Imaging hard sector floppies

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exidyboy
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:11 pm

Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by exidyboy » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:30 am

The latest release notes make several mentions of the fact that imaging hard sector floppies is now fully supported.

I tried some 10 sector 40 track floppies for the Vista system for the Exidy Sorcerer last week but did not have any luck. DTC threw an error and didn't proceed with the read.

(I can't recall the specific error and don't have access to the gear at the moment but believe it was related to index pulses).

Is there anything special I need to do when trying to create a preservation stream from this geometry?

Thanks,

Michael

ZrX
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by ZrX » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:06 am

What is the model of your drive? It seems older Panasonic drives work while newer Newtronics drives are made to ignore index signal which is too "fast".

exidyboy
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:11 pm

Re: Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by exidyboy » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:56 pm

It was a Mitsubishi MF501 but I have other brands and models I could try.

exidyboy
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:11 pm

Re: Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by exidyboy » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:19 pm

I gained access to the equipment again today.
The error on the MF501 was:

Code: Select all

The stream device reported missing index - no disk in drive
This was while the disk was spinning away merrily so obviously erroneous :lol:

I tried a Mitsubishi M4853 with more success. Perhaps being an older drive it is more agricultural.

I tried a multiple output to create a preservation stream as well as an image using custom settings based on my understanding of the geometry of these hard sector discs.

That didn't work because of this error:

Code: Select all

sector count cant be changed for image i0
I am not sure what that error means and how to resolve it.

Therefore I went ahead and made a preservation stream which believe I was successfully able to do for all 5 discs I attempted.

Now I have a folder full of .raw files and will try and convert them into an image by using the software in its offline mode on another computer.

Then I will try and extract the files with cpmtools or similar.

If you are interested in taking a look at the .raw files let me know where to send them.

ZrX
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by ZrX » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:23 pm

Sector count, size and few other parameters can only be defined for decoding image output formats -i3++, not for preservation stream -i(0).

exidyboy
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:11 pm

Re: Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by exidyboy » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:01 pm

OK thanks. Your answer doesn't completely make sense to me yet but that is only because I am a beginner and still coming to grips with the internal architecture of your solution. Let's come back to that later.

Looking in one of the .raw files I see

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hc=10
so it has been recognised as having 10 hard sectors which is totally awesome :D

However I am struggling to 'replay' the preservation stream back through the GUI against my custom profile in order to generate an image for further investigation.

I'm not getting any visual feedback (compared to reading a physical disc) and the resultant 'image' is zero bytes in size.

Could you offer some suggestions here or link me to some useful forum threads?

I have read the full manual now :oops: but I could not find an explicit example of using the command line as an alternative in case what I am trying to do is beyond what is exposed by the Java GUI.

ZrX
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by ZrX » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:47 pm

Should work just by selecting from the menu Drive > Stream Files, enter desired output filename, then select from the format list your custom format, click Start and open the directory containing the raw streamfiles.

If you did just that, then something in your format settings is incorrect.

exidyboy
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:11 pm

Re: Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by exidyboy » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:33 am

OK thanks. I will try that. Good progress has been made on decoding the sector format and checksum algorithm just from the raw .raw files.

That work has handed on to a CP/M guru to figure out the CP/M directory information next.

I will need to flip the discs over and redump the other side as head 0 though to capture all the tracks due to the offset issue (or get familiar with the command line).

brightcaster
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:48 pm

Re: Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by brightcaster » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:09 am

Hardsectored disks can't be flippy disks! The Index information was absolutely nesseccary on the original drives to allocate sector positons but was not available on the flip side due to the missing second hole in the sleeve! So nothing could be written to the second side by flipping the disk...

exidyboy
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:11 pm

Re: Imaging hard sector floppies

Post by exidyboy » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:00 pm

All 20 discs have two index holes opposite each other.

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