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SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11
mounting (troublesome) ".dsk" images, is there any MFS plug-in for OS 9-X?

First off, I suspect there are more than one kind of .dsk file and this confuses the hell out of everybody. One kind seems to be an arbitrary size and works in conjunction with the emulator "mini vmac", perhaps these are files created recently for use with this emulator.

The other legacy .dsk images are often 400kb, 800kb, or 1.44MB and these are "scans" of physical floppy disks. I find I must change their Creator code to "ddsk" and their Type code to "dimg" (all lower case), why do these files keep appearing with blank codes, I don't know. I thought all important oldschool mac files had codes.

ddsk-dimg codes allow OSX Disk Utility to then mount these files, but only if they are HFS not the older MFS Macintosh File System. Couple I'm looking at now must have come from here, MacCommand.dsk and Frogger.dsk

OSX says unable to mount, no mountable file system. But, OS9 gives better information : error 182 MFS software not installed on this system. Therefore I say, is there any MFS module that can be plugged into OS 9 and/or X ?

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MikeTomTom's picture
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You need to go back to Mac OS 7.6.1 and earlier for MFS floppy disk support.

If you had extracted these with StuffIt Expander on OS 9, you would maybe see that these are disk images of MFS 400K Mac floppy disks and have the Creator Type "DDp+" and the File Type "DDim" and not Creator code to "ddsk" and their Type code to "dimg". Meaning these two disk images were created using the classic Mac app DiskDup+ - Why files keep appearing with blank codes, is because the Finder doesn't have this file's icon in its database (yet) if you have not installed DiskDup+ onto OS 9 or earlier.

You may also have see under the compatibility section on both MacCommand & Frogger pages:

Important: This game is not compatible with the Macintosh Plus (or anything newer). To emulate it, you will need the Mac 128K or 512K variation of Mini vMac (and a matching ROM.)

Without original hardware, to access or play these files you would need to use the Mini vMac variation quoted above. To do this on your host PC, you would extract the .sit and drag the .dsk into the running Mini vMac window to mount the disk image on the emulated desktop.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Right, dsk is not a unique file extension, even the Apple_II had it. Missing resource forks are a common issue when Mac files are moved carelessly over foreign (non Mac) file systems.
I am using MiniVMac_II running MacOS 6.0.8 or 7.5.3 as man in the middle as it can read/write both HFS and MFS. Trial and error in doubt. Wink

For MFS, write support was dropped with MacOS 7.6.1.

MFSLives is a sample VFS plug-in that implements read-only access to the Macintosh File System (MFS) volume format. This volume format debuted on the original Macintosh in 1984, and was supplanted by HFS (the predecessor to HFS Plus) with the introduction of the Macintosh Plus in 1986. MFS support was dropped from traditional Mac OS in Mac OS 8.1, and it has never been supported on Mac OS X. MFS is an excellent volume format for sample code because it's very simple but it allows you to exercise the code paths associated with Macintosh-specific metadata (specifically, Finder info, multi-fork files, and volfs).

(developer.apple.com)

Build environment was Xcode 2.4 in Tiger. I doubt that it would still work with recent Macs.

pagan's picture
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Joined: 2009 May 8

Provided you are using OSX 10.4 and Xcode 2.4, you could try "MFSLives".
I used it successfully myself some years ago.

https://developer.apple.com/legacy/library/samplecode/MFSLives/Introduct...

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

For old images of floppy disks, Type code "DDim" (with Creator code "ddsk") is working too, so I merely lucked out when I tried code "dimg" and if I kept trying other codes would've found others that work too like this "DDim", and you say "DDim" is the correct code for these, fine.

So MFS is mainly 1984-1986, that is sparse. But since I asked, and I still use Tiger OSX a lot, I shall try MFSLives...

SkyCapt's picture
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MFSLives is doing its thing. You had me thinking I must compile using Xcode but the Tiger compiled object is included in the download. Just copy "MFSLives.fs" to System/Library/Filesystems/ and then I needed to change ownership (to match the other filesystems) using Terminal:

sudo chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Filesystems/MFSLives.fs

From old floppy .dsk now I loaded the game "MacCommand" title screen as a picture file and the Frogger (filename="Finder") main menu works, I can remap its motion keys and its eject button works, but not the game, and I must force quit using keys Cmd+option+escape. MFSLives! The exclamation is how it describes MFS volumes in file info. I didn't know MFS has no functionality for subdirectories! aka "folders", very simple, very old.

