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Software for writing to MO WORM discs?

olePigeon

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I've found occasional references to older WORM drives for 5.25" MO WORM discs on the Macintosh, and some sort of bundled software that's included with it. Does anyone know what the software was? What I can use to write to 2GB WORM disks on an HP MO drive?

Preferably for 68k, but PowerPC would be fine. Anything, really.
 

NeXT

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Every MO drive I've found just needs an INIT to be properly supported under MacOS and then just appears as a hard disk. You don't need any software to read/write files to a cartridge. Lido and FWB both had fairly nice drivers.
 

krebizfan

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My HP MO drive came with FormatterOne Pro credited to Software Architects with a high density floppy for Windows and Mac. I don't know if the Mac disk is readable and I won't have a chance to test for a couple of days.
 

Mr Fahrenheit

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Found this post while trying to search this @olePigeon. I'll add some details here.

The best I could find is that most 5.25" MO drives of the era shipped with some variety of Software Architect's 'FormatterOne' or 'Disk Drive TuneUp' software. I have some WORM media that is currently shipping to me, with a cost low enough to try out a few that get wasted, as a worst case. I'll keep everyone posted, as there is not much found online regarding this topic, and I'm sure at some point in the future someone will be searching out how to do exactly this. It would be good to nail down the procedures in using these MO drives and variety of disks for future users. (I'm trying to use as many 'key words' in my posts on this so that it can be easily searched and found.)

@NeXT I do have the MO Extension 2.3.8 that came bundled with a Fujitsu drive that I have. That utility and extension does work with all of my 3.5" MO drives (variety of makers), but doesn't seem to work with the two 5.25" MO drives I've recently acquired (HP SureStore Optical 9100mx and Sony RMO-S561 [9.1GB] drives). The extension does nothing, and the MO Formatter utility says the drive is unsupported.

Trying FWB Hard Disk Toolkit, version 2.5.3, 3.0.1, and 4.5.2 all crash when trying to create partitions on the drive (they seem to successfully write the driver, but fail to create a usable HFS partition).

I did manage to get Software Architect's Disk Drive TuneUp 3.1.4 to format, initialize, and create partitions on a 9.1GB rewritable MO disk, both in HFS and HFS+ volume types. The disks are even bootable, both on a 68040 Macintosh LC475, and a PowerPC G3 PowerMacintosh 233Mhz, on both of the above mentioned drives.

@krebizfan Thank you for the confirmation. I had read this but could not find any actual experiences. I do have a copy of the FormatterOne Pro 2.2.2 (downloaded from MacintoshGarden). Can you confirm if yours is at least older than 2.2.2? Should be a version printed on the disk if anything.

Edit: I installed FormatterOne Pro 2.2.2, and FormatterFive, versions 3.0 and 4.0.7. All of those say clearly in the help that they do not support WORM media. I tried getting the drive to recognize using Adaptec Toast CD Pro 4.1.3, and it says 'No supported CD-ROM Recorder attached' or something similar. There was no option in any of the menus for the MO drive I have installed. I guess I'll just have to wait until I receive the WORM media in the mail to see what can and cannot recognize the discs, and how they can be used. Notably missing from the 'Disk Drive TuneUp' documentation is the mention that WORM media is not supported. My hopes are that they added support for WORM in that software. Finger's crossed. If anyone else has some insight it would be greatly appreciated!
 
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olePigeon

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@NeXT This is for WORM media. I suspect there needs to be software similar to Toast where you author a disc before writing to it permanently. For regular cartridges, you're correct. The only caveat being that some 3rd party SCSI cards such as the FWB JackHammer won't support cartridges with sector sizes larger than 512b/sec.
 

Unknown_K

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It should be possible to do incremental writes on WORM media and some method of updating the contents.
 

Chuck(G)

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What that YT shows is NOT an MO drive--it is an optical drive and is WORM. But it's purely optical--writes are permanent and irreversible. Media, if I'm reading the YT vid right, is LM-D501W. I've a couple of boxes of new and used carts as well as the drive.
The software used to write it is proprietary. I had to reverse-engineer the access and filesystem for mine.
Maybe yours is a genuine MO drive, but the one on YT definitely is not.
 

Mr Fahrenheit

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What that YT shows is NOT an MO drive--it is an optical drive and is WORM. But it's purely optical--writes are permanent and irreversible. Media, if I'm reading the YT vid right, is LM-D501W. I've a couple of boxes of new and used carts as well as the drive.
The software used to write it is proprietary. I had to reverse-engineer the access and filesystem for mine.
Maybe yours is a genuine MO drive, but the one on YT definitely is not.

The drive I have is a magneto optical drive, which says it is able to write to RW MO media, and to CCW (continuous composite write-once) or WORM media. It’s a Sony RMO-S561. I also have a HP SureStore Optical 9100mx, which has the same specs.

An MO drive that can write to 5.25” CCW WORM discs is the same thing, even if LGR’s drive may only write to WORM media. Do you have anything productive to add ?
 

Chuck(G)

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You were the one who posted the YT link, so don't blame me. :) It helps if you consider WORM media akin to CD-Rs. They have their own unique filesystem which usually requires some sort of advance preparation before writing (e.g. xfburn). There were plenty of WORM software suites for Win95 and 3.1. (Adaptec had one) I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was something for MS-DOS, at least for reading them.

Having said that they were akin to CD-Rs, there were software suites that allowed for updating. That's the one I mentioned above. You could add, replace or delete files, which is a bit of a mind-bender, if you consider that you can't undo a write.

