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Corrected FDISK and FORMAT

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#1
Petr

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I have tried to correct wrong display in Windows 98 SE FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM.

FDISK.EXE from Q263044 can handle even disks above 137 GB but the display is everywhere limited to 5 digits, on some places the last digit is truncated but most often it appears in the next field and shifts all subsequent values to the right, the result is almost unreadable. The same problem is with FDISK.EXE from Windows Me.

I have increased the display to 6 digits and I hope it works everywhere, please test it. There was too many modifications so I could make a mistake. For sizes >=100GB there is no space between the word before this number and this number, it would be necessary to shorten the text on some place and I think this is acceptable behavior.

FORMAT.COM from Windows 98 SE has limited the size of in the "Formatting.." message to 5 characters before the decimal dot, but including the thousand comma. The result is that the size for disks above 10 GB was shown incorrectly, in very confusing way: If the size was 12,345.67 MB, then the display was 12,34.67 MB - very bad.

It was easy to correct this behavior by extending the size to 6 characters, this correction is already made in Windows Me FORMAT.COM. Unfortunately there is another limit - the size in megabytes is 16-bit integer and therefore the biggest displayable size is 65,535.99 MB. 80 GB disk appears as 10758 MB disk (76293 - 65536).
It would be possible to rewrite the display routine but I'm nit sure if it is worth the effort.

Here are the corrected files, please test:

Attached File  disktools.zip   52.82KB   610 downloads

Petr


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#2
MDGx

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Posted here:

* Unofficial Windows 98 SE Display Errors FORMAT.COM + FDISK.EXE Fix:
http://www.msfn.org/...showtopic=85573
Direct download [110 KB, English]:
http://www.mdgx.com/files/FDSKFRMT.EXE
This NEWer FDISK.EXE Fix replaces OLDer Q263044 FDISK.EXE Fix:
http://support.micro....com/?id=263044

Keep up the good work, Petr.

#3
LLXX

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Any thoughts on Free FDISK?

#4
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I have tried to correct wrong display in Windows 98 SE FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM.

FDISK.EXE from Q263044 can handle even disks above 137 GB but the display is everywhere limited to 5 digits, on some places the last digit is truncated but most often it appears in the next field and shifts all subsequent values to the right, the result is almost unreadable. The same problem is with FDISK.EXE from Windows Me.

I have increased the display to 6 digits and I hope it works everywhere, please test it. There was too many modifications so I could make a mistake. For sizes >=100GB there is no space between the word before this number and this number, it would be necessary to shorten the text on some place and I think this is acceptable behavior.

FORMAT.COM from Windows 98 SE has limited the size of in the "Formatting.." message to 5 characters before the decimal dot, but including the thousand comma. The result is that the size for disks above 10 GB was shown incorrectly, in very confusing way: If the size was 12,345.67 MB, then the display was 12,34.67 MB - very bad.

It was easy to correct this behavior by extending the size to 6 characters, this correction is already made in Windows Me FORMAT.COM. Unfortunately there is another limit - the size in megabytes is 16-bit integer and therefore the biggest displayable size is 65,535.99 MB. 80 GB disk appears as 10758 MB disk (76293 - 65536).
It would be possible to rewrite the display routine but I'm nit sure if it is worth the effort.

Here are the corrected files, please test:

Attached File  disktools.zip   52.82KB   610 downloads

Petr


Good work - thx, Petr :thumbup
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#5
patchworks

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Uhm... don't waste your "powers" for proprietary tools (that is ILLEGAL, too):

Free FDISK - The official FDISK of FreeDOS :yes:

#6
LLXX

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Uhm... don't waste your "powers" for proprietary tools (that is ILLEGAL, too):

Free FDISK - The official FDISK of FreeDOS :yes:

...and a lot of the stuff in this forum here violates the EULA, but M$ doesn't seem to care...

However in this case I do recommend Free FDISK since it has some better features.

#7
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There's nothing illegal to it. It depends on where you live :)
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#8
Petr

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Uhm... don't waste your "powers" for proprietary tools (that is ILLEGAL, too):

Free FDISK - The official FDISK of FreeDOS :yes:


At this link is clearly written:

Supports hard disks up to 128GB in size.


I'd not believe in this tool for bigger disks and in general - are you sure that it is 100% compatible with MS-DOS 7.1 and 8.0 and Windows 95/SE/Me?. And do you know it's license? Is it illegal to redistribute it too, I've written to the author and not received the permission to add it to the SESP.

As Mr. Loew explained here approx. year ago, according to DMCA it is legal to patch the software to correct its bugs.

Yes, to be fully compliant with all licenses, it would be better to distribute just patches, not full programs, but since I have seen that even Microsoft recommends http://www.bootdisk.com/ that contains MS fdisk and format utilities I see no reason for it.

Petr

#9
BenoitRen

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Does the free FDISK allow for repartitioning without data loss?
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#10
jaclaz

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Does the free FDISK allow for repartitioning without data loss?


No, it does not, it is a (enhanced) version of FDISK, with a GNU license.

@Petr

VERY good work :) , downloading file and bookmarking this and Mdgx link, thanks!

I don't understand however the problem about the

And do you know it's license? Is it illegal to redistribute it too, I've written to the author and not received the permission to add it to the SESP.

it is covered by "standard" GNU GPL, of which this should be the interesting part:

1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you
conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate
copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the
notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty;
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along with the Program.

You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and
you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.

2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion
of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
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above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:

a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices
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b ) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
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c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively
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the Program is not required to print an announcement.)


These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If
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In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
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to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is
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There is no need to "ask for permission" to anybody, but you MUST cite original author, give the source code of your modifications and keep the "Open source" license.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 03 November 2006 - 09:07 AM.


#11
erpdude8

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Uhm... don't waste your "powers" for proprietary tools (that is ILLEGAL, too):

Free FDISK - The official FDISK of FreeDOS :yes:

...and a lot of the stuff in this forum here violates the EULA, but M$ doesn't seem to care...

However in this case I do recommend Free FDISK since it has some better features.


eh, sure some of the "stuff" here may break MS's EULA, but they no longer apply when Win98/ME are no longer supported by M$.

nice work, Petr. will include updated Fdisk.exe & Format.com tools in next release of 98fe SP.

#12
erpdude8

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Uhm... don't waste your "powers" for proprietary tools (that is ILLEGAL, too):

Free FDISK - The official FDISK of FreeDOS :yes:


At this link is clearly written:

Supports hard disks up to 128GB in size.

I'd not believe in this tool for bigger disks and in general - are you sure that it is 100% compatible with MS-DOS 7.1 and 8.0 and Windows 95/SE/Me?. And do you know it's license? Is it illegal to redistribute it too, I've written to the author and not received the permission to add it to the SESP.

As Mr. Loew explained here approx. year ago, according to DMCA it is legal to patch the software to correct its bugs.

Yes, to be fully compliant with all licenses, it would be better to distribute just patches, not full programs, but since I have seen that even Microsoft recommends http://www.bootdisk.com/ that contains MS fdisk and format utilities I see no reason for it.

Petr


great points, Petr. Mr. "patchworks" here doesnt get it. Free FDISK is OUTDATED and cant support HDs beyond 128Gb, hence 48bit LBA support is barely non-existent (or at least buggy) in Free FDISK. And documentation on Free FDISK is kinda lame and does not mention full 48bit LBA support on large HDs.

#13
LLXX

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Uhm... don't waste your "powers" for proprietary tools (that is ILLEGAL, too):

Free FDISK - The official FDISK of FreeDOS :yes:


At this link is clearly written:

Supports hard disks up to 128GB in size.

I'd not believe in this tool for bigger disks and in general - are you sure that it is 100% compatible with MS-DOS 7.1 and 8.0 and Windows 95/SE/Me?. And do you know it's license? Is it illegal to redistribute it too, I've written to the author and not received the permission to add it to the SESP.

They haven't bothered to update the main page, but just download it and read through the source... it uses 32-bit calculations internally and supports Int13x, i.e. disks up to 2048Gb should be fine with this. I've used it on a 160Gb drive with no problem (this was an even earlier version of FFDISK I used, in the days before I released Enable48BitLBA).

The reason why the author has not replied about this is because it clearly states in the GNU GPL that you can redistribute it...

Yes, to be fully compliant with all licenses, it would be better to distribute just patches, not full programs, but since I have seen that even Microsoft recommends http://www.bootdisk.com/ that contains MS fdisk and format utilities I see no reason for it.

Maybe you should submit your fixed versions to bootdisk.com...

Edited by LLXX, 03 November 2006 - 05:12 PM.


#14
Petr

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I believe that the free FDISK may work.

I use Ranish Partition Manager if I need to partition something non-standard.

