Trying to image Emu Emax floppies using a Kryoflux

HxC Floppy Emulator E-mu Emax support
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elfan
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:15 am

Trying to image Emu Emax floppies using a Kryoflux

Post by elfan »

Hi all,

Newbie here. I've recently gotten myself a Gotek floppy emulator (loading floppy disk images from a USB thumb drive) for my E-mu Emax 1 to replace the factory floppy drive. I've got the Gotek with an OLED display so I get proper text message. That's all worked fine and I've been able to load third-party disk images into the Emax (both .IMG OS upgrade images and .HFE sample floppy images).

Since I've already got a bunch of sample floppy disks I've wanted to convert these to .IMG/.HFE files so that I can keep using them in my floppy emulator. For this purpose I gotten myself a Kryoflux floppy controller / imager. I've started by dumping 1-2 floppies to the raw Kryoflux STREAM format since nothing else seems to work on account of the Emax floppy copy protection. This format produces a bunch of .raw files per floppy - one .raw file per disk sector. After that I used the HxCFloppyEmulator software (v2.2.2.1) to load these raw disk files (choose "Load Raw image", choose the predefined disk layout "Emax 3.5" DD Floppy Disk", click "Load RAW File", pick the first .raw file in the series) and to export to .HFE and .IMG files since I know these file formats work in the floppy emulator. In each case, for each floppy I try, this produces two files: a .HFE (1.91 MB large) and a .IMG (800 KB large). These file sizes line up with the sizes I have seen for third-party files I've tried to load on my Gotek .

However...

When I try to load these exported files in the floppy emulator I run into all kinds of oddities. Such as the Gotek loading past the 80 sector mark when I try to boot from the exported floppy images (normally the floppy emulator would show the sector that it's currently loading and it would show a maximum of 80 sectors, like 4/80, or 72/80 or whatever since I guess the Emax has a 80-sector floppy disk layout). In this case it loads to several hundreds and then finally failing. In other cases it just prints "Loading Software" on the Emax display but the message is corrupted with various characters being off, and finally resulting in a completely corrupted message like "ddddddddddddddddd" or whatever. Also, several of the Emax button LEDs are lit up in a suspicious fashion (normally I would expect the LEDs to be unlit during boot, but having them light up like this would appear to imply an error state of some kind).

So, clearly something is broken here. Does anyone have any ideas if I might be doing something wrong or if my source disks might be broken? I'm certainly not ruling out the latter but I'd hope that there's something I can do to image the floppies and keep using them.

<edit>
Do I need to involve EMXP at any step of this process? Do I need to convert the image that I export from HxCFloppyEmulator to some other format that the Emax is actually able to read?
</edit>

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!


<edit 2>
I should mention that I haven't actually tried loading these floppies into the Emax from an actual floppy drive ever since I upgraded the OS to Emax SE OS 3.2 . (it used to be a real ancient OS on there so I figure the floppy disks have the same ancient OS too) So I know these floppies worked before I actually installed the Gotek but since most third-party disk images that I could load via the Gotek required an OS upgrade I just ran the Emax SE OS upgrade .IMG image and past that point all third-party images have worked fine. However, I haven't tried to pull out the floppy emulator and go back toe my old factory-installed floppy drive in the Emax to actually verify that these floppies still work with the OS / firmware that's in the machine now. I would assume that at worse there would be an OS compatibility problem that would require me to upgrade the OS on the floppies with the OS / firmware that's currently on the Emax. However, I would have thought this problem would have manifested as the classic "Wrong Software" error message on the Emax. What I'm seeing now is much more broken so I tend to suspect the floppy images themselves rather than the machine at this point.

Any input on this would be much appreciated, though.
</edit 2>

Thanks,
Tomas

Jeff
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Re: Trying to image Emu Emax floppies using a Kryoflux

Post by Jeff »

elfan wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:44 am
After that I used the HxCFloppyEmulator software (v2.2.2.1) to load these raw disk files (choose "Load Raw image", choose the predefined disk layout "Emax 3.5" DD Floppy Disk", click "Load RAW File", pick the first .raw file in the series) and
Stop. The kryoflux doesn't produce "raw" file but stream raw files which is completely different.
Just take one of these kryoflux "stream raw" file and drag & drop it on the hxc software.

