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Old 23 April 2017, 23:32   #1
paulo_becas
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Premier Manager 3 Save Disk

Hello guys,

I was wondering if someone ever came across the following situation.
Recently i recovered my twenty and some years old save disk from premier manager 3 but i can't use it with the HD version of the game nor the whdload version.
I've tried to access the files on the disk to play it from an HD version, but i couldn't do it. It works flawlessly with the floppy version.
Tried with winuae, ADF View, ADF Opus, you name it. It keeps giving me the error 880
I noticed a peculiar thing while i was experimenting a few things. When i used a floppy formated disk, the game made me format it again because it could not use a disk that was not formated inside the game, the thing is that while i was formating the disk, inside the game, it started from track 80 to track 0, that's right, from the end to the begining so i think this is some kind of protection.
Long story short i need to access the disk but need to read it backwards from the end to the begining.
Anyone ever came across with a identical situation?
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Old 24 April 2017, 00:40   #2
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Originally Posted by paulo_becas View Post
Hello guys,

I was wondering if someone ever came across the following situation.
Recently i recovered my twenty and some years old save disk from premier manager 3 but i can't use it with the HD version of the game nor the whdload version.
I've tried to access the files on the disk to play it from an HD version, but i couldn't do it. It works flawlessly with the floppy version.
Tried with winuae, ADF View, ADF Opus, you name it. It keeps giving me the error 880
I noticed a peculiar thing while i was experimenting a few things. When i used a floppy formated disk, the game made me format it again because it could not use a disk that was not formated inside the game, the thing is that while i was formating the disk, inside the game, it started from track 80 to track 0, that's right, from the end to the begining so i think this is some kind of protection.
Long story short i need to access the disk but need to read it backwards from the end to the begining.
Anyone ever came across with a identical situation?
Whilst the save disks are a standard AmigaDOS format (i.e. no exotic custom MFM format), the information written to the disk is structured differently, i.e. the root directory for the files is in a different place, and the Premier Manager series reads the disk single side at a time.
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Old 24 April 2017, 12:49   #3
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Then how can i recover the files on such a disk? any suggestion?
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Old 25 April 2017, 01:25   #4
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Then how can i recover the files on such a disk? any suggestion?
Send me an email with an ADF of the disk attached and I will recover the files from it to a standard AmigaDOS formatted disk image for you.

You have a PM.
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Old 25 April 2017, 13:21   #5
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Send me an email with an ADF of the disk attached and I will recover the files from it to a standard AmigaDOS formatted disk image for you.

You have a PM.
Just sent you the ADF

Thanks, you're the man
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Old 25 April 2017, 21:53   #6
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Just sent you the ADF

Thanks, you're the man
Disk image received, thanks.

Watch out for a reply to your email with attachment.
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Old 25 April 2017, 22:24   #7
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Disk image received, thanks.

Watch out for a reply to your email with attachment.
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Old 25 April 2017, 22:36   #8
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It might take a couple of days. It's not straightforward. I'll probably have to construct the required disk image using a binary file editor.
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Old 25 April 2017, 22:49   #9
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It might take a couple of days. It's not straightforward. I'll probably have to construct the required disk image using a binary file editor.
Take your time, i know it's not easy, been messing around for a week with this without success.
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Old 25 April 2017, 23:20   #10
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It might take a couple of days. It's not straightforward. I'll probably have to construct the required disk image using a binary file editor.
Of course if you would like some pointers

The directory structure is easy for you to figure out.

Its a single side format, i.e. it loads from one side of the disk, it eventually swtiches to the other side once the first side is full.

So the directory will give you the sector start of where the save file is on the disk, when you get to the first block of that file, I cant remember if its a longword or a word, but that very first word or longword gives you the sector pointer for the next data block of the file.

Easy way to subvert all this is to fake the disk as a gamedisk, edit all the save filenames to game filenames and cheat using the hard drive installer, then rename the files back again.

I 'might' even still have my utilities I created to master disk images with this format.
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Old 26 April 2017, 21:59   #11
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You must have read my mind!

Thanks! Your pointers are very helpful, and your utilities would be even more helpful.

Edit: Actually, it's the first long word.

Last edited by prowler; 26 April 2017 at 23:37.
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Old 29 April 2017, 22:35   #12
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Hi Paulo,

I have extracted all the relevant information from the PM3 Save Game disk image you sent me using the information provided by Galahad.

I now have only to remove the sector pointers (first long word) from each block of the nine files from the original disk and then trim them to match the file sizes provided in the directory block.

I should be able to send a standard AmigaDOS formatted Save Game disk image for you to try with the WHDLoad and HD installed versions of the game some time tomorrow.
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Old 29 April 2017, 23:49   #13
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Hi Paulo,

I have extracted all the relevant information from the PM3 Save Game disk image you sent me using the information provided by Galahad.

I now have only to remove the sector pointers (first long word) from each block of the nine files from the original disk and then trim them to match the file sizes provided in the directory block.

I should be able to send a standard AmigaDOS formatted Save Game disk image for you to try with the WHDLoad and HD installed versions of the game some time tomorrow.
You really are the man... I'm anxious to test this.

Thank you very much... and to Galahad too
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Old 01 May 2017, 00:39   #14
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I didn't quite get this completed today, but I have now successfully reconstructed all nine save game files in a format you will be able to read on any Amiga computer.

You will have them tomorrow afternoon for sure.
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Old 01 May 2017, 01:16   #15
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I didn't quite get this completed today, but I have now successfully reconstructed all nine save game files in a format you will be able to read on any Amiga computer.

You will have them tomorrow afternoon for sure.
I don't know how to thank you. This save games are more than 20 years old and it will be very fun to continue after so long.
Once again thanks for the time you spent doing this.
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Old 01 May 2017, 21:05   #16
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Hi Paulo,

I have sent you an OFS-formatted AmigaDOS disk image containing all nine PM3 save game files recovered from your original disk. I hope that these files can now be accessed from the WHDLoad and HD installed versions of the game.

Please let me know how you get on.

If this is successful, I can do a bit more work to automate the conversion process and make the job easier next time.
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Old 01 May 2017, 21:26   #17
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Nice work indeed prowler, you da man
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Old 01 May 2017, 22:29   #18
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Unfortunely it didn't work.

I can see the files on the whdload version as well as on the HD version but when i tried to load this is what happens

Before loading you can see the file on top



After loading, see what happens



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Old 01 May 2017, 22:45   #19
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Hi Paulo,

Thanks for trying out the disk image I sent.

Unfortunately, I had to reconstruct the files manually the first time, using a binary file editor, so I might have made one or more mistakes.

Please don't give up. This may not be all over yet.

As I mentioned above, I am developing an automated conversion process for PM3 saved games, which I will use to check those reconstructed files when it is complete.

If any of the newly-converted files are different from the first lot, then I will be sending you a second disk image to try out.

Last edited by prowler; 01 May 2017 at 22:51.
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Old 01 May 2017, 22:53   #20
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