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herbalist

DOS and USB hard drive

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I'm trying to build a DOS bootdisk that will read all of the FAT32 formatted drives on my USB hard drive with LFN support, DPMI, mouse, sound, etc. Everything works except for one problem. I can only access 2 of the 4 FAT32 formatted drives, sda1 and sda5 (F and H as read by Win98). All of the Windows versions read the entire drive, as does a Knoppix Live CD and a GParted CD. This is the partitioning of the USB drive.

ext-drives.gif

Drives C through E are internal. Drive G is the CDRW. Sda7 is a blowfish encrypted logical drive.

Is it possible to read the sda6 and 8 drives from DOS with the presently available drivers? The USBASPI driver seems to detect sda6 but says it's "not formatted". I'm running out of ideas and am hoping that I'm just overlooking something simple. Any ideas?

Rick

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I can only access 2 of the 4 FAT32 formatted drives, sda1 and sda5 (F and H as read by Win98). All of the Windows versions read the entire drive, as does a Knoppix Live CD and a GParted CD.
I would start with checking the USB HDD with Partition Table Doctor v3.5.

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I don't have partition table doctor and the demo version does nothing. Too much to pay for something I'm not likely to use more than once. Is there something else that will work, preferably freeware? Gparted, Win98, Win2000, and Linux have no problems accessing all the drives. All of them find no problems with any of the drives/partitions.

Edited by herbalist

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Be careful when you use Partition Table Doctor, it's one of the 20 programs most useful to me, but you have to know what you are doing.

Sda7 is a blowfish encrypted logical drive.
Here a quote from the System Commander user manual, maybe it helps:

"Limitations of DOS:

When your system has more than one primary FAT partition, the inactive primary partitions might not be visible. This DOS bug will occur when either:

- an extended partition exists without any logical drives defined

- the extended partition has no FAT logical partitions defined."

Edited by Multibooter

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I'm almost positive that there's just one primary partition with one drive on it, drive F. Everything else is on one extended partition. I'm not sure why the logical drives are in that order, not matching the order of the devices. Might be the order I formatted them. Sda7 was originally Fat32. I used Scramdisk to convert it to Blowfish after all the drives were formatted. I have resized some of them later on with GParted since then.

I did have problems with "H", the backup image storage. Most of the files there are Acronis Images, which will be eliminated when I get this access problem solved. Win98 showed one of the files with a large negative size. I wouldn't have noticed it if I had not had 2 different apps open that both showed available space on the drives. One said I had over 4GB. The other said it was almost full. GParted couldn't access the external drive at the time. Just kept scanning. I deleted the 2 files (it was part of a set), ran Scandisk, then was able to read the external drive with GParted, but it didn't fix the DOS access problem. Right now, Scandisk is checking the last of the 4 drives, the biggest one, which I've been able to access in DOS all along. No errors of any kind on the other 3.

I'm still not sure if this is a drive/partition problem or a limitation of the DOS USB drivers. All the drives are usable with every other OS I have, except DOS. Need to take a break from this thing.

Rick

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I'm still not sure if this is a drive/partition problem or a limitation of the DOS USB drivers. All the drives are usable with every other OS I have, except DOS.

You didn't ever mention it... what drivers exactly are you using? You should be using:

USBASPI.EXE 21,322 bytes, the Panasonic "ASPI Manager for USB mass-storage", Version 2.26

and

DI1000DD.SYS 16,368 bytes, NOVAC's ASPI DISK Driver, Version 2.00, the "Motto Hairu Driver"

These are the latest existing versions.

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I don't see a version number on my copy of DI1000DD.SYS but the size matches. I've been using usbaspi.sys. Been trying 4 different versions. Wasn't aware of an exe version. I'll give that one a try.

Thanks

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Tried using USBASPI.EXE. No change. DOS still refers to sda6 as drive H, (Win98 calls it drive I) says "not format". DOS doesn't see sda8 at all.

