How to use a mdv image to get the real files

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ge.konstantopoulos
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How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby ge.konstantopoulos » Sun May 17, 2020 8:02 pm

Hello to all,

I own a Sinclair QL with Trump card, since 1985 and I have been a quite active user up to mid 90s

Lately I have started working again with my QL.

With the help of QPCII and a USB 3.5"drive, I managed to successfully create a workable unzip exe in my original QL and started using some programs from the internet. It wasn't easy. But it is ok now.

The other day I have downloaded an mdv image (file ending like name_mdv) and I have no clue how can I make this image into real files and then transfer them from QPCII to my Original QL.

(QPCII can access both Sinclair QL disks as FLP1_ (my USB 3.5' drive) as well as Windows HDD space like DOS1_, etc...)

Can anyone provide some simple and clear instructions on how someone starting from an image mdv file (called for example name_mdv) can create in QPCII environment the real files?

Thanks!

BR
George.


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Chr$
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Re: How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby Chr$ » Sun May 17, 2020 8:20 pm

There may be other ways and it may even be possible with QPC.

I use the registered version of Qemulator (I think it only works with the registered version) to map a device (e.g. flp1_) to the mdv image and then copy the contents manually with wcopy to another device, e.g. a real floppy as flp2_ to then use on the real QL.

I don't think there is a way of getting a bare bones QL to access an mdv image without extra hardware like a vDrive.


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Derek_Stewart
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Re: How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby Derek_Stewart » Sun May 17, 2020 8:28 pm

Hi,

I use MDI by Martin Head, downloaddd from:
http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/utils/MDIdriver108.zip
MDI allows microdtive images to be mounted as a vitual microdrive.

This works in QPC2 and all other QL sytems. Also compatible with vDriveQL.

I gave a registered copy of Qemulator, which can access microdrive images.

I find that MDI is more flexible, also check FDI, which is tgd Floppy Disk Image software, all this is free.


Regards,

Derek
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ge.konstantopoulos
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Re: How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby ge.konstantopoulos » Sun May 17, 2020 10:26 pm

Thank you gents. Both of you.

I downloaded this MDI driver.

It was not easy to understand what to do, etc, but at the end I managed to mount a file and then by doing dir mdv1_ to see the contents.

I copied them with wcopy.

Unfortunately the image game (Josiah) was not possible to be executed properly (QPCII was frozen soon after the lrun mdv1_boot and the relevant execution of CALL command). But this must be an issue of the game itself.

I do not know.

Everything is so difficult to be done. It is a pity. I hope at some time utilities like the MDI will be easy to execute and clear on what they do. It really takes toooo much time to understand whats going on.

Anyway.

Thanks again.

BR
George.


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Chr$
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Re: How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby Chr$ » Sun May 17, 2020 10:30 pm

QL is certainly a steep learning curve! It's because we've become so used to pressing a button or plugging something it and it simply working.


Collector of original and some newer QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original BBQL's: 2x German, 1x UK model (plus quite a bit of other old stuff)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
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Re: How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby NormanDunbar » Sun May 17, 2020 10:42 pm

Evening George,

ge.konstantopoulos wrote:Unfortunately the image game (Josiah) was not possible to be executed properly (QPCII was frozen soon after the lrun mdv1_boot and the relevant execution of CALL command). But this must be an issue of the game itself.


I suspect the game might be attempting to read mdv2 with a direct sector read. Possibly for a check that you have the master mdv in mdv2. This was a popular manner of piracy detection back in the day.

I beleive the MDI driver cannot do direct sector access and the result may well be a hung QL/emulator.

Cheers,
Norm.


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tofro
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Re: How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby tofro » Sun May 17, 2020 11:22 pm

NormanDunbar wrote:I beleive the MDI driver cannot do direct sector access and the result may well be a hung QL/emulator.


