How to transfer Orion Prime to a real 3.5" disc?

Started by khaz, 19:10, 22 April 16

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khaz

I don't have an internal 3.5 drive on my PC, so that excludes the obvious and recommended way. Is there any other way?

Tools at my disposal:
- a USB floppy drive
- an HxC floppy emulator
- a tape cable
- Discology on ROM, or whatever software that can be loaded from the HxC

Using the HxC and Discology "almost" works, in the sense that the game copies and plays fine, but the automatic side switching doesn't work, the game asks me to switch sides after a while.

I tried transferring Batman Forever demo the same way, but the demo complains about an incorrect disc format and refuses to carry on.

Any idea how it could be done? Both software work fine loaded from the HxC, but copying them to a real disc is a problem. There are plenty of options in Discology but I have no idea what they do.

TFM

Use CPCDiskXP, there is a special version which is made for Orion Prime transfer.  :)
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

khaz

Quote from: TFM on 19:18, 22 April 16
Use CPCDiskXP, there is a special version which is made for Orion Prime transfer.  :)

Not for a USB drive though. Besides, the latest 2.5.1 version of CPCDiskXP has the Orion Prime "Use Dsk GAP Information instead of calculate it" tweak, so there should be no need for a special version. None work on USB though (USB has a very limited support of unprotected file copy)

Targhan

Strange that Discology can't copy OP, it is a simple format. Maybe it reduces too much the GAP#3? Anyway, you can use another copier. Try Disc + Ultra, it's very very powerful.
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Orion Prime

khaz

Quote from: Targhan on 20:13, 22 April 16
Strange that Discology can't copy OP, it is a simple format. Maybe it reduces too much the GAP#3? Anyway, you can use another copier. Try Disc + Ultra, it's very very powerful.

Disc + Ultra doesn't seem to allow copying tracks beyond 41 though :(
(and doesn't work with an X-MEM connected)

TotO

I will try tomorow, because I was prety sure to have copied OP to a 3" and 3"1/2 floppy using Discology without problem.
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Targhan

Oh sorry, I didn't know it was for the 3"5 version (even though it was the topic of your subject!). Did you make sure Discology copied the two sides of the DSK ? This would explain why you can't play the full game. I don't know where the option is though, or if it is available...
Targhan/Arkos

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Orion Prime

khaz

Here's how I do it.
- Using Discology 6 ROM
- Both source and destination drive as B
- First track 00, last Track 80
- Every other option as default
- Ultra Copy.
Once one side is done, I flick the switch to side B, and start again.

A Quick test to know that both sides were copied is to do CAT on each with the side switch. Orion Prime does a red CATart from side B, but starts correctly from side A. But that doesn't tell if the game will behave properly and flip sides automatically.

Discology default options are
- deep search NO
- Read Gap #3 OK
- Pursue Length NO
- Erase Track OK
- Track Length 6176
- Verify Level 20
- Security 1

[edut] Uh, I tried again, doing just that, but for some reason it doesn't work at all any more?? the disc gives me an error "Lecture impossible, Verifiez votre copie"
I'm clueless. My first copy definitely did start.

Targhan

During the copy, I think Discology writes quickly the GAP#3 it found. It doesn't matter must for the first track, but for the others, it should be #30, but no less, else the reading won't be as reliable as it should be. Hercules is also a powerful copier.
Targhan/Arkos

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Orion Prime

khaz

Quote from: Targhan on 01:14, 23 April 16
During the copy, I think Discology writes quickly the GAP#3 it found. It doesn't matter must for the first track, but for the others, it should be #30, but no less, else the reading won't be as reliable as it should be. Hercules is also a powerful copier.

During the copy, the Gap#3 is said to be &29. I don't think it can be changed?

Targhan

#29 is small indeed, but no that small. I remembered an article somewhere in A100% talking about Discology reducing the GAP#3... But no, I don't think there is a solution to it. Maybe you could transfer your real disk back to a PC and check if it works on emulator. You can also use the Winape sector editor to make sure that all the sectors are here (there should be 9 sectors on track 0, 10 on every other track).
Targhan/Arkos

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Disark - A cross-platform Z80 disassembler/source converter
FDC Tool 1.1 - Read Amsdos files without the system

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Orion Prime

khaz

Quote from: Targhan on 10:54, 23 April 16
#29 is small indeed, but no that small. I remembered an article somewhere in A100% talking about Discology reducing the GAP#3... But no, I don't think there is a solution to it. Maybe you could transfer your real disk back to a PC and check if it works on emulator. You can also use the Winape sector editor to make sure that all the sectors are here (there should be 9 sectors on track 0, 10 on every other track).

I can't even do that :( I only have a USB floppy drive.
I checked that all the tracks were there, and everything seems fine from my noob eyes.
I tried Hercule, but I can't make it work for some reason. I can select the drive and density, but it just doesn't read the disc.

CraigsBar

I can probably copy one for you. Where should I post it to?
IRC:  #Retro4All on Freenode

khaz

Quote from: CraigsBar on 17:41, 23 April 16
I can probably copy one for you. Where should I post it to?

Thanks for the offer, but wouldn't shipping from Italy be super expensive though?

Also, I would really like to find a way to do it. It's not only Orion Prime that gives me problem, but Batman Forever too. I don't know any other 3.5" software, but I suspect they would give me trouble as well.

Targhan

I suspect it is double-sided DSKs that are problematic to you. Did you test with the 3" version? That is a nice test!
Targhan/Arkos

Arkos Tracker 2.0.1 now released! - Follow the news on Twitter!
Disark - A cross-platform Z80 disassembler/source converter
FDC Tool 1.1 - Read Amsdos files without the system

Imperial Mahjong
Orion Prime

khaz

Quote from: Targhan on 21:39, 24 April 16
I suspect it is double-sided DSKs that are problematic to you. Did you test with the 3" version? That is a nice test!

I did, and it went fine. Copied Side1 to a 3.5 disc and it shown the intro.

Should the 3.5 version of the game start if I only copy the first side?

khaz

I suspect how I am doing it (swapping the 3.5 drive and HxC) cannot work if there is more than one pass, or if starting from track non-zero.

If anyone can test and confirm that it doesn't work?

khaz

Right, I think I got it. It's a nasty bug/feature in Discology, and probably other copying software. Basically it doesn't take into account the idea that someone would physically swap drives when copying from A to A or B to B. The software assumes that the head didn't move between the source disc and the destination disc, but of course because the drives are being swapped, the heads aren't at the same place, and sectors get overwritten. In addition to that, when the HxC is rebooted its virtual head always points at 00, so the beginning of the disc is copied twice.

With the X-MEM, this is what happens:

Source drive, first pass
reads tracks from 00 to 53, stops at 53.
destination drive, first pass
motor winds back from 53 to 00, regardless of where it really was
tracks 00 to 53 are written, motor stops at 53.
Source drive, second pass
drive really is at 00, but Discology thinks it's at 53 where it left it
no initial motor adjustment, starts copying tracks 54 to 80, but really copies tracks 00 to 25
Destination drive, second pass
drive is still at 53 where we left it, but Discology thinks it's at 80
motor winds up from allegedly 80 to 54, but in reality from 53 to 27
writes track 53 to 80 (which in reality are track 00 to 25)  over track 27 to 52

Bref, a real mess.

The only way I found to counteract this behaviour is to set Discology as copying from B to A, restart the computer and manually select the remaining tracks, copying from B to A again.

I must have had done that on my first working copy, but only on the first side which made it fail once I reached a Side 2 area.

I redid both my copies of Orion Prime and Batman Forever, but I only played the demo to the end to see if it was correctly switching. Which it did. Orion Prime played the intro correctly. Hopefully I won't have to bump this thread next week when I get back to seriously play it.

arnoldemu

Quote from: khaz on 04:29, 25 April 16
..... Basically it doesn't take into account the idea that someone would physically swap drives when copying from A to A or B to B.
Yes the software would need to recalibrate then seek to fix that.

The fdc keeps an internal track number for each drive and the only way to calibrate is to do a recalibrate first (because this checks the drives' track 0 signal).

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zeropolis79

Now I have a 3.5" drive, I'm going to try (when I get my 3" drive back) to get hold of a program called DOSCOPY which I used back in the day. It came on an Amstrad Action covertape. I'll try and find a program to transfer to my CPC that converts DSK files to real discs and try and copy Orion Prime from there..

This method worked very well back in the day!

TFM

OP has a special format, better use CPCDiskXP and write the 3.5" on a PC.
TFM of FutureSoft
Also visit the CPC and Plus users favorite OS: FutureOS - The Revolution on CPC6128 and 6128Plus

khaz

Yeah, my problem was that I couldn't use CPCdiskXP, because my computer doesn't have an internal floppy drive.

CPCdiskXP is the way to go if your drive is compatible.

CraigsBar

Quote from: khaz on 15:39, 24 April 16
Thanks for the offer, but wouldn't shipping from Italy be super expensive though?

Also, I would really like to find a way to do it. It's not only Orion Prime that gives me problem, but Batman Forever too. I don't know any other 3.5" software, but I suspect they would give me trouble as well.
Na, postage from Ireland is all one price, and a 3.5inch floppy is classed as a letter. Seriously, if you want one I can do it no worries.

Craig
IRC:  #Retro4All on Freenode

khaz

Quote from: CraigsBar on 15:00, 05 May 16
Na, postage from Ireland is all one price, and a 3.5inch floppy is classed as a letter. Seriously, if you want one I can do it no worries.

Craig

"Ireland, Republic of"

I may be colour blind :D

Thanks, but I managed to make it work so I'm all god now ;)

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