Root Boot Disk and
How to Install It
you run a DOS (or MS-Windows) OS, then download one of the ".dos.zip" files. For
2) If you run a Linux/GNU OS, then get one of the ".tar.gz" archive files. For example: tomsrtbt-2.0.103.tar.gz
Tom's rtbt can be found at various mirrors all over the world. You should begin at Tom's own web site for a list of various locations:
NOTE: The actual download pages may contain many other files (the ibiblio site had over 60 files), so you may need to search a bit to get the tomsrtbt file.
|NOTE: Although virtually
all 3.5 inch floppy drives in use today support the creation of 1722 kb
floppy diskettes, Tom added a note in his FAQ stating: "...
it is possible for an extended format to break a floppy drive, use
tomsrtbt at your own risk." Perhaps 'break' is a bit too
strong. If you have some old or nonstandard floppy
drive or you're just really worried about this, then keep your finger
on the POWER or RESET button and look for error messages while listening for any 'bad sounds' while the
floppy drive is running, but please don't blame me for any
(See below: For more info on 1722 kb diskettes.)
IF you really want to practice using Linux/UNIX commands, but refuse to try using tomsrtbt, then send me an email for some alternative disk sets.
For Windows/DOS Users:
|For Linux/GNU users:
Extract files from .tar.gz archive and then make sure you're logged in as 'root' before proceeding. Open a console ( if you're using X-windows / KDE / Gnome / or whatever ) at the directory containing the files. Place a 3.5 inch HD floppy in fd0, and ENTER at the prompt: ./install.s
( make sure to 'umount' any previous floppy diskette, but do not mount this one! If there's a problem, read section "4) GNU/Linux installation" and following of the file, " tomsrtbt.FAQ " ).
Back to: Linux/UNIX Commands Page
The 1722 KB (about 1.68 MB) diskette (also incorrectly called a 1.72 or 1.722 MB following the usage of "1.44 mb" for 3.5 inch - 1440 KB diskettes!) has a total of 3,444 sectors and a capacity of about 19.6% more than a 1440 kb floppy disk.
So what is it about this diskette that might cause a problem in some floppy drives? Well, instead of using only 80 tracks (concentric rings of magnetic data) like a 1440 kb diskette, this one uses 82 tracks. Since the spacing between these tracks is the same for both diskettes, the drive heads must move a bit closer towards the center of the media to read tracks 81 and 82. If a drive has some kind of physical 'stop' that won't allow the heads to travel far enough (or possibly a controller chip telling the PC it can't seek higher than 81 tracks), then there'd be a problem! As we said above though, almost any drive being sold today should be able to handle 82-track and even 83-track diskettes without any problems ( I have to wonder if it's because these drives don't have any 'stops' at all).
But simply adding two extra tracks would yield just another 72 sectors (that's 18 sectors per track x 4; remember there are 2 sides). In order to get 564 more sectors (3,444 - 2,880) onto a 3.5 inch diskette, the number of sectors per track must be increased to 21 (apparently the limit for MS-DOS compatibility). So, the total capacity of a 1722 kb diskette can now be computed as follows:
21 sectors/track x 82
tracks/side x 2 sides = 3,444 sectors.
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Last Updated: 26 AUG 2002.