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jakk
August 24th, 2007, 03:02 PM
Hi. I was wondering if there is a program which will write c64 files to a 5.25 disk from a pc. I have a 5.25 drive hooked up to a pc,but my problem is that I can't find a program which will write the files to a 5.25 drive using the commodore 64 file format. I then would like to use the 5.25 disk in my c64.

chuckcmagee
August 24th, 2007, 05:54 PM
How about accessing your 1541 drive hooked up to the PC? I see listings on ebay for "XE1541/XM1541" cables all the time. You hook up the cable to the parallel port on your PC and the other end to your Commodore 1541 drive. Pick out the right kind of software (here's a dos one http://www.funet.fi/pub/cbm/transfer/1541-to-PC/x1541.zip)
and you can read/write files directly to the 1541 drive.

Geez, I should buy one of those cables myself!

jakk
August 24th, 2007, 06:49 PM
Hi. Thanks for the suggestion. I was seeing if there was a way I could do it without having to buy anything,is that possible? Also,looking at that cable,it looks like just a parallel cable mated with a 6 pin DIN cable. Would it be possible to just solder those two cables together?
That way,I wouldn't need to spend any more money.

Also,I tried running an old c64 math disk I found. The drive makes a clicking noise like a machine gun and then an error comes up. I've heard this is a symptom of drive head misalignment,and that it's very common on 1541 drives,which is what I have. I'm kind of worried about that because I just got this drive. Does the 1541 drive always make that sound,or is it just if the heads are misaligned? Sorry about the long post.

chuckcmagee
August 24th, 2007, 06:58 PM
Download and unzip the URL I gave you. It has the cable diagram in the "doc" file. The "chatter" is normal if it doesn't recognize the disk format. I can get that routinely by sticking a DOS floppy or unformatted floppy into the 1541 drive.

jakk
August 24th, 2007, 09:31 PM
Thanks for the link. I think I will try to make my own cable and then use that program. What type of 5.25 disk do I need to make it readable on the 1541?

NobodyIsHere
August 25th, 2007, 03:26 AM
Hi,
The Catweasel supports C64/1541 formatted disks on the PC. You may want to look into it as it does not require attaching a 1541 drive. There is software for Linux available to decode them.

http://unusedino.de/cw/

Thanks

Andrew Lynch

chuckcmagee
August 25th, 2007, 08:33 AM
As far as diskettes for the 1541, I go with "normal, not too hard to find DS,DD" ones. There is even a fellow Commodore person in Las Vegas that formats them and punches out the other side so you can flip them. I usually buy some from him. Here lately I have been grabbing those and using them in other types of machines too, like a Kaypro.

jakk
August 25th, 2007, 08:54 AM
Hi. Thanks for pointing out Catweasel,but it looks like I need seperate hardware for that. I'm glad to hear I can use DS DD disks because I have a bunch of those. I think the easiest and cheapest route would be to make my own x1541 cable because I have the cables already that are needed to make it.

carlsson
August 25th, 2007, 01:17 PM
Yes, the X-series cables consist of a DB25, a DIN6, some length of cable and at least four diodes, or resistors if you're going for an more advanced version. There is special software like Star Commander (DOS) or cbm4win (Windows XP) to use the cable.

See this site for all details: http://sta.c64.org

As Lynchaj pointed out, a CatWeasel controller would be a completely different way to do it. More expensive, requires a free PCI slot but also with much more hardware support (other disk formats, digital joysticks, SID chip) than a X-cable has to offer.

Theoretically, there may exist software that lets you read a 1541 floppy in a regular 5.25" PC drive as well, but it probably will take many tries to get all bytes right. Writing to a floppy is even more difficult, if at all possible with default disk controllers.

daniel_bingamon
October 22nd, 2007, 06:19 AM
Actually, the 1541 was single sided. Some Commodore users used to notch out the disks, flip em over and write stuff on the other side for less important things.

carlsson
October 22nd, 2007, 07:09 AM
Some users? I thought all of us did, and likewise on other systems with single sided floppy drives. Whether or not it is good practise to change the rotation direction of a floppy, it is debated. Dust particles catched in the filter may come loose when the disk rotates the other way around, and other horror stories. Personally I never encountered any particular faults, perhaps I kept my floppy disks fairly clean and only moderately used. However, you're correct that SSDD floppy disks probably should not be formatted on the back side, even if it sometimes works. I had a bit of data loss from doing so, using the back side of a floppy disk only certified for single sided use.

