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Corrected FDISK and FORMAT


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It's very hard for me to localize format.com and fdisk.exe , what's the trick?

Each minimum text replacing with "Pspad EX" generates error when I see result.... :blink:

These problems of localization/hex editing never had with "normal" files.

Edited by Max_04
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  • 2 months later...

It's very hard for me to localize format.com and fdisk.exe , what's the trick?

Each minimum text replacing with "Pspad EX" generates error when I see result.... :blink:

These problems of localization/hex editing never had with "normal" files.

Is there already any solution for localizing these files? Hex-editing the files line by line can't be the right way, is it? :blink:

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It's very hard for me to localize format.com and fdisk.exe , what's the trick?

Each minimum text replacing with "Pspad EX" generates error when I see result.... :blink:

These problems of localization/hex editing never had with "normal" files.

Is there already any solution for localizing these files? Hex-editing the files line by line can't be the right way, is it? :blink:

Petr please come back from us! :no:

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Is there already any solution for localizing these files? Hex-editing the files line by line can't be the right way, is it? :blink:

Well, for what they may be worth, here are my two cents:

AFAIK it can only be done by hexediting, maybe with some help from an old debugger like good old DOS DEBUG or SYMDEB, lots of patience and some luck. :wacko: This applies to Windows VXDs and to DOS formats like SYS (the classic dos device drive format), BIN, COM and EXE (the classic MZ format). Knowing something about the format's internals of the particular file you wish to localize also helps a lot. I'm sorry! I don't think it can be done, but by a case-by-case analysis. I've just looked inside FORMAT.COM with an hexeditor. It seems to be a somewhat unusual type of COM file because it seems to preserve the MZ header from the EXE file it was before conversion. While it IS common for COM files to have been converted from EXE files, using EXE2BIN, this one was not converted by that tool because EXE2BIN does not preserve any part of the MZ header, striping it instead.

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  • 3 years later...
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Guest wsxedcrfv

Bumping this very old thread because I just found this LBA48 fixed fdisk:

The fdisk.exe that is contained in the file fdisk-win98-lba48-fixed.zip that is linked to from the URL you gave is exactly the same (binary compare = true) to the 5/18/2000 version that Microsoft released years ago and which many people probably already have. I believe it's already been established that it can't partition drives larger than 512 gb.

Something even better than the 5/18/2000 version of fdisk.exe is a program called "Free Fdisk" which can be found here: http://web.archive.org/web/20060110183341/ffdisk.webaps.de/fdisk121.zip

It can partition drives larger than 512 gb, but it's maximum drive-size is not known. It can partition a 750 gb drive correctly. Presumably it's upper limit is at least 1tb.

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The fdisk.exe that is contained in the file fdisk-win98-lba48-fixed.zip that is linked to from the URL you gave is exactly the same (binary compare = true) to the 5/18/2000 version that Microsoft released years ago and which many people probably already have. I believe it's already been established that it can't partition drives larger than 512 gb.

I confirm your result.

BTW, did you test this other format program I found? I haven't had the opportunity yet.

However, until recently, the only free formatting tool I knew of that's capable of reformatting using a user defined sectors-per-cluster number, regardless of how the partition was originally formatted, was Ridgecrop's fat32format (which is needs a NT-family OS to work), since the undocumented /Z switch of the MS Format refuses to work. This may have changed, thanks to Udo Kuhnt and his DR-DOS/OpenDOS Enhancement Project!
To format FAT12/16/32 drives, you can use the new DR FORMAT command v1.0 (source or binary). This is based on FreeDOS FORMAT v0.91u with added support for 128K cluster size and some other enhancements; use the new option /C:clsize to override the default cluster size.

So, please, do test the new free DR FORMAT v1.0 (see quote above for download link) and report. If it works OK, we now have a DOS only way of doing it. :yes:

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Bumping this very old thread because I just found this LBA48 fixed fdisk:

The fdisk.exe that is contained in the file fdisk-win98-lba48-fixed.zip that is linked to from the URL you gave is exactly the same (binary compare = true) to the 5/18/2000 version that Microsoft released years ago and which many people probably already have. I believe it's already been established that it can't partition drives larger than 512 gb.

