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Thread: Making Backups of IBM Formatted Copy Protected Floppies

  1. #11

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    So if I understand correctly, there are two main objectives in trying to copy a copy protected floppy.

    (1) The first is to make an exact duplicate of the disk on another floppy. This means you hope at least one of the copies is always good and you always have a working floppy drive.

    (2) The second is to make some type of image file on hard disk which could be used in the future to either write an exact duplicate of the floppy or can be used by some type of emulator (a topic on which I am clueless).

    Does that sound correct?

    From reading the posts above, it sounds like COPYIIPC with SNACHIT may be able to produce duplicate disks. Hardware such as Kryoflux and Supercard Pro can make disk images. However, can either of those boards (plus their software) write out a duplicate disk?

    My knowledge of disk formats and all the various utilities is very light. So when topics such as file formats come up (like .IMG or .RAW files) I am lost because I do not know what to do with them.

    I think I would like to both write out duplicate disks (and use them to run the games) as well as archive the software on disk/CD to be used at a later date, whether that be to write out a duplicate disk or run via an emulator (if I ever learn how to use one).

    Thanks...Joe

  2. #12
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    Basically, yes. But some people but 2 before 1 although that is a little silly as you usually have no idea if something copied correctly unless you can run it on real hardware.

    Yes, both the Kryoflux and SuperCard Pro can write duplicate disks. There are some caveats that some odd formats, a few disk types, nosy damaged media dumps, or a few really weird copy protections won't write back correctly. But if you are dealing with IBM PC disks, you won't have to worry about most of that.

    The file formats and disk formats are very complicated. If you are serious about dumping disks, you will want to read up on FM/MFM/GCR encoding and get a general idea of how things work and how things are organized. If you have doubts about any image the best thing to do is to send it to others (like myself) to analyze. There are various people on the Kryoflux forums that can help.

    BTW, you might find this comparison of archival tools useful: https://forum.winworldpc.com/discuss...archival-tools

  3. #13
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    I don't know if any card can copy "weak bits", which was used as a copy protection scheme. Basically, the value of a sector would change every time it was read.

    The other notable one was where a laser-cut hole was burned into a disk to create a permanent, reproducible error.

    Most production copying was done with Formaster-type equipment; high-speed with special programming for copy protection. I haven't seen a Formaster offered for sale in many years. Google "Formaster diskette" for details.

  4. #14

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    I can take away from this discussion and the private messages that both boards function as advertised. Once I have the opportunity to start this project I am leaning toward buying both boards because I feel the software I have is worth it. Being able to archive and duplicate my software investment is invaluable.

    Plus, once I buy the boards I will be much more motivated to learn what I need to do. And I will learn what I need to learn.

    Thanks...Joe

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    I am leaning toward buying both boards
    Read the license agreement for the Kryoflux software carefully.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/vintagecomp...netic/epjwsut/

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    you might find this comparison of archival tools useful: https://forum.winworldpc.com/discuss...archival-tools
    BTW, SAMdisk and Aufit are quite handy for analysis and conversion from flux dumps to sector images and other formats. Aufit is not open source (yet?), but SAMdisk is.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Kossow View Post
    Read the license agreement for the Kryoflux software carefully.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/vintagecomp...netic/epjwsut/
    I'm reading it now...

    Thanks...Joe

  8. #18
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    Wont dd work in *nix? You could even set up a dedicated 386 or 386 for the purpose.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  9. #19
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    Unix/Linux/BSD dd operates on the standard idea that all disks are addressed by a relative sector address and that the addressing and other characteristics are quite uniform. That won't wash with copy-protected floppies, which is the subject of this thread.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    Wont dd work in *nix? You could even set up a dedicated 386 or 386 for the purpose.
    We are talking about copy protected disks, oddball disks, and non-dos disks. Unix/Linux "dd" can not handle those. (Nor does any modern-ish Unix/Linux run on a 386)

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