Copy Lif disk (disk copy) Help !!!



#2

How do I make one copy of safety of my disks (LIF) using the windows 2000? Does some program that makes the diskette copy exist (LIF) for another diskette (disc copy)? Thank's


#3

See my response about series 80 disks. It's the same issue.

You can make backups within the LIF environment. Depending on what you are using, it could be easy or more challenging. Wha are you running that accesses LIF disks? What sort of computer, what sort of floppy, and so forth.


#4

9114B 1.44 disk 41CX HP-IL


#5

OK. The 41-CX makes it a little tough to do automatically, but what you can do is to write a program to copy a list of files one at a time from disk to memory, then baclk to disk. In the meantime you swap in a new disk, of course.

That is a huge pain, but it will do the trick. Another possiblility, is to read the disk under MS-DOS with TELEDISK.EXE (Available at retrocalculator.com among other places. It will read single sided media, but it won't write to it. But if the "single-sided" disk is really a DS/DD disk, or even an HD floppy like you say you are using, and if you tape over the second hole in the disk (opposite the one with the slider) , and if you further specify to teledisk to only read and write side 0, you might be able to do a disk-to-disk backup that way. Otherwise, you will end up with an image file on your PC's hard disk that will be in TELEDISK's "unique" format. I don't know how to decode this currently. (There is some code to do so in the net, but it doesn't work on the TELEDISK images I have access to.) So a TELEDISK image will only serve as a backup if you can write it back out to floppy at some point in the future.

TELEDISK.EXE will not run under any form of Windows. It does low-level access to the floppy controller that drives Windows insane. It must run under MS-DOS.


#6

Hi Howard.

WARNING ;-P This may be OT...

have you heard of a (very) old DOS utility called alien?
file=alien.com
It had about 50 odd ss/ds non-dos formats you could pick from
to read/write to. Wang, CPM, etc.... circa 1987 (!)

People shuld note that there's a hardware problem writing to old
formats due to the thinner heads used in the 1.2MB diskette drives. If anyone has any old (IBM compat.) 360 kB drives, that would probably solve that problem.

DW


#7

Hi, Don.

Those are 5-1/4" capacities you are quoting. The 9114 and 9121 are both 3-1/2" drives. Like I say, the problem is twofold. First, LIF disks for both drives have a sector size of 256 bytes, which is half the standard size. Modern BIOS do not include the calls to enable reading from sectors of this size, according to several (more than three) authorities I've run across. TELEDISK is the only utility I've found that will read such disks, at least on my circa 1993 Pentium/75 Presario. I have not exhaustively tested all such utilities, of course. and I've only tried the one system, so I'm unwilling to say firmly that TELEDISK is the only solution.

The second problem has to do with single sided vs double sided disks. Both the 9114 (HP-IL) and 9121 (HP-IB) drives are single sided. Using TELEDISK, I was able to read single sided media for the 9816, which had been written to a 9121 drive. Once again, this is the only utility I have found that can do that. I have also successfully written single sided images to standard HD disks. I had to cover the second hole, opposite the write protect tab in order to then use these disks on a 9121, but it worked. What even TELEDISK can't do is to write to single sided media on my Presario. This sounds like a problem deeper than the BIOS, since TELEDISK can get around the lack of proper BIOS calls for the case of reading the same media it fails to write to.

TELEDISK makes some interesting grinding noises while reading and writing single sided, 256 B/sector media. I suspect this is due to skipping the read or write from/to side 1 of the disk. I guess it could be due to the smaller sector size too. (You'd have to play with the motor speed in the latter case, whereas you'd be advancing the head at an abnormal time in the former.)

Regards,

Howard

#8

If you have access to an MSDOS environment (i.e. be able to boot into a non-GUI mode) then I would strongly suggest LIFUTIL ftp://ftp.hpmuseum.org/lif/lifutil

If you would rather use your HP-41 for the backups, then you may want to have a look at old PPC journals (Jake Schwartz has a CD collection with all the articles, http://www.waterw.com/~jakes/

I would stay well away from teledisk, I had a chance to look at the format it is using and its very bad for archiving [1].

