Contents of the OPTUNE.TXT file
Enclosed is a pre release version of OPTune, Gazelle's new hard
disk optimizer. The software is about 98% complete. Keep in mind
that this is a pre-release version, add is meant to be used for
trial purposes only. The licensed version of OPTune is one of
excellent quality, offering a utility to defragment, un-format
ajust interleave, perform extensive check disk functions, and
much more. This version will give you all the performace of the
disk utilities, but you will have to purchase the real thing to
get the rest.
Our beta testers raved about the speed of OPTune. Not only were
their initial defragmentation times unbelievably fast, they were
excited to be able to defragment their hard-disk daily in 2 to 10
Micro managers across the country that I have spoken with estimate
that 75% of the PC's they are responsible for have incorrect
interleave settings. OPTune allows them to properly adjust the
interleave through a low level non-destructive format which
provides their users a permanent increase in access time.
OPTune is reasonably priced at $99.95. Our site license program
provides substantial discounts for major software users. A
Licensee is provided two copies of software and documentation which
may be duplicated up to the licensed number of copies. The price
of the site license is determined by the number of copies needed
(minimum of 50). Toll-free technical support is provided at no
extra charge. Additional manuals are available.
A maintenance agreement which provides for upgrades is also
available. The maintenance fee, prepaid annually, is 10% of the
initial site license fee.
I would like to inform you of a potential problem with older 10
mega-byte hard-cards from Plus Development Corporation. Tunedisk
will not run on these cards. This caution DOES NOT apply to the
Optimize, Check-Disk, or Verify/Fix-Disk functions. These
functions will work properly on these older hard cards.
OPTune users should also be aware that on the final version there
will be a program to install OPTune onto a hard disk (OPSTART.EXE).
Also to be included is a program to recover from a power outage
during the safe mode of the Verify/Fix Disk option when a bit test
is in progress.
OPTune: The Gazelle Optimizer
FOR A LICENSED VERSION OF OPTUNE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SOFTWARE
DEALERSHIP. FOR CORPORATE SITE LICENSING OR OTHER SALES
42 North University Avenue, Suite 10
Provo, Utah 84601
(within Utah 801-377-1288)
Copyright Gazelle Systems 1988
INTRODUCTION TO OPTune
What is OPTune?
OPTune is an extremely fast and reliable software utility that can
dramatically improve the performance of your hard disk by ensuring
the most efficient operation of your mass storage system. OPTune
offers you complete hard-disk optimization. This includes:
OPTune optimizes your disk's DOS structure by sorting and
squeezing your file and directory entries. This will speed-
up directory operations, and allow programs to load much
faster. This will also greatly reduce wear-and tear on your
drive and will decrease the time spent in searching your
OPTune defragments all the files on your disk, and will not
stop before the job is finished (unless, of course, you tell
it to). It will physically realign the different segments of
files that DOS has scattered throughout your disk. By
organizing your files, OPTune will make data accessing much
faster, and your system will be more efficient. (DOS will
only have to go to one location to read a file, rather than
moving all over the disk to find the various parts of
fragmented files.) OPTune will completely defragment every
file on your disk, unlike some competing products that stop
the optimization process before it is completed.
OPTune allows you to modify the low-level format (see
Glossary) of your disk, ensuring that your computer system
communicates with your disk as efficiently as possible.
Complete integrity verification.
OPTune checks the complete DOS file and directory structure
before each optimization, and can fix any problems that
surface. In addition, the program can search for and repair
problem spots on your disk, even if those spots are currently
being used by files.
OPTune can also predict and prevent DOS errors before they
damage your files. Any part of your hard disk that is even
marginally bad can be permanently blocked out so that DOS will
never again use that section of the disk.
Safety and Reliability.
OPTune actually makes your disk more reliable. In addition
to preventing disk errors and recovering damaged files, OPTune
can also strengthen the magnetic fields on your disk, thereby
reducing the probability that you will ever see the "Abort,
Retry, Ignore?" message resulting from disk problems.
OPTune is the only optimizer that is completely compatible
with Q-DOS II. When you run Q-DOS II after using OPTune, it
will automatically rescan your optimized drive, so that it
will properly understand your new, optimized directory
Why OPTune is the Best
OPTune is faster.
OPTune combines the features and benefits of the best
optimizers available into one package that offers increased
speed and flexibility. OPTune performs its tasks up to 10
times faster than competing optimizers.
Generally, OPTune will initially take from 4 to 5 minutes to
optimize a 20 MB hard-disk (other products spend an average
of 30 minutes). Thereafter, daily optimization will take from
20 to 30 seconds (OPTune will not "re-optimize" a disk
unnecessarily--it will organize only those files that require
OPTune is the most comprehensive optimizer.
OPTune's unique combination of features handles all phases of
disk optimization. Other products, while producing very good
end results, can take over an hour to optimize a 32 MB disk,
while the faster competitors will sometimes leave portions of
the disk still fragmented. These competing programs cannot
support larger hard disks, and they will not work with the
newer, more-sophisticated versions of DOS.
OPTune is safer.
By researching all of our competitors' products we discovered
that most of them, under the guise of "making sure that your
disk's sensitive areas are always correct," spend up to 40%
of the optimization process updating the file allocation
tables and directory entries. THIS IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.
On the other hand, OPTune generally spends a maximum of 10%
of its time updating the File Allocation Table (usually only
20-25 seconds). If a power failure were to occur during
OPTune's optimization process, the worst that would usually
happen is that your disk would not be totally optimized. In
the event of damage, OPTune's built-in Check-Disk command
could help recover any lost data.
3 TYPES OF OPTIMIZATION
OPTune is the only optimizer available that offers all phases
of disk optimization. It will perform DOS optimization, file
defragmentation, and permanent tuning of your hard disk.
OPTune offers the fastest optimization available (from 2-10
times faster than competing products)! In addition, it can
permanently adjust your hard disk so that it runs from 20% to
OPTune can handle unusual disk formats such as:
1) All disk structures created and supported by
Compaq's latest DOS 3.31 and higher
2) Disks having more than 2 file allocation
3) Disks with root directories holding 1,024 or
4) Disks created using special hard-disk
partitioning schemes requiring special device drivers.
SAFETY AND RELIABILITY
We have done everything possible to ensure that your hard disk
will perform faithfully, while at the same time producing the
safest product possible. Our safety features include:
oA Check-Disk function. OPTune is the only product with
its own built-in Check-Disk function that improves on
all elements of the DOS "CHKDSK" command. Check-Disk is
run every time you use the optimizer; if there is
anything wrong with your disk's DOS structure, the
optimizer will not allow you to proceed until the problem
oA Verify/Fix-Disk function. OPTune is the only product
with its own built-in verification
function that can actually predict and prevent DOS errors before
they destroy your data. Our sensitive bit-pattern testing subjects
your disk to the most rigorous media verification possible. This
will flush out sectors that are starting to go bad long before they
would ever be detected by other means.
The program will support any hard disk or any DOS partition of any
size, given these constraints:
1) The DOS sector size is 16,384 bytes or smaller (most
disks use 512 bytes per sector), and the cluster size does not
2) No single file is greater than 2,147,483,647 bytes
3) There are no more than about 15,000 total files and
directories on the hard disk being optimized (this is due to
the 640K memory constraint in DOS)
4) There is at least one unused cluster (see Glossary)
on the disk being optimized (if not, simply erase one file)
5) The Tune-Disk command requires that the hard disk's
physical sector size be 512 bytes; all other commands
(Optimize, Verify/Fix-Disk, and Check-Disk) operate with all
sector sizes up to 16,384 bytes.
1) You must not use OPTune on an active network or in a
multi-tasking environment. If you try to optimize a disk
under these conditions, the whole disk may crash. OPTune
should only be used on network disks before the network is
2) OPTune will not work on a Novell disk server, or on
other network systems that do not allow direct sector reads
or that utilize non-standard directory formats.
3) OPTune should generally not be used when disk-
caching software is active (see below). Specifically, disk
caching programs that provide "intelligent-write" or "delayed-
write" capabilities may cause your hard disk to fail. OPTune
tests for these features and warns you if disk caching will
affect the function you wish to use; OPTune will refuse to run
Tune-Disk, for example, if disk caching software is detected.
Please refer to the "Using OPTune" section for information on the
safest way to use this utility.
About Disk Caching
Recently, many software companies have introduced products
known as "disk caching" programs. This software is uniquely
designed to increase computer processing speed by keeping data
that is frequently accessed from a hard drive in RAM. By
eliminating the need to access the drive, many operations can
be made faster -- sometimes even hundreds of times faster.
Such an increase in performance is usually very desirable.
