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The Commodore PET (Model : CBM 8096)

Software - Disk Images




The majority of PET/CBM software that I have been able to find on the web is in the form of disk images, the most common seem to be :-

Format Drive Type Computer Sides Capacity
D64 1540/1541 VIC-20 / C64 1 170 kB
D71 1571 C128 2 340 kB
D81 1581 C64 / C128 2 800 kB
D80 8050 PET / CBM 1 500 kB
D82 8250 PET / CBM 2 1000 kB

Technical details of these image files can be found on the Emulator File Formats page of the VICE (Versatile Commodore Emulator) project on SourceForge.

Disk images are a sector-by-sector copies of the data from an original disk, they are a convenient method of copying and storing the contents of complete disks on non-native hardware for archival purposes. With suitable hardware, they can be used to generate copies of the original disk for use in legacy systems, but they are particularly useful with modern floppy disk replacements, such as petSD+ and similar systems, that can store and manipulate many disk images on a single SD card. 

As well as storing the programs or data itself, an image file also contains all of the low level format data that a disk drive or host system would expect to find on a physical disk. In that same way that older versions of Microsoft Windows did not have native support for ZIP archives, systems hosting disk images can typically only manipulate the image as a single file. File level operations such as copying or deleting files requires the use of a suitable file manager application.

When looking for a suitable tool to work with PET/CBM disk images under Windows 7, I came across the following selection of disk image utilities :


D64 D71 D81 D80 D82


 64'er Commander
 The Revival Team
 Current Version ver 0.2
 Last Update 02/2004
x o o o o
 Steve Gray
 Current Version ver 1.0
 Last Update 03/2017
x x x x x
 Current Version ver 3.1.3
 Last Update 07/2019
x x x x x
 Christian Vogelgsang
 Current Version ver 0.7
 Last Update 08/2007
x o o o o
 D64 Editor
 Forrest Mook
 Current Version ver 0.0351
 Last Update 11/2016
x o o o o
 Current Version ver 0.11
 Last Update 02/2015
x x x x x


As you can see, the D64 format is well supported, the older CBM/PET image file types seem to be less so. One utility with good support for the older disk image types is DIRCBM, an Open Source project hosted on SourceForge. However, DIRCBM is not a stand-alone program, it is an add-in for Total Commander  - a complete File Manager replacement for Microsoft Windows,  it is released as Shareware, costing 38 Euro/$44 to register.

Although I have not had time to try it yet, Total Commander looks very useful in its own right, but also supports plug-ins to enable additional functions, such as DIRCBM. Total Commander with the DIRCBM plug-in looks like a nice solution that I will try out when (if I ever) I get more time.

In the meantime, I am going to try out DirMaster and see if it does the job, if you have any recommendations for something different, please let me know.

For an overview of access to individual files inside an image or on an emulated disk, see my File Access page, but, wherever possible, the use of image files is preferable.



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