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CP/M 2.2 - Single Floppy Operation

MarsMan2020

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I have a Vector MZ with only one working floppy drive, and a somewhat embarrassing basic CP/M question.

Is it possible to format a disk in the same drive you're running off of, and copy files between disks in the same drive, in CP/M 2.2?
 

per

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Depends on the program, I would say yes. I guess a lot of formatters will problably prompt the user to insert a disk before doing the formatting, and if it doesn't work with PIP, then I do know about CP/M compatible file-copy programs that is capable of copying between two disks on one drive.

To be safe, you can always put a strip of black tape over the write-protection hole before trying.
 

Stone

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I don't know about CP/M but for sure DOS has a phantom floppy feature so with only one floppy you have two virtual drives, normally A: and B:.
 

Chuck(G)

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You can do it in CP/M, using DDT and SAVE, but you'll go nuts after awhile, as there isn't enough memory available to make it convenient.
 

Chuck(G)

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I'm sure that there are a few utilities to do this in the SIMTEL or CPMUG collection.

But the problem is that with only one drive, the only temporary storage available is RAM. If you've got some bank-switched stuff and can use it as a RAMdisk, things speed up considerably.
 

MicrocomputerSolutions

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Some versions of CPM have a utility for copying copying or transferring files using a single drive and disk swapping.

If you have a big enough Solid State Disk/Compupro MDrive you can PIP or Copy to the Solid State Disk/MDrive, then out to the single floppy drive in a single operation.

Compupro offered the MDrive board in 512K and 2Mb sizes (with software support for CPM-80, CPM86, CPM 8/16, MPM, and CDOS), and you could run up to (8) boards in the System. I run a single 2Mb MDrive board in my Compupro System configured as a 512K Hard Drive Cache, and 1.5Mb MDrive.
 

Stone

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C'mon, play nice and go back and edit this so we'll know what number you really meant.

...and you could run up to (8) boards in the System...

It's really a good idea to proofread your posts immediately after posting them so you can catch this kind of stuff.

Editing typos is simple, easy, only takes a few seconds and provides a great service to the rest of us who are reading these posts and hoping to learn something.
 

MicrocomputerSolutions

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C'mon, play nice and go back and edit this so we'll know what number you really meant.



It's really a good idea to proofread your posts immediately after posting them so you can catch this kind of stuff.

Editing typos is simple, easy, only takes a few seconds and provides a great service to the rest of us who are reading these posts and hoping to learn something.



That's really strange. On my system, the txt displays as I wrote it: "...and you could run up to (8) boards in the System...".

Let's try writing out the number: "... and you could run up to (eight) boards in the System...".
.
Only shows up as an emoticon for the number when posted on the website here. It displays correctly on my screen. Even when I go into edit mode, the txt shows correctly. How is someone suppose to correct a type that does not show up on the screen until after posting?

Must be something about the keystroke sequence.
 
Last edited:

Stone

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The sequence ( 8 ) without the included spaces produces this..... (8) animal. :)

But if you include spaces within the parenthesis it can't be interpreted as anything but (, 8 and ).

I don't know how the syntax gets what it is getting -- I only know that the included spaces preclude this from occurring.

FWIW, the text that shows up correctly on your screen doesn't on my screen and neither does it show correctly in edit mode on my screen.
 

SomeGuy

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The forum software automatically converts certain ASCII smilies in to graphics smilies.

When you post using the advanced reply form, there is a check box at the bottom labeled "Disable smilies in text". If you know you have code that will get converted, you can check that.

8) :p :) :D
 

Chuck(G)

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If you reply using the "Go advanced" button, not only do you get to disable emoticon interpretation, but you get to preview your message as well.
 

mgarlanger

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Heath's version of CP/M handled a single drive system well. Once the number of drives is configured, you could use B: and C: and the system will prompt you to "Put disk B: in drive A and press return"
 

Chuck(G)

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Yup, you can, in fact, code your CBIOS that way with "phantom" drives. Easy to get confused--and doesn't handle the issue of limited memory for a buffer.
 

MarsMan2020

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Well, here's what I found on my Vector MZ:
-The VG-provided 'FORMAT' utility seemed to hang when I tried to tell it to format A:. It did give me an opportunity to insert the desired floppy to format, but nothing happened after that.
-The VG-provided 'BACKUP' utility allowed me to copy my existing CP/M disk, but it took about 15-20 swaps back and forth to get the data moved over. I was able to delete a bunch of stuff from the original images that I didn't need and create a disk to use for what I'm trying to get done.

Overall it probably would have been faster to transfer a new image over from my modern PC with Mike Deramp's PC2FLOP utility vs playing the floppy shuffle.
 

mgarlanger

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Yup, you can, in fact, code your CBIOS that way with "phantom" drives. Easy to get confused--and doesn't handle the issue of limited memory for a buffer.

Yes, you could get confused, but it worked well on the Heath H89, since the hard-sectored disks only had about 90K of usable space. With a 64k system, copying an entire disk was just a few swaps.
 

MikeS

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Well, here's what I found on my Vector MZ:
-The VG-provided 'FORMAT' utility seemed to hang when I tried to tell it to format A:. It did give me an opportunity to insert the desired floppy to format, but nothing happened after that.
-The VG-provided 'BACKUP' utility allowed me to copy my existing CP/M disk, but it took about 15-20 swaps back and forth to get the data moved over. I was able to delete a bunch of stuff from the original images that I didn't need and create a disk to use for what I'm trying to get done.

Overall it probably would have been faster to transfer a new image over from my modern PC with Mike Deramp's PC2FLOP utility vs playing the floppy shuffle.

What's wrong with the bad drive? Might not be too hard to fix.

FWIW, I've used a standard 5.25HD drive as the second drive in my MZs; I can't boot from it for some reason and of course you can't read it with the Micropolis drive (and vice versa) but it works well as a data disk (and copying a disk is certainly faster than using a single drive even though you have to do it twice).
 

MarsMan2020

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What's wrong with the bad drive? Might not be too hard to fix.

FWIW, I've used a standard 5.25HD drive as the second drive in my MZs; I can't boot from it for some reason and of course you can't read it with the Micropolis drive (and vice versa) but it works well as a data disk (and copying a disk is certainly faster than using a single drive even though you have to do it twice).

Something is up with the stepper motor, it does not spin as freely as the working drive with the belt removed & won't spin up the drive with the belt on.
 
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