8-Bit Software

The BBC and Master Computer Public Domain Library

Floppy Disk Transfer:

OmniFlop

03-May-2012

e-mail support severely delayed

I am currently dealing with so many requests I can't keep up.

There will be severely limited e-mail support until I can clear the backlog.

If you require support please read the User Guide or use on-line registration first.

If you have to e-mail me please be patient - it will take me at least a month to reply.

 

Last Update: Thursday, 03 May 2012 20:36 (v3.0b)

License-free since 2.2b (almost)

Only 'New' formats (see below) and unrecognised formats now need a license.

Licenses - if needed - are free and instant if done on-line. Registration by e-mail is slower.

v3.0b:

New formats

Format filter added

Vista/Win7/64-bit tweaks

TI-99/4A formats added.

Slogger DDCPM added.

Computer Automation LSI-2 added.

FLEX formats added.

DEC RX02 added.

Didaktik D40 and D80 added.

Zenith ZDOS and CP/M-86 added.

Balzer Ophthalmic Lens Machine format added.

IMS MM/1 added.

Gravograph ISIS added.

Data General/1 added.

4th Dimension added.

OS-9 1010.75kB added.

OS-9 Universal added

SATIM added

Stäubli/Unimation Puma 560c Robot Arm Controller added

HP110 portable added

Oric Jasmin formats added

Dynacord ADD-one format added

Diagnostic "Test Disk" lists all possible formats

Prophet 2000 formats added

Casio FZ-20M format added

Tavernier 6809 SD & DD formats added

Simmons SDX format added

NEC FC9801 997.75kB format added

Tatung Einstein TC01 Xtal System 5 80-track 800kB format added

IGM 6012 DD and HD formats added

64-bit support fixed

Stäubli JC3 JC4 JC5 (Jacquard Control) 1.44MB format added

NEC PC-8801 359.5kB format added

Nestal Synergy 800-110 690.5kB format added

ASM Epsilon 2000 Epi Reaktor format added.

Schiess-Nassovia Optimat 505 520kB format added.

Greco Systems EZ-FILE 41-track 410kB and 81-track 810kB format added.

Hashima Model HSQ-88NC 720kB format added.

Tracer/ST 1.44MB format added.

E-mail support address changed

E-mail address for support changed 23 Jan 2009 - download latest version.

E-mail support on old (Lycos) address terminated 15 Feb 2009.

Unconfirmed formats - license needed

The following formats need a (free) license because there has been no confirmation that they work:

            All Osbourne

            Slogger DDCPM

            All FLEX

            DEC RX02

            Zenith CP/M-86

            Data General/1

            OS-9 1010.75kB

            SATIM

            HP110 portable

            Dynacord ADD-one

            Casio FZ-20M HD

            Tavernier 6809

            Tatung Einstein TC01 Xtal System 5 80-track 800kB

            Nestal Synergy 800-110 690.5kB

            Schiess-Nassovia Optimat 505 520kB

 

If it works for you, please tell me - and I will remove the need for a license.

If the program asks you for a license then you have probably not installed OmniFlop correctly...

or... you're trying to use an unconfirmed format from the list above.

 

 


OmniFlop Overview

OmniFlop is 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. It was first released in December 2004.

 

OmniFlop exploits the original hardware design of the IBM PC to read, write and format disks using formats long since forgotten. You need a PC with built-in floppy drive hardware to use it. It will not work with software simulations, e.g. VirtualBox or VFD.

 

The OmniFlop supplied here will allow you to image (read) a whole floppy disk into one file in Windows, write an image back to a floppy disk, or format a floppy disk so a disk image can be written to it. OmniFlop does not give you access to the individual files, documents, programs, robot commands or synthesizer samples (or whatever else is stored on the disk), nor will it allow you to edit files, documents, programs, robot commands or synthesizer samples. 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 - see here. OmniFlop alone only handles whole disks.

 

OmniFlop consists of two Windows drivers plus a Wizard. The Wizard can be used without installing the drivers, but only the ‘standard’ DOS formats can then be read, written or tested – none of the alien ‘extended formats’ will be available. The download contains:

 

  • the OmniFlop driver (.inf and .sys) to replace the Floppy disk drive driver, and
  • the OmniFDC driver (.inf and .sys) to replace the Floppy disk controller driver, and
  • the Wizard (.exe), plus
  • the User Guide (.pdf).

 

Programmers ‑ you can access disks of your chosen formats using the standard Windows® CreateFile/ReadFile/WriteFile interface (no need to learn about the PC or FDC internals). Contact support for more information.

 

It runs under Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and  Windows 7. For DOS and Windows 95 through to Windows Me, use OmniDisk instead. Under Linux, you've got a whole host of tools already (of course) more than capable!

 

 

OmniFlop was written to archive aging floppies for alien formats from other systems (e.g. BBC DFS and BBC DDOS). OmniFlop knows many disk formats and can even work out formats if they’ve never been seen before. Formats that have never been seen before can be tested, read and written - the known formats can also be used to format disks (then use a disk image to write the filing system & files on to the disk).

