Dec 092017
Convert your 1.44 BM Diskettes to 1.968 MB diskettes.

Full Description of File

Convert Your 1.44 Mb Disks To 1.968 Mb Disks

File 144TO196.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Utilities for DOS and Windows Machines
Convert your 1.44 BM Diskettes to 1.968 MB diskettes.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
144TO196.DOC 16046 5994 deflated
1968.TXT 779 372 deflated
FILE_ID.DIZ 47 40 deflated
FORM1968.EXE 22016 12312 deflated

Download File 144TO196.ZIP Here

Contents of the 144TO196.DOC file

Siehe 144TO196.DOK fr eine deutsche Anleitung.

144 TO 1968

"... to boldly go where no man has gone before..." (Star Trek)


Copyright (c) 1994 by TBH-Softworx --- all rights reserved
Oliver Fromme, Klingestr. 2, W-3380 Goslar, Germany
email: [email protected]
1968 is CARDWARE (see below). It may be freely distributed (no money).

Version of 30 Sept 1994

These programs are CARDWARE. You may copy them, use them, and give them to
your friends under the following conditions:

* Don't charge any money.
* Keep all the files together.
* Don't change the files in any way.
* If you use these programs or if you think that they're useful (or
both...?), please write a postcard (e. g. with a beautiful picture of
your home town), see my address above.
You needn't send money, this is no shareware. (I don't believe to the
shareware philosophy. I tried it, and I didn't get any penny 🙁

Use these programs on your own risk!
I'm not responsible for any damage or loss of data caused by the
use of them! Before saving valuable data on 1968-disks, test
carefully if it works on your machine!

I've tested these program sintensively, and they seem to work
ON MY MACHINE. I've given them to some friends, and everyone could
read 1968-disks. However, 30 % of them were not able to format and
write to them succesfully. I'm working on it. (I think

Be careful:
* This is a beta-release, maybe you get an error I never got.
* I haven't tested it on many different systems (286, MS-DOS 4.0
or below, DR-DOS, 4DOS and the like, with different XMS drivers,
* I haven't tested it with two 3 1/2 inch HD diskdrives. Maybe this
doesn't work.
* Maybe I have to change the format in future versions in order
to enable more machines (diskdrives) to handle the 1968-format.
However, if this happens, I will provide an easy-to-use convert

(I've no idea why, but I'm working on it.)


Sorry folks, I've not translated the entire manual.
I'm just searching for somebody who can do it better than me.

Here's a short description:


What is it?

FORM1968 enables you to format HD-disks (3 1/2 inch) to 1.968 Mb.
To be exact, it's 1968 Kb formatted capacity. Remember: the unformatted
capacity of a 3 1/2 inch disk is 1920 Kb (2 sides x 80 tracks x 12 Kb).
1968 Kb = 2015232 Bytes = almost 2 Mb !!!

For comparison: A "normal" HD-disk carries 1440 Kb of data (formatted).
That's 9 Kb per track, the remaining 3 Kb contain sector headers,
gaps, track-IDs, CRC-checksums, etc.
FORM1968 just uses the entire track for user-data. In addition, it uses
two more tracks (from 0 to 81). Don't worry, I use CRC-checksums, too.
The track is just like one big sector of 12 Kb.

In order to use disks formatted with FORM1968 you have to install a program
named READ1968. If you run MS-DOS 5.0 with HIMEM.SYS and a UMB-driver (e.g.
EMM386.SYS), you may LOADHIGH it.

If you know FDFORMAT (I think you do), you'll notice the similarities.
But FORM1968 and READ1968 work entirely different from FDFORMAT and FDREAD.


What do I need?

* AT (80286 or better), IBM-compatible
* at least one 3 1/2 inch HD-diskdrive
* at least one 3 1/2 inch HD-disk
* MS-DOS 3.2 or better (I tested it only on 5.0)
* at least 24 Kb XMS-memory and an appropiate driver
(e.g. HIMEM.SYS of MS-DOS 5.0)


How to install

In order to use the 1968-format, you have to install READ1968 (as mentioned
above). It takes about 6 Kb of your memory. If you run MS-DOS 5.0 with
HIMEM.SYS and a UMB-driver (e.g. EMM386.SYS), you may LOADHIGH it:
If you want to install it permanently, you should include this command in
your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. If you don't have MS-DOS 5.0 with UMBs, just type
"READ1968" (without "LOADHIGH"). "LOADHIGH" may be abbreviated to "LH".
See your MS-DOS manual for further information.

