Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSDFloppy - CP/M

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  1. Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSDFloppy

    I need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD
    Floppy. It is marked CROMEMCO Format. There is data on it as CP/M-86 on
    my CompuPro sees something as well as MS-DOS on my APC. Does anyone out
    there have a machine that might read it ???
    Curious as to whats on it. I can send a Couple copies. I can make one on
    the CompuPro and one on my NEC APC
    TIA
    Bob in Wisconsin

  2. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSDFloppy

    On Mar 31, 12:05 pm, "Robert J. Stevens" wrote:
    > I need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD
    > Floppy. It is marked CROMEMCO Format. There is data on it as CP/M-86 on
    > my CompuPro sees something as well as MS-DOS on my APC. Does anyone out
    > there have a machine that might read it ???
    > Curious as to whats on it. I can send a Couple copies. I can make one on
    > the CompuPro and one on my NEC APC
    > TIA
    > Bob in Wisconsin



    Hi
    I don't understand. If you have a machine that can make copies, you
    should
    be able to read the disk as well.
    Dwight

  3. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSDFloppy

    Robert J. Stevens wrote:
    > I need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD
    > Floppy. It is marked CROMEMCO Format. There is data on it as CP/M-86 on
    > my CompuPro sees something as well as MS-DOS on my APC. Does anyone out
    > there have a machine that might read it ???
    > Curious as to whats on it. I can send a Couple copies. I can make one on
    > the CompuPro and one on my NEC APC
    > TIA
    > Bob in Wisconsin

    Hi Robert,

    the 22DISK program by Sydex can read
    CROMEMCO 8" CDOS disks, but they are
    DSDD. I have a 8" disk drive attached
    to an old PC and can try to read your
    disk. Problem is, you have to send it
    to Germany. Please contact me via pmail.

    Greetings,

    Uwe.

  4. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD Floppy

    On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 14:05:40 -0500, "Robert J. Stevens"
    wrote:

    >I need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD
    >Floppy. It is marked CROMEMCO Format. There is data on it as CP/M-86 on
    >my CompuPro sees something as well as MS-DOS on my APC. Does anyone out
    >there have a machine that might read it ???
    >Curious as to whats on it. I can send a Couple copies. I can make one on
    >the CompuPro and one on my NEC APC


    You have to BOOT Seattle's DOS in order to read their disks.

    It is/was an operating system. Period. And not compatible with what
    later became DOS, and not compatible with CP/M, -80 or -86.

    You might be able to make disk image copies, but I don't think
    you can get at any FILES without actually booting the thing.

    Although it is possible it's supported in some version of Uniform.

    If you're going to be passing through Kansas I can set up a
    Seattle system for you to try booting the thing. Even then,
    without trying it, I'm not sure how to transfer any files out of it.

    Bill

  5. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD Floppy

    On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 14:05:40 -0500, "Robert J. Stevens"
    wrote:

    >I need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD
    >Floppy. It is marked CROMEMCO Format.


    Come to think of it, what's a Cromemco FORMAT?

    I know SCP used Cromemco and Tarbell CONTROLLERS,
    meaning, those were what they coded into whatever passed for
    a CBIOS for their system. Besides, probably later, building their
    own (probably cloned) disk controller boards.

    But FORMAT? Cromemco's supported several/many. No?

    Bill

  6. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSDFloppy

    On Apr 1, 1:44 pm, Bill wrote:
    > On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 14:05:40 -0500, "Robert J. Stevens"
    >
    > wrote:
    > >I need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD
    > >Floppy. It is marked CROMEMCO Format. There is data on it as CP/M-86 on
    > >my CompuPro sees something as well as MS-DOS on my APC. Does anyone out
    > >there have a machine that might read it ???
    > >Curious as to whats on it. I can send a Couple copies. I can make one on
    > >the CompuPro and one on my NEC APC

    >
    > You have to BOOT Seattle's DOS in order to read their disks.
    >
    > It is/was an operating system. Period. And not compatible with what
    > later became DOS, and not compatible with CP/M, -80 or -86.
    >
    > You might be able to make disk image copies, but I don't think
    > you can get at any FILES without actually booting the thing.
    >
    > Although it is possible it's supported in some version of Uniform.
    >
    > If you're going to be passing through Kansas I can set up a
    > Seattle system for you to try booting the thing. Even then,
    > without trying it, I'm not sure how to transfer any files out of it.
    >
    > Bill



    Hi
    If one can get the bits from the disk, one can with some effort,
    read files. I've done this myself when needed. It is relatively easy
    when there are text files. This makes the mapping easier to figure
    out. Do remember, they didn't do tricky data compression in these
    formats. They just had some type of directory and sector mapping.
    It might take some time, looking at dumps but it is not impossible.
    The people that designed these OS's were not trying to make it
    hard or obscure.
    Like I said, if he can make copies, he should be able to find a
    way to analyse the data.
    Dwight

  7. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD Floppy

    On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 17:00:30 -0700 (PDT), "dkelvey@hotmail.com"
    wrote:

    >On Apr 1, 1:44 pm, Bill wrote:
    >> On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 14:05:40 -0500, "Robert J. Stevens"
    >>
    >> wrote:
    >> >I need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD
    >> >Floppy. It is marked CROMEMCO Format. There is data on it as CP/M-86 on
    >> >my CompuPro sees something as well as MS-DOS on my APC. Does anyone out
    >> >there have a machine that might read it ???
    >> >Curious as to whats on it. I can send a Couple copies. I can make one on
    >> >the CompuPro and one on my NEC APC

    >>
    >> You have to BOOT Seattle's DOS in order to read their disks.
    >>
    >> It is/was an operating system. Period. And not compatible with what
    >> later became DOS, and not compatible with CP/M, -80 or -86.
    >>
    >> You might be able to make disk image copies, but I don't think
    >> you can get at any FILES without actually booting the thing.
    >>
    >> Although it is possible it's supported in some version of Uniform.
    >>
    >> If you're going to be passing through Kansas I can set up a
    >> Seattle system for you to try booting the thing. Even then,
    >> without trying it, I'm not sure how to transfer any files out of it.
    >>
    >> Bill

    >
    >
    >Hi
    > If one can get the bits from the disk, one can with some effort,
    >read files. I've done this myself when needed. It is relatively easy
    >when there are text files. This makes the mapping easier to figure
    >out. Do remember, they didn't do tricky data compression in these
    >formats. They just had some type of directory and sector mapping.
    >It might take some time, looking at dumps but it is not impossible.
    >The people that designed these OS's were not trying to make it
    >hard or obscure.
    > Like I said, if he can make copies, he should be able to find a
    >way to analyse the data.
    >Dwight


    Ignoring What controller put the data on the disk the general
    format of the file system was essentially CP/M1.4 with the allocation
    scheme replaced with a FAT scheme. The fat file system was likely
    12bit as even an 8" DSDD is aroud 1MB total.

    So to read them you fist need a compatable controller that can read
    the on disk format (the bits).

    Then you need a good sector editor to look at the contents of the
    directory and map by hand where stuff is. IF you lucky the disks
    have not been used much and the files are not fragmented making
    their likely locations sequential.

    You need to know the skew applied, side ordering (if 2 sided)
    and where the directory was placed, what tracks are primary boot
    and where data aea of the disk is. Oh and where the FAT was
    stored on the disk.

    If anyone has docs for Seattle's DOS it would help if there is
    relevent information on how the file system laid data on the disk.

    The problem is other than text anything you get will likely be OS
    specific and also only binaries or possibly some sources needed
    to configure the system for new IO (serial stuff). That would be
    the case if the disks were the primary set sold with a system.
    If they were workingdisks then whats recovered may include user
    data.

