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Hidden Files on 95LX

Hidden Files on 95LX

The "hidden" ROMDUMMY files on drive C: of the HP 95LX are used as place-holders. The C drive in the 95LX is an extremely amazing, complex, hybrid of ROM-disk and RAM-disk. DOS has no concept of a disk which is partly read-only and partly writeable, particularly where the File Allocation Table (FAT) and root directory are concerned. So, in order to make it all work the FAT and root directory are each split into two parts, the first of which is in ROM and the second in RAM. Each of the two portions must use full sectors, and the ROM portion must appear to be "full" (i.e., have no empty, usable disk space) so that DOS won't try writing to the ROM portion. To accomplish this, the FAT and directory entries in the ROM portion that are unused must be pointed at SOMETHING, and that something they point at is files which don't actually exist and take up no actual ROM space (except for the entries in the FAT and DIRECTORY sectors). That's what the hidden ROMDUMMY files are for.

Luckily, the 100 has separate ROM disk (drive D:) and RAM disk (drive C:), so it's not an issue there.

Everett Kaser CompuServe ID: [70662,2540]

iPhone Life magazine


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