> I think it still did use DOS file system calls, but I could be wrong.

It circumvented DOS for higher performance if no DOS software was  
intercepting or handling the FS and block device functions (from DOS Int21  
API through DOS block device down to ROM-BIOS Int13 API), at Windows  
start-up. If it detected any such interception, it would indeed run the  
affected FS in some sort of compatibility mode where it used the  
underlying V86 APIs (block devices, Int13) instead of its own ones. This  
incidentally disabled its LFN functionality for the affected FS.


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