 

If you find a new format please e-mail me the format code produced by the Diagnostic 'Test disk'. This allows me to add the format properly to the program (including the format function) - you’ll get credit for 'discovering' the new format.

 

OmniFlop was released in December 2004 and now supports over 250 floppy disk formats.

 

Features

 

1.             Automatic detection of formats and hardware.

2.             Manual and automatic choice of format.

3.             Read, write, and format Single Density (FM)*, Double Density, and High Density disks.

4.             Read, write, and format 3½" and 5¼" disks.

5.             Read and write ‘standard’ disk image files (‘.img’).

6.             Read and write ‘interleaved double-sided’ images (‘.dsd’) for double-sided disks containing single-sided formats.

7.             Read and write AKAI S-series floppy image files (‘.akai’).

8.             Read and write Atari ST disk image files (‘.st’).

9.             Read and write Roland disk image files ('.out', '.s50').

10.         Read and write ‘Head 0 out then Head 1 back’ (FEAT) images (‘.fea’).

11.         Read and write Commodore 1581 floppy images ('.d81').

12.         Read and write Thomson floppy images ('.fd').

13.         Read and write single-sided format images (‘.ssd’).

14.         Read and write ‘Cylinder/Head/Sector’ images (‘.chs’).

15.         Read and write ‘Head/Cylinder/Sector’ images (‘.hcs’).

16.         Read and write ‘Head 0 then Head 1’ images (‘.hcs’).

17.         Read, write, and format IBM PC DOS formats (160kB, 180kB, 256kB, 320kB, 360kB, 720kB, 729kB, 800kB, 1.2MB, 1.23MB, 1.44MB, 2.88MB, 20.8MB, 120MB, 128MB, 230MB).

18.         Read, write, and format extended DOS formats (640kB, 1215kB, 1230kB, 1245kB, 1458kB, 1476kB, 1494kB, 1701kB, 1722kB, 1743kB).

19.         Read, write, and format 4th Dimension format (799.75kB).

20.         Read, write, and format ABB/Asea Robot formats (240kB, IRB2000 320kB, IRB L6/0293 328kB, 640kB).

21.         Read, write, and format Acorn BBC Master 512 DOS formats (360kB, 720kB).

22.         Read, write, and format Acorn ADFS formats (ADFS S 160kB, ADFS M 320kB, ADFS L 640kB, ADFS D/E 800kB, ADFS F 1600kB).

23.         Read, write, and format BBC SJ Research MDFS format (800kB).

24.         Read, write, and format Acorn BBC 40-track and 80-track formats, single & double-sided (100kB, 200kB, 400kB, 415kB).

25.         Read, write, and format Acorn BBC Z80 CP/M format (400kB).

26.         Read, write, and format Acorn BBC Master 512 DOS Plus format (800kB).

27.         Read, write, and format Acorn BBC DDOS 80-track format (360kB, 720kB).

28.         Read, write, and format AKAI MPC 60 MK II format (800kB).

29.         Read, write, and format AKAI S-900 formats (800kB, 1440kB).

30.         Read, write, and format AKAI S-950 formats (800kB, 1440kB, 1600kB).

31.         Read, write, and format AKAI S-1000 formats (800kB, 1600kB).

32.         Read, write, and format AKAI S-3000 formats (800kB, 1600kB).

33.         Read, write, and format Alesis Datadisks (800kB).

34.         Read and write Amstrad AMSDOS Data format, single & double-sided.

35.         Read, write, and format Amstrad CP/M format.

36.         Read and write Amstrad AMSDOS System format, single & double-sided.

37.         Read and write Amstrad AMSDOS System/Data DS and Data/System DS formats.

38.         Read, write, and format Apple Macintosh 1.44MB HD HFS format (1.44MB).

39.         Read, write, and format Applix 1616 formats (800kB, 810kB, 820kB).

40.         [ for v3.0a] Read, write, and format ASM Epsilon 2000 Epi Reaktor formats (1440kB).

41.         Read, write, and format Atari ST DSDD and Atari ST SS (320kB, 360kB) formats.

42.         Read, write, and format Atari 8-bit format (90kB).

43.         Read, write, and format Atari STE formats (738kB, 800kB, 810kB).

44.         Read, write, and format Atari ST 820kB format

45.         Read, write, and format Atari ST Power Up Plus format (913kB) Note: This may require retries when writing!

46.         Read, write, and format Automatix RobotControl RAIL format (400kB).

47.         Read, write, and format Balzer Metal Evaporator format (250.25kB)

48.         Read, write, and format Balzer Ophthalmic Lens Machine format (250.25kB)

49.         Read, write, and format Beli disk format (640kB)

50.         Read, write, and format BMI3030A format (396kB).

51.         Read, write, and format [untested] Casio FZ-20M format (1280kB). Note: You may need to modify your PC floppy drive - see here.

