How do I dump an image to a floppy disk?
- Click on Image → Open to open the image to dump to a real floppy disk.
- Click on Image → Dump to show the Dump to destination dialog.
- Click on the Destination button (Alt+D) to show a classical Save file dialog. Don't click on the Drive A icon! Instead, click on the Access floppy inserted in drive A shown at the bottom of the dialog.
- Back in the Dump to destination dialog, confirm the value set in the Medium combo-box (Alt+M). If it doesn't specify the right floppy type, change it to comply with the floppy inserted in the drive. Such inconsistency may arise, for instance, if the application was unable to recognize the disk operating system (DOS) automatically.
- Specify the range of Cylinders to dump to the floppy (Alt+F, and Alt+T, respectively). You usually may leave the default values (whole floppy will be dumped), unless you are creating a patch.
- If the destination floppy has already been formatted to the target geometry (for instance, you are dumping a TR-DOS image to a floppy which you know has already been formatted in Betadisk drive), you can tick the Medium already formatted check-box (Alt+M). If ticked, only missing or corrupted tracks will be reformatted, thus speeding up the dump process. If unticked, each track will be formatted. If ticked and the medium is actually not formatted, the dumping may perform slower. So untick this check-box whenever you are not sure about the state of the medium to gain the best performance.
- If the DOS has been recognized by the application, you usually at this moment may click on the Dump button to store the specified number of cylinders to the floppy, as all remaining values in the dialog are set correctly. If the DOS has been not recognized, you very probably will have to adjust them manually as described below.
- The Gap3 value (Alt+G) represents the inter-sector gap. Some game producers liked to decrease this value to accommodate an extra sector that normally would not fit in the track (usually as part of their copy-protection scheme). If you stumble upon a track that is apparently longer than common tracks, try to decrease this value. The default for this value follows the IBM recommendation.
- The Filling Byte (Alt+B) determines the value that will be used as the initial content of fresh formatted sectors. You usually may leave the default.
- The Show report when done checkbox (Alt+R) causes the application to show a summary at the end of the dumping process. This option is useful to see what errors arised during dumping, however, you may keep it unchecked in this case. If observing delays in accessing the floppy drive (e.g. in a highly concurrent environment), be sure to have the Real-time thread priority check-box (Alt+P) ticked.
- Click on the Dump button. A Floppy drive access options dialog pops up. Values in the dialog have been optimally preset by the application to generally access a floppy. However, you may find overridding some settings useful: (1) write latency (Alt+C, and Alt+B) is good to have auto-determined by the application if dumping a copy-protected image (follow on-screen instructions for this option); (2) head calibration which you may turn on for each N-th cylinder to format (Alt+E), or turn it off and prevent head calibration during formatting; (3) formatted track verification (Alt+V) which is recommended to have turned on; (4) verification of written data (Alt+W) which is also stronly recommended to have turned on; (5) preference of relative over absolute seeking (Alt+P) which lessens the number of calibrations cycles during dumping of a copy-protected image (see why). You may leave the remaining values to their defaults and click on OK.
- If not done so before, the application suggests to autodetermine the floppy controller latencies. It is recommended to accept the suggestion by clicking on Yes – with correctly set latencies, the application can perform up to twice as quickly than with the default values! Clicking on No, you reject the autodetermination this time, and clicking on Cancel makes the application ask about the latencies no more.
- A dialog displaying the actual progress pops up.
- Occasionally during dumping, the Sector read error dialog may pop up, reporting on errors while reading a particular sector (e.g. for a *.DSK source image). The only sensible choice here is to accept all errors (see the Accept button).