Archiving a copy protected disk #Floppy #VintageComputing @LinuxJedi

Andrew Hutchings received a rare floppy disk for the Acorn Archimedes. A concern is that a nearly 40 year old disk may not have many years left in it, so Andrew wanted to archive it. This proved more difficult than first thought.

I popped this into my Archimedes A3010 and tried to use ADFFS to backup the disk as an ADF. The ADF (Acorn Disk Format) format is not to be confused with the Amiga ADF (Amiga Disk File) format, despite having the same extension they are not compatible.

It started well but then hit several issues at the end of the disk.

I tried using the image created, but when running the software the Archimedes would immediately crash. But when using the original floppy disk, the software would load correctly.

The solution used was to use a tool called a Greaseweazle, this uses a standard old floppy drive with a USB connected microcontroller to give the capability of reading the raw magnetic flux from the disk. This helps backup disk formats that are not PC compatible, which is not possible with a standard USB floppy disk drive.

Success! It has taken a backup of the whole disk, including the copy protection. As this disk does not seem to be archived anywhere and could be useful for educational purposes, I have made the backup available here. This should work with Gotek drives and can be used to create new floppy disks with a Greaseweazle.

Read more in the post here.

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