AMSTRAD PCW

WORD PROCESSORS

PCW Disc Types & 

How to use Disckit

 

The PCW Disc Verify, Format & Copy Program

Introduction

This program, supplied as standard with all PCW's on the CP/M utilities disc, is a very useful tool for not only formatting and copying discs but also verifying that discs are fully readable - very important these days with so many poor quality discs in circulation, not to mention the fallibilities of the disc drives themselves. 

It is broadly comparable to the similar facilities built into LocoScript 2, 3 and 4 but it gives more details about disc problems and is normally far quicker & easier to use for disc copying.

Users of the 8256/8512/9256/10 still using the originally supplied version of LocoScript 1 will have come across Disckit before because it is the only way of formatting discs. However, 9512 users who have been brought up from the outset on Loco 2 (which supports disc formatting, copying and verifying on the f2 Disc menu), are often unaware of it.

The crowning advantage of Disckit for 9512 users and others with high density drives is that copying a disc is a much less tedious task because a full 720k disc can be copied in just two parts rather than ten or more under LocoScript. This is because less of the computer's RAM memory is occupied by the program itself so more of the RAM is available for holding the disc information being copied ... so it can do it in fewer parts (disc swaps).

For those with two disc drives (an A and a B), Disckit has the facility to read from a disc in one drive and write to a disc in the other. This means that copying can be done in one go without disc swapping. Moreover, for those with both 3" and 3.5" drives, this means that you can take a back up copy of valuable data from one drive to the other (eg from the more fallible 3" discs to the more secure 3.5" species) but, as with LocoScript, not all add-on drive combinations are catered for.

Disckit is designed to prevent incomplete / unsuccessful target discs from being used, whether from a fresh format or a copy. It does this (a) by offering only Cancel or Re-try as options when an error is found during formatting or copying (whereas when verifying, Ignore is also an option) and (b) by removing the format info in track 0 at the outset and only reinstating it upon successful conclusion. Hence, hitting C to Cancel during the format / copy results in an unusable disc ("disc not formatted, format not recognised" etc). Best plan is therefore to Verify all discs involved before embarking on a copy or re-format session.   

 

CAUTION . . . . . & Disc Types

 

To Start Disckit

NB 

 

To Verify a Disc

Note: If a CF2 format disc verifies fine until track 8 then fails on every sector, this is a sign that it has been reformatted as double (CF2DD) with the other side uppermost .... so try it that way up in a DD drive. For technical reasons, the later DD formatting does not quite obliterate the original CF2 format. The original directory is left intact thereby giving the misleading impression (eg in LocoScript) that the disc is a valid CF2 and the data is retrievable. This is not so unless a complete file resides totally within the first half dozen data tracks.

 

To Format a Disc

 

To Copy a Disc

 

To Quit the program

 

Click here for the PCW Disc Conversion page

Click here for the PCW Help & Tips page

Site Map of LuxSoft's Website

 

email -  malc@luxsoft.demon.co.uk

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Established 1986 - This page last amended 7th April 2014

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