DSS-1 unformatted disk source – Updated 11/24/04    

Major update and exciting news !!!

As you may have discovered, Copy QM is VERY particular about the disks
it uses when you are trying to write a disk from one of the disk images you may
have downloaded. Disk images are, “filename.dsk.” Copy QM insists that you
start with a blank unformatted disk. The trouble is that unformatted DSDD disks
are virtually impossible to find, especially in small quantities.

Today, I was successful making a DSS-1 disk using CopyQM and an old disk
that had been used in my PC 1.44 Mb floppy drive. I erased the disk completely
with a bulk tape eraser.  I would expect most any bulk tape eraser will work. But,
the high power erasers are recommended for erasing floppy disks.

New bulk tape erasers are not a real common item today.  I bought a like new one
from e-bay for under $20.  Mine is the Radio Shack / Realistic “Catalog # 44-233A
high power video / audio tape eraser.” It worked perfectly.

If you have never used a bulk eraser, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. As you erase,
you should first start with the object against the eraser and move it around for a
couple of seconds.  You should gradually pull the disk away from the eraser while
it is still ON so that the disk slowly moves out of the magnetic field. This action
leaves the most random magnetic pattern on the disk.  Also, I rotate the disk about
one half way around manually and erase a second time.  The metal slide cover
might shield a small portion of the disk from erasure.

Also be aware not to get the eraser within close proximity of other important magnetic
media. You will destroy all data.  And finally, most erasers have a VERY light duty
cycle. Mine for example can run only for one minute and then needs a 30 minute rest.
In that one minute, I might expect to erase 3 or 4 disks.

If you are using a DSHD instead of DSDD for your DSS-1 images, be sure to cover
the extra hole that identifies the disk to the PC as HD.  Otherwise, CopyQM will reject
the disk.  After the disk is written, you can remove the tape before you place it in your
DSS-1.  The DSS-1 does not monitor that hole.

Amazingly enough, after the erasing procedure, I was able to use that disk over and
over again to write DSS-1 disks from the images without going through the erasing
procedure each time. As always, your mileage may vary.

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