Pcw512 gotek

Started by charliegolf, 19:11, 16 May 22

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charliegolf

Hi
I've just got my furst pcw and was trying to fit a gotek. Flash floppy is installed and its all good to go according to various guides Ive read.
I get a boot disk not found error so guess the files i have on my usb are wrong. I couldnt find any definitive answers around what should be on the usb, is there any particular file structure? I have dsk files and theres an ems file too, does anyone know what needs to go where?
cheers

GeoffB17

#1
The basic logic is that your gotek memory device (stick, sd card, whatever) should have one or more disk images on it.   The selected image file needs to be an image of a boot disk, i.e. it should have a valid boot sector, and an .EMS or an .EMT file.  Other files may be active once the system is booted.  So the gotek memory might have various bootable images on it, systems, Loco, games, etc.   Also disk images that do not boot, but need the system already booted and active.

Initially, I'd suggest that you have one file ONLY on the USB stick, i.e a disk image of a PCW boot disk.  NB - the boot disk will be different dep on the machine being an 8512 or a 9512 - which are you?

The 'Boot disk not found' suggests that a disk is found, but it's not a valid boot disk, i.e. maybe there's no boot sector.   There are enough images of boot disks about for you to use?
Geoff

charliegolf

Thanks for the reply! Its a 9512. So i need an image presumably thats the .dsk and I need a. ems in the root of the usb and they need to be specific to thr 9215? I have a collection of boot disks off the web I have .fib files, .ems files and .dsk files and dont see any clear info as to how they relate to each other. 

cheers

GeoffB17

Hello again,

I'm watching this, so I should see your posts quickly.

The PCW needs to boot from a disk.  The gotek allows the PCW to boot from an image as if it was the usual disk.  The ONLY files that are relevant on the gotek/usb stick are the image files.   All files that you are going to use MUST be in an image, as if they were a normal disk.

You need to make sure the gotek system is set to use .DSK images.   This is not the normal default image type, which is .hfe.   However, the easily accessible image files are .DSK

If it's a 9512, then the image file you need will be a 9512 disk image, and those files will be 7xxk in size, i.e. 4 times the size of the usual 8xxx PCW images which are 19xk.

Watch out for another problem, dep on where you got the image from.  The boot sector on the disk contains the name of the system file.   Some disks may look for an .EMS file, others may look for an .EMT file.  If this gets mixed up, it will not work.   Easy to fix.  If the system file is .EMS and it will not boot, because it needs to be .EMT, then just change the name of the file to .EMT.

This should not happen if you've got a valid image in the first place, but if you've been mixing disks and files from different places then it can happen easily.

Try again?

Geoff

charliegolf

Awesome, thanks. I'll give it another go when I get a bit of time. Thanks very much for the info! 

GeoffB17

If you can, attach a copy of the image you're trying to boot from, I can look at it and make sure that it should be OK.

Geoff

charliegolf

That would be great, thanks! Porbably be tomorrow till I get back to the machine, I'll check the files as per your info and post back if its still failing.
cheers
Chris

charliegolf

Ahh, file size is wrong so looks like i have the images for 8xxx machines. 

GeoffB17

Right - the boot code is very simple.  The boot code for an 8xxx machine expects a single sided 40t disk, and if it tries to read a DS 80t image it will fail.  And vice versa.

You need the correct disk format with the correct boot sector code with the correct EMS/EMT file, all correct for a 9512.

Geoff

charliegolf

Cool, so the 7xxk. dsk file will give the correct ds file format and then i need a matching ems/emt file on the usb? Is there an archive of this stuff anywhere that Im missing for the 9xxx. There dont seem to be images anywhere, only for the 8xxx.
cheers
Chris

GeoffB17

Hello again,

There's a 9512 system image attached.   It's zipped, you need to unzip and put on your gotek drive, and select this one.

I'm not sure about one thing.   This image is an 'extended' image (I don't know why it was done as 'extended'), if there's a problem with this I'll try and find another, or alter this image so it's NOT extended!

I'll have a Loco system disk somewhere as well??

Geoff

charliegolf

Cool, thanks. Ill give it a go

charliegolf

That tries. I get the loading stripes on the screen but after a few secs it goes white, then seems to switch itself off. Not sure if that has to do with it being the extended image?

JohnElliott

That's a CP/M 2.15 disc image. CP/M 2.15 requires the floppy drive to become not-ready when the motor is turned off, which a Gotek doesn't emulate by default.

Once the screen goes white and then black, you should be able to press the 'Eject' button on the Gotek so that the drive becomes not-ready, and the boot process should then continue.

https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wiki/Host-Platforms#amstrad-pcw goes into the gory details. The easiest way round is to use an earlier CP/M disc image, such as 2.9.

charliegolf

#14
Perfect. Its alive :D . Thanks so much for your help Geoff and John! Sorry i was so ignorant of gotek/pcw stuff. Late night for me messing about with my new toy!

GeoffB17

Thanks for the note.

I've got a little collection of system files (not as big as John Elliott's, I'm sure) and I'd just found that I'd got a version 2.9 and I was ready to send you that, but if you've got it already, then there's no point.

I don't know that I've got a similar version of the LocoScript boot disk, that may have a similar problem, and might need an slightly earlier version for the same reason.   The numbering system isn't the same, and I'm not sure what version you'd need.

Then, you might not need LS?

Geoff

charliegolf

Im not too bothered about locoscript. I was hoping to use the machine as a kind retro inventory system to keep track of all the other bits and pieces and systems I collect. The aim is to get some kind of database going on it or accountancy software with inventory and then catalogue all the graphics cards, memory etc. Ive just got old PC's so this is a different world for me. 

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