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How to archive old floppies for access under Win98

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#1
Multibooter

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I am currently archiving my old floppy disks, maybe a 1000.

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
3.5" 1.44MB

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

Toolbox:
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.

Details
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 :rolleyes: 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
http://www.old-compu...M/doc.asp?c=917
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.
http://www.old-compu...spellbinder.htm
http://books.google....I...der&f=false
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.

Any ideas?

Edited by Multibooter, 07 September 2009 - 07:38 AM.



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#2
jaclaz

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For ANY kind of floppies, you can use a dd-like image (this would be filesystem independent, and will keep - as an example - activation data for old DOS programs BUT won't probably be able to make valid copies of some copy protected floppies).

DCF v5.3, the best software there is for copying floppy disks/creating images of floppy disks.

but not the only one. ;)

Looky here:
http://retro.icequake.net/dob/

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.

Winimage can do format conversions for DOS.

dcopy:
http://users.telenet...plications.html
is a very useful software for dealing with floppies

various rawrite versions:
http://www.fdos.org/ripcord/rawrite/

For CP/M, best thing is using an emulator:
http://www.cpm.z80.de/emulate.html
(there are also several ones for Linux/Unix)
http://en.wikipedia....mulators#CP.2FM

Possibly zsim:
http://www.jwi.de/zsim/zsimrm.html
http://www.jwi.de/zsim/zsim.html
is the best one around :unsure:

Or a VM, unfortunately the Qemu CP/M appears like NOT being wotrking. :(
http://www.claunia.com/qemu/
http://www.claunia.c...ls.php?id=00107
http://www.claunia.c...eenshots/cpm11/

It seems like working in VPC 2004, though:
http://vpc.visualwin.com/
http://vpc.visualwin...86.various.html


Spellbinder coversion:
FileMerlin:
http://www.file-convert.com/fmn.htm
or WordPort:
http://www.file-convert.com/wpt.htm
NOT cheap :(:
http://www.file-convert.com/ordfrm.htm

Or may be free online conversion?
http://www.cometdocs.com/indexWord.htm


jaclaz

#3
Multibooter

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but not the only one. ;) Looky here:
http://retro.icequake.net/dob/

I was referring to a software-only tool. I never owned a Central Point Board, but it has the reputation of being the best tool (software+hardware combo) for some floppies.

As one response to the U.S. trade embargo 30 years ago the Iranian authorities had stopped giving copyright-protection to U.S. software in Iran and many respectable stores there sell floppies, CDs, and DVDs. DVDs are said to go currently for about a dollar a piece. About 15 years ago the floppies were reproduced in the stores there from DCF images, the customers just had to wait a little until the floppies were written. The prices charged were the cost of the floppies plus a minimal amount for the reproducing labor. DCF was the standard tool for copying floppy disks in Iran, the stores must have had their reasons, and millions of floppies must have been reproduced there with DCF over the years. Probably no other floppy archiver has passed such an extensive field test.

Winimage can do format conversions for DOS.

Yes, an excellent tool for converting to different media types, I have added WinImage as an essential tool to the Toolbox above.


Spellbinder coversion:

About 5 years ago I had tried to convert my Spellbinder files, but then I gave up. I had tried WordPort, it had Spellbinder listed among its word processors, but it couldn't handle Spellbinder format properly, the text after a highlighted/underlined text was swallowed.

I also had downloaded FileMerlin, but I don't find any notes regarding it, I'll have to give it another try. Thanks for the link with the online conversion.

Any idea on how to archive dateless files under Win98, without the archiving software adding dates? Thanks again.

Edited by Multibooter, 10 August 2009 - 01:14 PM.


#4
jaclaz

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I was referring to a software-only tool. I never owned a Central Point Board, but it has the reputation of being the best tool (software+hardware combo) for some floppies.

Yep :), and I was referring to the software only solutions too ;):
http://retro.icequake.net/dob/#soft

NO ideas about storing the CP/M files if not in floppy images + VM, sorry. :(

jaclaz

#5
Multibooter

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Yep :), and I was referring to the software only solutions too ;): http://retro.icequake.net/dob/#soft

I actually found 2 original COPY II PC disks (v5.00 and v5.01) among the floppy disks to be archived :) I checked my InfoSel notes, I had bought them for $2 in California 11 years ago. I had tried them out at that time on my then-new Win95 laptop (Gateway Solo, 120 MHz, built-in 3.5" 1.44MB floppy drive), but I couldn't get it to work properly on the laptop, I got the message: divide overflow, with a /M parameter it worked, but not to my satisfaction, and I stayed with DCF.

BTW, the download page for Copy II PC has a link to http://retro.icequak...pc/cp2pc500.zip The downloadable file cp2pc500.zip, however, is a poor archival copy of the original floppy disk: it doesn't contain the 2 hidden files ibmbio.com and ibmdos.com which are on the original floppy disk, with the same file creation date of 25-Apr-88 as the other copyiipc files. My original disk of v5.01 does not contain any hidden files, only v5.00 has hidden files.

