Yes but not many would want to dig around in DOS to setup the Ramdrives. Otherwise why did Microsoft develop Windows? But as an attempt to simply the OS user interface so even kids and grandparents could use the computer instead of CLI geeks.
Aside from that assuming they setup the Ramdrive in DOS preloaded in the Autoexec, if they loaded into 98SE OS and wanted to change the Ramdrive letter from a DOS assigned Z: to X: would this work while within 98SE OS or would exiting to real 98SE DOS from 98SE OS work or would a warm reboot be required after modifying the autoexec be done first?
I would assume you need to do a warm reboot since the OS loading has either dirtied or locked the Ramdrives from changing drive letters or capacity.
Not many of my Customers are kids or grandparents. A GUI that edits the AUTOEXEC.BAT file would be simpler than trying to integrate it. Reboot is needed.
Well if you can make a hidden Ramdisk (not use a drive letter) as the Temp drive location it would be useful in that case as most people won't be digging around there.
You also mentioned you had a drive letter mounter to do any switching so you could switch it to a real drive letter when needed and force another drive out.
A Temp Folder has to be named. I could make an INT 13 RAMDisk that provides an unnamed drive, but this requires programs that can use it.
The swapper only runs in DOS. It can swap an existing Drive with a non-existing Drive but they both need to be Drive Letters A-Z.
Most of the ideas I stated were to make it such but as you said they are not possible.
So if the foundation of ideas can't work the subsequent ones will not matter.
No. Robustness means strong, sturdy, reliable, not fancy. Your ideas are unrelated to "robustness".
Not sure. I haven't checked your prices vs the current prices for others.
I suppose if yours did cost $20 then a GUI version for $30 would be reasonable to me and possibly others.
Or a combo package of both versions for $40 basically older CLI and newer GUI options for the user.
Maybe you should check first.
Then the price above I think would be fair for most all things equal. What is the capacity limit of the Ramdrive for DOS and for 9X/ME?
Depends on your target audience. With 9X you are restricted and need a compliant 9X/ME based graphics card and drivers. Going to real DOS most older DOS based games should work and native applications or utilities. Now if FreeDOS was used instead possibly the source code could improve DOS hardware compatibility that might open up multiple cores to be utilized. The 98SE USB advantage is allowing a USB sound device to be identified as a Sound Blaster type when used with DOSBOX. There is less work for the user to get a DOS gaming rig going on a modern system in this manner than it would be to install 98SE from scratch on a Coffee Lake system. Now if you're not a frequenter of Vogons you might not know the niche it may fill there for legacy gamers.
But this is the only viable idea I have of making 98SE relevant today on newer machines so it isn't about me. Remember I have older P4s with ISA slots and have made SkyLake work with 98SE but the limitations and the steps to get it to work properly versus the 98SE DOS using 98 system files and USB 2.0 support would simplify a lot of the problems. Most standard 9X/ME applications can run properly in XP so direct 9X/ME apps really are now pointless to most consumers.
However your background programming expertise is mainly in DOS and an understanding of 9X/ME so this is something I would think you'd be capable of doing rather easily. We all wish we were billionaires but then we wouldn't be working anymore. Like you said there is no free lunch so if you want food on the table you must make something that brings in the dough like your patches. Just eyeballing the 98SE tests I've done on socket 1151/AM4 motherboards the pool of people trying to get these to work on these modern systems is less than I would have suspected. Even recent attempts by others seem to have failed where I was successful and not many probably use my technique either.
DOS itself is rather simplistic and easier to get working even on a Coffee Lake system. There is also no AHCI driver issue to deal with or any potential 9X/ME based conflicts that come up plaguing the system. Otherwise I'm out of any other ideas that you can sink your teeth into of value. I see no other branch to prolong 98SE's usefulness on modern systems and that's just being honest.
So it comes down to a FREEDOS modification to support multicores and being able to run 98SE programs at the command line. 98SE USB detection of devices (sound and game controller) in 98SE DOS the system is running. Two other useful programs MUNT and DOSBOX that would definitely be 9X/ME programs if it could be run at the 98SE Real DOS command line would make 98SE relevant on modern systems. Otherwise I would say the death coffin is pretty much closed for 9X/ME relevance which is regrettable.
You can run 9x without Video or Disk Drivers. I already have a partial solution for AHCI.
New machines use USB 3 so 9x Drivers would not be of any help even if I could interface them.
I am very rarely on Vogons so I don't know how many games can't be run on 9x that can be run on DOS.
I need the FAT16 for the backward compatibility of DOS programs in case it dislikes FAT32 partitions.
The vast majority of Programs don't care about the FileSystyem type.
Sounds like SSDs going forward for larger capacities would be a better solution to avoid these misalignments. The drives do take a beating and slow down reusing deleted space.
I already have a TRIM Program.
The USB Bus is 4K in this case. The SATA Bus is 512B.
Are all the USB to SATA adapters you have 4K USB Bus and 512B SATA Bus including the two USB docks you previously mentioned?
What current > 2.2TB drive capacities do you have now aside from the recent 6TB 4Kn drive?
Does your SATA to USB adapter allow the 6TB 4Kn drive to recognize the entire drive as one large MBR NTFS partition uncapped?
