How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

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flaxcottage
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How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by flaxcottage » Wed May 22, 2019 8:59 pm

Here is a problem that has me stumped.

I have a new, unregistered floppy disc from Resource for the Archimedes Touch Window screen. The disc will verify with no errors. The disc will backup apparently OK but the backup copy will not register. The software keeps asking for the original 'master' disc to be put in the drive.

I have used several disc copiers. They appear to have cloned the disc but the clone will not register.

OmniFlop will make a disc image with no problem but the image is not recognised as the 'master' disc.

What is going on? How can this 'master disc' be cloned so that the clone will be recognised and register?

I could register the disc and then that can be used on any machine I have but it will have to be THAT disc. I can only install to HDD on the machine on which I registered the 'master'.

I want to archive the disc to preserve it but at the moment I cannot. Any ideas?

I have used Kryoflux to make a Stream File copy. That cannot be written back to a real floppy so that makes Kryoflux as much use as a chocolate fireguard here (or am I missing something?).
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by danielj » Wed May 22, 2019 9:09 pm

You can write a kryoflux stream back to floppy. Whether it works or not is a different issue, often down to the drive... If you pop the stream files somewhere I can have a look and see what I think is going on?

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by flaxcottage » Wed May 22, 2019 10:50 pm

Thanks, Daniel. I'll put them on my website and let you know where. It'll be tomorrow now.

Problem is with my version it gives an error message when trying to write the stream back. :?
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by steve3000 » Wed May 22, 2019 11:57 pm

This is actually quite difficult.

Because, it is very easy to create a protected 'master' disc which fools RISC OS and appears to backup ok on the Archimedes, but the backup doesn't work because it misses out critical hidden data used to store registration details etc. The problem is that the RISC OS backup code only copies sectors which are registered as containing file data on them (try backing up a blank disc...it's very fast!). So the registration details could simply be hidden on a sector not linked to any catalogue entry.

More rigorous software copiers can backup all data on every sector of a standard ADFS disc, avoiding the above problem. But there are still fairly simple ways of fooling many of these too - by using non-standard sector sizes.

Later Archimedes with the 82C710/711 controller were very limited in what protected discs they could copy, but if you have an older Archimedes with a 1772 floppy controller, there was a copier called !PiRat iirc, which was the best copier I ever saw on the Archimedes (but sadly I have long since lost my copy of this :(...If anyone has this, I'd be very interested to have a try of it again, to see if it was as good as I recall...!). However even this could be fooled by some more complex tricks like placing a large sector header within a small sector and reading the larger sector in order to over-read the end of the small sector...and therefore access hidden data between sectors... This type of protection method could never be copied (or created) on the Archimedes because the 1772 disc controller could not generate the correct format layout.

The easiest way to copy this sort of problem Master disc bitd was to find someone with an Amiga, and use Xcopy... These days though, this type of disc should be absolutely no problem for Kryoflux, so you're on the right track ;)

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by vanpeebles » Thu May 23, 2019 7:43 am

Investigator III was great 8)

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by flaxcottage » Thu May 23, 2019 8:33 am

The Touch Window Kryoflux data stream archive is here - www.flaxcottage.com/riscos/touchwindow.zip

I have !PiRat somewhere. I remember using that to clone an educational title.

Investigator III is on my hunting list, thanks. :D
Last edited by flaxcottage on Thu May 23, 2019 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by flaxcottage » Thu May 23, 2019 11:53 am

Now here's a thing...

Tried !Rat (!Pirat) on my A5000 last night and it crashed out and wouldn't copy the Touch Window disk. Copied the program to my A3000 and it worked perfectly making a virgin 'Master' disk which then would register to my A3000. :D

Is this because the A3000 has an 800K drive and the A5000 has a 1.6Mb drive?

Anyway, !Rat reported Track 19, Head 0, Sector 25 Size 1 the data overflows the index. !Rat seems to be able to copy the disk OK so that is one worry sorted. I still have the problem with making a downloadable archive. It is looking like I shall need to hack the Runimage file which is probably compiled C. :?
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by johnkenyon » Thu May 23, 2019 12:24 pm

flaxcottage wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 11:53 am
Now here's a thing...

