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How to read 3.5" 8 bit disks? PC or Mac?


hunter44102
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You could try WriteAtr on an MSDOS or Win9x PC:

http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/#writeatr

 

Despite it's name WriteAtr can also be used to read Atari disks and save them to ATR files. Reading disks formatted by a 1050 on PCs usually fails, but maybe 3.5" disks formatted by an XF551 works better - haven't tried that myself yet (don't own such a thing).

 

so long,

 

Hias

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Mac doesn't support floppies anymore from the last three versions of OSX.......and I hate it. I used to download ROM files for arcade EPROMs and transfer it to my antique Toshiba laptop using a 3.5" USB drive to burn the EPROMs. Worked fine. The stupid thing is that it DOES still work running Parallels ......go figure.

 

I think I was just 1 of the 2 guys complaining about Apple removing floppy support on their forums......we're dinosaurs....

 

 

The following is about 5.25" but I guess it would be a good start:

http://www.atarimania.com/faq-atari-400-800-xl-xe-how-can-i-read-write-8-bit-atari-disks-on-an-ms-dos-pc_85.html

Edited by Level42
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You could try WriteAtr on an MSDOS or Win9x PC:

http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/#writeatr

 

Despite it's name WriteAtr can also be used to read Atari disks and save them to ATR files. Reading disks formatted by a 1050 on PCs usually fails, but maybe 3.5" disks formatted by an XF551 works better - haven't tried that myself yet (don't own such a thing).

 

so long,

 

Hias

This is the program I used about 2 decades ago befor SIO2PC and APE software came along. I had a 5.25" disk drive on my PC, even though by then they were already many years obsolete. It worked like a charm. I'm sure it will work with 3.5" too. I never tried it with 8-bit, but there is a similar program(s) for Atari ST's and they worked with 1.44MB drives...even though I had 720K disk drives on the Atari, you just couldn't used 1.44MB disks to write too, they would not be reliable on the ST even if formated to 720 or 360K.

Edited by Gunstar
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Mac doesn't support floppies anymore from the last three versions of OSX.......and I hate it. I used to download ROM files for arcade EPROMs and transfer it to my antique Toshiba laptop using a 3.5" USB drive to burn the EPROMs. Worked fine. The stupid thing is that it DOES still work running Parallels ......go figure.

 

I think I was just 1 of the 2 guys complaining about Apple removing floppy support on their forums......we're dinosaurs....

 

 

The following is about 5.25" but I guess it would be a good start:

http://www.atarimania.com/faq-atari-400-800-xl-xe-how-can-i-read-write-8-bit-atari-disks-on-an-ms-dos-pc_85.html

I'm surprised they haven't removed CD/DVD support yet.

 

Allan

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I'm surprised they haven't removed CD/DVD support yet.

 

Allan

 

Ha yeah.....well since they were the first to use 3.5" floppies (which at the time was heavily protested agains, everyone wanted to still use 5.25"......) they may have the "right" to do so. I just understand. What does it save ? 200kb for a USB floppy driver ? I'm also suprised that no one seems to jump in and write a tool / driver to solve the problem....but that's because apparently only 2 people in the world still want 3.5" floppy support on Mac......

 

 

Coming back to the original topic:

 

I kept thinking of a tool that reads the most weird floppy formats (including the format used by my Fluke 9100A) but couldn't remember it's name but found it now:

 

 

http://simonowen.com/samdisk/

 

This is an AWESOME piece of software.....

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WriteAtr doesn't work with a 1.44 drive. Says the read format is incompatible with the Floppy I have connected.

I'm starting to believe I need to connect an actual 720k mechanism to a PC in order to read the disks with WriteAtr

 

You don't necessarily need a 720K drive, an 1.44 HD drive is ok. What you do need is a drive with a standard shugart (old school) interface. Normally you won't be able to read Atari disks (or most PC foreign formats for that matter) with an USB drive.

 

Then your best option is to use modern low level disk readers, like the Kryoflux or the SCP.

 

It is also possible to read them on a PC. But you need a PC with the old floppy controller and connector. Most modern PCs don't have any floppy interface other than USB. Then you can use WriteAtr or other tools. But as Hias is saying, this is not reliable. The problem is the different writing frequency and density between the Atari and the PC drives. This applies to any software, it's a limitation of the hardware.

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WriteAtr doesn't work with a 1.44 drive. Says the read format is incompatible with the Floppy I have connected.

 

I'm starting to believe I need to connect an actual 720k mechanism to a PC in order to read the disks with WriteAtr

You could try configuring the drive as 720k / 3.5" in the BIOS - maybe that's enough to get it working with WriteAtr.

 

According to the docs using the "-f8" option should be what's needed to use the XF552 / 3.5" 720k format.

