Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

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Cogweasel
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Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby Cogweasel » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:43 pm

I just started transferring all of my old ST disks to .ST files using ST Recover. I am using my mums old computer, since mine hasn't got an FDC. I have transferred quite a few disks and surprisingly enough it's going pretty well, I am really liking ST Recover. But of course there's disks that contains unreadable sectors, usually after track 81. Just wondering if anyone here have any tips and tricks to recover these ones? Maybe some alternative software or digital voodoo :D ?

I have also read a bit about various hardware to help you read disks, but I don't know if this will help or maybe make things move along a bit faster. Some disks can be read but it takes a loooooong time, so a speed improvement could be useful as well at times.

I also noticed that ST Recover seems to read all tracks of a disk, regardless of whether they contain data or not. Is there any way to see if a track contains data? Because the problem usually occur after track 81 and if there's no data there I could just end the transfer, saving some time.

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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:11 pm

Many floppy drives can not access tracks over 80-tht, so blame in first place persona who formatted disks so :D I had EPSON slim drive, back in 1987 which could max 80 tracks. Was not big problem for me, because I never formatted more.
Imaging SW does not care about is there data in some areas or not. It just reads all sectors.

Similar purpose SW by me: http://atari.8bitchip.info/floimgd.php

I will not compare it with ST Recover, what I don't know, but you have File Transfer option - and that will do exactly what you want - saving only data - and straight as files on your PC hard drive. Viewer is there too.
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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby Cogweasel » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:29 pm

Uhm... well.. the person to blame would be me. But of course I put the blame on my parents for not giving me more pocket money to buy more disks :mrgreen:

ST Recover uses a special floppy driver to access tracks beyond 80, it works very well. Had it read up to track 83 without any problems on some disks. But some disks put up an fight beyond track 80 of course :). Thanks for the link! I will give it a try! Will the File Transfer option work with over formatted disks though?

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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:46 pm

Yes, it will work if your floppy drive can access them. And of course if data us still healthy there. I considered it always as bad idea - on such tracks data density is extremely high because it is near to disk center. So, unreliable.
Special driver is not only for tracks over 80, but all - trust me, mine SW uses the same :D
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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby troed » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:52 pm

FWIW, I tried rescuing disk collections using ST Recover for a while before I gave up and outfitted my STE with proper storage media. I went from ~50% successful copies (which I thought was due to media degradation) to ~99% - on the same disks.

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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby Cogweasel » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:24 pm

AtariZoll wrote:Yes, it will work if your floppy drive can access them. And of course if data us still healthy there. I considered it always as bad idea - on such tracks data density is extremely high because it is near to disk center. So, unreliable.
Special driver is not only for tracks over 80, but all - trust me, mine SW uses the same :D


I noticed now on your page that you use the same fdrawcmd that I installed with ST Recover, missed that before, sorry! Will give your program a try tomorrow, cross your fingers! :D

troed wrote:FWIW, I tried rescuing disk collections using ST Recover for a while before I gave up and outfitted my STE with proper storage media. I went from ~50% successful copies (which I thought was due to media degradation) to ~99% - on the same disks.


Hey Troed! I think we might have met back in the 80s on one of the many copy parties/ST conventions. But my memory is a bit hazy when it comes to everyone's nicknames. I was friends with Mr Mac and eventually got acquainted with some of the other local Sync dudes. Sync helped us out with raster timing (or some similar thingamajig) for our first assembler demo, The Zenit demo. My nick was Mr Flash btw :D

Anyway, what kind of hardware did you outfit your STE with? Do you have any hardware tips, I would prefer to just transfer my disks to my PC. I do have a STE but it's a bit dodgy if I remember correctly, might try and fix it eventually. But right now I just want to salvage as many disks as I can.

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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby troed » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:46 pm

I do recall a Zenit demo :)

I started out with an HxC floppy emu connected so that I have both that and the internal drive (switchable boot order) active. I then followed up with a Unicorn USB flashdrive adapter as hard drive on the ACSI port.

Any solution that gives you SD card or something that the Atari can write to and then read by your PC will work fine. Or have someone with a working setup do the imaging for you :)

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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby Cogweasel » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:17 am

Things are moving along, slowly but steadily. Recovered a bunch more disks this weekend. Tried AtariZolls Floimgd, but it seems like ST Reocver is better at recovering at least some bad sectors. What is called a desynchronized data in ST Recover, don't know what that means, but it seems that the program is capable of recovering that information, whereas Floimgd just generates a read error. But I will definitely try and use Floimgd if I want to recover single files.

troed wrote:I started out with an HxC floppy emu connected so that I have both that and the internal drive (switchable boot order) active. I then followed up with a Unicorn USB flashdrive adapter as hard drive on the ACSI port.

Any solution that gives you SD card or something that the Atari can write to and then read by your PC will work fine. Or have someone with a working setup do the imaging for you :)


I have peeked at HxC before, but honestly I don't quite understand what it is and what type of magic it's supposed to perform, I am not that tech-savvy :) Is it a FCD that you connect your Atari floppy drive to?

A SD card as a HD sounds really interesting, didn't even know that existed, but why wouldn't it ... I did a search for Unicorn USB flashdrive, and I assume its one of these you are speaking of, right? :mrgreen:

Image

sorry, had to post that picture... I did find the Unicorn page, pretty decently priced and all. I think I will have to have a look at my STE and see if the disk-drive is still working. Thanks for the tip Troed!

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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:40 am

I guess that ST Recover has some extra code for what it's name says :-) Probably more retries + some other. My goal was basic imaging, and later added file transfer. I did not have need for recover from disks in bad shape - partially because kept important data on multiple floppies. Partially because could use Atari too. In any case, if imaging on Atari is problem, it is worth to try with another floppy drive, another PC.

Considering mass storage with Flash cards - that's something normal now. I started with it some 12 years ago - first was some 8 MB or like Smart Media (now extinct card type) on Sinclair Spectrum, mostly for experimenting. Now 4GB cards are under 10 Euros. Unicorn is interesting, but slow in my opinion for mass storage. Better solution is UltraSatan or little more expensive CosmosEx - later has even something like HxC - hardware floppy emulator - what acts for Atari like floppy drive, but data is on modern media as image files.
English language is like bad boss on workplace: it expecting from you to strictly follow all, numerous rules, but self bending rules as much likes :mrgreen:

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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby Cogweasel » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:30 pm

I will probably find some use for your extract files function, to recover at leasts parts of a disk :) . BTW is there anything to do when you have trouble reading a disk both with a Atari ST and a PC floppy drive? Like some magical hardware that doesn't cost an arm and a leg :wink:

Ah, thanks for the info on HxC! I am mostly interested in recovering my disks right now, so the HxC wont be that helpful. I might start using my ST in the future, but I am going to worry about that later :)

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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:55 pm

As said, trying another drive is what can help a most. Another means - 4-5 drives :D I had luck with that because was servicing computers.
Ah, almost forgot - cleaning disk surface - look threads in SuperCard Pro Copier section about it.
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Re: Transfering ST disks to PC with ST Recover

Postby Cogweasel » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:09 pm

AtariZoll wrote:As said, trying another drive is what can help a most. Another means - 4-5 drives :D I had luck with that because was servicing computers.
Ah, almost forgot - cleaning disk surface - look threads in SuperCard Pro Copier section about it.


Yes, I know, but I just wondered if there is anything else to do, beyond trying different floppy drives. It's getting a bit hard finding working floppy drives these days :D

Thanks, I will have a look in the SuperCard Pro section!


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