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Archiving my old AtariST disks

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I have a pile of old 3.5" Atari ST disks, and I was wondering how I can convert them into disk images that can be used by an emulator. I'm running NoSTalgia on an iMac, but I do have access to a PC as well, if that would be better.

 

Thanks for you help.

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If you have a PC with legacy floppy drive you are in business. Floppy image. If not your sol. You might be able to format 720k on a USB floppy and transfer files over, haven't tried... But you can't make disk images.

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Thanks for your help guys. I only have a usb floppy drive, so I guess I'm out of luck, huh? I see some internal floppy drives on ebay that I could try to install in my PC, but I want to make sure I'm getting the right thing. Should I get a 1.44mb drive? Some of my ST disks say Double Density, and some of them say High Density. Does that mean the same thing? Sorry for all the noob questions.

 

Come to think of it, I have an old 68k Mac that has a floppy drive. Could I pull that from my Mac and put it into the PC?

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Okay, that Mac floppy drive can't be put into my PC. The interface isn't the same. I also tried using my usb floppy drive to just transfer the files individually, but my computer doesn't seem to be able to read the disks. So I guess I'm back to buying an internal floppy drive on eBay. I'm just not entirely sure what I should be looking for.

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Thanks for your help guys. I only have a usb floppy drive, so I guess I'm out of luck, huh? I see some internal floppy drives on ebay that I could try to install in my PC, but I want to make sure I'm getting the right thing. Should I get a 1.44mb drive? Some of my ST disks say Double Density, and some of them say High Density. Does that mean the same thing? Sorry for all the noob questions.

 

Come to think of it, I have an old 68k Mac that has a floppy drive. Could I pull that from my Mac and put it into the PC?

 

You might try the ms-dos tools 'Makedisk' or 'imgbuild' for reading/writing Atari ST disks linked above by Hatta. The complicated part would be getting ms-dos running on one of your macs. What models do you have?

 

Edit: If you buy a 1.44mb internal floppy drive, your PC needs to have a floppy controller and cable. Newer PCs often don't have floppy controllers anymore so check first to see if yours does.

Edited by RodLightning

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My old 68k Mac with the floppy drive is not in working condition right now. My only other Mac is an Intel Core Duo iMac. I have an old PC that was given to me, but it doesn't have a legacy floppy drive. I found this program called ST Recover, and I tried it with my usb floppy drive. It seems to be able to read a few of my old ST disks, but most of them, not so much. I'm creating an image with it right now... we'll see if it actually produces a usable ST image.

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Main important thing here is to know why USB floppy is not good for Atari floppies:

USB can only couple specific formats, used on PC, Windows - 720K and 1440K (some only later one). But many of Atari SW is on 800KB floppies, or 400KB (single side).

And USB can not write or read such formats. In other words, USB can not 10 sectors/track, only 9 or 18 . So, if you see some ST image of size 720KB it will likely work,

If ST image is 800KB it will be not written correctly with USB drive.

Only way on modern PC and Windows is using internal floppy drive and special SW .

And it is better that you buy 720KB drive and not 1440KB one. Will read DD floppies more reliable.

ST handles HD floppies as DD ones (except if there is HD upgrade in). With 720KB drive on PC you don't need anything. But with 1440KB one, you need to cover hole at right.

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Grab a floppy drive for your old PC. Shouldn't be more than $10

Then use the utils Hatta mentions.

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Okay thanks, I'll check eBay for 720k floppy drives. RodLightning: I don't know what a floppy controller is, but I know that my PC is pretty old. I'm not sure how old, but I'm guessing probably close to 10 years old. It does have a couple empty slots where a floppy drive could go, and I looked inside and there some cables that I'm guessing would connect to it. I don't know a lot about PC's so I don't know what the cables are called, but there is that wide ribbon cable, and also some cables with smaller interfaces. I'm assuming one of these will connect to a floppy drive, right?

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Should work if you block the HD sense pin. The important bit is the floppy controller. The controller is basically a chip on your PC motherboard - if its as old as you say it will probably be OK.

 

Typically the problem with new USB floppies is that they only conform to 720Kb and 1.44Mb formats - ie. 80 tracks and std sectors per track 9 I think, I forget.

 

Older floppy controllers allowed more than 80 tracks, eg 82 was common, with higher sectors per track, eg 10 or 11, and this obviously translates into more space. It was sometimes used as copy protection, infact Microsoft used this format for its Windows and Office install disks and a standard 'disk copy' would fail.

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You don't need a 720k drive to read/write 720k or DSDD disks on a PC. Any HD 1.44 drive on Windows can handle all the custom disk images for reading/writing with Floppy Image.

