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Old 07 February 2010, 01:43   #61
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I've replaced 27 of the 43 damaged files in the Fiasco 2.2 lzx archive with files from AFCD33's coverdisks folder which were found exactly to match the original files.

This avenue is now exhausted, which leaves the archive with 16 damaged .info files.

This is better than I expected after yesterday's effort, but there is still some way to go. However, I'm not out of ideas yet.

I have noticed that, of the .info files which were recovered intact from the original archive, there are a good few which have a different checksum or a slightly different size from their counterparts on the CD.

Next, I shall inspect them with a binary file editor to see if I can discover exactly how they are different, with a view to recreating suitable replacements for the remaining corrupted files.
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Old 10 February 2010, 02:07   #62
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I have discovered what accounts for the difference in filesize between some of the .info files in the damaged Fiasco 2.2 archive on the AF117a coverdisk and those in the AFCD33 coverdisks folder - they have different default tools! (Those on the CD use :c/AFCDView, whilst those in the achive use more, MultiView, ShowDVI, etc.)

Despite this, I have not had much luck at all with converting files on the CD to exact replacements for the remaining 16 damaged files. The problem appears to be that icon positional data between the two sets of files are different, and all attempts I have made to clean up the windows and snapshot the icons give me no matching checksums! It really is hopeless!

So, tonight I started an internet search for Amiga Fiasco and, apart from dredging up the usual articles about the collapse of Commodore, etc., I was rewarded with an Amiga Format Coverdisk 83a image from AMR fearuring Fiasco and, crucially, Fiasco 2.2 main and English documentation archives on Aminet featuring, as far as I can tell, all the missing files!
http://aminet.net/package/biz/dbase/Fiasco_main
http://aminet.net/package/biz/dbase/Fiasco_eng_doc
I'd not thought of looking on Aminet!

I'm now hoping to have built something very close to a final disk image by tomorrow evening!
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Old 11 February 2010, 00:41   #63
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I've rebuilt approximately half of the AF117a Fiasco 2.2 lzx archive.

Unfortunately, because the Aminet archive is now at version 2.22, the time and date stamps on some of the files have been adjusted, whether they have been updated or not, and now that I have all the files required to rebuild this archive, I am determined to make it an exact replacement for the damaged one - and that means getting the time and date stamps correct as well, which has taken most time to do.

All the replacement files have been given the correct correct time and date stamps and copied over the original, corrupt files where they were first extracted from the damaged archive.

I am reconstructing the archive by trial and error in stages from the Shell by invoking the LZX archiver repeatedly to store the files in the correct sequence, with the right optimization and compression ratio.

I should be able to complete it in one more session.
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Old 11 February 2010, 00:45   #64
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I take my hat off to you Mr Prowler, you don't do things by halves do you!

Was/is this an extremely rare disk?
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Old 11 February 2010, 01:01   #65
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I've got no idea, mate! It's only an Amiga Format 117a coverdisk, so I should hardly think it can be that rare, but it's not available at AMR (and neither is the AF117b disk), and nobody else has admitted to having a copy of it either.

Meanwhile, I've successfully recovered about 98% of a valid disk image from Titler's original disk which had been partly overwritten, unfortunately.

My disk image, when it's finished will work 100%. The boot sector and volume creation time and date may not exactly match an original disk (though it will be close), but everything else will!
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Old 11 February 2010, 23:32   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prowler View Post
I've rebuilt approximately half of the AF117a Fiasco 2.2 lzx archive.

I am reconstructing the archive by trial and error in stages from the Shell by invoking the LZX archiver repeatedly to store the files in the correct sequence, with the right optimization and compression ratio.

I should be able to complete it in one more session.
In the end, I didn't have to rebuild the whole archive, but only enough to ensure that all the previously damaged files were included, together with any others that they had been merged with for optimization. At that point, I was able to copy and paste the repaired sections over the damaged ones in the original archive. Now all files extract successfully!

Now, I just have to restore the original time and date stamp and then fix the disk image to receive the replacement files!
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Old 13 February 2010, 00:44   #67
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I now have good, salvaged or reconstructed copies of all the original files from Titler's partly-overwritten/corrupted AF117a coverdisk.

All that remains is to repair the directory and file structure of the disk image, so that the original time and date stamps of the directories are preserved and the files can be restored to their original locations.

