Multibooter

LS-120 SuperDisk drive under Win98 and DOS

118 posts in this topic

The first link I gave you is from the winhex support forum. Stefan Fleischmann is the actual program creator. So it has implicit credibility. Now, WinHex abilities, in what regards cloning, are similar to ghost's, so an -ir try seems fully warranted, IMO.

Thanks for the info about WinHex, in that link above:

"I bought WinHex for making duplicates of my only bootable removable LS 12o Disk (Drive: Matsus***a). But when I clone the bootable disk via image file and backup on a new LS 120 floppy it doesn't boot. What could be wrong ? Is WinHex supporting that format at all ? Is there any other solution for producing a bootable LS 120 disk known. ?... Meanwhile, I found out that it works."

So WinHex is definitely worth trying out. What is the last/best version which works under Win98? On their product description page http://www.winhex.com/winhex/index-m.html is stated:

"Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7, 32 Bit/64 Bit .... Earlier versions are available to licensed users on request."

GRDuw v4.1.17 can create under Win98 a .ima image file from a bootable LS-120 disk and can write the image back Ok to another LS-120 disk (i.e. forensic cloning or archiving of LS-120 disks). I just tested such a cloned LS-120 disk created from a bootable .ima LS-120 image, and the cloned bootable LS-120 disk booted fine.

BTW, to create a bootable LS-120 disk I use under Win98 the "FormatUtility for SuperDisk", which gets installed as a part of SuperWriter32 v2.03, and select "Copy System files". GRDuw v4.1.17 cannot create a good bootable disk under Win98 when one selects in the Format tab -> "Make disk bootable".

Edited by Multibooter
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This one. Sorry for the terseness, I'm in a hurry, right now.
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Another thought for copying the track 0, is to use a Linux live cd and use "dd". Be very careful with dd, as it assumes you know what you are doing and does it without asking twice. You can hose yourself in real short order. I can't remember the command syntax for dd and I'm on the road away from books. However, I think it was Kyle Rankin wrote an article in Linux Journal a year or so ago covering using dd to copy the MBR. I know this is a Windows forum, but tools are tools.

Another thought, is that in bulk erasing you may of wiped some marker off of the disk that it needs to orient itself. Might search for info on the layout of the recording surface on the LS-120.

Hope this helps. Also, hope you get it solved with what you have and are trying.

The article I mention can be found here.

Edited by bpalone
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What bpalone wrote may also work, but let's do one thing at a time.

Once you install WinHex, it'll work OK as the free limited version.

So, go to the Tools menu, select Open Disk, scroll the list down and see whether the LS-120 appears listed in the Physical Disks List.

If so, then a physical copy may be acquired and eventually deployed.

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Thanks dencorso. The LS-120 drive is recognized under Win98 as Floppy Disk 0 and I made an image of a good LS-120 disk.

Unfortunately when I tried to transfer the .whx image to the bulk-erased LS-120 disk I got the following message:

"Only the full version allows to write sectors to the disk".

What is the last/best version of WinHex to run under Win98SE? The version in your link was v12.8 SR-10

Edited by Multibooter
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What is the last/best version of WinHex to run under Win98SE? The version in your link was v12.8 SR-10

v. 12.8 SR-10 *is* the last version of WinHex that runs on 9x/ME. The next version, 12.85 has full unicode support added, which makes it incompatible with 9x/ME.

"Only the full version allows to write sectors to the disk".

Yes. I'm aware of that. That's one of the limitations of the free version. But it allowed you to get a physical image, then it's suitable for the job. Now, if you decide to buy a license, you should write Stefan Fleischmann first, because the new versions use a different license format, which is incompatible with v. 12.8 SR-10. Tell him you want to run that version, because it'll run on 98SE, and he'll provide you with the correct license. And ask him whether a personal license would be enough (I believe so), or if a higher type is needed. Belive me when I say it's worth the cost.

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How has this turned out? Just curious.