Most of my adapters auto-translate. They use 4K Sectors on the USB Bus for Drives >2TiB and 512B Sectors for smaller Drives.
The two Docks are non-tranlating
I have at least one External Drive that uses an adapter that appears to always translate since it is <2TiB. I haven't opened it so there might not be a physical adapter.
You might want to see if your new 4Kn drive hooked via SATA directly can interface with XP SP1-3 and the same for USB 2.0 Port to XP SP1-3.
Does both the SATA and the USB method allow booting off this 4Kn drive on the Z87?
Windows XP SP3 does not support 4Kn drives hooked via SATA. The BT-300 USB Adapter passes through the 4K Sectors so it should work with XP the same as more conventional large External Drives.
The Z87 won't boot off 4K USB Devices, only 4Kn SATA Devices.
So both XP SP3 and the USB Stack handle 4KB at the FS level?
Are you saying XP works with your 4Kn drive directly connected via SATA and also using your SATA to USB on the USB 2.0 ports?
The FS supports 4K.
The lack of IDE support prevents a SATA Connected 4Kn Drive from working.
The IDE stack is used if using the IDE controller with IDE devices but what about a BIOS setting SATA in IDE compatibility mode, does this use the IDE stack in XP?
How does this affect computers using the XP AHCI mode which SkyLake and all modern systems are now stuck on?
Different BIOS manufacturers use the term IDE rather ambiguously, typically to refer to the older Technology.
It can mean:
PATA not SATA
Legacy not Native
Register not AHCI
In the case of XP the IDE Stack handles all Register based Controllers, not AHCI. PATA vs. SATA and Legacy vs. Native Mode settings are not relevant.
If you have an AHCI Driver or use the latest UniATA, you have AHCI support.
You are talking about the IDE stack? What files are needed to be patched? This sounds like something that would affect NT/2K since they lack AHCI.
Not sure. At least PARTMGR.SYS. You have the Paragon GPT Loader, I don't. It replaced files.
So what ends up happening in 9X when using the 2K Sectors or your 4Kn drive?
2K is the limit for an unmodified 9x FS. I upgraded it to 4K with my Patches. I can't test 2K with my 4Kn Drive. I tested 2K performance by putting a FAT32 Partition on a CD.
Well you can examine my 8TB post I updated it with the DOS MBR I extracted.
RFDISK can make any MBR I need. Your post is irrelevant here.
I don't think anyone has actually "achieved" and hooked up a true 16TB single drive as MBR in XP just yet.
Now there was this Samsung 16TB 2.5" SSD that cost a fortune that only Bill Gates' son could afford. It's doubtful the owner of something like that would hook it to XP or make the attempt to get it seen as a 16TB MBR drive but most likely GPT on Windows 10.
I said "can be done", not did. The capability to do 16TiB with USB is old news.
Apparently you are admitting the even a 16TB Drive is going to end up being Partitioned with GPT. So stop pushing >4K Sectors.
Assuming the OS's supported 64KB wouldn't the 64KB open up higher capacities just as 4K vs 512B?
I would figure it would be less of a burden when transferring TBs of data per second one day.
I was referring to Physical Sector size.
The capacity increase only applies to MBR. EMBR and GPT won't have this problem for a long time.
The timing bug in Windows 98 will reappear long before these speeds are achieved.
Yes the 64KB to 4KB translation does slow it down but since it's done on the drive side the OS wouldn't care as long as the OS was happy with the 4KB blocks.
As I mentioned before, switching from 4K to 64K Physical Sectors would only provide a mild capacity improvement. The ECC overhead was already reduced by going to 4K.
The translation itself does NOT slow things down as long as alignment is maintained.
Translation only affects Pointers and Length not the actual transfer.
A 512B request such as read 16 Sectors starting at Sector 800 is translated to a 4K request to read 2 Sectors starting at Sector 100. Everything else is the same.
There's only one way to find out and test on as many motherboards one has starting with the newest. Since I have more Intel MBs you probably won't have to do that much work weeding out just the AMD ones that work with 4Kn drives. I'll take care of the other half as soon as some cheap 2.5" 4Kn drive pops on the market to do some more testing. But for the Bootable testing even the smallest capacity drive will do down to 128GB to see how they work with older OSs.
Microsoft has been notorious for leaving out exact facts that matter. I'm sure they might as well have stated somewhere DOS will not work on anything past a P4 but here I am using it still today.
You will need to buy the Drive and my TeraByte Plus Package. I am planning to add the newest 4K fixes soon.
You cannot use an AUS smaller than the Logical Sector size.
Fully accessible means that the entirety of the Disk can be accesses without causing corruption.
The "Patches" refer to my TeraByte Plus Package Patches. This the only relevant Package to this entire discussion.
When I wrote it, I combined all my major Disk related projects into one Package. This includes:
Providing support above 2TiB for 512B Disks.
Large Logical Sector support.
Larger Cluster support.
Native Mode and PCI/PCI-E Card support.
Partition fixes and improvements
Replacement Boot loader for IO.SYS.
BIOS replacement DDOs.
Advanced Partitioning and Formatting tools.
You can see and boot from a 3TB SATA connected 512e Drive but you cannot access all of it. DOS would not understand an address above 2TiB. If you use the 4TiB MBR approach, you will corrupt the Drive.