Norman,
if the image is a true dump of the mdv without re-sorted sectors and possible "issues" (which might as well be the copy protection) fixed, it should actually work - there isn't much else than direct sector access in a microdrive.

Most mdv copy protection schemes worked with dirty tricks like duplicate, physically impossible, or shuffled sector numbers. Some imaging software might actually try to "fix" this.

Tobias


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Re: How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby bwinkel67 » Mon May 18, 2020 3:34 am

ge.konstantopoulos wrote:The other day I have downloaded an mdv image (file ending like name_mdv) and I have no clue how can I make this image into real files and then transfer them from QPCII to my Original QL.

Can anyone provide some simple and clear instructions on how someone starting from an image mdv file (called for example name_mdv) can create in QPCII environment the real files?
George.


I see you already solved this. Another way is to use QLAY2 (or QLAYK) which are freeware QL emulators. You simply stick MDV files you want to look at into the DIR directory and associate them to MDV1 to MDV8 in the configuration window and when QLAY2 boots up you'll be able to see them. You can then copy them to a WIN directory which appears as normal files in Windows. If you are dealing with executables on MDV's then just zip them up and move the zip to WIN and you are good to go.

If you want to have a more direct path to a QL, let me recommend vDrive which lets you associate MDV files directly to MDV3 to MDV8 on the QL. Works like a charm.


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Re: How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby Derek_Stewart » Mon May 18, 2020 9:23 am

Hi,

I located the Josiah game or "Josiah Oobadiah" from:
http://www.inkland.org.uk/spectrum/index.htm

With the link:
http://www.inkland.org.uk/spectrum/josiah.zip

Which appears towards to bottom of the page, the MDV image file is a QLAY MDV image file as stated in the web page description, which can be loaded into QLAY or Qemulator. But I like to use SMSQ/E, which means QPC2, SMSQmualtor or Q68. So copying the downloaded archive file josiah.zip into a QWA file or QXL.WIN file and mount in QPC2, unzip with infounzip or a configured Archive Control Panel (ACP), extract the file "josiah_mdv"

The file josiah_mdv is a Qlay microdrive image, so the file must be converted to MDI format with the command: CONVERT2_MDI:

Code: Select all

CONVERT2_MDI "win1_josiah_mdv","win1_josiah_mdi"

Now, mount the file "josiah_mdi" with the MOUNT_MDI command:

Code: Select all

MOUNT_MDI 1,"win1_josiah_mdi"

Since the game uses MDV1 as the media, use MDI_USE to change the MDI device to use MDV:

Code: Select all

MDI_USE "MDV"

Typing:

Code: Select all

DIR MDV1_

should give a listing of the MDV image.

The game is run by typing:

Code: Select all

LRUN "mdv1_boot"

The emualtors need to know about the QL Screen, so enter the command:
QPC2:

Code: Select all

QPC_QLSCREMU 4

SMSQmulator:

Code: Select all

JVA_QLSCREMU 4
also enable the "ALLOW QL SCREEN EMULATION" in the SMSQmulator CONFIG Menu.

The runs too fast for the game, so use the SLUG command to slow the game down with the SLUG command with a value of 20-30, see QPC2 documentation for more details on the SLUG command.

The game should be running in QPC2 and SMSQmulator, note Q68 does not need the QL Screen emulation, as DISP_MODE 1 gives a near perfect QL screen emulation and using MDI, the Q68 can read MDV images.

Here is a zip file with the MDV and MDI file already converted.
josiah.zip
Archive file containing Josiah Oobadiah game in MDV and MDI format
(80.78 KiB) Downloaded 9 times


Regards,

Derek
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Re: How to use a mdv image to get the real files

Postby Martin_Head » Mon May 18, 2020 11:39 am

There was some patching done to the Josiah game in this thread. https://qlforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2700&hilit=josiah

You have to watch out with _mdv images, they may be Qlay format files, or they may be the different Qemulator _mdv format file.

The CONVERT2MDI command takes that into account when doing the conversion.



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