52.         Read, write, and format cbm1581 format (800kB).

53.         Read, write, and format cmdfd1m, cmdfd2m, cmdfd4m formats (810kB, 1620kB, 3240kB).

54.         Read, write, and format CNI NC481 (720kB)

55.         Read and write COMX DOS formats (70kB, 140kB, 35-track, 70-track).

56.         Read, write, and format Computer Automation LSI-2 mini-computer format (997.75kB)

57.         Read, write, and format CP/M-80 format (640kB), as used on the Philips P2000C and many others.

58.         Read, write, and format various CP/M-86 formats (800kB plus other machine-specific formats)

59.         Read, write, and format Data General/1 format (199.5kB).

60.         Read, write, and format DEC Rainbow format (400kB).

61.         Read, write, and format DEC RX02 format (1001kB).

62.         Read, write, and format Didaktik D40/D80 formats (360kB, 720kB).

63.         Read, write, and format Dynacord (1600kB).

64.         Read, write, and format Dynacord ADD-one format (840kB).

65.         Read, write, and format Electroglas Wafer Probers CP/M (800kB).

66.         Read, write and format E-mu EIII (800kB).

67.         Read, write and format E-mu Emax (800kB).

68.         Read, write and format E-mu EOS (1440kB).

69.         Read, write and format E-mu ESi (1440kB).

70.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq ASR-10 formats (720kB, 820kB, 1440kB, 1600kB, 1640kB).

71.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq EPS Classic & 16+ formats (720kB, 800kB, 820kB, 1440kB, 1600kB, 1640kB)

72.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq KS32 formats (720kB, 800kB, 820kB, 1440kB, 1600kB, 1640kB)

73.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq KT formats (720kB, 800kB, 820kB, 1440kB, 1600kB, 1640kB)

74.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq Mirage (440kB) - fixed in v2.01p.

75.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq SD-1 formats (800kB)

76.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq SQ1 formats (720kB, 800kB, 820kB, 1440kB, 1600kB, 1640kB)

77.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq SQ2 formats (720kB, 800kB, 820kB, 1440kB, 1600kB, 1640kB)

78.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq SQ80 formats (440kB, 720kB, 800kB, 820kB, 880kB, 1440kB, 1600kB, 1640kB) - note: there was a fault with some of these formats which has been fixed in v2.01p.

79.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq TS12 format (1540kB)

80.         Read, write, and format Ensoniq VFX-SD formats (720kB, 800kB, 820kB, 1440kB, 1600kB, 1640kB)

81.         Read, write, and format Exelvision format (640kB)

82.         Read, write, and format FLEX formats (100kB, 178kB, 200kB, 356kB, 358kB, 400kB, 716kB)

83.         Read, write, and format FM77L4 format (320kB)

84.         Read, write, and format GEM S2/S3 synthesizer format (1600kB)

85.         Read, write, and format Gravograph VX engraver format (320kB)

86.         Read, write, and format Gravograph ISIS engraver format (640kB)

87.         [ for v3.0b] Read, write, and format Greco Systems EZ-FILE formats (410kB, 810kB)

88.         [ for v3.0b] Read, write, and format Hashima Model HSQ-88NC format (720kB)

89.         Read, write, and format Heath H-89 HDOS format (640kB) and CP/M format (800kB)

90.         Read, write, and format Hector CP/M formats (200kB, 720kB, 800kB)

91.         [ for v2.2d] Read, write, and format Hitachi Bio-chemical Analyzer format (1040kB)

92.         Read, write, and format HP110 portable format (693kB)

93.         Read, write, and format HP-1000 format (770kB)

94.         Read, write, and format HP-2100 8" format (125kB) and 3.5" format (616kB)

95.         Read, write, and format HP-9000 Series 300/310 3.5" format (616kB)

96.         Read, write, and format HP-9000 Series 362 3.5" format (1540kB)

97.         Read, write, and format HP-9121 3.5" formats (315kB, 664kB)

98.         Read, write, and format IBM Torch Graduate format (360kB).

99.         [ for v2.2d] Read, write, and format IGM 6012 robot formats (DD and HD, 800kB)

100.     Read, write, and format IMS MM/1 format (1280kB)

101.     Read, write, and format Korg 01/W format (720kB)

102.     Read, write, and format Korg DSS-1 (800kB).

103.     Read, write, and format Korg DSM-1 (1600kB).

104.     Read, write, and format Korg T-series (T1, T2, T2EX, T3, T3EX) (1600kB).

105.     Read, write, and format LIF format (1232kB).

106.     Read, write, and format LynxDOS format (800kB).

107.     Read, write, and format Mecmor Variatex 2500 format (1280kB)

108.     Read, write, and format Moog TMC Blowmould control format (640kB).

109.     Read, write, and format Mori Seiki DS DD format (648kB)

110.     [ for v2.3b] Read, write, and format NEC PC-8801 format (359.5kB).

111.     [ for v2.2d] Read, write, and format NEC FC-9801 format (997.75kB).

