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How to archive old floppies for access under Win98

65 posts in this topic

This time OT, but not that much ;):

Fdrawcmd.sys is a floppy filter driver for Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7.

The driver exposes command-level access to the µPD765a floppy disk controller, making it possible to read/write many non-standard and copy-protected disk formats from your own applications.

The driver is free for use by both commercial and non-commercial applications. Please contact me for further details.


Traditionally DOS-only features include:

Custom track formatting

Mixed-sector sizes

Zero-based sector numbers

Non-standard ID header values

Track layout scanning ordered from index hole

Advanced features unique to this driver:

Writing CRC errors with specific sector contents

Writing sectors with missing data fields

Writing truncated sectors (e.g. 8K sectors on double-density tracks)

Weak or partially weak sectors

Duplicate sector numbers on the same track

Mixed-mode track formatting

Multi-pass track formatting for tighter formats

2-drive raw track reading of Amiga disks (Disk2FDI method)

Other benefits:

Simple 3-click install/upgrade process, or silent no-click install

No need to replace existing Windows floppy driver

No need to disable virus-scanners for floppy access

System Requirements

PC running Windows 2000 or later (x86 or x64)

One or two non-USB floppy drives connected to a motherboard floppy port

USB floppy drives do not work as they contain a separate floppy controller chip with no way for the driver to access it. Laptops and some modern desktop devices lack a floppy port, and cannot be used with the driver.

Support for two floppy drives also requires a compatible floppy controller chip. Some mothboards use a cheaper chip that only supports a single drive. If your BIOS settings only mention drive A, it's unlikely that you'll be able to use two drives (as needed for Amiga disk reading).

Samdisk v2.0

SamDisk is a command-line utility for Windows 2000 and XP, used to transfer between physical SAM Coupé disks (both floppy and IDE) and disk images (DSK/MGT/IMG/HDF).

Version 2.0 adds many more features, including smarter copying, formatting, verifying, directory listing, disk scanning, and IDE support.

CP/M disks


SamDisk also supports the copying and formatting of CP/M disks, as used by Pro-Dos. These disks use a DOS-style 9-sector format, which means they're not SAMDOS compatible.

Copying to and from CP/M disks is detected automatically, so you can use the normal SamDisk copy syntax. The difference in disk format means image files are 720K in size rather than the normal 800K. When writing CP/M disks back to a floppy the target will need to be in 9-sector format (unless you use /F to format as part of the copy).

To correctly format a CP/M disk you must use the /CPM parameter with the format command, as follows:

SamDisk /format /cpm a:

Special thanks to Steve Parry-Thomas for his help with CP/M testing. Details of using Pro-Dos on the SAM can be found on his website.



Edited by jaclaz

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Another one ;):

DSKCenter Project for Image disk device.

Multi-Systems release (0.11) !

Actually support Atari Dos, CBMDos, Maxi Dos/Sam Dos/BDos,Q DOS, TRS DOS/New DOS/OS9,

OricDos/SedOric/FT-DOS, BBC OS, Amiga Dos, ST DOS, Apple ProDos, Pc (Fat12/16) & Msx Dos.

Hard Disk, Apple Dos 3.3 support, Ti99 V9t9/PC99 formats, Larken DOS (ZX81), Dos 2.xx & Lilo Linux.

Multi-Disk Frontend devices

Available formats :

Dsk viewer for Dsk (Pc, Cpc and Msx) , D64 ( Commodores/CBM) ...

  1. Can read Ms-Dos, Dr-Dos, Pc-Dos and Msx-Dos in raw images.
  2. CP/m (2.2) in CPCEmu structure & raw format.
  3. CMB-Dos for C64-C128-Cbm in *.D64 structure.
  4. TRS-DOS & New-DOS in native structure, for Tandy Trs/80, Coco v.1, v.2, v.3, Dragon 16 & 32)
  5. OS-9 native DMK structure, for Tandy Trs/80, Coco v.3 .(directories not supported! (system disk... etc...))
  6. Ti99 dos PC99 and v9t9 systems in raw image format.
  7. Oric and Pravetz systems in MFM image format.
  8. BBC OS for BBC micro model B in *.img, *.bbc or *.ssd format. (tested with IMG format)
  9. Apple ProDos format. (with *.dsk & *. format)
  10. Atari 800XL in raw (XDF) or ATR image format.
  11. Atari ST Dos in MSA structure.
  12. Amiga Dos in ADF structure.
  13. CP/m v3 for Msx in raw image format.
  14. CP/m 68000 & CP/m 86 in raw image format.
  15. MaxiDos for Sam Coupé in raw (DSK) or SAD format.
  16. Bdos for Sam Coupé in raw (DSK) format.
  17. MO5 & MO6 and TO7/TO8 (FD/SAP) disks.
  18. Sharp X68000 disks (XFD files under X68000 dos, look like a Msx-Dos or Ms-Dos).
  19. Altair CP/m 2.2 disks in native (raw DSK) and SimH format.
  20. Larken Dos for ZX81 and Timex Sinclair 1000 ( raw IMG format) with Shugart SA455 – 150Kb ( 80x1984 bps )



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Another one ;):



If this

I have got countless old 5 1/4 floppies around

here, first from my old Atari 8 bit 130xe....then

my first 8086 with Dos 3.3 (I think). Time to dig

out my 5 1/4 - 3 1/2 combo floppy drive.



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Vga-Copy v5.3 was able to recover correctly, in a Win98 DOS window under SlowDown v1.01, with a regular 3.5" floppy disk drive, about 50% of the files on the floppy, with their correct file names and correct content. I had selected the maximum of 99 retries; Vga-Copy was then reading for about 45 minutes the bad and weak sectors of track 0.

LS-120 floppy drives are much better at reading bad floppies than regular floppy drives. Vga-Copy unfortunately does not work with LS-120 floppy drives, it accesses the floppy controller directly.

AnaDisk v2.10, DiskDupe v4.07, DCF v5.3, CopyQM v5 and WinDupe v1.02 don't work in a Win98 DOS window with an LS-120 floppy drive either. TeleDisk v2.23 allows to address the floppy controller either directly or via the BIOS, but TeleDisk doesn't work either in a Win98 DOS window.

I would like to continue my data recovery with an LS-120 floppy drive because of its superior error correction. Which Win98 recovery software or sector-copier works with an LS-120 floppy drive and is actually able to recover floppies with a bad track 0?
None that I know of.

UPDATE: I got VGACopy v5.3 to work with LS-120 drives under WinXP. More information about VGACopy on LS-120 drives will be posted at starting with posting #77


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Attached to this post is a blank image of a 320 KiB floppy obtained by formatting a 5.25" DS/DD floppy under PC-DOS 1.10. It has two interesting features, discontinued in later versions: a real bootable bootsector (which I modified, for it to be acceptable for WinImage, by adding a short-version BPB and the final Magic Bytes, in place of the original zeroes that bootsector had) and the way it initializes the directory (every blank entry is 0xE5 followed by 31 0xF6). Differently from later versions, PC-DOS 1.10's SYS.COM does not touch the boot sector, and does not transfer COMMAND.COM (that came much later, with DOS 5.0). KB66530 and the Starman's pages (at least this and this) are relevant as further reading, for those interested.



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