Making Apple II or C64 floppies with PC 5.25" drive?

I recently obtained some old 5 1/4-inch floppy drives for PCs. If I
install one in my PC, is there some Windows utility which will let me
use it to write data onto it in a way that'll be readable by Apple II
or Commodore 64 (or 128) computers? More specifically, given this drive
and a blank floppy and a disk image file of an old 8-bit game, will I
be able to write the image onto the floppy such that it'll boot the old
computer it was made for?

0
brian756 (21)
11/14/2005 8:37:32 PM
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Brian Kendig wrote:
> I recently obtained some old 5 1/4-inch floppy drives for PCs. If I
> install one in my PC, is there some Windows utility which will let me
> use it to write data onto it in a way that'll be readable by Apple II
> or Commodore 64 (or 128) computers?

No one has yet been able to do so without additional, specialized and 
expensive hardware.

However if you do manage to write CGR disks with the MFM drive, please 
let us know!

The easiest way to get disks on your older platform is to use the PC as 
a serial server for your machine.  You run software on both computers 
and stuff via modem or null modem cable.

Thankx,
Ed
0
Ed
11/14/2005 9:08:23 PM
> I recently obtained some old 5 1/4-inch floppy drives for PCs. If I
> install one in my PC, is there some Windows utility which will let me
> use it to write data onto it in a way that'll be readable by Apple II
> or Commodore 64 (or 128) computers? More specifically, given this drive
> and a blank floppy and a disk image file of an old 8-bit game, will I
> be able to write the image onto the floppy such that it'll boot the old
> computer it was made for?

Hi there,

The only utility I've seen like that was for TI/994a disk images if I remember
correctly and it was written in QBASIC.

You may want to look into a 'Catweasel' for writing apple ][ and c64 disks.  As
the other poster mentioned, it's much easier using the PC as a slave, i.e.
Starcommander-X1541 and ADT for the apple.

hth,
~brian

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0
Brian
11/14/2005 9:38:44 PM
Brian Kendig wrote:
> I recently obtained some old 5 1/4-inch floppy drives for PCs. If I
> install one in my PC, is there some Windows utility which will let me
> use it to write data onto it in a way that'll be readable by Apple II
> or Commodore 64 (or 128) computers? More specifically, given this drive
> and a blank floppy and a disk image file of an old 8-bit game, will I
> be able to write the image onto the floppy such that it'll boot the old
> computer it was made for?

Almost certainly not. PC floppy drives almost always are driven by
single-chip controllers which support a "standard" format which is
different from the Apple II's formatting. The Apple II used a simpler
circuit to control the digital data stream to the drive. That's not the
fault of the drive per se, but of the PC you plug it into.

People have created special controller boards which can provide
non-standard data formats to the floppy drive.

0
josephoswaldgg
11/14/2005 10:05:14 PM
Afaik, there isnt a windows utility but there is a commodore 64/128 utility. 
You need a 1571 disk drive as it can read/write mfm and also a program 
called little red reader (free), big blue reader (commercial but dead), or 
possibly others. I used this method for years before they finally developed 
a decent transfer utility with gui for windows xp. Now its all i use as its 
extremely convenient. Anyways, the problem you first face is getting a copy 
of LLR or BBR for your commodore then once u get the 5.25" floppy in the pc 
and the 1571 & c64/128 hooked up, you can transfer back and forth all you 
please swapping floppies. d64's will have to be extracted either on the 
commodore or the pc side first.


-- 
Leo
Im looking for Commodore 64/Vic20 Cartridges! Got any? Check out my
tradelist & items for sale at http://www.commodore64.allhell.com


"Brian Kendig" <brian@enchanter.net> wrote in message 
news:1132000652.439813.280870@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>I recently obtained some old 5 1/4-inch floppy drives for PCs. If I
> install one in my PC, is there some Windows utility which will let me
> use it to write data onto it in a way that'll be readable by Apple II
> or Commodore 64 (or 128) computers? More specifically, given this drive
> and a blank floppy and a disk image file of an old 8-bit game, will I
> be able to write the image onto the floppy such that it'll boot the old
> computer it was made for?
> 


0
Leo
11/14/2005 11:37:22 PM
"Brian Kendig" <brian@enchanter.net> wrote in message 
news:1132000652.439813.280870@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>I recently obtained some old 5 1/4-inch floppy drives for PCs. If I
> install one in my PC, is there some Windows utility which will let me
> use it to write data onto it in a way that'll be readable by Apple II
> or Commodore 64 (or 128) computers? More specifically, given this drive
> and a blank floppy and a disk image file of an old 8-bit game, will I
> be able to write the image onto the floppy such that it'll boot the old
> computer it was made for?
>

C64 yes, Apple II, no.

