works.

Trixter
November 10th, 2017, 03:33 PM
This comes up from time to time; the last discussion I can remember is at http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?10896-DOS-drive-imaging-backup-via-FTP!! but I don't think that covers Mike Brutman's attempts. Mike?

Chuck(G)
November 10th, 2017, 03:48 PM
Early versions of Ghost (~5) will backup over a laplink cable.

Kazblox
November 10th, 2017, 03:49 PM
That has an upper limit of 2GB, but when you get larger than that, you are usually in territory where you can run a Linux CD and "dd" stuff.
Ahahahahaha. Are you serious?! My PS/2 is a 386. No way to support CD-ROM drives without a bootable SCSI drive, and I have no MCA SCSI cards either. Even if I did get a working drive and card, there's no "386 Linux" distribution out there on a CD that runs in around 2MB memory, has PPP support and dd all at once.

Also don't have any EtherLink cards (nothing more than $25!), which is why I asked "parallel port" backup methods.

JohnElliott
November 10th, 2017, 03:49 PM
If the hard drive is not too large, you can manually calculate out how many sectors will fit on a floppy disk and the start/stop locations to split the hard drive image, then for each split select just those sectors with Norton Utilities, and write them to disks. Pain in the ass, but it works.

I've imaged a couple of PCs like that (hard drives in the 20-40Mb range). Rather than do the splits manually, I wrote a program that dumps the drive to floppy, stopping and prompting for another disc when the free space gets down to less than 512 bytes. Tedious, but less so than splitting by hand.

Kazblox
November 10th, 2017, 04:04 PM
P.S.: Can anyone identify what even is this operating system?
41896

Chuck(G)
November 10th, 2017, 04:22 PM
You can also check SIMTEL20 <MSDOS.DSKUTL> for hard drive backup utilities--there are several.

SomeGuy
November 10th, 2017, 04:32 PM
Ahahahahaha. Are you serious?! My PS/2 is a 386. No way to support CD-ROM drives without a bootable SCSI drive, and I have no MCA SCSI cards either. Even if I did get a working drive and card, there's no "386 Linux" distribution out there on a CD that runs in around 2MB memory, has PPP support and dd all at once.

Also don't have any EtherLink cards (nothing more than $25!), which is why I asked "parallel port" backup methods.
Um, and you have what, perhaps a ~60MB hard drive in that? So you are *not* in that territory. But if I didn't point out that Linux/dd was often a better option for later machines someone else (Stone?) would complain and make me sound like a dumbass for not mentioning it.

If it were me I'd probably look for a parallel port Zip drive.

Never tried it, but there is also "Lantastic Z", which supposedly can use a serial nullmodem cable to share/map drives. "The $25 Network" is another product that can supposedly do similar. And there may have been a few others like that.

Of course, I can never say no to a stack of floppy disks, so:


I've imaged a couple of PCs like that (hard drives in the 20-40Mb range). Rather than do the splits manually, I wrote a program that dumps the drive to floppy, stopping and prompting for another disc when the free space gets down to less than 512 bytes. Tedious, but less so than splitting by hand.
Is that posted somewhere for download?

KenEG
November 10th, 2017, 06:28 PM
You might get be able to install it as a second drive in a more modern PC. Then you would have a lot of possibilities.

Kazblox
November 10th, 2017, 06:35 PM
It's DBA ESDI. Would need to build an adapter and get an ESDI card for that option.

Xacalite
November 10th, 2017, 08:11 PM
You can use Interlink to see the modern PC's HDD from the PS/2 as a regular drive letter.

Then use Disk Editor from the Norton Utilities package:

Object -> Drive -> Physical disks -> Hard Disk 1
Object -> Physical sector -> Cylinder: 0, Side: 0, Sector: 1, Number of sectors: maximum
(cursor at the beginning) Edit -> Mark
Press "End" to select the entire disk area
Tools -> Write to -> to a File...

Caluser2000
November 10th, 2017, 11:15 PM
Ahahahahaha. Are you serious?! My PS/2 is a 386. No way to support CD-ROM drives without a bootable SCSI drive, and I have no MCA SCSI cards either.Ever heard of backpack drives?

Chucks idea of using Ghost is a good one.

Maybe its time to mention U-NET. Stone will fill in on the details.

Caluser2000
November 10th, 2017, 11:23 PM
P.S.: Can anyone identify what even is this operating system?
41896Not really much to go on really. No other clues on boot up?

JohnElliott
November 11th, 2017, 02:03 AM
Of course, I can never say no to a stack of floppy disks, so:

Is that posted somewhere for download?

It's very unpolished (for example the input drive is hardcoded as drive 0x80 rather than being specified on the command line) but: http://www.seasip.info/DOS/imagehd.zip

Kazblox
November 11th, 2017, 03:22 AM
Ever heard of backpack drives?
Aha, yes! I got one at the flea market for $15!


Not really much to go on really. No other clues on boot up?
No, not at all. This is all it boots up to.

3pcedev
November 11th, 2017, 01:50 PM
Judging by your screenshot it looks like that's some kind of real-time operating system like VXWorks.

Without more to go on it's impossible; there were a lot of custom OS's out there for specific applications.

Kazblox
November 11th, 2017, 02:10 PM
For some reason, I think it's in stored ROM; I don't hear much of any hard disk noises when the operating system boots up, plus the time it takes to boot it is lightning fast. I don't have the hard disk configured in the reference disk yet either, so the only boot option for the PS/2 to find is a ROM operating system if the floppy drive doesn't boot. This is very unusual for me to guess, because most, if not all PS/2 computers, contained BASIC as the default "go to" boot option if nothing else was present.

mbbrutman
November 11th, 2017, 03:32 PM
This comes up from time to time; the last discussion I can remember is at http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?10896-DOS-drive-imaging-backup-via-FTP!! but I don't think that covers Mike Brutman's attempts. Mike?

I've done it and I have come code here for it, but it's not quite ready for prime time. It turns out that disk controllers vary widely in their error responses, so writing code that works well across a variety of machines is trickly.


Mike

Kazblox
November 11th, 2017, 06:23 PM
Unfortunately, the drive seems to be dead. LED never goes off, and the reference disk doesn't detect the drive itself. Nor does MS-DOS. I'll keep this thread going for interest, meanwhile I'll begin to start my PS/2 SCSI adventures in another...

Kazblox
November 11th, 2017, 09:13 PM
Case closed for whatever was booting up on my PS/2; apparently it's the Token Ring card's BIOS interface.