USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Discussion and advice about emulating the QL on other machines.
Martin_Head
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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby Martin_Head » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:32 am

I'm not too sure about this. But if the QDOS disk is a 720K one, Does Windows 10/the motherboard floppy controller support 720K disks?


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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby duncan » Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:34 pm

Windows 7 does not support access to QDOS DD 720k disks via a USB floppy disk drive to QPC2, so it is unlikely that Windows 10 will, HD 1.44MB QDOS floppy disks via a USB floppy disk drive are supported in Windows 7. Not having Windows 10 I cannot test that.


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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby RWAP » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:13 pm

duncan wrote:Windows 7 does not support access to QDOS DD 720k disks via a USB floppy disk drive to QPC2, so it is unlikely that Windows 10 will, HD 1.44MB QDOS floppy disks via a USB floppy disk drive are supported in Windows 7. Not having Windows 10 I cannot test that.


I beg to differ - I use a USB floppy disk drive with both Windows 7 and Windows 10 and QPC2 without any problems....

Sometimes you have to force Windows to realise it is a DD disk though... Open a DOS box, put a blank DD disk in the drive and use:
FORMAT a: :/t:80 /n:9

Then it will happily read QDOS DD disks (at least on my system)


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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby dilwyn » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:23 pm

Just spent a bit of time on this, as RWAP knows my history with DD disks on Windows 7. Neither computer has a native inbuilt floppy drive, I have to use a USB HD floppy drive.

On an older Windows 7 laptop (which I no longer have, it was uneconomical to repair after it broke down) nothing would persuade it to handle DD (720KB) floppy disks. Couldn't even format disks using RWAP's command line format. Incidentally, minor typo in that, it should be:

FORMAT a: /t:80 /n:9

(there should only be one colon after drive name a, not two).

I currently use a Windows 7 desktop PC with Windows 7 home premium 64-bit. On this PC you can't normally format a DD disk from Windows, but with RWAP's command line format command, it is possible. QPC2 is able to read and write pre-formatted DD disks. Normally, an attempt to format a DD disk from QPC2 fails (you get the asynchronous disk problem complaint noise), but works if "*D" is added to the medium name in a format command in QPC2. FORMAT "flp1_name*D"

Windows 10 Home 64-bit on a HP laptop - At first this was complete failure with DD disk, from QPC2 or from Windows. The drive simply did not respond at all. I was sat there for several minutes wondering what to try next when it suddenly sprang to life without me doing anything. As I don't remember using this USB drive with this laptop, I wonder if it took a few minutes to install drivers or whatever? Anyhow, I tried the same things with Windows 10 as I had on the Win 7 PC. Same results - QPC2 could read and write DD disks, but to format a QDOS DD disk needed "FORMAT 'flp1_name*D' " to specifically identify it as a DD 720KB drive. It was unable to format a DD disk from Windows File Explorer, gave a rather cryptic message already mentioned here about asking it to do something which isn't allowed. But using RWAP's DOS format command from a DOS box command prompt, it formatted and upon completion it was recognised from both Windows and QPC2.

Saving files to the DD disk from both QPC2 and Windows, then transferring it to another PC and the files were readable (both QDOS and DOS).

Taking the QDOS disk to a QL and the disk was not readable. But the QL has a DD drive and it's well known that DD disks recorded in a HD drive don't always work on a DD drive.

Only tried normal file access, not tried direct sector access.

Researching this online, I read somewhere (unfortunately I can't find the uRL now I need it) that floppy drivers were left out of some builds of Windows 10 and would be "added later" and something about Windows Update to locate drivers. I've tried to find that article but can't, sorry.

I can't answer about the on-board native floppy disk connections in Win 10, but I hope this might help others trying to format and use DD disks in QPC2/Windows 10.


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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby RWAP » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:52 pm

Just a slight comment on Dilwyn's notes which closely reflect my own findings.

If you take a DD disk and format it on the QL, providing QPC2 or q-emulator recognises it, then you can happily write files to that disk and use it on the QL without issue.

However, as Dilwyn found, formatting the disk on the PC and then using it on the QL is very hit and miss.

