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Old 08 November 2018, 20:29   #1
ubermick
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Floppy disk The hell of getting ADFs onto floppies...

Right, I'd be tearing my hair out at this point if I didn't shave it regularly.

I have an A1200. It's beautiful and brings a tear to my eye whenever I look at her. (sniff!) Originally, I'd wanted to get an A500 - like I had when I was a lad, to maintain the "proper" retro experience - but after much advice on here and elsewhere I went for the A1200. Lurking within is of course the standard compact flash card with ClassicWB (advsp) on there along with a plethora of games via KillerGorilla's packs. (Thanks to both he and Bloodwych!)

But in attempt to get some nostalgia going, I wanted to convert some of the games to floppy. I snagged a collection of ADF files from Planet Emu. Plopped the zip files on a FAT32 CF card and transferred 'em over via PCMCIA - left them zipped, and did the unzipping via Directory Opus onto my internal HD.

In the meantime, I had a sniff around and found a company selling packs of 50 DSDD floppies on ebay. They were used, but had been reformatted and were "guaranteed" to work. I also snagged 25 HD floppies that were still sealed, and got another few dozen old Amiga ones from a buddy. The floppies were all formatted using XCopy with verify. About 20 of them failed, and rather than repair I just binned them. (The HD ones were quick formatted first, and then formatted with verify)

Monday I began the task of writing the ADFs using classicwb's built in TSGUI. Despite the disks being formatted beforehand, about 50% of them threw errors during the write process. I was able to successfully reformat them in WB without issue. (Again, with verify). Meanwhile, the ones that did write don't work - they either fail during boot, will get to a start menu but no further, and in the one game I got to work, have graphical glitches and sound issues.

This leads me to believe my internal drive might be faulty... but wait! I also have an external Power Computing drive. Writing the ADFs to DF1 gave me a better success rate during the write process, but all the games written had the same plethora of issues - no boot, partial boot, sound/graphic errors.

Obviously both drives have been opened up and cleaned before use. (DF0 had a fair whack of dust in there, DF1 was spick and span)

So what would be the next step to remedy this? Don't really want to fling money at 30 year old drives (which may or may not work) on ebay or Amibay if it's not going to fix the issue, nor do I want to just keep amassing a pile of dodgy disks that just end up in the bin - I'm already down $150 for the cost of the external drive and the floppies I've gotten so far, and yet to have a working title to show for it. Obvious one is to abandon the floppy project and just use WHDload, but... don't want to give up just yet.
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Old 08 November 2018, 20:37   #2
Peter
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Have you tried this...

http://aminet.net/package/disk/misc/adfblitzer

It always worked for me when I had a real Amiga.

I used to transfer ADF files from my PC to Amiga - unzipped on the PC first.
Just quick format the floppy disks on the A1200 and then use ADFBlitzer, it should work...
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Old 08 November 2018, 20:45   #3
ubermick
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I've tried ADFer - which is apparently an "updated ADF blitzer" which worked really well for getting them onto the floppy (guessing because it's not using verify?) but not a one of them written worked.

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=85865
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Old 08 November 2018, 20:55   #4
Peter
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I think I do remember having some problems writing ADF files back to Amiga floppy disks but it's been years since I did it... I think I had more luck when I wrote them from RAM into ADFBlitzer.

Can you try this just to eliminate an option - drag a standard unzipped ADF file into RAM and then start ADFblitzer (not ADFer this time - just to test) and try and write it this way - I am sure this is what I did.

Also, what games are you trying to write - are they A1200 compatible?
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Old 08 November 2018, 21:05   #5
ubermick
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Quote:
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Also, what games are you trying to write - are they A1200 compatible?
Ooop, that's a bit that didn't dawn on me at all - I completely forgot that a lot of the older games (certainly ones pre 1992) didn't like the A1200. I was trying Chuck Rock, First Samurai, and Another World.
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Old 08 November 2018, 21:15   #6
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When you write ADF it is not necessary to format the floppies, it is a useless operation, at most it can be used to verify the integrity.
Regarding the old OCS / ECS games I have to use or a hardware degrader or a software degrader like Tude, see video:

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 08 November 2018, 21:29   #7
Jope
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It depends a lot on the adf writing tool whether the disk must be formatted. Some require preformatted disks.
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Old 08 November 2018, 21:39   #8
ubermick
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The formatting beforehand was more me ensuring that the floppies were usable in the first place, to be honest. I gave each one a quick eyeball, checked the shutter moved smoothly, and ensured there were no mushrooms growing in there before inserting them, and any that had bad sectors that XCopy didn't want to deal with went in the bin.

