10.1) How can I read/write Atari diskettes with my other computer?

This sections lists solutions for accessing an Atari format 5.25" floppy disk
using a PC with industry standard 5.25" floppy disk drive.

Atari-Link PC (AtariDsk) V1.2 (c) 95-12-09
  by HiassofT (Matthias Reichl)
  Ataridsk is a program for MSDOS-PCs that allows you to access Atari floppy
  disks in double density (180KiB).  All you need is a PC (XT or 286 should be
  sufficient) and a 5.25" floppy drive.  Features of this tool:
    * Menu driven user interface
    * Read, write and format Atari disks on the PC
    * Small size (only 35KiB)

WriteAtr V0.92b
  by HiassofT (Matthias Reichl)
  With WriteAtr you can write double density ATR-images to Atari floppy disks
  on your MSDOS-PC.  You can also create ATR-images of double density floppy
  disks!  All you need is a PC and a 5.25" and/or a 3.5" floppy drive.
  Version 0.92b added experimental support for the enhanced density (1040
  sectors/128 bytes per sector) format.  Please note: this format doesn't work
  with a lot of floppy controllers - use it at your own risk!

- By Mark K Vallevand
- Based on Charles Marslett's UTIL.
- http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Diskutils/Transfer/myutil.zip
- Includes SpartaDOS disk utility v0.1e to access 180KiB SpartaDOS disks

- By Dave Brandman with Kevin White
- Reads SS/DD 180KiB Atari disks.
- http://preview.tinyurl.com/pjvb7be  (atario21.arc)

- By Oscar Fowler
- Reads SS/DD 180KiB SpartaDOS disks.
- http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Diskutils/Transfer/sr.arc

- By Charles Marslett
- Reads/Writes SS/DD 180KiB Atari disks.
- http://www.wordmark.org/

Here's some advice on using the above utilities from Hans Breitenlohner:

There are two technical obstacles to interchanging disks between
DD Atari drives and PC drives.

1. The Atari drive spins slightly slower (288 RPM instead of 300 RPM).
   If you format a disk on the Atari, then write sectors on the PC, it is
   possible that the header of the next physical sector will be overwritten,
   making that sector unreadable.  (The next physical sector is usually
   the current logical sector+2).  The solution to this is to format all
   disks on the PC.
       (Aside:  Does anybody know how this problem is handled on the
        XF551?  Is it also slowed down?)
     Konrad Kokoszkiewicz answers:
     "The XF551 disk drive is not slowed down - these drives are spinning
     300 rotations per minute.  To prevent troubles with read/write disks
     formatted and written on normal Atari drives (288 rot/min), the main
     crystal frequency for the floppy disk controller is 8.333MHz
     (not 8MHz, as in 1050, for example)."

2. If the PC drive is a 1200KiB drive there is the additional problem of the
   track width.
   The following is generally true in the PC world:
    - disks written on 360KiB drives can be read on either drive
    - blank disk formatted and written on 1200KiB drives can be read on
      either kind
    - disks written on a 360KiB drive, and overwritten on a 1200KiB drive,
      can be read reliably only on a 1200KiB drive.
    - disks previously formatted on a 360KiB drive, or formatted as 1200KiB,
      and then reformatted on a 1200KiB drive to 360KiB, can be read reliably
      only on a 1200KiB drive.
   (All this assumes you are using DD media, not HD.)

   Solution: Use a 360KiB drive if you can.  If not, format disks on the
   Atari for Atari to PC transfers, format truly blank disks on the PC
   for PC to Atari transfers.

Jon D. Melbo sums it up this way:
   So a basic rule of thumb when sharing 360KiB floppies among 360KiB &
   1200KiB drives is: Never do any writes with a 1200KiB drive to a disk that
   has been previously written to in a 360KiB drive....UNLESS... you only
   plan on ever using that disk in the 1200KiB drive from then on out.  Of
   course a disk can be reformatted in a particular drive any time for use
   in that drive.  As long as you follow that rule, you can utilize the
   backward compatible 360KiB modes that most 1200KiB drives offer.

