This is an automatic reply.
Thanks for your interest in my partition split utility FIPS for DOS.
Unfortunately, I currently can not afford very much time on FIPS.
FIPS has not been updated for one and a half years, and considering my
current workload, it seems unlikely that there will be another version
very soon. I am really sorry about that, since I have received so many
kind and encouraging emails. Please understand my situation.
I also can not afford to answer personally the many emails I still
receive about FIPS (it used to take about an hour daily, even with
prepared answers like this one), so I set up this autoreply. It answers
some of the most common questions.
Note: if you are absolutely, positively certain that you need to contact
me personally, please _reply_ to this email, it should get past my email
filter. PLEASE make sure to have read this mail and the mentioned FIPS
documentation files carefully before doing that. And PLEASE do not ask
me about when some missing feature or other (e.g. FAT32 support) will
be available - I don't know, and will not answer such questions.
If your mail was not related to FIPS in the first place, and you
where accidentally caught in my email filter, I sincerely apologize.
Please DO contact me again, omitting the keyword "fips" in your
mail message, or just reply to this mail.
The following is divided in five parts:
- General Information
- Unresolved problems
- Obtaining the latest version
- Some personal information
For Germans: leider gibt es keine deutsche Version der FIPS-Dokumentation.
Ich kann zur Zeit nicht die Zeit aufbringen, sie zu uebersetzen. Sicher
koennen Sie jemanden finden, der Ihnen beim Lesen behilflich ist.
1. FIPS works with Windows 95. Since the changes in the file system
from DOS 6 to Win95 (i.e. long filenames) were on a higher level than
what FIPS works on, FIPS was not affected and continued to work as
it did under previous DOS/Windows versions. There is one exception, see
the 'unresolved problems' section.
2. FIPS currently works on almost any existing PC hard disk that is for-
matted for DOS. This includes IDE, EIDE and SCSI disks with no limit on
drive size. Basically if the disk is accessible under DOS, FIPS will work.
FIPS does not work on extended partitions, though. Some problems with
large disks in FIPS 1.2 and older versions have been fixed, so try the
current version first if you received any error messages.
3. In the unlikely case that you have a setup that is not supported by
FIPS, it is not dangerous to try it. FIPS has a number of safety mecha-
nisms that make it almost impossible for FIPS to destroy anything.
Of course you will still use FIPS at your own risk, so please read the
doc carefully and be sure to have recent backups of your important data.
4. The question about if and how it is possible to (re)join partitions is
answered in detail in FIPS.FAQ.
5. FIPS does _not_ change the cluster size in the partition that you split.
(In case you wonder: in the FAT file system, sectors are grouped in 'clus-
ters', which are the basic units in which file space is allocated. Files
take up multiples of the cluster size, so the larger the cluster size, the
more space is wasted at the end of files. On average, one half of a
cluster is unused space at the end of a file).
Changing the cluster size would change the whole file system structure,
and FIPS was never designed to do that. For more information read the FIPS
In general, about 90% of the reported problems are solved by a.) using
the latest version (FIPS 1.5) and b.) carefully reading the FAQ and other
docs coming with that release. These files are FIPS.FAQ, FIPS.DOC and
SPECIAL.DOC. If you lack any of these files, get the complete package
from one of the places listed below. Here are some additional tips:
1. Especially under Windows 95, a frequent problem is that the defrag-
mentation program does not move some of the files at the end of the
partition, so that a large portion of the free space on the drive can't
be used for the new partition, or FIPS refuses to run at all. In this
case, use the program 'showfat' to locate the hidden files. It is
available from SimTel (ftp://ftp.coast.net/SimTel/msdos/diskutil/
showf251.zip). For most hidden files it is safe to remove the 'hidden'
attribute and run defrag to move them (no guarantees, however).
2. If all else fails, you might restore your original configuration with
RESTORRB and give 'Partition Resizer' a try. It's a program that performs
a similar function as FIPS, but it may provide additional functionality
and may be more up to date (haven't had the chance to try it yet). It is
available from SimTel in the same directory as FIPS (see below), the file-
name is presz???.zip.
1. FAT32 Partitions: an increasing number of Windows 95 installations
(delivered only to OEM customers, i.e. together with a new PC, if I am
not mistaken) use a new file system type called "FAT32" that is not
compatible with previous versions. It is supposed to enable the use of
hard disk partitions larger than 2GB, so if you have a partition of
this size, you almost certainly are using this file system type. FIPS
does _not_ support this file system format.
2. There is no support for extended partitions and probably will not be
for some time. Please don't ask me about it.
Obtaining the latest version
The latest version of FIPS is 1.5. It is available from some of the
most important DOS and Linux ftp servers: SimTel and Garbo for DOS, tsx-11
and sunsite for Linux. These servers are mirrored all over the world, so
it is very likely that FIPS is on a server near to you. The filename is:
If you can, use archie to find a near server, or just check the file list
of a large server in your vicinity.
If you can't find it, try one of the following:
It is also available by WWW from my home page
If you have only email access to the Internet, try the ftp-to-mail gateways
of Garbo or SimTel: Send email to email@example.com with a line
in the body of the message, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with
in the body of the message.
Some personal information
In case you are interested what I am doing now:
I have graduated from the University of Technology Darmstadt, Germany,
in August 1996 with the German equivalent of a master's degree (Diplom)
in computer science. I am currently working as a staff member at the
Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics in Darmstadt, continuing the
work I had done in my Diplom thesis. I intend to acquire my Ph.D.
The current topic of my work is the Virtual Reality Modeling Language
(VRML), a file format for distributing interactive, animated 3D models
and scenes over the Internet. I have written a (still incomplete)
browser for VRML 2.0 in Java, called CASUS Presenter. It runs on
SGI IRIX, Sun Solaris and Windows 95/NT, and is freely available on
the WWW, however it requires the Open Inventor 3D graphics library,
which is a commercial product. If you have access to an SGI machine
or have an Open Inventor license on a Windows or Solaris machine, you
are welcome to give it a try. Check out
Giuseppe Catastini Phone: +39 50 844274
Dipartimento di Matematica Fax : +39 50 844224
Gruppo di Meccanica Spaziale
Via F. Buonarroti, 2
56127 Pisa e-mail: email@example.com
ITALY URL: http://adams.dm.unipi.it/~catasti