Low level floppy interface projects

Some interesting projects recently to read and write floppy disks - often being multi-format capable and sometimes capable of duplicating various copy-protected images. Sometimes the documentation gives a great introduction to the low-level realities.

FluxEngine by David Given uses a cheap Cypress dev board, USB-connected to a host, and can now “write Macintosh 800kB GCR disks using a normal PC drive.”

GreaseWeazle by Kier Fraser uses Blue Pill (another STM32 ARM board)

See also previously
A Hilarious and Ingenious Disc Protection Scheme for the BBC Micro
(and further topics linked within.)


That reminds me of this Jimmy Maher article on the copy protection schemes used at the time.

This article will offer just a glimpse of how copy protection began and how it evolved over its first decade, as seen through the schemes that were applied to four historically significant games that we’ve already met in other articles: Microsoft Adventure for the TRS-80, Ultima III for the Apple II, Pirates! for the Commodore 64, and Dungeon Master for the Atari ST. Sit back, then, and join me on a little tour through the dawn of DRM.

1 Like

Oh, there’s another one!


DiscFerret is a combination of hardware and software that allows a standard desktop computer to read, analyse and decode the data on almost any floppy disc, and most MFM and RLL hard disc drives. This includes standard formats like PC DOS, but also more unusual formats like AmigaDOS, Apple (II and Mac GCR), Commodore 64, and also more esoteric formats like those used on the Intel MDS/ISIS, Northstar and Sirius-Victor 9000 platforms. Imaging is performed at the lowest possible level – that of magnetic transitions, which allows everything which can be represented on-disc to be imaged for later analysis.

1 Like