best way to test old disks?

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pkillo

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I have recently acquired about 700 old disks, some hand-labeled but a decent portion with original labels and boxes and all. They came with an Amiga 2000 I bought. This went down like this: I arranged to buy the Amiga, the monitor, and a few boxes of magazines and disks, and ended up with my car filled up to the point where I almost couldn't shift gears properly. This was an all or nothing proposition - here in Victoria you have to pay to dispose of anything beyond a small twice monthly trash pickup, you see - and the seller might have slightly understated the quantity of Amiga-related materials. There was a comment made that I should have brought a truck or van. :)

Aside from the Amiga, monitor, and disks, I took away 5 double-wide and 4 single floppy storage boxes full of disks, a few pocket disk boxes with more, a trackball with the original box, the original boxes for the 2000 and the monitor, with the styrofoam, and about 10 cardboard moving boxes packed full of various Amiga gear. There are two poster tubes with original Amiga posters, the type they put up at tradeshows, a bunch of books, and maybe 30 boxed software titles. I think I bit off more than I can chew, so expect to see some of these items come up for sale, hopefully I'll be able to break even against what I've spent here and on eBay this month...

Ssome of these are apps I don't need [I'm keeping the compilers!] and some are games, and tbh I don't play games except on my Wii, with the exception of Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego? [don't laugh - it has convinced my S.O. that it's OK to spend 'some' money on Amiga stuff and that it's even OK to have a row of them along an entire wall - she counts my Efika as an Amiga. :) ]

I'd therefore like to sell these off for a few bucks each, if anyone wants them, but I don't want to sell anyone a bad disk. That's just not good karma. What's a good piece of software to use to test the disks? I don't want to have to actually play the games or install the apps; my time is just too limited for that, so I'm looking for something like pc-dos's chkdsk, I guess. Does AmigaDOS store a checksum on the disk that can be used to check the data, or am I going to be limited to checking for bad blocks?

Thanks.
 

meega

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Re: best way to test old disks?

Hmm... you might try simply reading them, possibly by copying the whole disk into RAM. If that works ok then it's probably usable, else it will throw up errors whilst reading. This likely won't work for NDOS disks, so they will need to be booted or accessed from whatever created them. You could maybe attempt to DMS them, thus proving that they can be read by that program - but DMS might crunch faulty tracks as well as good ones. Or you might attempt to XCopyPro them (or some other such program, always using the same floppy disk as destination, thus generating no 'naughty' copies at the end of it all) again simply to prove that the disk structure is intact, it will tell you nothing about whether the software actually runs. Or you could point a forked hazel stick at them and wave it about a bit, that would convince some people. :D
 

pkillo

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Re: best way to test old disks?

boy, those all sound pretty hit and miss except for the forked hazel stick! I'll have to wait until my fiancee gets back from holiday to try it though; she studies trees and can make sure I don't misidentify the stick as hazel.... :mrgreen:

Seriously, though, I guess I'll try the copy to RAM: technique for dos disks, and actually loading the game for the others, and then go back through and DMS them all just to be sure.

I found a couple of utilities on aminet that might be useful: DiskTest 2.10 and ffstest. I'll try them on something unimportant and see how they work.

thanks for the advice!
 

meega

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Re: best way to test old disks?

DiskSalv can check some things... you don't *have* to recover/repair at the same time. It might be restricted to DOS disks/partitions though, I'm not sure offhand.
 

Harrison

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Re: best way to test old disks?

I think XCopyPro can test a disk without you needing to actually copy them. It will read and test all of the tracks on a disk to make sure they can be read and will flag bad sectors and reading errors as it reads the disk.

I'm sure there are also other utilities on aminet that will be able to check disk structure.
 
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