Amstrad PPC640 part 2 (bootdisk)

From: Fred Cisin <>
Date: Fri Jan 10 12:09:00 2003

On Fri, 10 Jan 2003, Jim Strickland wrote:
> > Surreal. I just tried to format a 720 in my new WinXP portable and
> > the size wasn't even a option. And when I did it through the GUI
> > under 2000 the anti-virus scanner had a fit. Finally had to format it
> > using the CLI *and* I had to explicitly unmount it first to get the
> > anti-virus software to let go.
> Weird. You should be able to format a 720 in any 1.44 meg floppy
> drive, if memory serves they were designed to be backward compatible
> like that. My floppy drive on my PC dates back to my 286 days, so it's
> old enough that I haven't had any problems. Don't know anything about
> XP though, and don't care either. I'm a happy OS/X user. :)

XP did, indeed fuck with the FORMAT program. In 98, they stopped
supporting "/F:2", but retained the other ways of formatting a 720K. In
XP, they even dropped "/F:20"!!
BUT, you can still format a 720K in XP, by using "/T:80/N:9"

To repeat what I wrote on 10/24/2002 ("Rise and fall of FORMAT"):

1.00 had 160K (SS, 8 SPT)
1.25/ PC-DOS 1.10 added 320K (DS), with /1 option for FORMAT for doing SS
2.00 added 180K and 360K (9 SPT), with /8 option for FORMAT for doing 8
2.11 some manufacturers added support for 3.5", but it was specific to
each of their customized version of MS-DOS
3.00 added 1.2M, with /4 option for FORMAT for doing 360K (in 1.2M drive)
3.20 added 720K, with /T:80 /N:9 being used to specify 720K
3.30 added 1.4M, added /F:2 for 720K to be easier to remember
5.00? added /F:720 to be easier to remember.

Windoze 98 dropped /F:2
Windoze XP dropped /F:720. /F:x is still supported, but only for
x == 1.44. /T:x/N:y is still supported, and is the only way to format
anything other than 1.4M. T can be 40 or 80, N can be 8, 9, or 15
T and N are used for selecting from an internal menu; they can not be set
to other values like a true variable.
With it, you can still do:
/T:80 /N:9 720K
/T:80 /N:8 640K Hmmm! haven't seen that one since the Toshiba T300!
/T:40 /N:9 360K
/T:40 /N:8 320K
/T:80 /N:15 1.2M
You can NOT do /T:40 /N:15, (you must choose between supported formats.)

Grumpy Ol' Fred
Received on Fri Jan 10 2003 - 12:09:00 GMT

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