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PostPosted: April 16th, 2012, 6:13 pm 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2012, 7:22 pm
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Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Ok guys, I know this has been gone over before, but the answers that I found were hardly definitive, mostly referencing other posts that I couldn't find. The question is, how can I go about writing FM-TOWNS disk images to floppy, either on my PC or on my FM-TOWNS. I have a 3-mode drive for my PC, and I have an FM-TOWNS II UR with 10MB RAM as well. I have a program called DiskImage 1.3b, and it seems to support FM-TOWNS format images, but I haven't had a chance to test it yet since my disk writing station decided to crap out with a corrupted disk and I haven't had time to do a reinstall. So anyway, what is a way, speaking in straightforward directions, that I can write FM-TOWNS format images to floppy? I need to be able to do this since I have a rather large collection of disk images of floppy based FM-TOWNS software, and also I would like to install TownsOS over DOS 6.x rather then 3.x as comes standard on the TownsOS 2.1L51 disk. Please let me know. Thanks so much!


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PostPosted: April 18th, 2012, 10:34 pm 
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Joined: May 15th, 2010, 1:35 am
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There isn't a specific FM Towns floppy format. Most floppies floating on the net are in a raw headerless format (.bin, .hdm, .disk) or in D88 format.
Basically you can use any floppy writing program that supports 1.2MB images. For D88 images you can use DITT, or convert the images with Virtual Floppy Image Converter and use another program.


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PostPosted: April 19th, 2012, 5:20 am 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2012, 7:22 pm
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Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
I'm still not having a whole lot of luck here. Is it possible to do with a USB 3mode drive or am I just spinning my wheels. I have a standard 3mode drive but the machine it's in is fubar at the moment, so if doing it with a USB drive is possible I would like to know, otherwise I will move on to the floppy disk interface connected drive.Either way though, just please make it easy for me here, and complete this sentence: "I can write an FM TOWNS format RAW image file with the file extension .BIN using the program by the name of ________." I'm not trying to be a smartass or rude, I just have found many posts with answers that don't help all that much.


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PostPosted: April 19th, 2012, 10:36 am 
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TheRogue wrote:
Is it possible to do with a USB 3mode drive or am I just spinning my wheels.

I'm not completely sure but probably not. Floppy drive access is very limited in Windows NT - a pure DOS environment is best. If you have the right drivers a USB drive in Windows 95/98 might work.

This program might work, but it might require Japanese Windows 9x (Windows 2000+ will definitely not work).
http://www.ne.jp/asahi/lieutenant/q/wmakexdf.htm
Syntax (run from a Win9x DOS window):
Code:
RSTRXDF <filename> <drivenumber>

<filename> should be a raw headerless floppy image. You might need to rename it to .xdf.
<drivenumber> is 0 (A:) or 1 (B:).

For D88 files, use DITT in MS-DOS (http://retropc.net/cisc/m88/dl/)
Actually you could do everything with DITT if you convert the raw floppy images to D88 format (using VFIC).


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PostPosted: April 20th, 2012, 7:34 pm 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2012, 7:22 pm
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Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
I set up my disk writing station again last night. It seems that the problem was a combination of an unstable PCI card and a dead hard disk. I was running with two hard disks, one containing Windows XP and Windows 98SE, and one containing DOS 7.10, triple-booted with the aid of Grub4DOS. The disk containing the two versions of windows crapped out. In addition, either my TV card or my Sound Blaster Audigy 1394 was causing huge system instability. Put these two things together and you get a very difficult problem to diagnose. The disk worked intermittently, but it created problems with the IDE channel it was connected to, sometimes causing corruption on the good disk, or even causing the good disk to not be detected properly on startup. I figured it was probably a problem with either the soundblaster or the TV Card, so I took both out, and then when I turned the computer on the machine would not even complete POST, it would just hang with the BIOS logo and the processor information on the screen!! I am 99% sure it was the Sound Blaster... I have had many problems in the past with the PCI Sound Blaster, what the hell is wrong with them?! Anyway, I removed power from the system and left it for about an hour. When I went back to it, it completed POST properly, but the master hard disk was not working properly. I noticed that the disk was making a funny sound, so I disconnected it, reset the other disk as the master and it was working again! I installed DOS and Windows XP in a dual boot configuration as a stop gap until I can get another disk. I installed OmniFlop, and I was able to make workable FM TOWNS floppies using the DOS 1,232KB setting. I have used DITT in the past for making disks for my FM-77AV40SX, but I don't have any D88 format FM TOWNS images, only .bin and .hdm. I will try out some DOS utilities as well, and see if I can write a definitive FM TOWNS disk writing guide, since it seems that lots of people are asking this question. I appreciate the help though kobushi, your information helped a lot!


