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Recognising hard drive size

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Recognising hard drive size

Hi everyone

I have just sold a laptop on Ebay but have encountered a problem. The laptop was lent to my Grandfather who must have dropped it because the hard drive wouldn't boot up. I purchased a new 10GB drive and installed it. I then put in the recovery discs and installed all the software (W98 2nd edition). All hunk dory so far.

Problem :?: :?: :?:

When getting ready to pack, I turned on the machine and noticed that my 10GB drive was only registering as 2GB and as such the software was taking up 50% of te hard drive. Any ideas why it wouldn't recognise the full capacity of the drive and what I can do to change it?

Cheers

Mark
7 REPLIES
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Recognising hard drive size

This could possibly be to do with the recovery disk being set to use FAT file system instead of FAT32 (I don't believe NTFS is available with Win9Cool.
This might be the case if the laptop is very old, it must be reasonably old to have Win98 on it. This would probably be because the old hard drive was only 2GB.
Alternately they may have been a setting that you set when you used the recovery disk (not used a recovery disk, so I don't know how much interaction they allow).
If this is the case there are possibly a few things you can do.
If I remember rightly there is an option in win98 (Under: Start -> Programs -> Accesories -> System Tools) that will convert the drive to FAT32. This may allow you to see and format the rest of the drive, however I expect it may need to be formatted as a seperate partition of 8GB. It may however not be able to convert the boot/system drive. In which case:
Some 3rd party software, such as Partition Magic may allow you to format the rest of the drive into 4 more 2GB chunks. It would possibly allow you to convert the whole drive into FAT32, but I'm not sure if Win98 would be able to access it if it wasn't set to FAT32 within Windows.

I may be wrong on some or all of this, but I expect someone on the forum will correct me if I'm wrong and give you some other suggestions.

Best of luck.
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Another Thought on HDD size

Hi,
Apart from the things above which aronjasper has said, I have another idea that is definately worth checking out. I know that with some older PC's & laptops hard disk drive sizes where quite small in the early days of such machines.

Which also means that the machines BIOS would only support hard disk sizes of say 1GB or 2GB MAX and so there may be a limitation to the hard drive size you can install on this machine of yours, another possible option with some computers is to upgrade the systems bios (its not possible with all machines of that kind of age, so you must check with the maker of your laptop to see if this is possible). The bios upgrade would allow the machine to see & support the more recent higher capacity drives.

Yet another way around such problems I found was with Seagate drives, seagate issues what they call a drive overlay, which is just a driver that loads immediately after the bios & system power on self test. This allows the machine to see & use the bigger drive in Win98. You would need to contact seagate if you wanted to use this approach (this was a few years ago so I dont know if they still do this. You know the technology keeps changing) Its worth exploring if nothing else provides a solution.

Ivan Cool
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Recognising hard drive size

Thanks for your suggestion, i'm printing them off now. The laptop is an IBM Thinkpad and is about 5 years old, although the hard drive previously was 6GB so I wouldn't have thought the capacity was an issue.

Cheers

Mark
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Win98 & HDD's

Hi,
OK if its only 5years old the bios issue is less likely in my opinion but I'd still check this if I was you, just to make sure and just so you can eliminate this issue from the problem solving process.

**The other thing that comes to mind is that I seem to remember that Win98 only supported HDD's upto a certain capacity due to FAT & FAT32 filing system and I think drives above a certain capacity weren't supported yet. Sorry! I cannot remember what the size limitations where. If you have any documentation for Win98 then I'd check that too.

**Confirm NTFS hadnt been brought out yet when Win98 was the major version of windows. NTFS only arrived with windows NT 3.1 & 3.5.

Ivan
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Recognising hard drive size

Hi,

Also see the following link:-

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q126855

Hope this might be of some use to you?

Ivan Cool
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Recognising hard drive size

God, what a palava!!

Luckily Win 98SE copes with large hard drives Smiley Created a startup disc and booted to DOS. From there I formatted the C: drive and returned to the A: prompt. I then entered FDISK and remov ed the primary dos and the logical drive that went with it and inserted the boot disc. Windows installer ran for about 20 minutes before telling me that installation had failed :? , but it had recognised the 10GB hard drive Smiley . Back to FDISK again to look at the partitions that had been made, then promptly deleted them. Run recovery again and wait for another 20 minutes and another failed installation Evil .

Back to FDISK (by now i'm getting a bit worried because I have already sold this laptop) to format c: again and to remove the partitions. Run the recovery discs and....................

One partition (C) of 2GB with Windows on it and one partition (D) of 8GB, success Cheesy

Thanks for all the suggestions, but what a pain in the proverbial.

Cheers

Mark
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Good News

Hi Mark,
Oh My Goude!! what a performace as you say, I think FDISK can be a pain too. It doesnt always report the true size of a HDD and I believe there is a newer version of this old util for winXP but I'm dammed if I can remember the name. But its designed for the newer big disk's.

Anyway I'm very Glad to hear it all ended well and that you got the full 10GB even if it was in x2 partitions. 10 out of 10 for sheer persistence too :-)

Best Regards Ivan :lol: