Program is intended for diverse
data transfer and storage/backup operations with mass storage medias
(drive, disk, flash card). Basic option is making of image
file, and reverse operation - writing image file to media. Such image
files are useful as backups, as images suitable for diverse emulators.
Program works with hard drive category of medias - there belong: IDE
hard disks, PEN drives, diverse FLASH storage cards as Compact Flash
& SD cards -
they attach usually via some USB card reader to PC. File transfer may happen
directly from/to attached disk/media or from/to image file.
Selection of drive is by
simple click on it's line in list window left.
Then program attempts to detect used filesystem on that media . First ones are internal hard disks with 'DOS
mbr' filesystem - so better don't write
to them! GemDos is used by Atari ST and compatibles. PLUSIDEDOS is
used by Spectrum +3e and some other clones.
'Charea DoS' is mine system, with 36 areas by begin letter A-Z, 0-9.
Refresh button is for
forcing detection of all drives again - in case you
connected/disconnected something. Under it you may set offset
from start of disks and count of sectors if want to read/write only
segment of drive.
Because it is not possible to detect correct CHS parameters via USB
reader, there is possibility to enter them manually. Program usually
offers usable values for Compact Flash cards. With click on 'Size CHS' user may change
detected drive's size, by need. That
size remains until next drive selection. 'LBA' is required only for
disk Init, see below.
With click on 'Open image file'
you may select image file instead drive. You may then perform even
conversion RAW-HDF or HDF-RAW. Just click after selecting image file on
'Read from sel'd', and
program will convert.
If 'Swap L/H' is checked program will swap Low/High bytes by
reading from drive to image file or by writing from image file to
drive. It is for Atari ST disks used with IDE interface, where MSB/LSB
order is reversed in compare to PC. When such drive is selected 'GemDos
SW' will appear as filesystem in 'Info' block. Converting image file to
reversed L/H ordered is easy: open image file, check 'Swap L/H' and click 'Read
from sel'd' . Give filename and save it...
Program gets CHS parameters
from hdf files, but for
RAW it is not possible (except when Charea DoS FS is on, see below -
Guess geo.) , so enter them manually by need - in case
of (older) image files for usage with CHS ROMs.
Program will ask for extra confirmation in case of attempting write to
drive over 2 GB - to prevent accidental write to PC hard disks, what
will result in destroying partition records and datas on them.
Limitations: works only in Windows XP and newer versions. Must
have admin rights
to read/write on drives.
Speed: From version 1.32 speed
is significantly improved.
It depends much from used media and connection. I get over 10MB/sec with
SanDisk Ultra II 2GB CF card by read, but only when connect it to IDE
controller of MB (via CF-IDE adapter). With cheap USB card reader speed
is abut 2.5MB/sec for same card. Write to FLASH cards is usually slower
2-3 times thean read.
Important for users of Windows 7 and later (up to 10): those
Windows versions will not allow proper write of image files to Flash
cards if they contain some DOS or Windows partitions, and they are
mounted when attached to PC. For now I can offer only simple solution
to workaround that problem, until find a way to do it in this SW (if it
is possible at all ?). Whole trick is to destroy MBR (Master Boot
Record) on Flash card, then it will be detected as unpartitioned,
uninitialized. Destroying of partitions before writing image to card is
no problem, because image writing destroys it anyway. So, you need to
write supplied short file ZEROS.IMG to card with this SW. Of course to
begin of card, so leave Sectors from start setting at value 0. After
that short write disconnect card reader for few seconds and attach it
again. Should no mount any partitions. Then can write image file on it
properly. When completed write may test are TOS/DOS compatible
partitions (in case that wrote such image) accessible in Windows will
need to remove and reinsert card again.
Atari ST GemDos, DOS16 & BigDOS
file transfer & partition extract
When GemDos or DOS MBR (partition
table) with FAT16, BigDOS
partitions (or just single
partition without MBR)
is detected, following dialog will open after clicking on 'File transfer' :
It works with GemDos AHDI 3.0 spec
partitioned hard disks, medias or image files of them (img, raw) . Plus
works with DOS FAT16 and BigDos(x) partitions - primary and in Extended
and EXTNDx partitions.
