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XF551 3.5 Mod

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Why would you do that? Format the 3.5 in it's native density and copy it over. If using the hyper xf mod you could possibly make that sort of thing work out.

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Has anyone ever got this to work with a dual-drive mech? Did they ever make [non-HD] versions of those things?

Dual 5.25 / 3.5 that is.

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If using Hyper-XF rom you can actually partition a 3.5 into 4 sssd partitions, and I believe you can boot from all 4 of them from the single disk.

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Well, I have two Hyper-XF drives with 3,5" Teac floppies (235HF) and I am mostly using the partition formats with 90k/130k/180k per partition. First thing I did, when I did not have any A8 software on 3,5" disks many years ago was to create a 5,25" diskette on the 1050 with a sectorcopy program as autoboot on it (this was Copy2000). When done, I setup both the 1050 and Hyper-XF drives as D1:, both drives were connected with power, but only the XF was connected with SIO to the Atari. Then I booted the XF without any disk to get the built-in ROM menu and set partition mode A. (Back then, no software existed to change modes so one had to boot off the drive). Next, I dis-connected SIO from the XF (but did not power-off, so mode A was still active) and connected the 1050 to SIO and the Atari. Then I booted the sectorcopy program from the 1050 and read the disk, when this was done, I dis-connected the SIO again and connected it to the XF. Now I could write to the XF, partition A and when done, I had a sectorcopy program on partition A. Repeated all these steps for partitions B, C and D, swapping the SIO cable several times and finally I had a sectorcopy program on all four partitions of the 3,5" diskette...

 

The same thing can be done nowadays much easier, thanks to a small program with a few bytes length that enables one to set the mode of the Hyper-XF. This small utility is called Hypmode.COM on my XF/Hyper-XF utility disk. One can simply setup the 5,25" drive as D1: and the Hyper-XF as D2:. Load the utility from DOS (the 5,25" drive) and type in the drive number and mode for the Hyper-XF drive (e.g. 2A for drive 2 and partition mode A), then load a sectorcopy program to copy from the 5,25" drive to the 3,5" drive in the set mode/partition. No need to swap the SIO cable anymore.

 

With the partition mode on the Hyper-XF one can easily copy bootdisks from the 5,25" drive to the Hyper-XF 3,5" drive and boot them from the 3,5" drive later on. Of course these disks must not be copy-protected and errmmm, it would be good, if they do not use special SIO routines or assume some auto-detection of density or watch for the disk-lever to detect a disk-swap automatically (standard on the 1050, but non-standard on the XF). Some demos (e.g. The Big Demo, Overmind, etc.) and some tools (e.g. german Sektor-Kopierer 4.x/6.x by Dr. XL) do not work in their original form on the XF/Hyper-XF because of this (for the demos exist patches or patched versions, not for the sectorcopy program which is limited to 90k/130k anyways).

 

So, using the partition mode on the Hyper-XF you can easily copy most of your old 5,25" bootdisks without changing the format/density to the 3,5" drive and boot them from there. Note, that the Hyper-XF uses ultraspeed with sector-skewing (sector-interleave) that differs from USD or Turbo 1050 drives, so whenever a (USD) program asks for sector-skew, reply with "N"o. Experiment to find out, which programs work with the Hyper-XF in ultraspeed mode, some do, some don't...

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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I have come back to this topic in order to enter an update and a few observations and ask a couple of questions. It appears that most of my earlier problems were cable problems. My first breakthrough was by using a card edge adapter with a known to be good cable. Then I purchased a commercial cable (flat ribbon) instead of trying to make my own. Another thing I found was that I needed to stick to one DOS. I suppose I could switch between DOSes but it didn't seem to work for me. Another observation, and this is largely unsubstantiated, if my screen shows the hyper ROM info with what looks like error 16, then the disk is not formatted correctly. Lastly, it seems that 3.5 disks are prone to lose their formatting. 

 

One question I have is; can you format a 3.5 in single or enhanced density using DOS 2.5?  I know I can test this myself but if someone already knows, I can save myself the time.

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Do you use real 720K disks or are you using HD?  I've always found that 3.5" 720K disks are probably the most stable (user-written) we have.  (In large part due to the data separator in the 1772-02-02 controller.) But if you are using 1.44 disks, they are  typically quite unstable.  I understand that you want ED, but curious as to why not DD?  The losing data issue?

-Larry

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A lot more than I know about has to do with the media being used, and when it was manufactured.  Earlier HD disks seem to perform better than the HD disks made at the very end of the floppy era.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the issues with 5.25 (DD vs HD) drive heads do not come into play here.  According to this: http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/drive.html   DD and HD recording tech is the same: MFM jus at different data rates.  The media however IS different. (Or so this says).  So I stick with 720 floppies.