Oh well, I thought I had found something... :}

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Guest wsxedcrfv

BTW, did you test this other format program I found? I haven't had the opportunity yet.

To format FAT12/16/32 drives, you can use the new DR FORMAT command v1.0 (source or binary). This is based on FreeDOS FORMAT v0.91u with added support for 128K cluster size and some other enhancements; use the new option /C:clsize to override the default cluster size.

So, please, do test the new free DR FORMAT v1.0 (see quote above for download link) and report. If it works OK, we now have a DOS only way of doing it. :yes:

I did not yet try the format.exe contained within drfm10b.zip. I was about to last night, but I discovered something that made it seem redundant to try it. I took a brand new 1.5 TB Western Digital SATA drive and fdisk'd and formatted it. I used Free Fdisk to fdisk it, and then I was going to try each of 4 different FORMAT.COM's that I have and see which of them formatted the drive correctly.

The system I did this on is based on the Asrock 4coredual-VSTA motherboard with integrated 2-port SATA-1 controller. The primary hard drive on that system is a 250 gb WD drive partitioned as a 37 gb primary and 206 gb secondary partition. Initially, DOS 7.1 was installed on C drive and then win-98 is installed on top of that. Win-98 replaced IO.SYS and Command.com with it's own files. Typing the VER command at the dos prompt gives Windows 98 [version 4.10.2222]. The primary partition has 4kb cluster size and 9.3 million clusters. The secondary partition has 32 kb cluster size and 6.4 million clusters. When starting in DOS mode, and performing a DIR command in each partition, it takes 15 seconds to complete the initial DIR command. Subsequent DIR commands are performed instantly.

So given the above system, I added the 1.5 TB drive (WD 15EARS) to the second SATA port. These SATA ports are configured in RAID mode in the motherboard bios, not as re-mapped IDE drives. After connecting the 1.5 TB drive and starting in DOS mode, I ran Free Fdisk and partitioned the drive as one single primary partition.

Free Fdisk (fdisk.exe, 35,880 bytes, 04/06/2003) identified the drive as being 1,430,805 Mbytes in size. It's report is as follows:

---------------------

Create Primary DOS partition using Total disk space

mbytes: 1,430,797

System: FAT32 L

--------------------

Now at this point I have the choice to use 4 different format.com's that I have, along with the above-mentioned format.exe. The 4 format.com's are:

FORMAT1.COM 49,575 bytes 11-07-2006

FORMAT2.COM 49,415 bytes 06-07-2000

FORMAT3.COM 49,655 bytes 05-05-1998

FORMAT4.COM 49,575 bytes 04-23-1999

Note: Format1 and Format4 have the same size but binary compare = false. I'm not exactly sure where all of these versions comes from. I'm fairly sure that format4 is native to win-98, and perhaps format2 is native to win-ME.

So I tried format4 first. Upon execution, it reports the drive size as "54,54.87 M" - what-ever that means. After it completed, it reported the following:

1,430,447.56 MB total disk space

360,448 bytes used by system

1,430,447.22 MB available on disk

32,768 bytes in each allocation unit

45,774,310 allocation units available on disk

I wasn't expecting this format.com to correctly format the drive, but it appears to have done so. Running chkdsk on the drive (which inserts itself as Drive D on this system) returns the same information about total disk size and cluster count.

Since the format process takes somewhere between 1 and 2 minutes per 1% to complete, I let this run overnight. Because it takes so long to do, I don't think I'm planning to test the other format.com versions or the above-mentioned format.exe because I think we can see here that the version of format.com that comes with win-98 can correctly format a 1.5 tb drive as a single partition.

And what's more - the first DIR command performed on this drive returns an immediate result - no waiting. The drive has a single file on it (command.com) so I don't know if adding files to it will affect the time to complete the initial DIR command.

