Subject: Re: largest disk in a vs4000/90
To: None <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA,>
From: None <>
List: port-vax
Date: 07/25/2003 23:07:23
Floppies and HD's are not really formatted anymore in
Billywares.  After DOS 3.3, all the format does is check
the disk and rewrite the tables.  Actual formatting is not
done, unless it detects something really funky on the disk
as strange.  That is why I have to keep an ancient dos 3.3
laptop around, just to clear up Billyware consternations,
when I have to write boot disks from this aol box.  One
thing nice about the VAX is that it actually does the low
level format, without requiring vendor software, since the
formatter is in the prom.  One problem I have run into from
Billyware machines using scsi drives, and less so on real
*nix boxes, is that if a power failure occurs during disk I/O,
tracks and sectors can be randomly overwritten, trashing
the disk, or so it seems to the peecee folks that want to
scrap the drives.  Throw the silly drives on the VAX, and
it rewrites the tracks and sectors correctly and what was
thought to be a bad disk..... is perfectly fine.....(:+}}...
I love it when I can pick up a bunch of drives at a Hamfest
or flea market that came from such boxes and were thought
to be duds.  Easily better than 50% of them, in my hands,
turn out to be perfectly fine, after a VAX has low-levelled
them....(:+}}.... good karma these VAXen toyz.

Bob Keys