Author Topic: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?  (Read 2572 times)

Offline McCracAttack

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Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« on: January 26, 2015, 04:49:30 am »
Howdy. I recently got my hands on a X68K Expert. I've got a couple of games but I'm not sure how much longer these very old floppy disks will be viable. Ideally I'd like to connect some sort of SD or CF card setup as discussed in this wiki article. However, since I have an Expert model I have to work with a SASI port instead of a SCSI port. If I'm reading those instructions correctly I'd have to write a 5.25" floppy with a custom disk image and boot from that in order to install a hard drive alternative.

So, reading that made it sound like the best place to start would be with writing 5.25" floppy disks. My PC inexplicably still had a floppy disk connector on the mother board so I nabbed a drive off eBay to give it a shot. So far I've had very poor luck. I've tried both the Win7 and Linux instructions on this page but it's been one problem after another.

I guess my question is, what's the path of least resistance here? Do I really need to be able to write floppy disks in order to connect an SD or CF adapter? This adapter from Classic PC Rescue Committee allegedly works with SASI but I can't find any english resources on how well it works. I can't even sort out how to order from them and ship to the US (I tried with one of their keyboard adapters).

Does anyone have any thoughts? Am I missing any options here? Thanks in advance.

Offline eidis

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 05:03:28 am »
 Hi McCracAttack !

 Welcome to the forum ! You can use any of the SCSI adapters which were mentioned in the Wiki. The floppy disk is required to install the SxSI driver, which allows using SCSI hard disks on SASI bus, to SRAM. Once it is done, the driver will be automatically executed from SRAM on every reboot.

You will need MasterDisk V3
http://nfggames.com/x68000/Misc/Drivers/SxSI%20V5%20with%20DMA%20patch%20Translated%20by%20Eidis/MasterDisk_V3.zip

Write it to 5.25" HD floppy, boot from it and execute the following commands:

Code: [Select]
cd sxsi
bootset.x
ED0100
1

This will install the bootloader to SRAM.

Quote
Do I really need to be able to write floppy disks in order to connect an SD or CF adapter?

Yes, but it is possible to avoid this by creating a custom BIOS with integrated SxSI driver ;)

Quote
This adapter from Classic PC Rescue Committee allegedly works with SASI

Are you sure that 40MB will be enough for you, because that is the maximum capacity of SASI device ?

P.S. The following link might come in handy:

Floppy Drive manuals/jumper settings
http://nfggames.com/X68000/Documentation/Floppy%20Drives/

Keep the scene alive !
Eidis
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline McCracAttack

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 05:25:01 am »
Yes, but it is possible to avoid this by creating a custom BIOS with integrated SxSI driver ;)

I'm going to assume that's an even more complicated solution. :P Are there any posts or wiki articles on the subject?

Thanks for the reply. It sounds like I need to knuckle-down and figure out how to write floppy disks. Thanks for posting a link to the docs about jumper settings. I'd reviewed them once (my drive is actually listed in there) but I didn't have any "eureka" moments. I'll have another look.

Also, thanks for all these abundant resources on X68000 ownership. You seem to have played a pretty big part in these forums and wikis. Much appreciated.

Offline eidis

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 07:19:00 am »
 Hi McCracAttack !

Quote
I'm going to assume that's an even more complicated solution.

 Older pre compact X68000's have two empty sockets for IPL (BIOS) replacement EEPROM's which make it possible to use a custom IPL. Some time ago our forum member Lydux started working on one.

Keep the scene alive !
Eidis
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline gillianx68000

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 07:34:11 am »
Welcome McCracAttack  :)

"""This adapter from Classic PC Rescue Committee""" photos are very interesting,

i really need understand Japanese :o
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 07:36:27 am by gillianx68000 »

Offline eidis

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 05:00:40 pm »
 Hi Gillianx68000 !

Quote
i really need understand Japanese

www.translate.google.com

Keep the scene alive !
Eidis
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline McCracAttack

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2015, 11:31:53 am »
Someone on another forum had a suggestion for this problem: what about installing a SCSI card? The only hitch is that they seem to require driver disks and I can't find any for sale that include the disk. If I could find one with a disk how tricky are they to install if you don't speak Japanese? Also, where does a driver even install on a machine without a hard drive? SRAM? Oh duh, eidis said exactly this in the first reply.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 11:33:46 am by McCracAttack »

Offline eidis

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2015, 03:53:36 pm »
 Hi McCracAttack !

