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General Category => Technical Support => Software related => Topic started by: Velociraptor on 21:31, 02 August 19

Title: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Velociraptor on 21:31, 02 August 19
I'd like to be able to create discs from DSK files using a 6128. Ideally I want to avoid having a gotek or similar. I have a 6128, a multiface 2, a tzxduino and blank 3" discs.


What are my options? Is it really only the gotek? For most things I could use the multiface 2 to save to disc after loading from tape. However there's some games that require further loading, and most difficult there's some games that only came out on disc - Infocom for example.


I want to avoid loading from flash. In the past I've found emulation to cheapen the whole experience and I want to be as authentic as possible and I think using cassettes and discs will make me respect the whole thing a lot more - it's ok if you don't agree with me.


Ideally I want to avoid having something attached to the CPC with loads of games on it, other than the tzxduino but I understand it might just be the case that a gotek or m4 or similar is really the only way to get the DSK files onto disc.


Is there anything I'm not thinking about?
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: VincentGR on 00:29, 03 August 19
Before the M4 WiFi I used a 3.5 DD and did the job from a pc.
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: 260Z on 04:48, 03 August 19
You need one of these  :D


http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/universal-serial-interface-for-amstrad-cpc/msg176771/?topicseen#msg176771 (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/universal-serial-interface-for-amstrad-cpc/msg176771/?topicseen#msg176771)

The perfect solution for what you need. Thanks to this, I can copy dsk images to disk ( directly from my pc to the CPC ) , without the need for a gotek/mass storage. It's brilliant ;D


Cheers,
Rob
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Velociraptor on 01:46, 04 August 19
That would appear to be perfect. I hopefully even get to solder it together which I think is hopefully within my ability :)


The only thing stopping me would be if the 17 disks I've managed to scratch together from ebay turn out to be bad. No fakes as far as I can tell though.
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Velociraptor on 20:10, 21 September 19
So I've run into a problem. Now that I have a DDI-1 I've noticed there is no through port on it. That's rather annoying. It means I can't attach a multiface 2 without putting it in front of the DDI-1 which means it flops about, and importantly since the serial port expansion doesn't have a through port I can only connect one at a time.


This means I can't send data through serial to the disk.


I've seen this on ebay but it seems rather expensive.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Amstrad-CPC-Expansion-Backplane-Board-x4-Mother-MX4-464-664-6128-and-PLUS/192885436188 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Amstrad-CPC-Expansion-Backplane-Board-x4-Mother-MX4-464-664-6128-and-PLUS/192885436188)


Especially when it means I need to get hold of 2 more cables to connect the edge connectors to it.


Are there any other options? Is this board just as simple as being a straight line connection between the pins? If so I could perhaps design a board as a 3 way edge connector that would take the DDI-1 and the serial and plug into the back of the 464 or the back of the dk'tronics 64K expansion?
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Token on 21:42, 21 September 19
You could also contact TotO for  the MX4
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/profile/?u=290 (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/profile/?u=290)
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Velociraptor on 22:07, 21 September 19
I did a few months ago, he said he'd get back to me when he's making more of them so I'll not pester him!
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: TotO on 23:53, 21 September 19
I've seen this on ebay but it seems rather expensive.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Amstrad-CPC-Expansion-Backplane-Board-x4-Mother-MX4-464-664-6128-and-PLUS/192885436188 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Amstrad-CPC-Expansion-Backplane-Board-x4-Mother-MX4-464-664-6128-and-PLUS/192885436188)
Too much expensive.  :o
I have received nex MotherX4 PCB some days ago. Will be 14.90€ + extra for cables or adapters as usual.


Cheers.
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Velociraptor on 04:20, 22 September 19
I've been speaking to you by email Toto. I'll speak to you again when you're at home next week. :)
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Velociraptor on 16:17, 22 September 19
The next thing is CPM format games.


I'm looking at 3 games I'd like to have on disk - Infocom's Enchanter, Sorceror and Spellbreaker. I presume they're stored uncompressed and are roughly half the capacity of one side of a disk each in size.


However the disk images are CPM, which my recollection means you launch them with |CPM.


Is there a reasonably easy way to turn these into normal files I could put on a disk?
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: GeoffB17 on 19:02, 22 September 19
Not sure what you mean by 'normal' here.

Infocom did a number of games, I've messed with a few of the CP/M ones for the PCW, incl HHGTTG, PlanetFall, Station Fall, Leather Godess, and others.   I was messing with the generic CP/M version, which used a standard 'engine' (.COM file) plus the data files and maybe some extras.   However, the files could just be extracted from the original (disk, or image) and copied wherever.

If the version you are talking about is the standard CP/M one, then I assume that is already the 'normal' version.   The games are advertised as having CPC versions, that may well use a special 'engine', but I'd expect the data files would be the same (unless there have been some adjustments for the special platform (i.e. a bit of colour for the CPC?).   But again, the CP/M variant would be the 'normal' version, and any version for JUST the CPC would be the 'special' one.   The CP/M engine will need CP/M active to operate (just as the DOS version will need a DOS engine).

If you could note the files that are on the version you have, I could be more orecise.

Geoff
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Velociraptor on 22:08, 22 September 19
Hi Geoff, this is complicated by me not really knowing what I'm talking about.


I remember that some of the games I had on my 6128 on Disk were started by run"disk or run"manic for example. But others were started by typing |CPM. Lord of the Rings is one I remember having to do that with.


I also think that these |CPM disks didn't have a directory structure I could read.


That makes me assume that I can write the whole disk image to a disk, which would take up the whole disk side. But instead I want to just write the files contained on the disk - some 80 or 90 kilobytes, which would allow me to fit 2 onto the same side.


https://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&onglet=dumps&num=2777 (https://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&onglet=dumps&num=2777)


There's an example.


To be as clear as I can these are not disks that I own. They're disks that I want to write to a blank 3" disk so that I then do have a physical copy of them.
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: GeoffB17 on 00:35, 23 September 19
Right - well, I've downloaded the .DSK you referred to.   When I check the image file, I see that it is a CPC Extended image, and it contains the files SORCERER.COM (1k), SORCERER.DAT (107k), and three SORCxxx.COM files where the xxx are 64, 128, 256 I assume for different memory sizes.   RAM disk ??   Anyway, when I extracted the files I see that SORCERER.COM is the prog to start, this one then seems to load one the three SORC files I assume dependant on memory.

The game therefore seems to require three files, total 117k.   You would NOT be able to get two games onto a single A: disk, but if you've set up the Gotek to use the B: format disks then you could get a number of games onto one disk.

As this .DSK is 'extended' (quite un-necessary, it could well be a standard CPC format image) I cannot create an actual disk directly for my PCW (which would be able to read the CPC 'system' format disk OK.   However, I have the Joyce emulator here, and this accesses the disk OK, and runs the game happily (I just played a little bit).   I have copied the files off the disk image, and will transfer them directly to a standard PCW disk for use on my PCW.   Interesting, if ever I get time to play?

So, for you, I assume you could use the image directly in your Gotek?   I think it would HAVE to be an A: image?   Joyce did not like it as a B:.   Or, you could merely so what I would do, access the image on your PC and copy the files off, and put them into another image.   This would allow you to copy the files for this game, along with the other two games (Enchanter, Spellbreaker ?) onto a B: format image?

Had you hit a specific problem?   Please explain further if there's something else.

Geoff
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Velociraptor on 07:37, 23 September 19
Well I've certainly caused more confusion.


I've now taken a look at the disk in an emulator and it's not as I expected. It does have files on it.


An example (I've checked this time!) of a disk the way I'm meaning that requires |CPM to run is this one -


https://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&onglet=dumps&num=1315 (https://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&onglet=dumps&num=1315)


And if you look here


https://www.cpc-power.com/SectorView.php?fiche=1315&slot=10&rang=0 (https://www.cpc-power.com/SectorView.php?fiche=1315&slot=10&rang=0)


You can see that there's no files on the disk.


When I looked at the pages for the Infocom disks on CPC Power it says "Chargement : |CPM (clavier Qwerty) ou ùCPM (clavier Azerty)"

It's incorrect information as the disk contains normal files.

I presume any disks that were released requiring |CPM to start will almost certainly have been converted into files.

I don't have a Gotek though and I don't want to get one - the whole point of this is to use physical disks :)
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: GeoffB17 on 22:15, 23 September 19
I don't know what this disk is.   But I can guess.

The Infocom disk you introduced before is a normal CP/M disk, with a file system, and files.

The Lord of the Rings disk you now show is NOT a CP/M (file system) disk, and there are no visible files.   The disk has a totally non-standard format, I assume for Copy Protection purposes.   The initial message suggests the format has been created specially.

I suspect that the system is 'borrowing' a couple of aspects of the CP/M start-up/boot system in order to load the data on the disk into memory.

The normal CP/M startup reads the first sector of the disk into memory, and then runs the resultant program.   This normally loads the full CP/M system, but in this case it doesn't do that, but loads the data directly from the disk (sector by sector, no 'files' involved), following instructions in the initial code.

The data on the disk will need to be exactly as on the original disk, peculiar sector numbers etc, otherwise it will not load.

I don't think this game will stand any messing with.

Geoff
Title: Re: How to make disks from .dsk files
Post by: Velociraptor on 22:34, 23 September 19
Thanks Geoff I think that's me got to the bottom of that.


It's some form of copy protection/weird format and like you said it won't stand much tinkering.


I mistakenly thought that the Infocom images being distributed were of that format but they don't seem to be.


LotR has a "cracked" version, or at least a version turned into files.


I expect it will be the same for any of the other games that use the |CPM command to load, and if not then I'll just have to make do without them. Perhaps use the MF2 to save the tape to disk, or just use the tape.


Sorry about all the confusion and thanks very much for taking the time to explain!