Have to say regarding buying floppies - utterly hilarious how prices have gone full circle. Back in the day they were £2 at the computer shop in town (Irish pounds, not expensive British ones) to where they were basically being given away 12-15 years ago. Now they're "collectors items" and back to being expensive. (And that's for used ones)

In the meantime, I'll try some of them again using relokick. I must confess, never had an A1200 back then, so it's not like I know what's what in terms of what'll work so that didn't even cross my mind doing this. I had grandiose plans of just whacking everything onto floppies and them working. (Glad it's clicked now though instead of pouring more money into it... which I could use instead to find an A500 to have in support.)
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Old 08 November 2018, 21:58   #9
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Quote:
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In the meantime, I'll try some of them again using relokick.
Relokick is pretty good.
Back in the day, I also had some success just using the Early Boot Menu (holding both mouse buttons while booting) and selecting Original or Enhanced in the Display Options section. (and/or selecting PAL or NTSC depending)


Good luck!
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Old 08 November 2018, 22:14   #10
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Quote:
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It depends a lot on the adf writing tool whether the disk must be formatted. Some require preformatted disks.
Which?
The ADF are disk images, that I know the writing of images does not require preformatting even on PC.
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Old 08 November 2018, 22:15   #11
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Which?
The ADF are disk images, that I know the writing of images does not require preformatting even on PC.
I know that I had that happen with me.
It was repeatable.
If I forgot to format first, they would fail.
When I formatted, the same image on the same floppy would work.


It's been a while, but my guess would be it was transwarp, as that was what I used most often...
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Old 08 November 2018, 22:23   #12
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Probably the failure was due to other causes maybe a faulty floppy!
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Old 08 November 2018, 22:50   #13
desiv
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Probably the failure was due to other causes maybe a faulty floppy!
Nope..
As I said, once I formatted, it was fine.
And it wasn't just once.
Also, my floppies are NOS. I bought a case of 200 not too long after I got my Amiga. ;-)
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Old 08 November 2018, 23:02   #14
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I've tried ADFer - which is apparently an "updated ADF blitzer" which worked really well for getting them onto the floppy (guessing because it's not using verify?) but not a one of them written worked.
ADFer has an option for verifying the written disk against the image. If you do that and it passes, then it has been written successfully.

For reference, ADFer (and ADF-Blitzer before, and probably others) write the tracks by formatting them with the track data instead of a set pattern as per a normal format. So the format and the writing is done in the one step, making it nice and fast but also not requiring preformatting.

A good test of things would be to create or find an ADF of a system-friendly disk (e.g. Workbench), then write that to a blank disk and see if it can be read in Workbench.
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Old 09 November 2018, 03:31   #15
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In the past I wrote ADF using null modem cable and Amiga Explorer. Then I moved on to writing ADZ. No issues each time.

I know this will seem a little tedious but I am currently using such an easy option for the same purpose:

Gotek drive!

1) Put ADF or HFE or whatever format it will support though writing IPF is not really possible with standard Amiga as it is just like having a copy protected disk in drive and the same issues as you would expect when trying to copy original copy protected disk8.

2) Now use X-Copy and select source disk as Gotek and destination disk (your floppy drive) as DF0 , DF1 etc depending on how your Gotek is configured.

3) Perfect verified 'disk to disk' copies. As it is literally a disk to disk copy but utilising the benefits of USB and avoiding other ADF writing apps.

I find this far superior and easier than any other method of ADF transfer.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09 November 2018, 04:30   #16
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tsGUI works great for me, must be the disks. Get new ones. And clean your read/write heads often as they can get dirty since you were using old used disks. They can get molds on them which can cause havoc.
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Old 09 November 2018, 09:36   #17
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Yeah, I’ve ordered up a 10-pack of sealed KAO (my brand of choice back in the day!) DSDDs, as well as ye olde head cleaner. (I’d rather not have to open up the A1200 *every* time to clean the drive!). The thing that’s driving me crazy is the random nature of it.

Today I tried Chuck Rock, again. First time, failed on disk 1 about 3/4 of the way through. Tried to redo it (same disk) and it wouldn’t even get beyond the bootblock. Formatted the disk, tried again, this time it worked. Booted the game, got to the intro, pressed fire on my venerable Zipstik, and nothing. Loaded for a second and just stopped. Drive wasn’t making the telltale grinding sound of a bad disk, it just stopped. So tried redoing it one last time and... this time it worked. Game was glitchy tho, had some graphical errors and a few of the sound samples were obviously buggered.

Hopefully a case of a grimy disk has dirtied the heads maybe, and a cleaning and fresh floppies fixes everything. I do miss the days when corrupt disks were the exception tho, and not the norm.
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Old 09 November 2018, 22:13   #18
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most A500/OCS games needs fixing to run on A1200. IT seems that whdload is your friend, on a CF IDE card. Hardware is easy to find and cheap. And whdload installs fix most incompatibilities with faster machines / AGA.

Such hell to use floppies when we fought for 20 years to get rid of them, that's not worth it. Or get a A500.
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Old 11 November 2018, 15:34   #19
lesta_smsc
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most A500/OCS games needs fixing to run on A1200. IT seems that whdload is your friend, on a CF IDE card. Hardware is easy to find and cheap. And whdload installs fix most incompatibilities with faster machines / AGA.

Such hell to use floppies when we fought for 20 years to get rid of them, that's not worth it. Or get a A500.
But I was under impression WHDLoad doesn't work on stock A1200 without more RAM or faster processor?
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Old 11 November 2018, 16:30   #20
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WHDLoad will run some games on a stock 1200, usually if they came on a single floppy, but you're right that generally you need at least more memory. In the past I had a 4MB expansion and could run just about everything. Faster CPU is not a necessity.
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