A modded 1541 drive can read 180k single sided MS-DOS DD floppies with 
special software. A 1571 can read standard 360k DOS DD floppies with 
appropriate software.

As for disk images, once you get them transferred to the commodore there a 
programs that will write them to real disks. If this is all you want to do 
though, it might be easier to build/buy an XE1541 cable and hook the 
commodore drive up to your PC.

Dig around for more info and figure out what's best for you.

-Greg 


0
Greg
11/14/2005 11:41:43 PM
Greg Andrzejewski wrote:
> A modded 1541 drive can read 180k single sided MS-DOS DD floppies with 
> special software. A 1571 can read standard 360k DOS DD floppies with 
> appropriate software.

I guess he mean it the other way around.

   Florian
0
Florian
11/15/2005 8:53:42 AM
Some indirect commentary on disk drives in general.... 

Going back in the years..  despite all the bickering back and forth
between Apple II and Commodore users... we knew one thing, while the
1541 (there was no 1571) was slower than snail mail and a woodpecker
doing punch cards, it seemed.. they were an awsome piece of machinery.

You could load a program that for whatever reason I can't recall it's
name right now, yank the cable from two 1541s and let them stand alone
on the table and one would read, the other would write. When you put a
disk in and pinched shut, it would start reading. Then the other drive
would write in Disk Muncher style. After a couple minutes you had a
copy.

These setups would sit at 'wares' gatherings and a Flip 'n File box on
top with *write protected* disks in it, take out what you want, put it
in the top drive, put your blank in the bottom, and when the LEDs quit,
your copy was done. 

Your standard PC hardware is capabile of doing GCR, with some help from
the outside, such as the Trackstar card and other similar solutions.
There was also a DigiCard interface for an Apple II 20 pin drive on x86
hardware back in the day.  

At one time I put together an interface that would attach to the back
of a Teac 55FB series or similar 360K drive, you would detach the cable
assembly from the Teac's analog card that went to the stepper motor and
attach it directly to the interface. The interface card had a 34 pin
slot edge on it to attach to the back of the Teac where the PC drive
cable goes.  This card worked the stepper motor directly via the Apple
Disk ][ Card or Smart Port interface since that was one of the things
Apple (Woz) did differently. The rest of the hardware would work just
fine with the GCR signals.

Using this card you could use those Teac half height drives in a
typical HH 5.25" enclosure. A second - cool hack was that I would take
the Disk ][ Card and redirect one signal to set the drive up to use the
backside of the disk as the second drive. Though this was not really
usefull overall because these disks could only be read back on this
drive, it was interesting none the less, with the use of a RANA 4 drive
card you could double the amount of storage to 8 sides, you could also
do the same with a Disk ][ card and an additional gate on the card,
with the same DOS patches that Rana and the Sider would use, by
accessing the disks as Volume 1, 2, 3 and 4, or patched for ,D1, D2,
D3, D4.. you could access the additional sides.

The days of this being useful would have been more and more prior to it
being done, IE, back in the early BBS days, AE and Cat-Fur lines... by
the time half height drives existed, hard drives didn't cost what they
did. A few years later, you could get that 10 meg Sider for $695.00

But.. it was fun to mess with.

Another DOS trick was also to make a double volume, and stripe the
floppy sides. So that odd tracks were on side 0 and even tracks were
side 1, and count to 70 tracks. This produced definately odd disks that
if someone ever needed security by obscurity - this was it. 

For those that never knew though, DOS 3.3 could handle up to 400K
without *any mods* what so ever. 

The 143K limit was the hardware. 35 tracks, 16 sectors. The 400K drive
that was in the original Macintosh was, (as is every single 20 pin
drive) electrically compatible with the Disk ][, 99%. There are some
slight differences, but attaching a 400K drive to the Disk ][ card
would not do anything bad electrically. Working it is another issue.
But DOS 3.3 can do a 400K volume unmodified. Hence the Sider "super
volume". 

In the days we sure did some interesting things with Corvus OminDrives
and the previous Corvus drives. 

...and the Apple IIgs with 16 Disk ][s and 8 SASI drives, we did that
once in 1988 or so just to see how much stuff could be attached to an
Apple II using every concievable card plus the built in port. 

Never tell an Apple II user it can't be done, thats usually the
quickest way to have it appear.... at least, it used to work. ;-)

Tony
0
11/15/2005 11:37:49 PM
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