My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

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My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Tempest » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:52 pm

Much to my horror I discovered that my original Kings Quest disk has gone bad. Is there an easy way to fix it? I was thinking that I could copy over the bad disk with a known good copy of the game but I don't know if the disk images that are out there are altered in some way. I assume they're cracked, but if it's in a way that is not noticeable I'm fine with that.

To overwrite the disk do I have to notch it? I have to do that on my Apple II disks.
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Re: My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Hargle » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:46 am

To re-write it, the original disk will need to be notched.
Re-writing it may not correct the issue- if the disk is going bad, the media itself may be failing.

I would make a couple images of the disk as it is currently (teledisk and standard sector dump) and see where the failing sectors are. Using the disk images, we can then compare those files against other copies that exist in the wild to find the exact match for what you have. Unless you have a crazy rare version of KQ, I'm quite certain we collectively have the missing data that you're searching for.
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Re: My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Tempest » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:20 am

It's not the first version but the second version of the PCjr specific version. At least I think. Nothing rare.

It actually loads the title screen and credits but when it goes to access data for the first screen it gives me a read error. I can try and make an image of the disk, but it would probably just be easier to notch it and copy over it.
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Re: My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Brutman » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:08 pm

I would not notch the original diskette just to overwrite it. I would just shelve it and get a new diskette that I can write an image to and use that to play on instead.

If you really do want to write the diskette, the write protect mechanism on the floppy drive looks to be easy to defeat.

Years ago I figured out that if I wanted to enjoy this stuff long term that I was going to have to invest in spare parts, books, an learn how to debug. Early on I made diskette images of all of my personal diskettes. I used standard disk imaging software for non-copy protected stuff. For copy protected stuff I used Teledisk and a Central Point Option Board that I paid really good money for. As a result my disks are imaged and as long as I can keep the old hardware running, the diskettes can be recreated.

I'd suggest investing in some spare parts and building this capability. It makes you less reliant on others when things go wrong and for some of this obscure stuff if you don't do it yourself it won't get done.
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Re: My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Tempest » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:08 pm

How do you defeat the write protect tab? That may be the easiest way to go about this.
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Re: My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Brutman » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:28 pm

Look at your drive - it's a mechanical interlock. If there is a write protect tab in place or no notch, the switch is up. If there is a notch then the switch is down. A fancy drive might use an optical sensor.

Either way, with some minor hacking you can defeat the sensor.
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Re: My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Tempest » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:19 am

Brutman wrote:Look at your drive - it's a mechanical interlock. If there is a write protect tab in place or no notch, the switch is up. If there is a notch then the switch is down. A fancy drive might use an optical sensor.

Either way, with some minor hacking you can defeat the sensor.


My drive is the standard QumeTrak 142.
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Re: My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Tempest » Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:12 pm

So I decided to 're-create' my Kings Quest disk using an IMG file. Before I overwrote my disk I decided to try it out on a blank disk, and it doesn't appear to have worked. I get nothing when the system attempts to load the game (the drive accesses is for a moment but then it stops). I tried both the image labeled Kings Quest [DC] and the one labeled Kings Quest (pcjr) [DC] and both of them failed. Is there a good clean .img file of Kings Quest that I can use?
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Re: My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Tempest » Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:17 pm

I decided to test some of my other original disks to see if they've gone bad and found a few:

The Worlds Greatest Baseball game
Trivia 103 (Challenges for Young People)
3-K Trivia - I got 3-K Trivia to load once, but the loading screen was all messed up (game seemed ok once it started though).

I wonder how many of my issues are due to my flaky drive and media that might be starting to have issues. I should be getting a new drive in a few weeks so I can try it again before declaring my disks dead. However I tried the various .img files I found on the net and couldn't get them to work either (3-K trivia did the same thing, Kings Quest never seems to load, and I couldn't find one for WGBG). Anyone else have this problem or is it just me?
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Re: My Kings Quest Disk Has Gone Bad

Postby Tempest » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:56 pm

Just a little update on this. As it turns out it was my disk drive that was bad, I got a new one and everything works just fine now.
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