How to image Atari ST disks

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How to image Atari ST disks

Post by marakatti » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:46 pm

Pasti-imaging using Atari ST and / or Windows

Most important things first. ALWAYS write-protect your original games disks before you start imaging them. This quickstart guide was written either for Transfer Disk (standard ST) or for Direct Imaging (ST with hard disk or similar) and Steem-emulator (

Other thing to remember is that because disks are old (and in many case not used for years) there might be some dirt on the disk surface.
Unless game comes in a sealed box it's best to image the disk couple of times as this will clean the disk surface.
Doing especially Pasti-images is a slow process so scanning the disk couple times with Fcopy III or similar tool ( ... stcpy3.lzh) will also help.

If possible use another diskdrive for that so the one you use for imaging don't get too dirty. Or use disk cleaning kit frequently.
This will result a better working image as at the moment it's hard to say if the image is completely error free or not. Only way to find out is to play the game till the end, but in many cases it's very hard.

Apart from Steem you will need the following files: for Atari ST and PC tools for Steem to support Pasti

You also need:
-Atari ST computer running at 8Mhz without modifications. Mega STe is also fine but you need to use 8MHz / no cache mode to make it work.
-Windows-machine with floppydisk drive and Steem emulator installed.

A) Transfer Disk
1. Transferdisk initialize
For the first time you need to prepare a "Transfer Disk". This is the disk that will be swapped from ST to PC drive to produce a working Pasti-image. There's good instructions how to do it on documentation, but here's the short version.
a) Format standard 720Kb disk that works on both machines. Do not use any extended formats, they won't be readable by Windows.
b) Check that the disk is readable by both machines.
c) Run Pastitools.exe on Windows machine to initialize Transfer Disk. (Transfer -> Initialize Transfer Disk)

Now the disk is ready so the real work can start

2. Making Pasti-image using transfer disk
a) Select Transfer -> Start Transfer... from Pastitools.exe (Windows)
b) Run PASTI.PRG on Atari ST
c) Check that the Xfer is selected from the "Mode" box.
d) Put the original ST gamedisk in drive A and click Start.
e) Pasti-program starts reading the gamedisk and asks for Transfer Disk after a while. Remove the gamedisk and insert Transfer Disk in Drive A. It now writes the first part of the image-file.
f) When the first part is written to the Transfer Disk, put it to the PC disk drive and select OK. To save some time put the ST gamedisk back to ST drive so it continues reading the next segment.
g) Repeat this as many times as the programs asks for disk change. Some games require more swapping than others, this is because they use bigger disks format (double sided for example)
h) When the final round of swapping transfer disk is done, you can save the image to Windows hard drive and test it with Steem.

3. Testing the Pasti-image
a) Unpack to the same folder where your Steem.exe is.
b) Run Steem and you should see an info box about the Pasti extension.
c) Pasti support can be activated from Disk Manager -> Use Pasti and configured from Disk Manager -> Pasti Configuration.
d) From Pasti-configuration select "Max Accuracy"

When testing the image, please do not use fast forward and make sure Steem has the original 8Mhz ST configuration. Loading Pasti-image is slower than on real ST so don't worry, this is normal. If everything went fine, you should now see your game running on Steem.
If it didn't, retry doing the image again. In some cases the original can't be imaged at all, or your disk might be damaged.
If you're sure there's no copyprotection, you can try other tools like MSA ( ... ) to make usable file for emulation use.

B) Direct Imaging
If you have a hard disk, making Pasti-images is much more joy. I use MegaSTe / TOS 2.06 / 1.44Mb disk drive / hard disk combination.

1. Making the image
a) If you have MegaSTe, make sure that the machine is set to 8Mhz with cache OFF. This can be done for example with XCONTROL.ACC.
b) Transfer the contect of on your ST hard disk.
d) Select FILE from the Mode-box, then click on FSEL ... from Destination-box. Insert filename for the pasti-image with STX-extension.
e) Put your original ST gamedisk to Drive A and click START. If you want you can select the VERBOSE to see information from every track.
f) When imaging is ready, repeat from d).

2. Transfering image to PC
Double sided image-files can have size close to 2Mb. This is normal, so transfering them with floppy can be tricky.
- If you have 1.44Mb floppy drive in your Atari, you can pack the STX-files for example with ST-ZIP ( ) and transfer them using floppy disk to Windows.
- If you only have 720Kb floppy drive in your Atari, you will have some difficulties to fit the double sided pasti-images on the disk even after packing. In this case you can use an ST program called SPLITTER.PRG to cut the file half ( ). Remember to install the same program on your Steem hard disk too to join the file back again.

3) Activating Steem hard disk emulation:
a) Go to Disk Manager -> Hard Drive -> New Hard Drive -> Browse, select folder you want to act as an ST hard drive.
b) Make sure Disable All Hard Drives has no checkbox.
c) Reset Steem and wait for the GEM Desktop to appear.
d) Click once on Disk A icon.
e) Select Options -> Install Disk Drive.
f) Replace Drive Identifier letter A with C and click Install.
g) Go to Options -> Save Desktop -> OK.
h) Depack files using your favourite Windows/Linux unzipper into the folder you selected earlier.
i) Go back to Steem GEM Desktop.
j) Drive C and run the ST program.

That's it :)
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Re: How to image Atari ST disks

Post by Greyfox » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:41 am

Very helpful information here, many thanks for your efforts on this :)
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Re: How to image Atari ST disks

Post by marakatti » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:01 pm

Thanks :)
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