An easier way to save your old floppies

Over in the Facebook CoCo group, Steve Batson pointed out an interesting Textfiles.com product review for a USB 5 1/4″ drive interface.

The FD5025 USB 5.25″ floppy controller by deviceside.com is a $55 interface that lets you plug up a “modern. 1.2M 5 1/4” floppy drive (provide your own drive, case and power supply) and run software on Mac, Windows or Linux to read older 360K floppy disks in to disk image files. Currently, the software understands the following disk formats:

  • Apple DOS 3.2 (13-sector)
  • Apple DOS 3.3 (16-sector)
  • Apple ProDOS
  • Atari 810
  • Calcomp Vistagraphics 4500
  • Commodore 1541
  • Kaypro 2 CP/M 2.2
  • Kaypro 4 CP/M 2.2
  • MS-DOS
  • Motorola VersaDOS
  • North Star MDS-A-D
  • PMC MicroMate
  • Tandy Color Computer Disk BASIC
  • TI-99/4A

Unless it’s doing something special with the file system, I would hope that it could also handle CoCo OS-9 disks (same track/sectors, just different data on the 256-byte sectors).

It looks like a very interesting interface and one that would have saved me a ton of time. BUT, my custom approach let me locate and flag the bad disks and identify the “lost” sectors in the copies (I would write a set pattern to any sector I could not read from the disk — easier to detect later with a disk editor or utility program).

Check it out, and if you have experience with this interface, please leave a comment with your comments…

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