RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

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RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby Robespierre » Sun May 22, 2011 2:48 pm

Hi There,

I just bought some floppy disks with the hope of transporting MIDI files (smf) from my RM1x to my PC, but have run into some compatibility issues.

The PC I'm running is a Dell Inspiron 530 I bought in 2009, with Windows Vista Home Premium.

I cannibalized a floppy disk drive from an old Dell Dimension 8200 I had bought back in 2001. The floppy drive works great in the new computer, and will format floppy disks all day. The PC reads the drive just fine.

When I insert a floppy disk that has been formatted by the RM1x, the drive does not recognize the disk.

Initially I was getting messages like, "No ID address mark was found on the floppy disk" or "The drive cannot find the sector requested."

So, I downloaded a couple of disk sector editors with the hope of going in and manually setting bytes on the physical disk so that the PC would recognize it. But these disk editors won't even load the physical disk, and the message I'm getting from DOS now is basically, "This disk isn't formatted or something."

SO. I know that according to the RM1x manual, it formats disks in MS-DOS format. When I format a disk on my PC, it formats the disk to MS-DOS5.0. Obviously, there's something irregular or illegitimate about the "MS-DOS" formatting being done by the RM1x.

I've emailed Yamaha USA Support to request details of the byte structure of the allocation tables on the disk, and am expecting an unsatisfying reply.

Can anyone here shed any light on the specifics of the formatting type used by the RM1x specifically or Yamaha units in general?

Thanks a lot for any help.

-Robespierre
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby parametric » Mon May 23, 2011 12:10 am

Bonjour Robespierre, and welcome to the Forums, :)

I have never personally had anRM1x, but a bit of poking around produced this from the user manual regarding disks:

The RM1x formats 2HD disks to 1.44 MB (megabytes) and
2DD disks to 720 KB (kilobytes) MS-DOS format. (MS-DOS
is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.)
Since this format is common to computers as well as to Yamaha
products and the products of other manufacturers, it allows
disk compatibility.


Perhaps the heads are dirty.

Have you tried a disk cleaner?

Something like this viewtopic.php?f=56&t=4092&p=19343#p19343

By all accounts the PC SHOULD be able to read the RM1x disks - no problem - so I'm guessing the problem is elsewhere.

Give the PC Floppy Drive a good clean too while you are at it.

Apply some IsoPropyl Alcohol (Tape Head Cleaner) to the cleaning disk and make the machines "read" the disk a couple of times. Then try again.

Try some NEW disks as well. The longevity of floppies is VARIABLE to say the least . . .

Let us know how it goes. :D

Best Regards

parametric
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Oh, and a Roland LAPC1 (MT32-on-a-card) which I can't use anymore - it is a full length 8-bit ISA card ;-)
BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/index.php ... atest-news

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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby Robespierre » Mon May 23, 2011 11:47 pm

Thanks for the reply and the welcome, parametric.

Well, I cleaned the heads on the Yamaha drive as well as the PC drive, and then I reformatted a disk on the Yamaha. The PC still won't read it. I then formatted a disk on the PC, and the Yamaha still won't read it. Oh, and these are new disks I got last Thursday.

As suspected, I got the following email reply from Yamaha USA support:

"We transfer files to and from the RM1x using floppy disks quite frequently and on a regular basis. The RM1x uses the standard Windows FAT format. You can format the disks using the RM1x or using your PC. All RM1x compatible content should be viewable in the RM1x Disk Menu and on your PC."

So, I'm not sure where to go from here, but just wanted to give an update.
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby parametric » Tue May 24, 2011 1:54 am

Hmm. Very puzzling . . .

I presume that the PC can read/write the disk IT formatted, and likewise the RM1x can also read/write to the disk IT formatted.

You might try to replace the drive in the Yamaha with a different one - from an old PC - or better still, buy it a new floppy drive. They are still available (in the UK at least) - I bought one new and sealed about two weeks ago.

Researches show it to be a standard PC Floppy Drive (Unlike in my SY85 - sadly).

Give that a try. Also, try taking an RM1x-formatted disk to a friend's computer and see if IT will read it.

I cannot at the moment see why this is not working for you. - The Media is new - perhaps the drive(s) are not good . . . ?

Another alternative is to go for one of the floppy emulators that use usb pen drives - though you need confirmation from someone who has done this - and which drive they bought - BEFORE PURCHASE.

Google for <RM1x floppy emulator> or such like and see if you can find if someone has successfully done this . . .

Let us know how you do . .

Best Regards

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8HD/384Mb/120Gb SSD/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Windows Vista64/XP SP3/Ubuntu 12.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio 24/96 Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 1 x Sweet16
Oh, and a Roland LAPC1 (MT32-on-a-card) which I can't use anymore - it is a full length 8-bit ISA card ;-)
BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/index.php ... atest-news

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby Robespierre » Fri May 27, 2011 2:22 am

Well, it looks like I jumped the gun on my conclusion about the nature of the problem.