This is a prime example of why I make backup copies with DCF: I don't have to think of all those nifty things software makers were doing to floppy disks. For the past 13 years I have never installed software from my original floppy disks, only from a DCF backup floppy, because often the original floppy is modified during installation (e.g. older versions of System Commander).

BTW, the docu of DCF states that it can also duplicate Macintosh HD floppies on a PC.

#6
Multibooter

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1) Archiving: Using DCF to recover unreadable bad floppy disks
I had some really bad disks among my floppy disks to be archived, Windows Explorer under Win98 would stop file-copying with the message: "Cannot copy xxx. The system cannot read from the specified device."

I just recovered a particularly recalcitrant bad floppy disk with DCF v5.3 in a full-size DOS window under Win98. When DCF displayed the error message "Diskette bad CRC read error" I clicked on Retry, up to 20 times. When that didn't work I ejected the bad floppy disk, hit it, bent it, put it for 5 minutes into the freezer, and then back into the floppy drive, where DCF would continue with the bad track. After such physical force DCF would read another couple of tracks, and then the bad floppy had to get its treatment again.

During the recovery process the bad floppy got physically stuck in the floppy drive, and I could only remove the bad floppy disk by inserting a knife into the floppy drive. The metal slider of the bad floppy disk became quite bent in the process, but at least I could take it out of the floppy drive. I then broke off the bent metal slider of the bad floppy disk, the metal slider is not needed for reading the bad floppy, works fine without it. After about 1 hour I had created with DCF a perfect floppy disk image.

I repeated reading the bad floppy with DCF on another computer, with the same procedure. DCF got stuck at the same tracks, which showed that the read errors were not caused by a dirty floppy disk drive. The image files of the bad floppy, created on the 2 computers by DCF, were identical and good. The data was perfectly recovered.

2) 720kB floppies are often very bad media
Of about 1000 old floppies in the process of being archived (the 3.5" floppies are 10-18 years old, the 5.25" floppies 15-27 years), the 720kB 3.5" floppies were really bad media. If anybody still has stuff on 720kB 3.5" floppies he should immediately archive them with a 720kB-only floppy drive. Newer floppy drives, which can read 1440 and 720 kB floppies, are made for narrower tracks and could NOT read maybe 30% of my good 720kB floppy disks.

After archiving, I threw out about 50% of my 720kB floppies disks because they formatted with bad sectors on a 1440/720kB floppy drive, even if they formatted fine on an old 720kB-only drive. When re-using (reading or writing) a 720kB floppy disk in a 1440/720kB floppy drive, it should be formatted on a 1440/720 kb floppy drive, not on a 720kb-only floppy drive (different track width). BTW, WinXP Explorer cannot format 720kB floppies anymore, although 720kB floppies are read Ok under WinXP.

My old 5.25" floppy disks (many 25 years old, both CP/M and DOS) gave me NO problems archiving. These old 5.25" floppies seem to be of archival quality, even el-cheapo no-name single-sided, double-density floppies which were formatted as double-sided, double-density floppies. I archived my 360kB 5.25" floppies with an old max-360kb floppy drive, not with a floppy drive which can handle 360kB and 1.2MB 5.25" floppy disks. The 5.25" floppy disks got their unjustified reputation as being unreliable media possibly because people used 360kB floppies, originally formatted in a 360kb-only drive, in a 360kB/1.2MB floppy drive.

Edited by Multibooter, 18 August 2009 - 03:42 PM.


#7
jaclaz

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After archiving, I threw out about 50% of my 720kB floppies disks because they formatted with bad sectors on a 1440/720kB floppy drive, even if they formatted fine on an old 720kB-only drive. When re-using (reading or writing) a 720kB floppy disk in a 1440/720kB floppy drive, it should be formatted on a 1440/720 kb floppy drive, not on a 720kb-only floppy drive (different track width). BTW, WinXP Explorer cannot format 720kB floppies anymore, although 720kB floppies are read Ok under WinXP.


Read here ;):
http://forum.winimag...opic.php?t=3117


Unrelated, but not much :whistling:, and just FYI:
http://www.denispetrov.com/?page_id=3
http://www.serverele...t...hp?f=1&t=64
http://alter.org.ua/...oft/win/floppy/

:hello:

jaclaz

#8
Multibooter

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Read here ;):
http://forum.winimag...opic.php?t=3117

Hi jaclaz, thanks for the tip about taping the left hole of the 1.44MB floppies. The 1.44MB floppies taped in this way format fine as 720kb with Win98 format, no need to format in a DOS window or under DOS.

I like your comment in the link above "I do have some three or four boxes of them [720kb floppies] (used), like vintage wine, to be used only on special occasions...." - and I have been throwing 50% of them into the trash.

But my experience with the 720 kB floppies - after archiving them and then reformatting them for re-use - has been that about 50% of them re-formated with bad sectors on my 720/1140 kB floppy drive. I looked into my trash, the discarded weak 720kB floppies were 3M, IBM, Fuji Film, Verbatim DataLife and unmarked floppies with original software, so the problem of the 720kB floppies cannot be due to the brand. I was able to read/archive all the data on them, but when I reformatted the 720kB floppies on my old Inspiron 7500 laptop, which can read AND write to 720 and 1440kb floppy disk, 50% of them had bad sectors. Just try it yourself.