However, eliminating actual disk accesses can cause severe
problems for products like OPTune. For example, a disk cache
can prevent an actual disk access from occurring during
Verify/Fix-Disk. The cache will cause Verify/Fix Disk to see
information as it is in RAM, rather than as it actually is on
the hard disk. This will prevent accurate detection of hard
Disk caching software can also cause serious problems when
Tune-Disk is altering the interleave of a hard disk. Many
cache programs eliminate disk accesses whenever they recognize
that data which is about to be written to an area of a disk
is identical to the data which was last read from that area
of the disk. If the cache is not intelligent enough to
recognize that the disk has been reformatted since data was
last read, then data will not be written to the disk and will
therefore be lost.
OPTune will detect most types of disk caching, and depending
on the type of caching detected and the OPTune function you
are using, will either warn you about the disk caching or will
prevent the function from operating if it would damage your
disk. For best results, we highly recommend that your caching
software be deactivated prior to using OPTune.
NOTE: One of the side effects of caching is that it sometimes
slows down disk operations. This is the case with the OPTune
Verify/Fix-Disk command in the Read Only mode, which never
reads the same part of the disk more than once.
OPTune Safety Tips
OPTune is a specialized program that manipulates the most critical
and sensitive parts of your hard disk-the directories, the file
allocation tables, and the actual programs and data. Because of
this, there are certain risks involved. For increased safety, we
recommend that you consider the following:
Most of the warnings and cautions that we mention apply to all
programs you use, since DOS itself manipulates these same sensitive
areas of the disk and is also adversely affected by power failures
and other unforeseen disasters that happen "at the wrong time." To
remedy this, we recommend using an Uninterruptable Power Supply.
This will safeguard all of your equipment against the effects of
unexpected power loss.
We recommend that you backup your hard disk before using OPTune (if
you do not have a high-speed backup, we recommend you look into
Gazelle Systems' Back-It, available through your local dealer).
If a power failure or some other unforeseen disaster occurs, your
data will be recoverable.
A Note About Copy-Protected Software: You should be aware that
some copy-protected software programs will not allow manipulation
of certain files. In most cases (in programs manufactured by
Lotus, Ashton-Tate, and a few other large companies), these files
are specially marked as hidden and/or system files. OPTune will
not move these files, and your copy-protected programs will be
Other programs may use "non-conventional" protection schemes that
OPTune does not know about. You may want to consult with the
software manufacturer before optimizing disks with copy-protected
OPTune is not copy-protected, and therefore can be installed using
the DOS COPY command. However, the following procedure is
recommended for installing OPTune on your hard-disk. You may skip
step 3 if you wish; however, the routines used in step 3 test your
hard disk to make sure that the installation of OPTune will be
1) Make a copy of your OPTune disk. To do this,
type the command "DISKCOPY A:B:" and then follow the
instructions on your screen. Store your original OPTune disk
in a safe place and use the copy for the rest of the
3) Before placing OPTune on your hard disk, it is a
good idea to make sure that your hard disk is 100% safe that
it will reliably hold all of the information that you want to
store on it. The best way to do this is to run OPTune's
CheckDisk and Verify/Fix-Disk routines. This is a simple
A) Place your working copy in drive A. Enter the
command "A:OPTUNE" and press RETURN. (This will run the
B) Select the Check-Disk command by pressing the
letter "C" (This program is the equivalent of the DOS
"CHKDSK" program. It will check the integrity of all of
the DOS files and directories on your disk.)
C) Now, select the Report Only command by
pressing the letter "R". Enter the letter of your hard
disk as prompted and press RETURN.
If any errors are reported, you must re-do the Check-Disk
routine as described above; and select the Fix (and
Report) command (by pressing "F") instead of the Report
Only command. This will correct any DOS related problems
on your disk.
D) Next, select Verify/Fix-Disk by pressing "V".
This routine will check the physical integrity of the
actual sectors on your hard-disk.
E) Select the Start Verify command, and then
enter the letter of the drive onto which you will install
OPTune (as prompted). This will begin the Verify/Fix-
Disk routine. This routine will perform a complete test
of your hard-disk and will fix any errors it encounters.
F) Next, select Quit by pressing the FlO key (or
use the standard exit by pressing "Q" twice).
CUSTOMIZING COLOR FOR OPTune
OPTune supports most monochrome CGA, EGA, VGA, and Hercules
graphics cards and monitors. If you use a color or composite-video
monitor, or if you simply want to alter the way OPTune looks on
your screen, use the "OPCOLOR" program included on your
distribution disk. (If you use Q-DOS or Back-It, you may already
know how to use this program.)
To modify the colors in the OPTune program, follow these steps:
1) Exit the program you may be using. You must run
"OPCOLOR" from your DOS prompt.
2) If you are modifying OPTune on a floppy diskette,
insert the diskette into drive A, type A: and press RETURN.
If you are modifying OPTune on your hard disk, type C: and
press RETURN. Then type CD\OPTUNE and press RETURN. (This
assumes that the "OPSTART" program was used to install OPTune
on drive C in the \OPTUNE directory. If OPTune was installed
in another subdirectory, you must change to the subdirectory
in which OPTune was installed.)
OPCOLOR actually modifies the OPTUNE.EXE file on the disk.
To do this, the program expects to find the OPTUNE.EXE program
in the current directory of the current drive. The above
instructions ensure that this is the case.
3) Type OPCOLOR and press RETURN.This starts the
color modification program. A menu listing sections of the
screen that can be changed will appear in the lower right-hand
4) To select the default colors, press C.If you
would like to modify the screen colors, select a number (from
1-5) from the menu. Press the number until the color of your
The colors "rotate" in one direction. To change this
direction, simply press the UP or the DOWN arrow key. To
return to the default colors, press C (or M if using a
monochrome monitor). To read OPTune's current color setting,
5) When you have finished modifying the colors,
simply press RETURN to save them. To exit
without saving the colors, press ESC.
UNDERSTANDING OPTUNE'S MENU-LINE
OPTune uses a simple menu-line structure which has3
levels. Theseinclude COMMANDS, FUNCTIONS, and
Place Screen 1 Here
To choose any command, move the cursor with the LEFT or RIGHT arrow
key until it highlights the desired command and then press RETURN
(pressing the DOWN arrow key has the same effect). Commands may
also be selected with a single key-stroke by pressing the First
letter of the desired command. These key letters are bolder than
the other characters on the command line.
When a command is selected, a "pull-down menu" will then be
displayed. To select any function on the menu, move the cursor
with the UP or DOWN arrow key until it highlights the desired
function and then press RETURN. As with commands, functions may
also be initiated by pressing the first letter of the desired
command. Again, these letters are bolder than the other characters
on the pull-down menu.
The RIGHT and LEFT arrow keys can always be used to select
commands, even if you have already "pulled down" a command menu.
(In this case, pressing the RIGHT or LEFT arrow key will "pull-
down" the next menu. This is an excellent way to view the
functions available under each command, and can also save you time
if you accidentally select the wrong command.)
In some cases, when a function is selected, a menu which displays
possible options will appear in the center of the screen. You can
specify certain aspects of the selected command by using the UP and
DOWN arrow keys. Option settings may be changed by highlighting
them and pressing the SPACE BAR or by typing in the appropriate
response. Once the settings have been adjusted, you may return to
the command's pull-down menu by pressing RETURN or ESC.
At any time you may press ESC to cancel the current selection and
return you to the previous level in the command structure. The ESC
key will also cancel any command while in progress. This allows
you to recover from commands that were executed improperly and
gives you more control over OPTune.
As each command, function, and option is selected, a brief
explanation appears in the box located at the bottom of the screen.
For more information, please refer to the appropriate section of
By pressing the FlO key once you can immediately exit OPTune from
any command level. This bypasses the "Park" feature, and
immediately returns you to the DOS prompt (see the section on the
QUIT command for more information).
Optimize performs two very important services: 1) it
defragments files (by gathering all the information contained
in a file into one physical location), and 2) it reorganizes
your DOS structure so that it is more efficient. By using the
Optimize command on a regular basis, you increase the speed
at which files can be accessed and reduce wear-and-tear on
your hard disk by eliminating unnecessary movement of your
hard disk's read/write head. We recommend using this command
daily to insure that your disk is consistently running as
quickly and efficiently as possible.
Optimize has three very important functions:
1) It checks the integrity of your disk.Before
entering the actual disk-optimization phase, Optimize
performs a complete Check-Disk analysis of your disk,
ensuring that the DOS integrity of your disk is intact;
if there are any problems, you are instructed to run the
Fix option of the Check-Disk routine.
2) It reduces the wear and tear on your disk's
read/write-head positioning mechanisms. Optimize
arranges the files on your hard disk so that minimal head
movement is required for file access. This significantly
reduces the chance that your hard disk will break down
prematurely. Optimize will also save you valuable time,
since an optimized disk operates .fast.er than one that
is not optimized.
