Author Topic: Problem with CP/M .dsk file - please help!  (Read 5188 times)

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Offline Agropyron

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Problem with CP/M .dsk file - please help!
« on: 21:27, 16 April 09 »
Hi everybody,
I have just collected and run old Amstad CPC 6128, and after replacing belt of FDD it's working great! I think you understand very well how exciting it was, especially Amstrad 6128 was my first own computer  :)

I am still working to get it better - and here come my problems. 
I have 3,5" floppy connected and working as well, but I found following problems with 3,5" discs:

1. When I am trying to copy files from 3,5" to 3" I get error messages for some (and always the same) files, for eg. help.hlp and help.com from CP/M system disk (and the command "help" is not working on CPC, producing disk error - but when I run emulator on PC, command help is working!). It does not matter if I write .dsk file on side A or B, or on another 3,5" disc - always the same. Could it be the problem with .dsk file? Or it's hardware problem of my 3,5" floppy?

I am using CPCDiskXP v2.0 with newest driver.

Moreover I had to take brand new 3,5" discs because I get a lot of errors on used ones - and still have few errors when checking new disc with CPCDiskXP disk editor. Does it show that I have something wrong with floppy? (I have checked 2 different floppies, one brand new).

2. I can not load cp/m from 3,5" - despite it is seen as drive A on computer. My question is if CPCDiskXP format works for Data type only, or it makes anyhow system disc when writing CP/M to it?

3. I was trying to find different copy of CP/M .dsk files on net, but no luck - I have only the version, that comes with CPCGamesCD_20081124. Could any of you send me an .dsk files created from original (English) CM/P disks, using CPCDiskXP v 2.0? I would appreciate it very much.

Regards.
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Offline mr_lou

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Re: Problem with CP/M .dsk file - please help!
« Reply #1 on: 08:27, 17 April 09 »
When the error shows up the same place it must be a disk error.
If you're using 1.44mb disks, you might run into problems. It's best to use 720kb disks.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Problem with CP/M .dsk file - please help!
« Reply #2 on: 09:17, 17 April 09 »
Mr_Lou, he does say that he has the same problem with other disks as well. My guess is that CPCDiskXP fails on these files for some reason. Maybe it doesn't handle the CP/M disks so well, which would explain the second question as well. Strange, noone else has tried this before!

Unforunately I only have CP/M Plus in French. Darn...
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Offline Cholo

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Re: Problem with CP/M .dsk file - please help!
« Reply #3 on: 13:15, 18 April 09 »
Indeed, very very few drives is compatible using 1.44mb floppies on amstrads. But try taping over the little hole in the 1.44mb floppy then both pc and amstrad thinks its a 720kb floppy and it usually works much much better.

As Lou said its best to use real 720kb floppies.

Way to test proper written dsk:
1. Write image to floppy (with CpcDiskXP)
2. imediatly read back the floppy in CPCDiskXP with "verify" option.

As i recall the first thing you need to do when you get an amstrad is to make copies of the cp/m floppies so you dont hurt the originals. So i dont think you have to worry about protection. CPCDiskXP should be able to handle cp/m floppies without troubles.

Also possible that the 1.44mb floppies you use are faulty! I recall back in the day the when i bought even "high quality" 1.44mb and 720kb floppies there was usually 1 or 2 floppies in a 10 pack that wasnt really well working, or needed more formatting from the very start. And once a floppy has errors its pretty much impossible to format the errors away.
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Agrop

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Re: Problem with CP/M .dsk file - please help!
« Reply #4 on: 00:24, 22 April 09 »
Thank you for answers.
I have managed with reconstruction of CP/M disks, but had to write the same file several times on .dsk file using emulator - and one by one copy to 3" disk.

Quote
Indeed, very very few drives is compatible using 1.44MB floppies on amstrads. But try taping over the little hole in the 1.44mb floppy then both pc and amstrad thinks its a 720kb floppy and it usually works much much better.

I tried that, but it only make things worse, CPCDiskXP didn't work at all :(
But I will try to get real 720 kB floppy drive. It seems now more clear for me it is disk floppy problem.

Quote
Way to test proper written dsk:
1. Write image to floppy (with CpcDiskXP)
2. imediatly read back the floppy in CPCDiskXP with "verify" option.

I do not see this option "verify", but I am testing disk with disk editor (reading disk) - and I have always few errors (red blocks on sector graph).

Can someone of you, who has working 3,5" drive confirm, that it is possible to have working CP/M disk for loading from 3,5" drive? What about all the rest of software - can it be easily run using 3,5 disks? I couldn't run any of games from Games CD, because always there is error in writing .dsk file to my 3,5" disks :(
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Offline Cholo

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Re: Problem with CP/M .dsk file - please help!
« Reply #5 on: 15:55, 22 April 09 »
Im a bit curious here .. do you have the 3.5" drive as a external and a 3" inside your 6128? or reversed?

You dont need to find a 720Kb drive, but just some 720kb floppies to use on your 1.44mb drive. But getting a new drive just in case may be a good idea tho (old drive could be making the errors).

Once you have tape over the hole in a 1.44mb floppy, perhaps its a good idea to format it to 720kb too. I know it should really matter, but just in case.

As Win XP dont support 720kb format you need a program like FMT to do the formatting (last on the page):
http://www.paehl.de/english.php

If you are trying to copy a whole disc from 3.5" to 3" i strongly suggest using a track copy program like Discology or Jlcs.

Perhaps even better is that the Amstrad can read 720kb pc floppies if you use Symbos and symbos has a DskDumper tool too. So all you do is put the 1 to 3 Dsk files on a 720kb pc floppy. Load up Symbos on your amstrad and enter DskDeDumper, remove symbos floppy and insert the 720kb floppy and the empty 3" floppy and dump away.
www.symbos.de has the 2 Dsks.

But you can also use the 1 dsk version i made:
http://www.MegaShare.com/800106

Turned off everything in this version to save ram. There are 2 apps of use on the disc and you need to access them manually by clicking start/run/browse and choose either Appddump (DskDeDumper) or Appcmder (explorer tool so you can easy copy files from floppy B to A).

On CPCDiskXP make sure the "error retries" is more than 0 so you can see if there are read errors when you try to read back floppy (thats the "verify" i was thinking off).

If no one else has tried the copying of a cpm disc ill give it a shot tomorrow (need to rearrange hardware to test).

EDIT: I donno your setup, but most software from the internet (most are cracked) can be copied and run from a 3.5" and copied from 3,5" to 3" and back as many times as you need. Do note that most software needs to be run from the A drive (even the cracked ones) as the A drive is the primary one. Of cause if you have a primary drive switch you can make the B drive "primary" too.
« Last Edit: 15:59, 22 April 09 by Cholo »
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Agrop

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Re: Problem with CP/M .dsk file - please help!
« Reply #6 on: 02:35, 24 April 09 »
Im a bit curious here .. do you have the 3.5" drive as a external and a 3" inside your 6128? or reversed?

I have 3,5" as external and 3" build in. I can read both sides of 3,5" as well as set it as drive A.

Quote
Once you have tape over the hole in a 1.44mb floppy, perhaps its a good idea to format it to 720kb too. I know it should really matter, but just in case.

As Win XP dont support 720kb format you need a program like FMT to do the formatting (last on the page):
http://www.paehl.de/english.php

MANY THANKS!!!! This solved my problems. :) :) :)
It seems that CPCDiskXP formats my 3,5" disks wrongly. When I used recommended sw and formatted it to 720 kB - all started working as it should. Now I am using CPCDiscXP only to write .dsk files and I can read and run them easily on Amstrad. I am able to boot CP/M or SymbOS, or run games and apps. Plus, I've cloned CP/M from 3,5" disk to 3"!

Well, now it's time to dive into the software ocean!

Thank you Cholo again for help and best regards.
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Offline Cholo

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Re: Problem with CP/M .dsk file - please help!
« Reply #7 on: 18:07, 04 May 09 »

MANY THANKS!!!! This solved my problems. :) :) :)
It seems that CPCDiskXP formats my 3,5" disks wrongly. When I used recommended sw and formatted it to 720 kB - all started working as it should. Now I am using CPCDiscXP only to write .dsk files and I can read and run them easily on Amstrad. I am able to boot CP/M or SymbOS, or run games and apps. Plus, I've cloned CP/M from 3,5" disk to 3"!

Well, now it's time to dive into the software ocean!

Thank you Cholo again for help and best regards.

YAY! Im happy to hear that. Ill take note on the need to format the floppies before use.
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