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Formatting floppy disks Help please.

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I've kindly been given a big bundle of floppy disks by a mate who used them on his BBC computer.

 

I've noticed when I'm trying to transfer ATR files across and the disk is being formatted, it gets halfway through (it clicks 40 times - 40 sectors I'm guessing) then comes up with a format error. The other disks I have that have worked all click 80 times (80 sectors?).

 

Back in the day when I had my C64 I recall you could use pretty much any type of floppy disk. I'm guessing since they all do the same it's not just a corrupt disk but more to do with the type of disk.

 

Is there any way to format these or is the 1050 drive quite specific about what type, make of floppy it uses?

 

Thanks

 

:-)

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Format by the drive is 40 head movements to do 40 tracks then the second 40 is returning where it does a read/verify of the operation.

 

I believe problems can exist using the higher density floppies since they use a less thick media coating.

 

Giving the drive a head clean could help - also check the floppies, rotate by hand, check the tissue coating on the inside of the jacket to ensure the disk itself isn't shedding the media coating.

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Thanks chap, appreciate the advice.

You can't use high density 5.25" floppies. High density floppies don't have the hub ring. You need double density floppies. These floppies

will format to 90K single density or 180K double density and they have a hub ring, a ring of shiny plastic around the center big hole.

I can't remember how much high density floppies hold, I'm sure it was more than 1 meg, seems like 1.2 megs.

Most Atari 8-bit floppy drives are single density, meaning they can only format and hold 90K on a single side. You can cut a notch on

the left side of a floppy and make it a 'flippy', format the back side. Only one A8 floppy I'm familiar with can format both sides and

make a 360K double sided disk, I think that is the XF-551. That dbl sided floppy can only be read on a XF-551, so it is better to

cut the notch and do a flippy.

There are exceptions to the hub ring 'rule', but I've never seen one.

Edited by russg

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Russ - thanks so much for your reply, though it's disappointing to find out that most of the disks I have won't work it means I can stop wasting all my time trying to get them to work. Appreciate your help lads.

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Be aware that some old floppies also have no hub rings and are not HD. Old APX disks are one example. Either way, don't use floppies with no hub rings.

 

Bob

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You can't use high density 5.25" floppies. High density floppies don't have the hub ring. You need double density floppies. These floppies

will format to 90K single density or 180K double density and they have a hub ring, a ring of shiny plastic around the center big hole.

I can't remember how much high density floppies hold, I'm sure it was more than 1 meg, seems like 1.2 megs.

Most Atari 8-bit floppy drives are single density, meaning they can only format and hold 90K on a single side. You can cut a notch on

the left side of a floppy and make it a 'flippy', format the back side. Only one A8 floppy I'm familiar with can format both sides and

make a 360K double sided disk, I think that is the XF-551. That dbl sided floppy can only be read on a XF-551, so it is better to

cut the notch and do a flippy.

There are exceptions to the hub ring 'rule', but I've never seen one.

There are 360k drives other than the XF551 but they are fairly rare, they also use a different track layout than the XF551 for side 2. The following information is from Atarimania.

 

 

Astra Big-D          DS SD/DD dual drives
Astra The "One"      DS SD/DD, printer port
Concorde C-222M      DS SD/DD master
LDW CA-2002          DS SD/ED/DD,19.2Kbps,70Kbps w/SpartaDOS. "Calif. Access"
Percom RFD44-S1      DS SD/DD, master
Percom RFD44-S2      DS SD/DD dual drives, master
Trak AT-D4           DS SD/DD, printer port, print buffer

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Yep. It sounds like you are trying to use 1.2MB floppies or etc. Way, way too much for your 1050 to deal with. The magnetic surface is all wrong and they will never format. What kind of BBC computer. If it was an IBM clone, there's your answer.

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Yep. It sounds like you are trying to use 1.2MB floppies or etc. Way, way too much for your 1050 to deal with. The magnetic surface is all wrong and they will never format. What kind of BBC computer. If it was an IBM clone, there's your answer.

Early IBMs PCs & clones used 360K drives too! The 1.2M 5.25" drive was introduced in 1984 at the same time as the AT, but new PC clones with 360K drives were still available for several years after that.

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Russ - thanks so much for your reply, though it's disappointing to find out that most of the disks I have won't work it means I can stop wasting all my time trying to get them to work. Appreciate your help lads.

