Electron disk recovery?

discuss both original and modern hardware for the bbc micro/electron
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tomlinson
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Electron disk recovery?

Post by tomlinson »

Hi all,

I have a 3.5" disk for electron which seems to be corrupt, has disk errors etc and won't boot. I can *CAT the files with my best drive but that's it.

Is it scrap or is there any chance of recovering anything from it?

[-o<
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danielj
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by danielj »

Assuming the disc surface is OK (no mould, no gouges in the media) then I can run it through a kryoflux and see what's salvagable? That will be able to extract any data that's still actually readable. Depends what it is as to whether it's worth it or not.

d.
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tomlinson
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by tomlinson »

The disk is the Electron ALPS Utility Disk ADFS. The disk surface looks clean to me.

Does anyone else have a copy of this?
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sydney
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by sydney »

It would seem not: viewtopic.php?t=10406#p128531
lurkio wrote:ALPS is available here:
It's the Beeb version though. I don't have a copy of the Elk version, and I don't know of anyone who has -- and that includes the author of ALPS himself!
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by lurkio »

Oh, wow! The Electron version of ALPS is actually missing in action. Please don't throw the disc away! If the contents turn out to be salvageable, that would be a great result!

Have you got the Electron ALPS ROM as well, Tomo?

:?:
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tomlinson
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by tomlinson »

Yes, I have the Rom v3.2 and it works fine! I'll upload a copy at some me point. Unfortunately though it's almost useless without the disk! ☹️

I wish it had been a cassette version... They always seem to work.
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tomlinson
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by tomlinson »

This is the *CAT list if it's of any interest?
Attachments
Electron ALPS
Electron ALPS
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tomlinson
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by tomlinson »

Does anyone know what the important files are for converting the data into an adventure?

...would be great to get it working!
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MartinB
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by MartinB »

Do you have an UPURS cable by any chance? You could at least make a backup of all the readable tracks using the I (ignore errors) switch such that if the disc suddenly gives up, you would still have a reasonable amount of the data. (...assuming there's only sporadic damage.)
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by CMcDougall »

^no work as ADFS! :twisted:

Try *loading files that do work, & save off to a good known disc, that way can get most off & find the problem ones, then try to source them elsewhere if needed.
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by danielj »

The kryoflux will image all recoverable sectors directly. We can even go as far as identifying the dodgy bits and piecing things together a byte at a time for problem areas (they're quite obvious when you look at the disk plots). I'm very happy to give it a go as it looks like an important one.

d.
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by MartinB »

Colin wrote:^no work as ADFS! :twisted:

D'oh! #-o

Good point, well made Colin... :wink:
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by 1024MAK »

MartinB wrote:
Colin wrote:^no work as ADFS! :twisted:

D'oh! #-o

Good point, well made Colin... :wink:
Well, if you find yourself with some time in the dark winter nights, you could always attempt to write a ADFS version.... :lol:

Mark
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by danielj »

*dives for the bunker*
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MartinB
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by MartinB »

Ha! Fair point Mark =D> - though I do actually think that the bloke peeping out from the bunker had already talked me into that earlier in the year but I somehow just haven't got round to it yet :roll: :wink:. One day soon methinks, seems I tend to get distracted by more interesting projects which essentially, is anything that doesn't involve ADFS.... :D
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by lurkio »

danielj wrote:The kryoflux will image all recoverable sectors directly. We can even go as far as identifying the dodgy bits and piecing things together a byte at a time for problem areas (they're quite obvious when you look at the disk plots). I'm very happy to give it a go as it looks like an important one.
Thanks for that! It would definitely be good to get this one archived.

I've never seen or used it before, but I seem to recall that the author, Phil Hawthorne, said that the Elk version of ALPS is different from the Beeb versions because it can load text from disc in the middle of gameplay as and when required -- which would make it unique amongst Acorn 8-bit text adventure generators because I believe that neither GAC nor Quill nor any other such prog that I know of can do so: even if they can generate disc-based games, they still seem to require that all the text be loaded into memory up front, which can sometimes be a bit of a squeeze, even using text-compression.

TL;DR: yes, it would be good if we could recover Electron ALPS!

:idea:
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tomlinson
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by tomlinson »

I'm happy to drop the disk off with whoever can read it! I don't really fancy posting it just in case.
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by lurkio »

Great! So it sounds like Tomo needs to get the disc to danielj, then?

Tomo and danielj, where are you both based? How far can you both travel? Shall I stop asking questions and leave the two of you to sort this out yourselves?!

:?:
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by 1024MAK »

I may be going to Bolton in November (have wait until next week before I will know), and I think Dave (Hoglet) may be going as well. We are both based in the Bristol area.

I see that Tomo lists himself as being in Bristol...

So transportation should not be a problem...

Mark
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tomlinson
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by tomlinson »

Sorry... My profile wasn't up to date... I'm actually based in Worcester now.

I'll be driving between Worcester and Durham a fair bit for the next few months. So could drop it in somewhere convenient. I could even pass by Bolton.
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sydney
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by sydney »

tomlinson wrote:Sorry... My profile wasn't up to date... I'm actually based in Worcester now.

I'll be driving between Worcester and Durham a fair bit for the next few months. So could drop it in somewhere convenient. I could even pass by Bolton.
I'm happy to meet you in Durham if that helps. I can pass it on to Daniel in Bolton. Or yo could come along to the Bolton ABug meet in November if you're in the area then.
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by danielj »

Hello, back in the land of the living. I'll drop you a PM in a mo, but in so far as getting it back to you, I could pass it to Mark at the Bolton meet?

d.
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by GuitarPhil »

Hi folks,

Although I can't find a copy of the Electron ALPS Utilities Disk I did manage to dig out some documentation which may help decipher which are the required files on the *CAT listing by the OP.

Here's a link to a pdf file https://www.dropbox.com/s/ctocmmpuqzmu1 ... c.pdf?dl=0

Although I'm the original author of the ALPS system it's nearly 30 years ago so hardly surprising that I can't remember much about it now LOL

The 'text on disk' feature is actually provided by the Alps Extension Pack for the Electron. Strangely I have several copies of it (and the Extras Disk) though I can't confirm whether they are readable or not. Lurkio may have verified copies?

Phil.
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by lurkio »

GuitarPhil wrote:Although I can't find a copy of the Electron ALPS Utilities Disk I did manage to dig out some documentation which may help decipher which are the required files on the *CAT listing by the OP.
Many thanks for this, Phil!
GuitarPhil wrote:The 'text on disk' feature is actually provided by the Alps Extension Pack for the Electron. Strangely I have several copies of it (and the Extras Disk) though I can't confirm whether they are readable or not. Lurkio may have verified copies?
No, the only ALPS software I have is what you kindly sent me (Beeb versions), and I've already uploaded all of it here, including the documentation:
Any chance you could send me a copy of this "new" Electron software you mention (Electron ALPS Extension Pack and Extras Disk)? I'll email you.

:idea:
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by GuitarPhil »

Hi Lurkio,

I thought I'd already sent you the Electron versions but maybe I hadn't found them before!

They obviously require the Electron ALPS ROM package to work and it's a pity the utilities disk the OP has isn't loading but maybe the gurus can fix it :D

I still have your address so I can send these off in the next couple of days. The disks are both 80 track 3.5" ADFS.

Do you want the boxes or just the disks and manuals?

Phil.
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by lurkio »

GuitarPhil wrote:I still have your address so I can send these off in the next couple of days. The disks are both 80 track 3.5" ADFS. Do you want the boxes or just the disks and manuals?
Ideally the boxes too, but just do whatever's convenient for you.

Multiple thanks!

=D>
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by tomlinson »

I'll be dropping the disk off with Daniel at the weekend so fingers crossed!

[-o<
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danielj
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by danielj »

Best clean the drive heads :? *cracks knuckles*
d.
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by daveejhitchins »

danielj wrote:Best clean the drive heads :? *cracks knuckles*
d.
And carefully check the disc surface for mould (recoverable) . . .

Dave H :D
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Re: Electron disk recovery?

Post by danielj »

They shall be gently de-moulded as required :)

d.
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