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NiceCupOfTea

Original Poster:

23,021 posts

138 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
I have an early 90s Acorn Archimedes with a 420MB IDE hard disk. I want to back up the contents in case the drive fails (if it hasn't already - worked when I last booted it up 4 or 5 years ago)

The complication is it's not the Acorn ADFS disk format, it ran with a proprietary IDEFS format that the interface used (Ian Copestake Software IIRC)

PH usually has an expert on everything in its ranks so I'm hoping somebody can help me out with this!

My first port of call will be simply to plug it into a desktop machine and see what I can see, but I want to be able to keep the entire disk structure backed up (used 10 character filenames rather than 8.3, etc.)

I suppose I could always find an old sub-1 gig drive and copy the contents onto that using the Archimedes, but there must be a better solution. Plus it's still relying on an old hard drive! If I can get it into a ZIP file I can stick it on a CD.

I also have an old A7000 (cut down RiscPC) - I suppose I could swap the drive and interface card over to that and use a network card with it if I can still get hold of one...

Any ideas, or am I pissing in the wind? biggrin

CommanderJameson

22,096 posts

113 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
I'm thinking "FTP server" and get the stuff off that way. Has the elderly Arc got a network card?

ETA: A PC or Mac will, if it can see the volume at all, simply invite you to format it.

NiceCupOfTea

Original Poster:

23,021 posts

138 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
No, I never had it networked...

I am wondering if an Arc emulator on a PC would access it - reading what little documentation there is on Arculator it claims to have support for the ICS IDE interface.

deckster

2,339 posts

142 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Network is definitely the way to go if at all possible, failing that it's either another internal disk as you say or plugging in a Zip drive, if you can find one. I don't recall anybody ever producing an external hard drive enclosure for RISCOS but I could be wrong.

If none of that works then you could always try these people http://www.apdl.co.uk/ - they look like they may be able to come up with something creative.

NiceCupOfTea

Original Poster:

23,021 posts

138 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
deckster said:
Network is definitely the way to go if at all possible, failing that it's either another internal disk as you say or plugging in a Zip drive, if you can find one. I don't recall anybody ever producing an external hard drive enclosure for RISCOS but I could be wrong.

If none of that works then you could always try these people http://www.apdl.co.uk/ - they look like they may be able to come up with something creative.
I used to have a couple of 5.25in ST506 hard drives (20MB a piece IIRC!) in external enclosures - shutting down the machine was a real event!

I will have a hunt around in the loft and see if I can find another old hard drive.

Did they even do ethernet cards for the Arc? 10baseT perhaps? Gawd knows how I'd hook it up to my router laugh
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BlueMR2

6,303 posts

89 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Try plugging it into a linux box.

CommanderJameson

22,096 posts

113 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
NiceCupOfTea said:
I used to have a couple of 5.25in ST506 hard drives (20MB a piece IIRC!) in external enclosures - shutting down the machine was a real event!

I will have a hunt around in the loft and see if I can find another old hard drive.

Did they even do ethernet cards for the Arc? 10baseT perhaps? Gawd knows how I'd hook it up to my router laugh
Do you mean 10Base2, aka thinwire?

10B2 is easy to hook up; just get one of those little 4-port hubs with a BNC on the back. Remember to terminate the T-pieces, if you use them. Also remember that you need a 50 ohm terminator, not a 75 ohm one.

plasticpig

9,303 posts

112 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
I all else fails an RS232 lead and Kermit on a PC and the Archimedes will do the trick.

rxtx

4,806 posts

97 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
BlueMR2 said:
Try plugging it into a linux box.
I wonder if that would work, might need to know the block size though:

dd if=/dev/<arch disk> of=disk.img

marshalla

10,973 posts

88 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
rxtx said:
BlueMR2 said:
Try plugging it into a linux box.
I wonder if that would work, might need to know the block size though:

dd if=/dev/<arch disk> of=disk.img
That should do the trick, as long as you image the whole disc.It will produce a nice flat image file which can be written back at some point in the future. Block size doesn't really matter, except for speed of reading. the default of 512 should be correct for a disc of that age/type though.

Edited by marshalla on Friday 12th October 16:56

NiceCupOfTea

Original Poster:

23,021 posts

138 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
marshalla said:
rxtx said:
BlueMR2 said:
Try plugging it into a linux box.
I wonder if that would work, might need to know the block size though:

dd if=/dev/<arch disk> of=disk.img
That should do the trick, as long as you image the whole disc.It will produce a nice flat image file which can be written back at some point in the future. Black size doesn't really matter, except for speed of reading. the default of 512 should be correct for a disc of that age/type though.
Wouldn't it have to be written to an identical drive though?

