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Thread: DOS DIR Command is super slow on a large drive

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    4GB seems big to me for a 486. The Compaq Deskpro 486/33M system commonly shipped with a 120MB drive, and the Deskpro 66M commonly had a 240MB drive. The later Compaq Deskpro XL line (which ranged from 486/66 to Pentium Pro) had storage ranging from 500MB to 2GB.

    I think the sweet spot for DOS is 500MB (assuming you're not running something so old you're limited to 32MB partitions). Beyond that the expectation would have been that you're running Windows 95 or later.
    I agree. When the 486 was first introduces those seemed like the common sizes but near the end drive sizes had gotten bigger. I had a 1GB SCSI on my 486-33 in 95-96 time frame. IIRC I think I paid $80 at Fry's for it. That was the time when I started feeling like HDD prices were free falling or at least capacity was growing much faster then price. However, originally my 486 came with a Conner 230MB when I bought it in 1992.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. Copy II PC Enhanced Option Board (the one with the toggle switch on the back) 4. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 5. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    4GB seems big to me for a 486.
    You must not be a DOS retrogamer 500MB as you suggest would only hold about 30 486-era games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    Interesting. Would this feed the DIR command or would you need to run DIR once and then the utility would store the information in memory to disk for restore later?
    The utility can be run in "save" or "restore" mode, and saves/restores the free space calculation. But I don't recommend it, which is why I'm not linking to the forum post in question. If you save it, then the disk gets changed, then you restore the old value, the results are undefined.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    There was a utility created and shared on this forum (somewhere) that saved the free-space allocation calc to disk on demand, and could be restored on boot-up. The obvious downside is that if that ever gets out of sync, you will have problems. I don't personally recommend it.
    The "Drive Parameter Table Fixer" by Riminucci Simone.

    I've only gotten it to work with my IBM PC 5160 with XT-IDE controller and 4GB CF card with only one 2GB partition and MSDOS 5.

    I've tried about 5-6 other DOS PC's with CF cards and it just crashes...

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    You must not be a DOS retrogamer 500MB as you suggest would only hold about 30 486-era games.
    I was a DOS gamer before I was a DOS retrogamer. It was common in those days to have multiple drive letters. If you run out of space, add another drive.

    And don't forget that uninstalling a game you no longer play is always an option. I understand the appeal of having all the games installed all the time, and if you really want that I recommend using a network file server instead.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    I understand the appeal of having all the games installed all the time, and if you really want that I recommend using a network file server instead.
    Which won't show proper LFNs and actual free space :P I jest I jest...
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. Copy II PC Enhanced Option Board (the one with the toggle switch on the back) 4. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 5. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    It was common in those days to have multiple drive letters. If you run out of space, add another drive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    Which won't show proper LFNs and actual free space :P I jest I jest...
    At the risk of derailing the thread, maybe this is a good time to mention the Total DOS Launcher. It was developed for this sort of thing (massive amounts of games accessible on real DOS hardware, using one or more drives).
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    Thanks for the very informative reply. Looking at those solutions they both have down sides:

    1. Going to bigger cluster sizes = massive slack space waste (i.e. storing 2K DOS .com file in a 64K cluster)
    2. That would lead to partitioning the drive and multiple drive letters which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place.
    Bigger cluster sizes also means less fragmentation and faster file I/O in general. And I don't see how one or two extra drive letters would be a problem.
    Looking for a cache card for the "ICL ErgoPRO C4/66d V"

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