3) It protects your valuable data. OPTune, unlike
some other optimizers, makes all of your files 100%
contiguous. This is extremely important in the event
that critical files are inadvertently. erased. If a
file is contiguous, you should be able to successfully
"unerase" it by using one of the various file recovery
programs on the market. If it is not contiguous.
there is a possible that part or all of the file will be
We recommend that you use Optimize daily. In fact, you can insure
that you start the day with an optimized disk if you include an
OPTune command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. (See the section on
COMMAND LINE PARAMETERS. Be sure to execute the Optimize command
BEFORE you load network, multitasking, or other memory resident
The Optimize commands can be used to "defragment" your hard
disk, thereby increasing its speed of operation. Several
options are available. The following description of these
commands will explain how to effectively optimize your hard
The following is a complete explanation of each of the
These options give .you control over certain aspects of the
Optimize command. You can turn directory sorting On or Off.
When sorting is On, you can specify how directories should be
sorted (by Name, Extension, Date, or Size, in Ascending or
Descending order). You can also specify whether to use
verification during the optimization, or whether to simulate
an optimization of your current disk's structure.
When Options is selected, a menu will appear in the middle of
your screen which displays certain options. These commands
are selected with the UP and DOWN arrow keys and are toggled
with the SPACE BAR (once you have highlighted an option,
simply press on the SPACE BAR until the selection of your
choice appears in the box). When you have made your
selections and are ready to continue, press either RETURN or
Each of these commands is described below:
You can decide if you want your directories sorted.
Press the SPACE BAR to toggle between Yes and No.
Directory sorting is performed during all types of
optimization (Normal, Packed, and Realigned).
Sorting subdirectories and files makes working in DOS
much easier. However, there may be situations where you
will not want to change the order of your directories.
For the most part, we recommend that you keep the Sort
Sort on Field:
This function determines how directories will be sorted.
You can choose sorting according to Name, Extension, Size
or Date. Press the SPACE BAR to toggle between the
NOTE: In all cases, when sorting is ON, OPTune always
places the subdirectory entries before any file entries in
The directory can be sorted in Ascending or Descending
order. Use the SPACE BAR to toggle between the two
NOTE: All sorting is actually done with at least two
fields: Name sorts by name then extension;
Extension sorts by extension then name, Size
sorts by size, then name, then extension, and Date sorts by
date, then time, then name, then extension.
You can turn Simulation On or Off. When it is On, no
changes are made to the disk and the Check-Disk function
automatically verifies that the optimization process will
work properly on your disk. Press the SPACE BAR to
toggle between the two options.
You can turn verification On or Off. Press the SPACE BAR
to toggle between Yes and No. When verification is On,
OPTune will perform read-after-write verification of all
OPTune offers three different types of optimization. These are as
Normal optimization is extremely fast, leaves your files 100%
defragmented, sorts all files according to your sorting
options, and squeezes erased files out of your directories.
When completed, none of your files will be stored in multiple
pieces on your disk each file will be stored as one contiguous
"chunk". Normal will not always move files toward the
beginning of your disk, and will not always pack all the files
end-to-end as Packed does, but will leave some empty spaces
between some of the files. Normal optimization takes only a
few seconds and can easily be used daily.
Highlight Normal on the pull-down menu and press RETURN (or
simply press "N"). Enter the letter of the drive you wish to
optimize (as prompted). [The default drive is either the
"current" drive or the last drive you specified. If you wish
to optimize the default drive, simply press RETURN. If you
wish to optimize another drive, enter the drive letter.]
Packed offers better end results than Normal, although it can
take 50% longer to finish. Like Normal, this option also
sorts all files according to your sorting options, squeezes
erased files out of your directories, and completely
defragments your files. Packed, however, also arranges the
files on your disk so that they are end-to-end. Since there
is no empty space between files on your hard-disk, chances are
that new files will be written to the disk without being
fragmented. Packed optimization ensures that your hard-disk
stays optimally arranged for as long as possible.
Highlight Packed on the pull-down menu and press RETURN (or
simply press "P"). Enter the letter
of the drive you wish to optimize (as prompted). [The default
drive is either the "current" drive or the last drive you
specified. If you wish to optimize the default drive, simply
press RETURN. If you wish to optimize another drive, enter
the drive letter.]
NOTE: The first time that you perform a Packed
optimization, it will probably take from 4 to 5 minutes
(Normal optimizations are up to 50% faster). If you optimize
once a day, subsequent optimization should take only 20 to 30
This is by far the most thorough of any of the optimization
methods available. Like Normal and Packed, this option also
sorts all files according to the sorting options that you
select and squeezes erased files out of your directories. It
then performs a "packed" optimization, but also physically
arranges files on the disk in the same order as the sorted (or
unsorted) directory entries. File Realignment takes longer,
but it increases effeciency when many files are usually
accessed in a sequential order.
Highlight File Realignment on the pull-down menu and press
RETURN (or press "F"). Enter the letter of the drive you wish
to optimize (as prompted). [The default drive is the
"current" drive or the last drive you specified. If you wish
to optimize the default drive, simply press RETURN. If you
wish to optimize another drive, enter the drive letter.]
Just as a tune-up for your car ensures that your engine is
running as smoothly as possible, Tune-Disk ensures that your
hard disk is in synchronization with its controller and the
speed of your computer's CPU. This increases efficiency and
creates a permanent enhancement to your disk.
This command has two very important functions:
1) Optimizes low-level format
Tune-Disk tests your hard disk to make sure that its low-
level format is working at peak performance with your
computer system and that information is being retrieved
as quickly as possible. If Tune-Disk determines that
your hard disk's speed can be improved, it will non-
destructively re-format your disk. This will ensure that
your disk will permanently run much faster than ever
2) Strengthens magnetic signals.
Over time, the magnetic signals on your hard disk fade.
As these signals fade, it becomes progressively more
difficult for your computer to read them. Weak signals
often result in disk errors.
The Tune-Disk command, however, can strengthen all the
magnetic signals on your disk. By reformatting your hard
disk, your disk's media is strengthened by ensuring that
all magnetic signals are strong. This can prevent parts
of your disk from becoming error prone, and can even
restore some marginal parts of your disk.
Tune-Disk should be used at least twice a year on each hard
disk. It should also be used any time you change your
computer's microprocessor or microprocessor speed (if you
purchase and install a 386- or 286-speedup board in an AT or
PC/XT computer, for example, or if you install a new hard disk
controller). It will take about 10 minutes to run Tune-Disk
on an AT with a 20 MB disk, and about 25 minutes on a PC/XT.
Tune-Disk makes sure that your hard disk is properly formatted
to run as efficiently as possible. If Tune-Disk's initial
testing shows that your hard disk's performance can be
improved, Tune-Disk will non-destructively re-format your disk
so that it operates faster and more efficiently. This allows
the format of the disk to be strengthened, thus preventing
The Tune-Disk options allow you to choose the mode (Safe or
Quick) in which this function is executed and also allow you
to start Tune-Disk at a specific point on your hard disk.
Highlight Options on the pull-down menu and press RETURN (or
simply press "0"). When Options is selected, a menu
displaying the Tune-Disk options will appear in the middle of
the screen. Options are selected (highlighted) with the UP
and DOWN arrow keys and toggled with the SPACE BAR (once you
have highlighted an option, simply press the SPACE BAR until
the selection of your choice appears in the box). When you
have changed the options and are ready to continue with the
TuneDisk command (or if you simply want to exit from this
command), press either RETURN or ESC.
Tune-Disk can run in Safe mode or in Quick mode.
Safe:Safe mode is the default mode. During the Safe
mode, the information on your hard disk is
constantly protected. When you use the Safe
mode, you can always recover from a power
failure in the middle of Tune-Disk (the
RECOVER.EXE program included on your master
disk will be able to fix your disk; the
RECOVER.EXE program will NOT be able to recover
information lost during
the Quick mode). The Safe mode requires a
reliable, formatted floppy disk.
Quick:Quick mode is almost twice as fast as Safe mode.
During the Quick mode, however, important safeguards
which protect your data are bypassed. This means
that if a power failure occurs during Tune-Disk,
your data will be lost. If there is no power
failure, all will be fine. WARNING: IF YOU OPERATE
TUNE-DISK IN QUICK MODE, YOUR DATA WILL NOT BE
SAFEGUARDED. WE STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU BACKUP
YOUR DISK BEFORE USING THIS MODE.
You have the option of telling Tune-Disk which cylinder to
begin with. Tune-Disk usually starts at the beginning of your
disk. If you must interrupt Tune-Disk while it is running,
you can note the cylinder number at which Tune-Disk stops and
then resume at a later time by. using this option.
This function will determine and report the best interleave
setting on your hard disk without making any changes in your
Highlight Test on the pull-down menu and press RETURN (or
simply press "T"). This test takes less than one minute on
most hard disks.
This command will determine the best interleave setting for
your hard disk and tune it (by nondestructively reformatting
it) so that it is functioning at maximum efficiency.
Highlight Start Tune-Disk on the pull-down menu and press
RETURN (or simply press "S").
