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Smartdrive Revisited: Sata drives in MSdos compatibility mode


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23 hours ago, deomsh said:

Thanks for testing :cool:

Which version of SMARTDRV.EXE did you use?

I ran a few more tests and tried Smartdrv from the following versions:

version                           SHA-1

Win98/SE            55ecd7166087c37247e7c176c7853ba28b8f9dbc
WinME                d15355b83037f037729255fc23d1fa530349da22  (seems identical to win98, just version check different)
PC-DOS 7.1        b1808c00ec1b4f5354d5063c8c41d97c8f93c9cf
R. Loew V1         d55f969c281b93b01eddd2c141f69957e1ebc8ce
R. Loew V2        22153248cdda06ebafa5715b3739b15666dd0501
Unkown Version dated 2003, found on Hiren's Boot CD    56ad818c09411e8c37bc941d75721dae1eb27093

In all the above versions directories above 128GB disappear in DOS.

Last I tried Smartdrv from Datalight ROM-DOS v7.10 (Revision 4.20.1594SU). (They also include a Rom-Dos 6.22 version in the package but that only supports Fat16). This was released in 2008 as free for non-commercial use. Since 2010 they started charging for it to cover support costs and have not updated it since 2008.  The readme file of this release says "ROM-DOS 7.1 is capable of utilizing hard drives up to 2 Terabytes".

I copied it over to to DOS7.1 and it worked. Directories above 128GB are now accessible after running ROM-DOS Smartdrv.
One oddity is that Rom-DOS Smartdrv is only 21KB in filesize but when loaded in DOS 7.1 it takes a massive 51KB of conventional memory. Much more that all the other smartdrv versions that didn't work.

I didn't run any benchmarks to test the speed differences between all the versions of Smartdrv.

Rom-DOS has a full set of utilities that you can just run from DOS7.1 as native apps. I also tested booting straight to ROM-DOS and it shows long file names natively,  without needing any TSRs loaded. In the future I'll benchmark it to compare the speed vs MS DOS7.1/8





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Thanks for the report.

Interesting, especcially in case of rom-dos 7.1. It's sad that there is no free evaluation version, in the past there should have been one. I will take look in my archives.

About size-differences: MS-Smartdrive can become really big too, depending on cache-size and size of Read-Ahead Buffer. See for documentation the start of this thread.

I have tested R. Loew's second patch on 240GB logical partitions, on two different 500GB Sata Hard disk's, with mixed results.

Write-behind caching was always a no-go, as expected.

With SMARTDRV /X I had on one disk same results you already mentioned.

But to the other disk I could copy 60GB in MS-DOS without problems (the partition had about 125GB files before I started copying). Only with minimum Read-Ahead buffer of 16KB (to me /B:32768 or higher makes more sense because of the 32KB cluster-size - but not sure about that).

A side-note about SCANDISK.EXE (not SCANDSKW.EXE in Windows!). Can run out of memory, if errors are found on big partitions. I cured this by using SCANDISK /custom and set SCANDISK.INI to make no log file. Also it's good to set "delete lost clusters", because of available filenames for CHK-files.

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