360kb Single Sided disks...

By LaFey

Supporter (12)

LaFey's picture

11-01-2003, 01:24

Greetz all!

I have a Sony external disk drive attached to my MSX1 machine - this external unit supports 360kb single-sided disks. Since I'm something of a MSX newbie the first time I turned on (no pun) the whole system I formatted a "standard PC" HD disk using Call Format and procedded covering the disk hole (again no pun) with tape. Fine - took it to the PC and it read it fine. (Wondrous? Read on.)

Now the trouble is that I can't repeat this process - since all the MSX formatted disks I try to insert on the PC don't work... I know the PC wasn't supposed to read ANY 360kb single sided disks- but call it starters luck or not - it did - and it does. The first disk works fine. I tried the proggie (the one the MSX FAQ refers to) bundled in the CJS emu but to no avail in any disks - though it detects THE DISK as an MSX format (and rightly so).

Any thoughts on this matter folks? (And please don't tell me to switch to 720Kb drive because I want to keep this machine and peripherals standard).

And what disk copy options/utils for single-drive MSX would you recommend in case I have to keep THE DISK as a kind of "shuttle interface" between both computers? (Yes I'm THAT newbie).

Thanks for your patience! Big smile

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By LaFey

Supporter (12)

LaFey's picture

11-01-2003, 02:40

[And the one who I thought less capable of answering this riddle unveils some truth]

After a few boot-ups and a hot cup of tea I was able to use the 360kb single side disks in my PC. Here's how it's done (to the ones less fortunate in knowledge like myself):

-Get the CJS emulator package

-Unzip the SS2DS file to a handy location (read: CSmile

-Move the files you want to put in the MSX disk to a handy location (read: CBig smileISK)

-Terminate Windows XP/2000/whatever and boot up in pure DOS (get a boot disk)

-Pick up a normal HD disk and put a little piece of tape on the obvious hole;


-Put it in the PC disk drive run SS2DS A: and answer Yes (this makes the MSX format readable on the PC)

-Copy the files from the handy location (read: CBig smileISK) I mentioned early to the disk

-Run SS2DS A: and answer YES (this makes the disk readable again by the MSX)

-Take the disk and run it on the MSX - it should work fine.

The mistery remains in how I did it in Windows the first time without any external apps.


Any comments quite welcome (and I still need some help on the disk copy issue).

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

11-01-2003, 08:36

It's indeed very odd that a single sided disk has ever worked on your WinXP without any alterations to the disk. And that disk still works? Remarkably.... Please let us know if you found out WHY this odd behaviour works.

The second post mus thave taken you quite some research and is indeed the best way to read SS disks on a PC.

By Sander

Founder (1867)

Sander's picture

11-01-2003, 09:41

Yeah, because it's only winXP who doesn't support 360KB formatted disks anymore, it should work fine on all other windows versions. Or does Windows 2000 gto the same problem?

By LaFey

Supporter (12)

LaFey's picture

12-01-2003, 00:40

I suppose Windows NT/2000/XP share the same "core" so it is very likely that it shouldn't run on any of these systems. I think it should work on the 95/98/ME family though (I have a ME machine nearby but I'm just too lazy to try it right now).

Yes the first disk is still working in perfection. Is there any software to get as much information from a disk as possible? I could compare her with some standards and shed some more light on the matter.

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

12-01-2003, 22:20

As for having a look at the disk: take any of the available sector editors and have a look. I'm wondering as well Wink

By Grauw

Ascended (10560)

Grauw's picture

19-01-2003, 22:45

Afaik (I never tried) 360k disks already didn't work back then when I still had Windows98...

At least that was what people told me...


By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

19-01-2003, 23:31

I'm pretty sure PC's are incapable of writing SS disks. I'm not sure if reading is a problem...

Ofcourse you can FAKE it. You can format a DS disk in a SS way so it can be readable in PC (but needs converting).

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

Leo's picture

22-01-2003, 21:30

I have noticed also a strange think when passing disk from msx to pc :

It works better when there is at least one files on the disk , if it is empty

it does not work in some case ...

BTW , I dont remenber well if this was on DS or SS disks , does any one had

the same behaviour ?

By pitpan

Prophet (3152)

pitpan's picture

23-01-2003, 00:04


My Win'98 2nd Edition works fine with 360 KB MSX-formated disks. It can both read and write them without problems, and I have tested it with my VG-8235, NMS-8245, SVI-738 and MSX1+HBD-50.

Well, my PC itself is quite old: Pentium MMX 233 MHz. Perhaps reading/writing 360 KB disks (single sided) is more a problem of BIOS on the mother board rather than operating system. I am not sure. Anyway, it is true that at least WinNT cannot manage single sided disks.


By LaFey

Supporter (12)

LaFey's picture

05-02-2003, 22:00

Indeed my Win98(ME) handles the single sided 360kb disks quite well. I still haven't found out what's "different" in the the XP formatted disk - but I already have some disk sector analyzers ready.