112.     Read, write, and format NEC PC-9801 UV & NEC FC-9801 V DMF format (1680kB).

113.     [ for v2.3b] Read, write, and format Nestal Synergy 800-110 format (690.5kB)

114.     Read, write, and format Oberheim DPX (880kB)

115.     Read, write, and format Oric Jasmin and Jasmin II formats (340kB, 348.5kB, 357kB) .

116.     Read, write, and format OS-9/68K 3.5" DD 38W7 format.

117.     Read, write, and format OS-9 (1010.75kB) format.

118.     Read, write, and format OS-9 Universal (632kB) format.

119.     Read, write, and format Osbourne 1 (O1) 5.25" 40-track single-sided single density (100kB) and single-sided double density (200kB) formats.

120.     Read, write, and format Osbourne Vixen (O4) 5.25" 40-track double-sided double density (400kB) format.

121.     Read, write, and format Panasonic KX-W940 Word Processor Typewriter (320kB) format.

122.     Read, write, and format Peavey SP format (1440kB).

123.     [ for v2.2d] Read, write, and format Prophet 2000 (420kB, 840kB)

124.     Read, write, and format Prophet 2002 (880kB)

125.     Read, write, and format RadioShack OS9/Nitros9 40-track, 80-track, single & double-sided, 96TPI and 48TPI formats (180kB, 360kB, 720kB).

126.     Read, write, and format RCA Micro Floppy System (315kB)

127.     Read, write, and format Roland S5xx formats (720kB, 1440kB).

128.     Read, write, and format Roland S7xx format (720kB, 1440kB).

129.     [ for v2.2d] Read, write, and format Sanyo X68000 formats (1232kB, 1248kB).

130.     Read, write, and format SATIM (560kB) format.

131.     [ for v3.0a] Read, write, and format Schiess-Nassovia Optimat 505 (520kB).

132.     Read, write, and format Sequential Studio 440 (440kB)

133.     Read, write, and format Shima Seiki DS DD format (640kB).

134.     Read, write, and format Singer 9000 DS DD format (640kB).

135.     [ for v2.2d] Read, write, and format Simmons SDX (1280kB) format.

136.     Read, write, and format Sinclair ZX Spectrum BetaDisk 40S format (160kB).

137.     Read, write, and format Sinclair ZX Spectrum BetaDisk 40D format (320kB).

138.     Read, write, and format Sinclair ZX Spectrum BetaDisk 80S format (320kB).

139.     Read, write, and format Sinclair ZX Spectrum BetaDisk 80D format (640kB).

140.     Read, write, and format Sinclair ZX-Spectrum TR-DOS (640kB) format.

141.     [ for v2.3b] Read, write, and format Sinclair ZX-Spectrum TR-DOS 1-head (640kB) format.

142.     Read, write, and format Sinclair Spectrum Plus3 CP/M format.

143.     Read, write, and format Slogger DDCPM format (784kB padded to 800kB).

144.     Read, write, and format Spectrum DISCiPLUS 40-track.

145.     Read, write, and format Spectrum Miles Gordon Tech +D/Disciple format (800kB).

146.     Read, write, and format Spectrum Opus Discovery (180kB)

147.     Read, write, and format Sinclair QL QDOS (800kB).

148.     Read, write, and format Stäubli/Unimation Puma 560c Robot Arm Controller (640kB).

149.     Read, write, and format Stäubli JC3 JC4 JC5 (Jacquard Control) (1.44MB)

150.     Read, write, and format Stride PDOS (640kB) format.

151.     Read, write, and format Tandy CoCo RSDOS single & double-sided 48TPI (157.5kB, 315kB).

152.     Read, write, and format Tandy CoCo RSDOS single & double-sided 96TPI (157.5kB, 315kB).

153.     Read, write, and format Tandy TRS-80 Model 1 NEWDOS/80 v2.0 (100kB) & 77-track DS (385kB).

154.     Read, write, and format Tandy TRS-80 Model 1 TRSDOS 3.1 (87.5kB) - needs hardware support and OmniFDC driver must be installed.

155.     Read, write, and format Tatung Einstein TC01 Xtal Dos 1.31 40-track DS (400kB) & 40-track SS (200kB).

156.     [ for v2.2d] Read, write, and format Tatung Einstein TC01 Xtal System 5 80-track format (800kB).

157.     [ for v2.2d] Read, write, and format Tavernier SD (90kB) and DD (170kB) formats.

158.     Read, write, and format Thomson TO8-TO9 series 3½" format (320kB).

159.     Read, write, and format Thomson TO9 3½" (640kB).

160.     Read, write, and format TI-99/4A formats (90kB, 160kB, 180kB, 320kB, 360kB, 640kB, 720kB, 1440kB, 40-track, 80-track, single- and double-stepped). Note: High-density formats need DDAM hardware support and OmniFDC driver must be installed.

161.     Read, write, and format Timex 2048 FDD3000 single-sided (160kB) and double-sided (320kB) formats.

162.     [ for v3.0b] Read, write, and format Tracer/ST 1.44MB format.

163.     Read, write, and format TV3102 Controller Programmer (171kB).

164.     Read, write, and format ZEISS Spectrophotometer Specord M400 format (640kB).

165.     Read, write, and format Zenith ZDS ZDOS (360kB) and CP/M-86 (320kB) formats.

166.     Read, write, and format unknown formats 144kB [Brian "Briza" Palmer], 180kB [Shawn Howell], 360kB [Ralph Hänsel]. If you can name these please contact Support.

