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Old 21 April 2008, 05:40   #1
rlcarr
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Beginning data migration/archive project?

Well, while my A2000 turns out to be dead (battery leak), my A3000 works! (And as soon as I saw it was working, I immediately turned it off, opened it up, and cut off the battery). Was wild to see it fired up for the first time in 14 years. The A3000 has Kickstart 3.1 and AmigaOS 3.1

Anyways, now that I have a working Amiga with a hard drive, I'd like to get a whole bunch of data saved before anything else goes wrong. Specifically, I'd like to do the following:
1) Create ADFs of all the floppies I have that I care about.
2) Transfer those ADFs to a PC and burn them to CD.
3) Back up my hard drive to a PC and burn that to a CD as well.

I own Amiga Forever 2006, so I have Amiga Explorer (haven't used it yet).

My plan for (1) and (2) is to use transdisk to put the ADFs on the Amiga hard drive. Once I've accumulated a whole bunch, I would then use Amiga Explorer over serial to move them over to the PC, and then do the next batch, etc. Some questions about this phase:
* Is transdisk still the tool of choice for making ADFs on an Amiga? Or has it been supplanted by something else?
* What happens with copy-protected disks? Can transdisk ADF-ify them? If not, what should I use instead?
* Lets say later on I want to "refresh" some floppies from the ADFs. What's the best program(s) to run on the Amiga to write an ADF to a floppy? And again, can copy-protected disks be handled?

As for (3), am I reading the Amiga Explorer documentation correctly when I interpret it as saying that it can be used to create an HDF on the PC from any hard drive partition on the Amiga? I realize the PC can't do anything with the HDF (other than using it as a virtual hard drive in an emulator), but I can burn it to CD like any other file and so back it up.

Thanks!
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Old 21 April 2008, 09:44   #2
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Quote:
* Is transdisk still the tool of choice for making ADFs on an Amiga? Or has it been supplanted by something else?
You are talking about Amiga Explorer. AE can create ADF's, too.

However, both Transdisk and AE can only process one disk at a time. May I suggest TSGUI. Its very latest version has a multi-disk function which chooses file names automátically, you only have to insert disks. It's not documented yet. Just choose "process multiple disks" from the menu.

You need enough HDD space in your Amiga for all the ADFs, though.

Quote:
* What happens with copy-protected disks? Can transdisk ADF-ify them? If not, what should I use instead?
It depends on the copy protection. Some can be made into extended ADF files. TSGUI can do this, too. But some copy protections are still effective, i.e. the disks cannot be copied. You might try to contact the CAPS people who will help you to create IPF images of the disks if they don't yet exist somewhere on the net.

Note that TSGUI can only do one kind of image at a time, so you should first process the unprotected disks and then the protected ones.

Quote:
As for (3), am I reading the Amiga Explorer documentation correctly when I interpret it as saying that it can be used to create an HDF on the PC from any hard drive partition on the Amiga?
Yes, AE can create image files from your HDD partitions. However, transferring files through null-modem cable is a very slow option. Even with a network connection it is not much fun.

IMHO you should connect your Amiga HDD (with all the ADFs on it, too) to the PC and use WinUAE to create an image or access the files. This would be the fastest method.
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Old 21 April 2008, 15:54   #3
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IMHO you should connect your Amiga HDD (with all the ADFs on it, too) to the PC and use WinUAE to create an image or access the files. This would be the fastest method.
Except that to do that I'd have to rustle up a desktop PC (I have a laptop) and buy and install a SCSI controller in it, since my Amiga HDD is SCSI.
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Old 21 April 2008, 16:25   #4
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Originally Posted by rlcarr View Post
Except that to do that I'd have to rustle up a desktop PC (I have a laptop) and buy and install a SCSI controller in it, since my Amiga HDD is SCSI.
I agree with Thomas - AE is very slowwww.

I wanted to dump the contents of a DVD data disc onto my Amiga and when I saw how long the expected time was I gave up. I then split the DVD into lumps, put them on CD and then copied that onto my harddrive from the Amiga CD drive.

Have you thought of putting a cd writer into your Amiga and using that to create the backups direct?

Dave G
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Old 21 April 2008, 17:38   #5
rlcarr
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Have you thought of putting a cd writer into your Amiga and using that to create the backups direct?
Actually, I have. Of course, that means buying a SCSI CDRW (or maybe getting an external one and plugging it into the external port). But at least those appear to be fairly available.

But what about support for a CD writer? My A3000 has Kickstart 3.1 and AmigaOS 3.1. Does that support burning? I don't recall CD writers existing way back then. Do I need to find some Amiga-specific CD writer that has the right drivers? Or are there 3rd-party or freeware drivers that support writing to a CD writer?
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Old 22 April 2008, 00:33   #6
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Originally Posted by rlcarr View Post
Actually, I have. Of course, that means buying a SCSI CDRW (or maybe getting an external one and plugging it into the external port). But at least those appear to be fairly available.

But what about support for a CD writer? My A3000 has Kickstart 3.1 and AmigaOS 3.1. Does that support burning? I don't recall CD writers existing way back then. Do I need to find some Amiga-specific CD writer that has the right drivers? Or are there 3rd-party or freeware drivers that support writing to a CD writer?
Of course you have to have a writer but as you have SCSI that should be fairly easy - especially if you plead on here for one

I believe that there is a very good CD writing program available for the Amiga and that it's now freeware. Not sure what it's called or where to get it from though

Edit: I've just checked on Aminet. I should have looked there first. Have a look at MAKECD


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Last edited by davideo; 22 April 2008 at 00:36. Reason: Additional Information
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Old 23 April 2008, 07:06   #7
rlcarr
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(1) I'll definitely have to check out eBay, etc. for old SCSI cd burners. Man, I've forgotten most of what I know about SCSI. I assume the A3000 and its DB25 external connector is SCSI-1. How backwards compatible is SCSI? So do I need a super vintage CDRW, or can I get a newer one?

(2) Turns out my hard drive isn't all that huge. Three partitions of 66MB. At 115200 baud (which seems to be working well), that's "only" about 3.5 hours per partition, so for the time being I'm just going that route. But I'm definitely going to be checking out burners.
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Old 24 April 2008, 09:07   #8
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I fail to see how a CD writer helps in this situation as you guys seem to be ignoring a a rather obvious problem: you need a hard disk to stream data to the burner. It may be possible to avoid the problem using packet writing (which is supported by MakeCD) but does anybody know if it actually works in practice? Can the host adapter in an A3000 really deliver data fast enough?

Thomas's suggestion is still a reasonable option IMO. USB to SCSI cables can be bought quite cheaply and there is a huge variety of SCSI adapters available that would allow you to connect the hard disk directly to your laptop.

To answer your question SCSI is very backwards compatible (in theory you should be able to use an ancient SCSI-1 drive on an Ultra320 host adapter without issue) and since your requirements shouldn't extend beyond mixing SCSI-1 and SCSI-2 there should be no problem whatsoever beyond adapting the physical connectors.
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Old 24 April 2008, 09:19   #9
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I fail to see how a CD writer helps in this situation as you guys seem to be ignoring a a rather obvious problem: you need a hard disk to stream data to the burner.
But he has got a hard drive

Dave G
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Old 24 April 2008, 22:04   #10
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Admittedly that wasn't the greatest explanation.

Writing CDs with old, slow hardware usually necessitates generating a temporary ISO image containing the files you want to burn. The image file has to be stored somewhere while the CD is being written so you end up needing at least as much empty disk space as the total size of the files you want to burn.
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Old 24 April 2008, 23:30   #11
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Originally Posted by OddbOd View Post
Admittedly that wasn't the greatest explanation.

Writing CDs with old, slow hardware usually necessitates generating a temporary ISO image containing the files you want to burn. The image file has to be stored somewhere while the CD is being written so you end up needing at least as much empty disk space as the total size of the files you want to burn.
OIC what you mean now Yes it would depend on the speed of the hardware - It's just that I thought my previous answer was a good idea

I guess the easiest though is to do as the earlier thread - stick ya Amiga HD into a PC and use that to write the CDs

Dave G
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Old 25 April 2008, 03:06   #12
rlcarr
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Thomas's suggestion is still a reasonable option IMO. USB to SCSI cables can be bought quite cheaply and there is a huge variety of SCSI adapters available that would allow you to connect the hard disk directly to your laptop.
(1) How do I power the drive? The laptop doesn't exactly have any power plugs coming out of it that I can use to plug in the drive. It's my understanding (perhaps mistaken) that it's not a good idea to have Machine A power the drive while the data cable is plugged into Machine B, because there might be issues with different grounds, etc.

(2) I guess I missed this upstream -- Amiga Explorer running on a PC can read and write a HDD formatted to FFS? If so, that's pretty neat -- I could pull data off of it, and on the flip side I could get a drive environment all set up in WinUAE (and be able to experiment without worrying about messing up/losing actual data) and then when I have the hardfiles how I want them, I could just write them back to the disk and put the disk back in the Amiga.
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Old 25 April 2008, 09:01   #13
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It's my understanding (perhaps mistaken) that it's not a good idea to have Machine A power the drive while the data cable is plugged into Machine B, because there might be issues with different grounds, etc.
That's why the data cable has a big ground line. Shouldn't be a problem. Remember that external SCSI cases have their own power-supply, too. And almost every external USB device has its own power supply.

Quote:
Amiga Explorer running on a PC can read and write a HDD formatted to FFS?
No, it can't. AE cannot do anything on the PC. It needs the connection to the Amiga and can only access drives on the Amiga.

You can create a HDF of your HDD with WinUAE.
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Old 25 April 2008, 20:10   #14
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That's why the data cable has a big ground line. Shouldn't be a problem. Remember that external SCSI cases have their own power-supply, too. And almost every external USB device has its own power supply.
Heh -- good point.

Quote:
No, it can't. AE cannot do anything on the PC. It needs the connection to the Amiga and can only access drives on the Amiga.

You can create a HDF of your HDD with WinUAE.
D'oh! Yes, of course I meant WinUAE and not AE.
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