Full Description of File
DISKSPIN.COM v1.0 -- Tired of wasting 66% of
your cleaning disks throwing them away in
compliance with manufacturing specifications
after only 15 cleanings? Use DISKSPIN, this
program will allow you to set your floppy
heads in one of three set positions and
dwell for 30 seconds. This will allow you
to use your cleaning disks 45 times!
Contents of the DISKSPIN.DOC file
Freeware, with an option to buy!
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This program is freeware as distributed in this archive. The program and
documentation file should not be separated. The program and documentation
should not be modified, except insofar as to recompress with a compression
protocol of your own preference (though the version of .ZIP I use treats me
well maybe you're still sympathetic to SEA).
No fee may be charged and no compensation may be received for this program
except by the author (that's what you get when you write something), all
rights are retained by the author including distribution rights, sales
rights, and all other rights specified or not.
This program may be distributed by any means within the above restrictions
except for situations where it will be available only to paid
subscribers,members, etc. as that is denying the freeware principle to work
(where it's "free for a fee", which of course is not free at all).
This program was written on an IBM AT* compatible computer system, it was
tested only on an IBM AT compatible computer system. While theoretically it
should work on a wide variety of IBM computer platforms, it is only expected
to work on an IBM AT compatible computer system. I was also only tested on MS
DOS 5.0, though earlier versions should work I'm not sure how far back you
can go and expect it to function properly.
Diskspin does not attempt to write to the disk, so spinning a regular disk
will not affect the media. Only drives A and B can be specified as
parameters, even if you try to specify drives 2 or 3 they will be ignored. So
hard disks or secondary floppies can't be accedentally spun (which, again,
should be perfectly harmless even to valid media).
However, any punk with a shread of assembly knowledge should be able to
locate the code that specifies the spin cycle and turn it in to a wash cycle
and wash your data right away...so make sure that you have a good copy of
this program, I didn't release a trojan or virus (I make plenty of efforts to
insure this), however I can't gurantee that between the time I distributed
this program and the time you recieved it that someone else didn't either
intentionally or inadvertently infect the program with a virus or otherwise
reverse engineer the program.
I could include a CRC for you to check, but that'd be one more thing for
me to update in the docs between updates, and it could be easily altered with
any text editor by the same person who would want to set up a trojan program
and have it appear to be legitimate (which of course is the goal of every
So, in short, if you doubt this program is safe then by all means don't
run it. If, however, after you've read the docs you want a safe copy, then
write or call me directly and I will send you a safe copy that you can be
sure is unaltered or uninfected. See ordering for more info on this option.
With the above said and understood no warantee, expressed or implied,
exists as to the operation or function of this program. Failure of this
program to perform to expectations is a possibility under the wide variety of
circumstances that this program may be subjected to. As such any negative
result shall be the sole responsibility of the person who executed, or caused
to be executed, the Diskspin program.
An IBM AT compatible computer, though others may work, the main function
in question is the drive determination routine which attempts to read the AT
BIOS drive type, if it senses a predictable error then it defaults to 40
tracks (since I figure an XT would have a 40 track drive).
MS DOS, most versions should work, but let's say, version 3.2 or higher.
A working system timer, since the program has a fixed duration of 30
Background and Function:
It's recommended that you clean your disk drive heads after every 40 hours
of use (more or less depending upon actual usage). I use my floppies quite a
I orderd my disk cleaning kits (About $15.00 worth), and was reading the
package and each disk indicated that it was good for 15 uses. That's about
two weeks, so I had (between my 3.5" and 5.25" drives) ordered about two
months supply of cleaning disks...Which I suppose to some is a reasonable
maintenance cost (except for those of you who don't believe in preventive
maintenance yet, though I believe anyone who uses computers will eventually
come to the conclusion sooner or later that it's easier to delay or prevent
failures and errors than to constantly take the dive and then try to recover
Anyway, for me, I just didn't like trashing an apparantly new disk after
15 uses...I'm the type of guy that uses head cleaning tapes for years because
"it still looks good", like I can tell by looking at the case. with disks is
was especially irritating, especially since I know enough about the mechanics
of a drive to know that the head is in a very specific spot, usually on the
outside rim of the disk where the directory sector is located. It just sits
there and the drive spins and that cleans the heads. So why trash the disk if
only the outside ring a head's widths wide is dirty?