 

As for reading disks in the PC: the crucial thing seemed to be that FDCs in the PC didn't seem to read sectors which crossed the index hole. A disk formatted in a 1050 (which doesn't have an index hole sensor) usually had one unreadable sector per track, the remaining sectors could be read just fine. IIRC the XF551 uses the index hole sensors, so disks formatted in a XF551 could read fine on the PC. Can't quite remember if I actually tested the latter, though.

 

so long,

 

Hias

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Mac doesn't support floppies anymore from the last three versions of OSX.......and I hate it. I used to download ROM files for arcade EPROMs and transfer it to my antique Toshiba laptop using a 3.5" USB drive to burn the EPROMs. Worked fine. The stupid thing is that it DOES still work running Parallels ......go figure.

 

 

 

Slightly OT:

 

As a bridge between ST and Mac I used two Windows PCs from '96 to '08 and I think I basically stopped using floppies shortly after 2000 when the first USB sticks came along. I remember the PC floppy drives going bad on me (because I never used them?), swapped it at least once on the second PC, just to have the replacement going bad again.

 

My 10.12.6 Mac can read PC floppies via USB disc, however. I think it can even write to them, but the USB controller probably won't read non-FAT formats.

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As for reading disks in the PC: the crucial thing seemed to be that FDCs in the PC didn't seem to read sectors which crossed the index hole.

 

That also. But the difference in density/frequency also makes it less reliable.

 

I think it can even write to them, but the USB controller probably won't read non-FAT formats.

The USB controller usually don't care about the high level format. What matters is the low level format. USB controllers usually can't read the Atari smaller sector size or the higher number of sectors per track.

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My 10.12.6 Mac can read PC floppies via USB disc, however. I think it can even write to them, but the USB controller probably won't read non-FAT formats.

 

 

Wait...what.....your USB drive still works under 10.12.6 ??? Mine stopped working after....I think 1 or 2 OS X updates ago.....but it sill works on PC's and even under Windows via Parallels on my Mac....so it can't be the drive....maybe certain USB drives do and others don't work ?

Edited by Level42
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Wait...what.....your USB drive still works under 10.12.6 ??? Mine stopped working after....I think 1 or 2 OS X updates ago.....but it sill works on PC's and even under Windows via Parallels on my Mac....so it can't be the drive....maybe certain USB drives do and others don't work ?

Mine is a Sony MPF82E-U3/132 which I bought off a guy who had half a dozen of them via a local Craigslist type service for the princely sum of 4€. (I originally wanted to get an IBM branded one for style but this one was unbeatable on price.) I used it last year to save files off a dying DOS notebook and just copied a few DOS files off an HP 200LX Connectivity Pack floppy to my desktop and it seemed to work. Not sure if I tried writing.

 

Maybe there are different USB controllers or different ways for USB controllers to identify themselves towards the OS and OS X doesn‘t like yours?

 

 

Gesendet von iPhone mit Tapatalk

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This is always has been a mixed bag, certain pc floppy controllers and even floppy drives themselves couldn't do it, other could... and depending on weather the disks were written with the XF and what firmware/ upgrade was used or if they were written with the black box floppy board or the atr8000, they didn't always contain the the same format or layout. The best bet is to try them in different drives across the spectrum. also depending on the xf 3.5 upgrade... you may have to try to boot a disk more than once, or use sparta x 4.47? to access the disks.. maybe even mydos... and try each more than once with file system drivers loaded... density switching could be a problem... I once had a 720 k disk formatted with DOS XE and it took me a week to figure out why it couldn't be looked at, I discovered quite by accident that was the case.... I didn't remember making it at the time but later it vaguely came back as I remember us experimenting with such things in our users group.... go figure...

 

Even though written by and XF you may not always know what dos/layout/format was used... best chance repeated try on real xf's, then APE or Respeqt to move the disks, That way it's available to be on PC hard drive as well as still able to be put on Atari hard drive or whatever you want to convert and use it on...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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Mine is a Sony MPF82E-U3/132 which I bought off a guy who had half a dozen of them via a local Craigslist type service for the princely sum of 4€. (I originally wanted to get an IBM branded one for style but this one was unbeatable on price.) I used it last year to save files off a dying DOS notebook and just copied a few DOS files off an HP 200LX Connectivity Pack floppy to my desktop and it seemed to work. Not sure if I tried writing.

 

Maybe there are different USB controllers or different ways for USB controllers to identify themselves towards the OS and OS X doesn‘t like yours?

 

 

Gesendet von iPhone mit Tapatalk

 

Must be something with that USB controller indeed. But is HAS worked fine in the past.....gonna find me one of those Sony's ! Thanks ! Back on topic ;)

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Well good news VicViper sold me a xf551 with 3.5 mech that may or may not work but I am hopeful. My ps/2 machine has a dead CMOS Dallas chip which won't allow boot. Ordering one. So hopefully soon will have some luck

 

Please let us know how you come out with this.

-Larry

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