With a 20 MB hard disk, you should expect TuneDisk to take
about 20 minutes on an AT and about 50 minutes on a PC or XT
in Safe mode; it will operate about twice as fast in the more-
risky Quick mode.
Check-Disk performs the same function as the DOS "CHKDSK"
program. It verifies the DOS File Allocation Table (FAT)
structure on your hard-disk and all directory and subdirectory
file entries, reports problems, and fixes certain types of
This command has several advantages over t.he "CHKDSK" program
that came with your version of DOS:
1) This command works with all disks utilizing
any version of DOS (2.00 or higher).
2) This command is 3 to 5 times faster than its
3) This command works on all disks or partitions
of any size (up to 2 gigabytes). (The DOS "CHKDSK"
program cannot be used on most larger hard disks).
This command can be used as often as you wish, and it will
work on any DOS disk. If you are running the Optimize command
on a daily basis, then you will use this feature only if a
problem on your disk surfaces or if you need to be certain
that your disk has not become corrupted (Optimize always runs
Check-Disk prior to optimizing your disk).
Check-Disk analyzes the integrity of the file and directory
structure of your hard disk. It makes sure that directory
sectors are readable, that directory entries are valid and
legal, and that files are not cross linked. This function
will also correct problems so that DOS can function properly
on your disk.
Check-Disk will work on size disk or DOS partition, whereas
the DOS "CHKDSK" program fails on larger disks. And, Check-
Disk is 3-5 times faster than its DOS counterpart!
The Check-Disk command has the following options:
This selection will perform Check-Disk routines and report any
problems it encounters without making any changes on your
disk. In addition, this will report available disk space and
will indicate the number of files and directories on your
disk. It will also inform you of total memory and free
memory. [This is the option that Optimize uses before each
Highlight the Report Only command on the pulldown menu and
press RETURN (or simply press "R"). Enter the drive letter
as prompted. [The default drive is either the "current" drive
or the last drive you specified. If you wish to use CheckDisk
on the default drive, simply hit RETURN. If you wish to use
Check-Disk on a drive other than the default drive, then enter
the drive letter.]
This selection duplicates all functions of Report Only but
also fixes DOS structure problems. Fix will change
unallocated (or lost) clusters to files in the root directory.
[Fix is similar to the "CHKDSK/F" function in DOS.]
Highlight the Fix command on the pull-down menu and press
RETURN (or simply press "F"). Enter the drive letter as
prompted. [The default drive is either the "current" drive
or the last drive you specified. If you wish to use Check-
Disk on the default drive, simply hit RETURN. If you wish to
use Check-Disk on a drive other than the default drive, then
enter the drive letter.]
You should use Check-Disk periodically to make sure that the DOS
structure of each of your disks is functioning properly.
Both Optimize and Verify/Fix-Disk automatically perform this Check-
Disk function. If there are any problems, they will tell you to
run Check-Disk. The Check-Disk routine, however, can be used
separately at any time on any DOS drive.
This program checks the physical integrity of your hard disk.
It reads each sector and tries to find bad or marginal areas.
If faulty areas are discovered, Verify/Fix-Disk will lock them
out, preventing your disk from using unreliable sectors.
Verify/Fix-Disk has four very important functions:
1) Error detection.
Verify/Fix-Disk hunts down marginal areas on your disk and
prevents DOS from ever putting data in them.
2) Data protection.
This command retrieves data from damaged files and moves it
to a safe location on your disk. Verify/Fix-Disk will then
block out the marginal areas on your disk so that DOS does not
try to use them again.
3) Error prevention.
Like Tune-Disk, Verify/Fix-Disk strengthens magnetic signals
on your disk. This will prevent parts of your disk from
4) Crash prevention.
Perhaps the most important benefit of this
command is that it can actually predict and prevent hard disk
before they occur. This will save you time, money, and
You should perform a "quick" verification of your disk once every
couple of weeks. And, at least 3 or 4 times each year, you should
perform a "bit-pattern" verification of your hard disk. This will
find any parts of your disk that are starting to wear out and will
also strengthen the magnetic signals on your disk.
Verify/Fix Disk performs a read-only test of your hard disk's
media, identifying parts of the disk which have gone bad, and
moving files to safe locations on the disk. In addition, this
function can perform a bit-pattern test on your hard disk
which will flush out potential media failures and prevent disk
errors from occurring on the marginal parts of your disk.
OPTune's Verify/Fix-Disk function is purposely less tolerant of
errors than DOS. DOS will retry a read or write operation 3 to 5
times when it finds an error. Many times this "error retry" logic
makes DOS believe that marginal areas on your disk are perfect.
When this happens, DOS will continue to store your valuable data
on questionable media. Verify/Fix-Disk will hunt down marginal
spots that DOS would normally never find, and will prevent these
spots from destroying data on your disk when they fail completely.
The Verify/Fix Disk Options enable you to determine how many
times to verify your disk and whether errors will be fixed
automatically. These options also allow you to specify the
level of testing (deeper testing levels take more time, but
may be more effective in detecting bad or marginal sectors on
Options are selected with the UP and DOWN arrow keys and are
toggled with the SPACE BAR (once you have highlighted an
option, press the SPACE BAR until the selection of your choice
appears in the box. If a number is required, type in the
number). When you have selected your options and are ready
to continue with Verify/Fix-Disk (or if you simply want to
exit from this command), press either RETURN or ESC.
Verification type: Read-Only, Bit-Test 1, 2, or 3
You may select which type of verification to perform by
pressing the SPACE BAR to toggle through the options. The
following is a description of those options:
This is the quickest type of testing. It simply reads each
part of the disk in large chunks (several clusters at a time).
Upon encountering an error, Read-Only will attempt to fix the
disk and recover any file data currently residing on the bad
spot on your disk. The default (and only) verification
mode is Safe, which, for Read-Only, is the same as Quick. [Note:
Read-Only verifications are extremely safe because nothing on the
disk is changed unless an error is encountered and fixed.]
Three levels of testing are possible (1, 2, and 3). Each level
duplicates the functions of lower-numbered tests in addition to
performing tests of its own. An important side benefit of this
option is that in addition to finding and blocking out bad spots
on the disk, it actually refreshes the magnetic signals of all data
areas. The default mode for the Bit-Test option is Safe, which
requires a floppy disk. The Quick mode may also be used.
The Bit-Test option performs a read-only test first. If it finds
no errors, it then performs the additional tests you select. After
testing, your original data is rewritten to the disk.
The following is a description of the Bit-Test levels:
Level 1. This test writes a unique bit pattern 512 bytes long
that reverses the magnetic polarity of each bit on the disk
and then tests it. This quick test catches most weak spots
on a disk about to go bad. This test takes 15-20 minutes on
a 20 MB disk.
Level 2. This level performs test 1 and then tests 8 unique
bit patterns (32 bytes in length) developed by hard disk
manufacturers. This level then tests 4 other unique bit tests
proprietary to Gazelle Systems. This tests takes 2-3 hours
on a 20 MB disk.
Level 3. This level performs test 1 then tests 16 unique bit
patterns developed by hard disk manufacturers. It then tests
8 other bit patterns proprietary to Gazelle Systems. This
test takes 5-6 hours on a 20 MB disk.
You can select Quick or Safe. [For the Read-Only test, you
may only select Quick, which is the same as Safe for this
For Bit-Test mode, the Quick mode is faster than Safe, but is
more risky: If the power fails during bit testing, you
generally will lose file data. If you have previously backed
up your disk, you should restore it. Or, if you were using
the Safe mode, simply run the RECOVER program from your OPTune
Report to printer:
Users have the option of having the results of the Verify/Fix-
Disk printed. Press the SPACE BAR to toggle between Yes and
Report to disk:
The results of Verify/Fix-Disk can also be sent to a disk
drive in addition to being displayed on the screen. If the
results are sent to a disk drive, Verify/Fix-Disk creates a
file in the root directory on your disk called "VERIFY.RPT".
Press the SPACE BAR to toggle between Yes and No.
When you send the Verify/Fix-Disk results to a disk drive, you
can specify which drive these results are sent to. Enter the
drive letter as prompted. You must specify a drive other than
the one being verified. If you select the same drive,
Verify/Fix-Disk will still operate, but the report file
"VERIFY.RPT" will not be generated.
Number of times to verify.
The Verify/Fix-Disk routine can run up to 99 complete
verification cycles. The default is 1 cycle. On a 20 MB
hard-disk, one "read only" cycle will take from 2-4 minutes,
whereas the deepest bit-pattern test can take over 5 hours.
Fix errors automatically.
Verify/Fix-Disk will also fix errors automatically. If this
option is selected, Verify/Fix-Disk will report errors to the
screen and attempt to fix any problems.
If this routine identifies a marginal area that is not being
used by any file, Verify/Fix-Disk will simply block the area
out and continue to verify the rest of the disk. If this
routine finds a marginal area which currently contains a file,
Verify/Fix-Disk will try to read the disk up to 30 times.