Limitation: there is no more 2GB limit.
Select partition in right box, and program will list root directory of
it in left box.
May select multiple files, directories at once. With 'Extract' all it
(with subdirectories and their content) will be copied in current
directory on PC, which may be selected with 'Dest Dir' button.
Buttons 'Dir Up' and 'Open Dir' are for
navigation in GemDos partition's directories.
Subdir can be opened with double-click on it's name too.
'Add files' : It is of
course for copiing files from PC to attached
disk/media or to image file. May add multiple files at once, but not
subdirectories with their content.
Below is selectable whether timestamp of added files will be current
time or origin file's time.
'New folder.' :
creates subDir by name given in editbox below - in current ST dir. Use
Sunken button 'Partitions:'
is for extracting image file of only selected partition. From drive or
In case of swapped L/H it will be saved in normal order, so may access
partition with common tools. It also sets 'Sectors from start' and
'Sector count' to position of
selected partition in main window (just close file selector without
save). So advanced user
may insert partiton with new content in disk or image file. It is
dangerous operation, so do it only if know what are you doing.
It works now with AHDI (GemDos) spec. disks (or image files) with reversed (swapped) (IDE interface)
byte order too. Program will autodetect
byte order ('GemDos SW' will appear for reversed ones), and will do all
New option at ver. 1.28 : Seeking
partitions. If partition table is damaged from some reason program can
seek FAT16 partitions. List of partitions is empty then, or some
partitions missing. Click on 'Seek P' button, and list of
partitions will appear left, instantly - in case that they are not
First value is sector offset from start. Then is size in MB and
'Ext' if it is extended partition. With click on 'Write PT'
(Write partition table) it will be written to image in GemDOS format.
Before it, program will save current partition table (MBR sector) -
give some memorable name to file.
'PT from file' will write partition table in image or drive from
selected file. So, may restore original or make some experiments.
Seeking partitions combined with partition extract offers some new
possibilities - as making custom order from selected partitions. User
needs to extract partitions and then just make one combined file from
them with copy command. For now, only 4 primary partitions may be
combined so. After it seeking will create partition table...
User may extract ZX
files from drives or image files (raw or hdf
format). After selecting drive from list or file with 'Open image file' click on
'File transfer' - it
is designed for Charea DoS system, used by hard
disk and CF ROMs (zxcflba.rom, zx8bide.rom & zxide.rom) on this site.
If you get mess instead lists probably CHS is incorrect. For LBA it is
'standard' 32 Sector/track and 8 Heads. Clicking on 'Guess geo.' may detect and
set correct drive geometry.
clicking on 'File transfer' button be sure that Image format is correct
set. Program usually automatically sets it, but sometimes user will
need to manually set it. For 8-bit simple IF drives or images must set
ZX > PC:
At left select
Charea, then clicking on
files in middle box selects them for transfer - they appear in right
box. With 'Save sel.'
it will be transferred to PC.
Resulting file may be TAP file
, Z80 snapshot. If
length ( last
at Cat: ) is 49152 it will be Z80. It is possible to save ZX
files directly, without header - just check 'Save bin.', and all will be
saved so, with extensions bin.
You may select max 32 files at
once. However, it is not wise to select lot of files for TAP at once -
all will go in single TAP file. Best way is as it is shown on pic.
above - first select BASIC loader and then CODE (after it). Most of
programs is recorded so. 'Erase sel.' is for erasing
ZX files. It works little unusual - may erasing only last file in
charea. But you may select again multiple files, just select them in
order from last to up - may select from different chareas at once.
With click on 'Chareas'
program will set segment for just currently selected charea - to make
easy save/write of individual chareas of drives.