The PC can format and read its own disks; and the RM1x can format and read its own disks. They just don't read one anothers'.

So I formatted four different disks: on on the RM1x using its own drive; one on the RM1x after swapping in the PC's drive; one on the PC using its own drive; and one on the PC using the RM1x's drive.

Then I switched the drives around and tried all the different disks in every combination of disk-drive-machine. No matter which machine it was in, the drive that formatted the disk would read it and the drive that didn't format the disk wouldn't read it.

Having done some research this week, it's obvious that the heads are out of alignment and the only feasible solution is drive replacement. Fortunately they're dirt cheap. Since I want to guarantee mutual alignment, I'm buying two new drives of identical make and model. Once they arrive, I'll install and try again, and report back.
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby parametric » Fri May 27, 2011 2:41 am

Hi,there
Robespierre wrote:So I formatted four different disks: on on the RM1x using its own drive; one on the RM1x after swapping in the PC's drive; one on the PC using its own drive; and one on the PC using the RM1x's drive.

Then I switched the drives around and tried all the different disks in every combination of disk-drive-machine. No matter which machine it was in, the drive that formatted the disk would read it and the drive that didn't format the disk wouldn't read it.


An excellent piece of troubleshooting - great stuff.

I'm buying two new drives of identical make and model. Once they arrive, I'll install and try again, and report back.


I fully expect that will be the solution. Very unusual that one of the drives seem to be misaligned - but the evidence is compelling. Maybe one of them had a knock at some point in its life - who knows?

Are you sure you don't have a deerstalker hat, a pipe, a magnifying glass - and play the violin? :D :D

Can't wait to hear the outcome . . . :!:

Best Regards

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8HD/384Mb/120Gb SSD/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Windows Vista64/XP SP3/Ubuntu 12.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio 24/96 Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 1 x Sweet16
Oh, and a Roland LAPC1 (MT32-on-a-card) which I can't use anymore - it is a full length 8-bit ISA card ;-)
BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/index.php ... atest-news

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris/index.html
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby synthjoe » Sat May 28, 2011 2:14 pm

Robespierre wrote:Having done some research this week, it's obvious that the heads are out of alignment and the only feasible solution is drive replacement. Fortunately they're dirt cheap. Since I want to guarantee mutual alignment, I'm buying two new drives of identical make and model. Once they arrive, I'll install and try again, and report back.


More than likely the alignment on one of the drives is off, as you suggest. My experience is that non-brand PCs tend to have cheap FDDs and as time goes by they go out of alignment more often than not. On the other hand, with 20+ years old Korg, Yamaha and other installed drives after a good clean and belt replacement I was able to revive most synths I had around. So I'd suggest to hold on to the 'Yamaha' drive and check its compatibility with the new one(s) - the old drive might well outlive both new drives you'll buy... ;)

In the meanwhile you can swap around the FDD between the synth and the PC to read in the files you need (which I assume you already have done).
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby parametric » Sat May 28, 2011 5:26 pm

I concur with synthjoe entirely - DON'T chuck the old drive away - they came from the days of "quality-build products" :lol:

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8HD/384Mb/120Gb SSD/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Windows Vista64/XP SP3/Ubuntu 12.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio 24/96 Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 1 x Sweet16
Oh, and a Roland LAPC1 (MT32-on-a-card) which I can't use anymore - it is a full length 8-bit ISA card ;-)
BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/index.php ... atest-news

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris/index.html
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby Clyde » Sat May 28, 2011 8:39 pm

parametric wrote:I concur with synthjoe entirely - DON'T chuck the old drive away - they came from the days of "quality-build products" :lol:

parametric


Absolutely! That's why so many of us are still playing DX7, SY77, EX5, etc. synths (and other manufacturer's synths) today, the build quality allows us to do so.
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby Robespierre » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:05 am

OK!

So I finally got a pair of new matching Sony drives in the mail today.

Total vindication for Yamaha. The disks I'd formatted on the original RM1x drive read just fine on both of the new Sony drives. The disks I'd formatted on the old PC drive failed to read on the new Sony drives.

Thanks a lot for your guidance, guys.
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby parametric » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:19 am

Well done all round Guys -

A great result for robespierre there, and further proof of the excellence of the (Free) tech support available here at Yamaha Forums. 8)

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8HD/384Mb/120Gb SSD/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Windows Vista64/XP SP3/Ubuntu 12.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio 24/96 Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 1 x Sweet16
Oh, and a Roland LAPC1 (MT32-on-a-card) which I can't use anymore - it is a full length 8-bit ISA card ;-)
BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/index.php ... atest-news

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris/index.html
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby Clyde » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:12 pm

Glad you got it sorted and everything is now working. Now enjoy that RM1x!!
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Re: RM1x floppy disk format incompatible w PC

Unread postby Saul » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:15 am

Yeah good result and well done on getting the two new drives in. There's bound to be someone else with the same problem eventually and this will save them countless hours trying to get something working that simply is never going to work.
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