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Disable Windows 9x Volume Tracker?

SomeGuy

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Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
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Location
Marietta, GA
Is there a good way to fully disable the Windows 9x volume tracker? That is the thing that writes the "IHC" junk over the OEM label when you use a floppy disk with Windows 9x/ME.

You can't just delete Voltrack.vxd, because then Windows will think every disk is unformatted (or at least it did for me).

There is the "NoVoltrk.reg" file that is floating around out there, but it is not absolute.

That adds the entries:
Code:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem\NoVolTrack]

; valid DOS 2.0+ formatted boot sectors:

"Any DOS formatted disk 0"     = hex:FE,01,55,AA                   ; any formatted disk (signature) (not really true any more); BeOS 3.2 disks
"Any DOS formatted disk 1"     = hex:00,00,EB                      ; any formatted disk (modern)
"Any DOS formatted disk 2"     = hex:00,00,E9                      ; any formatted disk (old)
"Any DOS formatted disk 3"     = hex:00,00,90                      ; any formatted disk (NOP)
"Any DOS formatted disk 4"     = hex:00,00,69                      ; any formatted disk

Right off the bat, DOS 1.x formatted disks don't use the 55AA signature. And that is only supposed to indicate if the sector is bootable or not.
Logically, any MS-DOS formatted disk with boot code should start with a jump, but it would be interesting to see how many exceptions there are to this.

The reg file also has a long list of alternate values lumped under unused keys, BUT apparently voltrack can only handle a tiny number of registry values under the NoVolTrack key. (less than 256 needed to eliminate all possibilities). More than a certain number of values and it won't work. Duuuuuh.

It's also not 100% clear off hand if it still writes back to the boot sector or not. Although I would think it wouldn't.

Sure, sure, write protect tabs and all. But mistakes happen.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
40,231
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
With regard to reading DOS 1.x diskettes in Win 9x, I think that the big problem is that DOS went to a "FAT ID byte determines format" scheme to a "boot sector information determines format" scheme. Since 1.x doesn't use the same boot sector layout with a DBP in the boot sector, that may be where the problem lies.

Have you tried disabling the HSFLOP.PDR (just rename the extension) driver? That should force 9X to use the INT 13 interface instead. I haven't done this in a long time, so I don't know if it still works on ME or 98SE.
 
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