(DOS will retry each of these attempts 3-5 times. This means
that in automatic mode, for example, Verify/Fix-Disk actually
tries up to 90-150 times to salvage your files.) If
Verify/Fix-Disk fails to read the file, a message will appear
on the screen informing you that it cannot fix the problem.
If you do not select Fix errors automatically, the program
will give you the option to correct errors or to let them
remain. When you select error correction, Verify/Fix-Disk
will make 10 attempts to read the disk and DOS will repeat
each of these attempts 3-5 times. This means that Verify/Fix-
Disk will try at least 30-50 times to salvage your files. If
it can't get the information, this sequence is repeated.
With both automatic error correction and user initiated error
correction, if the disk is successfully read, then the bad
clusters will be blocked out and the file data will be written
to a reliable part of the disk.
Many times sectors deteriorate gradually. If you run Verify/Fix-
Disk at least one time per month, you will identify problems before
they cause data loss and crash your hard disk.
To exit the program, or to prepare the hard-disk to be moved.
Obviously, the Quit command is used to terminate the program.
(You can also exit OPTune from any menu level by pressing the
FlO key.) However, there is another extremely important
feature available with OPTune's Quit command you can park your
hard disk. The Park option is used to prepare your hard disk
to be moved or shipped.
We recommend that you park your hard disk's read/write heads
at the end of each day's use. This retracts the physical
read/write heads to a safe part of the disk. When the
read/write heads are properly parked, your disk can be moved
without sustaining any damaGe. If the heads are not parked,
when your hard disk is moved the read/write heads may scratch
your disk and destroy parts of files.
When the main command line is displayed, highlight Quit and
press RETURN (or simply press "Q"). If you desire to park
your hard disk, press "P". If not, press any other key.
When the disk has been "parked," you may "unpark" it by simply
pressing the ESC key. Disks that are self-parking do not need
to be parked by this command.
When you type "OPTUNE" from the DOS prompt and press RETURN, you
are running OPTune in the MENU mode. This means that you use the
menu on the main screen to command OPTune to perform any of its
features. This is the way that most people will initially use
When you become familiar with OPTune, you will want to set up batch
files that will take advantage of OPTune's COMMAND-LINE mode. The
following is a description of the command-line parameters that
Most of the OPTune commands can be accessed via command-line
parameters when you start the program. You can also easily run
OPTune from batch-file commands, if you wish. (For example, you
could tell OPTune to optimize your hard disk each time you turn
your computer on.)
Only one command at a time can be invoked from the command line;
to perform multiple functions (such as optimizing more than one
drive) you must use multiple commands. The following is a
description of the various commands and how to use them.
OPTune checks your computer system to see whether disk caching
software is active. For some of OPTune's functions (Tune-Disk and
Verify/Fix-Disk), disk caching may cause problems. OPTune's
internal safe guards will not allow it to operate in situations
where your disk data may be endangered.
Usually, OPTune has no difficulty in properly sensing disk-caching
software. However, some systems utilize hardware caching that
cannot be turned off, and which also will not negatively affect
OPTune. In this case, in order to let OPTune proceed with the
desired command, you need a way to deactivate OPTune's automatic
check for disk-caching software.
To turn off the disk-cache detection, use the -I command on the
command line. This -I may be inserted anywhere on the command
line, and may be used whether you operate OPTune in the command-
line or in the menu mode.
For example, to run OPTune in the MENU mode, simply type "OPTUNE -
I" and then press RETURN. To run OPTune in the COMMAND-LINE mode,
simply add the -I command at the end of your command.
Command: /0 -Optimize the drive in NORMAL mode, sorting by name
in ascending order
Optimize the drive in SIMULATION mode, without
making any changes to the disk
Optimize the drive in SIMULATION mode (in NORMAL);
then, if there were no errors, proceed with a NORMAL
optimization, sorting by name in ascending order
The basic format for OPTIMIZE is as follows:
OPTUNE [drive:]/[command][option] [S[sort
Options:N - Do NORMAL optimization (default) P - Do PACKED
optimization F - Do FILE REALIGNMENT optimization
Example: .OPTUNE C: /OP" on the command line or in a
batch file will optimize drive C in PACKED mode.
Example: "OPTUNE D: /SF" on the command line or in a
batch file will simulate a File Realignment optimization
of drive D without making any changes to drive D.
Example: "OPTUNE C: /ZP" on the command line or in a
batch file will first simulate a PACKED optimization of
drive C. Then, if there were no errors, drive C will
then undergo an actual PACKED optimization.
You may also specify sorting options with the following
format: S[sort field][sort order]
Sort field: N - Name (default)
S - Size
D - Date/time
X - No sorting
Sort order: A - Ascending (default)
D - Descending
Example: "OPTUNE D: /ON SSD" on the command line or
in a batch file will optimize drive D in
NORMAL mode, and will sort all directories
by SIZE in DESCENDING order.
You may also turn on verification during
optimization with the command-line parameter V at
the end of the command line.
Example: "OPTUNE C: /ZF SX V" on the command line or
in a batch file will first simulate a FILE
REALIGNMENT optimization on drive C with
no sorting. If there are no errors, then
OPTune will proceed with the actual FILE
REALIGNMENT optimization, with no sorting
of directory entries, and with
VERIFICATION turned on.
Command: /C - Run Check-Disk on the drive, reporting
any errors and summarizing the disk statistics
The basic format for CHECK-DISK is as follows:
OPTUNE [drive:] /C[option]
Options: R - Do Report only (default)
F - Do Fix (and report)
Example: "OPTUNE C: /CF" on the command line or in a
batch file will check drive C and report
any errors, and will also fix the errors
that it encounters.
Command: /V -Run Verify/Fix-Disk on the drive,
fixing any errors automatically and
reporting all errors on the screen
The basic format for VERIFY/FIX-DISK is as follows:
OPTUNE [drive:] /V [type [mode]] [P] [D
[drive]] [# cycles] [auto-mode] [-I]
0 - Read-Only test (default) 1 - Bit-Test 1
2 - Bit-Test 2
3 - Bit-Test 3
Q - Quick mode (default)
S - Safe mode
P Send output to printer
D[drive] Send output to disk file on
### Number of cycles to perform
A - Fix errors automatically
M - Fix errors manually
Example: "OPTUNE D: /V P DG 20 A" on the command
line or in a batch file will verify drive D (in "Read-
Only" mode, since no type was specified) and fix errors
automatically, cycling through the verify process 20
times, and sending the results to the printer and to the
file "\VERIFY.RPT" on drive G.
Example: "OPTUNE C: /V2 S 20" on the command line or
in a batch file will verify drive C using the "Bit-Test
2" type of disk verification in the "Safe" mode (which
requires another floppy diskette), and will cycle through
this verification 20 times.
Command: /P -Park all physical hard disks attached to the
Example: "OPTUNE /P" will park all drives.
Because of the extreme sensitivity of this function, and
because it is used infrequently, the Tune-Disk function may
only be accessed from the menu in the OPTune program.
OPTune knows how to inform DOS of the success of the commands
that were executed. The batch-file "errorlevel" command can
be used to determine if OPTune was successful or if errors
occurred while the program was running. The file SAMPLE.BAT
on your master disk gives a detailed example of the power and
flexibility of this "errorlevel" command.
OPTune sends the following "errorlevel" codes to DOS upon
0 -The function was successful
1 -There was an error in the disk's FAT or
2 -The specified drive was not available
3 -A badcluster was detected (use
Verify/Fix-Disk to solve this problem)
4 -There was not enough memory for this
5 -The disk is not a standard hard disk
(this applies to Tune-Disk only)
6 -A fatal error occurred
7 -There are not enough free clusters on
the disk (delete one or more files and
repeat the command)
8 -There may be unallocated clusters or
OPTune detected a problem with the
disk's directory structure (use Check-
Disk to solve the problem)
10-Disk caching was detected and should be
deactivated before repeating the command
13-The GAZELLE_.SAV file was corrupted
26-An invalid command was specified on the
27-The user pressed ESC to terminate the
USING OPTUNE IN BATCH FILES
Because OPTune is so fast, most users prefer to optimize their
disks each time they turn their computers on. This section
explains how to modify your AUTOEXEC.BAT file so that this is an
From within any batch file you can tell OPTune to optimize, check,
verify, or fix any drive. The batch file can then know (via the
error-level codes) whether the operation that you selected was
successful. When you have determined which OPTune command(s) you
wish to run, you are ready to modify your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
OPTune must first be properly installed on a drive that your
computer can access when it boots up. You will need a text editor
on this drive (such as the one included with Q-DOS) to modify your
To modify your AUTOEXEC.BAT file, do the following:
1) Start your text editor, and tell it to read or
load the file named "\AUTOEXEC.BAT" (which should be in the
root directory of your bootup drive).