In theory, this should be straightforward, but it is turning out to be more difficult than I expected. There are several steps on the way to achieving this, but it is imperative that they are carried out in the correct sequence. The problem is that I am not sufficiently experienced at this to know what all the implications of each step are for those still to come.

It's really just a matter of trial and error, but there is infinite scope for this, since I'm working in emulation and each trial starts with the same, original, problematic disk image.

With luck, I should be able to get this resolved over the weekend.

Incidentally, I'm not sure what version of LZX they were using at Amiga Format to produce their archives, because I had to use a combination of Registered versions 1.20 and 1.21 to reproduce their compressed data.
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Old 13 February 2010, 23:52   #68
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I have not been able to completely repair the AF117a disk's filesystem errors using DiskSalv or FixDisk. I wouldn't normally use FixDisk to attempt this as it doesn't keep track of loose blocks (files without a header), but I'm sure there are none on this disk (it's almost 100% full as far as I can tell).

Using DiskSalv to validate and then repair the disk results in the Fiasco 2.2 lzx archive being destroyed, because the ProText data file has overwritten some of its allocated blocks and DiskSalv 'repairs' the cross-linked files by destroying the original, partly-overwritten one and preserving the more recent, but nonetheless unwanted and almost certainly incomplete one!

On the other hand, FixDisk does have a feature to enable files to be wiped before attempting to 'undelete' the remainder. However, using it to validate the disk and then wipe the ProText data file results in no recoverable data found!

I now think the only way I'm going to completely recover this filesystem is by taking a copy of the DiskSalv validated disk image and using a binary file editor to repair the corrupted data blocks by overwriting them directly with good data copied from the two lzx archives I have reconstructed and then attempting a DiskSalv repair on the resulting image.

It is a FFS disk, so the data blocks don't have the file headers required by the standard file system.

Last edited by prowler; 16 February 2010 at 00:03. Reason: Typos
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Old 14 February 2010, 23:40   #69
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Finally I have fixed this disk image!

I have uploaded an updated archive to the Zone with the complete set of disks I have recovered so far. Eight of the eleven disks have now been imaged successfully. The other three disks (marked '*' in the list below) still have read errors and need a bit more work, including loading up the original games, to get valid disk images, or at least recover as many of the game saves as possible.

The disks
*******
Softville PD Service - Sof 181 (OkimateDemo.adf)
Amiga Format 117a - Fiasco 2.2, ViewFonts 2, PoolMem (AF117a.adf)
Amiga Format 117b - GunBee F-99, Mini Arcanoid (AF117b.adf)
Amiga Action, May 1995, Disk 3 - Sensible Massacre 2, Demon (AMIGAACTION.adf)
Demon Card Game (Demon V1.01.adf)
Tetris (TWINTRIS FINAL BY RAZOR.adf)
Pinball Dreams, Disk 1 (Pinball Dreams 1.adf)
Pinball Dreams, Disk 2 (Pinball Dreams 2.adf)
Pinball Fantasies, Disk 2 - Party Land / Speed Devils *
Pinball Fantasies, Disk 3 - Billion Dollar Gameshow / Stones 'n' Bones *
Ultima V - Boot / Play / Underground Disk *

@fitzsteve:
Could you test the AF117a disk image for me, please?

Last edited by prowler; 16 February 2010 at 00:02. Reason: Typo
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Old 15 February 2010, 00:02   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prowler View Post

@fitzsteve:
Could you test the AF117a disk image for me, please?
AF117a writing to floppy now . . . . . . . . . . . please wait . . . .
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Old 15 February 2010, 00:18   #71
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Originally Posted by fitzsteve View Post
AF117a writing to floppy now . . . . . . . . . . . please wait . . . .
There's no hurry, mate! (It's taken me long enough getting it ready, after all. )

I really just want to check that the script works for installing the game(s) from the AF117b disk so that Titler can complete his installation.

I've verified that it boots, and all the files on the disk are 100% good copies of the original files, so everything else should work fine.
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Old 15 February 2010, 00:36   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prowler View Post
There's no hurry, mate! (It's taken me long enough getting it ready, after all. )

I really just want to check that the script works for installing the game(s) from the AF117b disk so that Titler can complete his installation.

I've verified that it boots, and all the files on the disk are 100% good copies of the original files, so everything else should work fine.
Well the install scripts worked before, you don't need disk A to do that.

