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  1. #1
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    ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    I've done a search through the archives, and read lots of problems similar to mine, but not the specific problem/answer I need.

    I'm in the process of building new PC, and tried to get xp to install as FAT32 (to be compatible with my network).

    I've ended up with nothing working, and I need to fdisk /mbr, format etc.

    Before I do that however, I need to resolve a problem.

    My disk is a brand new 80Mb Western Digital which is working perfectly (WD diagnostics confirm that). on boot, the Bios auto detects it correctly as 80Mb.

    When I come to fdisk however, I cannot get past a 10.78Mb limit.

    If I remove all partitions, then try & add a new one, (using maximum size) all I get 1s 10.78 Mb. Something somehow is stopping me getting past this. I've tried Win 98 start disks, WIn Me & Win Xp Set-up disks, but am getting no-where.

    Can anyone help?

    Thanks



    Colin

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    Where are you running the FDISK from - maybe if you're using an older boot floppy, its FDISK is from a prehistoric version of Windows/DOS? When you run FDISK, do you see a message asking if you want to enable large disk support? And finally, after you get into FDISK and look at the view menu, does it show the total size of the disk at the bottom, and the 10.78 number you mentioned as the size of the partition?

    By the way, you said MB a couple of times and I hope (assume) you meant GB. An 80MB drive these days wouldn't get you very far! Also, you said the BIOS recognizes the drive spec, but that doesn't necessarily mean your BIOS can deal with a large drive. The BIOS (I think) reads the spec numbers from the drive's firmware, but that doesn't mean it's capable ot processing that size.

  3. #3
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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    Firstly, yes I did mean Gb. (sorry but I'm not awake yet)

    I'm currently using fdisk from the XP set-up disk. I have tried other versions tho.

    I do get the Large disk support msg, and it does show the total size of the disk at the bottom, and the 10.78 number as the size of the partition?

  4. #4
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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    Ouch, that looks like a BIOS limitation to me, but I admit I ain't no "expert." I wonder if you can get the BIOS identifier and go to that web site to see what you can see. Maybe the BIOS needs a flash upgrade. Failing that, there are IDE cards one can buy (I like Promise) that would probably bypass the BIOS and see the whole drive.

  5. #5
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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    Oh Dear. Hope not.

    I did have it running on Windows XP on NTFS. I then tried to change it to Fat32, and thats where my problems started.

    I suspect that the Bios is ok. Auto-detect cetainly finds it as an 80Gb disk.

    Colin

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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    Colin, if you boot with a DOS floppy and load FDISK, what do you see when you display Partition Information? NTFS partitions will appear as hidden in FDISK. You can run XP setup from the CD and re-partition and re-format if need be, and you won't have this limitation of the trusty old FDISK utility.
    -Mark

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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    Limitation to 10.78 GB looks strange enough. Try to download Data Lifeguard Tools from Western Digital Software Library, run them and look for results. Do you see any error messages?

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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    I've already run this and the disk is error free

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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    According to fdisk, I've only 1 partition, the Pri Dos one labelled C 10,781 <bytes, System Unknown, 100% Usage. It then says total disk space is 10781 Mbytes.

    Setup won't run from Dos. I've tried Winnt.exe, on the CD. It tells me "An internal Setup error has occurred. Could not find a place for the swap file. Setup cannot continue."

    I've tried WIn Xp Boot disks, and it crashes after disk 6.

    It seems as if I need to get the fdisk type info altered before I proceed, but I can't do it till I correct it. Catch22????

    Colin

  10. #10
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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    What Mark was telling you requires that your BIOS be set to boot FIRST from the CD. The XP CD is bootable and you can partition at the beginning of setup. However, I still have a question. In your earlier post you said that FDISK showed the correct total size of the disk at the bottom, but that's not what you just said. If it's not a BIOS limitation, maybe you need to delete any and all partitions that currently exist and start over. I guess I'd follow Mark's advice and try doing it from a boot off the XP CD. I've done that before.

  11. #11
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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    I hate saying this is something to consider, but a low-level format may be easier than rooting out the cause of the problem. It's no guarantee but It will give you a nice fresh slate on which to claw as you pull your <img src=/S/hairout.gif border=0 alt=hairout width=31 height=23>.
    -Mark

  12. #12
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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    Apologies

    I did not mean to confuse the issue. I meant to say that the two figures for disk size were the same in the FDISk screen.

    I've tried booting from the CD and that crashed as well. There seems to be something wrong with the file system on the disk that styops me getting far enough to do any re-format etc.

    Colin

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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    I've heard the phrase low-level format before, but don't know how to do it.

    As far as the disk is concerned, there's no data on it, so it doesn't matter if I lose anything on it.

    Your advice on how to do a low-level format would be much appreciated


    Colin

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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    Your WD Diagnostics software should have the capability to low-level format. Be prepared for a long time process. But you already said the WD diags say the disk passes all tests, didn't you? I have doubts that low-level formatting is gonna resolve this problem. You may have to "talk" to WD a little to see if your drive needs to be replaced.

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    Re: ntfs/fat32 (WIndows XP ?)

    As Al noted, it should be on the disk that came with the hard drive. If not the formatting utility is freely available for download from the manufacturer's site - make sure it references the drive you are working with because there are different release versions. You should be able to select low-level format as an option from the menu provided on said disk. Otherwise specific instructions will be on the website where you download the utility from.

    Low level formatting will write to each sector of the drive and effectively wipe it to factory state. As I said before, no guarantee that this will work - but I believe it's worth a try. You might think about contacting WD for help as suggested by Al but my experience with them wasn't all that great, albeit that experience coming about three to four years ago. Just goes to show that you never forget when you feel you've not gotten the best support. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> Worst case, you could always take the drive back for an exchange....you don't know of course that it's defective but then again, you don't NOT know that either!
    -Mark

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