Low level formatting - [was Re: slow (s-l-o-w) install (TRY)]

Mikkel L. Ellertson mikkel at infinity-ltd.com
Mon Feb 18 19:28:28 UTC 2008

Frank Cox wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Feb 2008 12:54:48 -0500
> Bill Davidsen <davidsen at tmr.com> wrote:
>> The main reason indeed, by going to a different interleave matched to 
>> your usage you could get a big jump in performance (or make it dog 
>> slow). And by playing with large sector sizes you could get a large jump 
>> in capacity. Just as a 3-1/2 floppy can jump from 1440k to 1920k with 
>> large sectors, some hard drives could get a similar boost in capacity, 
>> up to 40%.
> I used to have (probably still have, somewhere) a DOS program that would test
> your drive access speeds and optimize the interleave for maximum speed.  It
> worked really well.

> On the subject of capacity, the value of larger (or smaller) sector sizes
> depends on the data being stored on it.  I used to have a .sys device driver
> that created a "virtual drive" from a file on your disk with a very small
> sector size.  I used that to store Fidonet .MSG files (which tended to be small)
> and got a big boost in my capacity due to less wasted space.
I have a S-100 disk controller that would read the entire track in 
one revaluation of the disk. It would then give you the sector you 
wanted, and buffer the rest of the track. With the on-drive buffers, 
I would not be surprised if that is what they are doing on modern 
drives, so the interleave would not make much difference. Besides, 
with defect management and different sectors/track, depending on 
where it is on the drive, I am not sure how you would go about 
changing the interleave.


   Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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