Archiving MFM and RLL drives (Was: Re: Default password for Picksystem on an AT?)

Randy McLaughlin cctalk at
Thu Jun 16 15:52:49 CDT 2005

From: "Richard Beaudry" <richard.beaudry at>
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 3:34 PM

>>> One concern is that I did NOT get any install disks or docs, and the
>>> hard drive this is on is an ancient one, making funny noises....
>>> Hopefully it'll last a little while....
>>I assume it's an MFM or RLL hard drive?  It'll be a little but of work,
>>but if you have a suitable Linux box handy you should install an MFM/RLL
>>controller and find a duplicate of the drive installed in the Pick box
>>(that might be difficult as well) and run dd to duplicate it to the
> It is either an MFM or RLL drive.  I haven't pulled the drive or
> cleaned the dust to verify which.  According to the sticker someone
> taped in to the front of the drive, it is a 15MB (FULL height, 5.25"),
> type 2 in the AT setup (I've no idea what cyls/heads/secs that refers
> to, so I'll have to pull the drive and hope it is labeled).
> Heresy, I know, but I don't have a Linux box :-)...  Also, please
> don't tell me "you ought to set one up" ... I don't wish to fan
> advocacy flames, so let's just drop it there.
> Would something like Ghost work?  I've never tried it on small, old 
> drives.
> I do have a DOS box (p-133), so if there's some DOS/WIN 3.1 utility to
> do the same thing, I could use that ....
> I'll see if I can dig anything up on my end, and I might just give
> Ghost a try ... meantime, if anyone knows of another DOS/WIN31 way to
> make a drive image of an old MFM/RLL drive, I'm all ears.
> Rich B.

Linux may be easier, luckily there is no need to "set one up".  Get knoppix 
it runs from a CD:

I carry a CD around just so when I'm at a clients I have a known set of 
tools handy.


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