MAXIDisk

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USER'S Guide

© 1988 - 1998 Herne Data Systems Ltd. 31 Adelaide St East PO Box 357 Toronto, ON M5C 2J4 CANADA

Voice/FAX (416)364-9955

E-mail: herne@herne.com CompuServe: 72060,1153 Internet: http://www.herne.com

For the latest updates of the software or documentation, please consult our web site.

(this documentation is also available in other popular formats from our web site)



(v4.20w: 98-03-01)


Introduction

Installing MAXI Disk

Un-installing MAXI Disk

Setup and Customization Setup Parameters .INI File Settings

Using MAXIDisk Selecting the Target Drive Selecting the Disk Type Formatting Options Making a Boot Disk Starting the Formatting Cycle Copying a Disk Analyzing a Disk On-line Help

Using the SMAX Driver When to Use SMAX Installing SMAX Disabling SMAX

Error Messages Fatal Errors Non-Fatal Errors Warnings

Troubleshooting Tips and Hints Frequently Asked Questions Version History


The Fine Print

End User License For a complete description of the end user license, please read the file “LICENSE.DOC” included with this package. If the “LICENSE.DOC” file is missing from this package, please contact us. You can also view the license from the online help file “MAX4W.HLP”.

Vendor Distribution Requirements

If you are a shareware vendor, distributor, CD-ROM publisher, or similar organization who wishes to publish or distribute this software, then certain requirements and conditions may be applicable. For a complete description of the Vendor Distribution Requirements, please read the file “VENDOR.DOC” included with this package. If the “VENDOR.DOC” file is missing from this package, please contact us. You can also view the distribution requirements from the online help file “MAX4W.HLP”. Standard catalog descriptions can be found in the files “INFO.DOC” and “FILE_ID.DIZ”. Please check our website at www.herne.com to make sure you have the latest update.

Warranty

Users of the Software must accept this disclaimer of warranty:

"The Software is supplied as is. Herne Data Systems Ltd. disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability and of fitness for any purpose. Herne Data Systems Ltd. assumes no liability for damages, direct or consequential, which may result from the use of the Software. Further, Herne Data Systems assumes no liability for losses caused by misuse or abuse of the Software. This responsibility rests solely with the end user."


Contact Information

This software and documentation are © Copyright 1988-1998 Herne Data Systems Ltd.

Our mailing address is: Herne Data Systems Ltd. 31 Adelaide St. East, PO Box 357 Toronto, ON M5C 2J4 CANADA

Tel: Voice/FAX (416) 364-9955 e-mail: herne@herne.com, or 72060.1153@compuserve.com WWW: http://www.herne.com

Herne Data Systems Ltd. is a member of the Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP, web site at http://www.asp-shareware.org) and the Elite Shareware Author’s Group (ESAG, web site at http://www.edepot.com/esagindex.html). We encourage you to support the shareware concept by registering all of the shareware that you use.

ASP Ombudsman

This program is produced by a member of the Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP). ASP wants to make sure that the Shareware principle works for you. If you are unable to resolve a Shareware-related problem with an ASP member by contacting the member directly, ASP may be able to help. The ASP Ombudsman can help you resolve a dispute or problem with an ASP member, but does not provide technical support for members' products. Please write to the ASP Ombudsman at: 157-F Love Ave, Greenwood IN 26142 USA, send an e-mail message to ASP Ombudsman omb@asp-shareware.org, or visit the ASP web site at http://www.asp-shareware.org.


Definition of Shareware

Shareware distribution gives users a chance to try software before buying it. If you try a Shareware program and continue using it after a reasonable evaluation period, you are expected to register. Individual programs differ on details -- some request registration while others require it, some specify a maximum trial period. With registration, you get anything from the simple right to continue using the software to an updated program with printed manual.

Copyright laws apply to both Shareware and commercial software, and the copyright holder retains all rights, with a few specific exceptions as stated below. Shareware authors are accomplished programmers, just like commercial authors, and the programs are of comparable quality. (In both cases, there are good programs and bad ones!) The main difference is in the method of distribution. The author specifically grants the right to copy and distribute the software, either to all and sundry or to a specific group. For example, some authors require written permission before a commercial disk vendor may copy their Shareware.

Shareware is a distribution method, not a type of software. You should find software that suits your needs and pocketbook, whether it's commercial or Shareware. The Shareware system makes fitting your needs easier, because you can try before you buy. And because the overhead is low, prices are low also. Shareware has the ultimate money-back guarantee -- if you don't use the product, you don't pay for it.


How To Register

This section only applies to the unregistered “Evaluation” version of MAXI Disk. If you have already registered, or have purchased a fully registered copy of MAXI, then thank you!


You can order a registered copy of MAXI Disk by mail, telephone, FAX or through our website. The single user license fee for MAXI Disk is $25 (US) or $29 (CDN). The unlimited user site license is $100 (US) or $125 (CDN).We accept payment via cheque (in US or Canadian dollars) or by VISA card. We also accept government, corporate and institutional purchase orders. All products are shipped via first class post or air mail. Standard shipping charges are $2 for US and Canadian addresses, $4 for all others. Canadian prices include GST. Ontario residents, please add 8% PST. Use the handy Registration Form contained in the file “REGISTER.DOC”.

For VISA credit card orders, you can register on-line at our website: http://www.herne.com

See our Software Catalog catalog (“CATALOG.DOC”) or our web site for information on all our products.

We respect your privacy. Our mailing lists are kept strictly confidential! We do not share, sell, rent, lend or otherwise distribute our customer lists.

CompuServe SWREG Service

For CompuServe members, single user registration for all Herne Data Systems Shareware is available through the CompuServe Shareware Registry. This service allows a user to pay for Shareware registrations through his/her CompuServe account. To access the Shareware registration service, type GO SWREG at any CompuServe command prompt then follow the on-screen messages. The registry ID number for MAXI Disk is: 13364

PsL Registration Service

Our products can also be ordered through the PsL (Public (software) Library) Shareware registration service, with all major credit cards. The PsL catalog number for MAXI Disk is: 14894

You can order with Amex, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa from Public (software) Library by calling 800-2424-PsL or 713-524-6394 or by FAX to 713-524-6398, by CIS Email to 71355,470 or by visiting the PsL web site at http://www.pslweb.com/. You can also mail credit card or check orders to PsL at P.O.Box 35705, Houston, TX 77235-5705.

THE ABOVE NUMBERS ARE FOR CREDIT CARD ORDERS ONLY. HERNE DATA SYSTEMS CANNOT BE REACHED AT THESE NUMBERS.

Any questions about the status of the shipment of the order, refunds, registration options, product details, technical support, volume discounts, dealer pricing, site licenses, non-credit card orders, etc., must be directed to Herne Data Systems Ltd.

To insure that you get the latest version, PsL will notify us the day of your order and we will ship the product directly to you.

Atlantic Coast Softshop

MAXI Disk can be ordered over the internet via the Atlantic Coast Softshop registration service, with all major credit cards. A registered version can be downloaded from their web site, or sent via mail. The URL is http://www.atlantic-coast.com

RegSoft.com

The fully registered version of MAXI Disk can be purchased on-line via all major credit cards from the RegSoft secure server at http://www.regsoft.com.

Registration Benefits

All registered users will receive a copy of the latest version of MAXI Disk, along with free technical support and updates for 60 days. Registered users can also update to later versions (beyond the initial 60 day free support period) for a nominal update fee of $5.00 plus $2.00 postage and handling.


