Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Update your old 720k to a 1.44 drive etc.
bfollowell
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Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by bfollowell » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:08 am

Now, as far as firmware, I'd like to hear from both camps as far as the best firmware to use, and reasons; pros/cons, etc.

I know FlashFloppy and HxC2001 both are compatible with the OLED displays, though I'm not certain I'll use one, so I'm not sure that's a concern for me either way. I know FlashFloppy is free and HxC2001 isn't, but it only costs about $12 USD, so not a major concern one way or the other.

I see FlashFloppy only works with ST files, but it seems like I read something about beta support for MSA and STX files with HxC2001. I'm not sure if the MSA/STX format is continuing on HcX2001 of if it may be coming to FlashFloppy as well.

Any information you guys can give me that may help me make an informed decision on which firmware to use.

Also, if I try one, then want to try the other, is it possible? Is it just as simple as reflashing with the other firmware?

Thanks again for all of your help.

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rubber_jonnie
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Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by rubber_jonnie » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:04 am

AFAIK, switching between versions of firmware is as simple as re-flashing with whichever one you want. I had a Gotek with HxC and was able to easily flash to FF. I see no reason why going back to HxC would be either difficult or a problem.

My suggestion would be to try FlashFloppy first as it's free, and if you feel you need more, then go for HxC. It should be quite easy to put the specs for each side by side and compare if you want to do it that way before deciding.

I personally only use FlashFloppy as it's free, but having used a Gotek with HxC both work equally well. HxC is a little more mature though, but I'm sure FlashFloppy will get more features as time goes by and uptake increases.

As for Image types, as I mentioned previously, the STX support in HxC was never fully formed, so may not be fully working, and I don't think support is continuing, at least not from what I read. So much software is already available in ST image format, it may not be a concern that the other formats are supported.

STX is a preservation format too, so there may not be much of a case for it to be supported by any version of Gotek firmware.

As for MSA support, it is just a case of converting to ST from MSA. Both HxC and FF also support HFE images, which is a universal format.

The only issue I think that there now is with FlashFloppy is that the software that runs and allows selection of images is for HxC. If it detects FF firmware apparently it now flashes up a warning, but still allows you to use it.
Collector of old Atari things:
800XL + Ape Warp mod, 2x 1010 cassette, 1050 + Happy mod, 65XE (128k) & XC12, SIO2SD, 2600jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Atari 520ST (1Meg) + Gotek, 1040STFM + Vortex ATOnce + Gotek, 1040STF long button floppy, 4160 STE with Gotek and ROM switcher, 4160STE with 32Mhz booster, ROM switcher and CosmosEx, not to mention various bare ST boards for testing including a PAK 68/2 :)
Plus the rest..
Amiga stuff, Mac stuff, Sinclair stuff etc...
www.electronicnothingness.co.uk

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rubber_jonnie
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Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by rubber_jonnie » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:52 am

I wanted to add a little more here, as I know from personal experience, finding the stuff you need often degenerates into a game of cat and mouse with the internet, and its possible to spend hours searching for tools and information and not getting what you want.

Adding to the pot of info then, here is a link to the HxC Floppy Drive Emulator software for Windows: https://sourceforge.net/projects/hxcfloppyemu/

It's a very useful tool that allows you to create, amongst other things, blank images, that can be used with your floppy emulators. It does a LOT more besides, and is definitely a worthwhile addition to your arsenal.

The ZIP is attached, but as always, I'd advocate visiting the link, since you'll get the latest version there.
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HxCFloppyEmulator_soft_V2_1_23_1.zip
(3.4 MiB) Downloaded 65 times
Collector of old Atari things:
800XL + Ape Warp mod, 2x 1010 cassette, 1050 + Happy mod, 65XE (128k) & XC12, SIO2SD, 2600jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Atari 520ST (1Meg) + Gotek, 1040STFM + Vortex ATOnce + Gotek, 1040STF long button floppy, 4160 STE with Gotek and ROM switcher, 4160STE with 32Mhz booster, ROM switcher and CosmosEx, not to mention various bare ST boards for testing including a PAK 68/2 :)
Plus the rest..
Amiga stuff, Mac stuff, Sinclair stuff etc...
www.electronicnothingness.co.uk

dan_bremen
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Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by dan_bremen » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:35 am

Hi everyone, I followed this wonderful tutorial after receiving my new Gotek FDD some days ago. I have followed all the steps but now I'm completely stuck and I can't manage to load any game or program in my ST.

