HP15 disk format (was: New HP150 software finds.

From: Fred Cisin <cisin_at_xenosoft.com>
Date: Fri Jun 23 11:37:34 2000

On Thu, 22 Jun 2000, Ernest wrote:
> I've started to make copies of these HP150 disks, and since I have a minute,
> I was wondering why my WinPC won't recognize these disks.

Because that is NOT one of the "official" MS-DOS disk formats that
MICROS~1 supports.

MICROS~1 had provision for OEMs to be able to modify certain pieces
(IO.SYS) of MS-DOS, particularly in version 2.11, to be able to add their
own unique formats.

Starting in version 3.20, all variants of MS-DOS support a 720K format,
although that is NOT always the same as the 720K format that some
OEMs had been using prior to that.

> What I've been
> doing to get around this problem is to copy each disk to the HD on my 150,
> and then copy the new files from the 150 to a blank 720k disk, which my
> Pentium system can see but this is really tedious.
> What's happening is that my Pentium system doesn't recognize the format of
> these old SS 3.5 disks, even though they are formatted with MSDOS (FAT 12 I
> think.) My Pentium will see the 720k disks that I format on the HP but not
> the old SS disks. Does anyone know why?
There are literally hundreds of mutually incompatible MS-DOS disk formats
(as well as thousands of CP/M ones)

> Are the old disks copy protected?
> Or is because they're single sided? I'm
> curious because I would like to find a better way to copy these disks.

There are several programs available for transferring files between
different disk formats. http://www.xenosoft.com/xcflyer.html

But what you are currently doing seems to be working reasonably well.

Does your HP support the "phantom B: drive"? Quick experiment: Even with
only one physical floppy, ask for a DIR B: Most MS-DOS systems will NOT
say "Invalid Drive Specification" to that! Instead, they will prompt you
to put the drive B: disk into the drive! The system uses the one physical
drive for both A: and B: ! You could simply type COPY A:*.* B: and it
will prompt you for disk swaps. WRITE-PROTECT ALL OF YOUR SOURCE DISKS
BEFORE YOU START, since sometime you will put the wrong disk into the

Fred Cisin                      cisin_at_xenosoft.com
XenoSoft                        http://www.xenosoft.com
2210 Sixth St.                  (510) 644-9366
Berkeley, CA 94710-2219
Received on Fri Jun 23 2000 - 11:37:34 BST

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