Introduction

MAXI Disk was first introduced in 1988 as a DOS based, deluxe menu driven version of our MAXI Form utility. The current version 4.2 for Windows, offers all of the functionality of the original MAXI Form and MAXI Disk, along with the capability to:

  • Format any standard DOS disk type, including MAXI style extended capacity disks;
  • Copy any type of DOS disk in one easy step, including MAXI style extended capacity disks;
  • Format and/or copy Microsoft 1.7 meg DMF and Macintosh 1.44 meg disks;
  • Copy virtually any type of non-DOS disk in a single pass;
  • Create floppy disk image files on your hard drive to make future additional copies;
  • Analyze an unknown disk and determine its type;
  • Automatically determine the type and number of floppy drives on your system;
  • Optional NSA secure scrub and format;
  • Optional “no prompting” mode;
  • Optional “write before read” disk verify mode;
  • Easy to use Windows front end;
  • Improved speed for Win'95.


MAXI style extended capacity disks give you 420k on a 360k disk, 800k on a 720k disk, 1.4 meg on a 1.2 meg disk, 1.6 meg on a 1.44 meg disk, and 3.2 meg on a 2.88 meg disk without any data compression, and in most cases without any special drivers. DMF disks are a special format used by Microsoft for software distribution. With MAXI, you can now make backups of your original DMF disks in one simple step.

MAXI Disk, the easy way to format and copy disks, works with Windows 3.1 as well as Windows'95. (Unfortunately, the ability to format and copy extended capacity and non-standard disks is not yet supported under Windows NT. MAXI will not work at all on non-Intel x86 versions of Windows NT). Like MAXI Form, MAXI Disk will only format floppy disks. It will not let you format a hard drive, even accidentally.

MAXI style extended capacity disks can be used just like any other DOS disk, but you can fit more data, programs, or whatever you like on them. With MAXI extended capacity disks, you can store larger files on a disk, and use fewer disks for a hard drive backup.

MAXI style disks require DOS 3.2 or later, and are completely transparent to DOS. They can be used interchangeably on your system with regular DOS disks. On some systems, you may need to install the SMAX TSR driver to be able to read and write the disks. On other systems, you can add a few simple lines to your CONFIG.SYS file to allow reliable reading and writing of the disks.


Installing MAXI Disk

MAXI Disk is not copy protected or crippled in any way, nor does it contain any code to disable usage after a certain period of time. (Beta test versions of MAXI may be time limited and may contain undocumented features that may or may not be available in future versions).

MAXI can be installed in a few simple steps. This simple manual installation method gives you complete control over where and how the software is installed. MAXI does not make any changes to any of your DOS or Windows system files. MAXI does not require any additional run time libraries or other DLL’s.

For Windows 3.1x:

  1. Using FileManager, create a subdirectory on your hard drive (such as c:\max4win\).
  2. Copy the files from your distribution disk to this subdirectory.
    (Note: If MAXI Disk was obtained as a .ZIP file, you will have to UNZIP the file before proceeding.)
  3. Select a program group window where you want MAXI Disk to appear. Using Program Manager, select "File", then "New" and pick "Program Item". Assuming you put the program files in the directory "c:\max4win\", type in "MAXI" on the "Description" line, "c:\max4win\max4w.exe" on the "Command line" line, and "c:\max4win" on the "Working Directory" line.
  4. Press OK, and you are done.

If you are planning to take advantage of the MAXI style extended capacity disks under DOS 3.2 to 6.x, we recommend that you add the following line to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file:

	SMAX I

to automatically load the SMAX driver when you boot, OR add the following lines to your CONFIG.SYS:

DRIVPARM /D:0 /S:40 rem - for Drive A DRIVPARM /D:1 /S:40 rem - for Drive B DRIVPARM /D:0 /S:18 rem - reset to default DRIVPARM /D:1 /S:18 rem - reset to default

Either of these two methods will allow DOS/Windows 3.x to access the extended capacity disks. These extra driver procedures are normally not required for Windows '95 running under MS-DOS 7. They may be required for Windows '95 running under earlier versions of DOS.


For Windows '95:

  1. Using Windows Explorer, create a new folder (subdirectory) on your hard drive (such as c:\Program Files\Maxi\).
  2. Copy the files from your distribution disk to this folder.

(Note: If MAXI Disk was obtained as a .ZIP file, you will have to UNZIP the file before proceeding.)

  1. To add MAXI to the Startup Menu:
  • Click on the "Start" button followed by "Settings", "Task Bar", "Start Menu Programs", "Add".
  • Type "c:\program files\maxi\max4w.exe" into the "Command Line" box, or use the "Browse" button to locate the "MAX4W.EXE" file. Click the "Next" button.
  • Select the folder for the MAXI Disk shortcut, such as "Programs" - "Accessories" - "System Tools". Click the "Next" button.
  • Select a name for the shortcut, such as "MAXI Disk". Click the "Finish" button.
  1. To add MAXI to the desk top, use Windows Explorer, locate the "MAX4W.EXE" file and use the right mouse button to drag it to the desired location on the desktop.
  2. To add MAXI to the "Start" button, use Windows Explorer, locate the "MAX4W.EXE" file and use the right mouse button to drag it over the "Start" button.

The extra driver procedures outlined above for Windows 3.1 are normally not required for Windows '95 running under MS-DOS 7. However, they may be required for Windows '95 running under earlier versions of DOS. If you get "sector not found" errors (error code 4) when using MAXI extended capacity or DMF disks, then you will need to use one on the procedures outlined above.

Un-installing MAXI Disk

If you choose to un-install MAXI from your system, simply delete all files in the MAXI directory (e.g. c:\max4win\) that you created during the installation. MAXI does not create any additional files in any other directory or folder. If you have modified your AUTOEXEC.BAT to include the SMAX utility, make sure the SMAX command is removed from the AUTOEXEC.BAT.


Setup and Customization

You can customize MAXI in a number of different ways. Most of the major customization features can be controlled from the Setup screen. (To reach the Setup screen, press the "Setup" button on the main MAXI screen).


Setup Parameters

The following parameters can be changed from the Setup screen:

MAXI can use a series of audio alerts or beep tones to notify you when it detects an error or warning. Check the “Beep” boxes to enable audio alerts for errors, warnings, or when the formatting is complete.

When the “Detect old formatting” box is checked, MAXI will automatically check to see if a disk was previously formatted before trying to re-format it. With the "Non-DOS" box also checked, MAXI will also check for disks such as Macintosh HD and any other kind that uses 512 byte sectors.

When the “Diagnostic log” box is checked, MAXI will record the status of various operations and system variables in the file MAX4.LOG, located in the same directory as the MAXI program file. This file can help us diagnose any problems that you may have on your system.

When the “Level 2 verify” box is checked, MAXI will do a “write before read” check on each sector as the disk is being formatted. This requires extra time, but may pick out marginal disk errors that will be missed by a normal verify routine.

MAXI can keep track of the last used disk Volume Label and Serial Number if these boxes are checked. If the "Increment serial number" box is checked, MAXI will produce a sequential set of disk serial numbers for each disk formatted. You can start at any number you choose.

When Verify is on, MAXI will attempt to repeat an operation when an error is encountered during the formatting cycle. The number of repeat attempts is specified in the “retry” box.

When the “Ignore copy errors” box is checked, MAXI will not automatically stop when it encounters a disk error during a copying operation. This is will enable recovery of most data from a damaged disk, however any data that was in a damaged sector may be lost or corrupted.

The DMF disk format puts extra sectors on each track. In order to ensure that they all fit, you sometimes have to adjust the “gap” between sectors to account for slight variations in disk drive hardware. If the standard configuration produces errors on your system, try adjusting the DMF gap parameter.

