Help with initializing virtual disks

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Help with initializing virtual disks

Postby Hastor » Sun May 11, 2014 9:34 pm

CFA3000 noob here. I have a IIGS and have been loading disk images without an issue. However, I haven't been able to format/initialize a disk without getting a response of "I/O Error" after a few seconds. I've tried from DOS 3.3, using the INIT command, immediately after creating the new blank image using the CFA3000 then mounting it to one of the drives.

I'm also trying to play Sierra's "The Black Cauldron" game, which requires you to type 'init disk' in the game to prepare a disk for saving. That also gives me an 'I/O Error' message. Can anyone offer some advice on what I may be missing here? I'm new to both the CFA3000 and the Apple II. I collect old systems, but hadn't touched an Apple II since the 80's until a couple of days ago when I got this IIGS.

I should add that I've also tried turning off the auto-patching in the options, but that didn't change anything. Is just a little slower to return the 'I/O error' message.
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Re: Help with initializing virtual disks

Postby Hastor » Mon May 12, 2014 11:26 pm

Hmm seems that it worked after I disconnected my physical drives. Slot 6 was already set to 'your device' which kept it from trying to access the physical drives while running games, etc.

I still can't get the 'init disk' command in 'The Black Cauldron' to work so that I can save my game. Anyone have any advice on this? Can use the .nib file to make a real disk and just play off the physical drive?
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 8:48 pm

Re: Help with initializing virtual disks

Postby david__schmidt » Fri May 16, 2014 6:51 am

Some games (and even ProDOS itself) rely too heavily on the hardware for the virtual Disk II function to reliably initialize disks. From the manual, P. 14:
Special Note: Formatting of Virtual Floppy Disks
Some aspects of the CFFA3000 Disk II support make it such that “formatting” of disks may not be successful, depending on several factors:
  • Speed of the destination memory device
  • Operating system of the software doing the formatting
  • The formatting program itself
Several formatting scenarios have been tested with the CFFA3000, and the ones that have been shown to work well are:
  • DOS 3.3’s INIT command
  • Whole-disk copies as performed by COPYA (on the DOS 3.3 System Master diskette), which performs a format operation before copying
  • Whole-disk copies as performed by CopyII+, which performs a format operation before copying
  • Disk format operations performed by ADTPro
Formatting scenarios that are known to NOT work are:
  • Formatting performed by the ProDOS system utilities
  • Formatting performed by the Apple Pascal Operating System
In general, all of these issues may be worked around by simply using a disk image that has been created elsewhere with programs like CiderPress or AppleCommander.

Now, on the game: if you can have the game make a physical disk for you, then image that - that image would be the one you could feed the game to fully virtualize it.
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