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Interface a Microbee CIAB to 5.25" floppy drives - Printable Version

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Interface a Microbee CIAB to 5.25" floppy drives - ChickenMan - 11-10-2021

Thanks to forthnutter for making this disk available from the MUGWA Disk collection. I have had this disk image for many years because the software did not work when testing in both ubee512 or MAME emulators. Time to check it out further.

Thanks to vivid for re-imaging the original 3.5" MUGWA disk 100% error free but unfortunately it also did not work in the emulators. Is there a problem with the emulators handling this program, so it was time to test it on a real CIAB. 

Thanks to kimjohn for testing it out on his working CIAB (mine's in pieces and not working at the moment).  He wrote the disk image to a real 3.5" floppy, booted it and had a 5.25" double sided 40 track drive as B:. He was able to format the 5.25" floppy and copy all the files from A: to the B: drive and was able to run all the programs from B: (was not possible using the emulators). So it works on a real CIAB but not the emulators. He also booted up his 128k Microbee that has 5.25" drives attached and was able to read and run the programs on the new 5.25" disk made on the CIAB.

The programs were written by Peter Allison in April 1985. There is a very good Manual on the disk, CIABU.DOC, which provides for further information. From that DOC :-

There are two programs which must be run from the CP/M prompt
(or auto executed on a cold boot which this image does). They are:-

2. DRVS160.COM

DRVS80.COM will enable 40 track double sided drives to be used.
The format is as for standard microbee 5.25" drives.
DRVS160.COM will enable 80 track double sided drives to be used.
The format is non standard but double the capacity.

In both cases the software assumes that drive A: is a 3.5" drive and
drives B: and/or C: are 5.25" drives.

Two further programs are necessary to enable formatting of the disks.
It is essential that the standard formatter supplied with the system is
present on the disk. Each program corresponds to the above formats.

This disk images auto boots and runs DRVS80, so setup for 40 track 5.25" drives. Use SETUP to change if needed.


So a big thanks to everyone involved in getting and confirming that this software works on a real CIAB Microbee. It could be useful to CIAB owners that want to extend their existing system or even transferring software from one one disk type to the other.

So in the MbeeTech Repository in the Microbee\Software\System_Disks folder we placed