Many more recent 3.5" floppy drives canNOT read 720kB floppies anymore, esp. external USB floppy drives. I have several external USB Buslink 3.5" floppy drives, they can read 720kB floppies, but the cannot write/format 720kB floppies. Although the internal 3.5" floppy drive of my Inspiron 7500 can read/write/format 720 and 1440 kB floppies, it has serious issues with 720kB floppies: The system hangs very of often when I move (not when I copy) stuff from 720kB floppies to the HDD. There is one repeatable error: when I have eMule running and start to move files from a 720kB floppy to the HDD, the system freezes. I will check whether taped 1440kB floppies seen by Windows as 720kB floppies also cause the mule to freeze.

Addendum: I created with WinImage a disk image from the same bad floppy mentioned above, encountering a lot of read errors, but WinImage - in contrast to DCF - could create the disk image without the use of physical force. So WinImage is better suited for recovering unreadable bad floppy disks than DCF, on a Win98 machine. I liked the 'Ignore' selection of WinImage when it encounters a bad track. The bad floppy mentioned was recovered fine by WinImage, even if it was made to ignore the last 3 bad tracks.

I also have 4 old 3.5" HP floppy disks to be archived, but they are single-sided, with an Auto Shutter (you can 'pinch' at the left corner of the floppy to release/re-attach the metal slider; the floppy has no write-protect hole). They are most likely from a 1985 HP-150 "Touch-screen", which I never liked. http://hpmuseum.net/exhibit.php?swc=5 "The main problem at the time was that IBM machines did not use or recognise 3.5 inch floppy discs. Data files created on the 150 could be read by IBM PCs after the file had been stored to 5.25 inch floppy disc." Anadisk shows SS-DD, 256 bytes sector size, but when trying to copy, Anadisk stops reading when it comes to the blank tracks at the end; TeleDisk gives up on track 0. Any ideas on how to archive/read/convert this floppy?

Edited by Multibooter, 18 August 2009 - 11:02 AM.


#9
jaclaz

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It is possible that some floppy drive is "defective" with 720 Kb.

Most probably it is not a 720 Kb media specific problem.

As you might remember, there were actually hole punchers (or instructions on how to drill :w00t: and additional hole in 720 kb ones to make them 1440 Kb:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23027
http://www.911cd.net...o...=23027&st=7
there were both for the "old" 5.25" and for the "new" 3.5", the one depicted here is for the 5.25":
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Floppy_disk

an image of a 3.5" one seems like rare....
...essentially the actual magnetic support of both 720 Kb and 1.44 Mb diskettes was the same, at least when the 1.44 format became popular (it costed far less to manufacturers to produce the same thing with two different "cases" than to have two separate production lines).

some more "vintage" info is here:
http://www.angelfire...ret/27disks.htm

The formatting is VERY important on floppies, it is possible that you are using a "bad" formatting program.

I always used VENUS to copy/format/re-format, at least for 1.44 ones, cannot remember if it's comaptible with 720 Kb....

Recently I found DCOPY to be very, very dependable.

Of course both under "pure" DOS.

In the good ol' times there were quite a number of DOS programs to "revive" defective diskettes, that generally speaking worked remarkably well.
Right now I can't remember even a single one, but if you want to have a try at them I can do some research and see if I can come up with some.

jaclaz

#10
Multibooter

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It is possible that some floppy drive is "defective" with 720 Kb.

Not in my case, I have had the problem with the 720kB floppies on another near-identical laptop also.

Most probably it is not a 720 Kb media specific problem.

I beg to disagree. It is a 720bK media specific problem, see my hypothesis below

...essentially the actual magnetic support of both 720 Kb and 1.44 Mb diskettes was the same, at least when the 1.44 format became popular (it costed far less to manufacturers to produce the same thing with two different "cases" than to have two separate production lines).

Thanks, you got the solution to the problem: The manufacturers probably made 1440kB floppies out of the good/1st choice batches, and the 720kB floppies were made from the not-so-good/2nd choice quality, as they do with CPUs today.

I tested the eight 720kB floppies which I had recovered from the trash bin:
. 3 of them had bad sectors when I formatted them with the very sensitive FMT program (in the Disk Copy Plus package) on a 720kB-only drive, 5 were Ok
. these remaining five floppies I reformatted under DOS 6.22 with DOS Format on a 720/1440kB floppy drive: 3 had bad sectors, 2 were ok
. these two remaining floppies I reformatted under Win98 with Windows Format on a 720/1440kB floppy drive: one had bad sectors, one was Ok
. this lone "good" 720kB floppy I put back into the trash, because it had bad sectors several days ago and I don't want to risk data loss or a hung computer when using it

The system hangs very of often when I move (not when I copy) stuff from 720kB floppies to the HDD. There is one repeatable error: when I have eMule running and start to move files from a 720kB floppy to the HDD, the system freezes. I will check whether taped 1440kB floppies seen by Windows as 720kB floppies also cause the mule to freeze.

I tested it: the Mule has NO stability problems under Win98 when downloading and moving files at the same time, from a taped 1440=720kB floppy disk, or when formatting such a taped floppy. When using a normal 720kB floppy instead, the mule freezes. The freezing problem of the mule was most likely caused by the poor quality of 720kB media in general. BTW the mule is a great tool for identifying causes of system instability under Win98.

In the good ol' times there were quite a number of DOS programs to "revive" defective diskettes, that generally speaking worked remarkably well.

The question is: For how long will revived defective floppies stay fine? WinDupe v1.02, for example, can format bad floppies, even those which DiskDupe or VGACopy could not format, with it you can manually force as often as you like to reformat a bad/weak sector. But this is not a wise thing to do: it's better to throw out any potentially bad floppies, before data is lost or time is wasted with recovery efforts.

My currently preferred floppy formatting program is FMT v2.6 by Chang Ping Lee (in the DCP package). It does the opposite: it identifies weak floppies during the formatting, so that they can be discarded in time.
"Conventionally, a cluster is marked as bad cluster if the formatting program fails to access after three tries. FMT, however, adopts a more strict policy to ensure that your valuable data won't be saved on places which are bad or about to turn bad. FMT will try three times too. The difference is that if FMT fails to access a sector in the first try it will mark the sector bad and tell you how many tries has failed." http://www.programme.../8/ZipView.aspx

Edited by Multibooter, 18 August 2009 - 04:23 PM.


#11
Joseph_sw

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all these floppy formating talk reminds me of the old days (pre win9x) when i still using: 2M utility

i do rember formating diskette that normal dos' format.exe can't format (track 0 unusable stuff) into 2M-format, sometime if it works, it would reformatable again to standard dos format.
i was curios

#12
jaclaz

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@Multibooter
It is possible that the reason is that one. :yes:

Still, I would test BOTH disk drives with one of those "Low level" head adjusting programs (they don't make much sense since floppies have NOT anymore the regulating screws to align heads, but they could tell you if by any chance a drive is misaligned or what) AND I would clean the floppy drive heads.

Since I doubt you have anymore one of those floppy disk drive cleaning kits :unsure:, you can go the "manual" way:
http://www.computerh...cleaning.htm#06

However, even if not "hi-tech" as this ;):
http://www.cir.com/p...isx/clndisx.htm

Your expensive PC System is exposed to dust & dirt, this product is for you! Cleandisx III, a new patent pending, floppy disk drive cleaning and filtering system is now being sold at a special introductory price.


:whistle:

They can still be found around, example:
http://shop.ebay.com...i...g&_osacat=0

@Joseph_sw

You remember the old times when a byte was a byte (made of 8 bits, each one accurately carved by hand)? B)

Why in my day....;)
http://tinyapps.org/...7/02/index.html

and we LIKED it!

:P

jaclaz

#13
jaclaz

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BTW and JFY:
http://www.computerw...n_their_way_out?

Check #22, #23 and #24 ;) :
http://www.computerw...mp;pageNumber=3

I guess the good guys at computerworld are SPYING on us! :ph34r: :w00t:

:P

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 19 August 2009 - 07:40 AM.


#14
rloew

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You remember the old times when a byte was a byte (made of 8 bits, each one accurately carved by hand)? B)

Why in my day....;)


Don't forget the Start and Stop bits in Serial Communications. 110 Baud = 11 Bytes.

I don't know about "carved" by hand. I have a couple of 1 Bit (not Byte) Vacuum tube memories in the basement. They were soldered together, possibly by hand.
Ye who enter my domain. Beware! Lest you become educated in the mysteries of the universe and suffer forever from the desire to know more.

#15
Multibooter

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Currently unsolved problems:
1) I don't know how to create a floppy disk image of a CP/M floppy disk. Only a file-copy is possible with Uniform v1.07. I only can transfer all the files from the CP/M floppy disk into an MS-DOS/Windows directory.

I have now archived most of my 5.25" CP/M floppy disks twice, once as a file-copy with 22Disk v1.44, and another time with TeleDisk (which can under DOS create and restore an image file of a CP/M floppy).

I have compared the floppies re-created from .td0 (=TeleDisk) image files against the original HP-125 format CP/M floppies, and they appear to be identical. The test included a CP/M floppy disk with:
- 3 user areas (user0, user1, and user2),
- user1 contained the HP-125 start-up files for CP/M; 2 CP/M file names contained small characters, illegal under DOS ("welcome.com", DOS recognizes only "WELCOME.COM")
TeleDisk works fine for creating and restoring image files of my HP-125 CP/M floppies.

After having archived about half of my CP/M floppies with TeleDisk, I came across www.hpmuseum.net which is providing downloadable .td0 floppy disk images of HP-125 CP/M software I initially felt content that I had independently chosen the same floppy-disk-imaging software. But then, on their excellent page about Re-Creating Archived Software I found that they had used old version 2.11 for 5.25" floppies and old version 2.16 for 3.5" floppies - but I had used a different version. And on each download page hpmuseum indicated which version of TeleDisk was used

Then I came across an article by Dave Dunfield, stating "Teledisk also has a reputation for having compatibility issues between versions, and with different PC hardware. To help you try and recover any .TD0 images that you encounter, I have collected all of the shareware versions of Teledisk that I have been able to find and placed them here." (9 different versions for download)

Here is another discussion about an 8 inch floppy drive: "my TELEDISK version is 2.12. I think, that TELEDISK reads only 18 sectors and copies these sectors back again. That's why there is no error message... THANKS, Teledisk v2.15 works! v2.16 has some problems with the last three tracks."

