My objective is, if possible, to preserve my old floppy disks on an external USB hard disk drive, preferrably as disk images. These archived floppies should then be accessible under Windows 98. I also want to be able to recreate the archived floppies under Win98 from archive, onto modern-day 1.44MB floppy disks.
Example: I have a bootable 360kB 5.25" floppy, which boots into DOS 5.0. I want to archive this floppy on a USB hard disk. Then I want to be able to re-create a similar floppy from archive, but on modern media (1.44MB 3.5"), so that I can boot from a re-created floppy disk into DOS 5.0 on my Inspiron 7500 laptop.
Other Example: I have a 5.25" CP/M floppy disk (HP-125 format) which I want to archive on the USB HDD. The floppy disk contains old letters and correspondence created with Spellbinder, an old word processor. I want to be able to archive this old floppy on the USB HDD and then be able to access the word-processing files on it under Win98.
I have the following floppy disks to be archived:
5.25" CP/M 2.2, HP-125 Format (DS:DD:48); here some more info on CP/M: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CP/M
5.25" 360kB MS-DOS format
5.25" 1.2MB MS-DOS format
3.5" 720 kB
Potentially problematic floppies, which I don't have:
- 8" floppies
- DOS floppies formatted in non-standard ways with software like FDFormat or VGA Copy
- floppies with tough copy-protection
- Commodore, Atari, etc floppies
A. DOS tools for file-copying
- xxcopy16.exe (for copying files from DOS floppies). Always use xxcopy16 with the parameter "/V2", otherwise, if the floppy to be copied has a data CRC error, xxcopy16 wil skip over it and you will not know that a copied file is bad.
- 22Disk (for copying files from CP/M floppies)
B. Tools for creating/restoring image files from floppies
- DCF v5.3A (to create .dcf image files of DOS floppies, under DOS/DOS window)
- WinImage v8.1 (to restore .dcf image files onto 3.5 inch 1.44MB floppies, WinImage can reformat images of 5.25" to 3.5")
- TeleDisk v2.23 to create and restore .td0 image files of:
. CP/M floppies
. DOS floppies with formats which DCF cannot write from an image file (e.g. 180kB and 320kB 5.25" floppies)
. non-standard DOS floppies (e.g. a self-constructed boot floppy for DOS 2.1 on 3.5" media instead of on 5.25" media)
C. Hardware required
- an old 3.5" 720kB-only floppy drive (some 720kB floppies cannot be read in 720/1440kB drives; also for restoring floppy disk images to 720kB media )
- an old 5.25" 360kB-maximum floppy drive (for 360 kB DOS floppies); required for reliable .td0 images of CP/M floppies with TeleDisk
- a Zip/Jaz drive for transferring archived files out of the old computer, via the parallel port
I used a Jaz SCSI drive + a Jaz Traveller cable to connect the Jaz SCSI to the parallel port of the old T3100/20. I have been actually using 2 SCSI Jaz drives for the data transfer between the 2 computers, one connected to each of the computers. In this way I only have to eject the Jaz disk and insert it into the other Jaz drive to transfer data.
D. Other tools
- Uniform v1.07 (is an alternative to 22Disk; also useful for checking that the file-copying by 22Disk under a specific CP/M format is Ok)
- FMT 2.6 from Disk Copy Plus (to reformat archived floppies, identifying weak floppies)
- FDFormat (to reformat archived floppies, in special formats, e.g. single-sided quad density)
BUT: if you format a floppy in a non-standard way with FDFormat, you may not be able to create a floppy disk image from it, for archiving with DCF.
1 ) Uniform v1.07 for IBM PC
Uniform v1.07 can read, write and format 90 different CP/M formats under MS-DOS
(96 different CP/M formats, incl.Osborne 1, if your floppy disk controller supports single density for 5 inch drives)
2) DCF v5.3, the best software there is for copying floppy disks/creating images of floppy disks. It runs under DOS 2 and higher, under Win9x and WinXP. WinImage can handle created .dcf files fine under Windows. If you install WinImage v7.0a first, associate in v7.0a .dcf with WinImage, then install WinImage v8.1 on top ((without uninstalling v7.0), WinImage v8.1 can then read and handle .dcf files, just by double-clicking on the .dcf file under Win98.
