Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

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Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:29 am

I'm trying to transfer some downloaded files on my Mac (OSX 10.9.5 Mavericks) in order to transfer them over to my Mega STe using a USB floppy disk drive and a couple of 720 KB floppies, but I'm having problems.

If I format the disks on my Atari (using Hcopy or something which formats to MSDOS standards) they work fine on the Atari, but can't be read on the Mac (I'm asked if I want to initialize the disk).
If I format on the Mac (using Disk Utility) I'm able to do that and transfer the files over to the floppy, but can't read them on the Atari.
floppy_unreadable.png
What gives? I know I've done this in the past. Has something changed in later OSX versions in regards to floppy disks?
If I do a "get info" in the Mac OSX Finder for the floppy disk I'm told it's FAT12. I've made sure not to use long filenames.
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby frank.lukas » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:49 am

I work with a USB Floppy on macOS Sierra without any problems ...

I format my Floppys under TOS 1.04 or 2.06/3.06 on the Atari, the Mac do it not right.
As of TOS 1.04 floppy format is MSDOS compatible.

May be your Diskdrive in the Mega STE is the problem ?
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:09 pm

You mean my Atari disk drive could be out of alignment?
It's been a while since I used my Atari, but I seem to remember something about different step rates -is this something I need to look into?

So you format the floppies using the TOS desktop formatter? My experience from before is that it's not 100% MSDOS compatible, so I've used Hcopy and similar programs, but it works for you?
Also, are you using DD or HD floppy disks?
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby frank.lukas » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:24 pm

I format always from the Desktop my Disks. I use DD and HD Floppys both. I have a Mega ST, Mega STE and a Atari TT and with all no problems use the Disks with a USB Floppydrive on my Mac ...
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:31 pm

Oh, I hope my Atari floppy isn't damaged -new drives are hard to find these days. I modified a Sony MPF-920 for HD/DD use several years ago if I remember correctly.
Do you have any software in your Atari's AUTO folder which could affect the floppy drive? Right now I'm just experimenting setting things up with my MonSTer board and IDE-CF memory cards (instead of a hard drive), so my setup is very simple.
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby iggydrougge » Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:00 am

Has floppy support been reintroduced in OSX Sierra? It was removed in OSX El Capitan.

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:58 am

I have no idea. I'm happy with OSX 10.9.5 Mavericks and haven't seen a need to upgrade.

So they completely removed it in Sierra? Are there any ways to get it back?
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Gaiyan » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:30 am

I have no problems with using a USB Floppy drive in Sierra. It's an Iomega one.
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:17 am

Steprate is controlled by SW, so don't worry about it. Head alignment is frequent problem, especially by old drives. But fixing it is not so easy. And depends from drive type too.
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:03 pm

Has anyone here had success in formatting DD floppies in OSX? I've been able to format HD floppies using Disk utility, making them compatible with both platforms, but DD appears to be gone. I heard that it can still be done using the Terminal's command line, but don't know the exact parameters (nothing has worked for me so far).
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby calimero » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:50 pm

Maybe controler of USB floppy drive does not support DD format?
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Gaiyan » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:05 am

Fujiyama wrote:Has anyone here had success in formatting DD floppies in OSX? I've been able to format HD floppies using Disk utility, making them compatible with both platforms, but DD appears to be gone. I heard that it can still be done using the Terminal's command line, but don't know the exact parameters (nothing has worked for me so far).


I use DosBox to format DD floppies on a Mac. Format A: /T:80 /N:9
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby calimero » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:47 pm

One "stupid" questio:
Do you use DD or HD disc?
If you use HD and want to format it as DD then you must close hole in top left corner!
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:14 pm

Calimero: Not a stupid question.
I use DD disks for 720K and HD disks for 1.44MB as intended.