167.     Extended support of more drive types, motherboards and media.

168.     Test floppy disks for compatibility with the IBM PC (including unknown formats!)

169.     Read and write unknown formats, including Intel 8271, WDC1770, and NEC µPD765 FDC formats.

170.     Easy to use – a wizard guides you through the process.

171.     Choice of formats and detection algorithms after auto-detection.

172.     Diagnostics included for advanced support and data recovery.

173.     Instant free on-line licensing (via WWW) and support (by e-mail).

 

* A good few - but not all - modern PCs can support single density (FM encoding). The main difficulty in getting it to work is usually the software or the configuration of it. Don’t assume your PC can’t do single densityit's always worth a try. Just try OmniFlop or (16-bit) OmniDisk. There are more problems with 128-byte sector support on most modern PCs than Single Density support.

 

Some of these functions require a (free) license. See section 2.5 of the User Guide (in the download) for more information.

 

Formatting Disks

 

If you format a disk with OmniFlop it does not put on the disk all the filing system information for the format you choose - it just makes a disk of the correct physical format. The reason for this is the sheer number of operating systems out there - I do not have the time in my short life to implement all the Operating Systems ever invented, even if it is just to access the disks! For the same reason you can't see all your files listed in OmniFlop (see Filing System vs Format).

 

If you format a disk to your chosen format you must then put an image onto the disk for the correct Operating System/Filing System. That is, you are meant to use OmniFlop like this to create blank 'formatted' disks:

 

  1. Archive a blank disk (e.g. freshly formatted on original equipment) to an image file on your PC.
  2. Use OmniFlop to format a new disk to the correct physical format.
  3. Use OmniFlop to write the blank disk image to the disk (so correcting the Filing System).

 

OmniFlop knows no Filing Systems at all.

 

Filing System vs Format - Accessing files on your disks

 

OmniFlop will give you a file containing all raw data off a floppy disk of a format from the list above. However, it can't use the filing system (data format) of the disk - such as FAT12, FAT16, NTFS, DFS, ADFS, Atari ST, RS-DOS - to give you access to the files within Windows - there are too many formats for one application (OmniFlop) to do them, and I will not live long enough to implement them all!

 

If you want to interpret the data on a disk, you will need software designed for the system you have got. This may be an emulator, a disk editor, or even an installable file system for the system the disk has come from. Windows is not designed for handling your disks so don't expect it (or OmniFlop) to play synthesizer samples or knit just because the disk is from a synthesizer or an automated knitting machine. What you can do, though, is make an image of the disk using OmniFlop, then use another utility to interpret your disk image as files - see Compatible Programs below. Even better, some programs use OmniFlop directly so can use the disks directly, without making an image file.

 

Getting the data off a disk into Windows is usually the first problem in handling an alien disk. This is what OmniFlop will help with. Interpreting the data (as files/samples/documents/audio/video) is then a case of data processing and Windows programming which can be done with knowledge of the system from which the floppy came. I will not live long enough to re-implement all the systems that ever used floppies - sorry! - so I just give access to the raw data off the floppy disk.

 

Compatible Programs

 

The OmniFlop Wizard will let you archive a whole disk to a file on your PC and write such a file back onto a disk, formatting it if needed. This is great for handling the whole disk, but if you want to edit or alter the content of the disk (i.e. files, samples, data) on the disk you'll need a program which understands the (logical) format of the disk - i.e. the filing system (see above).

 

Some utilities allow you to edit the images of the disks - i.e. the files produced by the OmniFlop Wizard. Other utilities are integrated with the OmniFlop driver and can directly access the disks themselves - for these, you will need a version of the OmniFlop driver installed which has the necessary support - or a later version.

 

 

I have got…

 

…of Disk Format…

 

…so I should use...

... with OmniFlop version

a disk image file from OmniFlop

for an ancient computer

an emulator for that computer, or

PeekBot.

Any

a file *.ssd

BBC DFS, Opus DDOS

Almost any BBC emulator [DFS], BBC Explorer, OmniDisk, DFS Explorer

Any

a file *.dsd

BBC DFS, Opus DDOS

Almost any BBC emulator [DFS], BBC Explorer, OmniDisk, DFS Explorer

Any

a file *.adl

Acorn ADFS

Almost any BBC emulator [ADFS], ADFS Explorer

Any

a file *.adf

Acorn ADFS

Almost any BBC emulator [ADFS], ADFS Explorer

Any

a floppy disk or image file

Shima Seiki

SFManager

v2.01a onwards

a floppy disk or image file

All AKAI

All Ensoniq

All Roland

And more...

About 260 file formats total.

