I am in the process of converting a whole mess of files from LIF to DOS. I am having trouble using the LIF UTIL on any newer system. The older systems I have at my disposal are dedicated systems used for specific purposes. Is there a way to use a LIFUTIL to convert the LIF files to DOS on an XP?


AFAIK, LIFUTIL or similar tools that access LIF discs (including my own Emu41/71) don't work on modern OS such as Win2000/ME/XP, etc. They usually work well on Win98. I'm keeping a Win98 machine for this purpose.




the OS is not the main problem.

It's the diskette controller in modern PCs,

which isn't adjustable for the weird track/sector combination of LIF disks.




I'm using the dedicated 95 system presently to do the data conversion.

So it's the version of FAT on the 3 1/2in floppy that is not compatable?


It's not only the FAT format,
but the different physical/magnetic formatting of LIF disks.

Check this: Tony Duell's article about LIF format



Hi Raymond,

That's not correct, the hardware is still able to read 256-bytes/sector LIF discs. The problem is that DOS programs like LIFUTIL rely on the BIOS to change the disc driver parameters from 512 to 256 bytes/sector. True "DOS Command Box" like in Win95/98 fully supports BIOS calls, but no more the "Command Line Boxes" in Win2000/etc that don't use the 16-bit ROM BIOS routines but just emulate a subset for DOS program execution.

I checked it by building a Win98 boot disc, with it I access to LIF discs without problem on my 1-year-old PC. But it is not very convenient because Win98 can't access my NTFS hard disc, and I have to transfer through floppy.

What is missing is a LIF driver for WinXP/etc, and a native 32-bit LIFUTIL-like utility. Any volunteer?


Edited: 14 Apr 2007, 5:09 a.m.


That's not correct, the hardware is still able to read 256-bytes/sector LIF discs.

The hardware is not actually REQUIRED to be able to read 256 bytes/sectors: the standard floppy device driver under window nt/2000/xp does not even acknowledge the existence of a 256 bytes/block format...

An interesting experiment would be to try calling the DeviceIoConrol IOCTL_DISK_GET_DRIVE_GEOMETRY with a known good LIF disk to see what windows puts in .MediaType and .BytesPerSector, but it's quite likely it won't work at all.

The other choice would be to write a custom floppy driver which directly accesses the hardware, but it's not an easy route.

Using this thing would probably work too...

If you're REALLY hardcore, you could hack any SMSC based USB floppy, to use an external flash with a custom firmware...


Neat trick with the 98 boot floppy J.F!

Another method would be a "Dual Boot" system.
Or use disk manager to create a FAT16 partition, then the 98 boot floppy would have some storage area.

Edited: 14 Apr 2007, 3:37 p.m.

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