So I'm not sure what to make of this. Were we under the impression that win-98 format.com had a limit of 512 gb, or 1 tb, or (something else) when it comes to the largest partition it can format? Is my observation here compatible with what we previously knew or speculated? Is there any real need to try any of the other format.com or the DR FORMAT v1.0 version of format.exe?

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Yours is a great result! :thumbup

However, my point about the DR FORMAT is that it allows one to set cluster sizes with the option /C:clsize.

Obviously it's a moot point with so big a partition. But it would be nice to know whether it also can work OK with your enormous partition. I don't think we'll have another chance to establish that any time soon. So, if you can, please do test it. Moreover, DR DOS is a fully different code base, So, you may perhaps avoid the cosmetic error about size upon execution, even if it's harmless. But, in any case, you'd need a quite smaller partition to test setting cluster sizes with the option /C:clsize.

BTW, does the Win ME DOS scandisk.exe manage to work with your enormous partition?

Also BTW, if you give me MD5 hashes for those format programs, I may help you pinpoint where did they come from.

* CRC/MD5/SHA file (PE) checksum tools that work with 9x OSes [free(ware)]:

http://www.mdgx.com/xptoy.htm#CRC

The ones I'm refering to [because they work with 95/98/ME] are: FCIV.EXE, CRC.EXE, WinCRC + FileRepair.

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Guest wsxedcrfv

Yours is a great result! :thumbup

However, my point about the DR FORMAT is that it allows one to set cluster sizes with the option /C:clsize.

Obviously it's a moot point with so big a partition. But it would be nice to know whether it also can work OK with your enormous partition. I don't think we'll have another chance to establish that any time soon. So, if you can, please do test it. Moreover, DR DOS is a fully different code base, So, you may perhaps avoid the cosmetic error about size upon execution, even if it's harmless. But, in any case, you'd need a quite smaller partition to test setting cluster sizes with the option /C:clsize.

BTW, does the Win ME DOS scandisk.exe manage to work with your enormous partition?

Also BTW, if you give me MD5 hashes for those format programs, I may help you pinpoint where did they come from.

I will try using DR Format using a custom cluster size and see how that works.

Using scandisk.exe from windows 98se (143,818 bytes, 04-23-1999) seems to work ok. It takes about 2 minutes to get through all the tests except surface scan. It then asks me if I want to do a surface scan - it estimates it will take 25 minutes (ha ha). I say yes. It then takes about 1 minute before it shows the cluster-map and begins the surface scan. It correctly says that there are 45 million clusters on the drive, and it scales the map to show 1 block = 69,000 clusters. Based on the time it took to scan 20,000 clusters, I estimate it would take 10,300 minutes (or 172 hours, or 7.2 days) to complete the surface scan. This works out to 2.3 mbytes/sec scanning speed.

So if win-98se scandisk works here, then I assume win-me scandisk will also work. I don't know about windows scandisk (scandskw.exe) - either win-98 or ME version. I will try that later.

I will get the MD5 hashes for the format.com's I have.

Edit: Windows 98se scandisk and defrag will not run on the 1.5 TB drive. They both say there is not enough memory to complete the scan or the defrag. Windows explorer can see and browse the drive just fine - no delays getting a file listing. Explorer correctly identifies the drive as having 1.36TB total space and free space.

Edited by wsxedcrfv
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Windows 98se scandisk and defrag will not run on the 1.5 TB drive. They both say there is not enough memory to complete the scan or the defrag.

That squares with my own results: less than 450 GB are enough for them to give the "not enough memory" error. Since they also work OK up to 320 GB, there's just a 130 GB gray zone, between 320 and about 450 GB remaining to be explored for their true limit to be fully known. As I think I said elsewhere, the maximum cluster number accepted by scandisk and defrag (about 26,4 million clusters) would lead to a predicted maximum size (= 865 GB) much larger than that, so, while the maximum cluster number *is* a factor, it's not the only one that can prevent their correct working.

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