If the “Do not prompt” box is checked, MAXI will complete most operations without prompting to “insert a disk”, etc. Beware that this should be used by experienced users, because you may not get a second chance to stop MAXI before it starts to format a disk.

MAXI Disk lets you use custom messages in the boot sector of your floppy disks. Two messages are stored in the boot sector:

Msg1 is the message displayed during normal boot, such as "Booting system...". Maximum length is 44 characters.

Msg2 is the message displayed if error during booting, such as "Non-system disk... replace and reboot". Maximum length is 64 characters.

The symbol ~ (tilde) is used to insert a carriage return into the message, and ^ (caret) inserts a linefeed.

If the “Always boot from C: drive” box is checked, MAXI will use a special boot sector on the floppy that will automatically re-direct the booting process to the C: drive, even if the floppy is left in the drive during booting.

The “Boot files” screen, which can be reached from the menu on the “Setup” screen, allows you to change the files that are copied to the floppy for creating a system or boot disk. The standard files are: IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM, and sometimes AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. (Older versions of DOS might use IBMBIO.COM and IBMDOS.COM, or other files instead of IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS). Up to 8 files can be copied by MAXI to your disks. They need not all be real system files (you could use this feature to create duplicates of your own files), but all files must reside in the root directory of the system drive.

When you are done making changes, pressing the OK button will save the new defaults and return to the main screen.

To return to the main screen without saving the new values, press the CANCEL button.

Pressing the HELP button will open the help file.

.INI File Settings


Parameter Comments

[SETUP] DefDrive=0 Default drive to do format on. Number refers to sequence in "target drive" list box. 0 = first entry, 1 = second entry, etc. It does not refer to a physical drive letter.

DefType=0 Default type of disk to format. Number refers to sequence in "disk type" list box.

DMFGAP=10 Required on some systems in order to format or copy 1.7 meg DMF disks. Set value to 5 if required.

Log=0 Activates MAXI diagnostic log mode if set equal to 1.

SystemDrive=1 Default drive to copy system files from. Number refers to sequence in the "system drive" list box.

Type360=0 Last selected disk type for a 360k drive. Number refers to sequence in "disk type" list box.

Type720=0 Last selected disk type for a 720k drive. Number refers to sequence in "disk type" list box.

Type1200=0 Last selected disk type for a 1.2 meg drive. Number refers to sequence in "disk type" list box.

Type1440=0 Last selected disk type for a 1.44 meg drive. Number refers to sequence in "disk type" list box.

Type2880=0 Last selected disk type for a 2.88 meg drive. Number refers to sequence in "disk type" list box.

[COPY] CopyDir=c:\ For disk copy operations, the default directory for disk image files.

CopyFrom=0 For disk copy operations, default drive to copy from (Source drive). Number refers to sequence in "source drive" list box.

CopyFromFile=0 For disk copy operations: 0 = normal disk to disk copy, 1 = copy disk from a previous disk image file.

CopySides=1 For advanced disk copy operations: 0 = single sided copy, 1 = double sided copy.

CopyTo=0 For disk copy operations, default drive to copy to (Target drive). Number refers to sequence in "target drive" list box.

CopyToFile=0 For disk copy operations: 0 = normal disk to disk copy, 1 = copy disk to a disk image file.

CopyVia=0 For disk copy operations, default drive to copy through (if source and target drives are the same, this drive is used to temporarily store the source disk contents.). Number refers to sequence in "via drive" list box.

Format=1 For disk copy operations: 0 = only format target disk if required, 1 = always re-format target disk.

IgnoreErrors=0 For disk copy operations, ignore copying errors 0=stop on errors, 1=don’t stop.

NCyls=40 For advanced disk copy operations, the number of tracks per side to copy (default 40).

NSectors=9 For advanced disk copy operations, the number of sectors per track to copy (default 9).

SectorSize=2 For advanced disk copy operations, the size of the disk sectors: 0 = 128 bytes, 1 = 256 bytes, 2 = 512 bytes (default), 3 = 1024 bytes, 4 = 2048 bytes, 5 = 4096 bytes, 6 = 8192 bytes.

Side0FS=1 For advanced disk copy operations, the starting sector number for side 0.

Side1FS=1 For advanced disk copy operations, the starting sector number for side 1 of a double sided disk.

[OPTIONS] Verify=1 Verify during format. 0 = no, 1 = yes

BootMode=0 Keep old boot sector during quick re-format.

NoPrompt=0 Prompting during formatting: 0 = use prompting screens, 1 = skip prompting screens.

UseNSA=0 NSA secure formatting mode: 0 = normal formatting, 1 = NSA scrub format.

VerifyLevel2=0 Enhanced disk verify mode: 0 = normal verify, 1 = “write before read” verify mode.

System=0 Copy system files to new disk.

QuickFormat=0 Do a "quick format". (Erasing directory and FAT without doing a physical format of the disk.)

IncludeVolumeLabel=0 Include a volume label on new disk.

VolumeLabel=TEST Default volume label to include.

KeepLabel=0 Save last used volume label.

IncludeSerialNumber=0 Include a serial number on new disks (for DOS 4.0 or later).

SerialNumber=00000000 Default serial number to include. (8 digit hexadecimal number).

KeepSerial=0 Save last used serial number.

IncrementSerial=0 Automatically increment serial number field with each disk formatted.

DirectorySortMode=0 Order to sort the directory display by: 0 = filename, 1 = file extension, 2 = file size, 3 = file date

DirectorySortRev=1 0 = Use low to high sort order. 1 = Use high to low sort order.

MacDirectorySortMode=0 Order to sort the directory display by: 0 = filename, 1 = (not used), 2 = file size, 3 = file date

MacDirectorySortRev=1 0 = Use low to high sort order. 1 = Use high to low sort order.

Beep=0 Settings for audio alerts. OR'd value of: 1 = Beep on error 2 = Beep on warning 4 = Beep when done formatting

DetectOldFormat=1 Detect if a disk was formatting and display a warning.

DetectNonDOS=1 Detect non-DOS disks as well as DOS disks (anything formatted as 512 bytes/sector)

Retry=5 Number of times to retry formatting when VERIFY is on and an error is detected.

[CUSTOM]

Bootmsg1=B o o t i n g S y s t e m . . .~^^ Message to display during normal booting from floppy disk. ~ represents carriage return (ASCII 13), ^ represents linefeed (ASCII 10).

Bootmsg2=Non-system disk or boot error.~^^Replace disk and re-boot.~^ Message to display if error is encountered during a boot.

NumBootFiles=3 Number of files to copy when making a system disk. Default is 3. Up to 8 are supported.

BootFile1=IO.SYS Name of first boot file. Default is IO.SYS

BootFile2=MSDOS.SYS Name of second boot file. Default is MSDOS.SYS

BootFile3=COMMAND.COM Name of third boot file. Default is COMMAND.COM

BootFile4=AUTOEXEC.BAT Name of fourth boot file. Default is AUTOEXEC.BAT

BootFile5=CONFIG.SYS Name of fifth boot file. Default is CONFIG.SYS

BootFile6= Name of sixth boot file. Default is none.

BootFile7= Name of seventh boot file. Default is none.

BootFile8= Name of eighth boot file. Default is none.


Using MAXIDisk

MAXI uses standard Windows commands for navigating the screen. All functions are available from the main screen, or from one of the secondary screens, such as Copy disk, Analyze disk, or Setup.




Selecting the Target Drive

The Target Drive is the one you want to format a disk on. MAXI will automatically catalog your floppy drives and determine the type of each. Only floppy drives will appear in the selection box. The last used target drive is saved in the MAX4W.INI file.