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PostPosted: April 20th, 2012, 10:05 pm 
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So Omniflop worked in Windows XP? That's good news.
Sorry to be so vague with the instructions, but my disk writing station is a PC-9821 and Mahalito or ERCVFD, so I'm not really sure what works in English MS-DOS (other than DITT).

Quote:
I am 99% sure it was the Sound Blaster... I have had many problems in the past with the PCI Sound Blaster, what the hell is wrong with them?!

It's all been downhill since the Sound Blaster 16...


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PostPosted: April 21st, 2012, 7:03 pm 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2012, 7:22 pm
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Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
It's ok that you were vague, it makes sense since you are using a PC-98. In my experience, English MS-DOS has never been a difficulty. DOS/V programs run fine, their output is just garbled (although not under Windows XP with it's Non-Unicode settings set for Japan) at least in my experience. When I find simple programs that are DOS/V based, I tend to just pipe their output to a text file and then translate the text file. If the program isn't too complicated I will translate the program as well like I have done with several disk utilities listed in the Other Computers forum here. I plan to pick up a PC-98 some time soon as well. When I do I'll let you know and you can tell me how to write disks with it, I am just curious to try it. Thanks again for all your help!

DEFINITIVE CONCLUSION FOR THIS THREAD: Writing FM-TOWNS floppies is easy.
1. Make sure you have a 3-mode floppy drive, if you are unsure, google your drive's model number. Keep in mind that a USB floppy drive will not cut it for this method, I am still investigating if it's possible to use one for other methods.
2. Install the 3-mode floppy in a machine that is running or is capable of running Windows XP
3. Install OmniFlop (http://www.shlock.co.uk/Utils/OmniFlop/OmniFlop.htm), following the directions for installing the special OmniFlop floppy controller and floppy drive drivers.
4. Open OmniFlop
5. Select Format a Disk
6. Select whichever drive letter is your 3-mode drive (A or B)
7. Select the 77/2/8x1024 DOS 1,232KB format
8. Let it format
9. Select Write
10. Select your 3-mode drive again
11. Select the 77/2/8x1024 DOS 1,232KB format again
12. Select your disk image.
13. Set the Image Type to .img
14. Let OmniFlop write the disk
15. You have a usable FM-TOWNS floppy!


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PostPosted: April 22nd, 2012, 7:33 am 
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Joined: April 12th, 2009, 9:04 am
Posts: 161
Location: Italy
Yes, Omni flop doesn't work with USB floppy drives, I have personally tested it .
So, I can give you my personal experience.I use my USB floppy drive model PCGA-UFD5 and succefully write back disk images to 3.5" floppies for my X68000 CompactXVI using DiskImage_13b.This the right procedure to follow, obviously it will work also for FM-Towns and other japanese computers with same floppy specifications (X68000, PC-9801 and other)

http://www.gamesx.com/wiki/doku.php?id=x68000:writing_3.5_floppies


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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 11:25 am 
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Joined: December 24th, 2007, 10:12 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Takasaki City, Gunma
The post I put in the PC-98 forum on reading / writing PC-98 discs, will work on FM Towns discs (just needs one change on the disc image format...). As I wrote one for the FM towns marty a few years back.


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