I recently lost my collection of bootleg Atari 400 games, stored on 5.25 floppy disks. What is the best way to recreate those disks? I currently have

  • an Atari 400 console
  • an Atari 1050 disk drive with connecting cable
  • a standard windows 10 desktop PC
  • 1
    What do you want to recreate them from? – user3840170 Jun 20 at 18:52
  • Does the PC hold them? If yes, you might need some serial interface plus software to interpret the format and save it. To give any more detailed information it may be helpful if you could detail the situation a bit more - like what data, where is it stored, what software and Hardware is available and so on. – Raffzahn Jun 20 at 19:12
  • Just copy disk images from a PC and save them on the 1050 atarimax.com/sio2pc/documentation – Brian H Jun 20 at 20:34

Assuming what you want to do is recreate disks from disk images stored on your PC (or accessible from your PC), there are a few ways to go about this, all of which involve extra hardware in one form or another.

Connecting your Atari to your PC

A number of devices allow your PC to act as a “server” for the Atari; in most cases, this is used to provide virtual drives using the PC. These devices connect the SIO port of your Atari (or a daisy-chained SIO device) to one of the PC’s ports, and can be found by searching for “SIO2PC” — there are serial and USB variants, available ready-made or you can build your own (see fred_dot_u’s answer).

Once you a connecting device, software such as RespeQt or AspeQt will allow you to control the PC side of things. On the Atari, the PC appears as a disk drive. You can then mount disk images directly from the PC on the Atari, and either use them immediately, or copy them to physical disks.

Using an alternative disk “drive”

Instead of connecting a PC, you can also connect a drive replacement, which will allow you to store multiple disk images on a more modern storage device, typically an SD card. Search for “SIO2SD” or “SDrive” to find these, again ready-made or with instructions to build your own. Once connected, you can use the disk images in a similar fashion to that described above, either directly or copying them to floppes. The SDrive at least has a variant allowing daisy-chaining in the SIO chain.

In my experience, this is the most practical solution — it allows you to use your Atari without the annoyance of floppy disks and without requiring a connection to your PC either.

Writing floppy disks using a PC-connected device

This is probably the most expensive and least reliable option presented here, especially if you don’t already have an appropriate 5.25” PC floppy drive.

There are a number of USB floppy controllers which allow Atari disk images to be written to floppies. For example, you could use Keir Fraser’s Greaseweazle along with his Disk Utilities and Joe Allen’s Atari Disk Tools to write ATR images to disks.

In practice, as far as 8-bit Ataris are concerned at least, such setups are more appropriate for reading disks than writing them; it’s much better to write Atari disks with Atari drives.


According to this forum site, you can construct (or purchase) a cable to convert from USB (Windows) to SIO (Atari) which will allow you to run files inhabiting the windows computer. The fourteen minute video covers booting the atari (Option held while powering up) from a file mounted to the application running on the windows computer.

The video in the forum also shows that the cable and application will provide individual software entries to run that may not require to be booted.

You'll need a spare SIO cable and a USB cable to cut up and patch together. There are references in the other messages (pages and pages) of RTS/CTS communications and a switch to select one or the other, but the first video and application appear to not involve that aspect of the cable.

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