MAXI supports the following drive types:

360k 5-1/4" double density 1.2 meg 5-1/4" high density 720k 3-1/2" double density 1.44 meg 3-1/2" high density 2.88 meg 3-1/2" extra high density

MAXI Disk will automatically detect the drive type. The colored disk icons shown in the “Target Drive” box can be used throughout MAXI Disk to identify different types of drives and disks.

Selecting the Disk Type MAXI will automatically list the types of disks supported by the selected target drive. Choose the type of disk you want to format.

MAXI supports the following disk types:

Standard DOS - 360k 5-1/4"; 720k 3-1/2"; 1.2 meg 5-1/4"; 1.44 meg 3-1/2"; 2.88 meg 3-1/2"

MAXI and other extended capacity - 420k 5-1/4"; 800k 3-1/2"; 1.4 meg 5-1/4"; 1.6 meg 3-1/2"; 1.7 meg 3-1/2" (Microsoft DMF); 3.2 meg 3-1/2"

Other - Macintosh 1.44 meg 3-1/2" high density

The types of disks appearing in the selection box will depend on the currently selected target drive. The last used type for each target drive is saved in the MAX4W.INI file.

MAXI will also let you squeeze a few extra cylinders (tracks) out of your drives. Most drives can go a few beyond the normal 40 or 80 tracks used by DOS. Each extra one will add extra space to your disks. This will work with both regular DOS disks and MAXI style disks.

Formatting Options

With the "Verify" box checked, MAXI will read each track as it is formatted to make sure it is OK. A disk will format faster without the Verify on, but bad sectors will not be locked out, so you may get disk errors later. Use which ever setting you are comfortable with. If the “Level 2 verify” option has been selected on the “Setup” screen, MAXI will write some data to each sector before reading it to verify. This slows down the formatting process, but provides the highest reliability that a marginally bad sector will be caught.

With the "Include system files" box checked, MAXI will copy the MS-DOS boot files to the new disk. Normally these are IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM, AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. See customizing for details on changing the defaults.

With the "Quick re-format" box checked, MAXI will erase the directory and FAT of the disk without doing a physical re-format. If "Verify" is also checked, MAXI will read the disk tracks to check for errors. The old boot sector of the disk will be replaced with a new one from MAXI, unless the "Keep original boot block" box is also checked.

Normally, MAXI will write a new DOS style boot sector to a reformatted disk. This boot sector will work with virtually all machines and versions of DOS. Three styles of boot sectors are used in MAXI, one for DOS 3.x to 6.x, one for DOS 7.x (Win’95) and a special one to allways boot from C:. The DOS 3.x and 7.x boot sectors are selected automatically. The “always boot from C:” option is selected on the “Setup” screen. When doing a “Quick reformat”, you can also select to keep the original boot sector on the disk by selecting the “keep original boot block” option.

Note: if you check this box, make sure the original boot sector is not infected with a virus!

Selecting the “NSA secure format” option will do a NSA style “scrub” operation on the disk before formatting it. The scrubbing is used for destroying disks that may have contained sensitive information and consists of formatting the disk with alternating patterns of all 0 bits (hex value 00) then all 1 bits (hex FF). This process is repeated four times before the final normal format. Obviously, this takes a lot more time than a regular format but it provides some assurance that all traces of previous data have been removed from the disk. (Apparently the super spy geeks can recover data from disks that have been physically reformated with normal disk formatting software.)

DOS allows you to assign a name or "Volume Label" to a disk. If you want to include a volume label during formatting, check the "Volume label" box and enter the label in the edit field below it. MAXI can keep the last used volume label for future reference.

DOS 4.0 or later allows you to assign a "Serial Number" to a disk. If you want to include a serial number during formatting, check the "Serial number" box and enter the number in the edit field below it. The number should be an eight digit hexadecimal number, such as 8DB0CA77. MAXI can keep the last used serial number for future reference, and can also increment the number automatically with each disk formatted to give you a sequential set of disks.


Making a Boot Disk

The default boot sector which MAXI writes to a disk is designed to work with a wide range of DOS versions and hardware. However, we cannot guarantee that it will produce a bootable disk with all combinations of DOS and hardware. In addition, many systems will not boot from MAXI style extended capacity or DMF disks.

MAXI Disk can be used to make bootable or system disks by automatically transferring the required boot files to a disk during the formatting process.

To create a bootable disk:

• Make sure the "Include system" option box in the "Formatting options" area of the MAXI Disk main dialog box is selected. • Select the drive to copy the system files from in the list box next to the "Include system" option box. Normally this will be your hard drive, such as C:. • Select the target drive and type of disk to format. • Press the "Do format" button to start the formatting cycle.

At the end of the formatting cycle, the system files will be copied to the floppy. Normally these are IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM, AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. See Customizing for details on changing the defaults. You can even add some of your own files to the list to be automatically copied.

MAXI will automatically select a boot sector for your disk based on the version of DOS you are using. In some extreme cases of heavily OEM customized systems, these universal boot sectors may not work. If the disk will not boot on your system, you will have to use the DOS SYS command, Windows 3.1 FileManager "Make system disk" option (menu option "Disk", "Make system disk"), or the Windows'95 "Create system disk" wizard to transfer the system files. This will overwrite the MAXI supplied boot sectors with one that is compatible with your system.


Starting the Formatting Cycle

To start formatting a disk, press the "Do Format" button on the main screen.

NOTE: Formatting will destroy all previous data on the disk. Once it is re-formatted, you will not be able to recover any data that was on the disk previously.

NOTE: If the “No prompt” option has been selected on the Setup screen, MAXI will start formatting the disk IMMEDIATELY without any additional prompting.

If the “No prompt” option has NOT been selected, you will be presented with the following screen prompt to insert a disk into the selected drive:



Press "OK" to continue, or "Cancel" to cancel the formatting process and return to the main screen.

If the "detect old format" setup option is enabled, MAXI will analyze the disk, and if it was previously formatted, will display the disk type in the "Disk Info" dialog box:



MAXI will detect any kind of DOS disk, Macintosh high density 3.5 inch disks, and any non-DOS disk formatted with 512 byte sectors. If it is a DOS or Macintosh disk, you can view the directory before re-formatting the disk, by pressing the "Yes" button.



For both DOS and Macintosh disks, you can change directory levels by double clicking on the directory entry. For DOS disks, you can also view the contents of the file by double clicking on a file entry. The file can be displayed in Hex format, decimal format, or as a straight text file, using either the ASCII or the Windows character sets.

Press the "OK" button when you have finished viewing the directory to return to the "Disk Info" dialog box.

For a DOS or Macintosh disk, if you do not wish to view the directory first, press the "No" button in the "Disk Info" dialog box. Press the "Cancel" button to return to the "Insert Disk" dialog box.

For a non-DOS, non-Macintosh disk, press the "Yes" button to continue formatting, or the "No" button to cancel and return to the "Insert Disk" dialog box.

Once the formatting process has started, a status screen will be displayed showing the current progress. If you wish to cancel the formatting before it is completed, press the <Esc> ("Escape") key. Note that if the disk formatting has been interrupted this way, the disk will probably not be usable.

If MAXI reports 0 bytes total capacity, 0 bytes free on the disk at the end of a formatting operation and the disk is not usable, try formatting the disk with the “Verify” option on. (Some disk controller chips have an on-board caching system that will interfere with the speedy operation of MAXI. Using “Verify” slows the system down enough to catch up with MAXI. We recommend that you disable hardware and software disk caching for your floppy drives.)