Type "READ1968 ?" to display the command line options. You may specify
any option when installing READ1968. It doesn't install itself if you
specify "?" or "U".
In addition, you can change the settings at any time when READ1968 is
already installed. In this case of course, you needn't LOADHIGH (because
it is already installed).
Type just "READ1968" (without options) to display the actual settings.

The options in detail:
[LOADHIGH] READ1968 [] [V+|V-] [D+|D-] [U] [?]

* is the number of tracks (from 2 to 165) that READ1968 will
store in its cache. The cache uses XMS-memory, and every track takes
12 Kb. Default is 20 tracks (240 Kb). If you specify 165 (1980 Kb XMS!),
the cache is able to hold an entire disk (try it, and read a full disk
2 times --- the second time it's like a ram disk! Watch the drive's LED!).
- It's only a read-cache. Write operations are performed per
"write through".
- The cache only applies to 1968-disks. Normal disks are not cached.
- READ1968 may interfere with other software-caches (e.g. Hyperdisk,
Smartdrive, etc.). If you have one of them: disable them!
* V+/V- turns verifying on/off (default: off).
Attention: READ1968 ignores the VERIFY-command of MS-DOS! So use this
option. If it is on, every write-operation (on 1968-disks) is

immediately followed by a read-operation to verify the written data.
* D+/D- turns the disk-procedures of READ1968 on/off (default: on).
After turning off you should remove any disks from your drives
(otherwise MS-DOS doesn't recognize the change).
* U uninstalls READ1968 and removes it from memory.
* ? lists available options.

Note: It's possible to change the cache size after installation. Example:
READ1968 30 V-
installs READ1968 with 10 cache-tracks and verify on. Later the cache size
is increased to 30 tracks while verify is turned off.
(There's a known bug: If you increase the chache size, and you have not
enough XMS memory to hold the new size, READ1968 refuses to work anymore.
You have to reboot and reinstall READ1968. So look at your memory resources
(e.g. using "MEM") before increasing cache size.
There's no danger when decreasing the cache size. Also, on installation
(i.e. when first calling READ1968) you needn't worry about the cache size;
if there's not enough XMS memory, READ1968 just doesn't install itself.
You may call it again with a smaller value of cache-tracks.)


About speed

Generally, reading a 1.968 Mb disk is faster than a 1.44 Mb disk or a
1.72 Mb disk (even if there's only the minimum of chache, i.e. 2 tracks),
especially with many small files.

Write operations are performed immediately ("write through"), so the
cache doesn't speed them up. So, when writing many small files, a 1968 Mb
disk is slightly slower than a 1.44 Mb disk. But it's mostly faster than
writing to a 1.72 Mb disk, especially with large files.


How to format a 1.968 Mb disk

That's what FORM1968 is for. Just type
to get a usage information. The general syntax is
FORM1968 []
is either "A:" or "B:".
Available options:
/R turns verify (while formatting) off. It's faster then, but better
don't do this!!! By the way, this has nothing to do with the verify
option of READ1968.
/Q performs a quick format. Only bootblock, FATs and root directory are
written, i.e. the disk is cleared. You may do this only if the disk
was previously formatted with the same number of tracks (see /T) and
without /Q, of course.
/T:n formats n tracks, default is 82 tracks (/T:82). I've heard of some
drives that are not able to handle more than 80 tracks. However,
try 82 first, if it doesn't work, try 81 or 80. If you use FDFORMAT
with 82 tracks, FORM1968 should do this too. By the way: You may
also numbers less than 80 (e.g. /T:10), but that's not very useful.
/E:n repeats n times if an error occures (default: 1, maximum: 4). If you
specify /E:0, no further try is performed when an error occurs while

Some Notes:
* READ1968 needn't be installed to run FORM1968 since it uses its own
routines. However, you need READ1968 to use the disk after formatting.
* If verify is turned on (i.e. you haven't specified /R), bad tracks
(tracks with errors on it) are marked as bad, so MS-DOS isn't using
* After formatting you may use CHKDSK to verify that everithing is ok.
Use LABEL to give a name to the disk.
* Every disk gets a 8-digit serial number.



Of course, your drives and BIOS must accept the new format. If they do,
compatibility is not a problem, as explained in the following paragraphs.

The 1968-format is fully compatible with MS-DOS. You can even copy a
1.968 Mb disk using DISKCOPY (the target disk must be formatted, of course,
since DISKCOPY isn't able to format 1.968 Mb).

I've tested various programming languages, MS-Works, some editors and
archive utilities: no problems. Try archiving a large directory tree to
multiple 1968 Mb disks with ARJ (my famous archiver), it's faster than
1.72 Mb disks.

