[Coco] Backup CoCo floppy directly to PC using Drivewire & HDB-DOS?

Robert Gault robert.gault at worldnet.att.net
Fri Sep 25 08:45:54 EDT 2009

Fedor Steeman wrote:
> Hi all,
> I still got a little birth day money to spend, so I was considering what
> neat stuff to get for my CoCo. I already intend to get the Bluetooth Pak,
> although CoCoNet is not ready yet.
> However, regarding my little endeavor discussed earlier on the list (see
> below) I was wondering whether DriveWire can solve a current problem for me.
> Wanting to back up a lot of diskettes, I was wondering whether I using
> DriveWire and HDBDOS simply can use the BACKUP command to directly transfer
> a diskette's content to PC.
> Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
>  Cheers,
> Fedor
> BTW I love what Roger did with his site...
> 2009/1/19 Robert Gault <robert.gault at worldnet.att.net>
You can do it but it takes a bit of care to get things right.

DriveWire can mount four images on your PC. These images can be either 
virtual floppies or virtual hard drives. HDBDOS for DriveWire expects 
that you are using either virtual hard drives on your PC or floppies on 
your Coco. The trick is to coordinate these two programs so that a real 
floppy will talk to a virtual floppy/hard drive.

  As an example, let's say you have a floppy on the Coco in drive#0 and 
want to make a floppy image on the PC. You shouldn't mount a blank image 
in DriveWire #0 because you can't simultaneously talk to DW3#0 and 
floppy #0.
  So, mount an image in DW3#1 and a floppy in Coco3 #0. Start up a DW3 
version of HDBDOS on the Coco3 and enter DRIVE#1. That will indicate 
that the DW3#1 drive will be used for the virtual drive.
  Now enter DRIVEOFF0, that is DRIVEOFFzero which indicates to HDBDOS 
that drive#0 is a true floppy and virtual drives start at drive#1. You 
can now enter BACKUP0TO1 (i.e. BACKUPzeroTOone) or use the COPY command 
for a single file.

gotcha because HDBDOS thinks you were talking to drivelette#1 on drive#1 
not drivelette#0. That means your virtual disk on the PC has 70 tracks 
and the contents of the floppy went to the second 35 tracks!
  What you really wanted to do is have a 35 track virtual floppy not a 
70 track double disk. If you mounted this hybrid in a Coco emulator, you 
probably could transfer the contents to a normal 35 disk image. But 
there is another approach.
  If you use a RAM disk with HDBDOS for DriveWire, you can use the 
following process. Mount a virtual floppy in DW3#0 and a real floppy in 
drive0. Start a RAM disk on the Coco and backup drive0 to RAM. Switch on 
the DW3#0 with DRIVEON and then backup the RAM disk to DW3#0 drive0. Now 
  DriveWire will think you are talking to the first drivelette on 
drive#0 and you will get a normal 35 track virtual disk.
  This assumes you have extra memory on a Coco3 so that you can run a 
RAM disk and also have software which assumes the RAM disk is say drives 
2&3 while drives 0&1 are real floppies. I don't recall if Cloud-9 
supplies the RAM disk software or not.

The procedure is simpler under OS-9 but you will need to create proper 
descriptors to access DW3. Without special drivers, you will be 
restricted to OS-9 disks which could be a problem.

Was this of any help or are you more confused? :)

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