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moved, is now posting #1

22-Jul-2011

Edited by Multibooter
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UDF formatted LS-120 disks [esoteric]

UDF formatted LS-120 disks are readable under Windows 98 just like FAT16 media. UDF formatted LS-120 disks, however, are read-only. Windows 98 Explorer displays them as having 0 bytes free space

post-134642-0-86428900-1308450639_thumb.

The files on UDF formatted LS-120 disks have file attributes like under FAT16, only the media (=the LS-120 disk) is read-only, and therefore the files cannot be modified or deleted. .exe infector viruses cannot infect .exe files stored on UDF 1.02 formatted media.

Under WinXP SP2, however, when you double-click on a UDF formatted LS-120 disk, you just get the error message: "Disk is not formatted. The disk in drive A; is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?" So what is visible under Win98, is invisible under WinXP. Only UDF 1.02 formatted LS-120 disks are visible under Win98. If an LS-120 disk is formatted in a higher version of UDF, it is invisible to both Win98 and WinXP, only with the help of the software which creates the UDF 1.50+ formatted LS-120 disk can the disk be accessed.

The preceding is also the case for UDF formatted floppy disks (720kB and 1.44MB). UDF formatted 720kB and 1.44MB floppies can be formatted and written to only in LS-120 drives, with some special software, although there is another software which can create images of UDF formatted 720kB/1.44MB floppies and restore from the image file on a regular floppy drive.

I am not aware of software which can create an image of a UDF formatted LS-120 disk and restore it to another LS-120 disk. Below is, for example, a screenshot of what the forensic software WinHex v12.8-SR 10 under Win98 sees of a UDF formatted LS-120 disk with easily readable content: zilch. It even displays the 120MB LS-120 disk as 481MB.

post-134642-0-41795500-1308450660_thumb.

Edited by Multibooter
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UDF formatted LS-120 SuperDisk Secured Diskettes [esoteric]

The original LS-120 SuperDisk Secured Diskettes are formatted FAT16. They can be converted to UDF as follows:

- full-format with SuperWriter v2.03 an LS-120 diskette

- transfer with GRDuw the image of a virgin LS-120 SuperDisk Secured Diskette onto the LS-120 diskette freshly formatted to FAT16

(GRDuw cannot write onto UDF formatted LS-120 disks)

- quick format this LS-120 disk with some special software to UDF

- under this special software copy the folder \Imation\ of an already initialized [i.e. password already set] LS-120 Secured Diskette to the UDF-quick-formatted LS-120 disk

- reboot, and voilá, a UDF formatted SuperDisk Secured Diskette is in the LS-120 drive:

The UDF formatted LS-120 Secured Diskette has theType "3 1/2 Inch Floppy disk", the File system is displayed as UDF and there is Free space because this special software permits writing to the UDF volume.

Also notice the Secured tab, which was added by the Imation SuperDisk Secured v2.2 NA software.

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Edited by Multibooter
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Mounting the UDF formatted LS-120 Superdisk Secured Diskette [esoteric]

- click on the Lock icon in the System Tray, loaded at Win98 startup when SuperDisk Secured v2.2 NA is installed

- the window Imation SuperDisk Secured Diskette comes up, prompting for the password to access the content of the folder ENCRYPTED FILES on the LS-120 diskette

Note: The UDF formatted LS-120 Secured Diskette is displayed in My Computer as "3 1/2 Floppy (J:)". No drive letter X: (for the virtual encrypted drive) is displayed in My Computer until the correct password is entered.

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Working with the UDF formatted LS-120 SuperDisk Secured Diskette [esoteric]

Immediately after the password is accepted, the drive letter of the virtual encrypted disk drive, here X:, appears in My Computer. Interestingly, it is displayed in My Computer as "5 1/4 Floppy (X:)" with a 5 1/4 floppy drive icon. It was displayed also once as "Removable Disk (X:)", no idea how that was done.