Which version of TeleDisk to use?
The TeleDisk versions up to and including v2.16 are shareware. They can be downloaded, but not registered/purchased. The newer versions can be purchased only by the U.S. government ("GSA") Dave Dunfield has developed the freeware ImageDisk which can handle .td0 files.

Google indicates the existence of a v2.23:
"I have a version of Teledisk that reports as "v2.23TUL" , and have no idea where it came from, nor can I find any reference to it. Is far as I can remember, I've never seen it mentioned. Any idea as to its provenance?" ..."I would like to have a copy! Just to look what it is." - but that was the end of the thread.

v2.23 of Oct.1995, in contrast to the earlier shareware versions (v2.16 is of Sept.1993), apparently includes an uninstall program which makes sure that old outdated versions of TeleDisk are deleted. As tested, .td0 files created by v2.23 are apparently handled fine by older v2.11.

New Technologies Inc. now owns the rights to TeleDisk and AnaDisk, another former Sydex product. This company may have some special customers: "the CIA is especially desperate for technical talent, according to Mike Anderson, president and CEO of New Technologies Inc.,... The government's intelligence community is NTI's largest client." http://www.gantthead...t.cfm?ID=221640
The product page of New Technologies Inc (NTI) has as description of Anadisk, a sibling of TeleDisk, "A highly specialized floppy diskette analysis tool for use in security reviews and to identify data storage pattern anomalies, e.g., the Hanssen epionage case involved floppy diskettes with unique formatting." The spying activities of Robert Hanssen "have been described as "possibly the worst intelligence disaster in US history"".

The most detailed article about TeleDisk is by Will Kranz in which he refers to TDCVRT by Sergey Erokhin. TDCVRT works fine converting .td0 to .fdi (when you double-click on a DOS [not CP/M] .fdi floppy disk image file, it will open up fine in WinImage). Will Kranz also mentions in his article an email from Sergey Erokhin (public email address: greatmao /at/ yahoo.com, surely not an old communist, in which Sergey Erokhin recommended the CIA factbook for information about the Ukraine.

The buzz word CIA may ring a bell: Couldn't it be that the U.S. government has been archiving their old secret floppies with Teledisk, and doesn't want anybody else to have access to newer/better versions of TeleDisk? That could explain why TeleDisk isn't for sale any more. And wouldn't the KGB, or whatever they are called now, be interested in reading/accessing/converting images of secret U.S. floppies?

These purely hypothetical speculations plus the use of TeleDisk by hpmuseum.net seem to confirm that TeleDisk is the tool of choice for creating images of CP/M floppy disks. v2.23 also runs under Win98 in a DOS window.

Edited by Multibooter, 20 October 2009 - 08:37 AM.


#16
Multibooter

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Among the archived floppies, which I am re-formatting, I have come across a 5.25" floppy disk, marked as follows:
"BASF
1/96
96 tpi certified
one sided/double density
sectors soft
FlexyDisk 5.25"

"Many CP/M computers and some early IBM PC like computers used 80 track (96 TPI) 5.25 inch drives with double density format. This was sometimes called "quad density", as it was twice the data capacity of "double density" 40-track (48 TPI) drives. These drives, 40 or 80 track, rotated disks at 300 RPM. Later on, the PC compatibles went to "high density" 1.2M 5.25" drives and diskettes, with drives which were able to run at 360 RPM." http://retrotechnolo...tuff/drive.html

"If you do have any quad density disks, you can use them as good quality double density disks." http://www.britishte...com/floppy1.htm

"Format b: /1 /4 /u" formats the floppy Ok to 180K, but that's very little for a 96tpi floppy disk
"Format b: /F:1.2 /u" formats the floppy Ok to 1.2MB, but with FMT v2.6 of the Disk Copy Plus utilites I got a bad sector (" 1 tries failed" [DOS format tries 3 times, therefore no bad sectors; FMT v2.6 marks the sector bad after only 1 try fails]). The 2nd side of the floppy is a little weak.

With which DOS format parameters should this floppy be formatted on a 5.25" max.1.2MB floppy drive? Are there any special uses for this rare type of floppy disk?

Edited by Multibooter, 29 August 2009 - 02:09 PM.


#17
dencorso

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Try with Chris Hochst├Ątter's freeware FDFORMAT, from true DOS. If the media is OK, I'm positive it'll be able to format it to 1.2 MB and even to 1.44 MB. I've done it on the first attempt with some MD2-HD 5.25" Maxcell flopies I still have, by using FDFormat.

#18
Multibooter

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I've done it on the first attempt with some MD2-HD 5.25" Maxcell flopies I still have, by using FDFormat.

