Backup Floppy Disks to ATR Images on Your PC (15-30 mins)

Task: Backup Floppy Disks to ATR Images on Your PC

Needed: Floppy disks, disk drive, Atarimax ProSystem software, SIO2PC

Time: 15-30 mins


I have at least 200 floppy disks and, amazingly, about 95% of them are still good. However, these don’t last forever and can fail if not kept in cool, dry, and dark conditions. It is a good idea to back up any disks that you don’t want to lose to your PC. This is very easy to do but does require some special hardware and software. The goal of this task is to backup important floppies to your PC. We will make use of the Atarimax ProSystem software for this task. Here is a previous post about making new floppies if that is helpful as background.

Atarimax ProSystem
Atarimax ProSystem


Step 1

The first thing you need is an SIO2PC device to connect your Atari hardware to your PC. I have previously posted about securing one of these from Atarimax. Connect your SIO2PC to your floppy drive and your PC. Make sure your floppy drive is on.

Step 2

Load the floppy you would like to copy into your disk drive.

Step 3

Start the Atarimax ProSystem software and choose “Create ATR Image from Real Disk” option from the “ATR Functions” menu. This will bring up a new menu titled “Read Disk to .ATR Image”. First, click on the magnifying glass icon next to the Drive 1 check box to navigate to where you would like to save the ATR image file. Type in the filename you would like to use. Then click the Start button with the green check mark in the lower right of the window. The ProSystem will automatically read your disk and copy it to an ATR file in the directory you specified. For my single-density disk this took just less than two minutes to complete.


This is relatively easy to do and will give you some peace of mind. Be sure and share your ATR files on the Internet Archive! Here is the ATR I backed up as part of this post and uploaded to Internet Archive. Here is the main Internet Archive page for this ATR file. This ATR has DOS 2.0s along with BASIC programs from my previous posts on sound effects, Mad Magazine, and redefined character sets.

Note that you can also use this same software to copy an ATR file from your PC onto a floppy disk thus reversing the process. This makes it possible to download tons of ATR files and make floppies from them for use on real hardware.

Some troubleshooting tips sent me by Thomas Smailus:

1) Make sure the USB drivers for the SIO2PC are installed in windows in the Device Manager – the installer may well not have installed them. 
2) Make sure APE isn’t running in the background / system tray and if so shut it down from there and the LEDs on the SIO2PC are all off, before launching ProSystem.