Akai S-950 Upgrades Part4: DD & HD floppy to image conversion

So your Akai came with a bunch of DD and HD floppies, you converted them to images, started a Gotek drive only to be greeted with a message saying unformatted disk, or no disk in drive, etc and you have to facepalm yourself. I know the feeling!

The source of the problem is that Gotek HxC does not like having both DD (double density) and HD (high density) disk images on the same USB stick. Even if you set the configuration file to Auto, and use .hfe rather then .img files it just refuses to work. In fact it took me whole day to find the combination that works. But eventually i found a solution to have the content of both DD and HD images on the same USB stick. You will have to do exactly as described in here, else the things just won’t work.

A bunch of DD and HD floppies that we will eventually put onto this small USB stick.

First thing you will need a Windows based computer with a floppy disk drive. You will install HxCFloppyEmulator software onto it. You will then insert your Akai floppy and press Floppy Disk Dump. The program might ask you to install an extra driver in here, so install it if it says so. Once the floppy is being read, use Export, and export it as .hfe file. Make sure you label the files sequentially as DSKA0000.hfe, DSKA0001.hfe etc. I suggest you dump first all of the DD disks, then the HD disks into separate folder.

Here are the same floppies in .img format. I used Omniflop on my old WinXP machine to read the floppies because i thought i would use them as .img files. In the end this method just didn’t work right with mixed DD & HD content, so i advise you to go directly .hfe export via HxC2001 software. Pro tip: Don’t bother with OmniFlop.

Keep in mind what is being described in here applies only if your Akai came with mixed DD and HD floppies. If it only came with HD then you are set already and can write the config file to your FAT32 formatted USB stick, with following settings.

These settings work 100%. Save this config to your USB stick and you’re set.

Now comes the tricky part. You will need to use two USB sticks temporarily. This is in fact the only solution that worked. Eventually it will all end on one single USB stick so this is just the temporary phase. Take the second USB stick, make sure it is FAT32, start HxC2001 and make another configuration and export it onto that USB stick. The configuration will differ slightly, instead of AKAI S950 HD set under the Mode, you will have to choose S950 DD. Think of these two USB sticks as two different floppy drives: one is the DD (double density) the other is HD (high density). Hence one will contain only the DD images, while other only the HD images.

Now count the number of DD floppies. Let’s say you have 12 of them. That means you will need to generate 12 HD empty floppies. Go into HxC, make sure you have set it to S950 HD and generate an empty floppy image. Please read HxC “Floppy Emulator Software – Step by Step Guide” to learn how to generate an empty floppy image. Make sure to select Predefined Disk Layout for Akai S-950. Once the file has been generated you will need to copy it 11 more times. Pro tip: You can in fact copy them a few more times, because it doesn’t hurt to have extra spare few empties for your own sampling purposes, and ONE extra empty that you can archive, so that you don’t have to start HxC2001 software each time you want an empty S950 floppy image. Always make sure to label these new files sequentially. For example: Let’s suppose you have 15 HD floppies that you converted into images and have put them onto an USB stick. The are labeled DSKA0000.hfe – DSKA0014.hfe, that means you will need to label your empty HD images starting with DSKA0015.hfe and continuing sequentially up. More importantly there can be NO gaps between file numbers. The sequence always must be continuous, ie: 0017, 0018, 0019…

The image above shows that we have two USB sticks. On USB stick one we have DD floppy disk images with appropriate HXCSDFE configuration file that we generated earlier for S950 DD floppies. The second stick contains our HD disk images, with appropriate HXCSDFE configuration file for HD images, plus our new empty images that we just generated (shown in blue), plus a few extra empties (shown in purple color) for our own sampling.

What we are doing here is getting 12 HD floppies on which we will save our 12 DD floppies. Because for some reason Gotek does not like having both HD and DD flopy image files on the same USB stick. And this is the source of all the problems, and why we are doing this workaround at the first place.

Now it’s our time to start the “conversion process”. Our goal is to convert our DD images into HD format, so that we can work with HD images only, because that’s how Gotek HxC wants to work, and there aren’t many alternatives around. First you will insert the USB stick that contains DD floppy images. You will start the Akai, and load whole disk using DISK / 02 Clear mem & load disk. Once the DD disk has been loaded insert the second USB stick and save the content of your memory onto the HD disk using DISK / 05 Clear volume and save entire memory. And that it pretty much it!

Remove the second USB, insert the first one and repeat the process. Don’t forget to choose next disk on your Gotek drive using Next button. In our example we would insert USB stick 1 and load a file called 000, we would then insert USB stick 2 and save onto the file called 015 (shown on Gotek’s LED display). Once you finished all DD floppies and they have been saved onto HD images, you can toss away the USB stick with DD images and from now on only use second USB stick which is all HD images.

Doggo approves!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *