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Thread: Purpose of Hidden Files

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Well, that certainly tells us....... nothing!
    That's my specialty...testing something no one cares about!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Try copying those files to a disk that's more than half-full and tell us what you get.
    I know it won't work with a disk which has anything on it. I was just trying to see if I could "duplicate" the SYS command if I simply copied the two files onto a blank disk. I had way too much time on my hands years ago.

  2. #12
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    Sure, of course. There's nothing special about the two system files for MSDOS per se. It's just that there's a bit sensitive to how and where they're put on the disk, which is why the reason for the hidden and system attribute. All of that arises because you've got to fit the initial boot in a single sector. 512 bytes isn't a lot, particularly when some of it is taken up by tables.

    Theoretically, you could make the boot as many sectors as you wanted. Just adjust the DPB.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    That's my specialty...testing something no one cares about!!!
    Thank you for clearing that up. Now that I know where you're coming from I should be able to be more helpful.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    Hi Chuck,What I meant to say is I think I remember formatting either a HD or floppy and then using the standard DOS COPY command to write the two system files to the disk so they would be the first.
    Given the correct order it should work just fine. Modern DOS versions (at least MS-DOS 5/6) don't require those files to be first either, but I don't know if fragmentation is supported.

    In any case, the SYSTEM attribute also prevents most disk utilities (e.g. defragmentation tools) from touching the file, which can be relevant. Some 386/486 notebooks support suspend-to-disk through a special partition, others use a vendor tool to create a magic file and write its location to NVRAM. Moving this file risks disk corruption on suspend, therefore HIDDEN+SYSTEM.

  5. #15
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    I think that the hidden attribute is done for the user's protection--and for reduction of support tickets saying "why can't I delete this file?". When Win 95 showed up, the importance of MSDOS.SYS of course, was little more than a text-based configuration file. Pretty much all of DOS is in IO.SYS.

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