But to the OPs question; not all MO drives are WORM, so it's best not to conflate the two, just as it's not the best practice to confuse MO with purely optical drives.
 

Mr Fahrenheit

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You were the one who posted the YT link, so don't blame me. :) It helps if you consider WORM media akin to CD-Rs. They have their own unique filesystem which usually requires some sort of advance preparation before writing (e.g. xfburn). There were plenty of WORM software suites for Win95 and 3.1. (Adaptec had one) I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was something for MS-DOS, at least for reading them.

Having said that they were akin to CD-Rs, there were software suites that allowed for updating. That's the one I mentioned above. You could add, replace or delete files, which is a bit of a mind-bender, if you consider that you can't undo a write.

But to the OPs question; not all MO drives are WORM, so it's best not to conflate the two, just as it's not the best practice to confuse MO with purely optical drives.
Again, do you have anything productive to add to the subject?

I have two MO drives that are capable of writing to CCW WORM media. I want to write these discs on a Macintosh for use on a Macintosh. The specifications on MY drives say they support MO and WORM. They also say they support DOS, Windows, AIX, Macintosh, and other operating systems.

To bring this back to the question at hand, how does one write to WORM media using a Macintosh, given the specific models of MO drives I have that are mentioned above ?
 

Chuck(G)

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Have you looked at Corel SCSI for Mac? ISTR there was a software driver for optical drives. Also, an outfit called LoDown offered software for Mac WORM drives. I'll keep checking...
Pinnacle Micro claimed to have software for Mac for its optical drives. The software that I was thinking of when we started this adventure was from Optisys, but apparently they concentrated on the x86 crowd. I don't know if they ever produced MacOS software.
 
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Mr Fahrenheit

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Have you looked at Corel SCSI for Mac? ISTR there was a software driver for optical drives. Also, an outfit called LoDown offered software for Mac WORM drives. I'll keep checking...
Pinnacle Micro claimed to have software for Mac for its optical drives. The software that I was thinking of when we started this adventure was from Optisys, but apparently they concentrated on the x86 crowd. I don't know if they ever produced MacOS software.
Thanks for the few program names. I’ll check them out.

I do know about Pinnacle Micro offering MO and /or WORM drives back in the day, but I haven’t found what software they had or anything.

There’s got to be something that allows WORM on the Macintosh, we just haven’t rediscovered it yet.

I’ll try and track down those ones you list as a starting point.
 

Mr Fahrenheit

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Perhaps you can turn up a copy of Storage Dimensions MacinStor--that one definitely supports WORM.

Thanks for pointing me in that direction.

I found Macinstor on the MacintoshGarden website. Not sure if links are allowed here so anyone can find it by just searching for Macinstor.

I have WORM disks coming in the mail so I can’t test at the moment with a WORM disk. I’ll let you know what I find.

I was thinking, perhaps Retrospect might work with WORM, as that was the definitive backup program back in the day. I’ll have to check Retrospect out, too.
 

Chuck(G)

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Sadly, MO just came too close to the introduction of DVD-Ram and CD-R, which were far cheaper.
I still have a 4.3 GB disk that I wrote on a Pinnacle MO drive (not WORM). The drive lasted about 3 weeks (it was brand new) before it packed up. So I submitted a warranty claim and received an estimate of 6 months before they could ship me a replacement. Apparently, they were deluged with warranty claims. They did offer to send me a "refurb" (i.e. someone else's problem) in three months. I think that PMI filed for bankruptcy before the 6 months had passed.
I trashed the drive--there was no way I could recommend it to my customers.
 

Mr Fahrenheit

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Perhaps you can turn up a copy of Storage Dimensions MacinStor--that one definitely supports WORM.

I think this might be the best shot. I didn’t know what to look for, so thank you.

I found a copy of Macworld magazine on archive.org, May 1989, magazine page 183. There’s an advertisement for Macinstor WORM (which they referred to as W.O.R.M. - the reason it likely doesn’t come up in searches for WORM).

Have a read of the ad here:


It’s on PDF page 194, magazine page 183. It mentions that their special software allows WORM discs to be mounted as any other hard disk, appearing as read/write, for copying files over. So I would imagine deleting a file removed it from the file system directory of contents, and the space could not be recovered, but the actual file would remain on the physical disc.

This would be the solution I’m looking for. Provided it works with the 2.6GB WORM cartridges (and my 9.1GB MO drives from c.2000).

Edit: also on page 191 of the magazine, is a review of another WORM drive software solution by ADIC, called WriteImage. I can’t seem to find any downloads of that online, though.
 
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Chuck(G)

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I learned a lot from the Optisys Optidisc software reverse-engineering (PC only). A sector can have two states-written or unwritten. So when you're updating a WORM drive, you pre-allocate areas on the disc, including space for any allocation tables, search for the first unwritten sector and write the new copy of the allocation map there. Same for directories--multiple copies. It's very strange, but probably the best way to handle the issue. All of this means that you need special drivers and software to deal with a WORM, unless it's all written at once, like a CD-R.
Allocation tables, directories, file areas, of course, can have overflow areas allocated.
The WORM optical media that I dealt with was scarcely faster than a floppy disk in terms of access time, which meant that updating was slow--and if an update failed because of hardware error, the only real option was to trash the disc and start over--I ran into a few of those.
Of course, this being WORM, means that regressing updates is easy--nothing ever goes away.

I mostly think of ADIC as marketing tape drives and software. I think I still have an old ADIC quarter-inch drive here; takes DC300-sized Iotamat format cartridges. Uses a MC6800 as a controller. ADIC was big in backup solutions, particularly for the financial sector.
 
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