Contents of the FF.DOC file
Fast Disk Formatter
by CNA HelpWare
The FastFormatter utility is designed to save time when you want to
format a boxful (or more) or diskettes. It uses (and requires) two disk
drives and DOS 2.0 or later, and 128K.
FastFormatter includes a safety feature which prevents it from formatting
any diskette which is not blank unless you specifically permit it to do
FastFormatter will automatically put volume labels on DOS 2.x diskettes,
and allows you to specify a labelling sequence at startup so each of your
diskettes is labelled with a sequential designation.
FastFormatter allows interactive access to all the DOS formatting options
without requiring that you remember the IBM commanding syntax.
- * -
Before you use FastFormatter the first time, you must allow it to transfer
certain IBM-copyrighted files from your system disk to itself. To do so,
boot your system as you normally would. Leave your system diskette in
drive A:, put the FastFormatter diskette in drive B:, and type B:XFER.
(If you received this program via a Bulletin Board or similar distribution,
please see the note below before proceeding.)
During this first-time initialization step, FastFormatter will also ask if
you are running a system which includes a RAM disk. If your boot disk has
a file called CONFIG.SYS and you have created a RAM disk by using a "device ="
command in that file, you need to say "yes" to this question; otherwise,
FastFormatter will not know the correct drive letter for the working files
it needs to create on RAM disk.
To use FastFormatter, put the program diskette in drive A: and perform
a warm or cold boot. The program creates an electronic drive, transfers
all its working files to it to free up both your physical drives, and goes
If you want to format additional diskettes you need not re-boot; simply
type FF at the prompt.
If your normal system configuration includes a RAM disk of at least 70K,
you needn't use the FastFormatter diskette to boot; bring your system up
as you normally would, put the FastFormatter diskette in the default drive,
and type AUTOEXEC.
If your normal system configuration includes a hard drive as well as the RAM
disk, you can run FastFormatter from the hard drive. Initialize the
FastFormatter disk as described above, then copy all the files to a subdirectory
on your hard drive. Be sure your RAM disk has at least 70K free, change to
the subdirectory in question, and type AUTOEXEC. NOTE: you can INITIALIZE
from your hard disk if your root directory includes FORMAT.COM. Be sure you
are at the root directory if you choose this method.
When FastFormatter starts, it gives you an opportunity to choose any or
all of the DOS 2.x formatting options:
VOLUME LABEL - If you want volume labels on your diskettes, answer the
prompt by typing in the label for the first diskette.
Pick a volume label that can be incremented, so the
program can provide sequential labels for your diskette
FastFormatter can increment through the alphabet or the
decimal numbers, and "carries" to the next left column
in either case. Examples of legal label sequences:
- Enter ....AAA.. and you can automatically continue
through ....ZZZ.., or
- Enter 1234... and continue through 9999...
FastFormatter will increment any part of a label, not
just the end, so X001BOX_1 through X999BOX_1 is a
valid sequence. FastFormatter asks you to show it
which column to begin incrementing with a cursor -
in the example, you'd move the cursor to the 1 in 001.
SYSTEM DISK If you want to create a diskette you'll be able to use
to boot up your system, tell FastFormatter to put the
system files on your diskettes.
SINGLE-SIDED If you want single-sided diskettes, say yes to this
EIGHT SECTORS This option creates diskettes that can be read by older
versions of DOS and is seldom needed.
/B OPTION This option is primarily of interest to software sellers.
It creates a diskette which is ready to accept the IBM
system files, but does not actually contain them.
NOTE: Limited license is granted for distribution of this program on not-for
profit public Bulletin Boards. Address comments to: 352 Hermitage Ln.
Azusa, CA 91702.
If you received this program via bulletin board, make sure you have the
following required files. Format a diskette using the /B option and then
copy these files to it. Then proceed as above.
XFER BAT 125 transfers system to B: and runs EC
CONFIG SYS 23 creates RAM disk if needed
RAMDISK SYS 768 RAM disk software
FF EXE 12800 FastFormatter
EC EXE 8704 System Configurator, creates AUTOEXEC.BAT and FFMT.BAT
FASTFMT HLP 1091 help file
FFLABELS HLP 120 help with valid characters in labels
REP COM 266 removes system attributes from IBMBIO and IBMDOS
DOSPATH COM 512 lets system use COMMAND.COM on RAM drive
FF TXT 4763 this file