Author Topic: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?  (Read 2833 times)

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Offline Starglider

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Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« on: 04:37, 20 October 15 »
Hi, I have a genuine copy of The Pawn by Magnetic Scrolls/Rainbird for the Amstrad PCW. Unfortunately the disk is unreadable and just scans back and forth on boot, ending with the dreaded beeps (other disks work fine.)

I'd love to keep the real disk, but format it and burn the game back onto it. Is anyone able to do that if I post the disk to you, preferably in the USA?


I have a Mac which is one obstacle but also don't really need that functionality for anything else so it's just a one-off job.
« Last Edit: 20:12, 20 October 15 by Starglider »
Thanks!
Starglider aka Perifractic
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Offline deepfb

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #1 on: 11:25, 20 October 15 »
I could do it, if nobody else closer to you is able. I am located in Madrid, spain.

Offline Starglider

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #2 on: 19:26, 20 October 15 »
Awesome, let's see if anyone replies and if not I'll PM you for address.
Thanks!
Starglider aka Perifractic
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Formerly of The Blue Ribbon Soundworks – makers of SuperJAM! and Bars & Pipes for Amiga

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #3 on: 20:11, 20 October 15 »
Eh?
 
You say you have a 'working' disk.   Working in what way?
 
Next, you imply you are trying to boot the disk, and it will not boot.
 
There are some games (I understand) that are also a boot disk, and which load a total system.   Others may require a normal CP/M boot first.   Which is this?
 
If you do boot CP/M, and try to read the disk, what do you get.   If you then use DISCKIT and it's VERIFY option, does that report the disk OK.
 
When you said the disk was 'working', do you mean that it WAS working, but now isn't?   Maybe all the game data is OK, but the disk has lost the boot sector.   Was anything done with the disk that might have damaged it?   If CP/M can read the disk, try to copy off the files, and then create a fresh EMPTY formatted disk (that will include the boot sector) and copy the files back onto that, and try that.   If that works, then all you need to do is to write a new boot sector back onto the original disk (not easy, but quite possible).
 
If the disk IS seriously damaged, then getting a disk image may either be not posssible, or no help.
 
Geoff

Offline Starglider

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #4 on: 20:14, 20 October 15 »
Eh?
 
You say you have a 'working' disk.   Working in what way?
 
Next, you imply you are trying to boot the disk, and it will not boot.
 
There are some games (I understand) that are also a boot disk, and which load a total system.   Others may require a normal CP/M boot first.   Which is this?
 
If you do boot CP/M, and try to read the disk, what do you get.   If you then use DISCKIT and it's VERIFY option, does that report the disk OK.
 
When you said the disk was 'working', do you mean that it WAS working, but now isn't?   Maybe all the game data is OK, but the disk has lost the boot sector.   Was anything done with the disk that might have damaged it?   If CP/M can read the disk, try to copy off the files, and then create a fresh EMPTY formatted disk (that will include the boot sector) and copy the files back onto that, and try that.   If that works, then all you need to do is to write a new boot sector back onto the original disk (not easy, but quite possible).
 
If the disk IS seriously damaged, then getting a disk image may either be not posssible, or no help.
 
Geoff
So sorry, I have no idea why I wrote "working". It is not working.

It is meant to boot it's own system, and is unreadable in CPM or with Disckit Verify.

I'm just looking for someone who can format my disk then burn the game back onto it from an online disk image.

Thanks!

"Recordar es vivir"
Thanks!
Starglider aka Perifractic
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Amstrad PCW8256 | Upgraded EME-232 DD Drive B
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Formerly of The Blue Ribbon Soundworks – makers of SuperJAM! and Bars & Pipes for Amiga

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #5 on: 21:20, 20 October 15 »
Thanks for the clarification.   Makes all the difference.
 
Do you have a disk image?   I'd be interested in checking it.  There are different varieties, maybe it's one that would work with Joyce?
 
However, looking inside the image file could still give some hints as to what might be wrong/done with the disk you have.
 
I've tried to do some things before with .DSK files, and CPCTRANS.   Not had a lot of luck.   I'm sure I once DID get an image to load onto a disk, but since then repeated tries have produced merely errors.   CPCTRANS runs on a PC, which I understand you don't have, and in your case would need a 3" drive attached, which would also be a problem.   I was trying to write an image to a 5.25" SSDD disk (exact same format as a CF2 disk) which should have looked EXACTLY like a CF2 disk (My PCW has a 5.25" A: which works normally otherwise).
 
I assume there is a prog for the CPC, and maybe also for the PCW, that will load an image file.   Or maybe such a prog requires the more sophisticated FDC of a PC?
 
The image file is a peculiar beast, intended for various things.   Archiving (including format info).  Using the disk image as a virtual disk within an emulator (like Joyce does).   Maybe you could use something much simpler, just a PCW prog that will read 180k of data and write 180k of data onto the floppy sector by sector.   Complications arise if the system requires a 'peculiar' disk format (as might have been used for copy protection - one of the other purposes of the complexities of the progs I've heard of).
 
Back to your current disk.   The symptoms are still consistent with a damaged boot sector.   I think I have a little prog somewhere that turns OFF the setting within CP/M to read the first sector to establish the disk format.  If this is turned OFF, then maybe the disk could be read to establish if there is anything else there, or if the disk is totally wiped, or totally damaged (in which case you may not be able to write anything to it, ever).   I'll check for it, it might not quite help.
 
Geoff

Offline Starglider

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #6 on: 21:24, 20 October 15 »
I could do it, if nobody else closer to you is able. I am located in Madrid, spain.
Thanks Geoff. @deepfb, do you have a program that can definitely write disk images to PCW disks?

Thanks!

"Recordar es vivir"

Thanks!
Starglider aka Perifractic
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Formerly of The Blue Ribbon Soundworks – makers of SuperJAM! and Bars & Pipes for Amiga

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #7 on: 03:03, 21 October 15 »
Hello,
 
Just out of interest...
 
I found a file for The Pawn, although it's the CPC version, not the PCW.
 
I've had a look at the files inside the images.
 
This package comprises two disk images, labelled pawn1 and pawn2.   Those designations could be arbitrary.   However, I note that pawn1 has some software on regarding copying stuff, as well as what I assume are system files, however the other disk pawn2 has a 'Loader' program on it which seems to be similar to the boot sector in the PCW.   
 
So, could be that you need to start the load from disk 2?   Also, aspects of the format information visible within the .DSK file suggest there are differences in the format between the two disks, although that's just an initial impression.
 
Clearly, the system will probably be spread over two sides of the disk - I accept that the PCW version could be quite different, but I would expect that the system could still be too big for 1 side.   Have you tried booting from BOTH sides of the disk??
 
Geoff

Offline Starglider

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #8 on: 03:06, 21 October 15 »
Thanks, yes neither side work. Side B says "Please use other side" too.
Thanks!
Starglider aka Perifractic
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Formerly of The Blue Ribbon Soundworks – makers of SuperJAM! and Bars & Pipes for Amiga

Offline deepfb

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #9 on: 13:44, 26 October 15 »
@deepfb, do you have a program that can definitely write disk images to PCW disks?


If I am not able to write it back with Samdisk or CPDWrite on a PC with attached double sided 3" disk drive, I will try to do so with the Kryoflux interface, or I will just ask Habi and use his own method of transferring images :-D
« Last Edit: 13:46, 26 October 15 by deepfb »

Offline Starglider

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Re: Anyone able to write PCW disk images to 3" disk?
« Reply #10 on: 18:56, 26 October 15 »

If I am not able to write it back with Samdisk or CPDWrite on a PC with attached double sided 3" disk drive, I will try to do so with the Kryoflux interface, or I will just ask Habi and use his own method of transferring images :-D
If you PM your address I'll send you the disk then!

Thanks!

"Recordar es vivir"

Thanks!
Starglider aka Perifractic
"Recordar es vivir"

Amstrad PCW8256 | Upgraded EME-232 DD Drive B
(Also Amiga, C64, Apple //e, Atari 400)

Formerly of The Blue Ribbon Soundworks – makers of SuperJAM! and Bars & Pipes for Amiga