If you are like me, your floppy disk stock is dwindling, NOS floppies are getting expensive and you hate to see floppies go to waste because they fail a format. But you are probably thinking, if they fail to format, then what's to waste? They did their best as long as they could and it's time to say good bye and let them rot in peace, right? Not exactly, necessarily...and no, this isn't a re-hash of the DOS 3 tip, though I have saved a few that way. This is another tip, that I use all the time, but have just forgotten to mention to anyone else until now.
Any road, here is the tip: Just because an Atari DOS or Prosystem, or whatever way you use to write floppies, says a disk failed format, it doesn't mean the entire disk is bad, it might just be one sector, assuming the format process didn't instantly reject the disk, and it started formatting, but just couldn't finish. There's a chance there is still room on that floppy disk to use for something, as long as it fits on the part of the floppy before where it failed to format. It's not like nothing got formatted, the disk got formatted properly up to that first bad sector.
So go ahead and just try and write the .ATR image to the disk anyway! Many times you will find that there is enough good space on the disk for the actual program(s).
Yes, since you are trying to write a full 90/130K ATR, the write process will also say it failed at some point too, though it may not if you don't check the box to write empty sectors on Prosystem. I don't recall how it works with real DOS, but I don't think empty sectors are written using a real DOS anyway, are they? And if you are formatting to use with a real DOS and adding single files and not writing a whole ATR, it might fail a format but can still be used up to that first bad sector as well.
In any case, just go through the whole process until it stops one way or the other, and go ahead and try and boot the floppy, the program you want just may work if the entire program was written before the first bad sector, and that's one less floppy thrown out and one less used in it's place.
Post by charliechaplin on Nov 25, 2018 1:59:49 GMT
Well, Abbuc requires approx. 3000 diskettes (5,25" DD) per year for the Abbuc Magazine and its members. And since Wolfgang almost did run out of disks, he made a big deal with a US producer of 5,25" disks (Athana or OldFloppyDisks ?). He will order a set amount of disks every year and also order several hundred surplus disks for the private use of Abbuc members (so they can order disks in the Abbuc shop)... in other words, newly produced 5,25" DD disks are on its way to Germany!
To me there is no real reason to use several decades old and partially defective 5,25" disks that do not format correctly anymore. With a normal DOS 2 or sector copy, you cannot avoid or bypass defective sectors (you will get a format or write error). Think there are a few DOS 2 programs named "Bad Sector Formatter" or similar, that will format a disk even if it has bad/defective sectors and simply mark the bad/defective sectors in the VTOC as "in use", so they will not be used or written to from DOS or a Filecopy program (running under DOS). However, this will not work with a sectorcopy program... and if there are already bad sectors on the disk (due to age and/or disk rot), chances are big, that after some time even more bad sectors will appear. Maybe this was no problem 20, 25, 30 or 35 years ago when the disks were brandnew, but nowadays most 5,25" disks are up to 35 and more years old, so I would not use old disks with defective sectors any longer - you will sooner or later lose data!
Old age of diskettes causes disk rot, e.g. - disk rot due to chemical processes of the disk material (these will continue, so more bad sectors will appear!) - disk rot due to "fingus infections" of the magnetic media (these will continue to grow, so more bad sectors!) As said before, it would have been okay to use disks with a few bad/defective sectors in the past, when the disks were brandnew, but nowadays... better don't do that if you want to avoid losing valuable data. Either try to get new(er) diskettes without errors / defects or use ATR and other image formats (digital formats, digital backups, digital preservation files, etc.) as an alternative... but hey, that's just my subjective opinion.
A fantastic tip nezgar ! Definitely a better way than mine. Sparta is all I use too (except for the DOS 3 trick, which I think I can move on from now-which also gives me an extra floppy since I can discard DOS 3 now for it's last usefulness) And I have the required Happy drive too!
Thanks again! Yeah, I see no use in US doublers in 1050's anymore with Atarimax selling Happy reproductions...my second 1050 will also be getting a Happy. I'll probably give my 810 the Happy treatment too, though in that case I'll have to get one from B&C or Best E.
Well... I still like US doublers because I can make them myself for a few dollars in parts compared to $40 from AtariMax if I simply want a drive to be true double density capable in a pinch.
Also consider the mini-speedy 1050 by tf_hh nowadays. Now with NTSC compatible firmware, it's even faster than happy, and without the bugs, and a little cheaper than an AtariMax happy board.
I hear you there, cheap DIY is the way I like to go too. Not just to save money, but because I like to do it. But I've grown to fond of the programmability of the Happy boards and ability emulate most other boards, including the USD and I believe the speedy 1050 too. But the USD was my first ever upgrade, for many years I loved it and saw no need for anything more even in recent years since .ATR's and .XEX's are easy to download. Until I actually got a Happy and learned all of what it can do. It's one area I'm willing to spend $40 on for a professional board, since I don't have the equipment for making PCB's. There may be "better" or "cheaper" than the Happy out there these days, but I'm happy with the Happy. And I certainly haven't had any "bug" issues in the past 2 years I've owned a Happy, so I've absolutely no concerns thus far there, and if it's to do with it's copying abilities, I don't use that, it's not why I have it. I've purchased several bits of kit from tf_hh, and love his stuff though.