Floppy Nostalgia (Backup of old PC diskettes)


#1

Guys i got some old PC diskettes form an IBM and even some Amiga content but my regular floppy drive wont read them. Can you suggest a way to make backup of those diskettes so i can run them with emulators. Problems is i dont even know whats in most them, cause labels are non-existent or teared, otherwise i could just easily redownload them.


#2

Yes, I can and have the device myself. It is called KryoFlux and you can reach them at kryoflux.com. Please be advised that this device is for internal floppy drives, but if you have one (even a standard PC one), you can read most any format 3.5" PC and AMIGA. With a 5.25" drive, you can even read C= 64 disks and more.

It’s not free though, but when it comes to floppy disks the number of options are in decline and besides, it made me able to rescue most of my old Amiga and PC floppies.

Hope it helps


#3

On their site it says it is a usb device. In any case im not looking to purchase something. Was probably hoping for a software solution, that an create exact and accurate images of those diskettes.

I see some downloads on the kryoflux website. Are they for exclusive use for their product or can they be used with any floppy drive so i can at least be able to try something


#4

I’m afraid the utilities are only for the KryoFlux device.

It has to be emphasized that I’m in no way associated with the firm and their product, only a user with a success story.


#5

I also need to find some old hardware on a computer with an FDD drive.
I need to update the LG CED-8120B.


#6

It may be that some of your discs cannot be copied or imaged using standard software. (Or maybe the discs have just bitten the dust.)

In the mid-90s 3.5" floppy discs appeared which used non-standard formatting and was primarily used for distributing commercial software. It offered increased capacity (1.7MB vs 1.44MB for a standard HD disc) using standard discs, which had obvious cost benefits. But also provided a form of copy protection. Although the discs could be read normally, DOS & other standard disk utilities could not write 1.7MB to a disc.

Fortunately the limitation is purely down to software and was easily overcome with the right utility.

WinImage used to be the default goto utility for imaging floppy discs. I would be surprised if it didn’t handle the most popular 1.7MB floppy disc formats.

I’ve never dabbled I the world of Amigas. All I know is that (out of necessity) software developers came up with all sorts of different copy protection techniques. (IIRC there is a video on YouTube of a very interesting talk from Def Con a few years ago which discusses the ingenious spiral formatting copy protection used on the Amiga’s version of Prince of Persia, which gave the pirates a real headache. I think it was Jason Scott giving the talk.)

If your discs contain commercial software, there is a good chance that someone may have already imaged the disc and shared it. The Internet Archive is a highly respectable organization and has a vast quantity of old software available to download.

(As you have an original disc and license for the software, you should be able to legally use the software even if you downloaded an image.)


#7

Bummer! (I’m assuming that a USB floppy drive won’t work.)

A couple of years ago I hoped that it might be possible to overcome such problems using a virtual machine. The USB passthrough on VMware & Virtual Box is very effective and I thought it might be able to flash an optical drive via a USB bridge. But when it comes to drives it turns out the USB passthrough is nothing of the sort and the VM software was taking over control.

Instead of a standard floppy drive, you could try using an LS-120 drive. This was a competitor to Iomega’s Zip drive in the late 1990s, storing 120MB on special magnetic discs. But unlike the Zip drive it was backwards compatible with standard 3.5" floppy discs. They were fairly widespread in the UK in the last few years of the 20th century and when I looked a few years ago were readily available for peanuts on eBay UK - you couldn’t give them away! It will be harder to find one now, but I still come across the odd one when I’m browsing the optical drives.

The important feature in this case is that they were ATAPI drives which connected to a standard enhanced IDE (PATA) controller, so it should be possible to use one with a relatively modern computer. (You might even be able to use a SATA to PATA bridge board.)

As well as the standard internal version of the drive (usually made by Panasonic), there were some external USB LS-120 drives. As far as I know these were the internal IDE drives mounted in enclosures with an IDE to USB bridge, not native USB drives.

I have not actually tried using an LS-120 drive. In terms of the hardware, they should be compatible with any IDE interface which supports ATAPI drives (such as optical drives) properly. IIRC Windows XP included drivers for LS-120 drives.

Most importantly for your situation, the drives were bootable. Most motherboard bioses had support for booting from an LS-120 drive. I don’t know when this was phased out, but it was still included long after LS-120 drives disappeared from the market.


#8

Another solution might be to make a bootable CD from a floppy drive image.

This is dependent on obtaining an image of the bootable floppy disc created by the LG utility. If the LG utility will write to a USB floppy drive then you can just make a floppy disc image from that. (If not, you might be able to find an image packaged inside the .exe file.)

Most software which can create a bootable CD has the option to use a bootable floppy disc image. But making a disc which boots successfully can be tricky. But in theory this method should work, so long as you can obtain an image of the bootable floppy disc from the LG utility.

If you have the bootable floppy image, but have problems making (or booting from) a bootable CD, you could try downloading a bootable CD image of FreeDOS, copying the LG flasher & firmware to it from the floppy (or image) and running them under FreeDOS.

Good luck.


#9

I have only one copy of this LG model model with great hardware ( chipsets= OAK OTI 9795 + OAK OTI 9701 + Fujitsu MB90F476 + OPU Sanyo SF-W03 ).

No experiments, too much risk for me …
I have already connected FDD to a computer with XP, I still have to find the time to check the floppy disk \ test if they are 100% because some time was not used …
Then he will try to make updates.


#10

By the way, I need to find my 3 pieces LG CED-8080B and check the firmware as I have already connected FDD and checked floppy disks.

555

2018-06-12_131551

2018-06-12_131622


#11

I have left \ not updating the GoldStar bootcode - an unusual rarity.

But the LG CED-8080B has been seamlessly upgraded to 1.08 firmware