Terry Yager
October 22nd, 2007, 10:29 AM
Then there are (were?) Flippy Disks, which are intended to be turned over and used on both sides in a SS drive. They even have an extra index hole for those rare machines that use it.

--T

MikeS
October 27th, 2007, 12:30 AM
Rare??? That's good news; it means that all my computers (except the CBMs of course) are rare, especially all those PCs cluttering up the place...

Even if you meant only machines with SS drives, I wouldn't say index sensors were exactly rare...

I've still got my punch BTW.

Also, if you're only copying a few files there's a simple PC<>cassette cable and software.

Terry Yager
October 27th, 2007, 11:52 AM
Rare??? That's good news; it means that all my computers (except the CBMs of course) are rare, especially all those PCs cluttering up the place...

Even if you meant only machines with SS drives, I wouldn't say index sensors were exactly rare...

I've still got my punch BTW.

Also, if you're only copying a few files there's a simple PC<>cassette cable and software.

Sorry, I don't know how to write a 'sarcasm' emoticon...:roll:

--T

MikeS
October 27th, 2007, 03:16 PM
That makes two of us...

And I was already planning what to do with the windfall from selling all those *@!RARE!@* machines on eBay... darn!

wiskow
October 31st, 2007, 06:35 PM
As far as diskettes for the 1541, I go with "normal, not too hard to find DS,DD" ones. There is even a fellow Commodore person in Las Vegas that formats them and punches out the other side so you can flip them. I usually buy some from him. Here lately I have been grabbing those and using them in other types of machines too, like a Kaypro.

Sounds like you're talking about Al Jackson. :)

BTW... If anyone here needs a disk notcher, I have one up for auction on eBay right now, new in box:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110187026036

-Andrew

djpubba
November 8th, 2007, 07:46 PM
I recently bought a Catweasel MK4 and haven't gotten it to work. I can read C64 disks but when I write them I get nothing but bad disks. This happens if I take a good disk, read it, test the dump is good in an emulator, write the same dump back to disk and read it again. It fails to read whatever I write to disk (and the disk doesn't work in a real 1541). I've tried all the different versions of the drivers and they all do different bad things. The latest one doesn't even turn the drive on when you tell it to write.

I've been in contact with the creator but he hasn't offered any real help in the three weeks I've been talking with him. Not too happy with the product at the moment.

NobodyIsHere
November 9th, 2007, 03:43 AM
Hi,
The 1541 GCR disk format is very different than the MFM formats most PC type computers use. As a result, only some DSDD floppy disk drives can be used. Have you tried swapping the drive out and seeing if different drives persform better? I have had to do that myself in making the hard sector disk reader software for Catweasel.

Best of luck with your disks!

Andrew Lynch

djpubba
November 9th, 2007, 09:01 AM
I've tried 5 different drives including a 360k drive. The 1.2M drives I'm using are Teac FD-55GFR (I've tried 3 of those) some kind of Chinon drive and the 360k, all with similar results.

Can you suggest a 5.25" drive model known to work?

BG101
December 13th, 2007, 11:44 AM
I'll be having a go with this in a few days - ordered a Catweasel which will hopefully show up tomorrow or early next week :)

Have a few drives to try out with it when it comes ...


I expect there are differences with the 1541 track layout which PC drives may have issues with.


BG

NobodyIsHere
December 13th, 2007, 05:15 PM
I've tried 5 different drives including a 360k drive. The 1.2M drives I'm using are Teac FD-55GFR (I've tried 3 of those) some kind of Chinon drive and the 360k, all with similar results.

Can you suggest a 5.25" drive model known to work?

