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Old 28 July 2019, 21:51   #1
cosmo
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What's on these disks then?

Greetings from a not-so-clever bugger,

I dug out my A1200 recently to find the 60MB hard drive had died so I bought a 40GB for a fiver and installed Workbench on a single 250MB partition.

I have around 300 floppies containing games, programs etc. The collection also includes disks of artwork from the kids using Dpaint back in the 90's. But ... I've cleverly outsmarted myself These art disks contain more than the standard Amiga disk capacity, they're not recognised as DF? or DS? and I can't for the life of me remember what utility I used to pack extra space on these floppies! So, a work in progress.

On the upside, what a fantastic piece of kit. It has a Blizzard 1220/4MB fast RAM and powers up to gui in a couple of seconds.

My plan is to set up all the apps and data on my Arch Linux laptop with FS-UAE. I'm downloading Amiga stuff to Linux with the Amiga HD attached via USB adaptor.

There's probably an easier way, but Linux can't find any partitions to mount (parted "u" "b" "p" sees them) and FS_UAE won't mount the HD. I'm using "dd" to copy 270MB between the HD and a .hdf file that FS-UAE can use.

My Amiga history: We got a Cartoon Classics A500+ in 1990, added extra RAM and a 40MB A590. A few years later I sold it for the same price as a secondhand v3.0 A1200 with 60MB drive I'd found. Used to enjoy Fidonet BBS.

For a couple of years I wangled free dialup Internet access in return for handling Amiga support for an ISP called Telecall based in Bristol. I don't think I had more than two phone calls .

I left the Amiga scene in '97 when I built my first PC with a Diamond Monster 3D graphics card. Why? CARMAGEDDON came out. Sorry, gaming calling!
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Old 28 July 2019, 21:55   #2
chip
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Welcome to the forum cosmo

About your question, it's possible you used "Quarterback" backup tools ?
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Old 28 July 2019, 22:02   #3
malko
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Best guess would be to remember if you were using some other FS even on your floppy disks : AFS, PFS. etc. ?
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Old 28 July 2019, 22:15   #4
cosmo
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I've been trawling Aminet seeing if any names ring a bell. I don't think I ever used Quarterback.

My memory is probably flaky, but I think the storage capacity was bumped close to 1MB, and I think I remember adding files and checking the free space, so maybe some sort of trackdisk replacement? Who knows? The silly thing is, I have a few of these weird disks as backups - labelled "internet", "utils" etc with program names written on the labels but none looks like a floppy disk hack.
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Old 28 July 2019, 23:05   #5
Mark Wright
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Amiga User International magazine (AUI) used something called "Diskspare" for their cover disks to squeeze >950k out of them. I routinely used it for a while in the mid to late 1990s but completely forgot all about it when trying to resurrect some disks a few years later.

Worth a look.

http://aminet.net/package/disk/misc/Diskspr3
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Old 28 July 2019, 23:30   #6
cosmo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wright View Post
Amiga User International magazine (AUI) used something called "Diskspare" for their cover disks to squeeze >950k out of them.
Yes that's a likely candidate, I installed diskspare early on. When I mount one of the artwork floppies I get two icons pop up df0 and ds0 (diskspare), can't read either.

Of course it might be my floppy drive is on the way out and exhibits problems with non-standard disks. Games with disk-level copy protection seem to load though. When I unpack the Amiga again next weekend I'll do some drive testing.
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Old 28 July 2019, 23:45   #7
mark_k
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With DiskSpare, you could format disks with 80 or 82 tracks. If your mount file is for 80 tracks you won't be able to read 82-track-formatted disks. You'd need to edit the mount file to have HighCyl=81 in order to read 82-track disks. And vice versa.

Also you could use a disk editor like DiskX to see the raw data on each disk, maybe that could give some clues as to which filesystem/backup program you used?
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Old 28 July 2019, 23:55   #8
cosmo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_k View Post
Also you could use a disk editor like DiskX to see the raw data on each disk, maybe that could give some clues as to which filesystem/backup program you used?

Thanks, I'll look into that. Not too scared - I was using hexdump on Linux to read the raw sdb hard drive when trying to work out why Arch couldn't figure out where sdb1 was.
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Old 01 August 2019, 21:14   #9
cosmo
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SOLVED unrecognised disks

I haven't run this A1200 in 20 years so that's my excuse for mis-remembering - nothing to do with disk masher, DS0, trackdisk etc.

I had a light bulb idea moment - checked the disks the Amiga couldn't recognize and they were all write-enabled. If I open the tag to write-protect them, then the floppy drive can read them just fine! Go on, someone tell me they've had a floppy drive fail in this way.

So, it looks like I can never write to a floppy disk on this machine. Not that I need to.
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