The only aditional feature disk A provides is a script to install mini arcnoid to a floppy disk. The normal HD installer on Disk B within the mini arcnoid archive works just fine, all you need to do is extract the archive within workbench and use the HD installer. Same for Gunbee F99 you just need to use the HD Installer on Disk B, Disk A is not required at all for the games.

I tested the installer on Disk A for Fiasco and that was fine but I had trouble making an arcnoid floppy, most likly my old disks are a bit ropey I really need to get some new ones.

Another point to mention, I could not write this to disk with EasyADF so I grabbed ADFBlitzer from Aminet which worked fine. Again testing was on my real Miggy.

Steve.
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Old 15 February 2010, 00:43   #73
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Thanks, Steve!

I agree that this disk is not really required to load the games from the AF117b disk, but it's been a long time since Titler last used his Amigas or these disks, so he's taking the message that AF117a disk is required for installation as if it's the only way to do it. He's probably only got a basic WinUAE setup on his PC so far, so it's probably the only way he'll manage it until he gets some more tools.

Now that you've had it working, we'll see what happens when he tries it.
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Old 15 February 2010, 15:15   #74
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Is there a definitive list of Amiga Format floppies that are missing?

I'm going through my floppies before the weekend and I'll check if I've got any of the missing ones at the same time

Dave G
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Old 15 February 2010, 23:03   #75
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Quote:
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Another point to mention, I could not write this to disk with EasyADF so I grabbed ADFBlitzer from Aminet which worked fine.
Hey Steve,

I didn't realize the significance of that detail until I read your post again while I was offline.

Did EasyADF give any error message when it refused to load the ADF or write it to disk?

If so, I was wondering whether it is an indication that there could be a problem with the boot block. DiskSalv rebuilt it, but then I restored the original creation date and I that may have been what caused it to be incompatible with EasyADF.
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Old 15 February 2010, 23:48   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prowler View Post
Hey Steve,

I didn't realize the significance of that detail until I read your post again while I was offline.

Did EasyADF give any error message when it refused to load the ADF or write it to disk?

If so, I was wondering whether it is an indication that there could be a problem with the boot block. DiskSalv rebuilt it, but then I restored the original creation date and I that may have been what caused it to be incompatible with EasyADF.
You don't get any error message, the screen just flashes once. Usually its becuase the Floppy is no good but in this case I tried 3 and they all wrote fine with ADF Blitzer.

Steve.
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Old 16 February 2010, 00:00   #77
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Originally Posted by fitzsteve View Post
You don't get any error message, the screen just flashes once. Usually its becuase the Floppy is no good but in this case I tried 3 and they all wrote fine with ADF Blitzer.
Hmm... That's a shame. I had hoped you'd found an undocumented boot block checking feature of EasyADF. I've got a copy of EasyADF for when I get around to installing my CF cards, and I was going to try it myself later.

Were the other two ADFs you tried completely unrelated to AF117a.adf? And would they not write back either with EasyADF?
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Old 16 February 2010, 00:15   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prowler View Post
Hmm... That's a shame. I had hoped you'd found an undocumented boot block checking feature of EasyADF. I've got a copy of EasyADF for when I get around to installing my CF cards, and I was going to try it myself later.

Were the other two ADFs you tried completely unrelated to AF117a.adf? And would they not write back either with EasyADF?

Sorry I mean I tried 3 different floppy's with AF117a and easy ADF but it failed on all 3 those same floppys were fine when I wrote the adf with ADF blitzer.

Steve.
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Old 16 February 2010, 00:34   #79
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Sorry I mean I tried 3 different floppy's with AF117a and easy ADF but it failed on all 3 those same floppys were fine when I wrote the adf with ADF blitzer.
Hmm... So it is possible that I introduced a boot block error on this disk image when I restored the original creation date and EasyADF is detecting it...

I think I'll check the AF117a.adf disk image with DiskMon Tools and DiskSalv tomorrow and upload a new version if that results in any changes.
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Old 16 February 2010, 22:24   #80
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Hey Steve,

I've uploaded another AF117a coverdisk image. This one's had the boot blocks fixed by DiskSalv.

Could you test it to see if EasyADF will write it to a floppy disk for me, please, mate?

If it does, I think we may have discovered a useful EasyADF 'undocumented feature'.
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