How To Format a 720k Disc In Windows XP

Yamaha SY77 is a 16 voice multitimbral music workstation first produced by Yamaha Corporation in 1989. The SY77 is a synthesizer whose architecture combines AFM (Advanced Frequency Modulation) synthesis, AWM2 (Advanced Wave Memory 2) for ROM-borne sample-based synthesis, and the combination of these two methods christened Realtime Convolution and Modulation Synthesis (RCM).

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How To Format a 720k Disc In Windows XP

Unread post by Saul » Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:49 pm

In order to format a 720k disc in Windows XP you will probably have to use a 1.44mb disc and put tape over the hole at the top left of the disc...looking from the front of the disc. Make sure both sides of the hole are taped over.

To format all you do is press the START button on your taskbar and choose 'Run'... Type 'cmd' in the box that appears and hit enter. After this a DOS console window will appear where you type following command:

format A: /FS:FAT /T:80 /N:9

Press enter. Your 1.44mb disk will then be formatted as a 720kb disk. After the procedure computer will ask for the name of Volume, just hit enter and its done. It will then ask if you want to format another so you can do a few at once.

It looks like a long procedure to format a disk but really it only takes a few seconds to run the command and then away you go!.
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Unread post by sky99 » Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:22 am

Windows XP supports the following floppy disk formats:
• 1.44 megabyte (MB) 3.5" floppy disk (read, write, format)
• 720 kilobyte (KB) 3.5" floppy disk (read, write only)
• 1.2MB 5.25" floppy disk (read, write only)
• 360KB 5.25" floppy disk (read, write only)

http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... us;Q309623
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Unread post by Saul » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:27 am

Not quite sure what the point of that last post was? We already know XP doesn't support formatting of 720k discs from within the GUI. You can still format them using the method I outlined above. Just because Microsoft say XP doesn't support something doesn't mean the feature is not there....it's just hidden.
Last edited by Saul on Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by tulun » Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:19 pm

Also, you can download 3rd party software to format these DD floppy disk.
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Unread post by indegruv » Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:41 pm

great tip

for Windows ME (i know) it works if you remove the /FS:FAT part.

format A: /T:80 /N:9

formatted 720k! 8)
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Unread post by Derek » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:21 am

Just wanted to say thanks for this tip. :)

This worked like a dream and I can now share data between the SY77 (now I've fixed the floppy drive - the usual belt problem) and my Music PC (running Windows XP).

The biggest problem I had was finding a floppy disk; they're pretty rare in my house now!

This site is the best SY77 resource that I've found so far! Well done, guys :)
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Unread post by Saul » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:09 am

Glad to hear that was of use to your Derek. The Good old floppy lives on :)
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Unread post by Derek » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:50 pm

I've now even managed to find a few old 720K disks stuffed away up in my attic!

And my wife complains because I'm a "magpie"; I knew I would need them one day! 8O :D
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Unread post by Saul » Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:16 pm

I think I have a whole shoe box full of floppies in the garage. 1.44mb though but a bit of tape over the hole soon gives you a 720k disc :)
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Unread post by Clyde » Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:45 pm

There is a salvage store that sells OSD merchandise from trucking firms, UPS, etc. and on a shopping trip there a few months ago they had some new 720kb disks there, I picked up a few boxes and have used about half of them.
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Unread post by mrfrisky330 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:30 pm

If your really concerned about future Windows versions of Vista and beyond not supporting at all the 720K format there is a guaranteed way of future proofing your PC.

Download "virtual pc" from Microsoft you can run everything in it apart from XP (I have SUSE Linux running the brilliant Bristol synth emulator on it, DOS 6.22 for 720k formatting and old (legal) emulators and Windows NT4 for doing work stuff). Best of all its FREE, you can legitimately download DOS 6.22 as well.

If your not concerned why are you reading this??
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Re: How To Format a 720k Disc In Windows XP

Unread post by BugDude10 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:41 pm

Hello! I just received my new (used) SY77, and I've been scanning the forum here for tips and advice. You guys are great!

I have a question about SY disks and PCs: I thought I read somewhere that PCs could not read SY disks -- maybe because of a special format or file system that Yamaha used in the SY? Derek, you mentioned above that, thanks to this formatting info, you could share disks between your PC and your SY, so now I'm unclear. Can SY disks be read in PCs? If we format them as described above, can we just copy the data files onto the disks instead of loading data into the SY then saving it to the disk, one memory-full at a time?

Any and all insights are appreciated!
db7

Re: How To Format a 720k Disc In Windows XP

Unread post by db7 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:48 pm

Welcome!
I thought I read somewhere that PCs could not read SY disks -- maybe because of a special format or file system that Yamaha used in the SY?
Not true. I don’t know where you read that, but testing it for yourself would have disproved it. The 77/99 use a format that is almost identical to the standard one from MS-DOS, Windows et al. The only differences that I’ve observed is that they don’t write timestamps and have no problem writing non-standard characters, such as spaces, that will confuse Windows and might make some files unreadable, but not entire disks.

The formatting procedure described in this thread simple creates a normal MS-DOS-style disk with 720 kB of space. It’s nothing special. Bear in mind my warnings above and you’ll have no problems.
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Re: How To Format a 720k Disc In Windows XP

Unread post by BugDude10 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:04 pm

Thanks, db7! I will hook up my old desktop PC (which has a FD) or dig out my old laptop (also with a FD) and give it a try!
db7

Re: How To Format a 720k Disc In Windows XP

Unread post by db7 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:09 pm

Great! And the other good thing about this is that you can use USB FDDs, as long as you’re careful to make sure they specifically support 720 kB/DD mode. Some of them don’t, so watch out, but a non-standard format would be worse because then USB drives wouldn’t be able to write them: they all seem to have very limited controllers that can only handle the two standard MS-DOS formats, necessitating a ‘proper’ drive with a fully flexible controller as found on the ‘old’ motherboards. Speaking of which, there are still some modern motherboards with ports for FDDs, but they’re presumably getting rarer and quite specialised in any case.
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