Users who are restricted to floppy storage on these samplers are often frustrated that there is an overwhelming amount of content available for SCSI devices (CD-ROM typically), but scarce resources for those seeking samples, instruments, banks, and effects in 3.5″ or HFE/IMG format.
However, it is possible to transfer instruments and all other Ensoniq file data (EFE/EFA) from SCSI media (Zip, CD-ROM, ISO/BIN, etc.) to floppy. One method to do so is outlined below.
ENSONIQ BANKS FROM CD/ZIP/HDD TO FLOPPY (3.5″ or HFE/HXC)
Note: While Total Commander does also come in a 64-bit variety, EnsoniqFS requires the 32-bit version. No worries, this will still work on 64-bit systems. EnsoniqFS is known not to work under Windows 98, so use XP or higher.
– Install and run Total Commander (32-bit)
– Install EnsoniqFS via the Total Commander interface
– In the left side navigator of Total Commander, select “Network Neighborhood” from the small dropdown menu
– Double-click “Ensoniq Filesystems” in the newly listed Network Neighborhood entries
– Double-click “Options” and make sure all checkboxes are configured as the screenshot below (defaults):
– Mount at least one floppy image and any other images (CD-ROM ISOs, etc.) to be used
Note: At minimum, one floppy image must be mounted. However, CDs can be accessed via PC CD-ROM or ZIP disk, as well as SCSI devices on computers possessing SCSI interface cards.
– From the Network Neighborhood / Ensoniq Filesystem browser, double-click “Image files” and then double-click the desired mounted floppy image
Any Ensoniq files present on the disk image will now be displayed, along with the file type (EFE/EFA) and size.
Note: Ensoniq floppies are limited in capacity. Some banks from other media will simply be too large to fit on a floppy. This is a hard limitation.
Space can be freed on non-empty floppy disk images by selecting an unwanted file (EFE, etc.) and using the ‘F8’ key to delete. EPS/EPS16 disks can only hold 800K of data, whereas ASR disks typically hold 1.6MB.
– Using the browser on the right, enter Network Neighborhood / Ensoniq Filesystems and then browse to any Ensoniq volume. Again, this can be a mounted ISO, a physical SCSI drive, or an actual Ensoniq CD in the CD-ROM drive
– Drag and drop a suitably sized file from the right-side browser (CD/HDD/ZIP volume) into the left-side browser (floppy image)
At this point, paths diverge whether the target is a physical 3.5″ DD/HD floppy disk, or if a floppy emulator is installed in the EPS/ASR.
Traditional floppy users can now use Omniflop to write the new IMG file to a real floppy. HxC/FlashFloppy users can either copy the IMG file to their drive (if their emulator has been configured to support raw images), or the IMG file can be converted to an HFE file using HxC Software.
Physical 3.5″ Floppy Method
Note: This method requires a PC with an internal 3.5″ floppy drive installed. USB-type floppy drives will NOT work for EPS/ASR disk creation!
– Install Omniflop and its required drivers
– Run Omniflop and choose to write a disk
– Select the newly created floppy image and write it as an EPS 3.5 DD 800K or an ASR HD 1.6MB type image (as appropriate)
Note: Advanced users can actually write directly to floppy via Total Commander and EnsoniqFS so long as the Omniflop drivers are properly installed and Total Commander is configured correctly. The EnsoniqFS instructions covers this approach.
HxC Software (IMG to HFE) Method
Note: Unlike the EPS series, the ASR series can use two different disk types/sizes. Before saving an ASR HFE, set the HFE interface type to either IBM PC DD or IBM PC HD depending on the disk image size. For the purposes of this article, this will almost always be IBM PC HD. EPS HFEs will correctly default to the Generic Shugart interface mode.
Problem: EnsoniqFS won’t install or can’t be launched in Total Commander
Potential solution 1:
EnsoniqFS cannot be used with Total Commander x64. If in doubt, download the following archive which contains versions of EnsoniqFS and Total Commander which have been tested to be compatible. It also contains a blank EPS disk image.
Potential solution 2:
EnsoniqFS requires COMDLG32.DLL, KERNEL32.dll, msvcrt.dll, and USER32.dll on the host computer.
Most notably, msvcrt.dll is a part of Microsoft Visual C++, and may need (re)installation. Try installing the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017 or other Visual C++ packages and then reboot.
Potential solution 3:
EnsoniqFS does not like anything prior to XP (Windows 95/98/ME), so use XP or later.