Contents of the HDSPNTST.DOC file
The programs in this file were written by Steve Gibson of
Gibson Research Corp Box 6024 Irvine, Ca 92716
The programs will determine the hard disk performance of any IBM
compatable computer. These programs have been tested and found to
be safe and NOT destroy data on any hard disk. However since this
program is made available on BBS's, no guarantee is made if downloaded
from any board other than the Riverside Premium BBS 312-447-8175 where
I personally entered the code and tested the output.
If you obtain this program from any other source I would recommend that
you take normal precautions (BACKUPS).
The source code for creating the COM files is included and was compiled
under QuickBasic version
The programs included are;
SPINTEST and SPINTIME
SPINTEST determines exactly how many revolutions your hard disk
currently requires for full track transfers. Dos transfers
a full track whenever programs or files larger than 9k are
read or written... which is most of the time. SPINTEST
does NOT directly read your drive's interleave, but its
interleaving performance can be easily inferred from
SPINTEST's full track transfer revolution count.
SPINTEST averages the time required for each of over two hundred full
track reads in order to accurately determine the revolution
count per read, then the number of revolutions required to
read just one track and the controller's full-track data
transfer rate are computed. SPINTEST only READS data from your
drive so data is never altered.
Over two hundred track reads were used as a result of the
inconsistent disk transfer behavior of AT&T's 6300 machines.
These exhibit a maddening inconsistency in their ability
to transfer disk data. Sometimes they get the next sector
and often not. This means that a much looser than normal
interleave generates the best overall throughput for AT&Ts.
For this reason, and to guarantee correct results on any
machines which might behave similary, SPINTEST performs
many track reads and averages the results.
SPINTIME Since SPINTEST measures track read time, it must assume a
given ratio between elapsed time and disk rotation rate.
Some weirdo clone computers have a clock which runs faster
than normal when in TURBO (8mz) mode, and some lap computers
have tiny hard disks spinning at strange speeds. If these
do not sound like your situation SPINTEST will deliver
correct readings and you'll not need SPINTIME's confirming
But if EITHER of these cases might be you SPINTIME will tell
you for sure. SPINTEST is only useable when SPINTIME gives st
standard readings. The single exception to this is for the
AT&T 6300 and 6300 Plus machines. Due to the overall
problems they experience with disk transfers, SPINTIME may
show a lower-than-3600 RPM reading. For these machines
this is acceptable.
SPINTIME is interesting since it determines EXACTLY how fast
your hard disk is really spinning.
The time required to run this test will vary between
approximately 14 seconds for a fast 2:1 interleave to
98 seconds for an incorrectly interleaved 26-sector
RLL encoded hard disk. So simply type: SPINTEST at the
DOS prompt and wait a minute or two. The results will
be displayed on the screen.
This program has two purposes: To determine the speed of
your system's clock, and to verify that your system's hard
disk is spinning at close to the 3600 RPM standard.
Your system's clock is checked by timing SPINTIME's exact
execution time. It should require EXACTLY 60 SECONDS to
run, no matter what. During that time it is busy watching
your hard disk spin, counting every revolution. After
EXACTLY 60 seconds, it displays your drives exact RPM
(within its measuring resolution). If SPINTIME's total
execution time is NOT EXACTLY 60 seconds or the displayed
RPM is not close to 3600, SPINTEST's reported revolution
count won't mean anything either.
SPINTIME's real value is to assure you that SPINTEST is
delivering worthwhile answers.
Both programs assume and require DOS 2.0 or higher. They
operate on your FIRST (C) drive only. It should not require
any special CONFIG.SYS drivers for operation.
The tests will also be more accurate if you do not have any
memory resident programs active. Many of these resident
programs "steal" so much time from the computer that a
delicate timing analysis could be upset. Also turn off
or remove any disk caching software. Disk caching intercepts
the disk reading performed by the programs and renders their
measurements invalid. By the way, disk caching program
performance is significantly improved through proper
My thanks to Steve Gibson for providing these programs.
As an additional note, Gibson Research has designed a quick and
painless software product which handles the entire chore of optimizing
and resetting a hard disk's sector interleave while leaving all
existing data in place. The product will also perform several
other functions relating to assuring an MFM or RLL drive's data integrity.
The product is expected to be available for shipping within the next
two weeks for $29. If you are interested in more information on
this new product or FlickerFree contact
Gibson Research Corp
Irvine, CA 92716
Be sure to mention you heard about it from the Riverside Premium BBS
in Riverside, IL 312-447-8175
May all your disks live longer and spin faster. Spock