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First post, by Deczor

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Hi guys,

So, I have this CF card that's formatted for 6.22. It's fine boots up on the socket7 machine, reads perfectly. Everything is good there.
I can mount it in virtual box on my win10 computer. That works fine too. It boots. I can mount floppies, etc.

What I want to do is copy the original Discworld game to it. Unfortunately, Win10 only gives me the option to format the card. It can see it in disk manager, but it won't read the file system. trying to transfer a 100mb+ game into floppy images to put on via the viurtualbox seems convoluted and mad.

I've seen a bunch of youtubers (Phil, LGR, etc) all do what I'm trying to do with a DOS CF card. They're running Win10 too, and just plug it in and it gets recognised as a simple drive. Just drag and drop.

Any ideas what's going on here? I've tried looking everywhere I can online, but everything seems to indicate it should just be readable in windows even though it's FAT16.

Thanks in advance.

Reply 1 of 21, by Jo22

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Virtualbox.. MS Virtual PC 2007 supports AMDV/Intel-VT acceleration and x64 releases of Windows (there are later patches, btw.).
Plus, the old Virtual Additions for VPC 2004 and earlier still work. That way, you can use shared folders DOS or have mouse integration in Win 3.1, even. 😀
Edit: If you encounter slow drawing in VPC on Win7 and later, just put an old ddraw.dll into VPC directory (from XP, Win2k, NT4 etc). It will force software rendering.

As for Win10.. Sorry, I don't support Win10. It's nothing personal, though. Maybe other users can help.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 3 of 21, by Deczor

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kolderman wrote on 2020-02-19, 07:53:

Are you using a usb cf adapter? I use one and it works fine. I was able to format as fat16 on win10 using a partition program. What happens if you do format using win10? Does it see it then?

Yup. Usb adapter. It works fine if I format it in win10. Has options for "FAT" or ntfs. Doesn't specify whether it's fat 16 or 32. Probably 32 only.

Of course DOS need to format it as FAT16 to install.

Reply 4 of 21, by konc

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I might be terribly wrong with this but I don't think win10 work with fat16 partitions. I can think of 2 relatively easy ways to accomplishing what you want to do:
-Since you're already familiar with VMs install a windows version prior or 10 that can read the card. Mount the card to the VM and copy the files from within the VM. It'll take some time to do the install and shares from the host but once setup you'll have a ready environment to copy more files in the future.
-I'd go for this: boot some linux live cd just to copy the files

Reply 6 of 21, by RacoonRider

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Windows 10 definitely works with FAT16 partitions. I tried that just yesterday. It can even format disks into FAT16 if the requirements are met (FAT16 is VERY restrictive by modern standards). However, if you wish to use a CF card in old systems, it's not a good idea to partition/format them on Windows 10.

Yesterday I needed a to configure a card for file transfer via PCMCIA to CF adapter in Libretto 50CT that currently runs DOS 6.22. First, I installed the CF card into the HDD bay via CF2IDE 44-pin adapter. Then I booted from a floppy and ran fdisk to create a single 2GB partition. Then ran format C:.

After that I tried copying files to the CF card from a Windows 10 machine using a multi-function card reader, and later using CF2IDE 44-pin adapter inside USB2IDE/SATA adapter. Both cases worked flawlessly.

What does disk management utility say of your CF card? Does it get recognized there?
If you can mount it in Virtualbox, is it possible that Virtualbox blocks access to it because it's mounted?

Reply 7 of 21, by appiah4

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I just copied files onto a FAT16 formatted CF card in Windows 10.

The CF Card may have been formatted using a different geometry than the LBA geometry Windows 10 detects, is my guess.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 10 of 21, by Deczor

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RacoonRider wrote on 2020-02-19, 10:58:

Windows 10 definitely works with FAT16 partitions. I tried that just yesterday. It can even format disks into FAT16 if the requirements are met (FAT16 is VERY restrictive by modern standards). However, if you wish to use a CF card in old systems, it's not a good idea to partition/format them on Windows 10.

What does disk management utility say of your CF card? Does it get recognized there?
If you can mount it in Virtualbox, is it possible that Virtualbox blocks access to it because it's mounted?

How can you format them in FAT16? I just have an option for FAT or NTFS. When installing DOS it reformats the card, then the Win10 machine can't read it anymore.

Disk manager says it's disk. If it's formatted by DOS installer, it'll see it but if I try to access it I'm asked to format the drive because it can't read it.

I've tried killing virtual box and have the same issue. It's weird, buy maybe win10 pro just doesn't like DOS format for some reason.

Reply 11 of 21, by Jo22

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Deczor wrote on 2020-02-19, 21:24:

How can you format them in FAT16? I just have an option for FAT or NTFS. When installing DOS it reformats the card, then the Win10 machine can't read it anymore.

a) By using Command Line
b) By trying out and older copy of GParted - Re: Success report: How to resize a partition on Windows 98
c) By using an USB card reader with a VM that runs a differenc copy of Windows
d) By forcing it by using smaller Compact Flash cards. FATx has limits. Generally speaking, using default cluster sizes, these are:
Up to 32MB=FAT12, up to 512MB=FAT16B, up to 32GB=FAT32 (an XP limit in creating FAT32)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_of_the_FAT_file_system

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 13 of 21, by imi

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am I missing something here?
I just did this, put the card in my 386 and installed DOS on it, no issue.
after that I just switched the card between my main machine and the 386 to copy over games and stuff.
(or I have really bad memory and did something different the first time?)

