The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

The Yamaha SY85 is a digital music workstation introduced in 1992. Unlike other Yamaha synthesizers of the time (SY77 and the SY99) the SY85 does not use FM synthesis. Instead, its sounds are based on samples, which can be layered and modified to create new sounds.

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The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by parametric » Wed May 15, 2013 5:21 am

Hi Folks,

In an attempt to clarify this problem, which bamboozles many users, I should like to offer this to help explain WHAT is happening - and why things don't seem to work as you expect:

These pics show a small section of the Disk track. The first thing to note is that the 720k DD Drive, which is fitted to many boards in addition to the SY85 was the FIRST 3.5" drive produced, which explains their presence on many Synths of this era.

When the HD 1.44MB Drive was developed later on, the increased capacity was achieved by higher coercivity media AND by doubling the track count - which was in turn achieved by HALVING the head height (So the disk size remained the same at 3.5").

This head height difference between the two Drive types is the source of the problems that we see . . . .

Take a 720k disk and FORMAT it in your Synth.

Save a Bank/Sequence/whatever from the Synth to that disk, and you get:
One.jpg
The FULL track is taken up by the Data. This Disk can be put away and reloaded to the Synth at any time.
This disk can also be read by the PC and the data copied to the HD and archived there.
It can be copied back to another disk for loading into the Synth at any Time - SUBJECT TO CERTAIN PRECAUTIONS.

Now take this same disk to the PC. Format it as 720k and copy a Bank/whatever to it from the HD.
Due to the small head size of the HD Drive, the track on the floppy will now look like this . . . . .
Two.jpg
When you attempt to load the Disk, the head in the Drive in your Synth will try to interpret BOTH data streams with its wider head - and you'll get a <BAD DISK> or similar error in the display.

This disk is no longer any good for the Synth until you
REFORMAT it IN THE SYNTH . . . .
Take the reformatted disk to the PC and copy your Bank/whatever to it.
The track on the Disk now looks like THIS:
Three.jpg
You can take this disk to your Synth and it will read it just fine. The PC can of course read it too.

The CERTAIN PRECAUTIONS I spoke of above is merely this.

When you want to LOAD stuff stored on the PC, to your Synth . . . . .

FORMAT the media first IN THE SYNTH
Copy the data from the PC to the Floppy
LOAD the data in to the Synth.

I hope that explains it better and clears up the confusion . . .

Best Regards

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

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BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by Miks » Wed May 15, 2013 7:48 am

Very good explanation of what's going on between this two systems !!! Should make things clearer... :D
My (key related) gear (in alphabetical order):
Ferrofish: B4000+
Kawai: K1 II
Korg: M1 (up'd to EX, w/ 'Cool Blue'), M1REX (w/ 'Cool Blue'), Poly-800
Roland: D-50, D-110, D-550, PG-1000
Yamaha: AW1600, DX7IID (w/ 'Cool Blue'), EX5R, RM50, RX5, SY99 (w/ 'Cool Blue'), TG500, TX-802, YMM2
Sector101: SYEMB05 (5x), SYEMB06 (3x), EXFLM2 (1kit), MCD Sweet16 (1x), WaveBlade 8MB Card (1x) & 1x Programmer Unit for WaveBlade
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by Clyde » Wed May 15, 2013 11:56 am

I will also note that I have never experienced any problems with new pre-formatted DS/DD 720kb disks.
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by Sonus » Wed May 15, 2013 2:03 pm

Deleted post
Last edited by Sonus on Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by parametric » Wed May 15, 2013 3:26 pm

That's interesting Sonus,

Down among the bits and the Bytes eh?

[Excellent link BTW . . . ALL the info is there for those interested]

Can the DX7II-FD or V50 then USE a disk with the BPB code written in as you describe?

I guess if you have Norton's old <disk edit> from the Norton Utilities (for DOS) you COULD write that code in yourself (if you felt so inclined).

I did once rescue a Hard Disk which had a damaged FAT, by copying the second copy and pasting it over the first, using <Disk Edit>

parametric
Last edited by parametric on Wed May 15, 2013 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added extra comment about link
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by parametric » Wed May 15, 2013 3:31 pm

Clyde wrote:I will also note that I have never experienced any problems with new pre-formatted DS/DD 720kb disks.
Clyde
Neither should you expect to, Clyde. New disks as you describe should present no problems with the Synth OR the PC.