 

3.5 inch drives, 720K (1MB) and 1.44M (2MB) and 2.88M (4MB)

	rotation speed: 300 RPM
	track density 135 tpi; 
	80 tracks per side; IBM MS-DOS sectors per track 9, 18, 36 respectively
          track 0 on outer circumference, track 79 innermost near hub.
	head step angle 1.8 degrees
        data frequency
                250Kbps, MFM double density DD
                500Kbps, MFM high density HD
                1Mbps, ?MFM?? 2.88M extended density ED
	innermost track bit density: 8717 bpi at 720K; 17,434 bpi at 1.44M; 34,848 at 2.88M
	          for MFM use; for FM use divide by 2
	media: DD media is cobalt, 665 oersteds at 720K (1MB? unformatted); longitudinal recording; 
             HD media is 720 oersteds at 1.44M (2MB unformatted); longitudinal recording
             ED is barium ferrite, [unconfirmed 1200 oersteds] at 2.88M (4MB unformatted), perpendicular recording
                 see Intel 82077SL (superdense floppy controller IC) for details.
	track spacing: .0074 inches 
	drive track radius from center (inner to outer) 
                 side 0 .9719 inches to 1.5551 inches
                 side 1 .9129 inches to 1.4961 inches
	track width: .115 mm (.0045 inch) after "trim erase" on either side (not confirmed for 4MB format)
		also see erase notes
	orientation of index hole: none, inner diskette self-aligns with drive spindle
       	resistor terminator: resistor SIM, often soldered in,

      note: 4MB standard created by Toshiba, endorsed by IBM. See AP-358, Intel reference below.

 

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10 hours ago, Larry said:

Do you use real 720K disks or are you using HD?  I've always found that 3.5" 720K disks are probably the most stable (user-written) we have.  (In large part due to the data separator in the 1772-02-02 controller.) But if you are using 1.44 disks, they are  typically quite unstable.  I understand that you want ED, but curious as to why not DD?  The losing data issue?

-Larry

I just wondered if I could possibly copy some of my 5.25 disks to 3.5 disks and many of them are in single density and some are enhanced density. I haven't used any 1.44 HD disks.

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1 hour ago, hueyjones70 said:

I just wondered if I could possibly copy some of my 5.25 disks to 3.5 disks and many of them are in single density and some are enhanced density. I haven't used any 1.44 HD disks.

why not, I've copied stuff to 720k disks without issue, the files all load as they should, I've even wasted space and sector copied game to it and they booted and played as they should.

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Well,

 

simply use 3,5" DD disks and e.g. a sectorcopy program like Copymate XE 3.8, it copies anything from 90k up to 720k (but requires a minimum of 128k RAM). For 90k/130k/180k just press Start to read and write, for 360k and 720k you have to press other keys (TAB, Return) first, before pressing the Start key. Alternatively you can use Disk Duplication 2.0 (DD2) which can also be setup to read/write anything from 90k to 720k (40 tracks, 80 tracks and even 77 tracks) in single, enhanced or double density. DD2 works on a 32k?/48k?/64k system but also supports ramdisk/XRAM when loaded from DOS (e.g. up to 1MB when loaded from MyDOS, it leaves several sectors free/unused, so one can quit to DOS/DUP afterwards).

 

=> both sector copy programs are on the image COPY720k.ATR (without DOS)

=> DD2 is also on the image 16MCOPY1.ATR (with MyDOS and ultraspeed driver)

 

I do have various 3,5" DD disks in 90k and 130k DOS 2.0s and DOS 2.5 format here, so yes, formatting with 90k or 130k under DOS 2.5 (or DOS 2.0) works fine. I am only using the MyDOS format for 360k and 720k disks, all other formats (90k/130k/180k) are still DOS 2.0 (DOS 2.0s and DOS 2.0d) and DOS 2.5. For example "Winter Events" (bootdisk by Anco) is running fine from two 90k disksides on my 3,5" Hyper-XF, the "Cool Emotion" demo (bootdisk) by HARD is running fine from two 130k disksides.

 

=> HyperXF1.ATR includes TurboDOS XL/XE, which uses DOS 2.0 and DOS 2.5 format for 90k/130k/180k; the only format that should be avoided here is the 360k format, since TurboDOS uses 4 bytes as sector links there, which no other DOS 2.x does; there is also Hypmode.COM on this image, which can be used to set the Hyper-XF into any of the available (partition) modes, short instructions included afaik...

 

And ermmm, I also have several sector copy programs that can copy/convert any 90k disk (bootdisk or filedisk) into a 130k diskette, so if you want to use as less formats/densities as possible (since the XF and also Hyper-XF cannot detect density change or format change automatically), you could do that and get rid of the 90k format (sectors 721-1040 are simply unused on these 130k disks then)...

 

=> HyperXF1.ATR also includes Diskcopy (DSKCOPY.COM) which can be loaded from TurboDOS, it allows copying/converting from 90k to 130k (or from 130k to 90k if sectors 721 to 1040 are unused)...

 

16MCOPY1.ATR COPY720K.ATR HYPERXF1.ATR

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