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I recently got my first Amstrad CPC and started refurbishing it. Now I wonder, I saw a video, on someone using the RPM test tool for the Amstrad. I found the download online, but this question might sound silly.... how do I get in todays infrastructure a *.dsk program on a 3" disk, when the disk drive itself is currently being refurbished. I am quite new to this, so I seek some advice from you here :)

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The easiest (and my recommended) way:

Get an M4 board. This expansion allows to push .dsk images to an SD card connected to your CPC via a simple Web browser and Wi-Fi interface. From there, you could easily transfer the contents of the disk to a real 3" disk (if you still want that)

Other ways are

  1. Disk transfer - This obviously needs a 3" floppy drive connected to your PC (not so easy, because you first need to have a PC that still has a "real" floppy controller, then you need to hardware-adapt the non-standard 3" drive to that controller).
  2. Tape transfer - If you only want to run one specific program on your CPC, you should obtain that program as a .TZX or .CDT tape image, this can then be converted to a .wav sound file, which can then be transfered to the CPC using its tape input sockets with a .wav-player on the PC.
  3. Serial port transfer - If you have a serial interface for your CPC, you could also use that - The simplest way in your case would then probably be using the CP/M system disk that came with your CPC, boot into CP/M and use PIP to transfer files.
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. how do I get in todays infrastructure a *.dsk program on a 3" disk, when the disk drive itself is currently being refurbished.

I sense a basic plot hole: Even if you would get it on a disk (*1), how to start it from that disk if the drive is not operational?

Puting that aside, a proper way would be loading (only) the program needed via cassette port, like using dsk2cdt2disc and a sound interface (or recording it on a casette), a parallel interface, or going ahead and getting yourself some MMC/SD-Card interface, which can emulate a drive with files from an SD-CARD written on a PC.


*1 - Like by attaching another drive to some (older) PC and use some disk transfer program.

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    Getting a standard, non-protected disk to load on a CPC is relatively easy within quite a wide range of RPM deviation due to the CPC's relatively robust disk format - non-protected disks will load probably within a range of 280-320 RPM. It's the protected disks that are way more tricky and will only load on drives that are close to 300 RPM. So, once you have the program on a disk, it might actually load flawlessly, even on a de-adjusted drive.
    – tofro
    Nov 21 '20 at 10:02
  • @tofro True. That would have been my first try anyway. The OP sounds a bit like as if he has dismantled the machine already, making it somewhat hard to use.
    – Raffzahn
    Nov 21 '20 at 10:59
  • You guys are seriously awesome. Thank you for the fast reply. I just found out, I find myself at VERY beginning of learning how things work. I have a fairly decent understanding of electronics, but I am very noob-ish when it comes to the basics of the setups I need. Just started out in this hobby but I am already hooked. I will look into these solutions, and for sure cry around for more support :) Thank you everyone
    – retronexus
    Nov 21 '20 at 15:12
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    @retronexus You're welcome. Interestingly several RC.SE members have great in detail knowledge about the CPC series and the'll love to help. As better you prepare a question, as more likely the answer will hit it home.
    – Raffzahn
    Nov 21 '20 at 16:00
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I have a "Gotek USB floppy emulator" in my CPC6128 (with ParaDOS and the 3.5" FDD interface mod). It has the same connector as the floppy drive and the USB connector for the USB Flash Drive. You just copy the .dsk file to this USB Flash (under the specific name, see the manual), plug it into the Gotek, and voila, it works like the floppy drive! So I believe it could work as an "external floppy drive" together with the original 3" FDD, so you can use both drives and transfer software between them.

(Disclaimer: I did not try it!)

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    Probably best to use one reflashed with FlashFloppy. It's more featureful than the default Gotek firmware.
    – ssokolow
    Nov 21 '20 at 15:01

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