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Problems with older machines


On all machines other than RiscPCs there is often a problem reading the drive parameters when formatting a disc. This can cause the !PPFormat program to fail to work properly or to attempt to use the wrong parameters.

For this reason we strongly advise that you should check and, if necessary, alter these parameters before you actually try to initialise the disc, even if they appear correct.

To do this select Option 3, Edit drive parameters from the menu. This will offer the main parameters the program needs to know, one at a time. If these are correct, just press RETURN. They should be as shown below, if any are different then enter the correct value before pressing RETURN.

   Logical block mode  0
   Sectors per Track    63
   Heads    16
   Cylinders    1945

This should give a total capacity of 957 Megabytes

A3010, A3020 and A4000

The software normally works perfectly on these machines (though see note 'RISC OS 3.1 problems' below). We would normally suggest using the version from the 'Other' directory but most people experience no problems using the RiscPC version which is slightly faster.


On some machines it is not possible to format a disc, although once formatted on another machine they appear to work OK. This is a problem with the chip used to drive the parallel port. Acorn sourced these from different manufacturers and although they are (in theory) all to the same spec some appear not to be able to supply sufficient drive current for high speed data transfer. In fact some A5000 machines have trouble driving certain laser printers for the same reason.

Normally reading and writing to the disc is OK.

RISC OS 3.1 and 3.5

As these operating systems don't support hard drives larger than 512 MB it is obviously not possible ot use a 1 GB disc in one 'chunk'. As the software supports partitioning if you want to use all the disc you will need to divide it into two partitions, both of which must be less than 512 MB.

There is also a problem with the desktop Verify application with RISC OS 3.1. This doesn't seem to work properly with these drives. However you can easily check a disc by verifying it from the command line. To do this you will have to use the method described on Page 6 under Checking for defects.


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