Contents of the DISKOPS.DOC file
DISK PARAMETER EDIT SYSTEM
Copyright (c) 1989 by Tom Price
This program provides the PC and Compatible user with the means
to view and set floppy-disk control parameters. The program
comes to you named as DISKOPS.EXE but you may rename it to
whatever you wish.
The program is utilized in three distinct ways;
(1) to show current floppy parameters either from the command
line or from a batch file.
(2) to load edited parameters into your system, via the command
line or from a batch file.
(3) as an Editor invoked from the command line.
The first time you invoke the program, it records the current
floppy disk parameters of your system. After this first time,
the program can recall those settings. They are referred to as
"ORIGINAL" in the editor. Reboot your system before first
running the program! This will assure that the program records
your settings as provided by BIOS and DOS. If you use some sort
of program to modify your disk parameters, boot your system with
a DOS floppy disk.
It is imperative that the first run be accomplished as follows;
(1) Be sure that no other utility is modifying the disk
parameter ram area in your system. Boot up with a DOS diskette
if not certain.
(2) Change to the appropriate directory. Type diskops .
(3) At the opening screen press !
You have completed the initial requirements for using the
The program is very easy to operate, once you learn and
understand the command keys. A typical menu screen is shown
below. While it doesn't show in this text, a hilite bar will
appear over the menu item to be changed.
You can move the hilite bar to select a different item by using
the up-arrow and down-arrow keys. The values are modified using
the right-arrow (increase) and left-arrow (decrease) keys.
STEPRATE = 6 mSec
HdLoad = 2 mSec
HdUnload = 240 mSec
HdSettle = 1 mSec
MotStart = 1 Sec
MotOnTim = 2 Sec
The Function keys are used as follows;
(F1) help screen.
(F5) saves the current edit values within the program.
(F9) recalls the parameters last saved with F5.
(F10) recalls the ORIGINAL system parameters.
To use the program as an Editor, you would first take the steps
outlined above to record the standard parameters that your
system uses. Type the program name and you will be in the
editor. Each time you start the program, it will display the
current parameters, being used by your system.
Use the arrow keys to select and change the parameters.
Exit the program using the ENTER key. Test your floppy disk
It is necessary to exit the program to test any parameter
changes. The testing is performed by running whatever utilities
you may have. Some testing can be done by simply viewing the
disk directory, as with motor times. Other testing is best
performed using utilities that read the entire disk. Golden
Bow's VRD.COM and Norton's DT.COM are good choices. Any similar
routine is fine. If you have no utilities, then perform testing
by formatting a disk and measuring the relative time changes
verses parameter changes.
If your trial values result in disaster, get back to the DOS
prompt. Invoke Diskops, press F10 to recall the ORIGINAL
parameters, and try again.
If you discover a parameter setup that enhances your floppy
performance, you can save it (within the program) by pressing
the F5 key. This will permit loading these new values to your
system automatically, as outlined below. To recall that set of
parameters, press F9. To recall the ORIGINAL recorded
parameters, press F10. The parameters in the window are in
effect, when you press the ENTER key.
Loading Preset Parameters
Parameters that are saved using the F5 keystroke, can be loaded
from a batch file by issuing this command;
DISKOPS L (L is for LOAD)
Be sure that you have saved these parameters (using F5), before
you try this. The program does not check to see if you are
making a mistake! Loading zero values into your system control
area will result in improper floppy disk operation!
Automatic loading of edited parameters can be accomplished by
adding the above command to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Be sure to
specify the drive and path where you store DISKOPS.EXE.
Showing Current Parameters
Your current floppy disk control parameters may be viewed by
issuing the command;
DISKOPS S (S is for SHOW)
This will work from a batch file or the command line.
HINTS and TIPS
Some advice is in order for using the program effectively.
Be careful. Change only one parameter at a time. Study the
ORIGINAL parameters. They reflect what works! You will find that
some values are very conservative.
The steprate value will usually be 6 to 12 mSec, depending on
the age and type of system. DO NOT SET STEPRATE TO ZERO. Your
360k drives may work but its doubtful that your 1.2 Meg drives
will function properly. I recommend that you try a steprate of 3
mSec. This should improve speed and quiet the drives.
The motor START and ON times are usually set at 1 and 2 seconds
respectively. I recommend that you try ZERO for the START value
and make the ON value as large as possible. You could extend the
value to 5 or more seconds after the last access! I use the
maximum value of 14 seconds. I have been doing this for over a
year with no side effects or problems. Indeed, I notice that if
a drive is already running, the access to it is almost
instantaneous. This is excellent for interactive work between
floppys and your hard disk! If you worry that you'll damage your
head or disks then use more conservative values.
The load and unload values show some change but usually don't do
much for my 386 AT. XT users may find that these values are very
effective for enhanced performance!
XT drive motors run continuously but have the ability to load
and unload the R/W head. AT drives have the R/W head manually
(when you turn the lever) loaded, and control the motor. Since I
haven't tried this program on an XT class machine, I would
appreciate hearing from someone who has.
If you find the DISKOPS program useful, then consider sending a
donation to the author. A registration form is included for your
If you wish to contact me, I can be reached at the following
Boston area Bulletin boards. I will try to field general
questions, for those performing a trial of the program, via the
Turbo Pascal and Shareware echoed conferences.
(300/1200/2400/9600 - HST, 8N1)
Nels Anderson - Sysop
(300/1200/2400 - 8N1)
Bob Baumer - Sysop
Let me take this opportunity to say;
Many thanks to the 'sysops', named above, that have allowed me to list
their BBS boards for E-mail exchange.
Special thanks to the authors of the Pascal Unit that made certain
program features easy to implement. I am including the credits
listed in their excellent PUBLIC DOMAIN work;
Author: David Doty
unit is based on a previously published program:
Program: AutoInst v2.0
Author: David Dubois
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Copyright (c) 1989
Thomas L. Price
P.O. Box # 262
DISK-OPS RELEASE 1.0
This program is protected by International Copyright law. You are
encouraged to make copies for friends, user groups, or uploading to
bulletin boards PROVIDED that;
You do not modify any files in any copy
You do not charge a fee for any copy
You include all files in each copy
You leave this notice intact
Disk duplication companies may list this DISK-OPS release, in their
catalogs, and send program copies to their customers for a
reasonable 'duplication' fee.
All copies must include the files;
You may not modify the files.
All other rights are reserved.
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTEE
The DISK-OPS program, its documentation, and last minute README
files are provided "AS IS", without warrantee of any kind, either
express or implied, including without limitation, fitness for a
particular purpose or performance. By using the program, or acting
on the information included herein, you EXPLICITLY AGREE TO ASSUME THE
ENTIRE RISK, for any result, performance, or lack of performance,
including damage to data or property.
Neither Thomas Price, nor his agents (perceived or otherwise), nor any
third parties shall be liable to you, for any use of this program
(including any inability to use), for its performance, for any
incidental or consequential damages, or for any claim by any other