RX01 Floppies

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Sat Nov 22 00:52:57 CST 2014

On 11/21/2014 10:17 PM, Johnny Billquist wrote:

> And to make yet another silly point. FORMAT on PCs often does not
> actually do a low level format, but actually only creates a file system.

With floppies, somewhere around DOS 5, the "quick" format was 
introduced, which doesn't LLF unless the disk isn't recognized as a 
FAT12 filesystem.

What I find irritating is that XP and later does its level best to 
figure out what format, if any, is present on a floppy in response to a 
FORMAT command.  A minute or so may go by before XP figures out that the 
disk isn't formatted at all.   It's not strictly necessary--one can call 
the appropriate NT API to format a track and off it goes.  But I know of 
no command-line switch to FORMAT to disable the check.

MSDOS 5 and 6 had a /u option on format that essentially said "I don't 
care what's on it, just (low-level) format the darned thing!"  But that 
was dropped in the Windows 9x versions (MSDOS 7.x).

Linux was never wonderful with floppies, but has gotten much worse in 
that latest versions, with both USB and legacy floppy drives.  My only 
conclusion is that it's because of utter neglect--and the nose in the 
air attitude "what moron still uses floppies?"

Of course, hard drives under MSDOS and NT don't acknowledge any idea of 
LLF--and indeed, for later drives, it's probably not implemented in the 
drive interface.

CP/M as delivered from DRI in the OEM kit doesn't have a FORMAT command, 
even in skeleton form.  That's strictly up to the system vendor as to 
whether one is implemented or not.


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