ms-dos 3.3 question (concerning FORMAT)

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Robert G Kaires

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Jan 13, 1988, 11:48:56 PM1/13/88
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I recently purchased a copy of MS-DOS 3.3 and happened across some
(apparently) strange documentation on pg. 74 of "Users Guide and Users
Reference" concerning the FORMAT command. Near the bottom of the page,
where it describes the FORMAT switches, it states (under the /s option):

"Copies the operating system files listed in the file 'formats.tbl'
from the disk in the default drive to the newly formatted disk. The
newly formated disk must be 1.2 megabytes or greater in size; otherwise
FORMAT rejects the command......"

I found it hard to believe that msdos 3.3 would not copy the system to a
360k floppy! (if I'm reading this right). I'm also confused as to what
this 'formats.tbl' file is all about.

Well I can find no file with that name (formats.tbl)
on my system disk and 3.3 SEEMS to do OK formatting a 360k disk. Does
anybody know what gives with this microsoft documentation?

Thanks, Bob Kaires

Mark Armbrust

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Jan 14, 1988, 3:39:22 PM1/14/88
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In article <8...@hubcap.UUCP> kai...@hubcap.UUCP (Robert G Kaires) writes:
>I recently purchased a copy of MS-DOS 3.3 and happened across some
>(apparently) strange documentation on pg. 74 of "Users Guide and Users
>Reference" concerning the FORMAT command. Near the bottom of the page,
>where it describes the FORMAT switches, it states (under the /s option):

"Copies the operating system files listed in the file
'formats.tbl' from the disk in the default drive to the
newly formatted disk. The newly formated disk must be
1.2 megabytes or greater in size; otherwise FORMAT
rejects the command."

I just checked our (NBI's) version of the 3.30 reference manual and found the
same comment, so I decided to check the source. [The only correct documen-
tation is usually the source. 8-) ]

The 3.30 OEM version of FORMAT explicitly copies MSDOS.SYS, IO.SYS, and
COMMAND.COM when the /S option is used. There seems to be no disk size check
for the /S option other than that the system must fit on the disk.

All bets are off concerning how IBM's version of FORMAT works in PCDOS 3.3x!

Lee Fisher

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Jan 14, 1988, 11:39:46 PM1/14/88
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In article <8...@hubcap.UUCP>, kai...@hubcap.UUCP (Robert G Kaires) writes:
> I recently purchased a copy of MS-DOS 3.3 and happened across some
> (apparently) strange documentation on pg. 74 of "Users Guide and Users
> Reference" concerning the FORMAT command. Near the bottom of the page,
> where it describes the FORMAT switches, it states (under the /s option):
>
> "Copies the operating system files listed in the file 'formats.tbl'
> from the disk in the default drive to the newly formatted disk. The
> newly formated disk must be 1.2 megabytes or greater in size; otherwise
> FORMAT rejects the command......"
...

That's a documentation error, on page 74, under the "/s" option in
FORMAT, the stuff about FORMATS.TBL should be ignored. This somehow
came in from the OS/2 FORMAT documentation, and does not belong here.
The "/s" option works as it did in previous DOS versions, it makes a
disk a bootable disk.

-Lee
________
01001100 Lee Fisher, Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA.
01000101 uucp: ...!uw-beaver!microsof!leefi (le...@microsof.uucp)
01000101 internet: le...@microsof.beaver.washington.edu
01000110 arpa: leefi%micr...@uw-beaver.arpa
01001001 disclaimer: My opinions are my own, not those of my employer.

Charles Marslett

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Jan 17, 1988, 5:09:17 PM1/17/88
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[More for that awful line eater]

In article <12...@nbires.nbi.com>, m...@nbires.nbi.com (Mark Armbrust) writes:
> In article <8...@hubcap.UUCP> kai...@hubcap.UUCP (Robert G Kaires) writes:
>
> "Copies the operating system files listed in the file
> 'formats.tbl' from the disk in the default drive to the
> newly formatted disk. The newly formated disk must be
> 1.2 megabytes or greater in size; otherwise FORMAT
> rejects the command."

> The 3.30 OEM version of FORMAT explicitly copies MSDOS.SYS, IO.SYS, and


> COMMAND.COM when the /S option is used.

There is a file of that name (or very much like it) used to specify the files
to be copied on a "format/s" command in OS/2. Do we have two OSes colliding
here in the paper world?

Charles Marslett
ch...@killer.UUCP . . . .

Jim Mower

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Jan 19, 1988, 9:12:43 AM1/19/88
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In article <10...@microsoft.UUCP>, le...@microsoft.UUCP (Lee Fisher) writes:
> That's a documentation error, on page 74, under the "/s" option in
> FORMAT, the stuff about FORMATS.TBL should be ignored...
>Lee Fisher, ***Microsoft Corp.***, Redmond, WA.

It's nice to see people from Microsoft (or any other vendor, for that
matter) respond to questions about a company product on the net. I have
been very impressed with similar responses from people at Commodore on
the comp.sys.cbm (I think that's right) network.

By all means, please continue!

Jim Mower, Dept. of Geography and Regional Planning
je...@leah.albany.edu

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