startupa.hfe and autoboot.hfe usage. booting dos from HxC

HxC Floppy Emulator on IBM PC and compatible support
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niceguy64
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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:28 pm

startupa.hfe and autoboot.hfe usage. booting dos from HxC

Post by niceguy64 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:58 pm

I am a new user of HxC2001, Revision F. Usage of IBM-PC (Pentium 3770k). Connected it to Floppy Controller of Mainboard (Asrock). With regard to usage, I have following questions :

1. I can read resp. dump a 1.44MB Boot-Floppy (MSDOS 7.1) which is booting (Floppy selected as boot-device in Bios) when I used it in a real floppy (3.5). But what to do and how to configure the HxC2001 so that the .HFE is booted ? Does the HxC then appear as a Floppy in the Bios? Of course, I have created and copied a HXCSDFE.CFG to the FAT32-formatted 32GB-SD-card (not sure however whether I had configured the HxC-setting properly - I selected IBM-PC 1.44MB as HFE file interface mode). I also copied the .HFE once made (dumped) from the real floppy.
I disabled Disk Drive Selector as I am - at this time - only using one "floppy" (from HxC).
I have put the Jumper 2 (ID1A) of the HxC to ON, as I am using a twisted floppy cable with HxC at end. No other floppy at same time connected as floppy controller of my mainboard supports only one drive. Cable properly connected!

What whatever I tried, I could not get the HxC to "boot" the .HFE which had created by HxC-software (and thereafter copied to the SD-card)

2. Is the AUTOBOOT.HFE to be used in connection with an IMB-PC and, if yes, when? It seems that is is only needed for ATARI, AMIGA etc. If so, I should never mark "Enable auto boot mode" or "Force loading AUTOBOOT.HFE" in connection with my PC? And how to create, if I must use it, an AUTOBOOT.HFE ? I could only find one made for AMIGA resp. ATARI on the HxC-Homepage.

3. Do I need a STARTUPA.HFE and, if yes, how to generate it?

4. When should I mark "Enable Indexed Mode" in the Setting?

Help very much appreciated

niceguy64

Jeff
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Re: startupa.hfe and autoboot.hfe usage. booting dos from Hx

Post by Jeff » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:20 am

To be simple, what you are you trying to do exactly ?

niceguy64
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Re: startupa.hfe and autoboot.hfe usage. booting dos from Hx

Post by niceguy64 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:02 pm

Jeff,

thank you for your quick response. I have some 3.5-boot-floppies (DOS) , 1.44MB, from which I can boot my IBM-PC if used in my real floppy drive. Some are formatted to 1.44 MB as normal, some have a format of 1.68 MB or 1.72 MB (I used VGACOPY under MSDOS 7.1 to achieve such formatting).

I tried to read-in (dump) those real floppes by the HxC-software and I could generate both .HFE and .IMG - files by that (thereafter copied on the SD-card).

Simply speaking, I want to replace my real floppy by the HxC while still being able to boot in similar way using the HxC. When trying that, I observed the following problems :

1. Neither under MSDOS (if booted true MSDOS 7.1 from a separate physical drive) nor under WIN7 Pro (32 Bit) do those .HFE-files generated by HxC-read-in (dumping) become a readable A-drive (after having replaced the floppy by HxC and having selected the .HFE-file accordingly), regardless whether standard format 1.44MB or special larger format from the read-in floppies.

2. Only if I use the "Disk Browser" (Create/Browse a DOS floppy disk) from the HxC-software I can create a .HFE-file which generate a readable A-drive (readable under true MSDOS 7.1 or readable under Windows using e.g. ImDisk, WinImage or alike). In order to make the HxC-A-drive bootable, I applied "sys.com" out of a true (harddisk)-MSDOS-system, and then booted the HxC-A-drive (e.g. 6,78 MB superfloppy or 1,68 MB-floppy or 1,44MB-floppy). In order to have all the files on this HxC-bootdisk (files which I have on the real floppies) I had to copy each file by file incl. config.sys etc. to the HxC-A-(boot)drive. I wonder whether there exist an easier way.

