I finall flashed my XTIDE rev 1, now what?
cisin at xenosoft.com
Fri Jan 27 20:13:20 CST 2017
On Sat, 28 Jan 2017, Randy Dawson wrote:
> I have a Compact Flash adapter and card, while I wait for the soldering
> iron to heat up and make the power cable for it, I wanted to ask, what
> are the next steps?
> FORMAT, or FDISK /MBR?
It is not clear what you are attempting to do.
If you have a drive that looks like an XT drive with controller to the
computer, and it has not been used before, then
MS-DOS would normally want a low-level-format, which presumably does not
need to be done in this case, and for which FORMAT.COM is absolutely no
help, anyway. Low-level-format was done by IBM's "Advanced Diagnostics",
or by third party programs, or by doing a jump to code in the ROM of the
If it doesn't need low-level-format, then the next step is partitioning
(or do you already have a FAT16 partition on it?), for which you use
FDISK. NOT FDISK /MBR. FDISK when it creates the partition, will create
the partition table and Master Boot Record in the first sector.
MS-DOS from V2.00 to V3.30 is limited to 32MB.
Compaq MS-DOS 3.31, and any MS-DOS 5.00 and above supports up to 2GB
FAT16 in NTFS and other systems that support it can go to 4GB. But,
MS-DOS uses a SIGNED long 32 bit int, permitting drive sizes from
-2147483648 to 2147483647. Yes, there are some parts of MS-DOS that
support negative file sizes and drive sizes
If it is already low-level-format'ed and partitioned, then FDISK /MBR
(which was not always documented) will rewrite the partition table and
Master Boot Record.
THEN you want to FORMAT x: /S where x: is the drive letter.
/S of FORMAT tells it to also put the 3 OS files on it:
IO.SYS (hidden file that must be in specific location)
MSDOS.SYS (hidden file that must be in specific location)
COMMAND.COM reasonably "normal" file that can be copied with a "normal"
(Or IBMBIO.COM, IBMDOS.COM, COMMAND.COM if you were using PC-DOS)
At that point, it should be fully bootable!
Although some hardware might require specific content in root directory
files CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT .
You should still create a DOS directory, and copy all of the other DOS
files into there, such as FORMAT.COM, FDISK.COM, DEBUG.COM, etc.
Putting all of those in the root directory will work, but is a bad idea.
In early versions of MS-DOS, just about all of the DOS executable programs
were .COM Later, as they started to exceed 54K, they started using
.EXE, but NAMING them .COM "for compatability". Now, they are probably
all .EXE since MICROS~1 can not do a "Hello, World" in less than 64K.
> What is the recommended way to initialize the CF flash and put a system on it?
no idea. I just laid out the MS-DOS steps to prepare a hard disk.
Find your copies of LINK.EXE and EXE2BIN.EXE , which you will need for
assembler and compilers. Originally, they came with MS-DOS. Then for a
while MS-DOS said that they came with the compiler, and the compiler said
that they came with MS-DOS.
The MS-DOS executables (including LINK and EXE2BIN) will balk at running
on a version of DOS other than what they came with. For THAT, V5.00
includes SETVER , which lets MS-DOS lie about its version for such
> Anything special to do, so that I can use the whole 2GB of the flash?
Need to use DOS V3.31 or above to get past 32MB, other than that, it would
be a function of the adapter? and, of course FDISK, . . .
Prior to V3.31, the work around was to break up a drive into multiple 32MB
(BTW, MB to FDISK is 2^20 (1048576), NOT the silly numbers used by drive
peddlers, such as 1000 * 1024.)
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