What is best command to copy Amiga disks

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kipper2k
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What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by kipper2k »

Hi all,

What is the best command line to copy an Amiga disk that you do not know has one form or another of protection to ensure you get a good read ?

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IFW
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Re: What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by IFW »

Probably you want to add -i2 to ensure the entire disk gets read and 5 revolutions get sampled continuously.
Also add -i5 just in case it uses some AmigaDOS tracks so those would be verified and automatically redumped if they have errors - if a track is in another format usually the format is different enough that it wouldn't decode as AmigaDOS so DTC would just say it is unformatted without a retry.

Which game exactly?

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IFW
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Re: What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by IFW »

edit: I see... any game :)

Then just use the above, unless for some reason the format turns out to be too similar to AmigaDOS (but not AmigaDOS for real), in that case remove -i5 otherwise it would take a long time for each retry...

Of course make sure you get the stream files, ie use -f<name> -i0.

Stream files are completely format/recording/encoding agnostic they just record what the drive reads from the disk and can always be later "played back" (like a record) as if the drive just read them out.

The only difference between reading from stream files and a real drive is, that the last known good version of the read is recorded as the file, e.g. if there was a "guide" format specified (a format that can be used to verify and control the automatic redump of the data, like AmigaDOS in our case) and a redump happened only the good read will be stored - or if there was no good read at all, the last attempt.

A format without a file name specified is the guide (for verifying see above) - the track always gets verified against the format, but no data is written.
Any number of formats can be specified at the same time, e.g. you know you dump a dual-format disk (e.g. Amiga/ST) you can define two guide formats -i5 for Amiga -i4 for generic MFM.
All formats defined will be verified against any track read (unless the disk geometry of the format does not include a track).
If you define file names, the tracks will be converted to standard sector dumps as well - this usually takes no additional time, as they were converted in the first place anyway, just not output.
The only exception for this is -i2 as that format uses heavy compression and specifying a filename would add about 25 seconds per disk.
Compression or any other method that is only needed for file output is only ever activated if it is required - and without an output specified it's not required.

Can't really think of any game that couldn't be dumped this way (a redump might be needed, but that's just a bad read, not because of any format used) - but the dump of course needs to be checked, analysed etc if it's meant for preservation.

Please see this thread about the game information required for submission to SPS:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=53

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IFW
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Re: What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by IFW »

In summary, I think the following would be usually fine for an Amiga disk with unknown content:

DTC -i2 -i5 -f<streamname> -i0

or if you want an ADF at the same time:
DTC -i2 -f<adfname> -i5 -f<streamname> -i0

Similarly, you can simply add -i4 for dual/tri-format disks and if you want a sector dump of the ST/PC part as well, specify a filename.

kipper2k
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Re: What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by kipper2k »

Thanks for the replies guys. There was no game in particular i was thinking about, just something that would give me the best chance of getting a good copy using the command line switches

hkzlab
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Re: What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by hkzlab »

Out of curiosity... if the disk is actually AmigaDOS, and all the tracks decode fine with -i5 without errors, something like this

dtc -fyadayada -i0 -i5

is fine for preservation? i ask because all my amiga games are dumped like that (and without errors), and the manual didn't specify the use of -i2 to generate STREAM files for preservation of a known format disk.

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mr.vince
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Re: What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by mr.vince »

Well it does (and it's in the Academy - sticky on the forums - as well), but let's face the obvious:

If you just want to image a disk for personal use, just use -i5 and you are fine.

-i2 makes sure you get five consecutive revolutions which is important for e.g. unknown format.

So many dumps you made should be ok, at least if they decoded fine against -i5.

hkzlab
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Re: What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by hkzlab »

Ah, my fault, missed the Academy post, whoops.
All the dumps of disks with copy protection and unreadable tracks (eg. Hook, Curse of Enchantia for example) are all made with "-i0 -i2" the other games which decode all tracks with their respective sector dumpers are made with -i0 only.
Is it still fine if i upload them to your FTP for preservation in this state?

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IFW
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Re: What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by IFW »

Yes, but if you plan on getting a better read with 5 revolutions for all then please upload those dumps.

One thing worth keeping in mind that many protections on the Amiga and other formats as well decode fine using their native OS by design - to simply hide which track(s) contain protection data.

hkzlab
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Re: What is best command to copy Amiga disks

Post by hkzlab »

OK, thanks a lot for the answers and the explanations! :D

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