Make DSK image from protected floppy

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Van Manuel

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13-06-2012, 14:25

~mk~, if you're interested to help testing, then please contact me (or via our IRC channel). You currently need a system with 2 disk drives to use the tool, though. And you need to have a WD2793 FDC in your MSX (e.g. a Philips or Sony machine).

Van ~mk~

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13-06-2012, 16:49

Oh I was hoping it would work on every MSX Sad
Mine is a Talent TPC-310 with an external DPF-550 drive.

Van mars2000you

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13-06-2012, 16:59

A PC version should be also interesting. To run it independently from an emulator. But of course adapted to PC drives.

Van Manuel

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13-06-2012, 17:42

Only an MSX version will be available, because it needs to control the FDC directly. A PC version is not feasible (for now).

The tool is still in development, in the end it will also work on single drive systems, but you will need to have the WD2793 (or compatible) FDC - luckily most machines do, except for the one in the turboR, for instance.

Van wouter_

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13-06-2012, 19:53

mars2000you wrote:

A PC version should be also interesting. To run it independently from an emulator. But of course adapted to PC drives.

A tool that runs on MSX is already independent from an emulator.

I actually would have preferred to write a PC tool. Unfortunately most of the floppy disk drivers in modern OSes (both linux and the various windows variants) don't offer the right APIs to access to disk controller at a low enough level for this tool (we need access to the raw track data).

On MSX the WD2793 FDC (used in many MSX2 machines) does offer the right functionality. But the TC8566AF FDC (used in a turbor) also lacks the 'read raw track data' command.

Van Manuel

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17-06-2012, 09:22

So, who wants to help testing? At the moment, the biggest requirement is that you need 2 disk drives.

Van saccopharynx

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18-06-2012, 17:07

SkalTura wrote:

Hello...

I'm making DSK images from my friends floppy collection, and I stumbled upon a protected floppy.
The floppy works fine (it has a game on it), but when I try to make a DSK image from it, it says that there are a lot of bad sectors. When I try to read the floppy in MSX-Basic or MSX-Dos, it says "Disk I/O error".
I can remember that there was some sort of copy protection that gave the same bad sector effect, so I tried copying the floppy onto another floppy with special MSX copy software, and that seemed to work fine. The copied floppy worked also, but I still couldn't make a DSK image of it.

Is it possible to make a DSK image from these kind of protected floppies, and does anyone know how...?
Many thanks

It depends on both the sort of protection and the OS on where you're trying to copy the floppy disk. On MSX platform, I think that Wouter's dump program is available. On PC, EPL Copy was in the PAST just one of the few applications able to copy protected disks, but you need a very old PC to run it.

HOWEVER, you won't get a DSK image from any of them. What's more, I don't think that you could get a correct DSK image in most of the cases. For instance, some protections added extra tracks, so even though if you're able to dump every single sector, the image is gonna be bigger than 360Kb or 720Kb.

Furthermore, some protections were based on non-standard sector numbering for specific tracks (e.g., 1,"10",3,4,5,6,7,8,9)...You won't be able to run these DSK images without modifying or cracking the protection. That's exactly why we need a new format capable of preserving and representing all this information.

Inspired by a really hard protection implemented several years ago in Argentina, I wrote a document that you can find online. This document describes those kinds of weird formats given to floppy disks and you'll see why it is impossible to get workable DSKs unless you partially or entirely remove the protection. At the moment it is only available in Spanish (no time for translations), but Google Translator might help…

http://ricardonarvaja.info/WEB/OTROS/TUTES%20SACCOPHARYNX/m003.html

Unfortunately, I don't longer own MSX computers or those floppy disks either (all the stuff is out of order), so that's why I documented the full protection to manually recreate it when a new format would be available, for example, DMK. Subject to my time availability, I will create DMK images featuring that protection...

S.

Van Manuel

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18-06-2012, 20:54

Hmm, the Translator only translates the first half... Looks like the connection style of the DPF-550 is unique, am I right? We could add support for it in openMSX. The Daewoo DPF-550 is identical, right?

Van mars2000you

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18-06-2012, 21:37

Quote:

Hmm, the Translator only translates the first half.

It happens when the text is very long. You need to translate smaller parts and to copy/paste/merge the different translations in a text file.

Van saccopharynx

Master (135)

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19-06-2012, 03:34

Manuel wrote:

Hmm, the Translator only translates the first half... Looks like the connection style of the DPF-550 is unique, am I right? We could add support for it in openMSX. The Daewoo DPF-550 is identical, right?

Yes, some sort of unique connection, but as you said, it presents extremely strong similarities to Daewoo models...Actually, Talent DPC-200 also showed resemblance to Daewoo models. I think that there are just a few differences in between related to some addresses of the I/O Disk Controller.

The protection was based on a crafted software that gave floppy disks non-standard formats. Basically, the format routine was extracted from the disk controller of the Talent DPF-550 and used to develop a new application which, for example, changed the sequential and conventional numbering order of sectors....

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