Hi dencorso,
Your MD2-HD 5.25" floppies are double-sided, but the floppy here is a single-sided one, I can't remember having seen one before.

Thanks for mentioning FDFormat, but if I remember right, it requires the TSR FDRead to stay resident so that non-standard floppy formats can be read.

I have kind of given up to format this floppy to more than 360kB, I'll just keep it as a curiosity.

"Format b: /T:80 /N:15 /U" (it does the same as "Format b: /F:1.2") formatted it Ok to 1.2MB, but subject to the weakness identified by FMT 2.6. Apparently the "/1" parameter [=format one side only] doesn't work with 5.25" floppies, only with 3.5" floppies.

I have tried to test-format this 5.25" SS floppy with 22Disk to CP/M DEC Rainbow format (SS:DD:96tpi:5.25inch), but my max.1.2MB 5.25" floppy disk drive couldn't do it, just error messages.

BTW, when I formatted a 3.5" floppy disk in a Win98 Dos window to this specific CP/M format, everything was Ok. No problem writing under Win98 files from the HDD to this CP/M floppy disk in the floppy drive of my Inspiron laptop, and then reading the CP/M floppy on another Win98 computer. Data files, however, get changed a little in the process of transferring from DOS format -> CP/M format -> DOS format: a whole bunch of Hex 1A characters (up to 40 maybe) gets appended to the end of a file. And then there is a little trick: only use 720kB 3.5" floppy disks for reading and writing in CP/M format under Win98, 1.44MB floppies don't work.

Edited by Multibooter, 29 August 2009 - 06:20 PM.


#19
dencorso

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Thanks for mentioning FDFormat, but if I remember right, it requires the TSR FDRead to stay resident so that non-standard floppy formats can be read.

That's what the FDFORMAT.DOC says. But I've found out that it depends on the BIOS and the controller your computer has. :yes: With my ASUS K7V600-X, which FDD controler is inbuilt in its 8237A southbridge, I've never needed to use FDREAD.EXE, and have been able to read even the strangest formats directly, both in DOS and in Win 98SE!!! :yes:
I have formatted MD2-HD 5.25" from 1.44 MB DS to 160 kB SS and have done the same to MF2-HD 3.5" floppies, from 1.78 MB DS to 160 kB SS, and they still work after more than two years! However, to be able to format MF2-HD 3.5" floppies to 760 kB or less, I found out it's necessary to close their high-density hole with any common adhesive sticker. Now, while those floppies can be read and written even by Win 98SE, I only succeeded at formatting them with the help of FDFormat (without FDRead, in my case).

#20
Multibooter

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That's what the FDFORMAT.DOC says. But I've found out that it depends on the BIOS and the controller your computer has. :yes:

Thanks dencorso. With FDFormat I could format on an old Toshiba 3200 portable, under DOS 6.22, this rare SS-HD 5.25" floppy disk to 600kb (half the capacity of DS-HD 5.25" floppies), without using FDRead.

I used the following parameters: FDFormat b: t80 h1 s15 c1 d224
No problems reading and writing under DOS 6.22 to the floppy disk formatted in this special format with the T3200. I could not test it under Win98, I am away from my dual-core desktop and don't have an external 5.25" floppy disk drive for my Inspiron 7500 laptop.

However, to be able to format MF2-HD 3.5" floppies to 760 kB or less, I found out it's necessary to close their high-density hole with any common adhesive sticker.

This confirms my experience that I can read, write and format 96tpi CP/M formats onto a taped 1440kB 3.5" floppy, from a DOS window under Win98 using 22Disk, but not onto an untaped 1440kB floppy. The internal floppy drive of my Inspiron 7500 laptop works better with taped 1440kB floppies than with original 720kB floppies when I read/write/format CP/M formatted 3.5" floppy disks under Win98.

I have formatted MD2-HD 5.25" from 1.44 MB DS to 160 kB SS and have done the same to MF2-HD 3.5" floppies, from 1.78 MB DS to 160 kB SS, and they still work after more than two years!

I just unsuccessfully tried to create a floppy disk image with DCF 5.3 of this specially formatted 600kB floppy. At track 66 I got an error message "Address mark not found". FDFormat did something during the formatting which DCF didn't like.

I then checked this 600kB SS floppy with Anadisk, which produced the following messages:
" This diskette has a DOS format [i.e. not CP/M, for example] but is not a standard type."
" This is a single-sided DOS format, but both sides have data. Do you want to check both sides?" This means that formatting a floppy as single-side format with FDFormat will not delete the data on the unused side - a potential security risk.
Then Anadisk displays "Track 66: Sector 5, ID but no data found". This message appears when I checked only one side and when I checked both sides.

Since both DCF and Anadisk found something strange at track 66 of this floppy formatted with FDFormat, I would be careful. In the best case using a non-standard DOS format means that you cannot create a .dcf floppy image for archiving the floppy. In the worst case it may signal a potential data loss problem. Maybe you should consider moving the stuff from non-standard formatted floppies to floppies with a standard DOS format.

Edited by Multibooter, 30 August 2009 - 07:14 AM.