I figure you should safely be able to have three step reigons where you
can clean the heads for 15 times extending the life of a single cleaning disk
from 15 cleanings to 45 cleanings. (Actually, if I examined it a little
closer I'm pretty sure 4 steps would be safe, or maybe even more since the
actual surface contact of the heads is a pretty concentrated area).
This way, if after 5 cleanings you see contamination and are supposed to
trash the disk you just line through your first 15 cleanings, then start
using the middle of the cleaning disk, then the end and you still get another
30 cleanings out of that 15 cleaning disk.
It shouldn't take long to appreciate the savings in cleaning media after
you get used to using the program in your cleaning routine. If you want to
make sure I'm not using smoke and mirrors feel free to pop the cover off your
computer and use the program with a regular formatted floppy and watch the
head as you run from track 0 to track M to track I.
Diskspin takes two parameters, the order of the parameters is important.
The first parameter is the drive number, and invalid number and the
program defaults to drive A:, a parameter of 1 will specify drive B:.
The second parameter is the track to spin on, there are three valid
choices. 0, M, and I (it's not case sensitive). 0 is the outermost track, M
is the middle track, and I is the innermost track.
ooooo <- Track 0 I generally start with track 0 and work in, though this
o o <- Track M isn't necessary in practice it might be better to start
o o <- Track I on the inner track since the drive will almost always
o 0 o start on track 0 and therefore have to spin there at
o o least a few turns before it moves the head in (since
o o the BIOS won't step the head until the disk is up to
The default if no parameters are given however is to
spin drive A: on track 0, it will spin for :30, which is still more
conveinient than the directions that came with my 3M kit to 'type DIR
For you techno guys, here's the syntax for program exection:
diskspin [drive #] [track]
where drive # is '0' or '1' and track is a 0, M, or I.
M and I are calculated by an IBM AT routine to determine the maximum
number of tracks, if you don't have an AT or you have an unsupported drive
(2.88 maybe, I don't have one so I don't know) then it will error. It SHOULD
default to 40 tracks, which should work, however the spread in the steps
won't be as great as I've intended.
After the program is run you'll see a summary of the drive it's working on
and the track it's spinning at, though unless your memory is really bad
you'll already know that, the first number however is the time into the spin,
and this number should more or less stop around 30, after 30 seconds.
However since a cleaning disk generates a time out it's not nearly as
quick a return as an actual disk (if you spin on a regular formatted floppy
you'll see that it's much faster, though of course it provides no cleaning
Support may be requested by writing the author:
P.O. Box 171446
San Diego, CA 92197
Include a S.A.S.E. for a simple verbal question or to submit comments or
suggestions. If you would like a 'certified safe' copy that has not been
distributed through the online networks, please include a $5. S&H fee and
specify what format disk you would like the program on and send you the
latest distribution copy.
If you want to call San Diego directly to obtain the latest copy directly
from the author, call Aardvark B.B.S. (619) 272-5553.
This is the full extent to which support is offered, however since the
program is fairly self explanitory there shouldn't be a need to have any more
If you would like to register this program then you will help compensate
me for my time in providing you a means of tripling your investment on head
cleaning disks. Whatever small contribution you could make to my efforts
would be paid back in a matter of time (depending upon your disk usage)
simply by using this program.
After that point in time with the costs of the cleaning disks saved
exceeds what you've given me everything else will be a net saving forever and
ever. What a deal. So consider this and maybe we can both get a case of the
fuzzies with a mutual sharing deal.
You'll also gain a voice, any comments or suggestions will have priority
influence on any future revisions or programming projects I may consider, and
if you include a return address I can harass you with direct mailings of
futre programs I may come up with that could be of interest to you (which of
course you could 'try and maybe buy'.
No you don't have to do this, because this is freeware. But you do have
the option to buy. If you do contribute $10. or more I'll include any updates
or revisions I make of this program.
I have a version that will clean both drives at once, but it's a tad
cheezy, if I get it perfected though I'll send it off to the registered users
first and may not distribute it 'normally' as a bonus for those who are
considerate of the time I spent on this (though, in honesty, I think I've
spent more time on this stupid doc file which pathetically is larger than the
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* AT is a registered trademark of International Business Machines
* MS DOS is a registered tradeamrk of Microsoft Corporation