Author says in his readme that MFSLives uses Tiger tech which would cause older versions of OSX to require a lot more coding to make this work, but maybe newer OSX can work. First I'll try unmodified .fs added to Leopard OSX, very likely won't work, but since we have project sourcecode can't the thing be recompiled using Leopard and then actually work in Leopard.?

blackholemac's picture
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Apple gave MFSLives as sample code in Tiger...Ive always quietly wished that someone with lots of talent would take that code and port it forward all the way to El Capitan or Sierra...doubtful that will happen, but not impossible theoretically as they obviously posted the code to do so for Tiger.

SkyCapt's picture
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MFS is so elementary and 400 - 800kb floppy disk images are so small, I know I can effortlessly write a "BASIC" language program in one of my emulators which extracts all the files of a MFS image in little or no time, in new OSX. But, it is nicer having the official .fs plugin for Finder GUI.

MFSLives stopped getting updated in 2006, before Leopard existed. Stopped being updated probably because Classic Environment stopped being used in Leopard, so you could no longer try running (right away) the code files it extracts. So it by no way means MFSLives can't function in higher OSX, maybe with none or a small amount of tweaking.

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

A Mac OS 8 & 9 counterpart to MFSLives to bring back MFS read/write and mounting capabilities would be certainly welcome. For now, vMac & mini vMac with System 7 would be the most straightforward way.

I wonder what MFSLives source code can teach. Does MFSLives enable both read/write, or just read operations to MFS volumes?

SkyCapt's picture
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Read-only.

The hardest part of accessing old .dsk images can be their creator+type codes. I use DiskCopy 6.5b13 to open everything (but I use DiskCopy 6.3.3 to CREATE images) this means "ddsk" creator code always, and then I have to fight for which 'type' code works, often the .dsk file comes with no code or code that fails. So I try all the type codes I know and usually one works, no pattern yet as to which-why. Use RedEdit to scan the BNDL of the DiskCopy 6.5b13 app resources, and it lists so many codes you can use. "DDim", "dImg", "dimg", "rohd", "devi" many more.

DiskCopy 6.5b13 mounts toast,iso,cdr,img, and most importantly mounts .dmg if the .dmg was created by OSX Panther, not Tiger/after. The .dmg can be bigger than 2GB, right now my OS9 archive is about 25GB. I often skip its checksum verification when mounting it. I also rename .dmg made by Panther meant for OS9 as ".imgx" to indicate their uniqueness. Been happy this way for years. p.s.Panther 10.3.9 forbids super large dmg files for whatever evil apple reason. Needs Panther 10.3.8 or less to make .dmg bigger than what 9GB.

Jatoba's picture
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I also rename .dmg made by Panther meant for OS9 as ".imgx" to indicate their uniqueness.

I like this idea. I may adopt that approach. And I'll be wary of big DMGs created by Panther 10.3.9. I'll use Jaguar 10.2.8 instead.

All .dsk images in the Garden I have come across were DiskDup files so far. DiskDup comes with an app to adjust the Creator/Type to it, which I comfortably use via FinderPop.

Well, MFS, yet another thing for me to keep in mind now. Might as well look into compiling it for PPC Leopard, too (which, as noted in this thread, should probably be "easy"). No idea why Mr. Jobs decided to butcher it off with Mac OS 7.6.1, then for good in 8.
[Edit: Oh, the binary works in Leopard, too, as is? Awesome.]

Tempest's picture
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I'm using OS 9.2.2. How can I write these .dsk images so I can use them on my Mac SE? I know I've done it in the past, but I can't seem to find any program that will write them. I changed the type as suggested above using ResEdit but Disk Dup 6.3 complains that MFS isn't supported by the OS.

I think I can get the .dsk file to my Mac SE, but is there a program that works under System 6 that will write these files?

adespoton's picture
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You've got other issues too -- 400Kb disk drives that can write single sided disks aren't compatible with any system that can run emulation. A better solution is SCSI2SD or similar, so you can just write the dsk file directly to the SD card and read it on the SE.