3. I could not find a way to define customized formats like e.g. 1,72 MB because the .HFE-files generated by the other menue (not using the Disk Browser) of the HxC-software did not create readable A-drives (perhaps I made some error?) and the Disk Browser does not offer a 1.72 MB-format.

By the way : My mainboard floppy-controller recognizes only one floppy even if I connect two using a cable with 2 3.5-connectors (then twisted). Having learned this, I am using now a cable (twisted) which has only 1 3.5-connector (apart from the one for the MoBo)) Therefore I have to connect/disconnect floppy/HxC from time to time as long I haven´t found a way for the above.
From the manual for the "slim-version" of the HxC I believe I understood what "indexed mode" means. Nethertheless I would appreciate to learn the need for "STARTUPA.HFE" and "AUTOBOOT.HFE" : Am I write saying that those .HFE aren´t needed in conjunction with an IBM-PC / HxC-F-revision?

Best regards
niceguy64

niceguy64
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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:28 pm

perhaps a solution found to create DOS-bootable HxC-drive

Post by niceguy64 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:51 pm

Jeff,

I myself found a solution meanwhile, please comment whether the program was designed in such manner :

1. If I dump (read) a bootable MSDOS-Floppy (e.g. 1.44MB) using HxC to a .HFE-format and copy that to the SD-card, there always comes the error (when trying to open Drive A) under DOS "Not ready reading from drive A" and under Windows the error message is : "Drive not found, choose another" .
Means, that any .HFE created by that process from such DOS-Floppy (no matter whether floppy is bootable or not, no matter whether 1.44MB or 1.68MB) won´t lead to a readable (under DOS or Windows 7 /32Bit) A-drive. However, in the DOS-Browser of HxC one can open/load any such .HFE !

2. If however I create an empty .HFE-image by using the "DOS Floppy Disk Browser" of the HxC-programm (thereafter filling that up once having created A-drive properly - filling with the desired files and making it bootable by SYS from MSDOS)

OR

if I first create an .IMG-image (e.g. by WinImage from the floppy or by using the "EXPORT"-function of the HxC-software after having dumped/read it to a .HFE) from the floppy (containg files and/or being bootable), thereafter converting such .IMG-image (back) to a .HFE-image (copying it to the SD-card), the A-drive (HxC) is now readable both under MSDOS7.1 and WIN7pro (32Bit), boots also (if the real floppy was bootable).

3. Don´t need any "AUTOBOOT.HFE" or "STARTUPA.HFE" for above purpose.

Best regards
niceguy64

Jeff
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Re: perhaps a solution found to create DOS-bootable HxC-driv

Post by Jeff » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:34 am

I have added the 1.7MB format (and some others) to the dosdiskbrowser :
http://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_driv ... t_beta.zip

snhirsch
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:42 am

Re: perhaps a solution found to create DOS-bootable HxC-driv

Post by snhirsch » Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:29 pm

niceguy64 wrote:Jeff,

1. If I dump (read) a bootable MSDOS-Floppy (e.g. 1.44MB) using HxC to a .HFE-format and copy that to the SD-card, there always comes the error (when trying to open Drive A) under DOS "Not ready reading from drive A" and under Windows the error message is : "Drive not found, choose another" .
Means, that any .HFE created by that process from such DOS-Floppy (no matter whether floppy is bootable or not, no matter whether 1.44MB or 1.68MB) won´t lead to a readable (under DOS or Windows 7 /32Bit) A-drive. However, in the DOS-Browser of HxC one can open/load any such .HFE !
I'm having exactly the same issue. I'm able to create blank images and format them in the emulator, but regardless of what I've tried any attempt at using a captured image results in "Drive not ready". Would be good to know if this is supposed to work or if there are known issues with STM32 / Gotek hardware.

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