Copying a Disk

NOTE: Most software licenses restrict the number of backup copies you can legally make of the diskettes. Please read your license carefully BEFORE using MAXI, or any other disk copying program, to make copies of any licensed software diskettes.


MAXI Disk can be used to make copies of your disks, including ones that DOS DISKCOPY, and Windows File Manager cannot copy, such as DMF disks and non-DOS disks. You can also copy to different types of disks, such as making a copy of a 1.2 meg 5-1/4" disk on a 1.44 meg 3-1/2" disk. MAXI Disk is very flexible in the types of disks it can copy. However, not all oddball combinations will work (e.g. you will not be able to copy a 1.44 meg 3-1/2" disk to a 1.2 meg 5-1/4" disk, even though MAXI will appear to let you.) MAXI will also copy Macintosh HD disks.

MAXI will check to see if the target disk is formatted before making a copy. If it is, you will be given a chance to view the disk before re-formatting it. In some cases, you can speed up the copying process by turning off the "Always format" flag. In this case, if the target disk is already formatted the same as the source disk (such as when copying standard DOS disks onto pre-formatted ones of the same type), MAXI will not waste time reformatting the disk.

You can make multiple copies of a single master disk, without having to re- read the source disk each time. Just insert a new target disk into the drive when prompted. You can save disk image files for making copies later, by using the "copy to file" option and the "copy from file" option.

Use the “Advanced Copy” option to copy a non-standard disk by specifying sector size, number of sectors per track, etc. If you use the "advanced copy" option, MAXI will always reformat the target disk.





To copy a disk to another disk:

• Make sure the "copy from file" and the "Advanced" option boxes in the "Source" area of the disk copy dialog are NOT selected. Make sure the "copy to file" option box in the "Target" area is NOT selected. • If you have more than one floppy drive, select the "source" and "target" drives. These can be the same or different. Note that if the drives are different, the disk copy must make sense. (E.g. you cannot copy a 1.44 meg disk to a 360 k drive!) • If you have more than one hard drive or you have access to a network shared drive, select the "via" drive. This is where MAXI will create a temporary file used in the copying process. The file will be deleted at the end of the copying process. • Press the "Start copy" button. This will prompt you to insert the source disk. • When the source disk has been copied to the temporary file, you will be prompted to insert the target disk. If the target disk is already formatted, you will be warned before proceeding and given the chance to view the directory and cancel the copying if you wish. • When given the final OK, MAXI will start to write the target disk. If the "always re-format" option has been selected, or the target disk was not formatted the same as the source disk, MAXI will format the disk as it copies. Otherwise, the disk will be written without formatting it first. (This greatly increases the copying speed). • When the disk copy has been made, you will be prompted to make another copy. Insert a new target disk if you want to make another copy. Because MAXI uses a temporary disk file, it can make multiple copies without having to re-read the source disk each time.


You can save disk image files for making copies later, by using the "copy to file" option and the "copy from file" option. Disk image files are saved with a default extension of .HDK. The type of disk is also saved in the file.

To copy a disk to a disk image file: • Make sure the "copy from file" option box in the "Source" area of the disk copy dialog is NOT selected. (If it is selected, the "copy to file" option will be disabled). • select the "copy to file" option box in the "Target" area of the disk copy dialog. This will disable the "copy from file", target drive and "always reformat" options. • If you have more than one floppy drive, select the source drive. • Press the "Start copy" button. This will open a "Create/Open File" dialog box. • Type in a file name, or select one from the displayed list of existing disk image files. You can navigate through your directories using standard Windows point and click features. Press "OK" when done. Note: If you select an existing filename, it will be overwritten and replaced with the new disk file. In addition, do not select a filename on your source drive. • Insert the disk into the source drive, and press "OK". The disk will be copied to the disk image file.


To copy a disk image file to a new disk: • Make sure the "copy to file" option box in the "Target" area of the disk copy dialog is NOT selected. (If it is selected, the "copy from file" option will be disabled). • select the "copy from file" option box in the "Source" area of the disk copy dialog. This will disable the "copy to file", and source drive options. • If you have more than one floppy drive, select the target drive. • Press the "Start copy" button. This will open a "Create/Open File" dialog box. • Select a file from the displayed list of existing disk image files. You can navigate through your directories using standard Windows point and click features. If you highlight a filename in the list box area of the dialog, MAXI will display information about the file. Press "OK" when done. Note, do not select a file from a disk in your target drive. • Insert the disk into the target drive, and press "OK". The disk image file will be copied to the target disk. Note: if the selected target drive does not support the type of disk from which the original image file was created, you will probably get one or more fatal error messages early in the attempted copying.


Advanced Disk Copying Features

The advanced copy feature lets you take control of the copying process by specifying sector size, number of sectors per track, number of sides, sector numbering, and number of cylinders (tracks). This lets you copy non-DOS disks. You can even use the advanced copy feature with the copy to file and copy from file features to save disk image files.



The advanced copy feature will only copy standard MFM formatted, soft sectored double density or high density disks. Other disk encoding schemes, including hard sectored (such as some very old CP/M disks), GCR formatted (such as Commodore or Apple ][), single density disks, or disks with variable sector sizes or numbers of sectors per track (such as some older CP/M disks and IBM OS/2 XDF disks) are not supported by MAXI.


To use the advanced copy feature: • Select the "advanced" option box on the "Copy Disk" dialog. This will enable the "Advanced..." button. • Press the "Advanced..." button. This will open the "Advanced Disk Copy Parameters" dialog box. • Select the number of cylinders (tracks) to copy. For a standard double density 5-1/4" disk, this is 40. However, MAXI style 420k disks use 42 cylinders and some older 5-1/4" non-DOS disks are only formatted to 35 cylinders. For 5-1/4" high density disks and all standard 3-1/2" disks, this will be 80 cylinders. MAXI style extended capacity disks use 82 cylinders. Some older non-DOS disks may use 70 or 77 cylinders. • Select the sector size. All standard DOS compatible disks use 512 bytes per sector. Non-DOS disks may use anything from 256 bytes per sector to 8192 bytes per sector. • Select the number of sectors per track. This will depend on the disk type and and sector size. This number must be set to match the type of disk being copied. • Select the number of sides to copy. • Select the first sector number for each side of the disk. For all standard DOS compatible disks, the sectors are numbered starting at 1 on both sides. (e.g. 1 to 9 on both sides). For non-DOS disks, this number may vary. As a general rule, it is either 0 or 1. However, some disk types number the sectors on side 1 as a continuation from side 0, such as Kaypro 4 which uses 0 to 9 on side 0 and 10 to 19 on side 1. • When you are done, press the "Save" button to save the current parameters in the MAX4W.INI file for future use, the "OK" button to return to the "Copy Disk" dialog with the new parameters, or the "Cancel" button to return with the old values.

Note that if any of the parameters are not set correctly, the disk will not copy properly.

If you use the advanced copy option, MAXI will always reformat the target disk.

Press the "Save" button to save the current parameters in the MAX4W.INI file for future use.


Analyzing a Disk

MAXI can analyze an unknown disk, and if it is a DOS or Macintosh disk, let you view the disk directory.

Select the drive to use with the “target drive” option on the main window.

For both DOS and Macintosh disks, you can change directory levels by double clicking on the directory entry. For DOS disks, you can also view the contents of the file by double clicking on a file entry. The file can be displayed in Hex format, decimal format, or as a straight text file, using either the ASCII or the Windows character sets.

Press the "OK" button when you have finished viewing the directory to return to the main screen.


