Despite using the same flexible WD1772 FDC chip as the Atari ST, the majority of SAM disks formats aren’t particularly challenging.
To create a disk image from an existing SAM disk use:
SAMdisk a: image.dsk
To write a SAM disk image back to a real disk use:
SAMdisk image.dsk a:
To write a disk image to a pre-formatted SAM floppy (faster):
SAMdisk image.dsk a: --no-format
To write only used tracks to pre-formatted floppy (fastest!):
SAMdisk image.dsk a: --minimal --no-format
To format a floppy in MGT format for normal SAM use:
SAMdisk format a:
To format a floppy in CP/M format for Pro-Dos use:
SAMdisk format a: --cpm
Note: Be sure to use only true double-density disks, which should be marked DSDD or 2DD, and are often blue. Covering the hole on high-density disks (usually black) is not recommended!
BDOS format drives are supported, on floppy disks, hard disks, or compact flash cards.
To display a list of available drives:
0: Name: ST380021A Capacity: 80026361856 bytes = 156301488 sectors = 80GB 1: Name: Generic-Compact Flash Capacity: 524869632 bytes = 1025136 sectors = 525MB Format: Atom Lite, 641 records, bootable
A drive number followed by a colon is shown above each entry, and used to refer to the drive in other commands. In this example the OS boot drive is 0: and the BDOS drive is 1:
To list the BDOS records on this drive:
SAMdisk list 1:
Atom Lite, 641 records: 1 : System 10 : Comet v18 40 : SAM Paint 50 : Lemmings! 1-1 51 : Lemmings! 1-2
To show a directory listing of files in a single BDOS record (1 in this example):
SAMdisk list 1:1
Record 1: System 1* Mini-FAT16 256 SPECIAL 2 AL-BDOS15a 21 CODE 32777,10701 22/07/2012 00:59 3 AL-LOGO 49 SCREEN$ [mode 4] 22/07/2012 00:59 3 files, 77 free slots, 163K used, 617K free
To create a disk image from a BDOS drive:
SAMdisk 1: image.hdf
The output file is uncompressed, so you’ll need space matching your source drive size.
SAMdisk image.hdf 1:
You’ll be asked to confirm the target drive is correct before writing begins, though you may skip this step with
--force if you need to automate this process.
If your target drive is a different size (even slightly), use
--resize to make the necessary adjustments. This is not the default behaviour as a safety precaution.
If your new drive is much larger than the old one, you can use
--quick to skip the zero-filling of the new disk after the content is copied.
To convert between Atom and Atom Lite formats during the write, use
To convert images between Atom and Atom Lite format requires byte-swapping:
SAMdisk atom.hdf atomlite.hdf --byte-swap
To copy an image into a existing image of a different size will require resizing:
SAMdisk small.hdf big.hdf --resize
To create a blank HDF disk image (32MB in this example):
SAMdisk create image.hdf 32
This image will still need formatting before use.
To format a drive or image for use with the Atom Lite interface:
SAMdisk format 1: SAMdisk format image.hdf
To format for use with the legacy Atom interface:
SAMdisk format 1: --atom:
To format an existing record, to empty it:
SAMdisk format 1:123
To copy a record (123 in this example) to a floppy disk image:
SAMdisk 1:123 image.mgt
To copy a special ProDos CP/M record to a disk image:
SAMdisk 1:123 image.cpm --cpm
To copy a disk image (MGT or compatible) to a record:
SAMdisk image.mgt 1:123
To copy a 720K CP/M image to a the special ProDos record format:
SAMdisk image.cpm 1:123 --cpm
To copy between records is simple too:
SAMdisk 1:123 1:234
The first sector on a BDOS drive is the boot sector, which holds configuration parameters for the drive, as well as code to load the splash screen and optionally auto-boot a record.
To copy the boot sector a file:
SAMdisk 1:0 image.bin
To copy a previously saved boot sector (512 bytes) back to the drive:
SAMdisk image.bin 1:0
SAMdisk will automatically update the BDOS parameters in the data before writing. To suppress this add