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Old 16 February 2010, 23:40   #81
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Good news,

Successfully wrote th ADF back to floppy with EasyADF with your new ADF

Steve
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Old 16 February 2010, 23:42   #82
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Wow!

Thanks for that, Steve!

I'll delete the new uploaded archive from the Zone and update the Coverdisks.zip file.


Edit: Done!

Last edited by prowler; 16 February 2010 at 23:50.
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Old 17 February 2010, 02:04   #83
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Thanks for that, Steve!
No problem
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Old 17 February 2010, 02:10   #84
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I've just requested an EasyADF update through AmigaKit's Support Ticket system. I wasn't aware that EasyADF could be used for boot sector checking, and I want to make sure my copy is fully up-to-date.
It will be a useful addition to my floppy disk toolkit.
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Old 22 February 2010, 03:02   #85
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This afternoon, I started trying to pull the remaining data from the last three of Titler's disks:
Pinball Fantasies, Disk 2 - Party Land / Speed Devils
Pinball Fantasies, Disk 3 - Billion Dollar Gameshow / Stones 'n' Bones
Ultima V - Boot / Play / Underground Disk

They are all non-DOS disks, and quite possibly the only way I'm going to recover the missing blocks is to copy them from another disk belonging to the same set.

With this in mind, I have this evening downloaded the most likely Pinball Fantasies and Ultima V disk images I could find using the links at HOL.
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Old 23 February 2010, 00:08   #86
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Ok, I'm back... and I apologize for not commenting on this thread for a long time, but there has been some real life drama for me, which I'm not sure yet how it will shake out or what it means... but it's been taking most of my evenings, so I haven't had the opportunity to really catch up with any board, sorry.

However I want to thank Prowler for his on going attempts to save data for the Amiga community; he's truly gone above and beyond for what was really just 3 discs missing from the Amiga Magazine Rack... and I can confirm they all now work under WinUAE and the default A1200 configuration now. That includes the Gunbee F-99 which after the last round of poking, works directly from the file as it should. Having loaded it though now, and having been spoiled by the MAME version of Bells And Whistles upon which it's based, I probably should have left it as an unachieved dream... it's disappointingly slow to my modern eyes now :P

Regarding the three other discs, there's really no need to waste time on them, unless you want to the challenge or to do a personal favour for me; it's not the end of the world if I don't get my Pinball high scores back, or a specific game save from when I first beat Ultima V Besides which, and astoundingly when I played Demon I beat the highscore it took me a year to get way back when on my third go today... it's nice to know that not everything in my head has aged and decayed over the intervening years!
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Old 23 February 2010, 00:19   #87
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Hi Titler,

It's great that you could join us here tonight!

I hope the drama you speak of is not too much of a crisis.

Don't worry, I shan't spend a great deal of time on those last three disks. They're non-DOS disks, so that makes things much more difficult, because it's all about recovering blocks of data instead of files, and I've no idea how important each missing block is relative to the data you wish to recover.

I'm doing it mainly to gain experience, but if it becomes hopeless I'll let you know that I'm about to give it up.
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Old 05 March 2010, 01:54   #88
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@Titler,

Regarding those last three disks, I'm now very close to knowing exactly which blocks will be unrecoverable on each disk.

There are two damaged tracks on Pinball Fantasies Disk 2, five on Pinball Fantasies Disk 3 and eight on the Ultima V disk. This means that there are one or more unreadable blocks on each track.

The final step will be to repair each damaged track, saving it to another disk to avoid further damaging the original disk. (This step will always damage at least one block beyond recovery if the repaired track is written back to the original disk.)

Once the salvaged blocks are pasted into the disk image, I can attempt to find a match for the missing blocks on disks I own and in the various disk images I have found by searching online.

However, if the missing data corresponds to your highscores or gamesaves, then obviously I will not find it.

In another thread here, StingRay has reported that Pinball Fantasies saves the highscores on track 1 of both disks 2 and 3:
http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=645521&postcount=11
Unfortunately, track 1 is damaged on both your disks 2 and 3, but, until I know the extent of the damage, I can't say whether the loss will be significant.

All other damaged tracks are much nearer the end of the disks.

If it turns out that most or all of the damaged tracks correspond to your highscores/gamesaves, then possibly the only way of recovering this data is by reading the disks in the floppy drive that these were written with. Do you still have it?

I should have some more news about these disks very soon now.
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Old 06 March 2010, 00:30   #89
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Brief popping back; Yes I still have the Amiga A500 they were written on, but it's rather yellowed with age and battered now alas. I keep thinking I should sell it to someone who will care for it, and the software collection it co-habited with all those years ago... but I never get around to it! Or maybe just don't want too... Anyway, it's really not important enough to get a few highscores to start posting Amigas about just to get them!
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Old 06 March 2010, 00:47   #90
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Hey Titler,

I'm glad you're here. I've just managed to recover The Pinball Fantasies 2 disk complete with highscores!

I'm just beginning to get the hang of this...

Don't go away. I shall be uploading an updated Coverdisks archive in just a moment.
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Old 06 March 2010, 01:02   #91
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Okay, the Coverdisks archive in the Zone has been updated to include an image of the Pinball Fantasies 2 disk. Your Party Land and Speed Devils highscores are preserved!

These non-DOS disks are not nearly so difficult as I had thought. There's a lot of blank space on them.