Basilisk II can be compiled in System 6 mode, and then you can boot in System 6, write to MFS, and write it out directly to a 1.44MB floppy. But you're still going to need the SE to write to a 400kb floppy for booting an MFS-capable Mac like the 128 or 512.

Tempest's picture
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I have a SCSI2SD hooked up to my Mac SE. But I still need to be able to write the .dsk file to a real disk as I doubt these early game will run from a hard drive.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Usually the .dsk files of 400/800K disks were created using DiskDup+ or Pro, which, if your SE has a working floppy disk drive, you will be able to write .dsk files back to floppy disk using DiskDup under System 6. - Up to version 2.7 of DiskDup for System 6 (DL #6 on the DiskDup page tested) and perhaps 2.7.1 would also be OK.

If you extract the archives containing the .dsk images on Mac OS 9.x before transferring them to the SE, make sure they have the correct File & Creator types first. It's difficult to set this under System 6 unless you install "HandOff II, which is a very useful addition to have on hand for System 6 Macs anyway.

If you also install DiskDup on Mac OS 9, then version 2.9.2 (DL #12 on the DiskDup page) includes an autotyper to set the correct DiskDup Creator & File Types. This version and the autotyper are for System 7 and later, so you would need to use this one on OS 9 before moving files across.

Tempest's picture
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Ok that seemed to work. The only thing I couldnt get to work is the autotyper. I see it there and if I click it it says that you just need to drag the file onto it, but that window immediately disappears. If I try and drag the file on the icon, nothing happens. What am I doing wrong?

Also, a little off topic, but I found a weird quirk with my disk drives. If I format a double sided disk on my G3 under OS9 I get an error when I try to copy the file to my System 6 computer (it says the disk is damaged), but if I format the disk under System 6 and then put it in my OS 9 computer and copy the file everything works fine. Weird.

sfp1954's picture
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RE: G3 Floppy Drive
My G3s have Mitsubishi MF355F floppies.
But I think the Sony MPF52A is also compatible.

MikeTomTom's picture
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With AutoTyper's, They are drag and drop items onto the closed icon of the AutoTyper app, only. That is you can't run them and search for the file you want to change.

If it doesn't work for you initially, i.e.; nothing happens when you drag a file over onto it's icon. This indicates that you haven't run them on that Mac before and to get it to work you need to "Rebuild the Desktop". All that means is, is that you need to reboot the Mac while holding the Option and Command keys down as it boots up. The Finder when it loads will ask "Are you sure you want to rebuild the desktop on your HD" and at that stage you can remove your fingers from the keyboard and click OK. It doesn't take long and once you get the desktop back you'll find that the AutoTyper will now work from then on.

About your "off topic" bit; You get that warning from System 6 and earlier systems when you introduce media such as floppy disks that have been formatted on a System 7 or later OS. This is because the System 7 Finder creates two invisible desktop databases on the floppy that System 6 doesn't use or know about, "Desktop DB and Desktop DF" files. Essentially, System 6 just wants to install it's own hidden "Desktop" file into the floppy. - The error message it gives is entirely erroneous in this case and you can safely ignore it. Just let it "repair" the disk and all will be OK.

In reverse - System 7 and later Mac OS's will recognize the System 6 database file and won't barf on it, it will silently write its own desktop database files to the floppy and everything just works.

And what about locked media? System 6 will have a problem if there isn't a compatible System 6 hidden "Desktop" file on locked media, and won't be able to mount the disk. Not much you can do there if the disk is not able to become unlocked and writable.

However, with System 7 and later, if the locked media is HFS formatted and it can't find System 7 compatible Desktop DB & DF files, it does something quite different. If the HFS media is large like an early CD created before System 7 came along, you may see a notice that the Desktop database of the CD is being rebuilt. No need to panic here, as the Finder isn't attempting to write to the mounted locked media. It's writing the desktop database files to it's own System and storing them in the Preferences Folder of the startup disk. This is so that on subsequent reloads of this locked media, the Finder will use the desktop database files stored in the Preferences Folder and will be able to generate the correct icons and layout of the media once it remounts on the Mac's desktop.

Tempest's picture
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That worked! Thank you.