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Large Hard Drives

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Large Hard Drives

Now here an interesting and I hope useful thing.

A friend of my son's bought two hard drives the other day One at 60 gig and one at 80 gig and asked me if I could do the installation of them for him.
Operating system Win98se in both his machines.

I started with the 60 gig, hooked it up ran the floppy I have made up to give access to the CD and fdisk, partitioned it into 3 x 20 gig slots then formatted and everything was fine.

Next I started on the 80gig one. Checked as the machine booted up and saw 80.1 gig shown by the bios software.
Ran my floppy again then fdisk to do the partitioning but only saw 12 and a bit gig.
Tried another version of fdisk again the same 12 gig.
Tried the hard drive in 2 more PCs and got the same 12 gig response.

Ok faulty hard drive then? so back to the supplier who knows me well and spoke to an intelligent type there.
Ahh! he said more than 60gig ? fdisk won't see it as fat 32 filing system gets lost above that limit. Suggest you change it for a 60gig and all will be well.

Not yet I though. I know plenty of people with machine using 80gig and more for the hard drive, leave it with me for a bit, there must be a way to partition it.

There is as well Cool if you have XP or know anyone running that Operating System then use the CD from that and let it think your going to install XP.
After its loaded all the install files it sees this blank Hard drive and asks if you'd like to partition it and in what format do you want it.
I created 4 x 20 gig fat 32 partitions then quite the install program.
Fitted the drive as the slave to the existing drive in the machine and there is the whole 80 gig waiting to be formatted.

So if your stuggling to use a large Hard drive with Windows 98 then you have the answer.
20 REPLIES
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Large Hard Drives

Windows 98 can not use big hard drives.

The moral of the story is the buy/upgrade/get windows xp.
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Large Hard Drives

drives of that sort of size didn't exist for home users back in 1998 did they? I've only recently (past year or two) seen 100GB drives available and a couple of weeks ago I saw a 250GB drive.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Large Hard Drives

Sorry but it can use big hard drives provided that you can partition them. The post above was to let people know how to get round the limit of fdisk.
Once you have done this you can have partitions up to 60 gig each and there is no limit on the number of partitions you can have.
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Large Hard Drives

I think you could use a boot disk from Windows 2000, to partition the 80GB drive for windows 98. It will allow you to formatt the drive as FAT 32.

I suppose it is the same technique as using the XP installer, but its a bit cleaner and all you need to have access to is a win 2k boot disk rather than the XP installer
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Large Hard Drives

Yes that could well be another option and I thought I'd share what I had found out with others, because its hard these days to get anything less than 60 gig.
Manufacturers keep finding ways to get more and more in the same physical space and if you have earlier operating systems and just want to increase storage capacity its getting harder to find suitable drives.
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Large Hard Drives

here is ian intereesting article on the subject. The problem is you drive may crash if you exceed limits. It down to you BIOS usings 48 bit and some old pc dont have this

Understanding File-Size Limits on NTFS and FAT
Don't confuse limits on file size with limits on partition size



David Chernicoff
InstantDoc #38803
April 24, 2003

In the April 17 Windows Client UPDATE, I wrote about the 4GB file-size limit in FAT32. In response, I've received dozens of email messages telling me that FAT32 isn't limited to 4GB but rather that the 4GB limit is a FAT16 artifact. I also received messages questioning my assertion that NTFS is appropriate for small office/home office (SOHO) and small business users, but my point didn't center on NTFS's general appropriateness. I stand by my conclusion that if you're doing video editing on Windows, you need to use NTFS.


I've run into the 4GB wall when creating files on FAT32 partitions. Because I realized that the problem might have been caused by the video-creation software I was using, I tried again with different software to create an AVI file larger than 4GB. No dice: As soon as the file size reached 4GB, the application failed.


With that 4GB figure stuck in my head, I went to my accustomed research tools and found plenty of references to the FAT32 4GB limit. To back up that number, I searched the Microsoft Web site and found numerous articles confirming that the file-size limit on FAT32 is (2^32)-1 bytes, or one byte less than a full 4GB.


The confusion about FAT file size seems to stem from the fact that FAT16 has a 4GB limit on partition size, whereas FAT32 has a 2TB limit on partition size. A large number of my respondents appear to have confused "partition" with "file." To add a little additional confusion, many respondents commented that they're running large drives as one partition on FAT32. In these days of inexpensive 120GB+ hard disks, I guess my definition of "large" differs from that of these readers.


Windows XP and Windows 2000 limit partition creation to no larger than 32GB on FAT32. This limitation is by design: Microsoft wants you to use NTFS for large drives. If you use Windows Me or Windows 98 to format a drive, XP and Win2K can use a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB; however, these OSs can't create the partition. Also, keep in mind that when you use ATA/IDE hard disks larger than 127GB, you might need to update your computer's or hard disk controller's BIOS to properly support those larger drives.


For more information about file-size limits, check out the following Microsoft articles:


"Limitations of FAT32 File System"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;184006


"Windows NT File Size and Partition Size Limits"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;93496


"Description of the FAT32 File System in Windows XP"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;310525


"Limitations of the FAT32 File System in Windows XP"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314463
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Large Hard Drives

Quote
Once you have done this you can have partitions up to 60 gig each and there is no limit on the number of partitions you can have.


Surely the limitations of our alphabet (drive letters) imposes a limit on how many partitions can be used?
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Large Hard Drives

well shall we say 26 letters, minus 2 for A & B, minus a 3rd for a CD drive. that still leaves 23 partitions Smiley
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Agreed, 23 * 60GB partitions is a lot, but it's not "no limit"...
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... or 23 x 250GB drives Wink

On a similar note I have seen cases available on eBuyer with 4 internal 3.5" drive spaces. what are these for? as far as i know it is only possible to have 2 hard drives (unless you were to sacrifice one or two cd/dvd drives) so it seems a tad pointless :?
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Large Hard Drives

EBuyer - EEK!
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Large Hard Drives

Well, it is possible to add additional IDE controllers, which will allow you to have a further 2 or 4 devices per card, but the other way to connect more would be to use an internal SCSI bus, which can connect up to 6, (or 14) devices (plus the card itself), in addition to the IDE interfaces.

Barry,.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Large Hard Drives

Quote
Surely the limitations of our alphabet (drive letters) imposes a limit on how many partitions can be used?


I wondered who would be the first to say that there is a limit because of the number of letters in the alphabet Wink

But as pointed out by gillard thats an awful lot of disk space Cool
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Large Hard Drives

Only windows holds this drive letter limitation.

Does any1 know if linux holds this limitation. I don't see why not.