DFSee screenshot and introduction

DFSee default startup screen

Click on any part of the screenshot to get an explanation ...

Title-part of the enclosing OS/2 window-frame

This is the title-bar of the OS/2 window, here with a demo title. It includes the operating system level controls for the window like the system-menu, maximize, minimize and close and the rollup-button created by the Object-Desktop add-on product.

The title-bar and the rest of the window-frame are the only OS-specific parts in this display. The window interior is the same on the OS/2, DOS and Windows-NT versions.

Of course DFSee can be run in full-screen sessions as well, this will usualy speed-up the display too.

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DFSee standard logo text with copyright

This is the standard DFSee logo shown at startup with:

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Command to be executed

Before executing any command, DFSee will display a single line with: The purpose of this line is mainly to aid interpretation of possibly complex log-files.

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The actual command, MAP

The command executed in this screenshot is part of the MAP#PART multiple command, as issued automatically at startup when no parameters are given.

It results in the pseudo-graphic display of all physical disks with the partition on each of those disks.

All commands are covered in the documentation files wich are plain ASCII and rather large. Use the search capabilities of your text-editor/browser to search for specific topics.

You can checkout the on-line version of the documentation right here:

   DFSee introduction and history
   DFSee general command reference
   DFSee FDISK related command reference
   DFSee HPFS related command reference
   DFSee NTFS related command reference
   DFSee FAT related command reference
   DFSee scenarios and HOWTO's

An good HTML version is still on the to-do list ...

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Number of physical disks seen by DFSee

This is the number of physical disks reported by the operating system. Usualy this will match the number of real disks present in your system, but there are several of other possibilities like:

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The logical geometry for each disk

This is the geometry of the disk, as reported to DFSee by the standard interfaces. For DFSDOS this might not always reflect the actual situation when very large disks are used (INT-13 limitation at 1024 cylinders)

Reported are the number of:

Partition Warnings
The geometry/size lines can be followed by several lines with WARNING messages about specific partitions. They deal with INT-13 limits, boundary errors and other possible inconsitenties in the partition tables.
Note that using a wrong geometry will usualy result in a lot of warnings being issued, checking the geometry is therefore one of the first things to do when a partition-scheme doesn't seem to be healthy.

Extended Int-13
When extended INT-13 support is available, this line will be preceded by a similar line showing the physical geometry as reported by that interface. This is usualy on modern PC-systems that implement this support in their on-board BIOS for large EIDE disks.
It could be implemented by SCSI BIOS's too, but sofar I have only seen a single system (RAID-5 controller) that actualy used it.
When running DFSDOS inside a Windows-9x dosbox, INT-13 support is also reported, but this is a virtual implementation inside the dosbox and might not reflect the actual geometry of the physical disk.

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The physical disksize for this geometry

The size of the disk, as calculated from the geometry on the same line, is presented as: If the used geometry is not correct, limitted by BIOS INT-13 or changed by a manual diskgeo command, the size corresponds to this geometry, not the actual size of the disk.

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Map, the master boot record

This is the start of the pseudo-graphical display for physical disks.

Each disk starts with a Master Boot Record (MBR) at sector 0. It contains:

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Primary partition, hybernation

This is the map display for a primary partition that needs to be defined to allow Hybernation or Save to disk capabilities on this laptop.

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Primary partition, FAT16 containing Win95

This is the main primary partition, driveletter C: with the Windows-95 operating system installed.

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Extended container

This area is the extended-partition that functions as a container for logical volumes. For most operating systems all logical volumes must be in one contigious area. Inside the container, each logical volume is preceded by its own Extended Boot Record.

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Logical FAT12 partition

This is the first logical volume, driveletter D:, formatted with the FAT filesystem. Because it is very small, the formatting uses 12-bit FAT entries, exactly like it would have for diskettes.

The partition is mainly used for testing DFSee functions :-)

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Logical HPFS partition with OS/2

This is the home partition for OS/2 version 4, driveletter E:, formatted with the HPFS filesystem.

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Primary partition with OS/2 Boot Manager

This contains IBM's OS/2 Boot Manager wich is used to select between the Windows-95 and OS/2 environments on this laptop. It is located at the end of the disk to have minimal impact on the original Windows environment on this machine.

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Partition display using PART command

This is the default display for all partition information for all disks using a table layout with one line for each partition or freespace area.

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Column with partition Id

This colums indicates the identification number for a partition and/or a freespace area. Freespace areas share the same Id with the partition that follows, except for the last one on every physical disk wich have there own unique Id.

The Id's are used to identify any particular partition or freespace area in the commands that operate on them.

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Column with the physical disk number

This is the disk-number for the physical disk containing this partition or freespace area. Because the table is sorted in ascending order on disk-number and start-sector on the disk, all partitions on the same disk will be on subsequent lines.

When there is more than one physical disk, there is a separation line between each one to make the different disks stand out.

