INT 13H: BIOS Disk I/O

         AH  BIOS Service                 AH  BIOS Service
         ▀▀▀ ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀         ▀▀▀ ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀
      ┌─ 00H reset controller          :  0cH seek cylinder
   PC │  01H get status                │  0dH alternate reset
   XT ┤  02H read sectors              │  0eH (reserved)
   AT │  03H write sectors          XT ┤  0fH (reserved)
      │  04H verify sectors         AT │  10H test drive ready
      └─ 05H format track              │  11H recalibrate
         06H (reserved)                │  12H (reserved)
         07H (reserved)                │  13H (reserved)
      ┌─ 08H get drive parms           └─ 14H controller diagnostics
   XT │  09H init drive parm tbls      ┌─ 15H get disk/diskette type
   AT ┤  0aH read long              AT ┤  16H disk change status
      :  0bH write long                └─ 17H and 18H: Set media type

 Use these service for direct access to the diskette or hard disk adapters.
 It is advisable to use DOS functions (dropping down to INT 25H/26H when
 needed for low-level access), to let the DOS device drivers do all the
 work.  Of course, for very low-level access, including reading sectors on
 a non-DOS disk, INT 13H may be the only alternative.

 And don't overlook DOS fn 440dH (IOCTL for block devices) as a way to
 format diskettes and access entire tracks of data.

█▌Diskette vs. Hard Disk Access▐█
  The BIOS in the oldest PCs support access to diskette drives only.  It
  supported only fns 00H-05H.

  Later, the XT and AT hard disk adapter cards patched-in additional
  ROM-Scan code to intercept INT 13H and watch for a drive number (in DL)
  that is 80H or higher. With these later systems, the original INT 13H
  vector is stored as the INT 40H vector.  The hard-disk logic checks DL
  and passes control to INT 40H when DL is less than 80H.  Note that the
  BIOS disk error code returned in AH will vary, depending on whether the
  function was for a diskette or a hard disk.

  Nowadays, most systems support all disk I/O as part of the ROM-BIOS.  Also
  operating systems such a Windows may replace the BIOS code altogether to
  obtain faster response--especially for read/write operations to RAM above
  1 MB.

  The most significant difference between diskette access and hard disk
  access is that on multi-sector reads and writes to a hard disk, the BIOS
  will automatically advance to the next head/cylinder.  All diskette access
  is limited to a single head/track.

  Another thing to watch for is the diskette spin-up time.  If you get an
  error accessing a diskette drive, reset the controller and try at least
  three times before giving up.

See Also: I/O Port Map and Diskette Controller Ports
          Disk Drive Functions
          BIOS Data Area
          ROM-BIOS Functions
          INT 25H/26H  (DOS absolute sector access)
          DOS fn 440dH (IOCTL for block devices)