AnaDisk + DeAna
While the above mentioned utilities work with SS/DD 180KiB Atari-format disks
or SS/DD 180KiB SpartaDOS disks, the following combination of utilities has
been used successfully to read SS/SD 90KiB Atari-format disks.  So if you only
have standard Atari 810 and/or Atari 1050 drives, you could look into:

AnaDisk, created by Chuck Guzis at Sydex, Inc. in 1987
- "Scan, edit, repair and copy just about any kind of diskette"
- Version 2.01, November, 1989
- One source for AnaDisk 2.06 (1992):
   - Some have reported more luck with this than 2.07
- One source for AnaDisk 2.07 26-Aug-92:
   - Last free version, readily available, but sometimes described as buggy
- Sold to New Technologies Inc. (NTI) by Sydex in March 2000.
- More information: http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/sydex.html

DeAna by Nate Monson
Available: http://preview.tinyurl.com/mo7e9xa
- Converts AnaDisk dump files from Atari format

See http://preview.tinyurl.com/kpnqcjp for tips on using this combination of

Preston Crow writes:
  "As best as I can figure it out, if your PC drive happens to read
  FM disks (I'm not sure what the criteria for that is), then you
  can read single density disks on your PC by dumping the contents
  to a file with AnaDisk, and then using Deana.com to convert the
  dump file into a usable format.

  For enhanced density disks, AnaDisk generally only reads the first
  portion of each sector, but it demonstrates that it is possible for
  a PC drive to read enhanced density disks."

OmniFlop (as of 2007)
- By Sherlock Consulting  (Jason Watton)
- A 'universal' floppy disk reader, writer, and tester for the IBM PC or
   compatible which can handle alien floppy disk formats not normally
   supported by DOS, Windows and Linux.
- OmniFlop on its own transfers disks between systems.  If you want to access
   files, for example, on these disks then you need more - you will need to
   use OmniFlop to image the disk, then other software to interpret the
   filing system.  OmniFlop alone only handles whole disks.
- Features include, as of 2nd Sep 2007 v2.01m Release:
    - Read, write, and format Atari 8-bit format (90KiB).  (Charles Doty)
- Available: http://www.shlock.co.uk/

The following more recent solutions involve connecting a standard "internal"
PC floppy disk drive to a modern personal computer via USB port.

KyroFlux (2009)
- By KryoFlux Products & Services Limited
- A USB-based floppy controller "designed specifically for reliability,
   precision, and getting low-level reads suitable for software preservation"
- Compatible with USB 2.0 (high-speed).
- Shugart (with extensions) drive interface. 34-pin dual-row header connector.
- Works with all major 3.5" and 5.25" drives
- Connection of two drives supported using a dual floppy cable, one can be
   accessed at a time.
- Host software is currently Windows (XP and up, 32 and 64-bit flavours),
   Mac OS X and Linux.
- Graphical User Interface (including raw data visualisation)
- Output formats include .0.raw track streams and Atari XFD disk image format
- Available: http://www.kryoflux.com/

FC5025 USB 5.25" floppy controller (2010)
- By Device Side Data
- Plugs into any computer's USB port and enables you to read data
   from a 5.25" floppy drive.
- Sold as a controller board only without a drive mechanism.
   It has been tested to work well with the TEAC FD-55GFR drive and should
   also work with most other 5.25" drives.
- The FC5025 is read-only.  It cannot write to floppies.
- The FC5025 may be unable to read disks that are damaged or copy-protected.
- The FC5025 is intended for 5.25" disks only, not 3.5" or 8" disks.
- The FC5025 may be unable to read the second side of "flippy" disks,
   depending on the drive it is attached to.
- The included software works on: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows
- The included software supports types of disk including: Atari 810
- Available: http://www.deviceside.com/

SuperCard Pro by Jim Drew (2013)
- USB device for PC.
- Can automatically duplicate any disk that was written with the data
   starting and ending at the index pulse.  "99% of Atari 400/800 commercial
   disks were created this way."
- Device includes a standard 34 pin (17 x 2, .100" x .100") floppy drive
- Make backup copies of 5.25" or 3.5" floppy disks (including any Atari disk)
   directly to another disk, or store the data as a flux image file (.scp)
- Available: http://www.cbmstuff.com/
About Us - Contact - Credits - Powered with Webdev - © Atarimania 2003-2022