Archiving floppies?

From: Mark <>
Date: Wed Sep 26 21:34:10 2001


On Mon, 24 Sep 2001 Jeff Hellige wrote:
> An idea I've had that I may try is using my GVP PC286 board
> for my Amiga 500. Oddly, it's the only machine I have capable of
> running MS-DOS that also has both 3.5 and 5.25" floppy drives as well
> as a hard disk. As I've found in the past, the hard disk is
> essential when trying to make disk images. I've never actually tried
> using the A1020 5.25" drive as a PC floppy from the PC286 though, but
> the manual suggests it should work fine. With the 16mhz '286
> onboard, the PC286 is also faster than the odd XT class machines I
> have as well. For those not familiar with it, the GVP PC286 is an
> 80286 cpu with 512k RAM that plugs into the internal expansion slot
> of the GVP Series II hard disk controllers for the Amiga 500.

You don't need the PC286 board or any kind of PC emulator to make disk images
of PC floppies using an Amiga. The exact usage will depend on your setup, but
you could use commands like
    Copy DEV:PC0 RAM:diskimage.bin
with the free Dev-Handler package installed.

Plus, you can make images of protected PC floppies using a program such as
MFMWarp (not high density ones until someone updates the program). Source for
MFMWarp is available, albeit in 68000 assembly language, so the file format
is known/documented to that extent. 5.25" 360K disks are also no problem.

By the way, you can image Apple II floppies with an Amiga and A1020 drive. C64
disks too, if you adjust the speed of your A1020; I recommend using a second
A1020 for that purpose. Much faster than using a real 1541 drive connected
via the serial or parallel port.

It should be possible to archive C64 and Apple II disks at the GCR level using
an A1020 drive, but as far as I no nobody has written software to do that.
There is a program which can read whole (raw) tracks however, which might be
useful for analysing copy-protection.

Using an 80-track 5.25" drive, it might even be possible to archive C64 etc.
disks which use "half-track" protection, but I don't know the details of
those schemes so can't say for sure.

(The A1020 is a 40-track drive. It should be easy to attach an 80-track 5.25"
drive; just use the interface PCB from a spare external Amiga 3.5" drive.)

-- Mark
Received on Wed Sep 26 2001 - 21:34:10 BST

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