**vp

[1] teledisk just copies the sectors from the diskette to a computer file and when restoring files reverses the process. The computer file will have the PHYSICAL structure of the diskette, not the logical structure that the OS presents to you. E.g. if the diskette is interleaved, then your sequentially allocated file will be all over the place. Also sometimes teledisk saves both sides of a one-side diskette (I have seen disk images like that in hpmuseum.net), then your diskette image file will contain junk as well as data.

Thus, to be able to use teledisk images you need to connect to your PC the appropriate physical drive (e.g. 5.25 in). This goes counter to my idea of preservation, whereby if you have the floppy image you can simply extract the files without messing with vintage hardware.

For example if I give you a teledisk image of a Series80 5.25 floppy, you have to find a PC, a 5.25 drive and a 5.25 floppy to recreate the original diskette. Then you have to find a 5.25 floppy drive for your series 80 computer to read the files. If you were just given the files themselves, you could xfer them to your Series 80 computer with a technique that is most convient to you (e.g. serial link, 3.5 floppy, HP-IL, HP-IB, etc.).


#9

Yup, that works under real MS-DOS, I've just determined.

My problem in the past was I wasn't covering the second hole on the disk. I knew you had to do tht before the 9121 would use it, but it is also necessary on DOS if you are writing or reading a single sided image.


#10

Howard Owen wrote:
> My problem in the past was I wasn't covering the second hole on
> the disk. I knew you had to do tht before the 9121 would use
> it, but it is also necessary on DOS if you are writing or reading
> a single sided image.

What the hell are you talking about? That hole is the Quad Density hole it has NOTHING to do with sides. The behavior should be the same with both DS/DD and SS/DD diskettes.

**vp


#11

You know, Vassilis, you've been very helpful to me, and our interests seem to coincide, but you can be one rude son-of-a-geek sometimes! Please tone down the "you must be an idiot" knob just a notch or two, will you?

I'm sorry if you don't like that result, but if I leave the tape off the quad density tab, writing a single sided image doesn't work on my hardware/OS/software stack. An explanation would be intersting, but it's irrelevant to what I want to do: writing images to floppies that the 9114 and 9121 can read.

Edited: 9 Oct 2005, 4:38 p.m.


#12

Howard Owen wrote:
> Please tone down the "you must be an idiot" knob just a notch or two, will you?

Only if you promise to power up your brain before you post messages.

Saying that the QD hole somehow indicates a single-sided diskette is like saying the if your car has no central locking, then it must take leaded gasoline. It may occur (by coincidence) but they are not related!


**vp

#13

Quote:
My problem in the past was I wasn't covering the second hole on
the disk. I knew you had to do tht before the 9121 would use
it, but it is also necessary on DOS if you are writing or reading
a single sided image.

I stand by that statement 100%. Where does it say that the hole is used to distinguish between anything and anything else?

I said the hole had to be covered to write a single sided image on my system.

I'll bow out of the name calling, Vassilis. But I might suggest you read more carefully, or perhaps think about it longer, before throwing slurs around in public.


#14

Howard Owen wrote:
> I'll bow out of the name calling, Vassilis. But I might suggest
> you read more carefully, or perhaps think about it longer, before
> throwing slurs around in public.

I said:

> That hole is the Quad Density hole it has NOTHING to do with
> sides. The behavior should be the same with both DS/DD and SS/DD
> diskettes.

This is true no matter what kind of noise your drive makes or in fact whether by pure chance your drive happened to work that particular time when you ejected the disk and then placed it back into the drive.

I do not engage in name calling, asking "what the hell are you talking about", is not equivalent to calling you an idiot, it is used to express my frustration at the quality of your statement.
If, however, you are so offended by it, I can edit it to remove the rhetorical question and leave just the bit that says you are wrong.

>I stand by that statement 100%. Where does it say that the hole is
> used to distinguish between anything and anything else?

Exactly, it doesn't. Which is why it is wrong on two counts. (a) if covering the hole somehow worked for single-sided drives, then it should also work for double-sided drives, as it has nothing to do with the number of sides (I wonder how many times I have to repeat this). (b) it doesn't work anyway, because the behavior of LIFUTIL when you use a QD disk is not predictable. Mainly it has to do with what junk existed on the disk before you formatted it on the HP-IB drive.