#21
dencorso

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I have images of them all, by now! :yes: Most were created with WinImage v. 8.10.8100 (or the previous version of it). Some, like the formats used by DOS 1.x, WinImage cannot handle, because it needs a BPB (which hadn't been invented yet, in DOS 1.x times!) to find out what the floppy format is. For those I used the excellent freeware DiskImage, by Mike Brutman (the whole of his PC Jr site is worthy of a visit too...). In all cases, I've favoured raw images (.IMA files), which I can browse with WinHex and boot from with grub4dos if I'm in the mood. After I learned how to boot from raw images, I have had little use for my oddly formatted diskettes, but I decided to keep them, just to see how long they would hold their strange formats. I have one MD2HD (5.25") formatted to 160 kB and 20+ MF2HD (3.5") formatted strangely, and they are now 2 years old or more and counting, and remain perfect. Isn't that great? I had always read everywhere that high-density floppies formatted to low density formats wouldn't hold the format for long... ;) Now, these floppies were, all of them, new media, never used before. With used media I've had mixed results: they do not necessarily format perfectly, and bad sectors are a common finding.
Later edit: for what it's worth, here's also a working direct download link to the trusty old Rundegren's Freeware Floppy Image 1.5.2.0 for Win (which, however, only supports 3.5" floppies).

#22
Multibooter

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Problem converting boot sectors to a different floppy format
I have come across a little monster among the floppies to be archived:
It is a 5.25" 360kB bootable floppy which boots into IBM DOS 2.00 (German) of 9-Aug-1983. I can create a 5.25" floppy image from it Ok, the 5.25" floppy re-created from the image file boots fine into IBM DOS 2.00 (German).

But I cannot convert this 5.25" 360kB floppy image correctly to 3.5" 720kB format, so that I can boot into IBM DOS 2.00 (German) on my Inspiron 7500 laptop, which has only a 3.5" floppy drive (laptops don't come with 5.25" floppy drives). I have tried both WinImage under Win98 and the "Convert" selection of Disk Copy Plus under DOS 6.22. The converted 3.5" 720kB floppy does NOT boot anymore. When booting from the "converted" 3.5" floppy, I get the error message:
" Falscher/fehl.Befehlsinterpreter" = "wrong/missing command interpreter".

During the conversion of the floppy format, DCP displays that the orignal 5.25" 360kB floppy had 12 sectors used by the system, while the resulting 3.5" 720kB floppy has 14 sectors used by the system. WinImage does not display any conversion information.

When I compared with Anadisk the original 5.25" floppy and the "converted" 3.5" floppy, there were 2 changes:
- the media byte changed from "fd" to "f9"
- the original 5.25" floppy had 2 sectors/FAT, while the "converted" 3.5" floppy had 3 sectors/FAT, which may explain why command.com could not be found.

This little monster shows that one cannot trust the converted image files of bootable floppies created by WinImage or DCP. After conversion one should always test: does the converted floppy really boot?

Both WinImage and DCF can write Ok without format conversion the 5.25" floppy onto a 3.5" floppy, but the trouble is that this non-standard floppy (i.e. a 3.5" floppy pretending to be a 5.25" floppy) boots fine on a Toshiba T3200 (80286), but when trying to boot from it on an Inspiron 7500 (Pentium 3), the system hangs during the boot process.

Is there a tool which can properly convert the boot sector from a 5.25" floppy to a standard 3.5" floppy?

P.S.:
Same problem when booting with a 3.5" 720kB "IBM PC-DOS v2.10 (German)" floppy converted from 5.25" 360kB format
(err msg: Fehler:DSKT,Platte/Kein System)
Same problem when booting with a 3.5" 720kB "IBM PC-DOS v2.10 (US)" floppy converted from a 5.25" 180kB format
(err msg: Non-System disk or disk error)

Edited by Multibooter, 31 August 2009 - 06:26 AM.


#23
dencorso

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Support for 1.2 MB MD2HD (5.25") floppies was added with PC-DOS 3.00 and support for 720 kB MF2HD (3.5") floppies arrived only with PC-DOS/MS-DOS 3.20. Older versions will refuse to boot from these formats, no matter what. Thus PC-DOS 2.xx will boot at most from 360 KB floppies (or images), PC-DOS 1.10 and MS-DOS 1.25 will boot at most from 320 KB floppies (or images) and PC-DOS 1.00 will only boot from 160 KB floppies (or images).

So I suggest you:
1)Use FDFormat to format a common MF2HD (3.5") to 360 kB (with the high-density tab taped)! :blink:
2)Use DiskImage or WinImage to collect a raw image from the 5.25" floppy.
3)Use WinImage to transfer without formatting the raw image to the 360 kB 3.5" floppy you've just prepared! :blink:
This works in my machine, so it's worth giving it a shot on yours. :yes: Good luck!

Now, in case your hardware does not accept the MF2HD (3.5") 360 kB created with FDFormat (which lets you produce a floppy perfectly within the original specs), then the best ideia is to boot MS-DOS 7.10 from a floppy, run Grub4DOS and boot the image of the PC-DOS 2.00 from it. In case you decide to go this way I can provide you a more detailed how to (and so can jaclaz who first interested me on the *fantastic* Grub4DOS :yes: ).