I followed the flashing procedure with a USB A-A cable and flashed the unit succesfully with Flashfloppy v2.13, then I formatted the USB drive and saved the 2 files AUTOBOOT.HFE and HXCSDFE.CFG in the root folder. After that I saved a couple of games in ST format also in the root of the pendrive.

Having done that I connected the drive flipping the flat data cable and the power cable and insert the pendrive i nthe USB slot.

Now here comes the problem: I turn on the Atari and see a message on the screen (attached image) and I cannot go any further it's completely stuck on this screen. Any ideas? I have set the jumpers to S0 and M0, but also tried other combinations to no avail...

Thank you
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20190808_032946.jpg
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stephen_usher
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Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by stephen_usher » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:32 am

I’ve never seen this “manager”, that must be a FF v2.x feature. Isn’t the v2.x firmware still in alpha/beta test status and unstable?

I would suggest changing to the v1.x firmware for the time being as that doesn’t try to run anything on the host system.
Intro retro computers since before they were retro...
ZX81->Spectrum->Memotech MTX->Sinclair QL->520STM->BBC Micro->TT030->PCs & Sun Workstations.
Added code to the MiNT kernel (still there the last time I checked) + put together MiNTOS.
Collection now with added Macs, Amigas, Suns and Acorns.

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rubber_jonnie
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Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by rubber_jonnie » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:08 am

I'm only up to around v1.0 on mine, FF manager is something new to me too, and I didn't write this that long ago! I'd better get with the times and update to the latest stable release and see what's what.

First thing I'd suggest is remove the M0 jumper, just leaving the S0 jumper on. It really isn't needed and I don't use it on any of mine, just S0.

Then try booting without a memory stick, see if you get to desktop ok that way, then insert the USB stick, see if you can get to drive A: ok.

Also consider trying another memory stick, 32GB max and make sure it is formatted FAT32 and not exFAT. You'll find that not all USB sticks play nice.

If you still have problems, then I'd reflash to an older version, see if that works ok with autoboot.hfe. You may find you can drop the .UPD file onto USB stick and flash to older versions,it's worth a try, see here: https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wi ... are-Update

Just to check, you did follow the instructions exactly? If you don't set the jumpers by the power plug exactly, you may have flashing problems, so double check that with my diagram before reflashing.

If that's fine, then incrementally increase the versions until you find the latest stable release that works for you.

There is also a config file that is used by FF, though I've found the default settings are usually fine. Detail on that can be found here: https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wi ... ation-File

Please let us know how you get on.
Collector of old Atari things:
800XL + Ape Warp mod, 2x 1010 cassette, 1050 + Happy mod, 65XE (128k) & XC12, SIO2SD, 2600jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Atari 520ST (1Meg) + Gotek, 1040STFM + Vortex ATOnce + Gotek, 1040STF long button floppy, 4160 STE with Gotek and ROM switcher, 4160STE with 32Mhz booster, ROM switcher and CosmosEx, not to mention various bare ST boards for testing including a PAK 68/2 :)
Plus the rest..
Amiga stuff, Mac stuff, Sinclair stuff etc...
www.electronicnothingness.co.uk

dan_bremen
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Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by dan_bremen » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:52 pm

Thanks for the help guys, unfortunately I have not managed to solve the issue.

So far I have tried with 2 different USB sticks and ran into the same issue, in one of them I see the message "loading FF manager" and in the other one "loading HxC manager" as I saved different managers on them but after some seconds loading both get stuck and nothing else happens.