Sorry, I haven't use the Catweasel to read C64 disks. I can tell you one disk to avoid if you are trying to read hard sector disks though... CANON [not:Chinon] 5501.

What a POS disk drive! It "eats" all the sector holes which defeats the entire purpose of hard sectoring. The darned thing cost me a month in writing my Catweasel software. I wanted to drive over it with my car once I discovered it was doing that! :twisted:

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. It must have escaped my notice.

Thanks!

Andrew Lynch

BG101
December 19th, 2007, 02:43 PM
I'm currently using an Epson SD-800 (dual 3" & 5") floppy drive bought on eBay a couple of weeks back. The 3" drive doesn't work (the link ribbon cable was disconnected and when examined, two of the contacts were shorted together, I repaired and reconnected it but no joy. However the 5" drive works fine and reads just about everything I put in it, even stuff from my Amstrad PC-1640 which won't read in other drives.

I've found that using the original Catweasel drivers (2005) allowed reading C64 disks but there was no retry option for bad sectors, also Windows couldn't access my floppy drives once I had installed the Catweasel (could boot the PC from either drive in DOS though) and it insisted on reloading all the drivers on every bootup :confused::mad:

I put the latest drivers on and found the disk image utility sorely lacking in format suport, no 1541 support at all (in fact it wouldn't even access the drives properly) and when I rebooted the system tripped and restarted attempting to reload XP.

Using CWMK 42200 driver it works (as long as you don't have a disk in the drive during Windows startup otherwise it resets) and I've imaged a number of my Commie disks, some with no errors at all. Since the Epson SD-800 is a HD (1.2Mb) drive I would expect problems trying to write in DD format to a previously formatted disk, so I'm going to try a new blank disk and see if this works. Had the same problems as djpubba in this respect though haven't brought my Commie out of the store yet to test it.

I tried a 360K drive but this wouldn't read any 1541 disks :( also the other drives I got from eBay are out of alignment :mad:


Will update this later when I've fetched Wifey from work :rolleyes: :)


BG

BG101
December 19th, 2007, 03:36 PM
Tried using a new (unformatted) disk, DS/DD.

Still doesn't work - verifying straight after writing reports errors on sector 0, then every 21st sector thereafter. Tried a DS/HD disk (previously formatted to MS-DOS 1.2Mb) and this reports errors on nearly every sector :confused::mad:

If this thing won't write disks then it is not doing what is promised :mad:


Also I haven't been able to read anything from side 2 of disks which have been notched and used as flippies (which accounts for most of the backup section in my disk collection) - wonder if the PC drive uses the index hole?

Next job is to realign the heads on my other drives and see if any of those perform any better. However, finding an alignment disk seems to be nigh on impossible ...



BG

carlsson
December 20th, 2007, 12:44 AM
Ouch, that is really bad publicity for the CatWeasel interface. Nowadays with so many alternative hardware interfaces, this product is starting to sound questionable. Surely it is a great piece of hardware, but the software support seems secondary. If your need only lies in reading Commodore disks, I'd recommend a good old X-cable and a spare 15x1 floppy drive. With the new releases of cbm4win you don't even need to maintain an old DOS PC to use it.

tezza
December 20th, 2007, 01:23 AM
Before I blew my Commodore 64 up the day before yesterday (..see a related post) I was transferring disk images from my PC to a 1541-II drive very successfully using one of the much talked about X1541 cables (mine was an XA1541) using open-source software called cmb4win (together with an associated open-source GUI called guicbm4win).

Honestly this works a treat. The GUI made it painless and it was a breeze to set up. I say the X-series interfaces and cables are well worth the money! They are not expensive.

I wish other systems had something so easy to use. This is one of the advantages of a system having an "intelligent" drive, despite the fact that the 1541 is probably the slowest in the world!

chuckcmagee
December 20th, 2007, 03:17 AM
Indeed! The software Tez rattles off works great. After I got done messing with the linux software that does the same thing, I went back to the Windows based software mentioned. If you want to recreate a nice game disk from a C64 image, it's the way to go.