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Old 30 September 2021, 23:24   #1
CLXIV
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Floppy disk Help with Action Replay save states

Hello Amigans! Hopefully somebody can tell me where I'm going wrong.

When I try to save state to floppy (via "sa mysave") the screen will colour cycle for 2-4 minutes (no disk activity) then I get very brief disk activity, then 30-60 seconds more colour cycling and then eventually the message "Not a dos-track". If I try to load (via "la mysave") I immediately get that same message.

Details to mention... firstly, I can successfully quicksave to memory (via "sq" or "sqr"). Secondly, these floppies are from new sealed packs. Also I've tried a different floppy drive, different drive cables, different power supply and even a different motherboard.

I've tried preparing the floppies via the Action Replay's built-in format utility (specifically "formatv" to verify after format, and that gives the same "Not a dos-track" message). I've also imaged a blank .adf to a couple of floppies via a Greaseweazle Mk4 and old PC floppy drive, with the same result.

It's an Action Replay Mk III (red label version) and a fairly stock A500 (rev 5 / 6a boards) with a 1.5/2MB trapdoor expansion with Gary adapter. That RAM is the only non-stock hardware (unless you count the Action Replay itself :-)).
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Old 01 October 2021, 07:04   #2
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Seems you need to fix the format problem first, before you can save mem.

Can you format and verify in another tool? Workbench or perhaps a copy program.
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Old 01 October 2021, 08:33   #3
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As Jope said, format them properly, you can use Action Replay to do it, don't quick format, do a full format.
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Old 01 October 2021, 14:39   #4
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Thanks Jope, Galahad. I managed to get Workbench to initialise (had to eject and re-insert the Workbench floppy about 185 times but got there eventually!). WB seemed happy (got "empty" on the desktop and it opened fine in a window) but same old "not a dos-track" from the Action Replay.

I think I can use Xcopy to format floppies (?) but given that I've tried three methods now (Workbench, Action Replay and imaging a blank .adf via Greaseweazle) I'm doubtful that a fourth method would yield different results.

I did try the WB command line, but either I messed up the syntax or something else was wrong because each attempt returned a message describing the syntax. I tried "format DF0: mydisk" and "format DF0 mydisk" but it wasn't liking it (not that I'd expect a different end result but I am curious what I'm doing wrong).

I'm concerned there's something wrong with the Action Replay, but everything else with it works fine (quicksaves to memory, the autofire feature and a handful of other commands I tried). I don't suppose anyone knows what the colour cycling is? I initially assumed that was compression delay but it's the same even when I don't pass the argument for compression level (i.e. no compression).
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Old 01 October 2021, 15:01   #5
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Is this the MK III?
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Old 01 October 2021, 15:08   #6
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Use the format function within Action Replay.

Simply type Format "diskname" and hit return.

It will format and verify at the same time.

If you have an external drive you can also get it to format that instead, on the off chance your internal drive is knackered
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Old 01 October 2021, 17:03   #7
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Unfortunately I don't have an external drive.

I do have another internal drive, but that gave the same results. The drive I'm using now is actually refurbished too - cleaned heads and fresh lubrication (the other drive also has cleaned heads).

I did try the AR's formatv first but same result.
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Old 01 October 2021, 19:58   #8
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I remember this "not a dos track" error.
It always happened if I formatted a disk with my Action Replay MK III (A500) and then tried to install the bootblock afterwards.

You have tried to format and install bootblock from X-copy for example and then tried to save?

If I remember correctly you could use the "sloader" command to install an application to the disk which was able to load the save file from AmigaDOS...
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Old 01 October 2021, 21:19   #9
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Thanks Firestone but I've not installed any bootblock or the sloader. As I understand it, that's an optional feature isn't it? Just means I don't have to hit the AR button and enter the "la" command when I switch on the computer?

To clarify on the X-copy question, were you suggesting that I try that? Or suggesting I avoid it because it will cause the error?
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Old 01 October 2021, 22:29   #10
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I suspect something wrong with your Amiga, unless other disks load fine without problems?
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Old 01 October 2021, 22:47   #11
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Wellllll not exactly - I can rarely boot a game without having to eject and re-insert quite a few times. I have noticed that if I leave it sitting at the disk hand screen for at least 10 seconds first then I have better odds of a game starting.

I think the odds are maybe better also if the Action Replay isn't connected (made me think power, but I have one of the 4.3A 5V units, recapped, nothing else special plugged in).

Thing is though - I've replaced the power supply, motherboard, floppy drive and both drive cables. The only things remaining are the keyboard and external peripherals.

I guess my PC floppy drive could be writing bad disks, but then firstly you'd expect problems in games after the initial load (loading new areas etc) but that's been fine, and secondly I wouldn't be able to copy back from disk to .adf and run successfully in WinUAE (which I can do). And thirdly, my PC floppy drive hadn't even touched the last blank floppy I was wanting to use for saves when I first tried it.

As with so many computer issues it seems to defy logic.
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