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Win 98 and Max Partition Size

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by Ray_dell, Mar 31, 2004.

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  1. Ray_dell

    Ray_dell Thread Starter

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    I have recently installed a Seagate 120gig hard drive in my Dell Dimension XPS450 tower. I copied the existing 8gb to the new drive. Swapped the drives over on the cable so that the new drive is in primary position, so the new drive is now master and existing as slave all jumpers correctly set. Boot up all OK from new drive and BIOS recognizes the 120gig drive as does the properties when I right click the disc drive. The drive was formatted using the Seagate install wiz. Formatted as one partition of 120gig and FAT 32. However, when I run Defrag or scandisk, there is no progress. I have also looked at the virtual disk size and this reports a minus figure !!
    I have contacted Seagate and they say max size partition is 32 gig. I have then looked at the Microsoft website and it says there that win 2000 allows only 32gig partitions - not higher unless NFTS is used. Otherwise up to 2 TBS is OK with FAT 32. It deos not say win 98 has a max partition size. It does say something about Scandisk and Defrag are 16bit progs and may not recognise larger partitions. Is this the reason why the defrag and Scandisk do not work ? and that virtual memory on the hard disk reports a minus figure. There is something wrong - can anyone tell me theproblem and what I should do to rectify.
    Thanks
    Ray
     
  2. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hello Ray and welcome to TSG!

    This is from the Microsoft Knowledgebase:

    Most partition size limitations are due to BIOS limitations. If you use the old W98se boot floppy FDISK, it apparently has a 64 GB limit. There is an updated FDISK for handling drives larger than 64 GB.

    You can read the the Knowledgebase article here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;184006
     
  3. Ray_dell

    Ray_dell Thread Starter

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    Hi Thanks for the reply.
    I have read the knowledge base articles that you refer to.
    I am using Win 98 and the Seagate install wiz which formatted as 1 partition. BIOS reads correct size hard disks no problem. But the defrag / scandisk / virtual memory on the harddisk reports / does not work as in my text explaining the problem.
    Do you know what I should do to resolve this problem.
    Thanks
     
  4. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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  5. dr20

    dr20

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    That's kind of strange Seagate would say that unless they were referring to Win 2000. I've got an 80gb Seagate Barracuda with one partition at 60gb and it reads and defragments with no problem. The OS is 98SE.

    Maybe you should try breaking the drive down into 2 or 3 smaller partitions and see if that works.

    Btw, what version of DiskWiz are using? Mine is 4.21 and it works fantastic. One thing I like about the Disk Wizard is the ease of partitioning and formatting that it gives you.
     
  6. NiteHawk

    NiteHawk

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    I'm not aware of scandisk or defrag having problems with larger hard drives. Other than the obvious fact that it will take MUCH longer to run each.

    However, there are a number of advantages to partitioning a HD.
    First if you partition your HD so that only your OS is in the first partition, IF you ever have to re-install windows you ONLY format that first partition and re-install. All the rest of your data remains safe.

    There are two schools of thought relating to how to partition for your OS. One is that you just use a partition for both your OS and your Programs, since programs will have to be reinstalled to be recognized by Windows after a re-install. This would probably be a partition in the range of 5 to 10 gig depending on the number and size of your programs.

    The second school of thought is that you use a small partition for JUST your OS and have your Programs on another partition. In this case your OS only partition for Win 98 SE would be in the range of 1 to 2 gig. IF you use a drive imaging program such as Norton Ghost or DriveImage, you just restore a known good image of your OS and you are back up and running in less than an hour. Since the image will contain your registry NO Programs will have to be re-installed. Worst case is if you installed any programs since your last image, this will have to be re-installed.

    Either way you go, the additional partitions can be for data and other things. I would suggest a separate partition for any multimedia files (sound, pictures, video clips, etc) since these are usually much larger files and don't change that much.

    Advantages:
    Besides the Windows re-install advantage I mentioned there are several others.

    Unless you are constantly adding and removing data files and programs, the partition that holds your OS will be the most fragmented partition and require you running defrag most often. This is because (unless you move them) the swapfile, Temp files, Recent, Temporary Internet Files are all on the same partition as your OS and they are constantly changing. However, since it is on a smaller partition, no matter which method you use, it will take far less time to defrag. Even taking the max of 10 gig in my example, it takes far less time to defrag a 10 gig partition than a 120gig.

    Your other partitions will either need to be defragged less often or at least go much faster if you defrag them as often as your OS partition.

    There are other advantages to partition such as disk and file organization and access time, but just the idea of being able to re-install windows with out losing everything else should be big enough.

    With a second HD this can be carried even farther and keep your OS partition even cleaner.
     
  7. Francis4344

    Francis4344

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    My comments is not entirely linked to this thread but I tought I would throw it in nonetheless...
    If you need to reformat a drive in Fat32 and don't want to waste time, try this baby, courtesy of Ridgecrop consultants:
    http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm

    Oh Boy!

    I did not realize how old this post was... Sorry about that! :)
     
  8. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    If you are using Win98, in the first post you mention Windows2000. Why the other operating system.

    If you have Win98, all you need to do is:
    Boot to DOS
    Run FDISK and partition the drive
    Boot to Win98
    Format the drive

    You don't need any 3rd party utility for this and it sounds like it isn't working correctly.
     
  9. rmay635703

    rmay635703

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    That is a fairly old system in computer terms, the biggest drive it would have gotten new would be about 40gb.

    Have you upgraded the bios recently? (as Pyrite chips alludes to)
    I ask because even my antique Slot A Athlon from about 1998 detects my 120gb HD name and all but I still need the maxtor drive overlay program from the setup disk enabled to use it correctly.

    I would recommend one of two things.

    Either you can use the drive DDO overlay software to allow the drive to run in your system with a very small speed penalty. (you will have to reformat the drive from the drives setup floppy)

    Or you can go to dell.com and hope for a bios upgrade, be forwarned I can't recommend a bios upgrade unless you really know what your doing as you can trash your system permanently. If it works don't break it.

    Good Luck
     
  10. rmay635703

    rmay635703

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    WHOA this thread is old, how did it come back up to the top???

    Just to add that could be caused by the drive being improperly detected,

    But more likely it also can occur if you have more than 256mb of ram or if you do not have the updates to Windows 98se with a large drive (which you do)

    On my system I am typing on the virtual memory is also listed that
    way -450mb free so I set the max as 512mb and min as 256mb and I have no problems whatsoever after many years of using this "compatibility" box. The problem is normally purely cosmetic whenever you have a drive 120gb or larger

    I would recommend running Defrag from SAFE MODE as sometimes drivers or certain programs can prevent defrag from completing or making progress on Win9x systems.

    Good Luck
     
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