+3 disk transfer to PC - Sinclair

This is a discussion on +3 disk transfer to PC - Sinclair ; Hi, I have modified one of my Spectrum +3s as I have several of them, with the +3e romset and also replaced the 3" drive with a 3.5". This all works fine and I can format disks from the spectrum ...

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Thread: +3 disk transfer to PC

  1. +3 disk transfer to PC

    Hi,

    I have modified one of my Spectrum +3s as I have several of them, with the
    +3e romset and also replaced the 3" drive with a 3.5". This all works fine
    and I can format disks from the spectrum and save/load files to them
    without problems.

    However this is of course only formatting them as 40 track single sided
    disks, I do seem to remember having a program ages ago (by ages I mean 1996
    !) that could format the disks up to double sided 80 track, therefore
    giving me about 4x the capacity. Does anyone know where I can download such
    a utility.

    On a related note is there an easy way that I can read and write my +3
    disks on my PC, doesn't have to be a windows program either, as I have
    access to the following : WinXP, Win98, Dos, Linux, so a solution for any
    of those would be ok. Again I remember doing this with a dos program that
    could read and write CP/M format disks, but cannot for the life of me
    remember what it was.

    Cheers.

    Phill.

  2. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    Sinclair PC200 512k (V1.5) on 27 July 2008
    Loading Prime .SYS.....
    : However this is of course only formatting them as 40 track single sided
    : disks, I do seem to remember having a program ages ago (by ages I mean 1996
    : !) that could format the disks up to double sided 80 track, therefore
    : giving me about 4x the capacity. Does anyone know where I can download such
    : a utility.

    The one I wrote is DU54:


    : On a related note is there an easy way that I can read and write my +3
    : disks on my PC, doesn't have to be a windows program either, as I have
    : access to the following : WinXP, Win98, Dos, Linux, so a solution for any
    : of those would be ok. Again I remember doing this with a dos program that
    : could read and write CP/M format disks, but cannot for the life of me
    : remember what it was.

    22disk runs under DOS. So does msodball (or you can run that at the +3
    end). The cpmtools run under Linux.

    --
    --------------------------- ,@@.o ,@@. SPELL SUCCEEDS
    John Elliott | @@@@ @@@@ n \_O_
    CHAOS in a sig... | '||` '||` Hr \I `
    --------------------------- JL JL I\ /\\

  3. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    There were several dos programs like Anadisk/teledisk for this sort of
    thing. The CP/M disc format group the plus three uses does indeed have an 80
    track double sided format in it, indeed there were several. I'm sure I've
    seen many versions of this for basic and CP/M use, but its been a long time
    and my brain seems to have lost the info.

    Its the same format group as the Amstrad PCW range of course, and the CPC
    formats are of course very similar in some respects which is why Amstrad
    allowed the machine to read them.

    Brian

    --
    Brian Gaff....Note, this account does not accept Bcc: email.
    graphics are great, but the blind can't hear them
    Email: briang1@blueyonder.co.uk
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________


    "Prime" wrote in message
    news:Xns9AE8DE70EA047primeaurigae@158.152.254.254. ..
    > Hi,
    >
    > I have modified one of my Spectrum +3s as I have several of them, with the
    > +3e romset and also replaced the 3" drive with a 3.5". This all works fine
    > and I can format disks from the spectrum and save/load files to them
    > without problems.
    >
    > However this is of course only formatting them as 40 track single sided
    > disks, I do seem to remember having a program ages ago (by ages I mean
    > 1996
    > !) that could format the disks up to double sided 80 track, therefore
    > giving me about 4x the capacity. Does anyone know where I can download
    > such
    > a utility.
    >
    > On a related note is there an easy way that I can read and write my +3
    > disks on my PC, doesn't have to be a windows program either, as I have
    > access to the following : WinXP, Win98, Dos, Linux, so a solution for any
    > of those would be ok. Again I remember doing this with a dos program that
    > could read and write CP/M format disks, but cannot for the life of me
    > remember what it was.
    >
    > Cheers.
    >
    > Phill.




  4. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 20:52:01 +0000, Prime wrote:
    > On a related note is there an easy way that I can read and write my +3
    > disks on my PC


    What's the recording density of +3 disks? The majority of PCs won't read
    or write FM density, whilst a handful will read FM but not write. Finding
    one that'll do both can be somewhat tricky.

    (Of course if the +3 uses MFM recording you should have no problems! :-)

    > doesn't have to be a windows program either, as I have
    > access to the following : WinXP, Win98, Dos, Linux, so a solution for
    > any of those would be ok. Again I remember doing this with a dos program
    > that could read and write CP/M format disks, but cannot for the life of
    > me remember what it was.