The highscores table takes up very little of track 1 and was undamaged. I managed to fix the other checksum error on track 63 by importing a block from a Pinball Fantasies 2 disk I own and confirming the validity of the data by comparison with a disk image I had downloaded from the internet.

The other two disks are more extensively damaged, but now I am hopeful that I can get them fixed too within the next couple of days.
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Old 07 March 2010, 01:43   #92
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For your sterling efforts, I award you the following!



It's just a shame that those were the two tables I was the worst at :P
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Old 07 March 2010, 01:54   #93
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Thanks, mate!

I have now recovered as much data as possible from the remaining two disks. Tomorrow I will patch the disk images with the blocks I recovered today and look for matching blocks for those I could not.

I reckon the Pinball Fantasies 3 disk is certain to be uploaded tomorrow (4 missing blocks, but I've recovered the highscores). Ultima V is looking more difficult (11 missing blocks, and I'm not certain I've got the gamesaves), but I'm still hopeful.

Edit: Can you try that Pinball Fantasies 2 disk image? I'm not absolutely certain that the highscore data is properly formatted. It shows up when you're presented with the choice of tables, but I'm not good enough to register a highscore myself to see if the highscore table will be properly updated. Thanks!
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Old 07 March 2010, 21:51   #94
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@Titler,

I've rebuilt the Pinball Fantasies 3 disk and fixed the formatting of the Pinball Fantasies 2 highscores data. It was only when I'd recovered the Pinball Fantasies 3 highscores data that I realized that the information is repeated eleven times, i.e. it's recorded on each block of track 1, side 1.

The disk image I uploaded yesterday will probably work nonetheless (I tested it as far as I could), but now it's more accurate.

I have updated the Coverdisks archive in the Zone to replace the Pinball Fantasies 2 disk image and add the Pinball Fantasies 3 image.

Now your Billion Dollar Gameshow and Stones 'n' Bones highscores are preserved.

Now there's just the Ultima V disk left!
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Old 09 March 2010, 00:50   #95
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@Titler,

I have rebuilt the Ultima V disk using all the valid data salvaged from the original disk. There are 11 non-recoverable blocks on the original disk and the corresponding blocks are filled with zeros on the reconstructed disk.

The missing blocks are evidently important, because the disk doesn't boot yet.

I don't own an Ultima V disk set myself, so the next step is to search the disk images I have found online for matching blocks to fill the gaps. Let us hope that the unrecoverable blocks do not contain your gamesaves data!
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Old 10 March 2010, 00:24   #96
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Still busy in real life alas, hence I didn't see your request to check the discs until today... but it seems your magnificence wouldn't halt for even a day. Once more, my heartfelt thanks!

Regarding Ultima V, it had no copy protection on the discs, but as you have discovered it had an unusual file system (duffer speak ahoy!); all I originally did was do an X-Copy of the data disc that came with the original, and play from that instead. As there is no option to make a save disc from blank floppy, I'm assuming that any 2 disc .adf set for Ultima V will be of the same structure, with a set area for the saved games.
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Old 10 March 2010, 00:36   #97
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It's really no trouble, mate. I enjoy a bit of disk necromancy.

Unfortunately, I've made no further progress on the Ultima V disk today. I could find no matches at all for the missing blocks in the disk images I had already downloaded. However, I've downloaded some more today from The Game Archives, which look more hopeful (they actually have 'Play' and 'Underground' in their filenames!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titler View Post
I'm assuming that any 2 disc .adf set for Ultima V will be of the same structure, with a set area for the saved games.
From what I have discovered so far, that does not appear to be the case.

When I've finished with these disks, you'll have to remind me which of them you'd like returned, and whether you'd like me to restore the damaged ones.

BTW, there's no need to test the Pinball Fantasies disk images now - they're 100% working!
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Old 12 March 2010, 01:42   #98
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It's not important to return any; all my Amiga stuff is just sitting in a cupboard, slowly mouldering... and the copied discs are slowly decaying as you've seen anyway. But if there's an Amiga Museum you know any one is creating who'd like the coverdiscs, it may be an idea to bounce them on there... or keep them yourself if that's your plan
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Old 12 March 2010, 01:54   #99
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Thanks, mate. I'll just keep them until I can use one to fulfil a request.

I've not done anything more with the Ultima V disk and those new images I downloaded yet. I've been busy with other things for the last couple of days, but I might get a chance to look at it tomorrow. I'm picking up an Acorn A5000 Computer to add to my collection tomorrow, so it will depend on how that goes. If not, I'll give it a go at the weekend. That disk is really in the last chance saloon now!

If you've got any other disks you'd like to send, you know you're always welcome!
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Old 13 March 2010, 23:40   #100
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@Titler,

I could not find matches for any of the Ultima V disk's missing blocks in Ultima V disk images I have found online.

This disk image is unlike any of the others I have found. Indeed it's actually almost empty (the disk image compresses to only 3kB!), despite having only 11 unreadable blocks.

I have replaced 3 blocks by looking for matches elsewhere in the image, 5 have been left zeroed out to match the adjacent blocks and the remaining 3 still have 'checksum errors', but that's just a euphemism for 'invalid content' on this disk!

I've uploaded the disk image to the Zone for you to test. I can't get it to boot, and if it doesn't work for you, then I'm sorry, that's the best I can do with it.

You've ended up with 10 good images from 11 disks - 91% success!
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