Category Archives: Undocumented

The Secret History of ATAPI

The other day I asked myself a seemingly trivial question: What was the first ATAPI CD-ROM drive and when was it available? Given that ATAPI was a major technology which instantly obsoleted all proprietary CD-ROM interfaces and made SCSI much … Continue reading

Posted in CD-ROM, PC history, Standards, Undocumented | 53 Comments

Disabling Quick Edit Mode

Last week I decided to finally solve a minor annoyance that’s been pestering me since I switched my main development machine from Windows 7 to Windows 10 over a year ago. As it is with these things, a certain threshold … Continue reading

Posted in NT, Undocumented, Watcom | 20 Comments

The Answer To 0x49: Fujitsu FMR

This is a guest post by A. N. Other. The following was originally intended as a comment to “Not MSX Either“, the 4th installment in the hunt for the mysterious 0x69 FAT VBR-start byte which was allowed in DOS. Due … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, NT, PC hardware, PC history, Undocumented | 7 Comments

Seagate Cheetah Date of Manufacture

Lately I found myself in the possession of several Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS drives. These represent the pinnacle of hard disk engineering; with 15,000 RPM, the drives deliver up to around 200 MB/s sustained throughput (both read and write!) and … Continue reading

Posted in Seagate, Storage, Undocumented | Leave a comment

More About That Strange Pentium 4

A few years ago I wrote about a strange NetBurst processor with SL7HY S-spec that landed at the OS/2 Museum. After renewed reader interest I pulled it out of the closet and tested the processor again. A collection of miscellaneous … Continue reading

Posted in Intel, PC hardware, PC history, Pentium 4, Undocumented | 32 Comments

A Brief History of Unreal Mode

After a run-in with a particularly crazy manifestation of unreal mode (Flat Assembler, or fasm), I decided to dig deeper into the history of this undocumented yet very widely used feature of 32-bit x86 processors. For the purposes of this … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Corrections, Microsoft, PC history, Undocumented | 43 Comments

ICEBP Finally Documented

After more than 30 years, Intel finally documented the INT1 instruction, also known as ICEBP (opcode F1h), in the latest (May 2018, -067) edition of the SDM. This was probably forced by security concerns, because from a security standpoint, having … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Documentation, Intel, Undocumented | 14 Comments

About That Warranty…

Readers have been wondering what kind of valuable warranty users of Microsoft’s Quick Pascal 1.0 (and other products) might be voiding by running it on top of DR DOS 3.3x or 3.40. I don’t have the original Quick Pascal 1.0 … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Research, Microsoft, PC history, Undocumented | 16 Comments

Undocumented 8086 Opcodes, Part I

This is a guest post by Raúl Gutiérrez Sanz This multi-part document is about undocumented 8086 processor opcodes and their behavior. Most of the document will likely apply to the 8088 processor as well, but this has not been verified. … Continue reading

Posted in 8086/8088, Intel, Undocumented | 12 Comments

SYSENTER, Where Are You?

It has only recently been brought to my attention that Intel’s SYSENTER/SYSEXIT instructions have rather unusual past, and their origin is shrouded in mystery and confusion. One facet of the usage of these instructions is also a little unorthodox. Depending … Continue reading

Posted in Intel, PC history, Undocumented | 23 Comments