2) Insert the appropriate OPTune command in the
file. We suggest that the OPTune command come
early, if not first, in the command line. (Consult the
section in this manual entitled .Command-Line Parameters" for
a listing of the commands.)
For example, if you wish to have OPTune optimize drive C using
normal optimization, enter the command C:\OPTUNE\OPTUNE C:
/N (using your editor), and press RETURN at the end of the
line. (This assumes that OPTune exists in the \OPTUNE
directory on drive C.)
3) Save the file using your editor's save command.
The next time your disk boots up, it will run OPTune on drive
OPTune can optimize (or check, or verify) just one drive at
a time. If you have multiple drives in your computer system,
you must use multiple OPTune commands (one specifically for
each drive) in your batch files.
NOTE: If you do not have an AUTOEXEC.BAT file on your
disk and would like to create one that runs OPTune, follow
these instructions. (These instructions assume that drive C
is your boot up disk and that OPTune has been installed onto
it; if this is not the case, then substitute the correct drive
letter for C.)
1) From the DOS prompt, typeCOPY CON
C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT and then press RETURN. Your DOS prompt
will disappear and the cursor will be at the left side
of your screen. DOS will put whatever you type in at
this point into the AUTOEXEC.BAT file in the root
directory of drive C.
2) Type C:\OPTUNE\OPTUNE C: /N and press RETURN.
3) Type Ctrl-Z (hold the CTRL key, and press the
"Z" key). Then, press RETURN.
4) DOSwill indicate that one file was
successfully copied. If it doesn't, then
repeat this procedure.
BATCH FILES FOR POWER USERS
Advanced computer users may want to study the "errorlevel" codes
that OPTune returns (see the end of the "COMMAND-LINE PARAMETERS"
section). These codes can be interrogated by the DOS "if
errorlevel" command to know whether OPTune encountered any errors
during any function initiated by a batch-file command.
For example, you may wish to setup a sequence of commands that will
optimize your disk; and, if an error is encountered, will use
OPTune's Check-Disk function to correct the problem, and then run
OPTune again. You may wish to examine the contents of the batch
file SAMPLE.BAT which is included on your master diskette.
PLEASE NOTE: The batch-file commands in SAMPLE.BAT are intended
to help "power" computer users get the most out of OPTune. If you
don't understand the commands in this file, don't worry.
OPTUNE DAILY USE
Using OPTune is the fastest and easiest way to ensure that your
disk operates as efficiently and reliably as possible.
For most users, the Normal optimization in OPTune will provide the
quickest way to make sure that your disk is fast and that it has
no DOS errors (OPTune always runs its internal Check-Disk command
before each optimization, and will let you know if any problems
exist). We suggest that you install a command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT
file (one command line for each of your disk drives) so that OPTune
can optimize your disk(s) before you start your work for the day.
If you do a lot of work with data bases, or use applications that
create or modify large files, you will get better results by using
the Packed optimization option. This ensures that your disk will
stay defragmented for as long as possible. This type of
optimization takes only a little bit longer than the Normal
We do not recommend the File Realignment option for daily
optimizations, as it takes longer than either Normal or Packed.
However, if you use applications that use many files in a given
directory (such as computerized bulletin boards), you may consider
using this option at least every other day, if not on a daily
At least once a week, you should use the Packed option to remove
any free spaces between files.
You should also use the Check-Disk command periodically, although
the Optimize command always runs this internally before performing
In addition, you should consider performing a Read-Only
verification of each of your disks every week to see if any parts
of the disk have become blatantly unusable.
Some users may want to run the File Realignment option to optimize
their disks on a monthly basis. However, most users will not see
much improvement with this type of optimization (as opposed to a
It is also a good idea to perform one of the bit-test
patterns in the Verify/Fix-Disk command to see if any parts of your
disk are starting to become bad.
You should run either level 2 or level 3 bit testing on each of
your disks (using the Verify/Fix-Disk command) to eliminate any bad
spots on your disk.
At least once a year, you should use the Tune-Disk command to
strengthen the format on your disk.
You should also perform the deepest bit testing (level 3) of the
Verify/Fix-Disk command to thoroughly test your hard disk. This
will ensure that you have many years of trouble-free use of your
The following sectioncontains more detailed
explanations of some of the OPTune commands.
Tune-Disk ensures that your hard disk runs as efficiently as
possible. This command performs two important functions:
1) It checks to make sure that the low-level format
(interleave factor) is optimized for your hard disk and
Before you can use your hard disk, it has to go through a
process known as low-level formatting. This function puts
addresses (magnetic marks) on your hard-disk. These marks
enable your hard disk controller to know where parts of your
disk are. The low-level format creates a physical map of your
hard-disk (in cylinders, heads and sectors) that allows your
computer to read and . write information from or to your disk.
By using this map, your computer is able to retrieve the
information that you store.
Almost all low-level format routines make several basic
assumptions about your hard-disk. One assumption that most
of these routines make is that all systems are the same.
These routines choose one of many possible formats for your
hard-disk. All of the formatting processes are equally
reliable, but only one of them is right for your hard-disk.
If your computer is using the wrong format, it will still
work. However, if your disk has been formatted with a "non-
optimal" interleave, the hard disk controller may sometimes
have to wait 3-5 times longer than necessary to access the
data on the disk. TUNEDISK will determine the best setting
for your hard disk so that it is calibrated to match your
system as closely as possible, making your computer run as
fast and as efficiently as possible.
2) It strengthens the magnetic signals on your hard
disk. Over time, the magnetic signals on a disk
fade. As these signals fade, it becomes harder and harder for
your computer to read them. After a period of time, weak
magnetic signals will result in disk errors. TUNE-DISK
strengthens the magnetic signals on your hard-disk by
reformatting the entire disk. After using TUNEDISK a few
times, you may find that previously marginal parts of your
disk become good again.
Check-Disk is the functional equivalent of the DOS "CHKDSK"
program, but with two differences: it will work on ANY disk that
DOS will recognize (regardless of disk or partition size), and it
is up to 5 times faster than "CHKDSK".
Check-Disk performs a very thorough inspection of your disk. First
it verifies that the vital areas of the disk are readable. Then,
it makes sure that all directories are valid, legal directory
entries (if not, Check-Disk will convert them to files).
Next, Check-Disk makes sure that each cluster listed in the File
Allocation Table (FAT) is either empty, used and valid, or "bad"
(and blocked out so that DOS will not use it). Any invalid cluster
is corrected. Then, each cluster is checked to make sure that it
belongs to only one file; if it belongs to more than one file,
Check-Disk will display a "cross-linked file" error message and
indicate the files involved.
Check-Disk next makes sure that each file's size matches the FAT
entries for that file, and adjusts the file size in cases where
they don't match.
Next, Check-Disk sweeps up any unallocated clusters and attaches
them to files (starting sequentially with "FILEOOOO.CHK") so that
you can inspect them.
Check-Disk has two modes of operation. The Report mode completely
analyzes the integrity of the DOS information and structure of your
hard disk and reports any and all problems encountered. Report,
however, does not actually correct any of these problems or make
any changes to your disk.
The Fix (and Report) mode completes the same analysis as the Report
mode. In addition to reporting errors and problems, Fix (and
Report) corrects these errors so that DOS can again function
properly on your disk.
If Check-Disk reports major problems on your disk, you should
suspect that your computer has some hardware problems (your RAM
could be going bad, the hard disk itself or its controller could
be bad); a single power glitch could have caused the problem. You
could have a "buggy. program somewhere on your disk that is causing
DOS to misbehave.
There is one type of error that Check-Disk will not correct by
itself: cross-linked files. In the event that files on your disk
become cross-linked, you must first copy them to another disk, then
erase the original files and then run Check-Disk again. One or
both of the cross-linked files will be bad. You must either delete
them both or try to determine for yourself which file is good.
This command allows you to do a read-only test of your hard disk,
quickly identifying any parts that have gone bad and preventing DOS
from using them. If a file happens to be using a marginal area on
your hard disk, Verify/Fix-Disk will attempt to recover the data
from this area, move it to a good area, and then block out the
marginal area so DOS can no longer use it.
In addition, Verify/Fix-Disk will do a thorough test of each part
of your disk, subjecting each sector to a vigorous multi-level
"bit-pattern" test that will flush out every potentially bad
sector. This bit-pattern testing will actually predict which
clusters are about to go bad then prevent disk errors from
occurring on those clusters! (Because of this, we strongly suggest
that you perform this bit-pattern test at least once each month).
Because Verify/Fix-Disk is very thorough and generates a lot of
information, we included a feature which allows you to send the
verify report to a printer, to a disk file, or both. This makes
it possible for you to initiate a complete verification of your
disk at night and come back the next morning with a complete report
of any problems encountered and any marginal areas blocked out.