Rick

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Tried using USBASPI.EXE. No change. DOS still refers to sda6 as drive H, (Win98 calls it drive I) says "not format". DOS doesn't see sda8 at all.

Rick

This is the answer from the author of modded USBASPI:
It is great that those USB for DOS drivers exist. However, all of them including DI1000DD.SYS have bugs and limitations. As they say YMMV. I have more than one USB memory stick that works fine under WindowsXP (and Windows 98SE), but is not recognized under DOS.

My suggestion: Replace DI1000DD.SYS with ASPIDISK.SYS and report your findings.

ASPIDISK.SYS

ASPI Disk Driver for DOS

Version 4.01b

Copyright 1989-1997 Adaptec, Inc.

BTW, the latest version of USBAPSI.EXE is 2.28. Contrary to some belief in this forum, it is the most up-to-date version of the Panasonic USB --> SCSI driver.

HTH

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My suggestion: Replace DI1000DD.SYS with ASPIDISK.SYS and report your findings.

ASPIDISK.SYS

ASPI Disk Driver for DOS

Version 4.01b

Copyright 1989-1997 Adaptec, Inc.

BTW, the latest version of USBAPSI.EXE is 2.28. Contrary to some belief in this forum, it is the most up-to-date version of the Panasonic USB --> SCSI driver.

I've got that version of USBASPI from your site, but can't find that version of aspidisk.sys. Got a link to it? Thanks.

Rick

edit

I found a copy at Adaptec's site but I think it's a much older version. It's 15060 bytes. MD5 is f667369e2b45c4696892daef93549cba

So far, it's the only one I've found.

Edited by herbalist

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BTW, the latest version of USBAPSI.EXE is 2.28. Contrary to some belief in this forum, it is the most up-to-date version of the Panasonic USB --> SCSI driver.

FYI, here:

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=46581

you still have reference to vesrion 2.24

@herbalist

yes, that should be the right one.

Just open it in Notepad, you should be able to see

ASPI Disk Driver for DOS Version 4.01b Copyright 1989-1997 Adaptec, Inc.

jaclaz

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Thanks. Forgot all about being able to do that. The whole thing's getting frustrating enough that I'm overlooking the obvious.

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I got so frustrated with this job, I had to walk away from it for a week or so. I'd like to thank everyone for all the help, both in this thread and in PMs. This was more than a driver problem. The external drive was full of problems. Bad boot sectors, bad partition table with multiple entries for the same partition, overlapping partitions, and my complete lack of experience in dealing with such problems. It took several days to sort through the data, compress it with 7zip, and copy it to CDRWs, plus a couple more days learning to work with different partitioning and partition repair tools.

I now have several boot disks that do everything I need:

  • Read/write access to all partitions on internal and external drives.
  • CD access.
  • Long file name support.
  • Sound.
  • Conventional and USB mouse support.
  • Large Ramdisk.
  • DPMI that enables me to run a version of 7zip in DOS.

Once the external drive was fixed, my original bootdisk basically worked, but the files you people sent and linked me to made an even better one.

Earlier, I used 7zip on its maximum compression settings to archive an entire internal drive, my lite98SE test system. It compressed the drive contents far better than Acronis did. The next step is to see if I can unpack that archive with the DOS bootdisk and restore a complete operating system with it. If it works (I don't see any more reasons it shouldn't, knock on wood) I can start converting Acronis images to 7zip archives and recover several Gigabytes of disk space.

Thanks again.

Rick

Edited by herbalist

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The FreeDos version of p7z that you linked to is the one I'm using. At the moment, I'm running it in MSDOS with cwsdpmi.exe.

When I could finally read the entire external drive in DOS, I got into too much of a hurry and didn't set up the next test properly. It does appear that I can restore a functional OS with this setup but it still needs work. It took way too long and some files appear to be missing, about 16MB of them. After waiting for almost 3 hours, I let it run overnight. The process was moving fairly quick at first but slowed way down as it went. Need to repeat the test under more controlled conditions.

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