3) WinImage v8.1 is the best software for reading and manipulating floppy disk images under Win98. Besides having a GUI for accessing DCF files, it can convert floppy disks from one media type to another media type (e.g. it can convert a 360kB-5.25" DOS 3.3 boot floppy disk/floppy disk image to a 1.44MB-3.5" boot floppy disk/floppy disk image, from which my Inspiron laptop with a 1.44MB floppy drive can actually boot). The instructions are a little hidden: double-click on the .dcf image file -> Image -> Change Format -> select target format (usually 1.44MB) (the displayed image size 1440 kB is displayed on the status line on the bottom left) -> OK, then -> Disk -> Format and Write Disk
4) Spellbinder v5.4 for IBM-PC MS-DOS (for editing Spellbinder files under MS-DOS, which were originally created on the CP/M version of Spellbinder). It works in a Win98 DOS-window, but each word-processing file has built-in printer-specific formatting; when I print on the Inspiron laptop to the attached laserprinter, formatting is really bad, a lot of blank pages, some pages with a few truncated words. The formatting was set for an HP-IB printer (CP/M), then for an Epson FX (FX-80, also FX-120?) dot matrix printer (MS-DOS). Spellbinder in a Win98 DOS-window prints directly to LPT1, like Notepad. Could it be that because of the conversion of Spellbinder word-processing files John Bintz, the President of Spellbinder/Lexisoft, Inc., "bought a motor-home drove off into the sunset" http://www.old-compu...ts.asp?TID=2085 ? http://www.cfhs-alum...s/Biography.htm I have over 1000 old word-processing files created by Spellbinder.
4) an old Toshiba T3100/20 laptop (Toshiba MS-DOS 5.0, 80286 CPU) with an internal 720kB 3.5" floppy drive
5) an external 360kB 5.25" floppy drive, which can be connected to the parallel port of the T3100
6) an external 1.2MB 5.25" floppy drive, which can be connected to the parallel port of the T3100
7) a Dell Inspiron 7500 laptop (of the year 2000) with Win98/XP, with an internal 3.5" floppy drive which can read, write and format 720kB and 1.44MB floppy disks
Currently unsolved problems:
1) Dateless files: CP/M files do not have dates. How can I create a .rar or a .zip file of dateless files under Win98, which then extract again under Win98 as dateless files? WinRAR v3.42 under Win98 assigns in the compressed .rar file the modification date "1/5/85 2:02 am" to originally dateless files, WinZip 9.0 SR-1 assigns the current date. The problem of the dateless files is probably just cosmetic, since Uniform v1.07, when it writes back the archived files onto a CP/M floppy disk, just drops the file dates.
2) Uniform v1.07 under DOS can make a directory listing of, but not read CP/M files with filenames which contain characters illegal under MS-DOS (e.g. the file "CP+.COM" on a CP/M floppy cannot be read by Uniform v1.07 because it contains a "+" sign in the file name). Uniform v1.07 displays the error message: "A bad character was found in a CP/M filename; some files may not be accessible"; the Uniform user manual suggests "You probably have to perform the renaming function on a CP/M machine".
3) I have many word processing files created by Spellbinder under CP/M and MS-DOS. I want to convert the documents created by Spellbinder under CP/M and under MS-DOS to .doc or .txt format, for easy access under Win98.
I have tried WordPort v9.0, Filtrix v3.54, ConvertPerfect v2.0 for DOS (by Novell), WordPerfect v6.0 for DOS, Professional Write v3.1 for DOS, FrameMaker v5.11, Lotus WordPro 96, Ventura Publisher 4.1 for Windows, PCTools for Windows 2.0 (contains the Central Point File Viewer v2.0, by Mastersoft), but none of them could properly read/convert Spellbinder files.
Edited by Multibooter, 07 September 2009 - 07:38 AM.