Software, Electronics, Tutorials & Solutions for Retro and Modern

DiskFlashback - Getting Started

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TLDR (too long, don't read - quickstart)

The quick answer is, to use image files (ADF, DMS, IMG, IMA, ST, MSA, HDA, HDF, SCP) most of them will mount as a virtual drive simply by double-clicking them.

The other thing you should to is explore the special menu available from the taskbar as follows:

Context menu for Disk Flashback

From that menu you can create disk images, mount drives, eject existing ones, setup real floppy drives and configure some other settings! Once a drive is mounted you can right-click it to control it.

Thats your quickstart in TLDR.

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Create New Floppy Disk Image Files

It's very easy to create a new disk image. If you look down at the task bar theres a special new icon.

Context menu for Disk Flashback

And if you explore the options available there you'll discover these options!

Context menu for Disk Flashback

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Using Disk Image Files

There are two ways to use disk images. The first, if everything installed properly is to simply double-click on one.

Explorer showing disk files

Also, if you right-click on one of these files you may also see a Mount Disk option, and failing that, the Open With option.

Mount DiskOpen With

Finally, failing that, there's also a special menu available from the task bar that allows you to mount disks

Mount Disk

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Using Real Disks

If you're the lucky owner of DrawBridge, Greaseweazle or SupercardPRO hardware then you'll be pleased to know you can now enable this as a Windows Drive Letter!. Enabling this is very easy. If you look at the bottom where the task bar is you'll discover the following:

Physical Disk

Upon selecting that, the following dialog will appear:

Enable Physical Disk

This dialog works just like the one inside of the WinUAE Floppy Bridge plugin. You select the type of drive you have, which COM port it's on, what type of drive/cable it is, and which drive letter you'd like it to appear on. (A different one will be chosen if that one isn't available).

After you're happy with your selection, press OK.

Next, you need to enable your real drive, which is really easy, and will be remembered next time you boot Windows! Again, from the same menu as before, click the Mount Physical Drive so that a TICK appears before it.

Enable Physical Disk

If all goes to plan, a new drive letter will appear. Any disk inserted that is recognised will automatically be mounted!

NOTE: While this is enabled you will not be able to use any of the other tools that use this hardware. Some of those tools will automatically request use of the drive and will automatically unmount this temporarily.

BONUS!!! While this is mounted, there will now be a few other options available to you. The left image is the menu you get when you right-click this new drive. The right image is the context menu for disk image files while active! - Some very useful features here...

Drive OptionsDisk Image Options

The Eject option will un-mount the drive and disable mounting in future until you re-enable it. However theres no real need to use this.. You can safely remove a disk at any time as long as the drive light is not lit, and inserting a new disk will auto-mount it!

You may also have spotted the Format... option too.

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Copying Real Disks to Disk Images, and Back Again

With your real floppy drive running, you've already seen you can right-click an image file or drive and copy it to the other. One other way is the Copy option on the menu as follows:

Drive Options

This works exactly like the other methods as it does exactly the same thing, it's just a different way to access this feature.

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Formatting Floppy Disks

One you have your real floppy drive enabled and working, simply by right-clicking the drive icon you are presented with some extra options:

Drive Options

Clicking on the Format... option will display the following dialog:

Drive Format

This isn't actually the real Windows format dialog, this is a special one, and you can see on the right-hand image that theres a different selection of file system options available.

WARNING Be very careful changing the density option. Whilst it's not possible for DiskFlashback to actually detect the type of disk inserted, it can guess by looking at the data. If you format a HD disk as DD or vice versa it won't read properly in the proper drive.

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Automatic File Renaming

This is a very useful feature. I'm not exactly sure how common this is, but I found it fairly common on the Amiga to put the file type (extension) at the start of the filename and not the end.

Nothing wrong with that, but Windows doesnt detect the files correctly. Consider the following disk:

Annoying Disk

All of those music MOD files, and we know what they are, but poor old Windows doesn't have a clue. Its more of an annoyance than anything else, but theres a really easy solution. If you take a look at that special icon within the taskbar:

Special Option

You'll spot an option for Automatically swapping file extensions. With this enabled, Explorer will instantly refresh the files, and the directory will now look like this:

Less Annoying Disk

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Getting Help

If you need more help or have further questions then join my Discord Server or, if you're interested, take a look at the source code.

Consider sending me a tip to say thanks!