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How to archive old floppies for access under Win98

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#51
Multibooter

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There are several other Slowdown-type utilities. There is a newer v1.03 of Slowdos. Older v1.02 was posted by Glenn9999 at posting #7. Slowdos is part of Flopper [= bootable-disk emulator], which seems to be quite interesting.

I have not yet tried Slowdos, Throttle or Flopper, but eventually I may when I try to get Uniform v1.07 going on my dual-core desktop, hopefully in a Win98 DOS window. On my 12MHz Toshiba T3200 portable I can, with Uniform, access files under one drive letter as DOS and under another drive letter as CP/M, both in DOS commands and in applications. But Uniform may have a slowdown problem.

On my old Toshiba T3200 under DOS 6.22, for example, I have an external 5.25" floppy drive attached, which is assigned by DOS the drive letter B:. With Uniform v1.07 I have defined this SAME physical floppy drive as CP/M, HP-125 format and Uniform has assigned the CP/M-drive letter D:, i.e. one physical floppy drive has 2 drive letters, one for handling DOS floppies, the other for handling CP/M floppies. Under DOS, when I read from or write to D:, Uniform converts transparently the data from/to the CP/M file system. With Spellbinder v5.4, for example, [=an old DOS word processor], I can read file B:xxx from a DOS floppy, make some changes to it, insert a CP/M floppy, and then save it as D:yyy. The file yyy will then be written on the CP/M floppy, with no file dates.

The major benefit of the CP/M file system is that there are no file dates, i.e. nobody can tell when you were doing what with the floppy. Maybe I will eventually be able, with any application running in a Win98 DOS window, to read from and to write to real CP/M-formatted floppies...

Edited by Multibooter, 20 September 2009 - 09:27 AM.



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#52
Multibooter

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Warning about files extracted with WinImage from floppy disk images
When you have a floppy with file system errors (FAT copies are not the same, lost clusters, cross-linked files, etc) and make an image of it, the floppy disk image will also contain these file system errors. Some files extracted lateron with WinImage v8.1 from such a bad floppy disk image may be corrupt and differ from the files on the original floppy. The files copied from the original floppy with xxcopy and the /v2 parameter for byte-by-byte verification may differ from the files extracted by WinImage -> Image -> Extract. Sometimes WinImage flags during the extraction that a file is different from the original one with the error message "Error writing file xxx", but NOT always.

If you are certain that the original floppy had no file system errors, then you are fine, the files extracted from the image are identical to the original files.

If you did not check the original floppy with ScanDisk or NDD for file system errors prior to making the image, then you cannot be certain that the files extracted by WinImage v8.1 are identical to the original files. To identify floppy images with file system errors, one could extract the floppy image to a floppy, and then run ScanDisk on this floppy. ScanDisk can then usually repair the files, so that they will be identical to those file-copied with xxcopy.

Whenever ScanDisk reports errors or GRDuw displays read error messages during the creation of an image file, I add BAD to the filename of the floppy image file, e.g. xxxxBAD.dcf so that I remember later that some files extracted from the image by WinImage may not be identical to the original files.

Edited by Multibooter, 21 September 2009 - 03:22 PM.


#53
Multibooter

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Data recovery: Floppy with bad sectors in the data area (i.e. not on track 0)
I have just finished recovering 2 bad floppies with an LS-120 floppy drive and DskImage in a Win98 DOS window..

One floppy eventually was read correctly after placing it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. The freezer really helped.

The other bad 1.44MB floppy had initially 15 bad sectors in the data area. I had to create 33 floppy images with DskImage until I got 2 images where DskImage did not report any errors. After each image made I slapped the floppy about 10 times with full force against my thighs, and this treatment apparently caused DskImage to encounter fewer and fewer bad sectors. DSKIMAGE_RETRIES was set to the maximum of 10. After 10 images I put the floppy into the freezer for 10 minutes, this again reduced the number of bad sectors immediately. After another 10 more images I gave the floppy a break for 8 hours, then continued, a little break did help.

DskImage is an unstoppable copier, in contrast to GRDuw, which fails/aborts frequently with the message: "unrecoverable disk error".

The 2 image files with no bad sectors were amazingly a little different from each other on the last track, may be a bug in DskImage which reported "no sectors were unrecoverable" or because that last track was "empty", outside the data area. The 2 nearly-identical image files produced both good files. ScanDisk reported a damaged folder and found lost file fragments.

The original floppy was a little damaged in the process, I had to remove the metall slider. Before the harsh treatment of the floppy xxcopy16 was able to file-copy many files Ok, with their original filenames and file dates. After the harsh treatment xxcopy didn't see 20% of the files anymore on the original floppy.

In any case, the data on this bad floppy was completely recovered, and the lost fragments recovered by ScanDisk were identical (+ some junk at the end) to corresponding files obtained initially by xxcopy. I archived the files obtained with xxcopy because they had good file names and file dates.

Edited by Multibooter, 22 September 2009 - 10:20 AM.


