Backup OS-9 hard drives on PC hardware.

Backup OS-9 hard drives on PC hardware.

Post by OS-9 A » Sat, 21 Oct 2006 00:23:43

When I was trying to back up my SyQuest EZ135 SCSI hard drive on a PC,
I ran in to an interesting problem. I had the PC (parallel) version of
the EZ135, and a SCSI version (hooked to my OS-9 machine). When I
inserted a non-DOS formatted platter, the PC would not recognize it.
The BIOS (or something) wanted the first sector to be PC-ish. So, my
solution was to write a quick program in C to back up the first 512
bytes (sector) of the OS-9 disk, and copy the 512-byte sector from a PC
disk to the OS-9 disk. This created an OS-9 disk (unusuable) that
would be recognized by the PC. From there, I could run a freeware disk
image program to make a copy of the entire disk. I was then able to
use this image via an emulator (my original intent of doing this).

So my question is: Are there any PC/Windows based disk backup/image
programs that can read a non-DOS disk, like Linux, Mac, OS-9 or
whatever? I've heard this questiona lot lately, and figure maybe
someone here knows more about PCs than I do and has some advice.


-- Allen

Backup OS-9 hard drives on PC hardware.

Post by Martin Gre » Sat, 21 Oct 2006 05:34:48

The only one I know is Anadisk:

but AFAIK it only deals with floppies. I've used it to pull disk images
off Flex-09 floppy disks. It sort of works, but you may get on better
with it than I did.

My usual solution is to use a serial cable and Kermit to move files or
archives that won't fit on a floppy.

Most recently I needed to get a copy of my entire OSK system into
OS9exec under Linux. Fortunately my OSK disk is only half full, so I
made a giant zip archive and pulled it onto the Linux system with
Kermit. Then I set up a native Linux directory structure from it that
ran well enough under OS9exec for me to use it to make an RBF disk image
(a 100 MB binary file created with crefile) and then unzip the archive
again, this time onto the empty RBF image. The resulting disk image
works just fine - even my Sculptor databases are bit perfect after this

I originally also tried doing this with lha, but there's something odd
about it: the Linux version wouldn't accept the OSK archive.

However, I've used both zip/unzip and tar + gzip to move files between
Linux and OSK and both techniques work well.

Kermitting big files over a 9600 baud line takes forever but it does work.

martin@ | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
org |


Backup OS-9 hard drives on PC hardware.

Post by N Morriso » Sat, 21 Oct 2006 08:27:00

Tried OmniFlop?

Backup OS-9 hard drives on PC hardware.

Post by OS-9 A » Fri, 10 Nov 2006 07:51:56

I am unfamiliar with that, but the name sounds like it's a floppy based
utility. Ideally, this would be something that could clone a hard
drive. You could attach an OS-9 formatted SCSI or IDE drive to a PC,
and make an image of it, then later write that image to a fresh new

This question comes up from time to time, and is usually related to old
and dying 68K SCSI drives, though I personally could use a utility able
to make an image from a CompactFlash card on the PC (via USB) and vise
versa. For instance, I could format an IDE drive to 32MB, then make it
a bootable OS-9/x86 device. Then, image that to a Compact Flash card
so you could boot off of that.

Anyone gotten this to work? I have yet to find a PC utility that deals
with non-DOS disks, though surely there must be one (maybe a Virtual
Applicance under VMWare that has a Linux install with disk tools?).

-- Allen

Backup OS-9 hard drives on PC hardware.

Post by N Morriso » Fri, 10 Nov 2006 13:29:20

OmniFlop Overview

OmniFlop is a 'universal' floppy disk reader, writer, and tester
for the IBM PC or compatible which can handle alien floppy disk formats
not normally supported by DOS, Windows and Linux.