DOS feature on formatting disk

From: Vintage Computer Festival <>
Date: Tue Jan 18 12:34:24 2005

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005, Dwight K. Elvey wrote:

> DOS has an irritating feature when asked to format
> a disk. If track 0 is partially readable it will
> fail to format, even if you use the /u option.
> I've been moving data from one machine to another
> and the source machine has a flaky drive. It sometimes
> trashes track 0.
> I've found that the only way to get around this problem
> is to wipe the disk with a strong magnet.
> Why can't it just try to format first and then check
> track 0. Why must it fail to format because track 0
> is partially readable when I specifically asked it
> to unconditionally format?

I know. It's another one of those stupid things that MS did with DOS that
makes absolutely no sense. Just format the damn disk and report any
errors for the USER to decide.

I once came across some program on the WWW that supposedly rehabilitates
such disks (most likely by doing an LLF on track 0) but unfortunately I
never bookmarked it.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
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Received on Tue Jan 18 2005 - 12:34:24 GMT

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