Tried !Rat (!Pirat) on my A5000 last night and it crashed out and wouldn't copy the Touch Window disk. Copied the program to my A3000 and it worked perfectly making a virgin 'Master' disk which then would register to my A3000. :D

Is this because the A3000 has an 800K drive and the A5000 has a 1.6Mb drive?
No - A3000 has 1772, A5000 has a 82C710/711 (PC style) multifunction I/O device, and steve3000 has already said:
steve3000 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:57 pm
Later Archimedes with the 82C710/711 controller were very limited in what protected discs they could copy, but if you have an older Archimedes with a 1772 floppy controller, there was a copier called !PiRat iirc,
Looks like you have proved his memory to be correct.

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by danielj » Thu May 23, 2019 12:37 pm

So, I was just going to say, track 19 on side 0 has a misnumbered extra sector :D - > adf images won't work for that. I'd suggest converting it to HFE which will work with flashfloppy, and making the kryoflux stream available means that people can recreate the original disk if they so desire?

(I should also say, the HxC floppy emulator software is excellent for looking at what's going on on protected discs, you can see more than you can in the kryoflux software and it loads the stream files directly).
TouchWindowTrack19.JPG
d.
Last edited by danielj on Thu May 23, 2019 12:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by flaxcottage » Thu May 23, 2019 2:21 pm

johnkenyon wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:24 pm
flaxcottage wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 11:53 am
Now here's a thing...

Tried !Rat (!Pirat) on my A5000 last night and it crashed out and wouldn't copy the Touch Window disk. Copied the program to my A3000 and it worked perfectly making a virgin 'Master' disk which then would register to my A3000. :D

Is this because the A3000 has an 800K drive and the A5000 has a 1.6Mb drive?
No - A3000 has 1772, A5000 has a 82C710/711 (PC style) multifunction I/O device, and steve3000 has already said:
steve3000 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:57 pm
Later Archimedes with the 82C710/711 controller were very limited in what protected discs they could copy, but if you have an older Archimedes with a 1772 floppy controller, there was a copier called !PiRat iirc,
Looks like you have proved his memory to be correct.
I have my uses then. :lol:
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by flaxcottage » Thu May 23, 2019 2:23 pm

I'll have a look at that, Daniel, thanks.

One is never too old to learn new tricks. :D
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by steve3000 » Thu May 23, 2019 5:19 pm

flaxcottage wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 11:53 am
Tried !Rat (!Pirat) on my A5000 last night and it crashed out and wouldn't copy the Touch Window disk. Copied the program to my A3000 and it worked perfectly making a virgin 'Master' disk which then would register to my A3000. :D
Ah that's great to hear, glad it worked :)
johnkenyon wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:24 pm

Looks like you have proved his memory to be correct.
And I'm glad you did :) Memorys are amazing...thinking about it, probably the last time I recall seeing/using !PiRat was on the school A3000, which would make it no more recently than about 1993...

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by lcww1 » Thu May 23, 2019 6:46 pm

flaxcottage wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 8:33 am
I have !PiRat somewhere. I remember using that to clone an educational title.

Investigator III is on my hunting list, thanks. :D
Any chance of uploading !Rat to the forum? Sounds like a handy thing to have around....

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by richw » Thu May 23, 2019 8:18 pm

My memory could be terrible, but from what I recall of PiRat it was just a fancy front-end to the NVCS/Archive disk copier utility. I used that to duplicate loads of key disks back in the day.

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by flaxcottage » Thu May 23, 2019 8:23 pm

lcww1 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 6:46 pm
flaxcottage wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 8:33 am
I have !PiRat somewhere. I remember using that to clone an educational title.

Investigator III is on my hunting list, thanks. :D
Any chance of uploading !Rat to the forum? Sounds like a handy thing to have around....
No problem. I'll put it on my RISCOS archive and post a link.
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by flaxcottage » Thu May 23, 2019 9:18 pm

!PiRAT is now on my archive site;

http://www.flaxcottage.com/RISCOS/Applications.asp

It is available in two versions - an ADF image file which can be converted to a real image using OmniFlop and a zip file which can be unzipped directly onto the Archimedes. Right click the link to download.