@jaclaz: DCOPY seems interesting, no doubt, and I shall give it some testing shortly. The programs I'm talking about, however, are those that, at lest for me, are proven to work well with those really old versions of DOS, which are very picky as to formatting detail, although they may be tricked into using 3.5" floppies, as long as the FDD plays along.

Edited by dencorso, 31 August 2009 - 01:57 PM.
Added a lot of info


#24
jaclaz

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@dencorso

I'll try again re-submitting (pushing ;)) DCOPY:
http://users.telenet...plications.html


DCOPY is a single pass floppy disk copy program. It makes use of
extended memory, hard disk, or conventional memory. It is capable of
making more copies of the same disk, without re-reading the disk. It
can copy a variety of floppy formats, including those formatted with
FDFORMAT. It can copy non-DOS disks, sush as Linux disks, thanks to
an autodetect function. It's also possible to make/restore disk
images to/from a file. Another possibility is to format a disk, verify
and compare a disk.


You must use DCOPY as follows:     DCOPY source target [options]source: This can be a drive (A: or B:) or a file (a disk image)target: This can be a drive (A: or B:) or a file (a disk image)      - You cannot specify a disk image for both source as target.      - You can specify wildcards with source disk image names.      - When you create a disk image with .ZIP extension,        the disk image is automatically compressed with PKZIP.      - When you restore a disk image with .ZIP extension,        the disk image is automatically uncompressed with PKUNZIP.        The zip file must contain a file with the same name, but        with extension .IMGoptions:  /s   : Use a swap file instead of extended memory.  /c   : Use conventional memory instead of extended memory or swap	 file.	 With this options enabled, the copy process must be done  in	 multiple passes.  /v   : Verify if data is written correctly. The data is read again	 and compared with the original data.  /f   : Always format target disk the same as the source disk.  /vo  : Verify only a disk, do not copy. A target drive is not	 necessary.  /fo  : Format only a disk, do not copy. A target drive is not	 necessary.  /f:x : Use a predefined disk format, this can be	    160,180,320,360,720,800,1200,1440,1600,1722	 Every format indicates the capacity of the disk in Kbytes.  /a   : Autodetect the disk format, this is done automatically  if	 the disk is a non-DOS disk. When used with the /fo option,	 the disk is formatted at the highest possible capacity.	 (You will need a TSR like FDREAD that enables you  to  read	  the disk)  /a1  : Autodetect the number of sectors per track at every track.	 This is usefull for some forms of copy protection, where	 the disk is formatted with a different number of sectors at	 some tracks.  /a:x : Retry to read/write a track x times in case of a read/write	 error.  /sk  : Skip all read/write errors.  /t:x : Use x tracks.  /n:x : Use x sectors per track.  /s:x : Use x sides.  /qm  : Quiet mode, does not make the silly beeps.  /i:x : Use an interleave of x.  /ss:c: Use Sector Spinning of x. Changing this number may speed up/slow down	 the copy process.  /hs:x: Use a head settle time of x. If your drive reports read errors, you	 can try setting this value to at least 25.  /fs  : Do not use FAT selection.  /x:n : Make/Restore n disk images. Dcopy will create or restore n disk	 images from/to disk. The images have the name you specified as	 first or second argument with the extension .001 to .n  /co  : Compare two disks. Reads the first disk and compares it with a	 second disk. You can also compare disks with a disk image.  /fdr : Creates an executable called fdread.exe on the target disk.	 This program allows you to read the extra high density diskettes.	 This option is only used with the /fo option.  /q   : Does a quick format. Writes only the logical information, does not	 really format the disk. This option is only used with the /fo 	 option.

jaclaz

#25
Multibooter

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So I suggest you:
1)Use FDFormat to format a common MF2HD (3.5") to 360 kB (with the high-density tab taped)! :blink:
2)Use DiskImage or WinImage to collect a raw image from the 5.25" floppy.
3)Use WinImage to transfer without formatting the raw image to the 360 kB 3.5" floppy you've just prepared! :blink:
This works in my machine, so it's worth giving it a shot on yours. :yes: Good luck!

Converting DOS 2 boot floppies from 5.25" -> 3.5" media
Thanks, dencorso, it worked fine on my old Inspiron 7500 laptop. I used DCF instead of DiskImage or WinImage.

Under DOS 6.22 I pre-formatted a taped 1.44MB floppy disk with FDFormat: "FDFormat A: /4"
Then, in a DOS window under Win98, I extracted with DCF on top of this pre-formatted floppy a .dcf image of the DOS 2.10 boot floppy, with the options: Format=OFF and Fast=ON.

I was able to boot from this special 3.5" floppy into DOS 2.10, both with my Inspiron 7500 laptop (2000) and with an older Toshiba T3200 (1987)

Under Win98 the files on this specially-formatted 3.5" floppy displayed Ok, but I was not able to read from or to write to it without a blue screen + disk error msg. In any case, it's nice to know that one could boot into DOS 2.1 on a laptop without a 5.25" floppy drive, if ever the need came up.

Edited by Multibooter, 16 September 2009 - 03:17 AM.





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