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techana's picture
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Connecting SuperDisk Drive to MacOS Emulator?

Hello guys!

I'd like to know if it's possible for MacOS 8 or 9, running by an emulator such as QEMU, to access a USB Imation SuperDisk Drive?

I have tried it with MacOS 9.2 and QEMU on macOS 10.15. The drive appears in the profiler window but no floppy is actually mounted when inserted into the drive.

Thank you.

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MikeTomTom's picture
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You installed drivers on OS 9x?

techana's picture
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MacOS 9.2 has builtin support for these drives. It's mentioned in the readme file in the driver's archive.

MikeTomTom's picture
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OK, maybe 24bit will know of any solutions, he has more QEMU experience than me.

The only emulators I know of with read/write access to hardware disks are Basilisk II, build 142 and Fusion PC (both Windows/DOS apps), for SCSI devices and floppy drives. USB hardware, I'm not aware of. Be nice to know if you get somewhere with this, tho'.

24bit's picture
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I´m afraid I can´t add anything helpful here -
even though I had a second hand Imation Superdrive (rev. A) for a while.
My drive had a USB adapter dongle cable finally connecting to the device´s internal pATA port.

Description

Picture by Dale Mahalko

Is your drive reading floppies at all, for example with OSX/macOS?
My Imation SuperDisk did read/write 1.4MB DOS floppies with Snow Leopard.

Just saw your post over at Emaculation - no known solution, so it seems.
A pity, as your pict of Apple System Profiler is really looking promising. Sad

I seem to recall there also existed internal SuperDrive PC solutions via pATA.
Maybe worth a shot to find out how the device was handled in Windows XP and see whether this can be adopted for Qemu, leaving alone the Mac adapter stuff.

techana's picture
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Yes, the drive works well. I've tested it with OS X 10.5 to 10.15 and also with Win10.

MikeTomTom's picture
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I do own this drive and I've had some success, but only with Basilisk II build 142 on Windows.

Both 1.4MB floppy and 120MB SuperDisks mount read/write in this emulator, with floppy drive enabled in the B2 build 142's GUI. No Mac USB drivers are required for this (B2 couldn't use them anyway) the mounted disks are simply seen as floppy media (including the 120MB SuperDisk).

SheepShaver and JIT B2's on Mac/Windows met with no luck at all.

24bit's picture
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Another good point to use Build 142, Mike.
I think that later Imation SuperDisk drives did work well with Windows.
Mine was not recognised by my XP box when I tried years ago.
Can you initialise a 120MB floppy as HFS with BII 142?

MikeTomTom's picture
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Only have a single lonely 120MB disk for it, and its already formatted as HFS and it mounts read/write as 120MB's. So I haven't tried formatting it, but assume....

The 120MB disk mounts with the Imation SuperDisk icon, and 1.4MB floppies mount with a standard floppy disk icon.
I had formatted the 120MB disk on an actual Mac with the Imation software installed, so I guess that where the nice icon comes from.

The drive has the earlier green + translucent case and I am using B2 build 142 on an XP box.

Tested it as OK on Systems 7.6.1 and 8.1 so far.

This is the 1st time I've plugged it into a PC. I usually use the TEAC for floppies on build 142 - as that's less hassle with no power supply required and fewer cables.

[Edit] dang. I just tried to format the 120 and it only offers 1.4MB floppy sizes to format it as. Looks Like it would need the Imation software to do the formatting and I guess that's not going to run on B2.

I.4MB floppy disks are fine with it tho', without additional software...

24bit's picture
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Thanks for tinkering with the 120MB medium.
I seem to recall that the device driver was written to disk by MacOS when initialising a disk.
Probably BII can make use of that driver when its available, but can´t write it.
Good to know that the SuperDisk can be used at all with Mac emulation.

One obstacle with Qemu PPC seems to be missing support for USB floppy drives, at least with Mac hosts.

Is your TEAC floppy a model FD-05PUB too? (I forgot)
With macOS and Windows that floppy drive is reported as MITSUMI USB FDD 061M
Product ID: 0x6901
Vendor ID: 0x03ee (Mitsumi)

MikeTomTom's picture
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Yes, there's no problem copying large files to and from the 120MB disk. Floppy over USB 1.1 speeds are no speed demon for large files tho'. A 30MB file took 6 minutes to copy over to the 120 Wink

Only formatting the 120's will be an issue if they aren't already Mac formatted... Just maybe tho' there will be a solution for this waiting to be found.