Note: The physical LS-120 diskette has the drive letter J:, while the virtual encrypted disk drive has its own drive letter X:. The virtual encrypted disk drive X: is like a pointer to the folder J:\ENCRYPTED FILES\. For better understanding: the virtual encrypted disk drive X: contains the de-crypted/readable files of J:\ENCRYPTED FILES\, while the physical LS-120 diskette drive J: contains the en-crypted files.

UDF formatted virtual encrypted disk drive: The Properties sheet of the virtual encrypted disk drive X displays as File system also UDF, and Free space is available because this special software is active. The Properties sheet of the encrypted drive X: has also a Secured tab.

The content of the encrypted virtual drive is displayed in the window "5 1/4 Floppy (X)". Note the file ~WRL0002.tmp is a temporary work file created by Microsoft Word 2000 on the virtual encrypted drive, while MS Word 2000 was open with the file word2000_test1.doc loaded from the virtual encrypted drive. The file jpeg.jpg from the virtual encrypted drive was pasted into Word 2000. Word 2000 seems to work without issues with files on the virtual encrypted drive. Very easy to use.

The window "3 1/2 Floppy (J:)" displays the modification date "6/19/11" for the Imation folder copied under Win98 to the UDF-quick-formatted clone of a virgin LS-120 Secured diskette. The modification date on the original virgin Secured diskette was "7/6/98".

To finish working with the UDF formatted virtual encrypted disk drive X: one has just to double-click on the Lock icon in the System Tray.

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Edited by Multibooter
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LS-120 SuperDisk Secured Diskette formatted in a version of UDF higher than 1.02 [esoteric]

When an LS-120 SuperDisk Secured Diskette is formatted not as UDF 1.02, but in a higher version, e.g. UDF 2.01, the Secured Diskette will be invisible under Win98 and WinXP, unless some special software has set the specific version of UDF to ON.

In the absence of such a special software, for example, when clicking on the Lock icon in the System Tray to mount the virtual encrypted drive X:, the following error msg is displayed: "SECURED. Secured only operates on SuperDisk secured diskettes. Please make sure that you have a valid SuperDisk Secured diskette in the drive and try again." In other words, the Imation Secured Disk software cannot detect the UDF 2.01 formatted LS-120 SuperDisk Secured Diskette.

Also, in the absence of such a special UDF software, when double-clicking in My Computer on the drive letter containing the UDF 2.01 formatted SuperDisk Secured diskette (e.g. J:), an error msg is displayed: "Windows Explorer. The disk in drive J is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?"

Use of UDF formatted LS-120 diskettes to hide data?

To an investigator in a hurry a UDF formatted LS-120 diskette may appear as a bad or blank diskette, especially if it's manually marked as bad or unformatted. But with the right tools and knowhow it shouldn't be difficult to get to the content on such diskettes, especially since the Imation Secured software, of 1998, uses only Blowfish 64 bit. Eventually I will experiment with Paragon Encrypted Disk 4.0, maybe it works with UDF-formatted LS-120 diskettes.

The UDF file system is accessible under many different operating systems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Disk_Format , so before making a statement about the usefulness of UDF formatted LS-120 diskettes to hide data, all these different operating systems would have to be checked for their ability to read/write UDF-formatted LS-120 disks. Some operating system may be able to access UDF, but may not have drivers to access LS-120 drives/diskettes.

Edited by Multibooter
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Eventually I will experiment with Paragon Encrypted Disk 4.0, maybe it works with UDF-formatted LS-120 diskettes.

Paragon Encrypted Disk 4.0

I have tried out Paragon Encrypted Disk 4.0 http://www.encrypted-disk.com/ It has nice features, e.g.Blowfish 448-Bit key, but I rejected it under Windows 98 with an LS-120 drive, even if Windows 98/ME are listed under its system requirements:

- installation on plain-vanilla Win98SE hangs with error msg: "Unhandled Exception. Error Number 0x8000FFF. Description: Unexpected Failure. Setup will now terminate"

- it installs Ok under WinSE with KernelEx v4.5.1

- if the encrypted disk file, e.g. disk1.ed, is on a regular FAT16 formatted LS-120 disk, writing to the mounted encrypted disk (e.g. X:) takes ages, e.g. 5 minutes for a 3MB file.

