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Formatting Floppy disks?


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#1
Mrtepes2

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Hi all,

I've browsed these forums a bit anonymously, but I figured it was time to sign on and say hello. I'm having a lot of trouble working with floppy disks. These things were made way before my time and I'm in over my head, but I need to get them to work with an old synthesizer I inherited (Ensoniq SQ-80, for anybody who was wondering). The manual states that it's supposed to take DSDD floppys only, but I can't get my DSDD floppys to work with it. I heard that they need to be MAC formatted in order to be recognized, but I don't have a Mac. Is there a program out there that can format floppy drives to a Mac format on a PC? Right now, they are MS-DOS formatted at 720kb. Even just a way to completely wipe the disks would be helpful, as my disk drive seems to be reading them as HD disks for some weird reason :)

Thanks to anybody that can help!
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#2
devper94

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http://www.macdisk.com/mden.php


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#3
Mrtepes2

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That Macdisk seems like a wonderful utility, but it says it only supports HD floppy disks. My disks are double density, which is the only type that my synthesizer supports. I was also hoping that there would be a free utility, since I would basically only be using it once, and for one disk. I appreciate the suggestion though; keep 'em coming! :)
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#4
devper94

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What is your floppy format and capacity?
You can get a double-sided 800K disk image here:
http://www.mediafire...8e2pmjpzyxpct9o
If you need another format, tell me.

To write the image download dd for Windows.

Open Notepad and paste this in:
dd if=800K.dsk od=a:
Change a: to your floppy drive.
Double check the drive letter or you will end up trashing your data.
Save it as "dd.bat" (with quotes). Put this file, dd.exe and the image file in one folder.
Finally run "dd.bat". If you get an error, run it as an administrator.
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#5
Mrtepes2

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I followed all the steps, and my disk drive is indeed A:. When I run the .bat file, command prompt pops up and says:

"Device A: is a link to //?/Device/Floppy0"

Then a couple seconds later, all it says is "Ok", and the command prompt closes. I have no idea if that means it worked or not, lol. But my synthesizer will still not accept the disk. If the utility did work, then perhaps that was not the right format. I had no idea there were so many different double-density formats! :) The manual states that the synthesizer accepts 800kb disks, so I would think that would be the right format. I read another document someone posted online saying 880kb instead, so I have no idea which is right (I would assume the official manual is). I apologize for my general lack of knowledge, which I'm sure makes it harder to help me find what I'm looking for, but I really appreciate you trying!
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#6
devper94

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800K is the only double-sided floppy format for Mac.

It's fine. This is obscure technology (it is made even before I was born).
I think you should borrow someone's Mac to format your floppy, or use a Mac emulator.

Try this instead:
http://www.emaculati...php/hfvexplorer

Edited by devper94, 05 July 2011 - 03:46 AM.

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#7
Crowbar

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Wow, that that is an old unit! Lo

oks like a 1987 or so unit! I have only been dealing with newer models of keyboards, but here you go...

http://www.deepsonic...q-80_manual.pdf this seems to be the real manual for this unit. The section on disks begins around page 167.
I think it's telling us that you must format it with the keyboard, and not a computer. Don't know if you tried that already. There also may be an issue with the disk drive itself, and I just saw one of them being sold on ebay.

It might be a good idea to try a different brand of disk before trying anything too drastic, Mac format is not mentioned anywhere in the manual that I can find, I doubt they were using that format back in 1987.


@ devper94,

Floppies are older than you? Wow that really hurts us old people when you say that!! :)
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#8
Mrtepes2

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@devper94
Did the dd for Windows not work then? It wasn't very clear on if it had actually accomplished anything, lol. I'll have to look into this one. At the top it mentions HD disks but I see no mention of DD disks; I'll run it later today or tomorrow and let you know what happened.

@Crowbar
It is quite old, but quite cool! I have been having a lot of fun learning about it. Very few people still mess around with them; I emailed one of the pros about this and never got a response :unsure: . That is indeed the official manual that I've been working with, and it makes no mention of needing a specific format. However, my uncle (who originally owned the unit) said that disks that were already formatted for Macs will format on the keyboard. The keyboard will not format any of the 3 different disks I have. It tries, but it never completes the process, nor gives me an error message. I was hoping it wasn't a hardware problem, but it's starting to look that way... :yes:


EDIT: After trying nearly everything I could think of (and many things I couldn't), it appears that the worst possible outcome has been realized: my disk drive is broken :) . Still, I appreciate all the help you've given! :)

Edited by Mrtepes2, 08 July 2011 - 11:46 AM.

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