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MAXIForm / MAXI Disk FAQ Sheet
What is MAXI?
MAXIForm and MAXI Disk are floppy disk formatting utilities from Herne Data Systems Ltd.
which can format special extended capacity DOS compatible disks.
360k becomes 420k, 720k is increased to 800k, 1.2 meg becomes 1.4 meg, and
1.44 meg is increased to 1.6 meg. MAXI is designed to format floppy
disks only. (In a multi user environment, this helps to protect your hard
disks from accidental erasure by in-experienced persons trying to use the
DOS FORMAT command.) MAXIForm requires PC- or MS-DOS version 3.20 or later.
It will not run with earlier versions of DOS. MAXIForm is also compatible with DR-DOS.
MAXI Disk requires Windows 3.1 or later.
What will MAXI do for me?
Plenty! The extra space MAXI gives you on each disk allows you to
store more data on each disk. This lets you use fewer disks for hard drive
backups. For example, backing up 20 megs of data from a hard disk using
the DOS BACKUP command requires about 55 standard 360k floppies.
Using the MAXI 420k format, you only need about 47.
With 1.2 meg disks, you will need about 17 disks to backup the same 20 megs,
while with the MAXI 1.4 meg format, you only need 14. The extra space
also means you can store larger files on a floppy disk. With the size of
many software packages, it is virtually impossible to run them
from a single 360k floppy and still have any space left over for data
storage. With MAXI 420k disks, you get an extra 60k of space on each disk
that can be used for your data storage. An extra 60k per 360k disk is
600k per box of 10!! This is like getting more than one and a half disks FREE
in every box of floppies you buy. It doesn’t take long for the savings
to add up.
Are the extended capacity disks reliable?
Absolutely! The MAXI program has been around since the early days
of MS-DOS. The MAXI extended capacity disks are just as reliable as
normal DOS disks. The data are recorded at precisely the same bit density
on each track as normal DOS disks. The extra space is achieved by
recovering some of the space that is ‘wasted’ by DOS with filler bytes.
(There is so much filler in a DOS disk, that you can get an extra sector
or two per track without sacrificing any reliability.) In fact, many
other computers and operating systems (equipped with the same disk drives
and using the same floppy disks as on PC type machines) have been using
that extra space quite reliably for many years before PC/MS-DOS was even
developed! We like to refer to this as the ‘space that DOS forgot’.
Even Microsoft has recognized this now with their new special DMF disk format used
for software distribution.
MAXI seems to be a free lunch. Where’s the catch?
As far as we know, there is no ‘catch’! Besides, MAXI is not really
a ‘free lunch’ anyway. Think of it more like converting the unfinished a
ttic in your house into extra living space. The basic structure has been
in place since the house was built; it just wasn’t fully or efficiently
Can I use MAXI style disks on other computers?
Yes. MAXI style disks are usable on any MS-DOS/Windows computer,as long as it
is running MS-DOS version 3.2 or later. On some machines, you may need to install our SMAX
driver. SMAX is freely available for distribution.
My computer locks up when using MAXI Disk under Windows '9x. How can I prevent this?
Note to Norton Anti-Virus Users:
Some versions of Norton Anti-Virus auto protect from Symantec (Norton AV) will cause your
computer to lock up when using MAXI Disk for Windows under Windows'95 or '98.
(Yes folks, you can cause Win'95 or '98 to lock up completely so that only
a hard boot will restore your computer!) To prevent the lock up:
- Open the Norton AV window by starting the program, or clicking on the
Norton AV icon on the status bar.
- Select "Options" from the Norton AV menu or button bar.
- Select the "Autoprotect" tab.
- Turn off the option box "Check floppies for boot viruses upon access".
- Press "OK" and close the Norton AV window.
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