- when a UDF formatted LS-120 diskette is in the LS-120 drive, Paragon Encrypted Disk 4.0 causes the system to become very unstable, blue screens, hung system etc.

- I was not able to create an encrypted disk file, e.g. Disk2.ed, on the UDF formatted LS-120 diskette, just blue screens and a frozen system

I will eventually try the older Paragon Encrypted Disk 3.0 http://download.cnet.com/Encrypted-Disk/3000-2092_4-74125.html Maybe it were just the changes for Vista which caused v4.0 to become unstable under Win98.

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Paragon Encrypted Disk 3.02

I have tried out Paragon Encrypted Disk 3.02 Trial http://download.cnet.com/Encrypted-Disk/3000-2092_4-74125.html It does install Ok under plain vanilla Win98SE, and also runs Ok under Win98, although there are:

- shutdown issues with still-open/mounted media, for which I may possibly find a workaround

- unexplained corruption issues of the UDF formatted LS-120 diskette, probably caused by the buggy special UDF software handling the LS-120 diskette

Paragon Encrypted Disk 3.02 Trial works Ok under Win98SE with UDF formatted LS-120 diskettes. The screen shot contains the properties sheets of

- J: is a UDF 2.01 formatted LS-120 diskette (120MB). On this LS-120 diskette there are 2 encrypted drive image files, DISK1_80MB_FAT32.ED and DISK2_20MB_FAT16.ED and 14.1MB free UDF space

- X: is a FAT32 formatted encrypted disk drive (80MB), from the mounted file DISK1_80MB_FAT32 on J:(UDF formatted)

- Z: is a FAT16 formatted encrypted disk drive (20MB), from the mounted file DISK2_20MB_FAT32 on J: (UDF formatted)

"Partitioning" UDF media

I created the 2 files DISK1_80MB_FAT32.ED and DISK2_20MB_FAT16.ED first on the internal HDD. I then de-selected edautomount and edtray, of Paragon Encrypted Disk, in StartUp Organizer and then rebooted, so that Paragon Encrypted Disk would not be loaded at startup. Now, without edautomount interfering and tracking .ed files, I copied these 2 files to the UDF formatted LS-120 diskette. I then selected edautomount and edtray in StartUp Organizer and rebooted again. This was in effect the "partitioning" of a UDF formatted LS-120 diskette. The UDF file system in theory does not have/allow any partitions.

After rebooting, I mounted X: and Z: with Paragon Encrypted Disk. In Device Manager -> Disk drives -> Paragon Image Drive -> Settings tab, I selected "Removable", so that there are fewer blue screen/shut down issues with Paragon Encrypted Disk when files are open or an application, e.g. MS Word 2000, is still active.

During some preliminary testing, MS Word 2000 seemed to work on the FAT16/FAT32 encrypted partitions/virtual disks on the UDF formatted LS-120 diskette, but there are issues:

When I tried to overwrite an existing file with Save under MS Word 2000, I got the following Word error bubble: "Word cannot complete the save due to a file permission error. (Z:\Copy (2) of word2000_test1.doc)". The file, however, could be saved under a different name with "Save As" by MS Word 2000.

I am not sure whether issues arising during my experimentation are caused by Paragon Encrypted Disk or by the special UDF software. I had not encountered this and the blue screen/shutdown issue with the Imation SuperDisk Secured v2.2 NA software.

I had tried Paragon Encrypted Disk during my initial experimentation because Paragon generally makes good software. Which other encrypted disk software is worth while being tested on a UDF formatted LS-120 diskette?

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