So you can stand by your statement all you want, it won't make it anything other than misleading at best.

Take it easy

**vp


#15

Quote:

I said:

> That hole is the Quad Density hole it has NOTHING to do with
> sides. The behavior should be the same with both DS/DD and SS/DD
> diskettes.

This is true no matter what kind of noise your drive makes or in fact whether by pure chance your drive happened to work that particular time when you ejected the disk and then placed it back into the drive.


It seems to me you've made several wrong assumptions, Vassilis. First, I know the difference between quad vs double density and 2 vs 1 sided media, and I don't care!. I'm describing a result I obtained, that's all. That brings me to your second erroneous assumption: because the result seems incredible to you, you assume I tried this once then shot my mouth off. Let me disabuse you of that notion. I was copying from both single sided/double density and double sided/quad density (HD) disks. I had two HD disks that I had written SS?DD data to, one in a 9114 and one in a 9121. The former is a work disk for my HP-71B efforts, and the latter a copy of the HP BASIC 2.0 for 200 series (RMB) system disk I had made in the 9121 from my 9816. While copying various images to and from these two disks, and various others, I got the following results:

Disk Drive OS sw w/wo cover result
-------------------------------------------------------------
Work disk 9114 Slack lifimage without failure
Work disk 9114 Slack lifimage with success
HP BASIC 9121 MS-DOS teledisk without failure
HP BASIC 9121 MS-DOS teledisk with success

The hardware was identical in both cases. The Compaq Deskpro 575 is an early Pentium machine that actually sports a couple of PCI slots. It has a Compaq custom BIOS that you need a floppy disk to access. The floppy drive is described as "tri-mode" somewhere in the literature I read when I first got the system. I've updated the BIOS to its final release level, circa 1995.

That's two discs I tried this on, running two different OS, and (necessarily) two different image copy programs. Do you detect a pattern in this data? I repeated the test twice for each disc, not because I was trying to be scientific, but because I had a hard time believing it. I don't know why it works like that. I don't care why it works. I just now know how to read and write images on this hardware. I couldn't do that before because I was missing this piece. No wonder it was missing! It doesn't make sense to me, but there you are.

So forgive me for interpreting your incredulity for an implication that I am stupid I would be stupid if I had gone about this in the way you seem to think I did.


Edited: 11 Oct 2005, 12:52 a.m.

#16

My guess is that the BIOS on my circa 1993 Compac Deskpro 575 (not Presario) uses the existence of the quad density tab to decide what sort of RWTS routines to use. I base this on listening to teledisk trying, then failing to write to the quad density disk with the tab uncovered, versus the sound it makes when it succeeds. The failure case goes "(whisper)shhhk rattlerattle (moderate) bzzzt bzzzt .. (LOUD) brrraaaat brrraaaat.." then failure. The successful case repeats all of that. but then ends up quietly reading from or writing to the disk.

Reverse engineering by ear, as it were. 8)

Edited: 9 Oct 2005, 4:45 p.m.

#17

Also contrary to what I thought I knew, Tony's lifimage works just fine under Slackware 10. It may be I was making the same error in not covering the second hole on an HD disk masquerading as SS/DD before trying to read it. (The 9114 doesn't care, so it seems. update: it does care when you are initializing a disk.)

I haven't tried to write with either utility yet. I'll update with details when I do.

update: Tony's lifimage doesn't do image writes.That's done by lifdump (from the same link just given.) That command works with an HD disk (preformatted on a 9114, per the man page) only if the second hole is covered. I'll try with real SS/DD media soon.

update:
lifdump, like TELEDISK, won't write to my real SS/DD floppies. This isn't a big drawback since it will write to HD media with the second hole covered.


Edited: 9 Oct 2005, 3:11 p.m.

#18

I agree that TELEDISK is less than optimal, with its physical format images. Not only does it demand that you are tied down to a particular disk drive type, as you note, it would also be really hard to write a single decoder for the format since you'd have to code for all the low-level physical disk format details. But other than translating the good stuff at hpmuseum.net, I can think of one application where TELEDISK would be useful. That would be in using its "disk to disk" mode to make physical disk copies. Assuming your hardware can both read and write the particular format, the problem of variable image format goes away in that situation.


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