The Fast Imager can read a non-copy protected floppy disk (5.25″ or 3.5″) and export the results as either a disk image or as the individual files within the disk image. To export individual files the source disk must use a standard file structure.
Some copy protected disks may appear to successfully fast copy but will not actually boot (or behave correctly if the protection check is deferred). If you’re imaging a commercially produced disk, even if its a copy, it may be safer to image it with the Flux Imager.
There may still be use cases for fast imaging copy protected disks. Such as if the disk has a normal file system and you want to export the exposed files individually for use outside the disk image (ex: Wizardry).
To create a fast disk image, select the Fast Imager by clicking the “Fast Imager” button on the left side of the UI:
Source and Target Disk Formats
Supported disk formats are different depending on whether you are using 5.25″ disks or 3.5″.
Source Disk Formats
- DOS 3.3
- DOS 3.2
Target Disk Image Formats
Source Disk Formats
- Macintosh MFS / HFS
Target Disk Image Formats
Imaging a Disk
Before you begin you should clean your drive head and inspect each disk for damage prior to imaging. This section will explain the “Clean Head” button.
While the underlying concepts are similar, which screen you see depends on whether a 5.25″ or 3.5″ drive is connected.
Concepts Common to 5.25″ and 3.5″ Disks
- When ready to begin, insert a disk and click “Image Disk“. The drive head will seek to track 00 and begin reading the disk.
- Green block: Block read successfully
- Red block: Block read with errors
- Blue block: Block read in progress
- All data is read into memory until saved or discarded
- You can begin imaging a disk and specify the file name, save folder and disk image format while the read is in process or after it is complete
- The same disk image can be saved multiple times to different formats
- If a block was not successfully read, no partial data is stored in memory or will be written to any disk image
- If you want to attempt to salvage the partial reads of bad blocks you should instead use the Flux Imager
- If after reading a disk you have one or more bad reads (red blocks) you can attempt to re-read them as many times as you wish
- Once a block has been successfully read it will turn green and no attempt will be made to re-read it
- The “Retry Bad” button will be disabled if there are no red blocks that require being re-read
- For the Fast Imager, no one particular disk format has an advantage over the other
- You can always re-load a disk image into the Disk Analyzer and re-export it in a different format
- The one exception is the WOZ format natively supports metadata
- Only WOZ can store additional metadata, and exporting a WOZ image as any other image type will not propagate the metadata to that other format
- The Save button is disabled until both some information was successfully read off a disk and a file name has been specified
Reading 5.25″ Disks
- If the “Clean Head” and “Image Disk” buttons are not enabled as shown above, insure that a 5.25″ disk drive is properly connected to the AppleSauce and that the AppleSauce is connected to the host computer
- By default each track is read twice to improve confidence that the data was read correctly (double capture)
- If you do not want this additional verification you can select “Image disks faster by not validating with double captures”
Reading 3.5″ Disks
- If the “Clean Head” and “Image Disk” buttons are not enabled as shown above, insure that a 3.5″ disk drive is properly connected to the AppleSauce and that the AppleSauce is connected to the host computer
- By checking “Autofill with volume name if available”, AppleSauce will populate the “Save As” field with the disk volume name if the inserted disk is in a format it understands
- There is no option to “Image disks faster by not validating with double captures” because 3.5″ disks have a strong checksum on each block and double capture is not necessary
In the example above, most of the disk was read successfully. However the end of the disk had some read errors. If you are confident that the red blocks do not contain valid data, you can proceed to save the disk image. In the example above, 122 files were detected in the disk image, and they all verified as good. For this specific disk, it is probably unnecessary to attempt to retry the bad blocks.
Should you attempt to retry reading the bad blocks anyway, the blocks currently being re-processed appear in blue. None of the first group of bad blocks was re-read successfully so they remain red.