There are 4 levels of testing that Verify/Fix-Disk can perform:
1) read-only testing (2-4 minutes on a 20 MB disk
2) level 1 testing, which performs the read-only test and
then a single proprietary worst-case bit-pattern test
3) level 2 testing, which performs the read-only test and
then tests 8 bit-pattern tests used by hard-disk
manufacturers and 4 other proprietary tests (2-4 hours)
4) level 3, which performs the read-only test and then
performs 16 bit-pattern tests used by hard disk
manufacturers and 8 other proprietary tests (3-6 hours
this is the most rigorous test that your controller can
Each of these test levels can be completed from 1 to 99 times.
Unlike other hard-disk test programs, OPTune uses the same bit-
pattern tests developed and used by hard-disk manufacturers to find
defective sectors. In addition, Gazelle has developed other
proprietary tests which ensure that all defective parts of your
disk are detected and blocked out.
ERRORS IN OPTIMIZE
ERROR: "Bad cluster -- Use Verify/Fix"
EXPLANATION: The optimizer has encountered a
cluster that it cannot successfully read.
This error will interrupt the
If Verify/Fix is able to block
out the bad cluster, the
optimizer will run with no
SUGGESTED ACTION: Run Verify/Fix-Disk immediately.
ERROR: "Bad sector encountered in ROOT directory!"
EXPLANATION: The optimizer encountered a bad
sector in the ROOT directory
area of the disk one which
it could not successfully read.
This is a fatal error for
OPTune, and will cause serious
problems for DOS.
SUGGESTED ACTION:Back up all data on the drive.
Then, either perform a low-
level format of the disk (in an
attempt to fix the bad areas)
or repartition the disk so that
the drive does not use the
cylinder which has a defective
sector. Another alternative
is to replace or repair the
ERROR: "Drive was not available"
EXPLANATION: This error is reported if the
optimizer is unable to read the
boot sector of a valid logical
DOS drive. It usually
indicates that a removable
drive was not available when OPTune tried
to access it.
SUGGESTED ACTION: Make sure that a disk or
cartridge is inserted into the
ERROR: "Not enough free clusters"
EXPLANATION: There are not enough empty
clusters on the drive being
optimized for the optimizer to
SUGGESTED ACTION: Delete an unwanted file from
the drive, and then run OPTune
ERROR: "Please use Check-Disk first!"
EXPLANATION: The optimizer has detected an
error in the DOS structure of
the drive being optimized
(either in the File Allocation
Table (FAT) or in a directory
SUGGESTED ACTION: Run Check-Disk in its Fix mode.
This function will give you a
complete listing of the errors
encountered and it will correct
them, if possible.
ERRORS IN TUNE-DISK
ERROR: "A fatal error occurred!"
EXPLANATION: This error may be caused by one
of two problems: 1) Tune-Disk
was unable to alter the
interleave of a particular
track, or, 2) the drive being
tuned did not support a
standard IBM BIOS operation
such as seek, reset, etc.
SUGGESTED ACTION:Run Verify/Fix-Disk to see if
an unmarked bad sector caused
ERROR: "Error detected: Cyl xxxx Head xx"
EXPLANATION: Tune-Disk has detected an error
on a sector. This function
will report whether the error
might result in data loss.
SUGGESTED ACTION:If Tune-Disk reports possible
data loss, run Verify/Fix-Disk.
ERROR: "Not a standard hard drive"
EXPLANATION: This error occurs most
frequently when someone
attempts to tune a floppy
drive. If the specified drive
is a hard drive,
this error message will occur if the drive
is nonstandard. A non-standard drive has
1) a physical sector size greater than 512
bytes, 2) more than 64 heads per cylinder,
or 3) more than 40 sectors per head.
SUGGESTED ACTION:None. The drive you tried to
tune cannot be tuned.
ERROR: "### clusters found in ### chains"
EXPLANATION: The File Allocation Table (FAT)
indicates that there are
clusters which contain valid
data, but which do not belong
to a valid file chain. This
error means that the FAT was
not correctly updated.
SUGGESTED ACTION: Run Check-Disk in Fix mode.
ERROR: "Allocation error, size adjusted"
EXPLANATION: The specified size of a file
does not match the number of
clusters allocated for the file
in the File Allocation Table
SUGGESTED ACTION: Run Check-Disk in Fix mode.
ERROR: "Cross-linked files --"
EXPLANATION: Check-Disk has discovered one
or more clusters which the File
Allocation Table (FAT)
indicates are assigned to more
than one file chain. This
error is caused when (for
whatever reason) the FAT is not
correctly updated or becomes
SUGGESTED ACTION: Copy the cross-linked files to
another location, and then
erase the original files. Then
run Check-Disk in Fix mode.
ERROR: "Invalid subdirectory -- converted to a file."
EXPLANATION: Check-disk found a directory
entry whose current (.) pointer
or parent (..) pointer was an
invalid FAT entry. It then
converted the directory entry
into a file of size 0.
SUGGESTED ACTION: Delete the file that Check-Disk
created and then try to create
the subdirectory again. If
unallocated clusters are
detected, they are most likely
files that belonged to the
defective directory. You
should immediately inspect the
Filexxxx.chk files that were
created, and rename, remove, or
keep those that you need.
ERROR: "Invalid first cluster in file -- truncated."
EXPLANATION: Check-Disk found a file whose
first cluster entry is an
invalid File Allocation Table
(FAT) entry. The file was then
truncated to a length of 0.
SUGGESTED ACTION:If the file was backed up,
delete the truncated file
entry, and then restore the
ERROR: "Invalid cluster (###) in FAT -- truncated."
EXPLANATION: Check-Disk found an illegal
entry in the File Allocation
Table (FAT) and truncated the
file chain that the entry
belonged to at that point.
SUGGESTED ACTION: The truncated portion of the
file may either be located and
restored manually (by someone
with sufficient technical
background), or, if the file
was backed up it can be
ERROR: "Root directory is full -- unable to create .CHK files"
EXPLANATION: When Check-Disk is run in its
Fix mode, it will convert any
lost file chains it encounters
into files. These files will
have the extension .CHK, and
will be written to the root
directory of the current drive.
If the root directory is full,
Check-Disk will be unable to
create any more .CHK files.
SUGGESTED ACTION: Delete any unneeded files from
the root directory, or move
them temporarily to another
directory. Then, run Check-
Disk in Fix mode again.
ERRORS IN VERIFY/FIX-DISK
ERROR: "Bad cluster encountered... couldn't find
EXPLANATION: When doing a Read-Only verify,
OPTune reads several clusters
at a time. If an error is
detected, Verify/Fix-Disk will
re-read each cluster in order
to determine which cluster
caused the error. If the error
is not repeated, OPTune will be
unable to block out the bad
SUGGESTED ACTION: Repeat the Read-Only test
several times, or run
Verify/Fix-Disk in one of its
bit-pattern testing modes to
catch the error.
ERROR: "Can't send output file to same disk."
EXPLANATION: Verify/Fix-Disk will not allow
its report file to be written
to the same drive that is being
verified. While the report
file is open (which is for the
duration of the verify
operation) the area of the
disk occupied by the report
file cannot be read or altered,
and therefore cannot be
SUGGESTED ACTION: Select a different destination
drive for the output file.
ERROR: Cluster ## is bad, not blocked out--.
EXPLANATION: Verify/Fix-Disk has discovered
a bad cluster which has not
been marked as such in the File
Allocation Table (FAT). If the
"Auto-Fix" option is active,
OPTune will automatically mark
the bad cluster in the FAT.
Otherwise, it will prompt the
user for confirmation before
marking the cluster bad in the
SUGGESTED ACTION: If Verify/Fix is not in "auto
fix" mode, respond to the
ERROR: "Error in FAT or directories"
EXPLANATION: Verify/Fix-Disk has discovered
a bad sector in the FAT area
of the disk or in a directory
SUGGESTED ACTION: Back up the drive and try to
reformat it. If that doesn't
solve the problem, contact
Gazelle systems for further
ERROR: "Error while creating VERIFY.RPT"
EXPLANATION: Verify/Fix-Disk was unable to
create a report file on the
specified drive. This error
will occur if 1) the
destination drive is full, 2)
the root directory of the
destination drive is full, or
3) there are one or more bad
sectors on the destination
SUGGESTED ACTION: Try deleting any unwanted files
on the destination drive. You
can also select a different
destination drive. Or, if you
specified a floppy drive, you
can try a different floppy
ERROR: "No empty clusters available - not fixed!"
EXPLANATION: Verify/Fix-Disk was unable to
move a cluster of data from a
bad area to a good area because
there were no available empty
SUGGESTED ACTION: Delete some unneeded files from
the drive, and then run
ERROR: "Too many errors try again?"
EXPLANATION: Verify/Fix-Disk was unable to
move data from a bad cluster to
a good one because the data was
too badly damaged. However,
if the user wishes, Verify/Fix-
Disk will make another attempt
to move the data.
SUGGESTED ACTION: Answer the prompt.