    I've done this with many disks that were mostly CP/M and the yeild of
    useful programs and data were generally low as most of the info
    found was already on hand. I mean for any given version of CP/M how
    many copies of {ED, PIP, STAT, ASM, DDT, LOAD...} are needed?
    Now source files are useful or at least interesting but text is often
    something to be handled with case as it may represent private data.

    Allison

  8. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSDFloppy

    On Mar 31, 2:05 pm, "Robert J. Stevens" wrote:
    > I need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD
    > Floppy. It is marked CROMEMCO Format. There is data on it as CP/M-86 on
    > my CompuPro sees something as well as MS-DOS on my APC. Does anyone out
    > there have a machine that might read it ???
    > Curious as to whats on it. I can send a Couple copies. I can make one on
    > the CompuPro and one on my NEC APC
    > TIA
    > Bob in Wisconsin


    Bob, look very carefully at the tools on this Web page of Dave
    Dunfield's work:

    http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/

    There are tools here to read disks on PC compatibles, and descriptions
    on how to hook an 8-inch drive to that compatible to access the drive
    and diskette.

    There are also tools here which run on various CP/M 8080/Z80 systems,
    which read the disk AND send the contents via serial port to a PC
    compatible running a corresponding program to create a disk image. ( I
    don't know if Dave provides a similar tool for a CP/M 86 system, but a
    knowledgable programmer could possibly migrate the 8080 code to an
    8086.)

    The point of these tools is to handle disks, track by track, sector by
    sector. So to some point, the tools "don't care" about disk formats.
    Don't ask me for details - go to the site, read the docs and code
    there. For these tools, "read" does not mean "I'll make up nice files
    for you", it means "I can give you access to tracks and sectors" or "I
    can image the disk for you in a nice MS-DOS file, to work on or copy
    later".

    Be gentle with that SCP-86 disk. Disks of that age are easily damaged
    and the media coating can be fragile, dried up, etc.

    Bob, there's been a lot of speculation as to what you mean by "I can
    send copies" yet you are asking for someone with "a machine that might
    read" your disks! If you can "copy" a disk on a CP/M system like a
    compupro or and MS-DOS system like the 8086 based NEC; why don't you
    look for some CP/M or MS-DOS disk reading tools to read instead of
    copying? But it's a good chance that your "copy" from one of those
    systems, would be flawed or incomplete. How do you know your "copy"
    really includes everything on the "original"?

    In the CP/M 80 world, maybe also for CP/M 86, there is "disk utility"
    or DU or DUU by Ward Christensen. this is a low-level program which
    reads and accumulates sectors. Look for it, read the docs, give it a
    try. I don't know what is available in the MS-DOS world but chances
    are there is some old tool very similar. Do some searching in old OLD
    MS-DOS archives for "disk utility" programs.

    The above information is a partial answer to the same question, posted
    over and over in this newsgroup. "I have some disk...trying to read
    it....can't quite...what is available to read these disks?". Once you
    can start to read a disk at the sector level and recover some
    information, that information can usually help others or yourself to
    find out what else needs to be done. It also gives you some confidence
    that your hardware and setup is working well enough to make some
    progress.

    Herb Johnson
    retrotechnology.com


  9. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD Floppy

    On Wed, 02 Apr 2008 00:51:21 GMT, no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net
    wrote:

    >>> You have to BOOT Seattle's DOS in order to read their disks.


    >Ignoring What controller put the data on the disk the general
    >format of the file system was essentially CP/M1.4 with the allocation
    >scheme replaced with a FAT scheme. The fat file system was likely
    >12bit as even an 8" DSDD is aroud 1MB total.


    128 byte sectors? Somehow, I don't think so.

    From what Tim Paterson told me, HIS operating system could address
    something in the gigabyte range. Maybe the answer is to read the
    manuals - they're posted someplace. But unless they included source
    code (unlikely in the extreme) you're not gonna get the executables
    off with any certainty short of booting that version and copying.

    And, think about what you said. WHY would it matter what controller
    was used if the FORMAT was consistant? It was because that version
    was coded (like I said - CBIOS or whatever they called it) to boot
    using that specific controller.

    Bill

  10. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD Floppy

    On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 18:19:12 -0700 (PDT), Herb Johnson
    wrote:

    >There are also tools here which run on various CP/M 8080/Z80 systems,
    >which read the disk AND send the contents via serial port to a PC
    >compatible running a corresponding program to create a disk image. ( I
    >don't know if Dave provides a similar tool for a CP/M 86 system, but a
    >knowledgable programmer could possibly migrate the 8080 code to an
    >8086.)


    There were at least TWO 86-DOS disk file systems used by SCP,
    totally incompatible with each other, let alone with anything else in
    the world. Take the time to track down and READ the description
    of what ms had to do to get code moved from 86-DOS to anything
    they could use. It's in the DOS encyclopedia (1987).

    I've never seen anything regarding the number of SCP Gazelle
    systems sold, but it can't be even a thousand. The things must
    have averaged around twenty thousand dollars. If Rod Brock
    had sold twenty million dollars worth of computers, I don't think
    he'd have sold DOS for only fifty thousand.

    SCP sold some memory boards, they're not too hard to find. But
    how many lurkers even have any of the other SCP 8086 boards?
    Not many, I'd bet. And I've never run into anybody else with an
    SCP disk controller.

    I not only dismantled three SCP systems, I also sold a couple to
    some Arab student who shipped them to Saudi Arabia. And
    from that guy in Las Cruces (who snagged a lot of gear from Los
    Alamos and Sandia Labs), I bought every SCP board he had.

    But, if you've got or seen the disk controller, do let me know?

    Bill

  11. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSDFloppy

    On Apr 1, 8:08*pm, Bill wrote:
    > On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 18:19:12 -0700 (PDT), Herb Johnson
    >
    > wrote:
    > >There are also tools here which run on various CP/M 8080/Z80 systems,
    > >which read the disk AND send the contents via serial port to a PC
    > >compatible running a corresponding program to create a disk image. ( I
    > >don't know if Dave provides a similar tool for a CP/M 86 system, but a
    > >knowledgable programmer could possibly migrate the 8080 code to an
    > >8086.)

    >
    > There were at least TWO 86-DOS disk file systems used by SCP,
    > totally incompatible with each other, let alone with anything else in
    > the world. Take the time to track down and READ the description
    > of what ms had to do to get code moved from 86-DOS to anything
    > they could use. It's in the DOS encyclopedia (1987).
    >


    Hi
    As Herb knows, I'm working on reading images from
    a tough ones. I'm reading from double density hard sectored
    disk. I've finally figured out the header structure for the
    sectors. I'm finally able to read specified sectors.
    It has been a slow project for me because of familly
    time need. I hope to record as much as I can from these
    disk as they are from the companies archives and have
    such things as source code for their OS, BASIC and
    manuals in text files.
    If the disk Bob is looking at are standard IBM format sectors,
    one should be able to write a simple sector reading
    program in CP/M. Most any book on CP/M contains enough
    information on disk access to write the desired inspection
    programs( not rocket science).
    This is much easer than what I'm doing since none of the
    standard disk controller chips would do anything with my
    disk. At one point I was even looking at bits with my oscilloscope.
    A slow and error prone process since I don't have a scope with
    good screen retention.
    Dwight

  12. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD Floppy

    On Tue, 01 Apr 2008 21:41:55 -0600, Bill
    wrote:

    >On Wed, 02 Apr 2008 00:51:21 GMT, no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net
    >wrote:
    >
    >>>> You have to BOOT Seattle's DOS in order to read their disks.

    >
    >>Ignoring What controller put the data on the disk the general
    >>format of the file system was essentially CP/M1.4 with the allocation
    >>scheme replaced with a FAT scheme. The fat file system was likely
    >>12bit as even an 8" DSDD is aroud 1MB total.

    >
    >128 byte sectors? Somehow, I don't think so.


    Where did I say 128byte sectors??? To start with I also saitd it was
    a FAT file system and CP/M never had that so the format on disk was
    not stated and all comments suggest it's not CP/M.

    Waht you misunderstood was a comment that 8" DSDD can be as much as
    1MB, I didn't say it was though. What that comment was about is that
    fat12 can address a disk that large as there are likely less than 4096
    sectors total on the media.

    >From what Tim Paterson told me, HIS operating system could address
    >something in the gigabyte range. Maybe the answer is to read the
    >manuals - they're posted someplace. But unless they included source
    >code (unlikely in the extreme) you're not gonna get the executables
    >off with any certainty short of booting that version and copying.


    Most fat file schemes if all the bits are used can do gigabytes,
    likely for floppy it was fat 12 or something close. It's really
    unimportant if it can address gigabyte as your reading a SSSD 8"
    floppy of 2002 sectors and not a hard disk.

    I'm inclined to agree if I'd not been successful with other file
    systems. the key is to figure out how stuff is laid down and then
    with that you can "read" the file system and get anything.
    >
    >And, think about what you said. WHY would it matter what controller
    >was used if the FORMAT was consistant? It was because that version
    >was coded (like I said - CBIOS or whatever they called it) to boot
    >using that specific controller.


    It matters if the controller was hard sector, it matters if the
    controller did M2FM it matters to the extent that the controller must
    be able to read a sector. However I did say ignoring what
    controller was used allows one to think about how data is organized on
    the disk. If you going to boot it then you must have the controller
    used to be compatable with the boot code.

    At the lowest level you need to know:

    What encoding was used so a compatable FDC can be used.
    (hard sector or soft, FM or MFM and so on...)

    How many bytes per sector.

    How many sides?

    then you need to know how data as laid into those media blocks and
    how the OS kept track of them.

    To that you need to know where the boot tracks are as they are
    often not part of the directory or useable data area.

    Where is the directory?
    Where is the allocation table if not part of the directory.
    Where does the data area start and end?
    Was a skew factor appled at the sector level and what value?

    For CP/M these things are generally known and not "secret".
    That is not so say they did vary from system to system for
    differeing media. They did however all follow the same
    overall layout at some generalized level or the BDOS could
    never calculate where a given sector of data was.

    Since the subject line says SCP 8" SSSD floppy we automatically
    know the disk is 128 byte sectors, 26 sectors, there are 77
    tracks and only one side. There will be 2002 sectors total.
    The media will be readable with most any controller that can read
    a single density 8". Specifically that means you can read a
    sector with any system that understand SSSD 8" and that would
    even include a DEC pdp11 with RX01/02 drive!

    The next step is to looks at sectors one at a time with a sector
    editor for ASCII text. If it's there and you can map every
    sector containing text it's usually possible to reconstruct the
    file. That file will be a Rosetta Stone. Using the sector map
    from that file you can guess or calculate the likely skew, and
    compare it to the directory for how the directory names files,
    and stores the location of the file. Its an iterative process
    but what can make it real easy is if you can get a disk from
    someone freshly formatted and filled with 1 text file with a
    known layout (a peice of text out of a book) you can usually sort
    out how the whole disk is going to be organized quickly. Once you
    have the orgainiztion it's a straight forward task to pick any
    disk and read the directory then by hand grab files a sector at
    a time as assemble those sectors on the host system into "files".
    A bit more effort and some time with a programming language can
    make it far easier as you can auto mate reading the directory area
    and using that to gather the file data.

    As long as the media is readable on the host system it's doable.
    An example of this is the RTCPM tool it allows a CP/M system to
    read PDP-11 RT11 files and with a small about of effort it also
    was recoded on the PDP-11 to read CP/M files. The two system have
    Both widely different hardware and file systems but the media
    (SSSD) is common to both. FYI: that does nto mans a RX02
    formatted diskette can be read on a CP/M system as it's a very
    funky format FM headers with M2FM data. The common media
    for the two systems was RX01 which is IBM standard SSSD.

