This article is based on the Commodore Amiga, but for the Atari ST and other systems it works almost the same, only the actual tooling to copy disks will be different.
Converting a Physical Disk to an ADF Image to be used on a Gotek Floppydrive
I am regularly asked if it is possible to convert physical diskettes to an ADF Image so that you can use it on a USB Stick in your Gotek drive. (and vice versa of course, an ADF image that you want to write back to a physical disk).
A little introduction :
The Gotek Floppydrive emulator is exactly what the name says, it emulates a disk drive, and it does it well.
It is completely invisible to a system that it is not a real floppy drive, so the Gotek works exactly the same as you would expect from a floppy drive.
In the past, if you wanted to copy diskettes, you had 2 stacks of diskettes, the full disks, and the empty disks
That is not really that different now, only the empty disks are no longer disks but empty ADF Files🙂
Now you can get empty ADF files in different ways, the simplest way :
Download them here from my Website , 10 numbered blank disks in OFS format (Old File System), FFS (Fast File System) is only supported by default by kickstart 2 and higher !
You can of course also just create an empty ADF file yourself by, for example, copying a Workbenchdisk ADF and marking it as being empty (so just overwrite during copying)
You can also create empty disks with, for example, WinUAE, the Amiga Emulator if you have it installed.
If you have the empty ADF Images (for example 10 pieces) available then it can start:
Load the first empty ADF image into your Gotek, put a floppy disk to convert into your Amiga physical floppy drive, And then run a copy program (As an example I'm using Xcopy Professional here)
Click on the correct Source drive (Top light) and Destination drive (bottom light) ( Clicking Destination twice turns Verify on (Tick in the bottom light) of the written disk).
If that is correct, click Start and the copying and verification process will begin for the (hopefully correctly set source and target 🙂) disk.
In order to copy from physical Floppy to ADF image and vice versa, it is of course necessary that you have both a working physical Floppy drive and a Gotek drive connected to your Amiga.
When the disk has been copied successfully, load the next empty ADF image, load the next physical floppy and start all over again.
It is very wise to make a list of which physical disk ends up on which empty ADF image, otherwise you will soon have 100 ADF Images with the name Emptyxxx.adf and you no longer know what is what.
When you are done copying the 10 Physical diskettes, first dump them on the PC
(USB stick in your PC, ADF Images copy to your PC) , then rename the Emptyxxx.adf then to Correctname.adf and then start so again with the next 10 empty ADF images.
This way you will have all your disks on the Gotek and a backup on your PC in a short time.
- It is recommended to do it in steps of eg 10 disks at a time, if something goes wrong you will notice it pretty quickly, instead of copying 100 disks and then discovering that they are not succesful copied
- When installing WinUAE, you can check an image every now and then by loading it up and checking and testing the content.
- For ADF image to physical disk, the procedure is basically the same, except that the Gotek with ADF image is the source drive , and the disk drive with your empty physical disk is the Destination drive.