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Bondwell B200 Laptop - Disk Issues

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    Bondwell B200 Laptop - Disk Issues

    Hi Folks!

    I've got a problem with a Bondwell B200 laptop that has me a little puzzled. It's an 80c88 system, 640k RAM and dual 720k floppy drives. The machine seems to work fine in that it boots DOS from floppy and can run programs. However, when I try to format a floppy disk, it only formats them as 40 track (360k)

    As the machine is an XT, there is no BIOS to change the drive type and there are no jumpers / dip switches to change. If I add the following into config.sys, it lets me format drives C/D as 720k without issue so I'm guessing it's some sort of software / configuration issue but not sure what to change. Any suggestions?

    device=driver.sys /d:0 /f:2 /c
    device=driver.sys /d:1 /f:2 /c

    Last edited by Moonferret; June 1, 2020, 06:58 AM. Reason: Forgot to add config,sys contents

    Which DOS are you using? Is the boot disk being used 720k?


      Yep, 720k boot disk. Tried DOS 3.3 and 5.0


        It was the same with the early bios of the IBM XT, The floppy drive's were seen as 360k, If you can boot DOS 6.22, Run MSD and see what that says, You could use something like " Setdrive " or just stick with the driver.sys, I prefer Setdrive though, Actually i find it quite handy formatting 720k or 1.44M floppy disk's to 360k on occasions.


          I've just downloaded a copy of setdrive as that looks like the better option. I can keep using A/B instead of C/D for the drive letters. I remember the issue with early XT's (had to do the same on an Amstrad PC1512) but I would have thought this Bondwell would have just worked at 720k. Seems strange for a machine from 1989 to suffer from this issue.



            Hmm, maybe it missed out on a bios upgrade ?, dunno


              I know this Thread is a bit older but the correct answer is, that you must enter the following into CONFIG.SYS for each MS-DOS boot disk you use to format disks in the Bondwell.
              DRIVPARM=/D:0 /F:2
              DRIVPARM=/D:1 /F:2

              /D:0 is floppy A and /D:1 is floppy B. /F:2 tells MS-DOS that the format of the drive is 720KB.
              Afterwards FORMAT will recognize the drives correctly.
              More about DRIVPARM can be found here:

              To somehow emulate a hard disk drive you can attach a ZIP100 to the LPT and use PALMZIP.SYS followed by ASSIGN A=C and PATH=C: command and put all MS-DOS files from the A boot disk also on the ZIP drive C:. It will then work like having a hard drive (which was the big plus in the Bondwell B310). This solution will work faster than running everything from floppy drives. Yet you will have a free RS232 Port for a Nullmodem cable to a Host which emulates an ISP, so you can also go to the BBS/Internet. Using only floppy disks, a Xircom Pocket Ethernet adapter will give you a the world wide web access (together with mTCP).
              Last edited by freakedenough; October 2, 2020, 03:01 AM.

              First own PC in 2003: AMD K6-2 500MHz, 320MB RAM, 40GB IBM HDD, 50x CD-ROM, 8x4x24 CD/RW, 100MBit LAN, 32MB ATi Rage 128 Pro, Windows XP


                My Bonwell B200 has both FDDs replaced at 1.44MB. Of course, the BIOS sees them as 720kB.
                However, the computer easily formats 720kB floppy disks without any additional programs. (DOS 3.3)