On-line Help

MAXI Disk is supplied with an on-line help file, MAX4W.HLP, in standard Windows Help format. To display the MAXI Disk Windows Help file, select a topic from the Help menu on the main screen, or press the HELP button on any of the dialog boxes which include one. Once the Help file is displayed, you can navigate the file using standard Windows Help search commands and hyper links. The Help file is based on the contents of this documentation file.


Using the SMAX Driver

While DOS versions 3.2x and later can automatically handle the housekeeping required to access MAXI style extended capacity disks, the BIOS and hardware on many systems will not. SMAX.COM is a memory resident driver which is used to improve the compatibility of MAXI extended capacity disks with some combinations of hardware and DOS. It is not a true device driver in the conventional sense of DOS terminology. Rather, it is a simple TSR (terminate but stay resident) program which patches into the BIOS disk interrupt vector (interrupt hex 13) and changes the EOT (end of track, or last sector in a track) parameter to match the increased value of the MAXI extended capacity disks when it detects a disk read or write operation. MAXI Form v1.8 or later, MAXI Disk for DOS v3.2 or later, MAXI Disk for Windows v4 or later, and FreeForm v2.3 or later will automatically configure SMAX for the type of disk being formatted. SMAX will automatically configure itself for the read/write operations to allow transparent access to all DOS and MAXI formatted disks, regardless of density. (SMAX is not required to installed when using MAXI Disk itself, including copying system files). SMAX is also not required for Windows 95 running with DOS 7.0.

You may be able to eliminate the use of SMAX on your system by modifying your CONFIG.SYS file, as shown above in “Installing MAXI”.


SMAX MAY BE FREELY COPIED AND DISTRIBUTED TO YOUR FRIENDS FOR THEIR PRIVATE, NON-COMMERCIAL USE (SO THAT THEY CAN READ FILES WHICH YOU MAY SEND THEM ON MAXI FORMATTED DISKS) PROVIDED THAT THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE IS NOT REMOVED. THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS OR VENDORS WISHING TO INCLUDE SMAX WITH THEIR OWN COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS REQUIRE THE PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION OF HERNE DATA SYSTEMS ALONG WITH A RUNTIME DISTRIBUTION LICENSE.


When to Use SMAX

To determine whether or not you need to use SMAX with your system configuration, perform the following simple test:

• Format an extended capacity (420k/800k/1.4meg/1.6 meg/1.7 meg/3.2 meg) disk with MAXI Disk, using the largest capacity floppy drive on your system (e.g. if you have both a 1.2 meg drive and a 1.44 meg, use the 1.44 meg drive).

• Try to copy a number of relatively long files (e.g. over about 50k bytes long each) to the new disk using the DOS COPY or XCOPY command or Windows File Manager or equivalent.

• If you get an error message (e.g. 'general failure reading drive ...' or 'sector not found') then you need to install SMAX to use the MAXI formatted extended capacity disks.

Installing SMAX

BECAUSE IT IS A TERMINATE-AND-STAY-RESIDENT PROGRAM, DO NOT INSTALL SMAX FROM A DOS WINDOW (UNDER MS WINDOWS) OR THROUGH A MENU SHELL SUCH AS DOS 5 OR 6 DOSSHELL. IF YOU DO, YOUR SYSTEM MAY LOCK UP WHEN YOU TRY TO ACCESS ANY KIND OF DISK (INCLUDING THE HARD DRIVE). HOWEVER, ONCE SMAX HAS BEEN INSTALLED, YOU CAN CHANGE ITS CONFIGURATION FROM A DOS WINDOW OR THROUGH A MENU SHELL.


To install SMAX automatically on a cold boot, type the following command at the DOS prompt (or insert the line into your AUTOEXEC.BAT file):

SMAX <Enter>

SMAX checks to see that you are using DOS 3.20 or later before installing itself. Once installed, SMAX remains resident in your computer's RAM and is active for all floppy drives on your system. The resident portion of SMAX requires only 1.5k bytes of memory. SMAX also accepts several command line options. These are:

SMAX 0 Turns off SMAX so that it remains hooked into the interrupt 13h chain, but does nothing. If SMAX is not resident, an error message is displayed. Note that the '0' can be either the letter o (uppercase or lowercase) or the numeral zero.

SMAX 1 Turns on SMAX that has been previously turned off with the 0 option. If SMAX is not resident, it is installed as for a first time installation. Note that the '1' can be either the letter i (uppercase or lowercase) or the numeral one.

SMAX 40 Turns off the 80 track double density mode for 1.2 meg drives to allow them to access 360k/420k disks.

SMAX 80 Turns on the 80 track double density mode for 1.2 meg drives. This allows 720k/800k 5-1/4 inch disks to be formatted and used in 1.2 meg drives with normal 360k DD media. On most systems, this feature is only supported for drives A: and B: due to BIOS limitations. In addition, it will also remove the ability for these drives to access 360k/420k disks.

SMAX A Sets SMAX to automatic 40 track/80 track sensing mode (where it can read/write either 40 or 80 track double density disks interchangeably). This is the default mode.

SMAX E Enables SMAX for secondary controlled drives. This is the default mode.

SMAX N Disables SMAX for secondary controlled drives. The BIOS in some secondary floppy disk controller cards, such as those used with some external expansion drives, is not compatible with SMAX. This options allows SMAX to be used for internal, primary controlled drives, while not interfering with the use of secondary controlled drives.

SMAX ? Checks the current status of SMAX in memory, if present.

If you attempt to install SMAX with no options specified (or with the ? option) when it is already resident, a status message will be displayed showing the currently active options. If you attempt to install SMAX with a command line option not listed above, you will get an error message.

SMAX options can be changed at any time after it is resident in memory by running the appropriate command line. This will change the current parameters for the copy of SMAX in memory and will not result in another copy of SMAX being loaded into memory. SMAX can be loaded into high memory with the DOS 5 or 6 LOADHIGH (LH) command, provided that your CONFIG.SYS includes the proper XMS and EMM memory managers. (See your DOS manual for more information on the LOADHIGH command).

Disabling SMAX

SMAX will not normally interfere with the use of standard floppy DOS disks and it is completely transparent to hard disks. Both regular style DOS disks and MAXI extended capacity disks can be used interchangeably and transparently on any floppy drive in your system by most application software such as word processors, spreadsheets and databases. However, it is recognized that some programs, such as those which access the disk at the physical sector level or in an unconventional manner (including some hard disk fast backup utilities and some versions of the DOS FORMAT and DISKCOPY programs) do not work correctly with SMAX installed. For such cases, SMAX can be de-activated without re-booting the computer by using one of two command line options as summarized above:

SMAX 0 <Enter>

The 0 option will set a disabling flag within SMAX itself, without actually removing the code from the interrupt 13h chain. SMAX can then be re-activated using the 1 option when required. A special compatibility concern may arise when using two floppy disk controller cards: a primary card and a secondary or add-on card. The primary card may require SMAX to work correctly, while the BIOS in the secondary card (such as a CompatiCard, usually controlling external floppy drives) may become confused by SMAX. In this case, use the SMAX N option to disable SMAX for externally controlled drives.

80 Cylinder Double Density Mode The 1.2 meg disk drives used in AT class machines are capable of reading and writing 80 cylinders. Normally this feature is used only in high density mode (1.2 meg or 1.4 meg). However, in order to do this reliably, special (i.e. more expensive) high density (HD) diskettes are required. Some BIOS’s will let you format and use 80 cylinder double density (DD) 5-1/4 inch disks in 1.2 meg drives. However, most will not. With the 80 option of SMAX, you can take advantage of this to get up to 800k on a normal 360k double density disk with any BIOS! This is done by recording the data at the same bit density as normal 360k disks, but with twice the number of cylinders. In terms of reliability, the disks are just as reliable as 360k disks that have been formatted and used in 1.2 meg drives.

