[LAU] Ensoniq ASR-10 Boot Disk Required

Gene Heskett gheskett at wdtv.com
Sat Jan 5 20:32:32 UTC 2013

On Saturday 05 January 2013 15:06:52 david did opine:
Message additions Copyright Saturday 05 January 2013 by Gene Heskett

> On 01/05/2013 09:12 AM, Nick Copeland wrote:
> >  > On Saturday 05 January 2013 13:22:27 Nick Copeland did opine:
> >  > Message additions Copyright Saturday 05 January 2013 by Gene
> >  > Heskett
> >  > 
> >  > > Hi All,
> >  > > Just got my ASR-10 back from a few years on loan. Somewhere down
> >  > > the line, probably at some gig, they lost the Iomega ZIP-100 and
> >  > > the original set of floppies I had. These are nigh on impossible
> >  > > to recreate since they are not actually any windows format to
> >  > > make them Ensoniq bootable. Does anybody have a 3.5 boot disk
> >  > > with a version of OS later than 2.01 (I think this was the
> >  > > version that supported the SCSI driver). I will happily pay
> >  > > postage and all that. I want to get this running to work on the
> >  > > Bristol CS-80 emulator using the polypressure features of the
> >  > > ASR. Kind regards, nick
> >  > 
> >  > A fried of mine had an Ensoniq, and he suggested that you should
> > 
> > check with
> > 
> >  > rubber chicken software, who apparently have such for download.
> >  > <http://chickensys.com/kb/eps-asr/index.html>
> >  > which might get you the stuff you need. Good luck.
> > 
> > I have a feeling this need an IDE (PATA) floppy. I have four PC in
> > house and none of them have a floppy. Tested the software using VM
> > and it failed the boot disk write operation since Ensoniq had a very
> > proprietary format.
> > 
> > If nobody has a set then I either have to order some (not expensive
> > but also not guaranteed to work since they depend on the firmware I
> > have) or buy a secondhand PC that has a floppy as I doubt a USB
> > floppy work work either (since it does not have direct control of
> > what actually gets written to the disk). The nice thing about IDE is
> > that it does not do a great deal more than seek to track and then
> > write the whole track which is what I think the ChickenSys software
> > probably does.
> > 
> > There are options on the site to write a bootable ZIP drive but they
> > are for Win98 only.
> > 
> > Kind regards, nick.
> Maybe you can buy an internal floppy drive (I'm guessing a 3.5" floppy)
> and add it to one of your existing PCs? Floppy disks and controllers
> weren't very smart ...
> dd might be able to write the floppy, too, if you get a disk image and a
> drive that supports that format.

There is a large fly buzzing around in that soup.  This ASUS MB, an 
expensive M2N-SLI Deluxe I paid about $300 for 5 years ago when I built 
this quad core phenom, has a superio kit for the floppy.  Which FWIW, 
doesn't show up in an lspci or an lshw listing. IIRC I have it turned off 
in the bios now.  It /only/ supports the std 512 byte, 9 sector per track 
format, in base one number formats.  Attempting to access any other format 
of disk is either a timeout error, or an outright machine lockup.

So rotsa ruck trying to write a non-pc format with anything like a modern 
pc, regardless of the brand of drive.  To get new SW to a legacy machine 
using 256 byte sectors, I have been forced to open a serial port path to 
that machine, using minicom, and sz the new disk images to its hard drive.

Yes, it is a right Pain In The Ass.

It is my perhaps flawed memory that says the Ensoniq's used a trackdisk 
format, where whole tracks were read into memory, including the intersector 
gap data, the needed info was then found in the buffer, any updates were 
done to the buffer, and the whole track written back out without regard for 
any index pulses the drive may have been generating, quite similar to the 
Amiga's disk format, in fact IIRC, this friend of mine has written Ensoniq 
disks for his EPS on an Amiga.  There could be a slim chance perhaps of 
doing such a disk write again /if/ you can find an Amiga whose clock 
battery leakage has not yet destroyed the motherboard.  Those are 
increasingly rare.

Cheers, Gene
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