Custom crazy floppy format(s)

HxC Floppy emulator support for all others computers...
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chris_startx
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:39 am

Custom crazy floppy format(s)

Post by chris_startx » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:45 am

Hi,

I found in the HxC specs the following:

> Write support: ISO MFM/DD 256/512/1024Bytes sector write supported.
> Write support: ISO FM /SD 128/256/512/1024Bytes sector write supported.

=======================================
Q: Does that mean the entire floppy disk must have the SAME sector size, or there can be a track with a 1024 bytes sector and another track with a 256 bytes sector (for example)?
=======================================

My headache is currently caused by a "copy protected" floppy format, in use by a dual architecture computer (Spectrum|CP/M).

The CP/M floppy disks have the CP/M system in tracks 0 and 1, sides 0 and 1.
- Track 0 has one single 4096 byte sector on each side, with sector ID=32.
- Track 1 also has one single 4096 byte sector on each side, but with sector ID=1. And the track ID for this track is 0 instead of 1

The rest of the disk (tracks 2 to 79) is pretty standard, has 9 sectors per track (512 byte per sector), interleave=1, sector IDs from 1 to 9 and normal track IDs (2 to 79).

===========================================
Q: For a format like this, is there any floppy image file type supported by the HxC SD emulator, which would allow writing support? And does the HFE file format store internally track IDs and sector IDs?
===========================================

I have a bunch of floppy images for this computer in Teledisk format and I made them available to others, and I've been told they work just fine in HxC SD, except for formatting, which is only emulated (and makes sense, since TD0 is a compressed format...).

But I would really want to know if there is any way that HxC SD could work R/W with such a floppy format (that means formatting and file writing)

Thank you for your support.

Jeff
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Re: Custom crazy floppy format(s)

Post by Jeff » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:54 am

chris_startx wrote:Hi,

I found in the HxC specs the following:

> Write support: ISO MFM/DD 256/512/1024Bytes sector write supported.
> Write support: ISO FM /SD 128/256/512/1024Bytes sector write supported.

=======================================
Q: Does that mean the entire floppy disk must have the SAME sector size, or there can be a track with a 1024 bytes sector and another track with a 256 bytes sector (for example)?
=======================================
You can even mix sector size on the same track. So no problem at all ;)
chris_startx wrote: ===========================================
Q: For a format like this, is there any floppy image file type supported by the HxC SD emulator, which would allow writing support? And does the HFE file format store internally track IDs and sector IDs?
===========================================
IMD and TD0 seems ok and are already supported by the software. Just try it :
http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emu ... 2_beta.zip

you can also directly dump the disk with the HxC Floppy Emulator tool.


chris_startx wrote: But I would really want to know if there is any way that HxC SD could work R/W with such a floppy format (that means formatting and file writing)
The HxC Floppy Emulator use HFE file format.
TD0 files can be converted with the software : http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emu ... 2_beta.zip
So yes you can write on this, except for the 4KB sectors. But this shoudn't be an issue since it is only used as a copy protection, right ?

If you want just send me an TD0, i will have a look...

chris_startx
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:39 am

Re: Custom crazy floppy format(s)

Post by chris_startx » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:59 am

No, I'm sorry, you didn't exactly understand what I meant.

I know HFE is HxC's own format, and I know I can convert TD0 to HFE, I already read this in the documentation. And I also tried the software (pretty nice...)

The question is:

Is there any way I can use some type of floppy image (be it HFE or anything else) with HxC as an empty disk in order to generate system on it (meaning FORMATTING tracks 0 and 1 with one 4096 bytes sector per side and write the CPM system in those sectors)?

The formatting and writing of these 4096 byte sectors ACTUALLY IS a big issue, since a new system disk image cannot be generated without it.

Should I understand from what you say that FORMATTING and WRITING 4096 BYTE SECTORS is actually impossible, at least at this moment, regardless of the type of image file?

And how can I send you a sample Teledisk image? As far as I can figure I can't just attach the file to this post, so maybe I should email it to you, but I don't know your email address, so... how can I do this?

Thank you

Jeff
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Re: Custom crazy floppy format(s)

Post by Jeff » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:52 am

chris_startx wrote:Should I understand from what you say that FORMATTING and WRITING 4096 BYTE SECTORS is actually impossible, at least at this moment, regardless of the type of image file?

And how can I send you a sample Teledisk image? As far as I can figure I can't just attach the file to this post, so maybe I should email it to you, but I don't know your email address, so... how can I do this?

Thank you
I don't understand : If the TD0 already contains these 4KB sectors, why do you need to format the disk ?

You can find may email in lots of place : in the software, on the project website,etc :

http://hxc2001.free.fr/imiel.htm

chris_startx
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:39 am

Re: Custom crazy floppy format(s)

Post by chris_startx » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:06 pm

OK, I see the confusion:

I need to format and write the 4096 byte sectors because I want to be able to use the computer at 100% capabilities, just as I would use it with a physical floppy drive. Therefore I will need to run and use the system generator and be able to format and write empty disk images as well as copy files.

Now I can definitely understand the HxC is designed to emulate the most popular floppy formats and this is not one of them, but I just need to know in advance what it can and what it can't do.

This computer uses a floppy interface built around the Intel 8272A floppy controller, and it seems this circuit is able to write maximum 4096 byte sectors, and some smarty pants thought he should make things more interesting by complicating the CP/M system generation.

I'll check the software for your email and I'll send you a sample Teledisk image, I don't expect that to improve my chances to a positive answer but anyway.

Thank you again for support

pulkomandy
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:55 pm

Re: Custom crazy floppy format(s)

Post by pulkomandy » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:22 pm

The HxC doesn't support formatting. The trick is :
* With a real floppy drive, format a blank disk
* With a PC and the HxC software, dump this disk and make an image of it
* Now when you need a new disk, just copy this blank image on the HxC SD card.

You don't need to format it again.

For the most common formats (MS-DOS, Atari ST, Amiga, ...), the HxC already provides a way to generate blank disks this way.

Reading and writing will work fine.

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