Awave Studio

v2.01a onwards

a floppy disk or image file

Electroglas Wafer Probers CP/M

Electroglas

v2.01b onwards

a floppy disk or image file

Tandy/RadioShack CoCo RS-DOS

unknown

v2.01d onwards

a floppy disk or image file

All AKAI

All Ensoniq

All Roland

Dynacord

Rubber Chicken Software: Ensoniq MIDI-Disk/Disk/ASR-X Tools;

Chicken Systems: Translator, Constructor, and Instrument Manager

v2.01n onwards

a floppy disk or image file

All Ensoniq

Ensoniq DT

v2.01i onwards

a floppy disk or image file

E-mu Emax

EMXP/EMXPN by ///E-Synthesist

v2.01j onwards

a floppy disk or image file

All Ensoniq

EnsoniqFS for TotalCommander

v2.01k onwards

a floppy disk

DEC RX50/Rainbow/DECMate

RSX2MS by Tony Fagg

v2.01p onwards

a floppy disk

AKAI S20

AkaiS20 by Dominique Crevoisier

v2.01p onwards

a floppy disk or image file

AKAI S900

http://akai-s900.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-to-transfer-floppies-to-pc.html

v2.01h onwards

a high-density floppy disk

Apple Macintosh (not 400kB or 800kB disks!)

http://www.asy.com/scrtm.htm

Any

a floppy disk

TI-99/4A

Paolo Bagnaresi's software

v2.2c

 

Note: You must have the OmniFlop driver installed with the version specified, or a later version, for direct disk access from these programs to work. Those accessing file images of the disks do not require the OmniFlop driver.

 

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Download & Installation

There is a 32-bit and 64-bit version of OmniFlop.

 

32-bit OmniFlop

 

The 32-bit version of OmniFlop is written for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and  Windows 7. For DOS and Windows 95 through to Windows Me, use OmniDisk instead. If you want to use the command-line of OmniDisk under Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 please register an interest in OmniDiskXP.

 

Download the latest version unless you specifically need a previous version. Make sure you re-install the driver if you download a different version.

 

Download the latest release of OmniFlop here

 

Download the next (pre-release) version of OmniFlop here

 

Note: You should not need a license any more (v2.2b onwards)! If you do, licensing is via WWW and e-mail, or by manual e-mail alone. E-mails to support are handled by me manually - please send an e-mail and be patient.

 

The download contains installation instructions in Adobe ‘pdf’ format. You can read these with the free Adobe Reader at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, if you don’t already have it installed. If you want to read them immediately on-line they are also available here.

 

The download contains a user guide (OmniFlop.pdf), a Windows Floppy disk drive driver (OmniFlop.inf, OmniFlop.sys), a Windows Floppy disk controller driver (OmniFDC.inf, OmniFDC.sys), and a Wizard (OmniFlop.exe).

 

The Wizard can be used without installing the drivers, but only the ‘standard’ DOS formats can then be read, written or tested – none of the ‘extended formats’ will be available.

 

64-bit OmniFlop

 

For the 64-bit version of OmniFlop please see here.

 

Quick Start

 

Download the archive, install the drivers (if you want extended format support beyond the standard DOS formats), and run the Wizard.

 

Help!

 

For help or suggestions, use the ‘Support’ contact at the bottom of this page or in the ‘About’ box from the Wizard.

 

Previous and Pre-release Versions

 

In case you need to use a previous version, here are a few of them.

 

 

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Support

If you have problems, check the lists below, and look in the User Guide - online (the one with your download may be out-of-date).

OmniFlop is designed to work with the majority of PCs using a 'standard' Floppy Disk Controller and in most cases works immediately without any changes to the host system. However, trying to use some alien disk format in a PC under Windows is fraught with problems:

 

  • PCs weren't designed to handle your alien disk format
  • Windows wasn't designed to handle your alien disk format

 

Don't expect it to work. Also, floppy disks are physical media using magnetism to store binary data - trying to read that 20-year old floppy in a modern PC with an unrelated drive from 10 years ago is fraught with opportunities for things to go wrong. Start with a floppy disk and drive that works - i.e. a 1.44MB or 1.2MB DOS-formatted floppy.

 

Generally, if you have a problem, make sure you've got the latest version of the drivers and wizard installed, turn off your anti-virus software, and run in Safe Mode.

 

If you have tried all the suggestions on this page then use the contact address in the ‘About’ box of the Wizard. My e-mail address is not available on this page due to excessive spam. You will need to provide details of:

 

  • The version of OmniFlop you are running.
  • The hardware and software set-up of your PC.
  • The format you are trying to use.
  • The media you are using (3½", 5¼", Double Density, High Density, Extended Density)
  • What you are trying to do.
  • What you are doing.
  • What happens.
  • A disk map for the disk - go to 'Diagnostics >> Get disk map' in the OmniFlop Wizard, and send the file.

 

Do not just say "It doesn't work." - because that doesn't help.

Hardware

OmniFlop will not  work with an external USB floppy drive.

 

OmniFlop will not work with software simulations of hardware (e.g. VMware, VFD).

 

If your hardware does not work properly then OmniFlop won't work properly. Make sure your hardware works - under Windows, you should be able to format disks (to Windows'/DOS' FAT12), write them, fill them up, read them, and delete files off them - this must all work without error. Then try the same disk with OmniFlop, using DOS formats. Make sure you have a decent floppy drive, and disk, that actually works before trying to get support for one that doesn't.

