ST - PC: floppy compability issues, history
When Atari ST computer serie
is launched it was told that their floppies are MS DOS compatible. This
is not 100% correct, and lot of troubles is caused because of couple
In 1985, when ST arrived 3.5 inch floppy drives were not used on PCs,
it came 2 years later. Actually, data transfer on relation
ST-PC was not interesting much until late 80-es. People noticed
that PC works not with floppies formatted on Atari. Then some solutions
Atari itself modified format in TOS 1.04 (put 0xE9 on boot sector
start), and said that it is now MS DOS compatible. Again, they done it
false - FAT size remained 5 sectors instead required 3. But it worked
in DOS, Win 95.
Then came time of emulators - on regular PC you could run Atari ST
software faster than on real ST! This started problem of transferring
SW to PC, and running from Atari floppies, which were in many cases
non-DOS format. Archiving (on CDs) was second thing where secure data
transfer was needed. Floppy imaging programs appeared, and all it
worked relatively good and reliable.
Then came Win 95 and it still worked good. Actually, better than
DOS - it opened even floppies formatted with TOS 1.0 !
But with Win 98 things started to beeing worse - MS TM
changed floppy driver, and work with ST floppies resulted in many cases
with bad datas, slowness.
Then came 3-rd millenium and Win 2K, Win XP. Running DOS mode is not so
simple now, and lot of SW runs not, or runs incorrect in Win XP. Floppy
driver is changed further and strange things happened.
Correct reading of
800KB or 1600KB floppies became impossible. Couple years later special
floppy drivers appeared to solve this problem. Unfortunatelly, by
'Atari ST floppies on PC' we have lot of incomplete, obsolete, false
and misleading information around WEB sites. Actually, most of sites is
dead - nothing is changed for years. There is many dead link, probably
no need to sorry for them.
All it meant need for some new, XP compatible floppy imaging/reading