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Column with the volume drive letter

This column contains a status-indicator and the drive-letter for the volume, when one is assigned. There are three methods by wich the drive-letters shown in DFSee are determined:

The status indicator is an optional character in an highlighted color that precedes the drive letter, the following characters are used:
> for the active partition (BIOS bootable)
} active partition, but not on first disk
! active partition, but with a bad bootsector (not formatted)
* for partitions bootable by the installed Boot Manager
- bootable by Boot Manager, but with a bad bootsector

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Column with the type and type-description

This column actualy has three parts for regular partition lines:

An overview of all recognized partition types can be obtained using the type command in FDISK mode.

For freespace areas the column can be one of:
Wasted FreeSpace when it cannot be assigned to a partition
Primary FreeSpace when only primary partitions can be created
Logical FreeSpace when only logical partitions can be created
H-Logic FreeSpace logical at HEAD of existing chain
T-Logic FreeSpace logical at TAIL of existing chain
N-P/Log FreeSpace primary, or first logical in a new chain
H-P/Log FreeSpace primary, or logical at HEAD of chain
T-P/Log FreeSpace primary, or logical at TAIL of chain
Track-0 Area +Mbr First track, holding MBR and some wasted space

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Column with the (filesystem) format

This usualy is the name of the filesystem used to format this partition, some often used formats are:
HPFS OS/2 High Performance Filesystem
FAT12 12-bit FAT filesystem, diskettes & small disks
FAT16 16-bit FAT filesystem, DOS, OS/2 Windows ...
FAT32 32-bit FAT filesystem (Win9x, Windows-2000)
NTFS NT Filesystem
EXT2 Linux extended filesystem 2
JFS OS/2 Journalled Filesystem

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Column with the creator id (OEM name)

This is an identification for the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) as recorded in the boot-record. It usualy identifies the used operating system and sometimes its version as well.

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Column with partition label information

This is the Label as displayed by a DIR command in most operating systems. It is usualy stored in the boot-record, or (FAT) as a special entry in the Root-directory of the filesystem.

For BootManager partitions the label is the BootManager name for the partition that was booted last.

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Column with BootManager or LVM information

This is the name registred with OS/2 BootManager for this partition. This name will be used on the BootManager menu to select a partition to start.

When valid LVM information is found, this column will contain both the name for the physical partition and the name of the volume that this partition is assigned to (max 20 characters each).

The column will be expanded in width when the current screen/window width allows it.

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Column with the size of the partition in Mb

This is the size of the partition or freespace area in megabytes, calculated from the number of sectors an sector-size.

A megabyte here is 1024*1024 bytes, not one million :-)

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Primary partition, hybernation

The partition line for the hybernation partition of the HP Omnibook. It is used to save the memory-contents to disk when suspending operation. It contains a small header part, followed by a memory-dump.

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Primary partition, FAT16 with Windows-95

The primary, C partition with Windows-95

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Logical test partition, FAT12

A small test partition, here formatted as FAT, resulting in the FAT12 filesystem being used.

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Logical partition, HPFS with OS/2 Merlin

A big logical partition formatted HPFS and containing a bootable OS/2 version 4 (Merlin).

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Primary partition, IBM Boot Manager

A small (1 cylinder) primary partition containing the code for OS/2 BootManager.

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Prompt info, returncode last command

The returncode for the last executed command is displayed here to signal success or failure. In case of failure, some explanation is usualy displayed preceeding the prompt line.

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Prompt info, physical disk number

This is the number of the currently opened physical disk

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Prompt info, partition driveletter

The drive-letter for the selected partition if any, or -- when no partition is currently selected, or when the selected partition has no drive-letter assigned.

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Prompt info, filesystem name

The name of the filesystem associated with the current partition, it corresponds to the FORMAT column in the table.

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Prompt info, pointer to help command

A reminder that various combinations of the ? character will display some help-informations

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Prompt info, sector-number default

This the hexadecimal representation of the sectornumber that will be displayed or interpreted when using the <Enter> key.

This is the default sector-number, set by most commands as the most likely sector to be visited next

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Prompt info, sector-number for 'up'

This the hexadecimal representation of the sectornumber that will be displayed or interpreted when the command u is given.

This value will be set by commands where appropriate, usualy pointing to entities higher up in the filesystem hierarchy.
As an example, this can be the directory for an HPFS Fnode, or the parent-MFT for an NTFS MFT record.

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Prompt info, sector-number for 'extra'

This the hexadecimal representation of the sectornumber that will be displayed or interpreted when the command x is given.

This value will be set by commands where appropriate, pointing to entities related to the currently displayed one.
As an example, this can be the LVM info for a boot-sector, or the base-MFT for an NTFS MFT continuation record.

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Prompt info, sector-number for 'this'

This the hexadecimal representation of the sectornumber that was displayed last

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Prompt info, base sector-number

This is the hexadecimal representation of the physical-sectornumber (PSN) that corresponds to logical sectornumber (LSN) 0. This represents the location of the currently selected partition on the physical disk.

The complete range of valid LSN values can be displayed using the base command.

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DFSee scrollbuffer and entryfield controls

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The total DFSee window has 4 major parts: The focus is normally on the entryfield, but can be transferred to the scrollwindow using the tab-key.

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-- DFSee page -- Fsys, DFSee and JvW home page

JvW 05-sep-1999, last update: JvW 12-dec-2002