 

  • Don't try to repair a floppy disk drive or re-align the heads unless you've got all the tools and you know what you're doing.

 

Media

You must use the correct disk for the format. A 40-track disk is no good for an 80-track format; a High-Density disk is no good for a Double-Density format.

 

Check you are using the correct media, and it is good. If the disk is old, damaged, dirty, or losing its magnetic coating, then the disk will be at best unreliable, at worst unreadable. Use decent, known good, media, at least initially for testing. Once you know the system works, you can then try those disks from 20 years ago. Make sure you use a disk of the correct density for the format - 3½" disks can be Double Density or High Density:

 

3½" Double Density disks:

  • are often marked "720kB", "DD", "QD","1MB capacity (unformatted)"
  • have one notch in the corner, for write protect.

 

3½" High Density disks:

  • are often marked "1.44MB", "2HD", "HD","2MB capacity (unformatted)"
  • have two notches in the corners, one for write protect, the other to indicate High Density.

 

To use a High Density disk for a Double Density format you can tape over the 'High Density' hole with black tape as a last resort, but the results aren't guaranteed. If you get problems (errors) doing this, then blame the disk - and get hold of a proper Double Density disk. You should always use the correct media for the format.

Single Density (FM encoding) Support

Note that there are cases of PCs with chipsets that do not support Single Density (FM encoding) operation, but it is not as common as often portrayed on the Internet. The topic is complicated so casual statements about "most" PCs don't help - for the best description of the topic see here. You will only ever hear about cases where it doesn't work. Licenses were used in previous releases to get a view of failures and successes, and the PCs known about so far that do not support Single Density (FM encoding) are:

 

  • Dell Latitude XPi P133ST laptop - no Single-Density support at all.
  • Dell Dimension XPS T500 - possibly read only 5¼" Single Density. [Paul Jenkinson]
  • Olivetti PCs - no Single-Density support at all. [Mark Ferns]
  • Advansys card - reported to read only Single Density. [Mark Ferns]
  • Platinum PackardBell P3 500MHz  - read-only Single Density. [Colin McDougall]

 

If you find more, or wish to clarify which particular machines are afflicted, please also see here or contact support. OmniFlop includes 'Test' formats to allow you to test your system - almost all combinations of density (single, double, and high) and two sector sizes (256-byte and 128-byte) are available.

 

To test single density support on a PC, get hold of a known, working floppy disk drive, and a known good double-density floppy disk (one with only one hole in the top - not a High-Density one). First make sure that a double-density format works, by, for example, formatting the disk to Acorn BBC DDOS 720kB, then reading it back in - it should be recognised as this format and should read without error. If this works, try re-formatting the disk to Acorn BBC DFS 80-track double-sided 400kB, and try reading that back in - if the disk is not recognised as BBC DFS 400kB or it cannot be read back in then it is reasonable to assume your PC does not support Single Density (FM encoding). Contact me and I will add it to the list above - you will have to use another PC if you want to handle Single Density disks.

 

Note that the encoding (FM or MFM) does not depend on the drive. On the PC, the encoding is a property of the floppy disk controller, not the drive. You can have Single Density (FM-encoded) 3.5" disks.

128-byte Sector Support

Support for sectors of 128 bytes and less (i.e. N = 0) appears to be far less common than Single Density. Formatting and writing the format appear to have fewer problems than reading (unfortunately - see also here). The formats are still implemented in OmniFlop so if you have any experiences to share on this please contact the author. OmniFlop includes 'Test' formats to allow you to test your system - almost all combinations of density (single, double, and high) and two sector sizes (256-byte and 128-byte) are available.

Software

If your hardware works properly then under Windows there is an added complication: other software. Other software running at the same time as OmniFlop may interfere with OmniFlop's operation; OmniFlop needs exclusive access to the floppy disk while it runs. As a first step, check:

  • There is no Anti-Virus software running or enabled. If you are not willing to turn it off completely while you try OmniFlop, make sure you at least 'Disable scanning of removable media'.
  • Windows Explorer is not open. A refresh/update of Windows Explorer can cause it to access the floppy disk.
  • No other software that accesses the floppy drive is running.
  • Do not run OmniFlop under a Virtual Machine. OmniFlop accesses hardware, not a software simulation of it.

If none of these help, reboot Windows into Safe Mode. To do this, as your PC reboots, before it starts Windows, press 'F8' many, many times, like a lunatic, even if the PC starts beeping at you. This should give you the Windows Options Menu - select "Safe Mode" and hit 'Enter'. Try OmniFlop once Safe Mode is up and running.

If you want to prove that your hardware is OK then reboot your PC into DOS and use a DOS-based program such as OmniDisk to SAMPLE a disk. If this does not work, then your hardware (PC) and the disk you are trying to read simply aren't compatible. Try another PC, or disk, or both.

Requests

Use the support contact – requests are welcome and are normally implemented.

Licenses

From v2.2b onwards, you should not need a license. The only licenses that remain are because:

·        You are using one of the formats at the top of this web page that have not yet been confirmed as 'working', or

·        You are trying to use a new (unknown/unrecognised) format, or

·        The driver has not been installed correctly, or

·        There is a hardware or software problem on your PC.