This will probably work with A3xx, A4xx and A5xx series computers and has been tested with the A3000.
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by lcww1 » Thu May 23, 2019 9:48 pm

Fantastic! Many thanks :D

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by flaxcottage » Fri May 24, 2019 10:13 am

!PiRAT is also on the SkyFall compilation disc H24 along with some other disc duplicators.

It had been there for quite a long time. :oops:
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by steve3000 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:21 pm

flaxcottage wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:18 pm
!PiRAT is now on my archive site;

http://www.flaxcottage.com/RISCOS/Applications.asp

It is available in two versions - an ADF image file which can be converted to a real image using OmniFlop and a zip file which can be unzipped directly onto the Archimedes. Right click the link to download.

This will probably work with A3xx, A4xx and A5xx series computers and has been tested with the A3000.
Thanks for sharing this John.

I took a look at this at the time, but tbh I wasn't convinced it was the !PiRat I recalled from using at school... Especially as it is called !Rat but then it shows a loading screen saying Duplicator. Peeking inside the application folder and the help file suggested it was two separate copiers, Dup and PiRat, but the main code only appeared to be Duplicator...

Anyway, I assumed my memory might have been going off, so left it there. Until today...

At the weekend I had been rummaging in the loft to locate my A3020, and I also found an old disc box of about 30 discs, which I'd not seen in a very long time. Today I started going through them. Most are old PD games/demos/utilities, but one contained two disc copiers - !PiRat and DISCOPY.

DISCOPY appears to be identical to the !Rat Duplicator which you shared, but also has a Multi-copy version called (Multi)Dup.
!PiRat looks much more like what I remember !PiRat to be (although it is an Arthur desktop style app, and I thought the !PiRat I used ran on RISC OS desktop...but this may well be wrong). Either way, this seems to be a useful disc copier for those with older Archimedes using 1772 disc controllers, so I've uploaded here, along with Dup and (Multi)Dup - in case anyone is interested :)

PiRat.png
PiRat
Attachments
pircopy.zip
!PiRat
(24.36 KiB) Downloaded 19 times
dup.zip
Dup and (Multi)Dup
(85.97 KiB) Downloaded 20 times
Last edited by steve3000 on Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by acorndave » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:46 pm

Another more creative solution which may future proof things for you...

I have some programs which are installed on a Hard Drive on VRPC on a PC. These needed a key disc on floppy to run and worked fine whilst I had a PC with a floppy drive. But obviously more modern hardware no longer has a floppy drive.

I got around this by using !ADFFS. I can't remember exactly how I did it now, but I used a Risc PC to run ADFFS and make a JFD disc image of the key disc(s) which I keep in a keydisc folder on the Hard Drive (I think I just followed any instructions that came with !ADFFS).To run these programs I now run !ADFFS and double click on the JFD image of the key disc. This mounts the key disc as a sort of pseudo floppy. I then run the main program and it 'accesses' the pseudo key disc and runs.

In this way I have been able to move these installations to any RISC OS set up (physical or virtual), without having to have a physical floppy drive or worry about the longevity of any floppy discs.

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by sirbod » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:43 am

I found a disk cloning tool on floppy recently, I'll make an image of it and upload here, I don't recall what it was called.

Regards the 1772 vs 82C710/711 point. The difference is in the Read Track command, the 1772 can read a raw track which includes all the sector headers, it can't however read a track Sector ID list. The 710/711 can only read a track Sector ID list.

As the 710/711 can't read raw tracks, it's useless for disc cloning without prior knowledge of the disk geometry and fails to handle some protection methods.

There are games that rely on both varieties of the Read Track command in their protection. Some RTFM titles for example rely on the 1772's ability to read a raw track, to read data stored between sector markers. Fire & Ice on the other hand relies on the 710/711's ability to read a sector ID list.

No current emulator implements the Read Track command correctly for both the 1772 and 710/711 although it might be fixed in the next release of Arculator as we discussed the Fire & Ice protection at length at the time, whilst figuring out why the APD image didn't work.