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Reply 14 of 21, by Jo22

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imi wrote on 2020-02-20, 23:11:
am I missing something here? I just did this, put the card in my 386 and installed DOS on it, no issue. after that I just switch […]
Show full quote

am I missing something here?
I just did this, put the card in my 386 and installed DOS on it, no issue.
after that I just switched the card between my main machine and the 386 to copy over games and stuff.
(or I have really bad memory and did something different the first time?)

fat.png

Maybe. If the vintage computer uses CHS (~512MB max) or "Large" (E-CHS; 8GB max) for the CF card,
the Win10 machine with LBA may not able to detect things correctly. And vice versa.

Normally, I'd recommend to try out different USB-CF adapters or an IDE-CF adapter board here.
But.. Win10 normally isn't run on PCs that use BIOS/CSM still (Intel wants to "murder" CSM starting by this year).
Nowadays it's all UEFI, which doesn't support MBR and things like CHS/LARGE anymore.

Compact Flash supports 3 (three) different transfer modes, as we know. I/O transfer, Memoy-Mapped transfer and IDE emulation (includes 8-Bit XT-IDE).
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Practical_Elect … sh#Memory_Modes
Depeding on the kind of adapter, one is choosen for transfer.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 15 of 21, by appiah4

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-02-21, 02:16:

Maybe. If the vintage computer uses CHS (~512MB max) or "Large" (E-CHS; 8GB max) for the CF card,
the Win10 machine with LBA may not able to detect things correctly. And vice versa.

Exactly my point above. For cards that have been configured on a retro PC with no LBA support, a modern PC will likely see no partitions.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 16 of 21, by Jo22

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-02-21, 07:03:
Jo22 wrote on 2020-02-21, 02:16:

Maybe. If the vintage computer uses CHS (~512MB max) or "Large" (E-CHS; 8GB max) for the CF card,
the Win10 machine with LBA may not able to detect things correctly. And vice versa.

Exactly my point above. For cards that have been configured on a retro PC with no LBA support, a modern PC will likely see no partitions.

I see. I apologize for missing that posting of yours. 😅

Anyway, I wonder, maybe DOS 7.1/FAT32 can handle the situation a bit better ? 😕
It's LBA-aware and FAT32 is more flexible/normally uses LBA, so Win10 perhaps can make the "right guess" more easily.
That being said, maybe a Macintosh is better suited for accessing a CF card also. macOS can display multiple FAT partitions, for example, which Win NT can't.
Last, but not least, to some degree it also can handle disk images out-of-box, which is handy for working with Goteks. 😄
(Or if that's to expensive, an old el-cheapo netbook running Windows CE can be used to access FAT formatted CF cards. It has support for USB removable media.)

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 17 of 21, by BearOso

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imi wrote on 2020-02-20, 23:11:
am I missing something here? I just did this, put the card in my 386 and installed DOS on it, no issue. after that I just switch […]
Show full quote

am I missing something here?
I just did this, put the card in my 386 and installed DOS on it, no issue.
after that I just switched the card between my main machine and the 386 to copy over games and stuff.
(or I have really bad memory and did something different the first time?)

fat.png

I think in this dialog “FAT” alone means exFAT, not FAT16. It’s possible you reformatted into FAT16 during the DOS installation.

Reply 18 of 21, by Deczor

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SOLVED!

Thanks for all the input guys. I really appreciate it.

I now have a working floppy drive, so what I did was:

- Chuck CF card into 486 with floppy drive.
- In BIOS set the drive to the standard config thing that's common.
- Run fdisk, and when prompted set the max drive partition size to 504mb.
- Install DOS as normal.
- Run the Maxtor drive overlay software on the card and set it to two 1gb partitions (couldn't get any of the other overlay software to work)
- install DOS again when prompted by the overlay software.
- Done. It verks in the 486 and I can just chuck it in the Win10 machine and copy whatever. Win10 recognizes it as 2 1gb partitions.

On the down-side, the version of Dune I downloaded is in French. Need to find an english one.

I'd forgotten how annoying these machines are to work on. So far I've cut my thumb twice on the chassis. Next step is to strip it down, round all the sharp edges inside the case, put as quiet a fan as I can find in the PSU, then make some kind of nice CF card reader slot for the front so I don't have to go under my desk to swap out the cards.

Reply 19 of 21, by zapbuzz

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one way to format a CF card with fat16 is with virtual pc 2004. (not 2004 sp1) It allows real disk access as well as virtual.
load up a virtual machine with dos connect it to the cf card format away and it will boot on a physical machine at post.
But that means using windows xp i would assume.
Not many people know there is a virtual machine legacy that allowed that kind of access.
I wonder if there is anything around that allows it these days.