Disk problems/questions.

From: Marvin <marvin_at_rain.org>
Date: Wed Feb 11 00:20:23 1998

Barry Peterson wrote:

> I have encountered a puzzling problem and hope for some insight;
> I've been trying to verify my box of DSDD floppy drives (On-topically
> >10 years old) so I set up a 386DX-33 (Consider it a perpiperal to
> my older systems) After configuring B: to 360KB, I can format/verify
> a diskette. When I run Norton DD, (Ver. 6.01, IIRC) it says the disk,
> and I assume the drive, is/are fine.

First of all, I'm not sure why you are reconfiguring the BIOS since you can
format 360K disks in your 1.2 drive with "no problem" using the /4 (DOS 2.x
or later I think) or /F:360 (DOS 5.0 or later) switch (type "format /?" at
the dos prompt to find out possible switches assuming you are using DOS 5.0
or greater.)

The reason for the quotes around "no problem" is that some people have
wrongly assumed you can format 360K disks in a 1.2 MB drive and just use
them in a 360K drive. This is only true if the disk being formated has not
been previously formated or written to in a 360K drive. Sometimes, you can
get away with it, but for greatest reliability, the 360K disk needs to be
bulk erased before being formated in the 1.2 MB drive. Once a 360K disk has
been written to on a 360K drive, writing to it on a 1.2 MB drive can render
the disk impossible to use on the 360K drive. FWIW, the head width on the
360K drive is wider than the head in a 1.2 MB drive, and that is what can
cause problems.
Received on Wed Feb 11 1998 - 00:20:23 GMT

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