PC > ZX:
Click on 'PC > Cha.' button, and
select multiple files with Win. fileselector:
Supported filetypes are: SCR -
ZX screen, exactly 6912 bytes long. SNA
- old snapshot files. Z80
snapshot - V 1.45, V 2.01 & V 3.0 ,
only for 48K, for now. Plus TAP
files and BINary files - bin
will be copied directly as CODE files, with start address 25000, max
len. 48KB. Transfer mode depends on file extension. Because authors of
especially 'authors' of TAP files had pretty limited naming
imagination, and to prevent to see too often message like: I implemented some autonaming system. In case
duplicate name in TAP file, prog. will rename it to re.xxx.PCfilename .
're' may be changed in editbox 'Rename:'. xxx is auto-counter
in range 1 to 255. If begin character is illegal (not A-z, 0-9)
it will be changed to 9. Codes above 127 and below 32 in filenames will
be changed to '?'- to make edit
After getting such renamed files it is good to correct BASIC loader,
and save datas with some meaningful names: Corrections will be needed
for commands like: LOAD "" -
it is not allowed by disk systems, so enter in brackets filename. Mine
ROM also not accepts LOAD "pic" SCREEN$ - change it to LOAD "pic" CODE
 . Luckily, ZX filesystem is case sensitive, so you may play
with RePTON, rEpToN etc... .
In some cases transferred snapshot will not work - it is because of
limited hardware. Stack may be overloaded. In such case help is to make
another snapshot file on PC (looking for another on WEB). Rule is: make
snapshot when game is paused. In case of 'Name already exists' by
snapshots just simple rename PC file...
Some TAP files have headerless (and nameless) parts - such blocks will
to files with names: hl.1.PCfilename, hl.2.PCfilename etc. Of course,
here is also possible to change prefix 'hl' to different - editbox 'H'less:'.
User must find way how to make later load of those files normally
- some machine code knowledge is necessary.
For experts: If I reg points to ROM, it must be #39 for IM 2 mode,
because ROM is full with code.
main window, at top right is button 'Create img' . It will create empty image file in
format according to settings in box 'Image format', with geometry by
settings in box 'CHS setting'.
Recomended is usage of HDF format
- it holds all necessary parameters. For 8-bit simple IF HDF 256
format is required.
of ZX disk or image file:
usage, disk (media) must be
initialized, what means creating of filesystem. It is something like
partitioning on PC.
Select drive or Open image file. Set geometry by
need (it can't be autodetected in some cases). For zxcflba.rom (CF
interface) click button 'LBA'
- it will set correct parameters for init (32 sec/tr & 8 heads).
Check is Image format
correct (for 8-bit simple IF it must be HDF 256). Then click on 'Init' at top right.
Program divides space by criteria
letter is common. So, much more space for S than for Q.
In listbox is begin letter, then
total capacity of it's charea and
number of CAT slots - so much files can be stored there. By clicking on
charea in listbox it's parameters will appear in setboxes right. There
may adjust size and slot count. Lower will see total size of all
chareas. Most important is to watch 'Free:' indicator. If it go in
negative, you must decrease size of some charea(s). Otherwise last
charea(s) will be outside of disks capacity.
Small setbox 'Data at:' is for
setting start cylinder of first charea.
It is standardly 1, but in some cases may be bigger, up to 9. Can't be
0 (at start is Master CAT). After writing in value click on 'Data at:' to enter it. And may need to decrease
some sizes after...
Old filesystem has some limitations: max size of charea is 32MB by CF
16-bit IF, and 16MB by 8-bit simple IF.
Count of CAT slots is limited to 4064/2032. Still, there is lot of
space: in 16MB can fit over 330 snapshot. Max size of drive/media what
can be fully used is about 1.1 GB.
New filesystem with big sectors has max charea sizes of 64MB for all
of interfaces. Check 'Big Sectors' for such ROMs before init. It
has sense only
for larger drives/medias - over 500MB. Fillable media size is then 2.2
GB (4.4 GB
for 8-bit IF).
With click on button with
text, and confirmation, disk/image will
be initalized and ready for usage. You may imediately check it by
entering 'File transfer' .
July 2006 - Febr. 2024. P.
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