Fileformat information

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marakatti
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Fileformat information

Post by marakatti » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:52 pm

Atarimania offers dumps in a couple of differents formats. After depacking ZIP-files you download from Atarimania they usually contain either STX, ST or MSA disk images or a directory full of files. Here's some information how to get started.

STX (Pasti)
Image format developed by Jorge Cwik (http://pasti.fxatari.com/) to preserve original protected disk in 100% original form. Because it's Atarimania's goal to preserve software in as original form as possible, this is our primary fileformat. Please keep in mind that STX-files also include protections like password, codewheel, dongle etc. so you can't use most of the Pasti dumps without having an original contents of the gamebox too. At the time of writing Pasti-images can't be written back to Atari ST disk without some special hardware.

Support
At the time of writing there are two emulators with Pasti support; Steem version 3.2 or later (http://steem.atari.st/) and SainT version 1.85 or later. (http://leonard.oxg.free.fr/SainT/saint.html). Both are for Windows.
As far as we know there's no Pasti support available for Mac or Linux emulators yet.

How to use
Download pasti.dll (http://pasti.fxatari.com/downloads/PastiDll_02h.zip)
Depack it into the same folder where your steem.exe is installed.
Next time you start Steem, you will see Pasti information box.
Pasti support can be activated from Disk Manager -> Use Pasti and configured from Disk Manager -> Pasti Configuration.
Please read more about the options from the document file included in PastiDll_02h.zip

ST
Imageformat used for non-protected disks. It was originally developed for an early MS-DOS based ST emulator PaCifiST (http://www.atari.st/pacifist/).

Support
ST-format is supported virtually by all ST-emulators on various platforms. For the best experience we recommend using Steem (http://steem.atari.st/) [Windows, Linux], SainT (http://leonard.oxg.free.fr/SainT/saint.html) [Windows], Hatari (http://hatari.berlios.de/) [Windows, Linux, Mac OS X] or NoSTalgia (http://users.skynet.be/sky39147/) for earlier Mac OS systems.

How to use
Just load the file into your favourite emulator and start using it. If your emulator supports only MSA-images, you can convert these using MSA Converter (http://msaconverter.free.fr/index-uk.html)
More information on how to setup different emulators can be found from the above mentioned websites.

MSA
Imageformat originally used by Atari ST program Magic Shadow Archiver. Difference between Magic Shadow Archiver and other Atari ST packers is that MSA-files contain the whole disk information including bootsector, number of tracks and sectors etc. rather than just a directory full of files like Zip or Rar-packers do.

Support
MSA-format is supported virtually by all ST-emulators on various platforms. For the best experience we recommend using Steem (http://steem.atari.st/) [Windows, Linux], SainT (http://leonard.oxg.free.fr/SainT/saint.html) [Windows], Hatari (http://hatari.berlios.de/) [Windows, Linux, Mac OS X] or NoSTalgia (http://users.skynet.be/sky39147/) for earlier Mac OS systems.

How to use
Just load the file into your favourite emulator and start using it. If your emulator supports only ST-images, you can convert them using MSA Converter (http://msaconverter.free.fr/index-uk.html)
More information on how to setup different emulators can be found from the above mentioned websites.

ZIP-packed directory
Files we use for different types of native TOS-files when the formats above are not necessary or the title is designed to run on Atari TT or Falcon030. Usually they are for titles that can be run from emulated hard disk. ZIP-files contain native Atari TOS-compatible runnable files like PRG, APP, TTP or TOS along with the required datafiles.

Support
Every emulator with virtual hard disk support is able to run these files. This includes Steem (http://steem.atari.st/) [Windows, Linux], Hatari (http://hatari.berlios.de/) [Windows, Linux, Mac OS X] or NoSTalgia (http://users.skynet.be/sky39147/) for earlier Mac OS systems.
Many of ZIP-packed Atari TT or Falcon030 titles can used either with Hatari (http://hatari.berlios.de/) or ARAnyM (http://aranym.sourceforge.net/)

How to use
Steem:
Go to Disk Manager -> Hard Drive -> New Hard Drive -> Browse, select folder you want to act as an ST hard drive.
Make sure Disable All Hard Drives has no checkbox.
Reset Steem and wait for the GEM Desktop to appear.
Click once on Disk A icon.
Select Options -> Install Disk Drive.
Replace Drive Identifier letter A with C and click Install.
Go to Options -> Save Desktop -> OK.
Depack files using your favourite Windows/Linux unzipper into the folder you selected earlier.
Go back to Steem GEM Desktop.
Open Drive C and run the ST program.

Hatari:
Press F12 for the main menu.
Select Hard Disk -> GEMDOS Drive -> Browse, select folder you want to act as an ST hard drive.
Click Boot from HD active.
Click Back to mainmenu -> Reset machine
Reset Hatari and wait for the GEM Desktop to appear.
Click once on Disk A icon, select Options -> Install Disk Drive.
Replace Drive Identifier letter A with C and click Install.
Go to Options -> Save Desktop -> OK.
Depack files using your favourite Windows / Linux / Mac OS X unzipper into the folder you selected earlier.
Go back to Hatari GEM Desktop.
Open Drive C and run the ST, TT or Falcon030 program.

Make sure to rename your ST directories in TOS compatible 8+3 characters format before trying to open them from an emulated hard drive. Otherwise your folders may not open at all.

More information about different disk imaging options on various platforms can be found from AtariForumWiki -> Disk Imaging (https://web.archive.org/web/20090504211 ... sk_Imaging)

Atarimania ST Team
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Re: Fileformat information

Post by Petari » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:56 am

Some additional notes:
Pasti (STX) format is actually not usable for writing org. SW in original format onto floppies. Even if such HW would exist - what is not case, btw. Format just holds not all necessary information for that task. Some people worked on it, as worked on STX support for HxC HW floppy emulator, and that works not for big % of images.
So, we may say that STX should be used in emulators only. In meantime some real usable image formats and HW appeared - KryoFlux and SPC (Super Card Copier) - with that you can copy almost everything - at price of pretty large image files + need to buy device (usually USB adapter for PC - where attach floppy drive).

ST format is actually just content of all sectors dumped in row - same as IMG format, for instance. In case of double sided floppies order is: first all sectors from track 0, side A, then all sectors from track 0, side B, then track 1, side A ....

Support: http://atari.8bitchip.info/floimgd.php
For making floppy images, writing images onto floppies, file extraction, injection. Not for copy protected stuff.
SW above is usable on PCs with internal floppy drive - you need it, because Windows limitations. But even without floppy drive you can perform quickly image format conversions like ST to MSA and vs.
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