Several years ago when I configured my PC with many different OSes I've noticed that although partitiong seems to be very easy, different utilities write slightly different data to the partition table and partitioning made by one program was considered as invaild by other. I had tested Win98 FDISK, Windows XP partitioning, Linux fdisk, some fdisk delivered with Ghost and maybe some other. The funniest story was that if I used Win98 fdisk, WinXP had no problem in extended partition, but if I used Windows XP partitioning, the system did not boot. I discovered that the difference was the data written to the offset from the start of the disk field - Windows XP partitioning wrote offset from the start of the extended partition instead. (if I remember correctly). There are also differences in the chain of partition tables used for logical disk drives in extended partition. Also some partitioning programs starts all partitions at head 0, sector 1, while others can start (and end) the partition anywhere.

And the biggest problem for me was to determine the right number for each partition (I had about 20 partitions) - different numbering was used by Windows XP in boot.ini (default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(7)\WINDOWS), Windows XP disk manager shows no numbers and even the ordering is different, Ghost shows different numbers, linux shows different partition numbers (hda1, hda2, ... hda16), terrible experience if you have to configure boot.ini or lilo.conf after moving the OS to different partition or just to determine in Ghost what is the right source and destination partition.

Does anybody know - is there anywhere some good description of this?

Edit: There is also other difference, different FDISKs use different partition type for different tasks.


Petr

Edited by Petr, 04 November 2006 - 07:03 AM.


#15
Petr

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In Windows XP Service Pack 2 Deployment Tools is contained oformat.exe, it checks for MS-DOS version 8.00 (Windows Me DOS) and is almost the same. Something is explained here: NTFS Preinstallation and Windows XP

OFORMAT. This utility is based upon the Windows 98 Second Edition FORMAT tool but has these important modifications to allow it to work efficiently in a system manufacturers scripting environment:
• OFORMAT does not prompt for confirmation before formatting a disk.
• OFORMAT does not perform verification of sectors. This makes it significantly faster than the conventional FORMAT utility.
• The new /A command-line option causes OFORMAT to align FAT data clusters at a specified sector. Specifically, the /A:8 option can be used to format the volume so that the FAT data clusters are aligned at 4K boundaries.

Important: Because sectors are 512 bytes, the OFORMAT command must be used with the /A:8 option to create a FAT volume that can be efficiently converted to NTFS.


Even this version (released in 2004) has 65536 MB limit in displaying "Formatting 65,535.99M" message.


Petr

#16
jaclaz

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Does anybody know - is there anywhere some good description of this?


Can you be more specific?

Look at the link I posted in reply on the other thread:
http://www.msfn.org/...o...85729&st=15

The general reference for everything MBR/Bootsector related is the Starman's realm:
http://thestarman.pcministry.com/

Some info on geometry and bootsectors can be found on my page:
http://home.graffiti...B/USBstick.html

jaclaz

#17
erpdude8

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I have tried to correct wrong display in Windows 98 SE FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM.

FDISK.EXE from Q263044 can handle even disks above 137 GB but the display is everywhere limited to 5 digits, on some places the last digit is truncated but most often it appears in the next field and shifts all subsequent values to the right, the result is almost unreadable. The same problem is with FDISK.EXE from Windows Me.

I have increased the display to 6 digits and I hope it works everywhere, please test it. There was too many modifications so I could make a mistake. For sizes >=100GB there is no space between the word before this number and this number, it would be necessary to shorten the text on some place and I think this is acceptable behavior.

FORMAT.COM from Windows 98 SE has limited the size of in the "Formatting.." message to 5 characters before the decimal dot, but including the thousand comma. The result is that the size for disks above 10 GB was shown incorrectly, in very confusing way: If the size was 12,345.67 MB, then the display was 12,34.67 MB - very bad.

It was easy to correct this behavior by extending the size to 6 characters, this correction is already made in Windows Me FORMAT.COM. Unfortunately there is another limit - the size in megabytes is 16-bit integer and therefore the biggest displayable size is 65,535.99 MB. 80 GB disk appears as 10758 MB disk (76293 - 65536).
It would be possible to rewrite the display routine but I'm nit sure if it is worth the effort.

Here are the corrected files, please test:

Attached File  disktools.zip   52.82KB   610 downloads

Petr


If you have time Petr, can you also patch the Win98 FE (1st edition) version of FDISK.EXE. Look at MS article 263044. File sizes for the Win98FE and Win98SE versions of the FDISK.EXE files are different.

Q263044 Fdisk.exe for Win98 FE is 64428 bytes in size while Fdisk.exe for Win98 SE is 64460 bytes in size.

However, BOTH Win98 FE and SE versions of original FORMAT.COM file have same identical size [49575 bytes]. It looks like the patched FORMAT.COM file you made CAN be used under both Win98 FE and SE.

After making the patched Fdisk.exe file for Win98 FE, the unofficial Fdisk.exe/Format.com patch made by MDGx will have to be re-packaged to include both the FE and SE editions of Fdisk.exe.

