Where to Buy Double Density (DD) Floppy Disks
Formatting Floppy Disks
Making Back-up copies of PianoSoft floppy disks
Both Yamaha Disklaviers and PianoDisc have control boxes equipped with floppy disk drives (an option on Pianomation and Concert Master systems). Some models use only 2DD (720 Kb) diskettes which only have one square hole in the lower left corner of the diskette. These disks are very hard to find now as the most common disks now to be found, 2HD (1.44 MG). Both disks look the same , but 2HD diskettes have 2 square holes - one in each lower corner of the diskette. Refer to the Chart: Disk and File Formats to determine which diskettes your particular model of Midi Player uses. All models of Disklaviers from the MarkIIXG series and later can use either disk.
Connecting a computer to your Midi Player can eliminate the need for the disk drive on the control box. In this case, you would only need one 2DD disk, usually included with the purchase of the piano, to use over and over again, to make back-up copies of your music disks and save the images and files to the computer’s hard drive. Details describing how to make these connections are explained later in this document, Connecting a Computer to a Midi Player.
It has been said, that in a pinch, you can use black tape to cover the hole on the lower right corner of a 1.44 MB 2HD disk to “fake out” the computer into thinking it is a 2DD 720k disk. I have not always been successful with this and recommend that you buy a supply of 2DD disks while you still can.
Where to Buy Double Density (DD) Floppy disks
Starting with the MarkIIXG Disklaviers you can record songs without using a floppy disk. If you start the Record function without a floppy disk in the disk drive, the songs will automatically be recorded to the memory disk. The memory disk is equal to that of one floppy disk (60 songs in E-Seq format or 99 songs in SMF format) . The new Yamaha Mark III’s have 16 different memory disks! You can always copy songs from the memory disk onto floppy disks and vice versa. You can even copy the copy-protected songs from your Yamaha disks onto the Memory disk(s) for continuous play, but cannot copy these copy-protected songs back out onto other floppies.
For a Yamaha Disklavier, the maximum number of songs that fit on a disk (either DD or HD) is 60 songs in E-Seq format, or 99 songs in SMF (standard midi file). Refer to section on Music File Formats.
Never mix music file formats on a diskette. A single floppy disk should contain all E-Seq files, or SMF format 0 files, or SMF format 1 files!
Formatting Floppy Disks
PianoSoft floppy disks from Yamaha, and floppy disks formatted in the Disklavier cannot be seen by your computer because nothing is written on boot sector of the disk. However, you can format disks on your computer that can be read by the Disklavier. Starting with the MarkIIXG models, any IBM formatted 1.44 MB diskette will do. However, for those models (MX100A/B, MX80, Wagon Grand, and MarkII) that can only read a 720k double density disk, formatting can be an adventure with newer computer operating systems like Windows 2000, NT and XP. I suggest that you obtain or keep an older laptop or desktop computer with a Windows 98 or older operating system that support DOS.
If using Windows 95, 98 or ME: Put a blank floppy in Drive A. Right click on the drive A icon and choose Format. When the format window appears, click the down arrow where it says 1.44 MB and choose 720k format.
If using Windows XP, try the following. Go to the DOS prompt and type: format a: /t:80 /n:9
or click on "Start", select "Run", type in cmd /k format a: /t:80 /n:9 The advantage of using this method is that the long command will be remembered as a pull-down selection when you select the "Run" command as long as you are logged in on the same computer as the same user.
If using DOS, you have several options as well as those listed in the paragraph above. You might also be able to type: format a: /F:720 and press Enter.
Sometimes the DOS prompt that runs in Windows operating systems is "virtual DOS" running in a Window. Disk copy programs will often want you to be running "real" DOS. To do this, you must reboot your computer in DOS mode. This can be done two different ways. You can click "Start", then "Shut down", then choose "Restart in DOS mode" or use or create a Windows start-up disk (boot disk). A boot disk has the system files included on the formatted floppy. This can be done by choosing the floppy drive from My Computer with a blank floppy inserted, and choosing "create boot disk" or when formatting the disk using a DOS command, type: format a: /s Restart the computer with this "boot disk" in the floppy drive and the computer will come up in a real DOS mode. If you do this using Windows XP, you will be able to see the A: drive, but not necessarily the C: drive because Windows 2000, NT and XP do not use the FAT system for formatting the hard drive; rather the NTFS (New Technology File System) is used. DOS can only read FAT (FAT32) formatted drives.
Note: in the above examples examples, I have exaggerated the spaces that appear between the DOS commands so they are noticed! You MUST have one space before each /
Making Back-up Copies of PianoSoft floppy disks
You can make back-up copies of your PianoSoft floppy disks. Use the copies in your Disklavier and put the originals away for safe-keeping. You may also want to copy some songs on the PianoSoft floppies to a hard drive on a computer. Because your computer will not detect the presence of a PianoSoft floppy disk (because nothing is written on the boot sector) you will need to use special software. The free program, dkcopy (part of the dkvutil software) and the shareware programs, AnaDisk and RipARoot, run in DOS. The RootARipper program will work in Windows NT, 2000 and XP. These programs are included on this website in the Software Downloads page and are explained further in the Music Software section. If your MidiPlayer only uses 720k DD disks, you will need a supply of them for your copies, or try taping over the hole in the 1.44 MB floppies with a black, opaque tape.
Both the Disk Copy utility that comes with your operating system, and AnaDisk, make exact copies of the floppy disk you make a back-up copy. The dkcopy and RootARipper programs make a copy of your original PianoSoft disk that can be read by your computer. You can see the individual songs; meaning that you are able to copy these song files to play lists or convert them to a standard MIDI format. More information on this will be in the Music Software section when it is completed.
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