The problems arise as the disks start to move backwards and forwards between Synth and PC WITHOUT removing or at least renewing the original full track width format . . . .

parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by parametric » Wed May 15, 2013 3:39 pm

Miks wrote:Very good explanation of what's going on between this two systems !!! Should make things clearer... :D
Thank you Miks,

Sometimes "A picture is worth 1000 words" . . . . ((i))

parametric 8)
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by Sonus » Wed May 15, 2013 5:11 pm

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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by Clyde » Wed May 15, 2013 9:10 pm

Sonus wrote:DX7II-FD, V50 formatted disks are not recognized by PC because they don't have BPB code:
DX7II-FD.jpg
Most simple solution is to first format a 720K DD disk on PC before writing data:
MS-DOS.jpg
SY77, SY99, SY85 formatted disks are recognized by PC because they do have BPB code:
SY77.jpg
http://www.ata-atapi.com/hiwdos.html

Sonus
All of my DX7IIFD disks started as pre-formatted 720K DS/DD, so no issues with computer.
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by EX5_etc » Thu May 16, 2013 3:52 am

Very interesting topic. I had a rough idea as to what was going on but the details shown here clear up everything. I'll add this thread to my bookmarks. My personal opinion is that perhaps the main reason that led to problems was the lack of standards in the early days of storage on disks. One company went with this, another went with that, etc, etc. Now everyone seems to follow the standards and people have fewer problems as far as storage and cross-platforms are concerned.

Incidentally, a couple of months ago I was faced with a problem I had not seen in years. I was doing a rather unusual solid state upgrade on an older PC104 industrial computer and had to go through MSDOS 6.1 installation, Win95, etc, until I reach the Win2k level. On my way there I used HDD floppies. I had bought a box of new old stock Sony HDD disks, the blue ones. Two brand new disks failed during the format process. The third went through. Age perhaps? Not sure but at this point only my QX5FD uses floppies.

Ahh, the old days...

DrF
Motif XF6, DeepMind 12D, MicroArranger, MicroKorg S, SY99, SY85, QS300, PSR1000, WX5, EX5R, A5000, TG500, TG55, RM50, QY700, QY100, QX5FD, MJC8, EMX2, YDP2006, REV500, EMP700, EQ500U, MCS2, AW16G, Axiom Pro 49, AKAI Pro Advance 49, Arturia KeyLab mkII 61, and a few other things by Behringer, Evolution, Philips, Tascam, Technical Pro, Yamaha, etc, etc,... I wish I had time to use all this stuff; I am not even pro. :-)
db7

Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by db7 » Thu May 16, 2013 11:16 am

While we are cataloguing useful info about the various formats and disks, I can add that the SY99, SY77, and perhaps other devices (which other users would have to confirm), are only almost compatible with MS-DOS. :P As I have written elsewhere, this is because they seem to have no qualms with writing normally unsupported characters (spaces, symbols, etc. to filenames. Such files would then cause problems on systems expecting the standard format, including my USB emulator. In other words, if you want to keep your disks compatible with PCs and other devices, best avoid such characters in your filenames. Standard characters are the 26 capital letters, the 10 numerical digits, the hyphen, and possibly a few more that seem pretty unimportant in an 8.3 filename anyway.

However, these devices are compatible enough in all other ways. This is not like something like the Amstrad CPC, for instance, where the disks use a non-standard format that requires raw writing, which is beyond the capabilities of USB-based floppy drives and emulators other than the (nice but expensive) HxC; the formats of the SY series are close enough that other devices expecting standard MS-DOS-format disks can read those written by the synth as long as the caveats in this thread are kept in mind. In that respect, we might be quite lucky! Not like users of the TX16w, I suppose; that was interesting to learn.
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by V50fan » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:35 pm

Sonus wrote:DX7II-FD, V50 formatted disks are not recognized by PC because they don't have BPB code:
DX7II-FD.jpg
Most simple solution is to first format a 720K DD disk on PC before writing data:
MS-DOS.jpg
SY77, SY99, SY85 formatted disks are recognized by PC because they do have BPB code:
SY77.jpg
http://www.ata-atapi.com/hiwdos.html

Sonus
This info is correct, be sure NOT to save your files on the V50 with lowercase filenames. I don't know why, but windows will NOT recognize them.
www.synthstudiodevries.com
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by sndtrack » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:47 am

Hi there.

I'm trying to read V50 formatted disks in PC.

I understand that these disks don't have the MS-DOS boot sector, hence the "disk needs to be formatted" message.

Is there any way to read them directly in PC? For instance, is it possible to manually add a MS-DOS boot sector in a V50 formatted disk? Thanks.

P.S.: V50 drive is not working anymore.
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by Saul » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:37 am

Have you checked your V50 drive to find out why it's not working? Sometimes it can be a simple fix.

Not sure about adding a MS Dos boot sector but I would have thought that would not be possible, however there are people on the forum who will know far more about that sort of thing that me.
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Re: The 720k DSDD in PC HD Drives problem explained

Unread post by Sonus » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:03 am

sndtrack wrote:Is there any way to read them directly in PC?
Indeed, thanks to Lex! http://www.lexlechz.at/en/software/DiskMgr.html

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