Flashfloppy : Creating Disk Images for your system

Flashfloppy : Creating Disk Images for your system

I am frequently asked how to get flashfloppy to work with disk images :

A little introduction :

The Gotek Floppydrive emulator with flashfloppy is an advanced Floppydisk Emulator, advanced because you no longer have to deal with 100 partitions on a USB stick with names that mean nothing.
Flashfloppy uses Disk Images, which are like digital copies of a floppy disk, compare it to a DVD and a Netflix video stream, both contain the same data, just sent to your TV differently.
The Diskimage concept will not pose a problem for people who used to work with images on the Amiga (*.DMS) , the PC (Teledisk's *.TD0 or Diskdupe's *.DD) and so on.

*.ZIP files are not DiskImages, that is just the contents of a disk, not the disk itself that is compressed.

Why would you work with Disk Images then?

Well put very simply, if you want to emulate a Floppy you need more than just the files.
Then you need tracks , sectors and file tables, which a file like *.zip doesn't have.

The flexibility you have with Disk images is enormous, you can create disks with 40 tracks, 80 tracks, single sided or double sided, 8,9,18,20 sectors per track, 3 inch, 3.5 inch, 5.25 or 8 inches,

That makes the system extremely flexible, but it also entails a disadvantage:
Many images have a recognizable name and a recognizable structure:

 

Floppy disk 3.5" HD, 1.44MB

Floppy disks 5,25", HD 1.2MB

*.DMS, *.ADF, *.ST are a great example of this, specific to a single system with usually a single layout as well, Flashfloppy knows what to expect when it encounters such a file with this extension.

FlashFloppy has a number of different modes, if no boot manager is available the easiest is to use the indexed mode.
It automatically loads the images in the corresponding slot numbers, so you have to give the images the correct name DSKA0000.IMG, DSKA0001.IMG , and so on.
Slot 000 on the gotek then contains the corresponding image DSKA0000.IMG, so you can easily keep track of which image is in which slot.

But what about the Generic Disk Images?

There are also a number of Disk Image formats (or rather Extension names) that match, and of which Flashfloppy doesn't know what to expect, which layout to use for those diskettes.
Sometimes Flashfloppy can still detect what format it is, but not always.
Then how can you tell Flashfloppy what format you've crammed into your Disk Image

By placing the FF.CFG file on the USB stick in the root (It is included in every flash floppy release, but is only necessary if you have a possible conflict with default values) You can then edit
this FF.CFG by specifying what is your HOST system you are working with.
Then you get, for example, a line in the FF.CFG that contains HOST=MSX .

 

 

Voorbeelden van generieke Disk Images :

IMG : MSX, Nec P98, Kaypro, Akai, Sequential Circuits, Sinclair

DSK : Amstrad CPC, Spectrum, Tandy

Voor deze systemen en misschien ook die van jou dient dus een vermelding in de FF.CFG opgenomen te worden.
(check de host sectie van de FlashFloppy Wiki Pagina  om te zien of ook dat voor jouw systeem noodzakelijk is)

Xcopy Pro (Screenshot)

Then how do I create Disk Images for system XYZ ?

Well, now that you've had a little update on what Disk Images are, what you need to make images for your system recognizable to flashfloppy, one big burning question still remains : HOW
? , well that's not an easy question to answer and especially for people who conceptually have not dealt with Disk Images before.

Do you have a system from which you can read and write the diskettes on a standard PC :

 

Then it is quite simple, for example you can use Winimage , with which you can create images from floppy disks, generate empty images, copy files in the created empty images and much more.

There are of course many more disk imager programs to be found, you just have to make sure that they use a standard IMG structure, so that they have a format that is understandable for flashfloppy.

Especially for Atari ST there is this , for the unreadable MSX disks you can find more info here or download this tool .

If you have a gotek and a physical floppy drive attached to your machine you can mount a blank image and simply run a disk copy, more info on that can be found here on the website .

There is also an Archive available that contains a large amount of blank images for various systems on the HXC website.

But also HXC has excellent tools for image manipulation (No creation)

 

Do you have a system whose floppy disks cannot be read on a standard PC :
then it gets a bit more complicated:

If you can exchange files with a PC (via midi, serial, parallel, or network) if you can find a blank image somewhere for your system, you can simply manipulate the files into that blank image by using image software like those before has been appointed.
You then actually generate a disk image synthetically, the effect is no less, the work is just more cumbersome.

For some systems there are special disk manipulation programs available (these are often paid programs), which can read the disks of your system because they force the PC drive to read the disks in a different way than in MSDOS format (This is only relative, PC hardware is very limited by the 'standards'

There is also specific hardware available, I specifically mention Greaseweazle from the same author as Flashfloppy, with this hardware it is possible to read almost anything that fits in a floppy drive.
(I haven't tried beer mats yet, but who knows 🙂 )
It makes a RAW dump of each disk, which you can then convert to an HFE file with HXC tools .

ADF   : Amiga, Acorn Archimedes
IMG   : Akai, DEC, E-mu, Ensoniq, GEM, Kaypro, Korg, Memotech, MSX, NEC PC-98, Sequential Circuits Prophet 3000, Sinclair QL
DSK   : Amstrad, Dragon, Tandy, Spectrum, Tandy Coco, TI-99/4A
ST      :  Atari
FDI    : NEC PC-98
HDM : NEC PC-98

HFE : This is a bit of an odd man out, HFE is not really related to a system, it is a generic image which contains both the image data and the specific details of the image format.
Flashfloppy reads that description and then knows the specific data of the image, and with that data can interpret the data correctly without an image type definition being included in the FF.CFG file.

 

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