Here it is! Probably rare. I still have it. Don't have any more DD floppies to notch with it.

Probably Best or B&C or somebody still has them.

post-21816-0-29805700-1381278806_thumb.jpg

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Is there any way to format these or is the 1050 drive quite specific about what type, make of floppy it uses?

 

Thanks

 

:-)

If you are using MyDOS 4.50 or above your problems are probably with the MyDOS format bug where you can't change densities during a format like some ATR utilities might be trying to do. MyDOS has this bug where if the desired density is different from what the disk in the drive already is currently, then you can't get there from here by issuing standard Percom Blocks to change the density of the disk like that. You first have to set the density via MyDOS's configure drive menu and then you can change densities easily. But you'll have troubles where the density is MS-DOS or a blank disk since even the configure drive option can't get a good read in on the disk, it then fails to format at a 100% rate.

 

DOS 2.0 doesn't have this bug and will conform to the Percom block standard, but MyDOS throws your desired density away and reads the disk and then rewrites the Percom block as found using the disk information. This is NOT the way it's all supposed to work, but is the case for MyDOS.

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It could be possible that the format "fails" in that the read verify pass quits, and the utility ignores it.

 

Assuming the format is at least partially OK you could write to the disk and so long as any bad sectors aren't vital the software could work as normal.

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It does sound like you are formatting a disk with one density in DOS and another density in the drive. The actual format is done in the drive with no 'help' from the system. This would be the first 40 clicks. Then, the DOS tries to verify the data, expecting a particular density. This is the second 40 clicks. This part of the process fails if the DOS expects one density and the drive has written another.

 

Does your 1050 have a Happy or USD in it?

 

 

Boot DOS 2.0 with no cartridge.

 

Take out the DOS 2.0 disk and insert the target disk.

 

Format the disk with the "I" command.

 

Do not try to read the target disk before you format it.

 

Bob

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The drive does both parts of the format under standard firmware, ie it's unconditional that the drive will do the format as well as verify and without intervention or notification between those phases going to the computer.

 

All the Dos does is write the initial boot sectors and directory/VTOC so long as the format was a success.

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Yes, that's how the format should work - the drive does all the work. (what was I thinking?)

 

I have seen the drives get whacked out by the DOS density being out of sync with the drive density, and I'm pretty sure that it failed after the first 40 seeks. But, I can't duplicate the failure.

 

I'm also pretty sure this is a conflict with DD, not ED, so a Happy or USD has to be involved. The only way out is to power cycle the drive and re-boot.

 

This under DOS 2.0S, which will run in DD, although poorly.

 

Bob

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*** IMPORTANT ***

 

Using Mycopyr! v2.1, Copymate v4.3 and v4.4 with APE:

 

APE

---

 

1 Make Sure to use "Fresh" ATR images for your destination!!

Old images will still have data on them - even if you re-format them.

APE only "Quick" formats an image <boot & directory sectors ONLY!>

no matter what DOS you use!

 

2 Turn Emulation mode to Stupid!

3 Turn Ultraspeed to OFF!

4 Be sure to mount your image(s) to desired drive positions "Before"

Booting with Mycopyr/Copymate. Mycopyr(1-2), Copymate(1-4).

 

 

MYCOPYR! and COPYMATE

---------------------

 

1 Turn "Format Destination" to OFF! when copying to an ATR image.

Although, you can turn it On! when copying "to" a physical drive.

 

2 Leave Ultraspeed to OFF! (MYCOPYR!)

 

Note: Copymate copies Single, Double Density.

Mycopyr! copies Single, Enhanced and Double Density.

 

System used for testing: Stock 800XL, Stock 1050 Drive.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

A stock 1050 will NOT do Double Density, no how, no way.

 

I don't know what SIO you are using but I did find the above so I'll post it. I'll use a MS-DOS format to absolutely find bad sectors or disks with, but I'm already set up for that with 360K 5.25 drive in my Win 98 box, if it's really a bad disk it won't pass muster there for sure. I wipe the disks with a strong magnet at times and that will straighten out some but not all. And Windows can't do this, you must boot to DOS mode and use the real deal. The Windows DOS box is just an emulator and not up to this task at all in my experiance.

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