Also, even if they were Fat32 formatted, they could probably still be used if DOS Mounter 95 was installed on the B2 Mac, which has nice long filename support and works well with a bunch of classic Mac OS versions from SSW 6 up.

About the TEAC, mine is a TEAC branded floppy drive, a 2nd-hand purchase on fleabay.

It's an original translucent model with the flip-top covers for fruity flavored color inserts so you can match an iMac's color. Mine was purchased without the additional inserts and is a translucent white, so I like to imagine that it was owned by someone with an iMac Snow. I know there were at least 5 other color variations for it, when new. <-- 11 colored inserts when new apparently*

It's reported as a TEAC FD-05PUB model and vendor id as TEAC Corporation when getting info on it in System Profiler. It has the same drive mechanism that was used in non-TEAC brands that were also available.

[Edit] *A US seller has a new and unopened TEAC floppy drive for sale - has the 11 inserts, asking US$25+shipping - You can currently still get cheaper than this, 2nd hand and minus the inserts it seems, from US$6 and up.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Can you initialise a 120MB floppy as HFS with BII 142?

Success!

Not with Basilisk II build 142, but with Lauri Pesonen's other great program; HFVExplorer 1.3.1

Just get HFVExplorer to format a floppy disk, give it a name, a size, i.e.; 120MB and it formats the disk for you.

In B2 build 142, the formatted 120MB disk mounts read/write OK in Systems 7.1 to 8.1

But for other emulators, the story is a sad one ...

----------
BTW, came across this page: iomega ZIP 100 vs 3M/Imation Superdisk LS-120 Showdown

It has some great pix as he disassembles a SuperDisk drive. Once taken apart you can see it's a standard IDE ATA drive with a USB bridge assembly. The rear of the drive has an IDE interface, a 4-pin berg power plug and a jumper block to configure the Master/Slave/CS settings. If you have a PC that has IDE on board you can connect it direct to the bus, bypassing the (clunky) USB cabling & power supply. As described in the write-up.

MikeTomTom's picture
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A "how to" slide-show of Mac formatting the LS-120 disk for use in Basilisk II build 142, using HFVExplorer on Windows:

A Mac formatted LS-120 disk named 'SuperDisk' mounted in HFVExplorer's window - showing the disk's content at the rightClick this image for the brief slideshow:

IIGS_User's picture
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Nice work, the slide show. Thanks for that. Smile

MikeTomTom's picture
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Thanks, IIGS_User. I hope that it can be of use to somebody.

What has impressed me is that I've discovered a use for this old drive where one didn't exist for it before. That is, it can be used in at least one 68k Mac emulator and work in 68k Mac OS's prior to 8.1. Which would have been otherwise be impossible in actual 68k hardware.

Unless this topic hadn't arose, I would never have known this...

MikeTomTom's picture
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@techana: I took a closer look at your screenshot above, and made a comparison with it against my Imation SuperDisk mounted on a real Mac (G4 eMac, Mac OS 9.2.2) and viewed in the Apple System Profiler.

The following is a composite pic, the top view is adapted from your screenshot which I've included for an easier comparison. The 2nd part is my SuperDisk, and the 3rd and 4th parts are of other USB Read/Write devices also mounted on the G4 eMac:

Comparison of mounted USB Read/Write devices (click to view)

Comparison of mounted USB devices (click to view)

What is obvious, is the System in the emulated environment is not understanding what type of device is attached to the emulated QEMU USB Hub. It is not finding a suitable driver for the LS-120 SuperDisk so it is loading the "USBCompostiteDevice" driver for it. It is assuming that the SuperDisk is some type of multifunction device like a scanner-printer-fax combo. Whereas it is supposed to be loading the "USBMassStorageDriver", as shown in the remaining 3 pix in the above composite.

Not a solution but it identifies where the problem lies.

What happens if you attach a flash drive in QEMU ?

Also, what model or type of Mac is being emulated in QEMU ?