I recommend you to use this software version :

https://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_dri ... rmware.zip

elfan
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Trying to image Emu Emax floppies using a Kryoflux

Post by elfan »

Jeff wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:48 am
elfan wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:44 am
After that I used the HxCFloppyEmulator software (v2.2.2.1) to load these raw disk files (choose "Load Raw image", choose the predefined disk layout "Emax 3.5" DD Floppy Disk", click "Load RAW File", pick the first .raw file in the series) and
Stop. The kryoflux doesn't produce "raw" file but stream raw files which is completely different.
Just take one of these kryoflux "stream raw" file and drag & drop it on the hxc software.

I recommend you to use this software version :

https://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_dri ... rmware.zip
Oh, I see! I thought by using "load raw file" and picking one of the .raw files (for one of the dumped disk sectors) I was doing the same thing as simply drag & dropping it into the software. I'll try your software version (even though your version appears to be 2.1.x.x and I was using 2.2.2.1, but hey it's worth a shot!) and by simply drag & dropping it in!

Thanks a lot,
Tomas

<update>
Firstly, it seems like I was mistaken regarding the version. The README said 2.1.x.x but the software itself says v2.4.1.1, so clearly this is a much more up to date version than the version I was using. Thanks for that!

Secondly, drag & dropping one of the raw sector images into the software and then simply exporting from there behaves completely differently than it did before. I can export to .HFE and .IMG and it seems like I can at least load the .IMG files into the Emax without errors :D :D . Thank you ever so much for your help on that!

Oddly enough the Emax refuses to load the exported .HFE file and gives me a CRC error message halfway through loading it. This is surprising since the same source data was used for producing the .HFE and the .IMG so I would have thought that the .IMG would have had the same CRC issues as well. Oh, well, if I can convert all my floppies to .IMG files and they load just fine then I'm all good!

One question on this though: For now I'm just using the .HFE format at the top of the list of available exportable formats. (the one that says "SDCard HxC Floppy Emulator file format", even though my Gotek uses an USB stick rather than a SD card). There's a bunch of other .HFE formats in the list that seem to be a bit more experimental. Am I correct in thinking that the .HFE file format at the top of the list is the one to go for? Or would it be better to go with some of the other formats in the list? Like "HDDD A2 Encoding support" or "Stream - Experimental"? I know that .HFE is the go-to format to use with the Gotek but I just want to make sure I'm not using the wrong type of .HFE.

I'll try to image the rest of my floppies this week and I'll just come back if there are any other issues. For now, thanks ever so much for the assistance! :D
</update>

Jeff
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Re: Trying to image Emu Emax floppies using a Kryoflux

Post by Jeff »

elfan wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:54 am
Oddly enough the Emax refuses to load the exported .HFE file and gives me a CRC error message halfway through loading it. This is surprising since the same source data was used for producing the .HFE and the .IMG so I would have thought that the .IMG would have had the same CRC issues as well. Oh, well, if I can convert all my floppies to .IMG files and they load just fine then I'm all good!
No this is not good at all . Please check the reload the kryoflux raw files and check the disk state in the track analyzer and set the "Dummy disk" view mode.

elfan
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Trying to image Emu Emax floppies using a Kryoflux

Post by elfan »

So I went back to dump my disks again and I believe I've found a pattern. When I connect the factory floppy drive from the Emax to the Kryoflux the resulting images do not load reliably when converted through the HxC software. However, I tried another floppy drive that I calibrated and used for dumping and that seems to have done the trick. All the .HFE and .IMG files that I convert from the raw STREAM image dumps that I get from Kryoflux load reliably now. No errors or anything and they sound as expected when played on the Emax. I don't know why the Emax floppy drive would not work - it works just fine when used on its own in the Emax. Maybe it has some non-standard behavior that the Kryoflux controller doesn't cope well with.

I also did take a look at the Dummy disk visualizer but all I could see is that the disk tracks close to the middle of the disk (the tracks with the smallest radii) were red and the rest were green and that was the case both in the case of the non-working floppy drive as well as with the floppy drive that worked. I don't know what I would look for anyway but I couldn't spot anything strange.

Anywho, I'm happy that I've gotten all my floppies imaged and transferred to the floppy emulator. Thanks a bunch for all the help! :D

// Tomas

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