I have been testing FreeDOS FDISK and FORMAT today. I'm impressed by
these programs - they offer more than the MS-DOS versions. FDISK allows
command line processing and FORMAT has a secret /z switch to align on 4k
boundaries. However, I'm confused by some things:
My FDISK says that it's version 1.3.0 ?? If I go to this site:
it says FDISK 1.2.1, and if I go to freedos.org and click
"software|base|fdisk" it says 1.2.1 as well, so why does mine say 1.3.0?
Anyway, here's some notes with this version.
- DELL GX270, Intel board, Pentium, "IDE" hard-drive controller with 40
pin connector, DMA enabled in BIOS.
- Brand new sealed Segate 40GB hard drive (totally empty).
I checked it with FreeDOS FDISK, MS-DOS FDISK, PQMAGIC, and they all
said it was blank. As far as I know there was no MBR on this drive.
I created, formatted and deleted various FAT16 and FAT32 partitions.
Everything in FDISK worked as expected. I copied dozens of files from my
CD-ROM to the various partitions, checked readings in PQMAGIC and then
later deleted them. Again everything looked normal.
I ran Win2000 real-mode setup program over a network and it copied
hundreds of files to the Primary 2GB FAT32 partition, then rebooted, but
nothing happened (cursor on black screen) - I don't think there was an
MBR at this point, all other bootsector and loader files looked normal.
I ran Win2000 real-mode setup program again over a network and it copied
hundreds of files to a new Primary 2GB _FAT16_ partition, then rebooted,
but again nothing happened (cursor on black screen) - Again I don't
think there was an MBR at this point, all other bootsector and loader
files looked normal. I then run MS-DOS FDISK /MBR and suddenly the disk
booted as normal.
Soooo, I'm a bit surprised.
1. What happened to the "automatic" creation of an MBR discussed in the
other thread? It didn't seem to happen?
2. Why did no programs (FDISK and PQMAGIC) warn me at any point that the
MBR was missing? They all indicated "Active" and "Bootable" and "no errors"!
3. Why does Win2k setup program not warn about missing MBR or try to
4. How is the MBR supposed to get there in the first place. Is it the
job of the partitioning program, the system builder, the o/s setup
Gerry Hickman (London UK)
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