Of course, the 80 cylinder DD disks will NOT be usable in 360k drives, but will be usable in the 80 cylinder DD, 5-1/4 inch drives used on some non-standard MS-DOS systems. The 80 option is not required if your BIOS normally supports reading and writing this disk type.

To activate the 80 cylinder mode of SMAX, use the command line:

SMAX 80 <Enter>

(Because of limitations of BIOS flag storage areas, this feature is limited to drives A: and B: only. On most systems this is adequate because the standard AT type machine has only two drives with the 1.2 meg drive as A:.) The 80 cylinder mode will not affect normal 80 cylinder disks (i.e. 3-1/2 inch and 1.2/1.4 meg 5-1/4 inch). However, with the 80 cylinder mode activated, you will not normally be able to access 360k/420k disks in the 1.2 meg drive. To de-activate the 80 cylinder mode, use the command line:

SMAX 40 <Enter>

This will return the machine to normal 40 cylinder DD mode for 1.2 meg drives. To put SMAX into auto 40/80 mode (the normal default), use:

SMAX A <Enter>

Note that MAXI Form v1.8, MAXI Disk v3.2, and FreeForm v2.2 (the three disk formatting utilities designed to work with SMAX) will automatically configure SMAX to the correct settings without the use of the 40/80/A command line switches. When in the default automatic mode, SMAX will configure itself for normal disk reads and writes.


SMAX HOOKS ITSELF INTO BIOS INTERRUPT HEX 13 (THE DISK CONTROLLER INTERRUPT) AND USES INTERRUPT HEX 7E (NOT NORMALLY USED BY THE BIOS, DOS OR OTHER KNOWN PROGRAMS) FOR ITS OWN INTERNAL FUNCTIONS.


Error Messages

The following error messages can be displayed by MAXI Disk:

Fatal Errors

These errors will prevent MAXI from starting up. They will display the error message, then exit.

Cannot run in Windows REAL mode. This will only happen if you try to run MAXI in Windows 3.0 under real mode. MAXI requires Standard or Enhanced mode.

Insufficient free memory or resources to run MAXI Disk. Close some applications and try again. MAXI requires 5 kb of code space in low memory (conventional DOS 640k area) This memory may be hogged by other programs currently running, or ones which were running and did not release the memory before quitting or had crashed. If there are no other programs running when you get this message, re-boot Windows and try again.

Insufficient free resources to create disk buffers. Close some applications and try again. MAXI requires 12 kb of buffer space (25 kb if you have a 2.88 meg drive) in low memory (conventional DOS 640k area) This memory may be hogged by other programs currently running, or ones which were running and did not release the memory before quitting or had crashed. If there are no other programs running when you get this message, re-boot Windows and try again.


Non-Fatal Errors

These errors will likely result in an unusable target disk, but they will not halt the operation of MAXI.

Cannot open target file. Cannot open temporary file xxxx. This message is displayed for a disk copy operation when there is a problem opening or creating the disk image file. Check to make sure that there is a disk in the drive, if using a removable media, or a network connection is available, if using a network drive.

Disk formatting interrupted. Disk copying interrupted. This message is displayed when you interrupt the disk formatting or copying process by either pressing the <Esc> key, or removing the disk from the drive during the process.

Disk is write protected. This message is displayed when you try to format or copy to a disk with the write protect tab on. Remove the write protect and try again.

Disk was not formatted. This message is displayed when you try to 'Quick Format' a disk that was not previously formatted. Quick Format reads the previous formatting information from the disk, then erases the directory and FAT without actually physically re-formatting the disk.

Drive not ready or wrong density disk inserted. This message is displayed when you try to format without a disk in the drive, or you try to format a 720 k disk as a high density (1.44 meg) or vice versa.

File not found. This message is displayed when you try to copy system files to a disk and have not specified the correct path to find the files. Make sure the system files are located in the root directory of the drive selected as the 'System Drive' on the main screen. Also check that your system files are the same as the ones specified in the MAX4W.INI file.

Insufficient space on drive x: to create disk image file. This message is displayed for a disk copy operation when either: • the drive for a CopyToFile operation is almost full; or • the CopyVia drive is almost full for a disk to disk copy.

Free up some space on the drive (usually C:) and try again. The error message will tell you how much space is required to create the disk image file.

Not a DOS or Macintosh disk. Cannot quick format. This message is displayed when you try to 'Quick Format' a disk that was not previously formatted as a DOS or Mac disk. Quick Format reads the previous formatting information from the disk, then erases the directory and FAT without actually physically re-formatting the disk.

Not a valid disk image file. This message is displayed when you try to use the CopyFromFile feature and have selected a file that was not created by the MAXIDisk copy disk to file function.

Problem with target disk. This message is displayed for a disk copy or format operation when there is an error encountered setting up the target disk. A BIOS error code, as outlined below for other read/write errors, is returned.

Sorry can't copy this disk. This message is displayed for a disk copy operation when the source disk is either: • unformatted or unrecognizable format; • non-DOS disk when using standard copy; or • an OS/2 XDF disk.

If you are trying to copy a non-DOS disk, try using the advanced disk copy feature.

Unrecoverable read/write error on xxx. This message is displayed for a disk copy operation when there is a problem reading or writing the disk being copied. The message will return an error code and indicate the track and sector where the problem occured. The error code is a standard BIOS return code with the following values: 01 Invalid function request 02 Address mark not found 03 Write attempt on write protected disk 04 Sector not found 06 Diskette changed 08 DMA overrun 09 DMA boundary error 0c Media type not available 10 Bad CRC code (error checking on sector) 20 Disk controller failure 40 Track seek failure 80 Timed out

Most of these codes are related to physical problems with the disk. Try another disk. If using the advanced copy feature, make sure you have the parameters, such as sector size and number of sectors per track set correctly.

Warnings: These are confirmation messages issued when you may do something destructive, like overwrite an existing file. You will have the chance to confirm the operation or reject it.

File xxx already exists. This message is displayed for a disk copy operation when you select a target disk image file which already exists. If you select yes, the existing file will be replaced by the new one. If you select no, you get another chance to choose a file name. Troubleshooting


Known Issues:

• Certain floppy disk controllers combined with certain floppy disk drives may not work correctly for DMF 1.7 meg disks. If MAXI Disk displays an error code 4 when trying to format or copy a DMF disk, insert the following line into the [SETUP] section of the MAX4W.INI file:

		DMFGAP=10

If this still fails to work, try DMFGAP=5.

• If MAXI reports 0 bytes on the disk at the end of a formatting operation, try formatting the disk with “Verify” on. Some disk controller chips have an on-board caching system that will interfere with the speedy operation of MAXI. We recommend that you disable hardware and software disk caching for your floppy drives.

• MAXI will currently only format standard DOS disks on Windows NT systems. The NT operating model does not support the BIOS based formatting technique used by MAXI.

• Certain “anti-virus” shield software products are known to cause problems with disk utility software. For example, Norton Anti Virus (NAV) for Windows 95 from Symantec may cause your computer to lock up to the point where only a hard boot will recover. To prevent this happening, you need to change one of the default settings on NAV: - Open the Norton AV window by starting the program, or clicking on the Norton AV icon on the status bar. - Select "Options" from the Norton AV menu or button bar. - Select the "Autoprotect" tab. - Turn off the option box "Check floppies for boot viruses upon access". - Press "OK" and close the Norton AV window.


Troubleshooting tips:

• If MAXI Disk displays an error message, consult the list of error messages.

