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

Frank Pittel fwp at deepthought.com
Fri Sep 25 15:10:08 EDT 2009

On Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 08:45:54AM -0400, Robert Gault wrote:
> 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? :)

All those issues you describe is why I don't use drivewire drives 0-3. It causes
to many conflicts with floppies. There are of course a small handfull of exceptions
but normally the lowest drivewire drive I use is four. This is of course made practical
by drivewire allowing multiple 256 floppy images.


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