Reading original RiscPC IDE drive from a modern RiscOS

Arc/RPCs, peripherals, RISCOS operating system & ARM kit eg GP2x, BeagleBoard
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davidjefferies
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Reading original RiscPC IDE drive from a modern RiscOS

Postby davidjefferies » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:28 pm

I've got two RiscPCs, one Arm6 era and one StrongArm that I'm attempting to recover data from. They both have leakage on their motherboards so I'm trying to read their data using a Raspberry Pi running RiscOS rather than start them up.

I bought an IDE to USB converter kit and plugged the StrongArm PC's IDE drive into that and then into the Raspberry Pi. It worked first time and I was able to access all the files and copy them off. I don't think the HD was the original one because it was 40gb so I think I replaced it last time I took them out of storage 15years ago.

But when I plugged the RiscPC 600 HD into the Pi all I got was the hourglass indefinitely. It seemed to understand that a drive was connected but couldn't read from it. This HD is original, I think, because its 210mb.

Has anyone had any experience reading the original RiscPC drives on a Pi running RiscOS? Or can think how I could diagnose the issue?

Boydie
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Re: Reading original RiscPC IDE drive from a modern RiscOS

Postby Boydie » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:15 am

Looking in the RiscOS Open forums, this seems to be a common problem. It would seem that original RPC600-era drives can’t be read in this way and the given explanation is that the Pi uses SCSIFS to read USB devices, rather than the ADFS they’re written in.

Other people have reported succes with SA-machine drives. Possibly because later machines used a different version of FileCore (long filenames, greater capacity etc)?

Perhaps RiscOsPi only has support for drives formatted for later versions of FileCore because that’s all it was ever expected to see...

Some people seem to have had success reading the drive to an image under linux, then working from the image instead.

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davidjefferies
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Re: Reading original RiscPC IDE drive from a modern RiscOS

Postby davidjefferies » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:31 pm

Thanks Boydie, that's interesting, I wasn't aware of the difference between SCSIFS and ADFS until now. I was very pleasantly surprised when the SA drive 'just worked' so it was a shame when the same couldn't be said of the RPC600 version.

For now I've recovered enough data to start working on my project and I'll wait until I rebuild my RPC600 before recovering the rest.

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Re: Reading original RiscPC IDE drive from a modern RiscOS

Postby Phlamethrower » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:08 pm

Boydie wrote:Other people have reported succes with SA-machine drives. Possibly because later machines used a different version of FileCore (long filenames, greater capacity etc)?


I don't think it's the disc format that's the issue -the same version of FileCore is used across all RISC OS 5 machines, and nobody's reported any problems when using old discs with RISC OS 5 on their RiscPCs.

A potential explanation is that the drive is simply too old to work with IDE-USB adapters (e.g. the adapter might require the drive to support LBA). And with a 210MB hard drive I'd be very surprised if LBA was supported!

Or maybe it is a bug/limitation in SCSIFS (or the USB storage driver). You could always try imaging the drive using Windows or Linux and see whether that works. Although after imaging it you might need to append an extra sector to the start to get it to work in emulators or other tools - there's an old thread about this on The Icon Bar: http://www.iconbar.com/forums/viewthrea ... adid=12152

Actually, if you can image it, you could try just writing the image straight to a USB stick and then mount that under RISC OS. Would be a good way of finding out if it's a quirk with USB-attached hard drives or an actual problem with FileCore (RISC OS does some issues when using IDE-USB adapters to attach CD-ROM drives, so simply dd'ing the drive straight to a USB stick *might* be all that's needed, no sector tweaking required)

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davidjefferies
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Re: Reading original RiscPC IDE drive from a modern RiscOS

Postby davidjefferies » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:08 am

Thanks for all the pointers, both Windows and Linux could read the name of the drive but thought it's size was 0 bytes.

During all the plugging and unplugging there was a slight smell of burning and the drive just spun up and spun down repeatedly so I think I managed to fry it.

I live in Worthing so CJE Micros is close by so I took it in and they confirmed their RiscPC couldn't read it. Fortunately they had another similar drive in their vast collection so they swapped the logic board onto my drive and it started working and they salvaged 90% of the data =D> In case anyone else wants to do similar they charged £80 for the diagnosis and recovery from the drive which was well worth it from my point of view seeing as the data was successfully recovered, but of course the charge is the same even if no data is recovered.

The drive is from an old development machine from when I was working on Stryker's Run III and I already had backups of some of the data so between this drive and my existing backups I think I have everything bar some sound effects which are probably lost forever.

I've been impressed with how much of the development environment just runs on a RiscOS Pi, though distinctly less impressed with the state of the source code and how I left it 20 odd years ago :) Now I'm going to see what can be done with it...

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jms2
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Re: Reading original RiscPC IDE drive from a modern RiscOS

Postby jms2 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:20 am

That's great news!

I remember some cryptic comments back at the time relating to the fate of SR3, implying dodgy dealings by someone or other. I really wouldn't want to revive the kind of name-calling that went on in those days, but it would be good to hear about what happened to the game. And any future prospects for it of course!

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davidjefferies
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Re: Reading original RiscPC IDE drive from a modern RiscOS

Postby davidjefferies » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:54 pm

I'm away at the moment but when I'm back I'll post up some info about what I've found on the harddrives and what I remember about the project from BITD. The dodgy dealings you're referring to weren't too dodgy really, just a bit of youthful exuberance :D There's some nice ideas in the game that are worth showing I think and also explaining why it didn't look anything like the other Stryker's Run games!