8" floppy system needed to recover old game data
dave04a at dunfield.com
Thu Oct 6 07:51:22 CDT 2005
>I'm afraid I am not very familiar with CPM systems. Could you please
>tell me why a conversion system is needed? Didn't they use similar FDC
>chips? I (perhaps naively) assumed it would be some sort of a
>NEC765-derived one and we could get a simple track-by-track dump...
CP/M itself is independant of any particular disk format. It can work with
hard-sector systems, soft-sector systems, 8" 5.25", 3.5" drives, ROM disks
and RAM disks. The only real requirement is that there be block addressable
Most 8" systems use IBM soft-sector format, and a lot of them use the WD
series of FDC controllers. Most of these can be read with a 765 type
controller, but there are a number that cannot. There really is a lot of
>While this is true, the problem we have is that although we have
>convinced the ex-developer to let us help them preserve this data, it
>will be very much harder to get them to go out of their way to get it
>done. This is the reason I was trying to get somebody local to them to
>help us do it, even though they do treasure it.
Getting data from 8" drives will require some work. Chances are that it
can be recovered on a PC with ImageDisk or TeleDisk, however to do so
they would have to make an adapter to connect the drive, connect it to
the PC floppy controller, power the drive, configure the software etc/,
and you run the risk that after all that effort, it may not be a disk
format compatible with the PC floppy controller (we could tell this in
advance if you can find out the exact type of CP/M system it is).
This sounds like it is more work they they are willing to do.
If the original CP/M system is still running, then the content of the
disks can be pulled off with a serial connection to a PC - but this
will require getting the connection established, getting a bit of
software running on both the CP/M system and the PC.
Failing either of the two above, then you need someone local who can
do one of the above, or have them send the disks to someone further away
who can do it.
>It's a difficult situation for sure.
>I'll try again on the mailing of the media, but it will probably have to
>be a last resort.
I have the ability image 8" disks directly to a PC, and I also have a multi-format
copying station that I have not yet "gotten around" to setting up (but I could do
that). I also know someone relatively close to me who does have a multi-format
copying station up and running. You could have them send the disks to me (Ontario
Canada) which would be a bit closer than going "across the pond".
I've been fairly actively involved in preservation of disk images from classic
systems in the past couple of years - if it would help, the game developer can
contact me directly to discuss ways to recover the data.
dave04a (at) Dave Dunfield
dunfield (dot) Firmware development services & tools: www.dunfield.com
com Collector of vintage computing equipment:
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