A cluster is the smallest unit of disk storage that DOS
recognizes. On a 20 MB hard disk, a cluster is usually exactly
equal to 2,048 bytes.
In DOS, Each file is made up of one or more clusters. Even
the smallest files, such.as a batch file that is only 30 bytes
long, require at least one full cluster. As the size of a
file increases, DOS will allocate clusters one-at-a-time for
the file's expansion. A disk runs out of disk space when
there are no more available clusters for expanding files.
Each cluster is either available (empty), bad (blocked out),
or used (i.e., a file or subdirectory owns it). A cluster can
belong to one file only. If DOS thinks that a cluster belongs
to more than one file, your disk has a cross-linked cluster.
One way to determine your disk's cluster size is to run the
Check-Disk command and write down the number of bytes
available on disk. Next, create a very small file and then
run the Check-Disk command again. Subtract the number of
bytes that are now available on disk from the first number -
- the result is the cluster size of the disk.
A cluster that DOS believes belongs to more than one file or
subdirectory at a time is a cross-linked cluster. The Check-
Disk command will let you know if you have any cross-linked
Sometimes, DOS gets confused (usually because of a power
glitch, a serious DOS disk error, or an errant program
destroying critical DOS information) and assigns a cluster to
more than one file. Since a cluster can be owned by only one
file or one subdirectory, this is a DOS error that must be
The only way to correct the problem is to copy the offending
files (there can sometimes be more than two files cross linked
on the same cluster) to another disk and erase the original
files. Then, use the Fix option of the Check-Disk command to
clean up the disk.
The copies of the files you made mat be corrupted! When a
cross-link situation arises, it is usually too late to recover
all the data from the crosslinked files; however, most of the
time at least one of the cross-linked files will be intact.
In any event, you should consider using your backup program
to restore your most-recent copy of any cross-linked file that
was critical to you.
The cylinder is simply the name of the largest physical unit
of storage on a disk. A hard disk is composed of numerous
"cylinders" (sometimes also referred to as "tracks"). A hard
disk can have 600 or more cylinders.
Cylinders are actually concentric circles on the disk.
Imagine a circular platter with a small circle around the very
center, and a slightly larger circle around that small one,
and a slightly larger circle around that one, and so on, until
you get to the outer edge of the platter; each of these
circles would be a cylinder.
When DOS stores a file, often it will store the file in pieces
that are scattered all over a disk. Defragmentation is the
process of combining these file fragments into one contiguous
Defragmentation can greatly decrease the amount of time it
takes the disk controller to read parts of a file. Since a
defragmented file is in one sequential chunk, DOS only has to
look for the file in one place. This reduces the required
movements of the hard disk's read/write-head mechanism.
Because the most time-consuming operation on a hard disk is
moving the read/write heads to the correct position on the
disk, anything that reduces that time will make a big
difference in your disk's data-transfer rate. Reduced head
movement also means reduced wear-and-tear on your disk.
DOS keeps directory information in different places on each
of your disks. To find a file or directory, DOS has to start
at the root directory, and search for the directory or file
it has been asked to find.
There are two ways to optimize DOS: either put all
this directory information as close together as possible (so
that very little time is spent figuring out where to look for
the next bit of information); or, sort all the directory
entries so that all the subdirectories are listed first. This
will save DOS tremendous amounts of search time.
OPTune uses both of these methods. The end result is that DOS
searches through fewer directory entries. In addition, since
all directories are listed at the front of the disk, where it
is most efficient for DOS to find them, very little time is
wasted in moving the disk's read/write heads when DOS needs
to find another directory entry.
(See Infinite Loop).
File-Allocation Table (FAT)
This is one of the most critical parts of your hard disk. In
fact, because it is so important, DOS almost always keeps two
copies of the disk's FAT on each disk (some disks can be
created that have more than two copies).
The FAT is a map of the space occupied by the files and
subdirectories on your disk. It contains one entry for each
cluster on the disk. When DOS creates a new file, it searches
the FAT to find unused clusters, and then assigns these
clusters to the new file.
When DOS erases a file, it makes a small change in the file's
directory entry and then follows the file's cluster chain in
the FAT, changing each entry to 0 to indicate that each of
these clusters are now available for any other file.
This is the naturally occurring process in DOS whereby files
on your disk are assigned to 2 or more chunks of disk space,
rather than one contiguous chunk. Fragmentation occurs when
files are erased and then larger files are created and then
placed on the disk. When creating (or extending) a file, DOS
will simply start searching for available clusters at the
beginning of the FAT. If there are not enough contiguous free
clusters to hold a file, DOS will store the file in pieces on
unused clusters as they are available.
NOTE: DOS version 3.0 and higher will remember where it last
found an unused cluster. It will begin storing data at that
spot, rather than starting its search for free clusters at the
beginning of the disk. This process helps reduce file
fragmentation, especially on disks that are less than half
A head is simply a side of a cylinder. Normally, each
cylinder has two sides, or heads. Some disks only store data
on one side of each cylinder; these are referred to as
Other disks can actually have more than two heads: the disk
manufacturer simply includes extra hard disk platters in the
hard-disk system (each platter has two heads associated with
(See Endless Loop).
The term interleave refers to a concept involved when
formatting a hard disk. The interleave is simply a measure
of how sectors are physically arranged on a hard disk. On a
disk with an interleave of 1:1 ("one to one"), sector two
starts exactly one sector's width after the start of sector
one. On a disk with an interleave of 4:1 sector two starts
exactly 4 times the width of one sector after the start of
sector one. Each subsequent sector on the disk follows this
logic. (On disks, the sectors do not have to be numbered in
sequential order often, disks are more efficient if they are
not numbered in sequential order.)
The process of interleaving sectors on a hard disk was
established due to the fact that most hard disks spin
extremely fast (60 times per second), and the data-transfer
rate of most hard-disk controllers is not high enough to
handle this fast rotational speed.
The controller can, however, buffer one sector's worth of data
and process it (with the disk spinning constantly), and then
come back for another sector. But, with the high rotational
speed of the hard disk, the disk might spin 1/4 to 1/3 of a
revolution before the controller is ready to read the next
sector, which means that 4 to 6 sectors just passed
by (assuming that there are 17 sectors per cylinder).
The interleaving process staggers the sector numbering scheme
so that the appropriate sector comes into contact with the
read/write heads at the precise moment that the controller is
ready to read data. Interleaving the sectors on a disk reduces
processing time: there are no long waits for the disk to spin
around a full revolution because it just missed the sector it
was waiting for.
A sector is the smallest unit of disk storage that can be
accessed directly on a hard disk. However, DOS keeps track
of clusters, not sectors, since clusters usually consist of
multiple sectors. This means that DOS has fewer "building
blocks" to keep track of.
The word "sector" actually has two definitions which can make
its use somewhat confusing. First of all, DOS uses the term
to define a "logical" chunk of disk space, which consists of
one or more "physical" sectors on the hard disk. Here is how
this logical/physical usage evolved:
In the beginning days of computers, no one ever expected
a computer's hard disk to contain more than 5 to 10
megabytes of data. So, to be very liberal, the creators
of DOS designed a maximum limit of 32 megabytes of disk
space, which would handle a disk with up to 65,536
sectors (each sector has 512 bytes).
As we have seen recently, this 32 megabyte limit has been
far exceeded by drives with 120 MB and greater
capacities. However, the original limitation (of only
65,536 sectors) could not be changed without a major
restructuring of DOS.
So, some pioneering souls hit upon a very simple
solution: "What if we decided to say that a sector was
really 1024 bytes, or 2048 bytes -- then, we could still
respect the built-in limit of DOS's 65,536 sectors and
yet support disks of 64 megabytes, 128 megabytes, and
Well, that's what they did; they simply started to define
a sector as being 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, etc., bytes in
length so that larger disks could work with DOS.
In the meantime, however, the hard-disk manufacturers
remained true to the original definition of a sector --
"sectors have 512 bytes."
Thus, the manufacturers' definition came to be known as
the "physical" sector, since the actual, physical hard
disk is divided into 512-byte chunks; and, the definition
of sector in DOS came to be known as the "logical" sector
(meaning simply that we don't have to invent a new term
for the sector that DOS uses).
Every so often Check-Disk will find and report unallocated (or
"lost") clusters on your disk. In almost every situation,
this does not represent any problem at all and you should
simply allow CheckDisk to take care of these clusters.
Unallocated clusters are generally created either because a
program did not properly close a temporary file, or because
the computer was rebooted or turned off while in the middle
of a program that had one or more "open" files. These
unallocated clusters contain the data that the program had
written to the disk; but, because the file being written to
was not "closed," DOS can not tell what file these clusters
are part of.
When the Fix and Report option of Check-Disk cleans up
unallocated clusters, it creates a series of files in your
root directory and attaches these clusters to those files.
These files are named "#####OOO.CHK", and are numbered
Thats it !!
OZ & Co.