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by sirbod » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:53 am

Investigator 1.00 (1989) (The Serial Port)
Investigator100.png
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Investigator_100.zip
!Invest
(41.32 KiB) Downloaded 16 times
Investigator_100_ADF.zip
Full ADF image
(188.68 KiB) Downloaded 16 times

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by steve3000 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:57 am

Thanks Jon, doesn't that look not entirely dissimilar to PiRat above?!
Last edited by steve3000 on Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by acorn » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:00 am

flaxcottage wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 8:33 am
Investigator III is on my hunting list, thanks. :D
Somebody has been quicker, but here are other versions, along with a little description/box:
Investigator-III
Investigator

If nobody happens to have these, hopefully it is not too late to ask the meetup people to archive and scan them.
Last edited by acorn on Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by cmj6502 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:12 pm

Back in the day I used X Copy on an Amiga for making erm backup copies :)

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by eisdielenbiker » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:20 am

I have also tried X-Copy but I have no idea how cloning an Archimedes disk would be working.
From my understanding Amiga uses MFM encoding but Archimedes is using GCR encoding for the effective storage on magnetic media.
Therefore you could not match both worlds magnetically. On the other hand I have read some one has managed to do this via playing with the
4-digit index value X-Copy is offering. But it does not make much sense for me. May it be that X-Copy only works for Archimedes disks if you have that optional piece of hardware the seller offered then ?

I have a lot of disks that look and sound very good rotating in the drive compared to some other mostly Amiga disks. But sadly I cannot backup them successfully neither by help of the Archimedes OS nor using this !Rat application. It even seems there are bad tracks on disk already on some. It's nice to have some more duplicator programmmes here in this thread to try out. Thanks!
Last edited by eisdielenbiker on Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:25 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by Kazzie » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:25 pm

eisdielenbiker wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:20 am
From my understanding Amiga uses MFM encoding but Archimedes is using GCR encoding for the effective storage on magnetic media.
I think you'll find that all Acorn formats use MFM (with the exception of the BBC and pre-BBC systems that used FM encoding and an 8271 controller). See http://mdfs.net/Docs/Comp/Disk/Densities
Last edited by Kazzie on Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by eisdielenbiker » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:07 pm

No matter what disc I pretend to copy any of 2 versions of !Rat is giving an error right from the start at Drive 0 Track 0 Head 0:

"Internal error: abort on data transfer at &000A5B88"

Mode used is "1-copy full ds 80 track" and "7-use just drive 0"
Then I start with code "11" = DO
It is just about the same on A3010 as on on A7000.

Have you got any idea where the problem is ?

Regards
Mark

P.S.
!PirCopy is doing a similar error
!DUP is also throwing that error, however this app looks exactly like !Rat and !PiRat
!INVEST does not react on any mouse click, it just shows its colourful screen on A7000 :-( Will it run on A3010 only ?
Last edited by eisdielenbiker on Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by steve3000 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:02 pm

eisdielenbiker wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:20 am
I have also tried X-Copy but I have no idea how cloning an Archimedes disk would be working.
From my understanding Amiga uses MFM encoding but Archimedes is using GCR encoding for the effective storage on magnetic media.
Archi and Amiga both use MFM, but Amiga squeezes more data per track (5.5kb) than Archie (5kb) by encoding and writing each whole track at a time, whereas Archie deals with individual 1kb sectors, which means sector markers and gaps between sectors are needed.

As Amiga encodes/decodes track data in software, Amiga can read and write MFM or GCR. Archie is limited to hardware encoding/decoding, so only Sector based MFM is supported.

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Re: How to clone a 'master' disc on Archimedes

Post by steve3000 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:09 pm

eisdielenbiker wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:07 pm
No matter what disc I pretend to copy any of 2 versions of !Rat is giving an error right from the start at Drive 0 Track 0 Head 0:

"Internal error: abort on data transfer at &000A5B88"

Mode used is "1-copy full ds 80 track" and "7-use just drive 0"
Then I start with code "11" = DO
It is just about the same on A3010 as on on A7000.

Have you got any idea where the problem is ?

Regards
Mark

P.S.
!PirCopy is doing a similar error
!DUP is also throwing that error, however this app looks exactly like !Rat and !PiRat
!INVEST does not react on any mouse click, it just shows its colourful screen on A7000 :-( Will it run on A3010 only ?
These won't run on either an A7000 or A3010, both computers are too new for these copiers.

As noted above these copiers require an early Archimedes using the 1772 disc controller, so that's an A305, A310, A440, A4x0/1 or A3000. On any later Acorn it will fail and/or crash.
Last edited by steve3000 on Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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