10Mb Hard Drive (Fixed Disk) Images

This folder contains a variety of 10Mb (PC XT Type 3) fixed disk configurations:

Note that in order to use an unformatted fixed disk with DOS, it must first be partitioned using FDISK and then formatted using FORMAT.

The XML disk configurations above are used to load fixed disk images into various IBM PC XT Model 5160 machine configurations.

For example, a PC XT machine using this HDC XML reference:

<hdc ref="/disks/pcx86/drives/10mb/msdos320-c400-xt3.xml"/>

will load the following PC XT controller configuration and disk image:

<hdc id="hdcXT" type="XT" drives='[{name:"10Mb Hard Disk",type:3,path:"/disks-demo/pcx86/drives/10mb/MSDOS320-C400.json"}]'/>

A machine’s hard drive configuration can also be overridden with the drives property; e.g.:

drives: '[{name:"10Mb Hard Disk",type:3,path:"/disks-demo/pcx86/drives/10mb/MSDOS320-C400.json"}]'

Two of the 10Mb disk images have also been pre-configured for use in PC AT configurations:

The configuration must set the HDC’s controller type to “AT” and select an appropriate AT drive type. So, whereas the XT drive type for a 10Mb disk was 3, the corresponding AT drive type is 1.

So, a PC AT machine using this HDC XML reference:

<hdc ref="/disks/pcx86/drives/10mb/msdos320-c400-at1.xml"/>

will load the following PC AT controller configuration and disk image:

<hdc id="hdcAT" type="AT" drives='[{name:"10Mb Hard Disk",type:1,path:"/disks-demo/pcx86/drives/10mb/MSDOS320-C400.json"}]'/>

PC AT Type 1 drives are also compatible with COMPAQ DeskPro 386 Type 1 drives. See the COMPAQ DeskPro 386 Fixed Disk Drive Parameter Table Values for more information.

Notes Regarding 10Mb Disks

The PC DOS 2.00 Formatted Disk (Empty) is completely empty. It was partitioned with the PC DOS 2.00 FDISK utility, allocating the entire disk to a single DOS partition, and then it was formatted with the PC DOS 2.00 FORMAT utility. Neither the FORMAT “/S” option nor the SYS command were used, so no system files were transferred, leaving the disk completely empty and unbootable.

After formatting, PC DOS 2.00 reports:

10592256 bytes total disk space
10592256 bytes available on disk

As explained in our DiskDump source code, in its description of the 10Mb BPB, a 10Mb “Type 3” PC XT fixed disk contains:

306 cylinders
4 heads
17 sectors/track

for a total of 20808 sectors or 10,653,696 bytes. However, as page 1-179 of the PC XT Technical Reference Manual (April 1983) notes:

WARNING: The last cylinder on the fixed disk drive is reserved for diagnostic use.
Diagnostic write tests will destroy any data on this cylinder.

And this is confirmed by the PC XT BIOS, page A-94, in the code for the “GET PARAMETERS (AH = 8)” function:

C800:03B2 268B07        MOV     AX,ES:[BX]      ; MAX NUMBER OF CYLINDERS
C800:03B5 2D0200        SUB     AX,2            ; ADJUST FOR 0-N AND RESERVE LAST TRACK

By “RESERVE LAST TRACK”, they really meant “RESERVE LAST CYLINDER”, because 68 (not 17) sectors are reserved at the end of the disk. In addition, the first sector of the disk is reserved for the Master Boot Record (MBR), so there are a total of 69 reserved sectors. 20808 - 69 = 20739 sectors (0x5103), which is exactly what’s stored in the “total sectors” field of the disk’s BPB, yielding a total volume size of 10,618,368 bytes.

However, that 69-sector overhead is not the end of the story. There is also overhead incurred by the FAT file system, which, in this case, consists of:

DOS Boot sector: 1
FAT sectors: 2 * 8 = 16
Root directory sectors: 32

for a total of 49 sectors, leaving 20739 - 49 = 20690 sectors. Moreover, free space is measured in clusters, not sectors, and the volume uses 8 sectors/cluster, leaving room for 2586.25 clusters. Since a fractional cluster is not allowed, another 2 sectors are lost, bringing the total FAT file system overhead to 51 sectors.

Thus, actual free space is (20739 - 51) * 512, or 10,592,256 bytes, which is exactly what DOS reports as the available space.

Some sources on the internet (eg, http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Timeline_of_DOS_operating_systems) claim that the FAT file system overhead for the XT’s 10Mb disk is “50 sectors”. As they explain:

"The fixed disk has 10,618,880 bytes of raw space: 305 cylinders (the equivalent of tracks) × 2 platters
× 2 sides or heads per platter × 17 sectors per track = 20,740 sectors × 512 bytes per sector = 10,618,880


"With DOS the only partition, the combined overhead is 50 sectors leaving 10,592,256 bytes for user data:
DOS's FAT is eight sectors (16 sectors for two copies) + 32 sectors for the root directory, room for 512
directory entries + 2 sectors (one master and one DOS boot sector) = 50 sectors...."

However, that’s incorrect. First, the disk has 306 cylinders, not 305. Second, there are TWO overhead values: the overhead OUTSIDE the partition (69 sectors) and the overhead INSIDE the partition (51 sectors). They failed to account for the reserved cylinder in the first calculation and the lost fractional cluster in the second calculation, and then they conflated the two values to produce a single (incorrect) result.