Edited by erpdude8, 06 November 2006 - 10:01 AM.


#18
Petr

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If you have time Petr, can you also patch the Win98 FE (1st edition) version of FDISK.EXE. Look at MS article 263044. File sizes for the Win98FE and Win98SE versions of the FDISK.EXE files are different.

Q263044 Fdisk.exe for Win98 FE is 64428 bytes in size while Fdisk.exe for Win98 SE is 64460 bytes in size.

However, BOTH Win98 FE and SE versions of original FORMAT.COM file have same identical size [49575 bytes]. It looks like the patched FORMAT.COM file you made CAN be used under both Win98 FE and SE.

After making the patched Fdisk.exe file for Win98 FE, the unofficial Fdisk.exe/Format.com patch made by MDGx will have to be re-packaged to include both the FE and SE editions of Fdisk.exe.


Yes, I know, I'm just waiting for any feedback, after verification that SE version works perfectly I can modify FE and ME versions too.

On the other hand I have no idea what should be the difference between W95 OSR2, W98, W98SE and WMe versions of FDISK (with exception for check for DOS version 7.1 or 8.0)? Is there different letter ordering? Are there different requirements on partition type, size, position? Or should I just make one version working on all systems?

Petr

#19
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Posted here:

* Unofficial Windows 98 SE Display Errors FORMAT.COM + FDISK.EXE Fix:
http://www.msfn.org/...showtopic=85573
Direct download [110 KB, English]:
http://www.mdgx.com/files/FDSKFRMT.EXE
This NEWer FDISK.EXE Fix replaces OLDer Q263044 FDISK.EXE Fix:
http://support.micro....com/?id=263044

Keep up the good work, Petr.

Does this means Q263044 is obselete?

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#20
Petr

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Here is corrected version of FORMAT, it shows now "Formatting xxxG" for disks > 64 GB.

Attached File  disktools.zip   52.82KB   145 downloads

Please test.

Petr

#21
LLXX

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On the other hand I have no idea what should be the difference between W95 OSR2, W98, W98SE and WMe versions of FDISK (with exception for check for DOS version 7.1 or 8.0)? Is there different letter ordering? Are there different requirements on partition type, size, position? Or should I just make one version working on all systems?

Kill the versioncheck on and fix the ME version and release that. Supposedly M$ has already corrected some small bugs in the ME version so you won't need to do as much ;)

#22
MDGx

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Updated installer with new files [11-7-2006]:

* Unofficial Windows 98/98 SP1/98 SE Display Errors FORMAT.COM + FDISK.EXE Fix:
http://www.msfn.org/...showtopic=85573
Direct download [110 KB, English]:
http://www.mdgx.com/files/FDSKFRMT.EXE
This NEWer FDISK.EXE Fix replaces OLDer Q263044 FDISK.EXE Fix:
http://support.micro....com/?id=263044

#23
XP-is-a-CRAP

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I have tried to correct wrong display in Windows 98 SE FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM.


Hmmm....

If you are a good programmer you could have a look at FreeDOS FDISK. It is mostly done, it works
(I tested up to 10GB), and full LBA48 support up to 2 TB (if anyone needs this, I don't) should be easily doable if not yet present. It unfortunately seems to lack a maintainer by now.

BTW, FreeDOS FDISK fakes the (slightly silly) M$-FDISK design ... and does not have advanced features like partition resising without data loss.

BTW: The newest FreeDOS DEFRAG 1.2.1 should support FAT32 now !!!

#24
Petr

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If you are a good programmer you could have a look at FreeDOS FDISK. It is mostly done, it works
(I tested up to 10GB), and full LBA48 support up to 2 TB (if anyone needs this, I don't) should be easily doable if not yet present. It unfortunately seems to lack a maintainer by now.


I'm not good programmer (better to say no programmer at all).
I tested Q263044 fdisk and it worked with many partitions and with 250GB disk.
AFAIK there is nothing like LBA48 support in FDISK, LBA48 must be supported by BIOS.
The advantage of Q263044 fdisk is that it is localized to many languages.
Everything what I did was correction of display in case of disk above 99999 MB.
I have not heard about any problem with MS Q263044 FDISK yet.
In fact there is absolutely no feedback so I don't know if everything is correct or not.

Petr

#25
LLXX

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I have tried to correct wrong display in Windows 98 SE FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM.


Hmmm....

If you are a good programmer you could have a look at FreeDOS FDISK. It is mostly done, it works
(I tested up to 10GB)

10GB isn't saying much... M$'s own FDISK has a higher limit than that :whistle:




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