Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    94
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Disk limitations with XP (XP Pro/SP1)

    I am about to buy a new hard disk for my system, and intend to buy a 120Gb Hitachi.

    Does XP have any upper limit of disk size it can address (that would be relevant in this circumstance)?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Quedgeley, Gloucester, England
    Posts
    5,333
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Disk limitations with XP (XP Pro/SP1)

    I think the theoretical limit for NTFS is several Exabytes, so you just about creep in under that limit <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    94
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Disk limitations with XP (XP Pro/SP1)

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Wardrobe Malfunction Junction, Derry
    Posts
    2,953
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Disk limitations with XP (XP Pro/SP1)

    Tilo--

    You don't have anything to worry about with your new 120GB HD. NTFS will support up to hard disks up to 2 terrabytes and of course multiple disk set-ups, and as the hard drive becomes larger, efficiency of disk storage doesn't fall off as it does with FAT. A FAT 32 system can also run as high as 2 TB, with increased effective storage capacity by lowering the cluster size on large drives. If you are running partitions larger than 32 GB you should partition them as NTFS. If you were to choose FAT, over 2GB should be FAT 32 formatted.

    I would be interested in how you decide to partition this hard drive. Mark did a nice post a little while back on how he organizes his.

    Ed SMBP: Fat 32 has a single partition upper limit of 32GB, but NTFS doesn't have that single partition limitation, and XP is really designed to run on NTFS--using FAT means you loose all the transparent disk checking and file system repair that comes with NTFS which is far more stable and secure.

    SMBP

  5. #5
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Wardrobe Malfunction Junction, Derry
    Posts
    2,953
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Disk limitations with XP (XP Pro/SP1)

    John--

    You may be right. I thought FAT had a limitation of 2GB, but that FAT 32 could go over, and larger than 32GB should always go for NTFS. In their new XP book for Que, Cowart and Knitell wrote (Chapter 3 p. 81 "Choosing a File System, FAT, FAT32, or NTFS"):
    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    " When NT 3.x appeared, it included NTFS as an acknowledgment of the shortcomings of the FAT system, including a hard drive partition size limit of 2 gigabytes (GB)...So, to both provide good backward compatibility with FAT disks and still offer support for large drives, Windows 95 OSR2 and Windows 98 both included a new file system called FAT32. Essentially a beefed up FAT file system, FAT32 isn't as robust as NTFS, and it's not compatible with NTFS. The FAT32 system eliminated the 2GB upper limit on partition size support (it also can run as high as 2TB) and increased effective storage capacity by lowering the cluster size on large drives...But on today's huge drives, under the FAT scheme, the cluster would necessarily be much larger (this is a limitation of the FAT system, not the drive). You end up donating serious amounts of space to no good cause...When you're running partitions larger than 32GB, you should really format them as NTFS. If you choose to use FAT, anything over 2GB should be formatted FAT32."
    __________________________________________________ _____________________________

    Of course you're way better off going with NTFS for a number of reasons, but I thought that the 2GB cutoff was with FAT, not FAT 32 and that FAT 32 has a single partition upper limit of 32GB--NTFS doesn't have that single partition limitation--and was a little surprised that this extensively refernced book says FAT 32 could technically go up to 2TB above. I have heard the 2TB figure tossed around a lot by speakers for NTFS.

    SMBP

  6. #6
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Quedgeley, Gloucester, England
    Posts
    5,333
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Disk limitations with XP (XP Pro/SP1)

    SMBP - sorry, you're wrong about FAT32 maximum partition size.

    "FAT32 provides the following enhancements over previous implementations of the FAT file system:
    * Supports drives up to 2 terabytes in size. "

    You can't have files larger than 2 GB on FAT-32, which rather annoys those people with huge video files.

    But go with NTFS every time - it's more reliable and secure!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  7. #7
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Quedgeley, Gloucester, England
    Posts
    5,333
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Disk limitations with XP (XP Pro/SP1)

    Here's a good Microsoft article on the matter: Choosing between NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 for Windows XP.

    It would be more reliable reading this than believing any of my numbers above!!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  8. #8
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Wardrobe Malfunction Junction, Derry
    Posts
    2,953
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Disk limitations with XP (XP Pro/SP1)

    John Thanks.

    That's a very good link and searching Microsoft's sites, Tech Net-- the XP sites are full of some very good helpful resources like that one that are probably way under used. Sometimes I can find MS sites with google or some search engine that the intrinsic search on the MS site won't turn up. This is not for argument's sake at all, because I have a steep enough learning curve for these file systems, and I thought terrabytes seemed a little, well, wacky as an upper limit for a FAT system. I did stumble onto something though that is worth mentioning for some really good XP and Windows information including troubleshooting, and that's the Appendices of the Microsoft Press Windows XP Professional Resource Kit Documentation with Free Chapter Troubleshooting Windows Startup. The appendix on "Tools for Troubleshooting" is some of the best practicle description I've seen on XP Tools, and the Appendices are worth the price of the book.

    Your link from the MS Site has Volumes plural listed from 512 MB to 2 TB and says in the same table that the limitation of a single volume in a FAT 32 system is 32GB and the maximum file size is 4GB. The Microsoft Windows XP Resource Kit Chapter 13, p. 543 on "File Systems" sheds light on how the terrabyte reference comes up:

    Size Limitations in NTFS and Fat File Systems (Windows XP Professional Resource Kit Documentation) by the Windows XP Professional Resource Kit Project Team Microsoft Press

    "In theory, FAT32 volumes can be about 8 terabytes; however, the maximum FAT32 volume size that Windows XP Professional can format is 32GB. Therefore, you must use NTFS to format volumes larger than 32 GB. However, Windows XP Professional can read and write to larger FAT32 volumes formatted by other operating systems. If you create multidisk volumes such as sspanned or striped volumes, the amount of space used on each disk is applied to the total size of the volume. Therefore, to create a multidisk volume that is larger than 32 GB, you must use NTFS. In theory, the maximum NTFS volume size is 2<small>64</small> clusters, minus 1 cluster however, the maximum NTFS volume size as implemented in Windows XP Professional is 2<small>32</small>clusters minus 1 cluster. For example, using 64-KB clusters, the maximum NTFS volume size is 256 terabytes minus 64KB. Using the default cluster size of 4 KB, the maximum NTFS volume size is 16 terrabytes minus 4 KB."

    The tiny 64 and 32 before clusters is meant to be 2 to the 64th power and 32nd power respectively

    SMBP

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •