Author Topic: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?  (Read 558 times)

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Offline Mark_wllms

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Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« on: 20:25, 20 October 21 »
I have an old version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which runs under CPM. The disc can't be used normally on a CPC because it is in PCW format, but can be read and run via a PD program, so I can use it. However, I can't copy off the files. Is there any way I can change the disc format (e.g. the sector numbers) so that the CPC will read it?
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Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #1 on: 20:53, 20 October 21 »
Unfortunately, while the PCW can read/access the CPC format (with the different sector numbering etc) I understand that the CPC cannot go the other way.

If you can read the files off, I suggest that you copy the files off, and then write them back to a CPC format disk.

I've got the HHGTTG system for my PCW, I understand that the game was supplied for CP/M, Amstrad, without regard to PCW or CPC, and the intention was that the files be copied from the master disk to a working copy and run from there.   There is no copy protection as such.   Infocom protect that sort of thing with the various physical extras supplied with the package, the 'feelies' etc!

Can you try this?

What's the PD program you refer to?  Can it NOT copy the files off?

Another edit - I've just dug out my original disk for the prog, and I note that it is NOT a PCW disk, it seems to be a generic CP/M disk, and may be akin to one of the CPC formats (as that can be accessed OK on the PCW).   What disk do you have?   Maybe you've got a specifically PCW copy?   If that's the case, we'll need to see how to get back?

Geoff
« Last Edit: 21:36, 20 October 21 by GeoffB17 »
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Offline Prodatron

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #2 on: 23:53, 20 October 21 »
I have an old version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which runs under CPM. The disc can't be used normally on a CPC because it is in PCW format, but can be read and run via a PD program, so I can use it. However, I can't copy off the files. Is there any way I can change the disc format (e.g. the sector numbers) so that the CPC will read it?
SymbOS can read and write SD 3" discs from a PCW in a native way. If you have a CPC with two disc drives or better with an additional mass storage device, you could run SymbOS and copy the files from a PCW disc to an AMSDOS disc by using SymCommander or the SymShell copy command.
« Last Edit: 23:58, 20 October 21 by Prodatron »
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Offline Mark_wllms

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #3 on: 10:06, 21 October 21 »
Symbos sounds useful. Can it write to USB storage on a USIFAC card?
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Offline ComSoft6128

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #4 on: 10:14, 21 October 21 »
« Last Edit: 10:15, 21 October 21 by ComSoft6128 »
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Offline Mark_wllms

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #5 on: 11:55, 21 October 21 »
I think that is the PD program I used. The trouble is it patches CPM so you can't then write to a non PCW disk, so I couldn't copy the files between disks.
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Offline ComSoft6128

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #6 on: 12:05, 21 October 21 »
I see - so no drive B?


OK, if you get no resolution to this problem - send the disc to me (registered post) and I should be able copy the files then reformat the disc and send it back to you as a CPC data format disc.
« Last Edit: 12:16, 21 October 21 by ComSoft6128 »
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Offline Mark_wllms

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #7 on: 13:01, 21 October 21 »
That's kind; there are disk images of HHGTTG, so I could easily write a disk image from CPC Power to the drive. The only reason I was curious about the disk is that this is the 'old' CP/M import of HHG (by SoftSel), not the 'new' Activision CPC release. I can't find a disk image of this old release - it is the standard Infocom CP/M interpreter, patched with the control codes for the Amstrad, plus the DAT file. The new releases have multiple interpreters for different Amstrad machines. I suspect the HITCH.COM interpreter on my disk is identical to the HITCH64.COM on the new release, and the DAT files are easy to find.

As pointed out earlier, the disk would originally have come in CPC CPM format - it looks like it has been reformatted to PCW SD format by a previous owner. I'll try using SymbOS to copy files to an Amstrad format disk, or onto a USB stick, and then reformat the disk. I just wondered if I could skip a stage.
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Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #8 on: 18:29, 21 October 21 »
In case it's any interest, the version of HHG that I have is the old Softsel one.

The original disk has 4 files on it, three .COM files which are mostly identical, and the HITCHHIK data file.

The 3 .COM files have some tiny differences re installed screen codes, so they are already done.   HIKER3 has the PCW codes showing, so this is OK for the PCW.   HIKER2 may be the one for CP/M 2, but I tried running this on my PCW and it seemed to work OK, but I didn't go far, and a CLS may not work.   The third file HITCHHIK.COM may just be a copy of HIKER3.

Somewhere (re the ZORK gime I think) I have some files that define what all the codes required in the first sector of the .COM file, and there are example progs to set these codes.   Most games actually need little more that CLS and maybe REV video, cursor positioning may be needed if the games uses a status bar.

Geoff
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Offline Mark_wllms

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #9 on: 22:24, 21 October 21 »
Interesting. According to the original Amstrad Action review in issue 5, "The game comes in two files. Hitchhik.com and Hitchhik.dat, and all you have to do is load up the disc under CP/M, type HITCHHIK and away you go."
My disc also has only two files. The box says 'Amstrad' on the side, and has no sticker on the front or back. The disk is labelled Infocom Classics by Softsel,  but with no system name. There is an Interlogic reference card for CPM, but no Amstrad specific reference card.
« Last Edit: 22:33, 21 October 21 by Mark_wllms »
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Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #10 on: 23:21, 21 October 21 »
Prob YES.

The files on my disk would work that way.   HITCHHIK.COM would run as you say.   But if you needed the CP/M 2 version, or the CPC version, then copy HIKER2.COM to HITCHHIK.COM, or just run HIKER2 instead of HITCHHIK, and you're in the right place.

I could confirm the screen codes in HIKER2 if that would help - I'm guessing that they may be right for the CPC?

Geoff
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Offline Mark_wllms

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Re: Can I convert a PCW disc to a CPC format?
« Reply #11 on: 17:25, 08 November 21 »
Thank you, I have used my USIFAC II to copy the necessary files from the PCW disk to my USB drive, so I could now reformat my disk in CPC format.
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