• If MAXI Disk fails to work correctly without displaying an error message, it may be due to interference from another program or driver you are currently running. The most common incompatibilities are caused by disk caching software and anti-virus "protection" or "shield" software which blocks you from accessing the disk directly. MAXI relies on direct BIOS Interrupt 13h disk accesses. Any software which blocks such access will interfere with the operation of MAXI. If you suspect this to be the case, temporarily disable the suspected software and try to run MAXI again.

• If you are using external floppy drives or other similar add-ons, try disconnecting the drive and disabling the software drivers (remove them from your CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file).

• If previously formatted MAXI style extended capacity disks or DMF disks suddenly stop working on your machine for no apparent reason, you may have contracted a boot sector virus. These viruses will often block the ability to use extended capacity disks. The infected disks will have to be "dis-infected" with anti virus software before they are usable again. (See also Tips and Hints).

If you discover any such incompatible hardware/software, please report the exact circumstances to us and we will try to devise a solution for you.

Diagnostic mode: MAXI Disk v4.11b or later has a built in diagnostic mode. On MAXI Disk 4.2, check the “Diagnostic log” option on the “Setup” screen. This will create a file called MAX4.LOG in the same directory as the MAXI Disk program files which will log the outcome of certain events and procedures used by MAXI. Send us a copy of this file, along with a description of your problem.



Tips and Hints

• Some primitive boot sector viruses, such as the 'Stoned' virus, can interfere with MAXI formatted disks. If you find that your MAXI style disk no longer works (e.g. files appear corrupted) check your system for a boot sector virus. (Note: this problem also affects Microsoft DMF disks as well. Always write protect your DMF disks before installing software from them!)

• You can make copies of the new Microsoft DMF format 3.5 inch diskettes in one easy step by using the Copy Disk feature of MAXI.

• If you are distributing your own software, you can create a master disk, then copy it to a disk image file using the “copy to file” option. To make identical copies later, use the “copy from file” option. This speeds up the disk copying process by not having to read the source disk each time.

• Some releases of Windows’95 may report “phantom” bad sectors on the disk info screens. To prevent this, always remove the disk from the drive once formatting is complete. This forces Windows’95 to recognize the disk change correctly.

• If you are using a MAXI style or DMF disk that was created on one computer in a second machine, you may need to use the SMAX driver on the second machine.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is MAXI Disk? MAXI Disk is a floppy disk formatting utility from Herne Data Systems Ltd. which can format special extended capacity DOS compatible disks. 360k becomes 420k, 720k is increased to 800k, 1.2 meg becomes 1.4 meg, 1.44 meg is increased to 1.6 meg or 1.7 meg (DMF format), and 2.88 meg is increased to 3.2 meg. MAXI Disk is designed to format floppy disks only. (In a multi user environment, this helps to protect your hard disks from accidental erasure by in-experienced persons trying to use the DOS FORMAT command.) MAXI Disk requires Windows version 3.x or later running over PC- or MS-DOS version 3.20 or later. It will not run with earlier versions of DOS. MAXI Disk will automatically detect if a disk is already formatted and can display the directory of such a disk to let you check it before reformatting if you wish. It will also detect some non-DOS disk formats, such as Macintosh 3.5" HD disks.

What will MAXI Disk do for me? Plenty! The extra space MAXI Disk gives you on each disk allows you to store more data on each disk. This lets you use fewer disks for hard drive backups. For example, backing up 20 megs of data from a hard disk using the DOS BACKUP command requires about 55 standard 360k floppies. Using the MAXI 420k format, you only need about 47. With 1.2 meg disks, you will need about 17 disks to backup the same 20 megs, while with the MAXI 1.4 meg format, you only need 14. The extra space also means you can store larger files on a floppy disk. With the size of many software packages, it is virtually impossible to run them from a single 360k floppy and still have any space left over for data storage. With MAXI 420k disks, you get an extra 60k of space on each disk that can be used for your data storage. An extra 60k per 360k disk is 600k per box of 10!! This is like getting more than one and a half disks FREE in every box of floppies you buy. It doesn't take long for the savings to add up.

Are the extended capacity disks reliable? Absolutely! The MAXI system has been around since the early days of MS-DOS, through MAXI Form, FreeForm and the DOS version of MAXI Disk. The MAXI extended capacity disks are just as reliable as normal DOS disks. The data are recorded at precisely the same bit density on each track as normal DOS disks. The extra space is achieved by recovering some of the space that is 'wasted' by DOS with filler bytes. (There is so much filler in a DOS disk, that you can get an extra sector or two per track without sacrificing any reliability.) In fact, many other computers and operating systems (equipped with the same disk drives and using the same floppy disks as on PC type machines) have been using that extra space quite reliably for many years before PC/MS-DOS was even developed! We like to refer to this as the 'space that DOS forgot'. Even Microsoft has recognized this now with their new special DMF disk format used for software distribution.

MAXI Disk seems to be a 'free lunch'. Where's the catch? As far as we know, there is no 'catch'! Besides, MAXI Disk is not really a 'free lunch' anyway. Think of it more like converting the unfinished attic in your house into extra living space. The basic structure has been in place since the house was built; it just wasn't fully or efficiently utilized.


Version History

MAXI Disk v4.20 - 98-03-01 Additional features: • NSA secure format option added for “scrub before format” operation.

• level 2 “write before read” verify mode added to improve disk verification process.

• “do not prompt” option added for increased speed for experienced users.

Changes: • documentation includes explicit warning about potential problems using MAXI with NAV or Windows NT. Un-install instructions added to documentation. Additional registration options.


MAXI Disk v4.14a - 97-10-07

• registration address updated


MAXI Disk v4.14 - 97-07-09

• serial number can now be up to ffff:ffff (previously limited to 7fff:ffff)

• bug fixed on "boot from C:" option selection (previously, selecting the option OFF did not work correctly in all situations)


MAXI Disk v4.13 - 97-04-04

Main Window

Addtional features: • the number of cylinders to format is now saved for each disk type in the MAX4W.INI file under the [Custom] heading. Previously, changes made to this parameter were not saved when exiting MAXI.


Setup Window

Changes: In previous versions, the following items required manual editing of the MAX4W.INI file to make changes.

• the MAXI "diagnostic log" can now be activated by checking the "Diagnostic log" box on the setup window.

• the DMFGap parameter can now be set directly from the setup window.

• the list of boot files to be copied to a system disk can be edited from the setup window by selecting the "Boot files" menu option (Alt-B).


Addtional features: • an "always boot from C: drive" feature has been added to MAXI. Disks formatted with this option will re-direct the cold booting and warm booting process to C: drive, if the disk is accidently left in the A: drive during a re-boot. (This eliminates the annoying delay you get if you leave a non-bootable disk in A:). This special boot sector works with all versions of DOS.

• an "ignore copy errors" feature has been added to the disk copy function. With this option selected, MAXI will continue to copy a disk, even if it encounters read errors. This allows you to recover most of the contents from a physically corrupted disk that will not normally copy.

Version 4.11b (97-02-28): • Addition of diagnostic mode. • Improved compatibility for DMF disks by adjusting gap length and EOT marker. • Expanded help file and documentation file.


Version 4.1 (97-02-17): • Improved speed and compatibility for Win'95 • Support added to recognize OS/2 XDF disks for pre-format warning • Advanced non-DOS disk copy support added • Disk copy to/from file added • End of formatting status display added for DOS disks.

Update 4w03 (97-01-03): • Improved Win'95 installation instructions in Help file and docs.

Version 4w: • Initial release for Windows 3.x and Win'95.

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