I tried PC-Tools (v6.0): no problems. It's COMPRESS utility runs surprisingly
fast (use a large cache). Try a surface test with DISKFIX: It's speed is
just amazing (about ten times faster because of the cache.), even with only
two cache-tracks.

Norton Utilities (v5.0): generally no problem. You can edit a 1.968 Mb disk
with DE (Disk Edit), but you have to select "logical disk", not "physical
disk". NDD (Norton Disk Doctor) doesn't work with 1968 Mb disks. But this
is not the fault of READ1968, but NDD is just not flexible enough. It
doesn't accept 1.72 Mb disks either or any other disk that hasn't 80 tracks
or 18 sectors per track. Perhaps this has been fixed since v6.0.

Generally spoken: every program that accepts 1.72 Mb disk accepts also
1.968 Mb disks.

1968 Mb disks don't work with programs that access the floppy disk drive
controller directly. Namely some disk copy programs (e.g. VGACOPY45) and
most software cache programs don't recognize the 1968-format.
If you have a cache program: turn it of (at least for disk drives)!


Trouble shooting

Errors on all tracks (or nearly all tracks):
Try 80 tracks (option /T:80). If this doesn't work either, your
diskdrive apparently isn't able to format 1.968 Mb disks.
Try to format on another machine, perhaps you can nevertheless
read and write the 1968-format (since formatting is the most
critical process).
Remember: if you have other cache programs, disable (or remove)
Errors on some tracks:
Format again. Are the errors on exactly the same tracks? If yes,
your disk may be damaged (scratches, dust, etc.). (Remember: Use
high density disks only! Some people buy DD-disks and drill HD-holes
You may also format the disk using MS-DOS' FORMAT. If there are
no errors, your drive seems to be unable to format 1.968 Mb
(see "Errors on all tracks" above).

Write-errors ("sector not found", "drive not ready", etc.):
Your drive apparently isn't able to write to 1.968 Mb disks.
But if you have succesfully formatted a 1.968 Mb disk, it's not
the fault of your drive, but of some software incompatibilities
(e.g. your BIOS, DOS version, some TSR, etc.). Remember: Disable
or remove any software cache programs!

Read-errors ("sector not found", "drive not ready", etc.):
Same as for "write-errors" above.

If you get a "sector not found" error, try this:
- Rremove the disk.
- Insert it again. This forces READ1968 to recalibrate and analyse the
disk (wether it's 1.44 Mb or 1.968 Mb).
- Repeat the last operation that produced the error.

As a last effort, try this:
- Reboot with an empty CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT, exept your XMS driver
(e.g. HIMEM.SYS).
- Install READ1968 (I suggest V+ to turn verify on)
- Repeat the last operation that produced the error.

As I said, you may use CHKDSK or DISKFIX (PC-Tools) to correct errors on
1968 Mb disks. Note that DISFIX complains about an "unusual bootblock"
(since the bootblock sais "82 tracks, 24 sectors per track"), you should
ignore this (don't let DISFIX fix this!).


Some information for programmers

READ1968 chains the interrupt 13h (interrupt for floppy disk and hard disk).
No other interrupts are used. This is the installation check:
MOV DL,127
INT 13h
If AH contains 42, READ1968 is installed, and ES:BX points to an internal
data structure. ES is also the PSP segment of READ1968.

This is the internal data structure:
offset size contents
-4 Word XMS-handle for cache-tracks (the XMB is "locked")
-2 Word number of cache-tracks (2-165)
0 Byte flag-register (see below)
1 Byte reserved for later versions (0)
2 Word version as packed BCD-number (4 digits)
4 8 Bytes program autor ('TBHsworx')
12 8 Bytes program name ('READ1968')
20 DWord far-adress of the previous interrupt-13h-handler

All data may only be read! A change may cause a system crash or, just worse,
unrecognized loss of data.

This is the flag-register:
bit contents
0 verify-flag (0 = verify off, 1 = on)
1 invalid-flag (1 = cache is invalid, e.g. after formatting)
2 deactive-flag (1 = 1968-Routinen deaktiviert)
3-6 reserved for later versions (0)
7 uninstall-flag (1 = uninstall was called)

You may change the verify-flag (to 0 or 1), or set the invalid-flag to 1,
nothing else.


That's all. I hope it works on your machine. If it doesn't, try
FDFORMAT (available on many FTP sites).

So long, Ciao, Tschuess, Per aspera ad astra

Olli 😎

Oliver Fromme, Klingestr. 2, W-3380 Goslar, Germany
email: [email protected]
"May the Force be with you. Always." (Star Wars)

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