    Personally I use Dave Dunfield's Imagedisk program, running under MSDOS
    on an old IBM system that'll handle FM data and down to 128 byte sector
    sizes (most FM-capable PC disk controllers won't cope with anything
    smaller than a 256-byte sector size, it seems - possibly not relevant for
    +3 disks).

    I chose that route just for the storage format - I got fed up with using
    archive formats that didn't record things like disk geometry or bad
    sector information (i.e. they were just 'raw' disk dumps), whereas the
    commercial offerings from back in the day all tend to use proprietary,
    undocumented archive formats.

    (http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm for the software if
    interested)

    cheers

    Jules


  5. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    Jules wrote in
    newsan.2008.07.28.14.33.48.245327@remove.this.gmail.co m:

    > On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 20:52:01 +0000, Prime wrote:
    >> On a related note is there an easy way that I can read and write my
    >> +3 disks on my PC

    >
    > What's the recording density of +3 disks?


    I believe it's 9 x 512byte sectors double density (MFM) 40 tracks, just
    like the IBM physical format.

    > The majority of PCs won't
    > read or write FM density, whilst a handful will read FM but not write.
    > Finding one that'll do both can be somewhat tricky.


    Humm odd I've cirtainly used a copule of my machies (PentPro, and Pent 3
    based), to read a mixed density disk from the Dragon Beta's OS-9 disks.
    By mixed density I mean that the first track was single density, whilst
    the rest was double. The only time that I've written single density disks
    was on the Dragon 64.... again one of the Beta disks.

    > (Of course if the +3 uses MFM recording you should have no problems!
    > :-)


    Nope it's MFM.

    >> doesn't have to be a windows program either, as I have
    >> access to the following : WinXP, Win98, Dos, Linux, so a solution for
    >> any of those would be ok. Again I remember doing this with a dos
    >> program that could read and write CP/M format disks, but cannot for
    >> the life of me remember what it was.

    >
    > Personally I use Dave Dunfield's Imagedisk program, running under
    > MSDOS on an old IBM system that'll handle FM data and down to 128 byte
    > sector sizes (most FM-capable PC disk controllers won't cope with
    > anything smaller than a 256-byte sector size, it seems - possibly not
    > relevant for +3 disks).


    Will check that out, as it could be usefull elsewhere, in the end I
    downloaded a CPC image writer which seemed to work fine for the +3 (under
    XP), but then I have the special disk driver it uses installed, as I also
    have a Dragon/CoCo disk imager that uses it.

    > I chose that route just for the storage format - I got fed up with
    > using archive formats that didn't record things like disk geometry or
    > bad sector information (i.e. they were just 'raw' disk dumps),


    Though to be fiar for the majority of the time with standard disks these
    are ok cirtainly for non copy protected stuff.

    > whereas
    > the commercial offerings from back in the day all tend to use
    > proprietary, undocumented archive formats.


    Indeed, why does Lotus 123 come to mind......

    > (http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm for the software if
    > interested)


    Cheers,

    I may well chack that out.

    Phill.

  6. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    John Elliott wrote in
    news:k2oi6g.du4.ln@seasip.demon.co.uk:

    > Sinclair PC200 512k (V1.5) on 27 July 2008
    > Loading Prime .SYS.....
    >: However this is of course only formatting them as 40 track single
    >: sided disks, I do seem to remember having a program ages ago (by ages
    >: I mean 1996 !) that could format the disks up to double sided 80
    >: track, therefore giving me about 4x the capacity. Does anyone know
    >: where I can download such a utility.
    >
    > The one I wrote is DU54:
    >


    Yeah could well have been that one......next silly question which of the
    available formats does the default +3 dos support ?

    > 22disk runs under DOS.


    Ah, like quasimodo, that rings bells......

    > So does msodball (or you can run that at the
    > +3 end). The cpmtools run under Linux.


    I'll check out CPMtools.

    Cheers.

    Phill.



  7. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    Sinclair PC200 512k (V1.5) on 29 July 2008
    Loading Prime .SYS.....
    : Yeah could well have been that one......next silly question which of the
    : available formats does the default +3 dos support ?

    Any in the list not marked with a star or a plus sign.

    The PCW 9000 CF2DD format is the most widely supported at the PC end.

    --
    --------------------------- ,@@.o ,@@. SPELL SUCCEEDS
    John Elliott | @@@@ @@@@ n \_O_
    CHAOS in a sig... | '||` '||` Hr \I `
    --------------------------- JL JL I\ /\\

  8. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    On Tue, 29 Jul 2008 19:02:59 +0000, Prime wrote:
    > Jules wrote in
    > newsan.2008.07.28.14.33.48.245327@remove.this.gmail.co m:
    >
    >> On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 20:52:01 +0000, Prime wrote:
    >>> On a related note is there an easy way that I can read and write my
    >>> +3 disks on my PC

    >>
    >> What's the recording density of +3 disks?

    >
    > I believe it's 9 x 512byte sectors double density (MFM) 40 tracks, just
    > like the IBM physical format.


    OK - should have no problems, then (certainly not with DOS / Linux - I'm
    not sure how much Windows gets in the way of these kinds of things :-)

    >> The majority of PCs won't
    >> read or write FM density, whilst a handful will read FM but not write.
    >> Finding one that'll do both can be somewhat tricky.

    >
    > Humm odd I've cirtainly used a copule of my machies (PentPro, and Pent 3
    > based), to read a mixed density disk from the Dragon Beta's OS-9 disks.


    Hmm, I expect you probably know Rich Harding, then... (I seem to recall we
    threw a couple of suitable drives his way for one of the rarer Dragons a
    couple of years back, but I don't remember now if that was for the Beta or
    the Professional)

    One day I'll get time to fix the GEC-badged D64 that I've got - I've
    got a floppy drive and a whole stack of disk-based titles, but I seem
    to recall the machine was suffering from some video fault or other (it's
    currently in storage, 4000 miles away from me)

    > By mixed density I mean that the first track was single density, whilst
    > the rest was double. The only time that I've written single density
    > disks was on the Dragon 64.... again one of the Beta disks.


    Yeah, I think that was an OS-9ism - I've got an OS-9 install for the BBC
    micro (fitted with 68008 coprocessor), and I seem to recall it was the
    same way. (I really like OS-9, incidentally - it manages to do an awful
    lot for something so compact)

    CP/M seems to do similar tricks usually - the first track is 256
    bytes/sector FM, but the rest of the disk can be anything according to
    the intended disk hardware.

    >> I chose that route just for the storage format - I got fed up with
    >> using archive formats that didn't record things like disk geometry or
    >> bad sector information (i.e. they were just 'raw' disk dumps),

    >
    > Though to be fiar for the majority of the time with standard disks these
    > are ok cirtainly for non copy protected stuff.


    It's more that I worry about 20 years down the line when someone unearths
    some random archive file - it's nice to have comments in there as to the
    system, and to know the disk geometry and whether a 100% clean read was
    done.

    For more temporary stuff, or when dealing with a single system and
    format, agreed that it's less of an issue!

    cheers

    Jules


  9. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    Jules wrote in
    newsan.2008.07.29.19.43.00.148837@remove.this.gmail.co m:

    > On Tue, 29 Jul 2008 19:02:59 +0000, Prime wrote:
    >> Jules wrote in

    [snip!]
    >> I believe it's 9 x 512byte sectors double density (MFM) 40 tracks,
    >> just like the IBM physical format.

    >
    > OK - should have no problems, then (certainly not with DOS / Linux -
    > I'm not sure how much Windows gets in the way of these kinds of things
    > :-)


    I have a custom floppy driver (fdrawcmd.sys available here :
    http://simonowen.com/fdrawcmd/) that was developed presisely to get
    around the limitations of the windows one for only supporting 512
    bytes/sector MFM.

    >> Humm odd I've cirtainly used a copule of my machies (PentPro, and
    >> Pent 3 based), to read a mixed density disk from the Dragon Beta's
    >> OS-9 disks.

    >
    > Hmm, I expect you probably know Rich Harding, then... (I seem to
    > recall we threw a couple of suitable drives his way for one of the
    > rarer Dragons a couple of years back, but I don't remember now if that
    > was for the Beta or the Professional)


    Yep I know Richard, helped him repair both the Alpha/Professional and the
    Beta. The beta really is L@@K R@RE, as there where only 3 of them made
    (early prototype)

    > One day I'll get time to fix the GEC-badged D64 that I've got - I've
    > got a floppy drive and a whole stack of disk-based titles, but I seem
    > to recall the machine was suffering from some video fault or other
    > (it's currently in storage, 4000 miles away from me)


    Ohhhh, the GEC badges ones are IIRC also quite rare, feel free to contact
    me when you and the machine are together as I may be able to help...

    > Yeah, I think that was an OS-9ism - I've got an OS-9 install for the
    > BBC micro (fitted with 68008 coprocessor), and I seem to recall it was
    > the same way. (I really like OS-9, incidentally - it manages to do an
    > awful lot for something so compact)


    Yes, people don't believe me when I say that OS-9 is a multi tasking os
    running on an 8 bit machine

    > CP/M seems to do similar tricks usually - the first track is 256
    > bytes/sector FM, but the rest of the disk can be anything according to
    > the intended disk hardware.


    Yeah I think it was because the boot roms on a lot of those machines only
    knew about single density disks, but the actuall disk controler could
    quite hapily do double/high density, so it switched over during the boot
    process.

    >> Though to be fiar for the majority of the time with standard disks
    >> these are ok cirtainly for non copy protected stuff.

    >
    > It's more that I worry about 20 years down the line when someone
    > unearths some random archive file - it's nice to have comments in
    > there as to the system, and to know the disk geometry and whether a
    > 100% clean read was done.


    Yeah I guess that must help if you want to try and re-construct the
    original disk.

    Cheers.

    Phill.

  10. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    John Elliott wrote in
    news:k2rn6g.a04.ln@seasip.demon.co.uk:

    > Sinclair PC200 512k (V1.5) on 29 July 2008
    > Loading Prime .SYS.....
    >: Yeah could well have been that one......next silly question which of
    >: the available formats does the default +3 dos support ?
    >
    > Any in the list not marked with a star or a plus sign.
    >
    > The PCW 9000 CF2DD format is the most widely supported at the PC
    > end.


    Cheers, yes that one seeoms to work ok, I eventually found my 1996 copy (on
    5.25" disk), and copied it to a 3.5, that was DU53P33 presumably an
    earlier version

    Cheers.

    Phill.

  11. Re: +3 disk transfer to PC

    On Thu, 31 Jul 2008 22:28:50 +0000, Prime wrote:
    > I have a custom floppy driver (fdrawcmd.sys available here :
    > http://simonowen.com/fdrawcmd/) that was developed presisely to get
    > around the limitations of the windows one for only supporting 512
    > bytes/sector MFM.


    Aha, I've heard of that, somewhere in my travels. Not something I've ever
    tried as I've been pretty much Windows-free for years (I just keep a
    VMWare image of Win2k around these days in case of emergency!)

    >> Hmm, I expect you probably know Rich Harding, then... (I seem to recall
    >> we threw a couple of suitable drives his way for one of the rarer
    >> Dragons a couple of years back, but I don't remember now if that was
    >> for the Beta or the Professional)

    >
    > Yep I know Richard, helped him repair both the Alpha/Professional and
    > the Beta. The beta really is L@@K R@RE, as there where only 3 of them
    > made (early prototype)


    I love prototype stuff. Far more interesting than the mainstream machines,
    even if it can be a pig to get them to work and/or do anything

    One day I'll get time to fix the GEC-badged D64 that I've got - I've
    >> got a floppy drive and a whole stack of disk-based titles, but I seem
    >> to recall the machine was suffering from some video fault or other
    >> (it's currently in storage, 4000 miles away from me)

    >
    > Ohhhh, the GEC badges ones are IIRC also quite rare, feel free to
    > contact me when you and the machine are together as I may be able to
    > help...


    So I understand - and thanks for the offer. I think the internals are just
    stock D64 though, and I *think* I have the schematics kicking around. I'm
    not sure how close the D64 is in internals to the D32 - my thinking being
    that if they're close, I can probably find a D32-a-like Tandy CoCo on this
    side of the pond for a source of spares (IIRC the D32 and CoCo were almost
    indentical, both going largely of Motorola's spec sheet for the 6809)

    >> CP/M seems to do similar tricks usually - the first track is 256
    >> bytes/sector FM, but the rest of the disk can be anything according to
    >> the intended disk hardware.

    >
    > Yeah I think it was because the boot roms on a lot of those machines
    > only knew about single density disks, but the actuall disk controler
    > could quite hapily do double/high density, so it switched over during
    > the boot process.


    Yep, that's my understanding, too. Lowest-common-denominator for the first
    track, and so long as the 'main' disk-access code can be loaded from
    there you can do pretty much anything...

    >> It's more that I worry about 20 years down the line when someone
    >> unearths some random archive file - it's nice to have comments in there
    >> as to the system, and to know the disk geometry and whether a 100%
    >> clean read was done.

    >
    > Yeah I guess that must help if you want to try and re-construct the
    > original disk.


    I tend to take the long-term view on these kinds of things - plus I mess
    around with an awful lot of systems, so it's easy to get image files
    mixed up and/or forget what geometry's needed for any given application.
    Wouldn't be so bad if just dealing with a single system and disk format,
    I guess.

    seeya

    Jules


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