Amstrad expert anyone?

  algernonymous 22:40 14 Jul 2007

A friend has an Amstrad APC386SX and we'd like to copy - via floppy- data from it to his latest PC, however on booting up I get the message:

'Insert a SYSTEM disk into drive A
Press CTRL+ALT+S to run SETUP or any other key to continue'

Pressing any key just repeats the message, and I don't have any system disks. If I run setup, will that erase the data?
Any other options?
Would the data be compatible with a Windows PC?


  ambra4 22:45 14 Jul 2007

IT look like the floppy is bad or dirty when last he used it

  phono 00:10 15 Jul 2007

I did a Google on Amstrad APC386SX and only got 4 hits, none of them were in English I might add.

Without more information it would appear that it would be easier deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls than trying to recover the data from these floppies.

Is there any chance that can you use a serial or parallel connection to transfer the data concerned to a different media?

Post back with any results or comments.

  ambra4 01:19 15 Jul 2007

You can try this

Remove hard drive and install as a SLAVE drive on the new PC

You must change the jumper on the hhd to slave and connect to the second connector on the ribbon cable that the first hhd is on

Reboot pc and see if slave drive, open my computer and see if you have a "D" drive and you access the data on the drive

If you can just drag & drop to a folder on the "C" drive

  algernonymous 10:38 15 Jul 2007

I'll give your suggestion a go first,

So would it just be a case of hooking up the cables or would there be a bit of software involved?

Will post back with results (but may not be 'til next weekend).

Many thanks.

  Jak_1 11:44 15 Jul 2007

To slave the drive simple move the jumper to the position shown on the drive, conect the drive to the centre ide connection on the ribon cable of the main drive (if the cable has one, most do these days), connect one of the spare power cables and then boot up.

  algernonymous 21:29 15 Jul 2007

I have experience of installing drives, actually I was querying phono's suggestion re hooking up serial/parallel connections.
But thanks anyway, it gets my post back to the top!

  phono 23:45 15 Jul 2007

Having read your post again I now realise that the PC wont boot so the use of a serial or parallel cable is not really practical.

I would also suspect that it is doubtful that the data concerned would be usable by windows, having said that, of what type is the data concerned and what program created it?

In light of the PC's failure to boot problem ambra4's suggestion is an easier/better option than the one I suggested.

  algernonymous 21:41 16 Jul 2007

Thats the thing. I'm not sure what OS is on it. It seems that early Amstrad PC's used Amstrad software, and later one's used the early version of Windows. Hopefully someone will know, however I'll try ambra4's suggestion next time I'm at my friend's house.
PS Got better results off Google when using another name I had - PC3386sx

  woodchip 21:48 16 Jul 2007

I may be wrong on this, But old computers needed a Startup floppy in the drive for it to boot to the Operating System. As they did not use a BIOS. The floppy disc contained all the references to the Hardware for it to run. Once Started the floppy could be removed and the drive used as a normal Floppy drive

  algernonymous 22:01 16 Jul 2007


Oh dear, that doesn't sound too promising...
But its something else I can ask him, its been many years since he last used it. Thanks.


Forgot to add, it's just a load of text- he writes manuals/books- but no idea what program he would have used on it.

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