 Why make things difficult and expensive ? Just write a floppy with SxSI and you're good to go.

Keep the scene alive !
Eidis
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline McCracAttack

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2015, 10:53:44 pm »
Hi McCracAttack !

 Why make things difficult and expensive ? Just write a floppy with SxSI and you're good to go.

Keep the scene alive !
Eidis

Because I've been trying to write floppies for weeks now and it's proving difficult and expensive. :'(

Sorry, I'll stop trying to end-run around floppies.

Offline eidis

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2015, 02:34:45 am »
 Hi McCracAttack !

Quote
Because I've been trying to write floppies for weeks now and it's proving difficult and expensive.

What was the problem ?

Keep the scene alive !
Eidis
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline McCracAttack

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2015, 10:16:14 am »

What was the problem ?


Oh, lots of things.

Win7: Explorer crashes if I try to format a disk.
Omniflop64: Could never get the driver to install correctly. Diagnosis mode kept saying it had a problem and to try running as admin (which I was).
Win Command Line: Could start to format the disk but it always failed half way through.
Ubuntu Linux: Could start to format a disk but once it began to write the file system I got an error that read something like "Ubuntu Format floppy error: could not determine current floppy geometry. "

I'm currently trying to source an old Win98 machine since that seems to be where lots of people end up. I've also ordered a different batch of disks in case my current one is bad. If all that doesn't work then I'll try to source a different floppy drive.

Edit: Got my hands on a completely different batch of floppy disks and tried to format them in Linux since it seems to be the most stable. Got the same error as with the first batch.
Quote
Error creating file system: Command-line `mkfs.vfat -I -n "TEST" "/dev/fd0"' exited with non-zero exit status 1:
stdout: `mkfs.fat 3.0.26 (2014-03-07)
'
stderr: `mkfs.vfat: unable to get diskette geometry for '/dev/fd0'
' (udisks-error-quark, 0)

All I know to do at this point is maybe get another floppy drive or try it in an old Win98 machine.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 10:37:18 am by McCracAttack »

Offline eidis

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2015, 05:09:25 pm »
 Hi McCracAttack !

 Sorry for the stupid question but are you using HD (high density) or DD (double density) floppy disks ?

Quote
OmniFlop requires a built-in NEC-compatible floppy disk controller. You can use the Diagnostic options of OmniFlop to see if this holds for your system.

Is your current PC compatible ?

Keep the scene alive !
Eidis
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline McCracAttack

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2015, 07:33:42 am »
Sorry for the delayed response.

Sorry for the stupid question but are you using HD (high density) or DD (double density) floppy disks ?

I'm using the kind with 1.2MB capacity. I believe that's high density.

Quote
OmniFlop requires a built-in NEC-compatible floppy disk controller. You can use the Diagnostic options of OmniFlop to see if this holds for your system.

Is your current PC compatible ?

Evidently not. I've since been able to get my hands on an old Windows 98 machine and at first it seemed very promising. I was able to format floppy disks within Windows, copy simple text files onto disk, and then read the text files off the floppy disk back onto the hard drive. So, the drive works, the disks seem good, and this current PC can operate them. The next step was to install xFloppy. I copied the .vxd file into the proper directory, added it to System.ini, rebooted, and then tried to write a .XDF file.

Formatting the disk went well.


But when I try to write the disk this happens.


After that Explorer crashes and I have to reboot. Can't catch a break.

Update: I also tried to write MasterDisk V3 just incase I had a bad .XDF file. Same results.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 07:43:39 am by McCracAttack »

Offline McCracAttack

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2015, 08:20:48 am »
HOLY SMOKES!

After repeated attempts I was able to get a copy of MasterDisk V3 to write without an IO errors. My setup is highly unreliable but I guess now that I have this on disk it was worth the effort.



Now I need to source an X68K keyboard but that's a problem for tomorrow I guess. Whew, this is all very stressful.

Offline won43113

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Re: Writing floppy disks or custom hard drive?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2017, 11:29:19 pm »
I have a exactly like this problem...this is very stressful

possible formatting, but not writing

"DeviceIoControl Error" <= I hate this word

Excuse me...Could you tell me something to slove this problem?

Plz help me...I bought two different FDD, but have a same problem.

I don't wanna have stress from this problem anymore.

help me please please