Atari ST -> CD?
December 14, 2003 11:29 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone transfer some old Atari ST floppies to a CD for me?
posted by neuroshred to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I can read all MFM-formatted ones and would be happy to try and get your data off for you. MFM format ST floppies are:
720 KB
800 KB
1440 KB

None of the FM-formatted ones are readable by modern drives, you'd have to use an ST to do it. I'd be using one of these.

Contact me through my profile if you're interested.
posted by j.edwards at 11:37 PM on December 14, 2003

Aren't all floppies MFM?

Anyway, I distinctly recall using regular floppies on the ST, back in the day (or slightly afterwards, depending on who you ask). You had to tape over the HD hole to fool the PC though. That doesn't mean all formats used by STs are readable ofcourse, but it should be a path out providing you have a working ST.
posted by fvw at 12:01 AM on December 15, 2003

Aren't all floppies MFM?

Almost all -- this is the biggest limitation to reading old diskettes. From various warnings online, I gather that not all Atari disks were MFM (I know that the Big Blue 3740s were FM-only, though those were 8-inch), but odds are these are MFM (just because FM is so uncommon).
posted by j.edwards at 12:24 AM on December 15, 2003

A vast majority of the ST formats are readable by modern floppy drives. In fact, a great many of ST disks out there are plain old FAT filesystems -- you can just stick them in the floppy drive of any modern PC or Mac and read them.

Also, no, not all floppies were written MFM. There were plenty of systems which used an entirely difference encoding scheme: GCR. Old Apple IIs, Macintoshes, C64s, and Amigas used GCR encoding just to name a few. With software hackery some of these can be read with a PC (including the Atari ST GCR formats) but as j. says above, the Catweasel provides a proven hardware solution.
posted by majick at 5:34 AM on December 15, 2003

i need to drag my ST out and fire it up. hmmm. probably the biggest problem you will have is the floppy's themselves....after years just sitting around who-knows-where they may not even work. I've always had shitty luck with old floppy disks.
posted by th3ph17 at 2:31 PM on December 15, 2003

Neuroshred, I should, in theory be able to do this for you. Believe it or not, our family business still runs of an Atari ST, and there are times when I have to move the data from the ST to the PC. I do it via floppy, and the method is olnly slightly convoluted.

Actually, if you have a hard drive for your ST and a CD-burner for your PC, you can do this yourself. I don't remember the exact procedure, but I have it written down at work, and if I can remember I'll post it tomorrow.

Or, feel free to drop me a line so that I'm sure to remember.
posted by jdroth at 4:36 PM on December 15, 2003

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