I've got an old HP4195A network analyzer. It writes data to it's
3-1/4" floppy in a LIF format. This format is unreadable via DOS.
I've surfed the net and tried numerous program dedicated to this conversion but have had no luck. All of the programs seem to be unable to read a LIF formatted disk from a DOS (or Windows) floppy drive.
Does anyone know of someone who is successfully doing this? Perhaps someone else is saddled with this old piece of equipment and is able to access the data? Anyone have any suggestions?
Do the programs fail with no warning, or get so far and fail, or what? Do you know that your floppy drive is good -- can it read FAT (DOS format) disks without errors?
HP/UX apparently has utilities to deal with LIF. For instance
. I don't know if HP publishes a LIF spec, but by looking through the lif* man pages linked from that URL, you can get some hints about it.
There is a set of Linux utilities that says it will deal with LIF disks; see
If you don't have a Linux box, you might be able to use Knoppix (a bootable Linux CD) to temporarily turn your PC into a Linux system - it doesn't write to your hard drive. You would need to boot Knoppix, download and build the LIF utilities (if not already installed in Knoppix), use the utilities to copy data from the LIF floppy to the RAM disk that Knoppix sets up, then copy the files from the RAM disk to a normal FAT floppy, or USB flash drive, or another computer, or whatever.
You might also ask in one of the comp.sys.hp.* groups for advice.
That 4195A floppy is a pain in the fundament. Use GPIB. Or, get one of those nifty GPIB to Ethernet converto boxes National Instruments sells. You can find them on EBay sometimes. National Instruments has this nifty suite of drivers and programs that allows you to talk to GPIB via the command line. Getting data dumps is as easy as writing a batch file.