#54
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Data recovery: "There is no floppy in the drive"
I just recovered and archived a floppy which most copying/imaging programs couldn't handle:

Windows Explorer: "The disk in A: is not formatted"
WinImage: "There is no floppy in the drive"
GRDuw: "Unrecognized Media"
DCF: "Address Mark not found - track 0"
SH-Copy Star: "Error while analyzing the disk"
VGA-Copy: "Diskette nicht lesbar" [=Diskette not readable]
DskImage could only produce a useless image file, with no files visible in it; it displayed "12 sectors were unrecoverable" (all on track 0)

The solution was TeleDisk v2.23. I made a .td0 image of the floppy. When TeleDisk reported that sectors 1+2 of track 0 were bad, I just pressed Enter. Then I restored the .td0 image file to a preformatted floppy, and voilá, Windows Explorer displayed all the files of the bad floppy.

The files had the same size and creation date as those on a similar original floppy, but many files had different content. ScanDisk gave the error message "This drive contains one or more backup copies of the file allocation table", I selected repair, and then the files were identical to the corresponding files on that similar original floppy.

I could also create a readable copy from this bad original floppy with Anadisk v2.10 (May 1995), but after repairing the file system with ScanDisk, 1 resulting file was different from the other similar original floppy. So TeleDisk v2.23 (Sept.1996) seems to make more accurate copies/repairs than Anadisk, at least in this case.

Edited by Multibooter, 22 September 2009 - 11:36 AM.


#55
jaclaz

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Why in my day....

...
http://www.911cd.net...o...21362&st=10

http://tinyapps.org/..._in_my_day.html

... and we LIKED it!

More seriously, in ye good ol' days everyone used Norton Utilities and handcrafted FAT or partition tables in those cases.

jaclaz

#56
dencorso

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More seriously, in ye good ol' days everyone used Norton Utilities and handcrafted FAT or partition tables in those cases.

Way back when... at a time when DISKEDIT.EXE was known as NU.EXE. :yes: But before that there was DEBUG.EXE (or, better, DEBUG.COM)... . :w00t: And even before that, DDT86.CMD (or, better, DDT.COM)... :thumbup Yea, been there, done that...



...and we liked it! :P

#57
dencorso

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Currently unsolved problems:
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".

Solution: Load a raw image of the diskette to WinHex (or your favorite hexeditor), search for the filenames which contain illegal characters, replace the illegal characters with legal ones, save the image and work with it or with a floppy created from it. It's much faster to do it than it is to describe the procedure.

Later added unrelated comment:
I clean my FDD's heads with cleaner sparingly, don't get me wrong. When the FDD begins having difficulties reading known good floppies, I always try the DIR method first, which is less aggressive, and, only when that isn't enough (which is not often), I resort to cleaner. Now, when working with very old floppies, I do clean more often, but I haven't done that much with the 5,25" FDD, recently, because I think I've already backed up all that I needed to, and because such FDDs are really difficult to replace, nowadays. With the 3.5 FDD, on the other hand, I have done plenty of recovery of late, but they are still easy and cheap to replace (and I have bricked 3 of them in the last 2 years, while at it...). On the third hand, :) I've done plenty of strange formatting of good, clean, new media, with both FDDs, for many reasons, along many years, but that doesn't soil the heads much, and is good to assure the FDDs are in good working order.

#58
Multibooter

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2 programs I have used for archiving my old CP/M floppies, Uniform and 22Disk, together with a 20-year-old MicroSolutions UniDOS CP/M CoProcessor Card were just sold at ebay for $185. The price jumped from $81 to $185 in the last few seconds, by the bidding of 3 experienced bidders with over 600 feedbacks. Over 400 pageviews of the item, I have never seen a UniDOS CP/M CoProcessor Card offered at ebay before.

Edited by Multibooter, 01 October 2009 - 07:09 PM.


#59
dencorso

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For the sake of completeness, here are William Luitjee's freeware floppytools, which contains the unique FLOPSKEW, which is very useful for determing the correct skew parameters to be used in formats having more than 18 sectors per track. It also includes another program for head cleaning, FLOPSCRB, which however I never did test, since I either use the DIR method or resort to Cleaner, when things get really ugly.

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#60
jaclaz

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Unrelated, but not much ;), and before this info pops out of my head, I am sure Multibooter will appreciate this (unless it's non-news):
CP/M Player for Win32
Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP Console:
http://homepage3.nif...takeda-toshiya/
http://homepage3.nif.../cpm/index.html

jaclaz

#61
jaclaz

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This time OT, but not that much ;):
http://simonowen.com/fdrawcmd/

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.

Features

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).


http://simonowen.com/samdisk/

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.
....

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 05 February 2010 - 04:13 AM.


#62
jaclaz

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Another one ;):
http://dskcenter.free.fr/

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) ...

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


jaclaz

#63
triger49

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Another one ;):
http://dskcenter.free.fr/


jaclaz


Jaclaz....

If this works....wow.
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.

Jake

#64
Multibooter

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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 http://www.msfn.org/..._60#entry971902 starting with posting #77

#65
dencorso

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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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