I had never thought about using FORMAT flp1_name*D from within QPC2. As I said above - if you use the DOS format routine on a blank DD disk, QPC2 then seems quite happy to write to, recognise and format QL floppy disks - presumably because something in the Windows device layer has recognised the drive as using DD floppies...


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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby duncan » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:51 pm

Hi Rich,

See attached image.
DD disk Format.png


Used your suggested DD format, as amended by Dilwyn but Windows 7 still does not like the disk. This might be down to the actual USB drive. I have a FreeCom USB drive bought from Scan a few years ago.

But here are my question(s) are you suggesting that if a blank DD disk is formatted on Windows 7/10 using your command line that any subsequent qdos disks formatted years ago on QDOS based systems inserted after the format will be read on the PC by QPC2? That is not my experience for some time.

Secondly if you mean that modern PCs can format DD disks as QDOS with some combinations of PC hardware why would you want to put QL data on them anyway as QDOS HD floppy format is accepted on QL emulators and actual hardware QL systems anyway.

If you want a supply of DD disks I have more than a few here from Amiga 1200 years you could buy.

Duncan


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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby RWAP » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:28 pm

duncan wrote:Hi Rich,

Used your suggested DD format, as amended by Dilwyn but Windows 7 still does not like the disk. This might be down to the actual USB drive. I have a FreeCom USB drive bought from Scan a few years ago.


That error is peculiar - is QPC2 or q-emulator open and trying to access the disk when you do the DOS format command? Not sure what other process would have control of the disk, unless you have something like a disk imager / or possibly your antivirus software is getting in the way and trying to make sense of an unformatted floppy disk...

But here are my question(s) are you suggesting that if a blank DD disk is formatted on Windows 7/10 using your command line that any subsequent qdos disks formatted years ago on QDOS based systems inserted after the format will be read on the PC by QPC2? That is not my experience for some time.


Yes - that has worked for me without issues using a cheap USB floppy drive and WIndows 7 and Windows 10, although I tend to use q-emulator more for accessing floppy disks than QPC2

Secondly if you mean that modern PCs can format DD disks as QDOS with some combinations of PC hardware why would you want to put QL data on them anyway as QDOS HD floppy format is accepted on QL emulators and actual hardware QL systems anyway.

If you want a supply of DD disks I have more than a few here from Amiga 1200 years you could buy.


Why DD? For supplying programs and my QL Box-sets. The QL needs a Gold Card or Super Gold Card to read HD formatted disks - none of the other disk interfaces can read them.

I have got loads of DD disks now - I bought a load from the US earlier this year - new old stock, branded.

Actually I have found disks previously formatted on the Amiga to be extremely unreliable when trying to reformat them on a QL - a high percentage failed to reformat or if they did, did not result in 1440/1440 sectors. Maybe that is the issue - the DD disks themselves you are using?


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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby janbredenbeek » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:52 am

I've had problems reading floppies too. I remember QPC2 v3 worked fine but v4 did not, at least not on Windows 7. I also remember at least v3 worked on XP, maybe v4 too. In the end I archived all my floppies as .flp images using Linux's dd command, which QPC reads happily.
No experience on Windows 10, my Windows 10 PC doesn't have a floppy drive ;)


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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby duncan » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:00 am

Hi Rich,
That error is peculiar - is QPC2 or q-emulator open and trying to access the disk when you do the DOS format command? Not sure what other process would have control of the disk, unless you have something like a disk imager / or possibly your antivirus software is getting in the way and trying to make sense of an unformatted floppy disk...


I tried your command again this morning with the PC just booted up system clean, no emulators, or other software accessing the disk drive and I get the same error message. The disk I use to test format is a DD disk that has previously been formatted on a QDOS system.

Amiga DD disks can be difficult to reformat, this might be due to the bespoke 880k disk capacity that they have.

Duncan


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Re: USB Floppy Disk Device (Drive) with Support for Windows 10 and QPC2?

Postby Martin_Head » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:38 am

duncan wrote:
Amiga DD disks can be difficult to reformat, this might be due to the bespoke 880k disk capacity that they have.

Duncan
Threaten them with a big magnet :evil:



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