 

I haven't had any issues with my PC, but then again, I am using a really nice drive. Epson SMD-340. See if you can find one of these. This drive was used in the Mega STE/TT030/Falcon030! Plenty of them on eBay...

Edited by tjlazer

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I went ahead and bought that floppy drive on eBay, but it doesn't seem to have the right kind of interface for my computer. It has a wide interface with 33 pins, and none of the connectors inside my computer will fit it. It also has a smaller interface with 4 pins, and I did find a cable that will fit that one, but I'm guessing that one is just the power source, right? I mean, I'm assuming I need to connect both of those interfaces for it to work, right?

 

Does anyone have any idea what kind of floppy drive I need? I included a picture. Is there maybe some kind of adaptor, or should I just toss this floppy drive?

 

Thanks for your help.

post-35607-0-43094700-1368731717_thumb.jpg

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That is the correct type of drive, but the cable shown is for an IDE hard disk. The floppy drive cable has 34 wires and will have a twist in it just before the end that is connected to the drive. There should also be a connector on the motherboard of your PC that has the same number of pins as the floppy drive does.

 

More recent computers don't have the connector on the motherboard to connect a floppy drive to.

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Thanks, I checked the motherboard, and it looks like it does have a 34 pin connector, but no cable. So I guess I need to buy a cable. I'll see if I can find the cable on eBay if someone will tell me what the cable is called.

 

Also, I counted and there are definitely only 33 pins on the floppy drive that I bought on eBay. It looks like one is missing. I thought maybe that was by design, but now I'm wondering if I got ripped off.

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The cable I ordered arrived today and I was about to hook it up, but I have one more question first: I noticed that in addition to the big 34-pin port on the floppy drive, there's also a small 4-pin port. I did find a connector inside my computer that fits it. Do I need to hook them both up? Thanks.

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Dang. That cable won't fit into the connector in my PC because one of those 34 holes at the end of the cable is filled in. It fits the floppy drive perfectly because the drive is missing that pin anyway, but the connector inside my PC has all 34 pins, so that one filled-in hole is in the way. Is there any way to make it fit? Should I try to break off that extra pin, or file down the filled-in hole? Thanks.

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you need a different cable that does not have that pin filled in then. Some cables have all 34 pin holes, some do not. I would not mess with the pin on the motherboard!

 

And yes that 4 pin header is for Power, so you will need that if you want the drive to power up. (Just make sure you put it on the right way, it will snap on nicely the correct way, and be harder the wrong way. You will most likely fry the drive it you put it on backwards.)

 

Where are you located? I might have an extra floppy cable you can have just pay shipping/handling.

Edited by tjlazer

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Dang. That cable won't fit into the connector in my PC because one of those 34 holes at the end of the cable is filled in. It fits the floppy drive perfectly because the drive is missing that pin anyway, but the connector inside my PC has all 34 pins, so that one filled-in hole is in the way. Is there any way to make it fit? Should I try to break off that extra pin, or file down the filled-in hole? Thanks.

 

The filled in pin is there to keep the cable oriented correctly. The filled in hole MIGHT open up with a straight pin or needle. If you manage to clear the hole, make sure the cable isn't being plugged in upside down as tjlazer mentioned. One side will have a red stripe and that is for pin 1 on the connector.

 

One other thing you might have to do is hold down a specific key (F2, DEL or some such) at power-on to get into the pc's BIOS setup utility and enable the floppy drive. Good luck!

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you need a different cable that does not have that pin filled in then. Some cables have all 34 pin holes, some do not. I would not mess with the pin on the motherboard!

 

And yes that 4 pin header is for Power, so you will need that if you want the drive to power up. (Just make sure you put it on the right way, it will snap on nicely the correct way, and be harder the wrong way. You will most likely fry the drive it you put it on backwards.)

 

Where are you located? I might have an extra floppy cable you can have just pay shipping/handling.

 

I'm located in Northern California. If you could give me a cable, that would be great, thank you. Should I PM my snail mail address to you? Let me know how you'd like to work this.

 

There was no way to pop out the plug in the cable. I actually tried making a hole by heating up a pushpin and pushing it into the filled-in hole so it melted the plastic and created a small hole. This did allow me to attach the cable, but the drive still didn't work. It didn't light up or make a sound or anything. I hope I didn't fry it. I think I put the 4-pin power cable in the right way, but I really don't know for sure. Maybe I just needed to get into the BIOS setup utility, like RodLightning said. I think I'll wait until I have the right cable before I try again, though.

 

Thanks everyone.

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For Atari, floppy drive must be set as A (or drive 0) . Check jumpers and correct by need.

I'm not sure what you mean. I can't seem to use *any* disks in this drive, Atari or Windows or anything. It doesn't even seem to be coming on when I turn on my computer. Plus I don't see any jumpers on this drive.

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