Licenses are to provide information so that I can solve any problems you have, or to confirm that a new format works. Licenses are free and used for feedback only. No-one tells me if a format works - only if it doesn't. When a format or function is known to work (because of sufficient feedback) the license is removed.

You do not need a license unless the program tells you so. Just use the program and it will prompt you for a license if you need one. From v2.01i onwards, the program offers you the choice of registering automatically on-line (via WWW with an e-mail reply) or using e-mail alone.

If you use the on-line registration process (via a web browser and an e-mail account) you should get an almost immediate response. If you use the e-mail contact alone a license is usually issued (manually) within 1 working day - but there is no guarantee it won't take longer. As this is a free service you do not get 24-hour emergency support.

Using OmniFlop in your own programs

If you want to use the facilities of OmniFlop with your own program this is also possible from v2.01 onwards. There is no charge. You access the floppy disk in exactly the same way as standard Windows® - using CreateFile/ReadFile/WriteFile ‑ and all the usual Windows functions are available (e.g. get disk geometry, set file position).

You must decide which formats you need to access and then notify Support. OmniFlop must support your format for it to be made available to you, so make sure it works and the format is available.

For more detailed information about how to use OmniFlop with your own programs, contact support directly by e-mail. The e-mail address is in 'About' on the first screen of the OmniFlop Wizard.

FAQ

Q: I want to use the files on this floppy disk. How do I do this?

This is a huge question. What's the floppy disk for? What do you mean by "use"? OmniFlop reads hundreds of disk formats, including disks from:

§         Robot arms

§         Knitting machines

§         Synthesizers

If OmniFlop could use the disks for all these formats then it would be a robot arm that could knit and play music! OmniFlop is not a robot arm, nor a knitting machine, nor a synthesizer.

If you want to "use" data on the floppy disks - whatever that might mean - you need:

§         Something to read the data off the floppy disk.

§         Something to handle ("use") the data off the floppy disk.

OmniFlop does the first. It will get the data off the disk and give you a Windows file of all the data. But it won't pretend to be a robot arm, a knitting machine, or a synthesizer - for that, you will need more software, such as this.

Q: The format is listed but OmniFlop comes back with "Unrecognised format"

Check the media you are using. For a Double Density format you should use Double Density disks (one hole); for a High Density format you should use a High Density disk (two holes).

Q: How do I copy a GravoGraph VX (or other format...) disk?

This sequence applies to any other format, but is written for GravoGraph VX. Just substitute the format you want for "GravoGraph VX".

To copy a GravoGraph VX disk (press 'Next' between each step):

1)      Insert original disk into PC.

2)      Run OmniFlop.

3)      Select 'Read disk'.

4)      Choose the disk drive and turn ON 'Automatically detect format'. Turn OFF 'Skip bad sectors'.

5)      The computer will test the disk and should return with the format: "Gravograph VX" (if it does not, try again). Select this format.

6)      Choose a filename (such as "Disk.img") and select file format "Standard disk image (*.img)".

7)      The disk should read OK.

8)      Remove the original disk. Insert the target disk - this disk will be overwritten! For a double-density format, you must use a double density disk with one hole in the top (do NOT use a High-Density disk with two holes in the top).

9)      In OmniFlop, select 'Format disk'.

10)  Choose the disk drive (the other options are not important).

11)  Choose the format "Gravograph VX".

12)  Select 'Write disk'.

13)  Choose the disk drive and turn ON 'Automatically detect format'. Turn OFF 'Skip bad sectors'.

14)  The computer will test the disk and should return with the format: "Gravograph VX" (if it does not, try again). Select this format.

15)  Choose the file you made in step (6).

16)  The disk should write OK.

This completes the copy.

Q: How can I read/write to ADFS 800k disks/format?

I'm not sure what you want to read/write from/to the disks (files or disk images) but you've got the tools...

(a)    To read an ADFS disk install OmniFlop. Insert disk, and select 'Read disk'. This reads the whole disk into a single file which can be handled by Windows and other applications...

(b)   To write an ADFS disk the disk must already be formatted to ADFS 800kB format - see (c). Insert disk, and select 'Write disk'. You then must choose a disk image (of a whole disk) for OmniFlop to recreate the disk. This is usually to restore an image made from reading a disk.

(c)    To format a disk to ADFS 800kB you will need OmniFlop plus an image (file) of a blank ADFS 800kB disk (see (a)). Use OmniFlop to 'Format' the disk to the correct physical format then 'Write' the disk produced with the 'blank disk' image - or any other suitable disk image (e.g. one you made earlier by 'reading' one).

(d)   If you want to handle files and directories on the ADFS disks then you have to use an additional program that understands ADFS - for example, ADFS Explorer (http://www.g7jjf.com/adfs_explorer.htm). This uses the disk images that OmniFlop reads and writes from real disks. Once you have finished editing a disk, for example, you can write the disk image back using OmniFlop and use the real disk.

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