I don't have access to Linux, but would one of those bootable CD distros do the job? Once it's saved as a disk image presumably I could copy it into Windows filespace and access it using Arculator if it's ICS IDE emulation works... scratchchin

I seem to recall that the ICS hard drive interfaces were pretty popular in the early 90s. They were ste to deal with though. I had an early one which didn't work when plugged into a backplane, only when plugged straight into the podule slot. They refused to admit there was a problem - eventually I sent it back and bought another a year or so later which worked. Still have a screen shot somewhere of the filer window saying 0 bytes free hehe Those were the days, no swap files, ROM OS, booting in 2 seconds!

rxtx

4,806 posts

97 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
NiceCupOfTea said:
Wouldn't it have to be written to an identical drive though?

I don't have access to Linux, but would one of those bootable CD distros do the job? Once it's saved as a disk image presumably I could copy it into Windows filespace and access it using Arculator if it's ICS IDE emulation works... scratchchin
Should be able to, assuming the IDE emulation works and it can read the filesystem.

marshalla

10,973 posts

88 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
NiceCupOfTea said:
Wouldn't it have to be written to an identical drive though?
Not necessarily There are ways around that problem.


NiceCupOfTea said:
I don't have access to Linux, but would one of those bootable CD distros do the job? Once it's saved as a disk image presumably I could copy it into Windows filespace and access it using Arculator if it's ICS IDE emulation works... scratchchin
Yes. Possibly - I don't know enough about that emulator, but is should work.

I've just had a look at the spec. for the filesystem, it's not massively complex and it should be possible to produce something which can parse it and extract files without requiring a massive effort.

NiceCupOfTea said:
I seem to recall that the ICS hard drive interfaces were pretty popular in the early 90s. They were ste to deal with though. I had an early one which didn't work when plugged into a backplane, only when plugged straight into the podule slot. They refused to admit there was a problem - eventually I sent it back and bought another a year or so later which worked. Still have a screen shot somewhere of the filer window saying 0 bytes free hehe Those were the days, no swap files, ROM OS, booting in 2 seconds!

NiceCupOfTea

Original Poster:

23,021 posts

138 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
marshalla said:
I've just had a look at the spec. for the filesystem, it's not massively complex and it should be possible to produce something which can parse it and extract files without requiring a massive effort.
Where did you find the spec?

davepoth

23,446 posts

86 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Internet says Linux has supported ADFS for years. It doesn't appear hard to copy across either.

http://www.filecore.net/riscos/public/filetransfer...

The filetype issue has been fixed in the most recent version of linux too.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/comp.sys.a...

I'd recommend putting a linux onto a USB drive if you have one. The LiveCD/LiveUSB installs deliberately don't let you access your hard drive as standard to stop you from breaking anything, but you can easily save something to a partition on the USB drive for later access. Sounds daunting, but it's really not that hard and it's incredibly well explained online.

NiceCupOfTea

Original Poster:

23,021 posts

138 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Cheers Dave, will have a look. Unfortunately it's not Acorn's own ADFS format, it's IDEFS which was proprietary. How different it is I don't know though frown

TurricanII

1,141 posts

85 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
In case you prefer Windows, the free FTK Imager will take a full backup of the physical disk (ignores the file structure on the disk). I would use a USB to IDE caddy. You may then be able to extract files from the image within FTK Imager if it supports the format (it extracts from Apple and Linux images nicely).

davepoth

23,446 posts

86 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
NiceCupOfTea said:
Cheers Dave, will have a look. Unfortunately it's not Acorn's own ADFS format, it's IDEFS which was proprietary. How different it is I don't know though frown
By the looks of it (and I've found possibly the geekiest Acorn site in existence:

http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/Documents.html)

Every IDE drive used in an ACORN will have used IDEFS, which was an IDE extension of ADFS. So most likely when ADFS is referred to in relation to IDE drives it actually means IDEFS.

NiceCupOfTea

Original Poster:

23,021 posts

138 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Turrican > thanks, will look into that. Any reason I shouldn't just plug it into the PC via a standard IDE cable?

Dave > interesting. I always understood that Acorn IDE (ADFS) and the IDEFS by ICS/Baildon electronics were incompatible...

So it looks like the plan is try to get a disc image using FTK / Linux by connecting the drive to a PC, then see if I can get into the drive image using Linux or Arculator...

Hope it works, did a lot of coding back in the day and it's all on that hard disk. No backups of course; where the hell did you get enough disk space to back up 420MB? wink That's a lot of diskswaps!

tribbles

3,234 posts

109 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Just a slight correction:

ADFS uses FileCore, and pretty much all other IDE filing systems also used FileCore, which means that the drive should be able to be swapped between different IDE interfaces (FileCore was designed for this purpose; Arthur didn't have FileCore, but in RISC OS 2, the raw filing system implementation was split away from ADFS and put into FileCore, leaving ADFS just a method to talk to the hardware).

However, the problem you may find is the partitioning information - ADFS didn't support drive partitions, but quite a few others did. How they implemented partitions is possibly proprietary (my distant memory is that the Simtec one was based on the ones that PCs use).
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