I followed your recommendation of downgrading the FF manager to version 1.2 (2.13 was the version I installed and it's the latest stable). I performed the downgrade succesfully and all the messages on the LCD screen were correct. After the downgrade everything stays the same :-(

Regarding booting the ST without the USB stick, it does boot to the green desktop. If after loading the desktop I insert the USB stick, I can open the drive A: but it only displays a folder with strange characters that cannot be opened (Same in the other USB stick, both formatted in FAT32).

So far I have run out of ideas and do not know what to do next :-(

stephen_usher
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Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by stephen_usher » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:28 pm

Flashfloppy doesn't require any manager programs/firmware on the stick, merely an empty drive with a text file called ff.cfg to set the configuration. You then merely put disk images on the drive.

If jumper JC is left open then the drive will auto configure to shugart and you won't need a ff.cfg file as the standard defaults should be fine.
Intro retro computers since before they were retro...
ZX81->Spectrum->Memotech MTX->Sinclair QL->520STM->BBC Micro->TT030->PCs & Sun Workstations.
Added code to the MiNT kernel (still there the last time I checked) + put together MiNTOS.
Collection now with added Macs, Amigas, Suns and Acorns.

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rubber_jonnie
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Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by rubber_jonnie » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:44 am

Stephen is quite right, you don't need to necessarily use an image manager with FF, you can simply place the .ST images in the root of the USB stick, from which you can use the buttons to select, more detail can be found here: https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wiki/Initial-Setup

I personally prefer to use one as documented in this thread, but you don't have to.

Since you can boot ok with no USB and see 'garbage' in drive A: when you insert the stick, I'd be inclined to say give it a try with no manager software at all, just a USB stick with the images on.

You could also (With v2.13) install the update that includes logging, it's in the alt folder of the FF download. That may give you clues why it isn't working.

Out of curiosity, you mention 2 USB sticks. Are they both the same brand and capacity? I know you said 'different', I'm just double checking!

If they are I'd suggest trying a different make.

Out of curiosity, what model of Gotek do you have? It's usually up near the back of the PCB, near the 34 pin connector. For example mine are SR922 and SR922C.
Collector of old Atari things:
800XL + Ape Warp mod, 2x 1010 cassette, 1050 + Happy mod, 65XE (128k) & XC12, SIO2SD, 2600jr, 7800 and Lynx II
Atari 520ST (1Meg) + Gotek, 1040STFM + Vortex ATOnce + Gotek, 1040STF long button floppy, 4160 STE with Gotek and ROM switcher, 4160STE with 32Mhz booster, ROM switcher and CosmosEx, not to mention various bare ST boards for testing including a PAK 68/2 :)
Plus the rest..
Amiga stuff, Mac stuff, Sinclair stuff etc...
www.electronicnothingness.co.uk

dan_bremen
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Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:17 am

Re: Going Gotek - FlashFloppy How To

Post by dan_bremen » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:28 pm

ok, this is very weird...

After rebooting several times I found a way to make it working. I started the ST without the USB stick inserted and inserted it 2 or three seconds after boot. Then suddenly the manager was loaded and I managed to assign the images to the slots

After that I upgraded FF to v2.13 again, it continued working without issues and I managed to play 2 o 3 games. I didn't need to remove the stick anymore as in every reboot the floppy loaded the selected slot straight away. I was very happy.

As it was late in the night I switched off the Atari. Today, I was going to load some new games and... the same problem happens again! I didn't touch anything since the last day and I cannot manage to go back to the manager or the images...

If I go to slot 000 I am stuck in loading FF manager
If I go to another slot with a preassigned game it does not load the game but goes to the green desktop.

If once in the desktop I go to the floppy drive and try to open the contents I can see the folder but trying to open a PRG file returns an error saying drive A coud not be opened.

BTW Both USB sticks are from different brand and model and both worked the other day. I'm starting to think that maybe this GOTEK is defective because this doesn't make any sense...

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