Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

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Nutter
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Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by Nutter »

I have a few original floppy games which I'm trying to move to my ZIDEFS device. Some appear to work whereas others either still look for the floppy during boot, or just display an error.

As an example, Ibix the Viking just shows "Bad Drive" when I try to open the floppy disk. What does that mean?

Pandora's Box transferred to the IDE device OK but when I run it, something weird happens. All my IDEDiscs along the bottom panel disappear and the game does not boot. I have to power off / on to restore the disc devices.

Battle Tank starts from the IDE disc alright but then looks to the floppy for subsequent loads.

Is there any way I can get these to load properly? Any help or links to info would be appreciated.
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danielj
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by danielj »

These are old games with disk protection, and were mostly designed only to be played from floppy (HDDs were pretty expensive commodities back then). I guess there are a few options:

1) see if it's available on JASPP, use !ADFFS with the disk image which you keep on your HDD.
2) Hack it to work from the hard disk (I have no idea where to start with this, it'd involve getting your hands pretty dirty with pulling the code/disc protection apart)
3) Install a gotek and image the disks to a format that works with copy protected titles (e.g. HFE) using a kryoflux (this won't work for "weak bit" protection currently).
steve3000
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by steve3000 »

An extension of Daniel's option 1 above: if the games are not available on JASPP, you could use !ADFFS to image your original discs yourself, and then use !ADFFS to run the images from your HDD.
Nutter
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by Nutter »

!ADFFS needs 4MB of RAM doesn't it? I've only 2MB unfortunately.

BTW what does Bad Drive mean? I see this when trying to start Ibex the Viking from floppy.
Last edited by Nutter on Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sirbod
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by sirbod »

Nutter wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:41 pm
!ADFFS needs 4MB of RAM doesn't it? I've only 2MB unfortunately.
It's the floppy image that needs the RAM, so floppy image size will be the main factor. You might at a pinch be able to mount images and run them on 2MB, you'd have to try it and see how much memory is left, its going to be tight.

However, you'll probably want to load ADFFS anyway and make use of the boot scripts to resolve the issues you're seeing.
Nutter wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:41 pm
BTW what does Bad Drive mean? I see this when trying to start Ibix the Viking from floppy.
It's possibly doing *DRIVE 0 which will be a "Bad Drive" on ZIDEFS.
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danielj
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by danielj »

I know I've mentioned it on the JASPP forum, but there does seem to be an argument for making the kryoflux dump (or equivalent) available for released titles, that way if people are using older hardware which would run the disks directly, they can just convert them to a format that will work with a hardware floppy emulator at their leisure. Add to that, it preserves the original format of the original floppies which, at some point in the future, would in theory allow them to be recreated as appropriate, again, to run on original hardware.
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by sirbod »

danielj wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:37 am
I know I've mentioned it on the JASPP forum, but there does seem to be an argument for making the kryoflux dump (or equivalent) available for released titles, that way if people are using older hardware which would run the disks directly, they can just convert them to a format that will work with a hardware floppy emulator at their leisure. Add to that, it preserves the original format of the original floppies which, at some point in the future, would in theory allow them to be recreated as appropriate, again, to run on original hardware.
There's a whole host of issues with the Kryoflux dump format, in particular the flux errors it introduces. To counteract that, the tracks need to be imaged many times and manually checked to find the correct ones. That's okay for regular tracks that can be crc checked, but becomes really time consuming and difficult when protection sectors are involved.

Its possible to write some code to transform a JFD into binary or flux level, but sectors with errors would need to generated as JFD doesn't store sectors that have no valid data, it just stores the error. From an ADFS perspective JFD's are identical to the original floppy, which is more than sufficient for preservation purposes if they're being used on Arc's.
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danielj
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by danielj »

No, I do understand the argument there. It's really to allow the hardware emulators to be deployed in low memory arcs (or any others you'd like) and allow them to use the disc images without having to load ADFFS first. Particularly with the A3010/A3x0 series this makes life easier, but

The alternative trick, I guess, as you state, is to take the JFD and reverse it back into a flux format that will produce the same ADFS errors as the original. HFE is a reasonably compact format at this stage (2mb/dd-disk), but it doesn't cope with weak bits (although does JFD encode weak bits?) - I know there are moves to get a format into flashfloppy that does cope with weak bits, and that should basically render it able to deal with any protection scheme.
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by sirbod »

danielj wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:28 pm
HFE is a reasonably compact format at this stage (2mb/dd-disk)
It must be an FM/MFM image. Flux would be in the tens of MB.
danielj wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:28 pm
it doesn't cope with weak bits (although does JFD encode weak bits?) - I know there are moves to get a format into flashfloppy that does cope with weak bits, and that should basically render it able to deal with any protection scheme.
I'm not sure if any Arc games used weak sector - hard to tell at ADFS level, possibly some of the original Eternal releases? They would show up as duplicate sectors, which JFD does handle. So a weak sector would be handled by duplicating the sector as many times as required to produce what the check is looking for.
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danielj
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by danielj »

sirbod wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:45 pm
It must be an FM/MFM image. Flux would be in the tens of MB.
Bitstream. I don't think it'd do quite everything, but HFEv3 I think allows variable bitrates, so I'm fairly sure that'd cope with mixed density tracks.
sirbod wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:45 pm
I'm not sure if any Arc games used weak sector - hard to tell at ADFS level, possibly some of the original Eternal releases? They would show up as duplicate sectors, which JFD does handle. So a weak sector would be handled by duplicating the sector as many times as required to produce what the check is looking for.
Crystal Rainforest does - iirc you couldn't get it to behave with JFD?
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by sirbod »

danielj wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:31 pm
Crystal Rainforest does - iirc you couldn't get it to behave with JFD?
I've not look at it in detail yet, its possibly its talking directly to the chipset, needs slow sectors or just doing something daft. My final statement on it was:
there's more work to be done on figuring out why the protection is failing
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danielj
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Re: Transferring floppies to HD / IDE device

Post by danielj »

:D - yes, sorry, working from hazy memory without looking back directly (which is daft seeing as it's right there).

d.
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