The Editors and Readers of COMPUTE!
Atari Disk Unfix
I own an Atari 130XE and a 1050 disk drive. I recently purchased the game Summer Games, which worked perfectly when I played it. Then I used a DOS 2.5 utility called DISKFIX.COM. One of the choices in this program was VERIFY DISK, so I thought I should use it to make sure the disk contained no bad sectors or files. While it was verifying, the computer flashed the message BAD LINK IN FILE 13-DELETING. When I ran the game again, the gymnastics event didn't work. Any suggestions on how I might recover the file?
The DISKFIX utility which comes with DOS 2.5 is a very powerful utility, which tries very hard to recover all the files that it can. The reason it didn't work in this case is most likely due to copy protection. The copy-protection schemes used on many commercial disks often involve changing the sector link information on the disk. Apparently, DISKFIX thought that your disk was scrambled, and it did its best to correct the link information. If you write to the manufacturer of your game, perhaps they can suggest a way to recover the lost file.
Disks don't get scrambled very often. When they do, it's usually because a file wasn't closed after it was opened for writing. Unless you're experienced with disk programming, you should use disk utilities only as a last resort. Caution is particularly important if you're trying to repair a commercial disk. If possible, it's best to make a copy of the disk and run the utility on the copy rather than the original. If the utility does something unexpected, you'll at least be no worse off than when you started.