Atari ST Disks Preservation (WIP)

Table of Contents


    I bought two Greaseweazle devices from Keir Fraser who designed and makes them. They are excellent devices to help you preserve your old Atari ST disks – and disks of multiple other retro machines too.

    You can buy one direct from Keir via the Greaseweazle Facebook group, or he sometimes puts up batches on eBay. There are others who have taken his designs and made their own version of Greaseweazle too.

    As each new version of the Greaseweazle software/firmware is released, more and more enhancements came about. Currently it’s v0.42 for the main software.

    Within the software, there is an Update command (via your choice of GUI or via the command line). This will download the latest firmware version and applied to your device.

    Disk Image Formats

    I’m currently able to back up my Atari ST disks in three different formats:

    • .SCP format – Stock Greaseweazle disk image format – this can be converted to .ST format (so long as the disk doesn’t have any protection on it using the HFE Tools)
    • .RAW – Kryoflux format
    • .ST format – for make backups of unprotected disks

    <more blurb>

    My own preferences for disk imaging

    There are a few good looking GUI frontends out there for whichever flavour OS you are using if you prefer to operate your Greaseweazle like that.

    However, I prefer to do all my of “Greaseweazling” under the command shell on Windows. I’ve created a number of batch files (which can all be downloaded further down the page) to perform the following:

    Cleaning Disks before preserving

    I use a disk drive head cleaning disk and 99.9% proof IsoPropyl Alcohol to clean my drive head and my disks before I attempt to read any in. It slows down the process when doing disks in bulk, but it should (!) result in less disk errors.

    These disk drive head cleaners still go for a pretty penny on eBay. I apply the alcohol to the disk platter under the protective sleeve, then pop it into my drive and use the GW Clean command (via a lazy batch file!) to clean the disk drive heads.

    The good stuff 🙂 Bought from Amazon and I dispense it into smaller pipette bottles to make it easier to apply to the above drive head cleaner and disks I’m trying to preserve.

    My DOS-based scripts

    Here are the scripts that I use via the command line to operate my Greaseweazle.

    clean (no parameters required)Runs the GW Clean command which, via a disk drive head cleaner disk, accesses 10 x different heads to "clean" them.
    kfreadst Reads an Atari ST original disk and creates Kyroflux style RAW files into a sub-folder.

    I tend to do an SCP and Kyroflux set of files for each disk I preserve. It helps the creation of the IPF files.
    readst I've gone a bit OTT with this batch file but it presents you with a menu of the standard single/double-sided parameters to choose from before starting the image.

    If at any point GW starts complaining about being unable to read certain sectors, then Ctrl & C, restart the batch file and choose a different disk image parameter on the menu.
    readstgw Reads in a protected Atari ST disk into an SCP format file. Used in conjunction with the Kryoflux batch file to help create a pure IPF file.
    updateSheer and utter lazyitis because I couldn't be bothered typing in ' gw update'!
    writekf Attempts to write back a previously recorded a set of Kryoflux .RAW files (supply folder name) onto a disk.

    To make sure the image is OK, test the result in a real Atari ST afterwards.
    writegw Attempts to write back a previously recorded .SCP file onto a disk.

    To make sure the image is OK, test the result in a real Atari ST afterwards.

    Here are my BAT files. I’ve also included the CPC backup BAT file I found elsewhere as a reminder that I really should make my menus a lot neater looking.

    Post Production of SCP / Kryoflux images

    AUFIT is the acronym for Atari Universal Floppy-Disk Image Tool.

    The primary function of the Aufit program is to analyzes the content of Atari Floppy Disks. Several Graphical and Text views are provided to display the results from this analysis.

    Another important function of the program is to convert from an image file format to a different formats. Therefore Aufit program is frequently used to convert stream files to a format suported by the different Atari emulators. For example it is possible to convert KryoFlux .raw stream files to the Pasti .stx files used by many Atari emulators.

    Currently the supported input formats are .scp (SuperCard Pro) and .raw (KryoFlux)and the supported output formats are .stx format for protected diskette and .st, .msa for non-protected diskettes.

    <text nicked from Aufit homepage>

    <need screenshots of Aufit in action>

    Sharing your images

    <Mention the Atari Forum thread and maybe the collection’s Mega address here?>