What's an ADF?

On the internet you can find so called ADF's. ADF stands for Amiga Disk File. This file is a exact copy of an amiga disk. They just read a disk from track 0 to track 79 and put al the data in one transferable file: the ADF-file. The file format is used by emulators like Fellow and WinFellow.
ADF also has got a (little) brother called DMS. This is also a file that can be treated like an Amiga disk. You can convert ADF's to DMS's and from DMS to ADF with a DOS program named XDMS (click here to download).


You can write ADF-file back to your Amiga and you also can make ADF's yourself. In this way you can backup all your favorite games, play them on WinFellow and write the ADF-file back to an amiga disk. It is fairly simple.
An ADF remaining on your PC can be tranfered to your Amiga via a serial nullmodem cable. Then you can use a utility (ADF2DISK) to write it back to an original Amiga disk. Also this proces can be reversed and you can read an Amiga disk to an ADF remaining in the RAM of the Amiga. From the RAM it can be send to a PC through a serial nullmodem cable.

Howto transfer the transfer software?!

To transfer data between the PC and Amiga and vice versa you must run specific software on each of them. This is your first problem: How to transfer your software that is needed for the transfer? The chicken and the egg. You can solve this problem by:

  • Using software that can read PC formatted disk

    If you have KickROM version 2.0 (or higher) and the Workbench 2.0 (or higher) disks then this software is already on these disks. The first thing you should do is formatting a 3.5" double density disk on your PC. You can copy the files that you need to this disk (for example: TwinExpress). Start the Amiga with Workbench 2.0 (or higher) and put the disk in your Amiga diskdrive (DF0:). You can find the needed software in the "/storage/dosdrivers" directory. If you run the file "PC0" your Amiga will automatically detect that the disk in DF0: is an DOS-formatted disk and an extra icon will appear. For using DF1: run "PC1". You can click on it and as you see the file you put on them are now visible (if not so try the "Window" workbench menu and select Show -> All Files).
  • Asking a fellow amiga user to write the disk with the transfer software

    If you have some friends that also own an Amiga you could ask them to put the transfer software on a disk. If you don't have friends that own a Amiga or worse you don't have any friends at all you can ask for it in the amiga newsgroup (comp.sys.amiga.misc).
Transfer from PC to Amiga

There are many ways to transfer an ADF from your PC to your Amiga. The possibilities are strongly related to size of the memory of your Amiga and if it has a harddisk. You must have transfered the transfer software so you can run tranfer-software on the Amiga and the PC. A good program for transfering an ADF is TwinExpress (click here to download). This program enables you to transfer data through a nullmodem cable (also know as a crossover cable). You can use a standard nullmodem cable (3 data lines) or a fast nullmodem cable (7 data lines). Connect the nullmodem cable between your COM (communications) port (or serial port) of your PC and the serial port of the Amiga. Start TwinExpress on the Amiga and start it on the PC. You will probably need to terminate and start TwinExpress again on your PC because it doesn't always connect right away. Make sure you have the correct COM port number that you must supply to TwinExpress on the PC when running it. You can check your available COM ports under Win9x by a right clicking the mouse on the 'my computer' icon on your desktop. Choose 'properties'. Now click on the 'Device Manager'. Under ports (com & lpt) you can see which ports are available. Now TwinExpress is running on both computers and has made a connection between them you can transfer data. You can either use TwinExpress on the Amiga or the PC. For transferring files it does not mather because the same interface. Here is how to copy an ADF named 'game' in the directory C:\ADFS from your PC to dh0:adfs on your Amiga when working in TwinExpress on your PC:

TWIN> copy c:\adfs\game.adf ~ram:game.adf

Transfer from Amiga to your PC

You can also use TwinExpress to copy files from your Amiga to your PC:

TWIN> copy ~ram:game.adf c:\adfs\game.adf

An ADF is 880Kb (880 x 1024 = 901120 bytes) and when transferring this data it must be stored somewhere on the Amiga before writting it back to disk. The problem is that alot of Amigas only have 512Kb (Chip)RAM. So the ADF cannot be temporarely stored on the ramdisk (RAM:). Even 1024Kb RAM isn't enough because the running operating system also uses memory. If you have a harddisk or more than 1536Kb RAM you can transfer the ADF to one of them.

Less then 1536Kb solution

You can you the utility TRANSDISK that allows you to break ADF files down into multiple parts. This way you don't have to store the whole ADF at once in memory. First you need to execute a CLI command shell (standard Amiga shell). CLI> transdisk >RAM:part_1.adf -s 0 -e 19 This will read the first 20 tracks of the disk in DF0:, and save it to RAM: as "part_1.adf". You can transfer this file to your PC and free the space on the Amiga ramdisk when ready. Now you can make the next part and send it also to the PC. This continues until you have send al parts to the PC. The number of parts is depending on the size of the memory. When having 512Kb you must use 4 parts or more, with 1024Kb memory you only ahve to use 2 parts. This example uses four parts:

CLI> transdisk >RAM:part_2.adf -s 20 -e 39

Transfer this file to your PC and after that free Amiga RAM
CLI> transdisk >RAM:part_3.adf -s 40 -e 59

Transfer this file to your PC and after that free Amiga RAM
CLI> transdisk >RAM:part_4.adf -s 60 -e 79

Transfer this file to your PC and after that free Amiga RAM
Once you've transferred all parts, issue the following command under DOS on your PC:

C:\> copy /B part_1.adf+part_2.adf+part_3.adf+part_4.adf whole.adf

This way is the ONLY way for people with Amiga that have less than 1536Kb RAM or not having a harddisk. Buying an upgrade can make your life easier.

Writting the ADF back to disk

Once the ADF is transfered to the harddisk or to the ramdisk you can write it back to an original Amiga disk. The utility performing this task is ADF2DISK (click here to download). You must put a blank disk in DF0: and start ADF2DISK by the following command:

CLI> adf2disk RAM:whole.adf

The ADF named "whole.adf" will be written to the disk.

At this moment i don't know if people with less than 1536Kb can use the part-trick backwards to write ADF parts to the disk by specifying the tracks to write. The problem is that i do not know the possible parameters with ADF2DISK. If someone knows, please email me!

Making an ADF on the Amiga

As seen in the text above you also can make your own ADF's from original Amiga disks. The program Transdisk (click here to download) does the trick. You can use the following command to make an ADF red from DF0:

CLI> transdisk >RAM:game.adf -s 0 -e 79

In this way the whole ADF will be transfered to the RAM-disk. So if you don't have enough memory you must do it the way explained in 'Less then 1536Kb solution'. Next you can transfer this ADF as explained in 'Transfer between PC and Amiga'.

Good luck!