    Allison




    >
    >Bill



  13. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSD Floppy

    On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 22:42:59 -0700 (PDT), "dkelvey@hotmail.com"
    wrote:

    > I'm reading from double density hard sectored
    >disk. I've finally figured out the header structure for the
    >sectors. I'm finally able to read specified sectors.
    > It has been a slow project for me because of familly
    >time need.


    > I hope to record as much as I can from these
    >disk as they are from the companies archives


    Which ''companies''?

    >and have such things as source code for their OS, BASIC
    > and manuals in text files.


    Are you saying source code for 86 DOS, or something DOS 2
    or what, exactly? If you have a scanner can you post the label(s)
    somewhere?

    As far as I know, nobody on the 'outside' has ever had source
    for SCP nor ms DOSes. I spent a little time with a distribution
    company that ASKED ms for source, but they refused. When
    the company folded, the doors to the safes (fire-proof heavily
    locked filing cabinets) were left unlocked and all sorts of
    'source' could have simply walked out the door.

    I'll see if I can find a copy of the list - if any body is interested.
    Wordstar and Word Perfect were in there. So was Supercalc.
    I'd guess there was Source for something like 600-800 things.
    It was required as part of the 'standard contract' for distribution,
    in case the originating company went belly up.

    Happened a lot in those days.

    > If the disk Bob is looking at are standard IBM format sectors,
    >one should be able to write a simple sector reading


    IBM format sectors are SOFT SECTORED. Well, at least
    what most people refer to as IBM format. Obviously IBM
    and virtually everybody else used hard sectoring in the
    earliest days of floppies.

    This is confusing - Dwight, are you talking about reading
    a copy of whatever disk(s) Robert is trying to read?

    Bill

  14. Re: Need help reading a Seattle Computer Products SCP 86 DOS 8" SSSDFloppy

    On Apr 2, 1:16*pm, Bill wrote:
    > On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 22:42:59 -0700 (PDT), "dkel...@hotmail.com"
    >
    > wrote:
    > > I'm reading from double density hard sectored
    > >disk. I've finally figured out the header structure for the
    > >sectors. I'm finally able to read specified sectors.
    > > It has been a slow project for me because of familly
    > >time need.
    > > I hope to record as much as I can from these
    > >disk as they are from the companies archives

    >
    > Which ''companies''?

    Polymorphic's
    I forgot the 's.
    >
    > >and have such things as source code for their OS, BASIC
    > > and manuals in text files.

    >
    > Are you saying source code for 86 DOS, or something DOS 2
    > or what, exactly? If you have a scanner can you post the label(s)
    > somewhere?

    No, not DOS early 8080 stuff. Their DOS was called System88.
    It wasn't anything like DOS86.

    >
    > As far as I know, nobody on the 'outside' has ever had source
    > for SCP nor ms DOSes. I spent a little time with a distribution
    > company that ASKED ms for source, but they refused. When
    > the company folded, the doors to the safes (fire-proof heavily
    > locked filing cabinets) were left unlocked and all sorts of
    > 'source' *could have simply walked out the door.
    >
    > I'll see if I can find a copy of the list - if any body is interested.
    > Wordstar and Word Perfect were in there. So was Supercalc.
    > I'd guess there was Source for something like 600-800 things.
    > It was required as part of the 'standard contract' for distribution,
    > in case the originating company went belly up.
    >
    > Happened a lot in those days.
    >
    > > If the disk Bob is looking at are standard IBM format sectors,
    > >one should be able to write a simple sector reading

    >
    > IBM format sectors are SOFT SECTORED. Well, at least
    > what most people refer to as IBM format. Obviously IBM
    > and virtually everybody else used hard sectoring in the
    > earliest days of floppies.
    >
    > This is confusing - Dwight, are you talking about reading
    > *a copy of whatever disk(s) Robert is trying to read?
    >
    > Bill


    Hi
    I was stating that if he had a way of copying the disk,
    he has a machine that can read the images.
    The disk I'm reading are hard sectored.
    Dwight

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