Gaiyan: I just installed DOSbox and tried it out, but your command only gave me an error:

Z:\>format A: /T:80 /N:9
illegal command: format

I also tried the following after reading a bit more about DOSbox, but neither worked (result of the command below in italic text):

Z:\>mount
Current mounted drives are:
Drive Z is mounted as Internal Virtual Drive


Z:\>mount A A:\ -t floppy
Directory A:\ doesn't exist
Last edited by Fujiyama on Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Gaiyan » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:29 pm

Fujiyama wrote:Calimero: I use DD disks for 720K and HD disks for 1.44MB as intended.

Gaiyan: I just installed DOSbox and tried it out, but your command only gave me an

illegal command: format

Do I have to use other commands before this to find out which drive letter the floppy disk is and then mount it?


Hmm. I can't check right now. I might have mixed up dosbox with virtualbox as I use both for various things. Now that think of it, it was the command prompt in Windows XP VirtualBox. Sorry about that.
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:34 pm

Do you need a Windows installation CD/disk image for Virtualbox?
I guess it's similar to Boot Camp but without the need to reboot/partition.

So you just enter format A: /T:80 /N:9, or do you have to find and mount the floppy drive first?
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Greenious » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:35 pm

DD disks on Mac are notoriously difficult from what I remember. It uses varial rotation speeds to fit 800kb onto a disk and I am not really sure if Mac can read DD disks from other platforms at all. On top of that I think apple even dropped som floppy support in 10.4...
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:40 pm

I think you might be confusing the variable rotation speed and 800 KB with the ancient MacOS from back in the early 80s with the Mac Plus and so on.
Modern versions of OSX (oh well, I'm two versions or so behind) should handle MSDOS formatting in Disk Utility, but I'm not sure if they dropped DD support or if my drive is just misaligned or floppies have gone bad or something. At least I'm having trouble getting it to work.
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Gaiyan » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:41 pm

Fujiyama wrote:Do you need a Windows installation CD/disk image for Virtualbox?
I guess it's similar to Boot Camp but without the need to reboot/partition.

So you just enter format A: /T:80 /N:9, or do you have to find and mount the floppy drive first?


You can download a Windows XP VB image here: https://npackd.appspot.com/p/xp-ie6-vir ... 2014.10.27

A USB floppy is automatically recognized as drive A. I don't know if there are differences between drives and drivers but that's what it was for me.
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:23 pm

I just tried installing Virtualbox and it worked.
But I was unable to format the USB floppy attached disk drive (with a 720KB floppy inside). The DOS command prompt tells me that "Specified drive does not exist". Actually the floppy was mounted in OSX, so it's there.
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Badwolf » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:39 pm

If it's mounted (ie. in use) in OSX, it's not available to VB.

My VB memories are a bit hazy, but I think you can assign USB peripherals to the client OSs the same as qemu and VMWare.

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Gaiyan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:25 am

Yeah, you must remove the drive from host side and mount it in VB.
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Fujiyama » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:46 am

How do you mount a floppy drive in Virtualbox?
I've already ejected the floppy drive in OSX.

Sorry, but Windows isn't really very intuitive IMHO.
Mega STe | MonSTer with dual IDE-CF memory card adapter | STe | SM-144 |NEC Multisync 1990SXi | IDE doubler | ST_ESSC | RSVE | ICD Link II | Link '97 | HD floppy drive/AJAX | HD floppy module | Minolta PCMCIA card-drive | Realtime Clock module | Discovery cartridge | Unitor-2 | Export | Combiner | Steady Eye | Human Touch | Unicorn USB

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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Gaiyan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:21 am

I think you just need to make sure that VB window is active, plug in the floppy drive in the USB port and then select the drive from the bottom right corner of the VB window. I honestly can't remember if there was anything else. It's been awhile.
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Re: Mac OSX-Atari floppy problems

Postby Badwolf » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:48 pm

It's nothing to do with Windows, it's Virtualbox you need to configure to pass the USB device through to the virtual machine.

There'll be a suitable symbol at the bottom and you might need to install the extra virtualbox tools in your windows client to get it to work anyway.

Without wishing to be rude, this isn't going to be plug-and-play. You'll doubtlessly need to do a fair bit of setting up and configuring after a goodly amount of RTFMing. You might be getting close to the 'is it worth it?' stage.

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