Contents of the ATDIAG.DOC file
AT HARD DISK DIAGNOSTIC
ATDIAG.COM IS A HARD DISK FORMAT PROGRAM FOR THE IBM-PC 'AT' ONLY! It was
uploaded to this system and has been tested on my AT in every manner that I
could think of. It was written as an alternative to IBM's Advanced Diagnostic
program costing $275. As with any program having the ability to write to a
storage device, you should have a good idea what you desire to accomplish
before attempting to use it. IT HAS THE ABILITY TO DESTROY ALL DATA ON THE
The program is menu driven with the ability to capture error data to a printer.
The function keys are used to select options to be performed, F1 - F7 are
'safe' keys. They will run drive checkout tests on the test cylinder, prepare
the hard disk for relocation and scan all tracks for data errors. F8 will do a
surface analysis on the disk, destroying all data on the drive (after a warning
prompt which gives you an 'out'). F9 will format the disk giving you the
option to either retain the currently flagged defects or to try to reclaim
them. If you reclaim them, I suggest you run the surface analysis after the
format to reflag the truly defective tracks. In my testing a previously
flagged track was not always reflagged leading me to the believe that some
marginal track conditions may not be caught (either by ATDIAG or by the IBM
Adv. Diags.) hence the last function key exists. F10 will allow flagging of a
specific sector from user supplied data.
My personal experience with ATDIAG.COM has been favorable. My AT has 3 tracks
flagged by the manufacturer (IBM supplied CMI drive), they are (cyl-hd) 049-3,
050-0 and 150-3. Both ATDIAG and IBM Adv. Diags. flag cyl 049 and 150,
neither flags 050 leading me to believe that this track is very marginal. I
reflagged it with ATDIAG. You will still need to run FDISK from DOS to create
the DOS partition and then DOS FORMAT to build the file allocation table,
directory and transfer the system to the hard disk. In the final analysis;
1) The program will do what it claims, and 2) It doesn't cost $275.00.
It also has a distinct advantage over the IBM Advanced Diagnostics, in that it
formats from the lower numbered tracks to the higher ones. This means that
drives having fewer cylinders than those for which IBM has made provision can
be formatted easily.
Gene Lowry - Sysop
Bigfoot's BBS (408) 225-1845
San Jose, CA.
8 February 1985
Minor changes by:
12 MAY 1985