PC-Lect, Low-Level Disk Reading Program

Summary: PC-Lect, an utility to read incompatible floppies on a plain PC. This page has a rather historical nature, because there are no floppy drives anymore on a plain PC.

Our PC-Lect utility can read following formats:

Feel free to ask for any other MFM formats on 3.5" or 5.25" floppy disks.

The user interface of this DOS program (you can use it in a DOS session from Windows 95/98, but not from NT/2000) is pretty simple. The program displays a table listing several formats and you can select a format in the table or switch to following/preceeding table with the PgUp and PgDn keys. The proposed tables are:

In this scheme, you are supposed to know the precise format of the floppy disk you want to read. If this is not true, you can ask the program to test the parameters of the floppy disk by hitting the F5 function key. If the test succeeds (that is, if the program can ascertain the number of faces, the number of tracks, the number of sectors, the size of those sectors and the numbering scheme from zero or one), it will display a list of potential candidates. At this moment, you can also ask the program to dump the contents of the disk to a file. Such a file is very useful to refine hypotheses on the structure of the file system on disk.

Compatibility with Windows

Lect is a 16-bit DOS program. It runs fine in a DOS box under Windows 95/98/ME. Since it has to modify the diskette parameter table in the Bios data area, it cannot work under Windows NT/2000/XP. You should reboot the computer with a DOS diskette or a Win 95/98 diskette to run Lect.

Demo/Trial Version

You can download a demo version of the program from this site. The resulting files are truncated at 10 KB. Please note that this program doesn't convert the files. You still need a logical conversion tool like WinConv to get files you'll be able to load in your favorite text processor.

Service Bureau

We can also offer some conversion services in those formats. Please write to the address given below with your precise needs and you'll get an answer very rapidly.

Pierre Duhem (ex-Logiciels & Services Duhem)
3, rue Pierre Haret - F-75009 Paris (France) - Tel. (+33) [0]149 700 455
web: http://www.macdisk.com