Hard disk size

  lilliebet 07:58 25 Feb 2004

I recently bought a reconditioned base unit with 80GB hard drive. Once I'd installed my OS(98se)I had a look at properties but it only shows 2GB disk space available to me (used and unused). A) are these two different things, B) have I been conned or C) am I just thick?

If the answer is C)can someone tell me why my old PC has 5 partitions each containing 2GB of space while my supposedly better new PC has only the one. Is there something I should have done during the loading of the OS?

Thanks in advance :-)

  961 08:21 25 Feb 2004

Probably to do with the ability of the o/s to recognise drives larger than 2GB

Explained in detail in many hardware/software manuals

Partitionmagic or similar will sort

  temp003 09:37 25 Feb 2004

In My Computer, right click Drive C, select Properties, and you should see (1) Used space (2) Free Space, and (3) Capacity.

Capacity is the size of the partition. What does it say?

The 2 GB barrier (or roughly 2GB) could be either BIOS (which is unlikely, it has to be really old) or the FAT16 file system - whose partition size limit is 2GB.

Before you installed 98, did you use Fdisk to delete partitions and then re-create your C? If so, at the start of Fdisk, did you choose the option "enable large disk support"?

That option would enable you to use FAT32. Otherwise it will be FAT16, I think.

If that's the mistake you make, start again with fdisk (losing what you have on the disk).

Or start fdisk, enable large disk support, and then at least have a look to see what partition you have created and what disk space is left.

  lilliebet 18:58 25 Feb 2004

Hi folks, thanks for responding. I didn't use fdisk when I installed 98, but I've since bought an XP upgrade disk, will this give me the option to sort the problem out when I install or will I still have to go back and start again?

  Rayuk 19:05 25 Feb 2004

If you are going over to WinXP you would be best doing a fresh instal.Load the WinXP disk in and during instal it will ask you to put your cdrom for Win98 in just to check you have a copy.

It will show you the full size of the disk and allow you to partition it during instal.

  lilliebet 19:12 25 Feb 2004

Thanks for that, I'm sure I'll be back when I mess up half way through the install. lol

Many thanks to all.

  lilliebet 20:18 25 Feb 2004

Wonderful stuff. Installed XP and found my 80GB, had to install XP on E drive so now I have two OS. Is it a good idea to leave 98 there in case XP ever has problems? Also, should I format all free drive space to NTFS and should I partition the whole drive?

Sorry for all the questions but you guys have been so helpful. Thanks again.

  temp003 03:32 26 Feb 2004

That was all very quick, so many things have happened since my last post :o)))

Can you confirm/clarify these things? At the moment, your C is 2GB which has 98 on it?

Your D is presumably your CD/DVD ROM or CDRW drive?

What is the size of E, where XP is installed? Did you format E with FAT or NTFS? If not sure, in My Computer, right click E drive, Properties and have a look.

"Is it a good idea to leave 98 there?"

That depends on a lot of things.

Most people find XP a better OS. You have no need for 98 unless there is software or hardware which does not work in XP. Presumably in XP, there are no yellow exclamation marks in Device Manager? Most software will work in XP, unless it's really old or some games.

There are advantages in having a dual boot (such as backing up one OS partition without going into DOS, by running the other OS, and having a fall-back emergency OS), but you can dual boot 2 copies of XP instead, if you really want an "emergency" OS. No activation issues.

Remember also that Windows 98 cannot read an NTFS partitition. If your E is on NTFS, then part of the advantage of keeping 98 is gone. If you are going to put your data files on a separate partition (to be created), and want to access the data from 98, you must also format the new partitions in FAT32. But the file system is not a big deal, FAT32 is fine.

It's a pity that when you installed XP, you didn't delete the existing C partition, re-create a new C and install XP there. it all happened too quickly. But I wouldn't suggest now that you start all over again, having gone through the entire installation of XP.

And since this is a refurbished computer which you are probably not very familiar with, you might want to give yourself some more time to make sure that XP works well in the new computer.

If I were you, I would leave 98 there for the time being, but I wouldn't bother installing too many programs, if any at all, on 98. The partition is too small anyway, even for 98.

Just remember that all your boot files (for both 98 and XP) are on the C partition. Do NOT format the C drive or reinstall 98 on it, without first backing up your boot files. Otherwise you will lose your ability to boot into XP.

If later, you are satisfied that hardware and software are working fine in XP, and want to get rid of 98, you can do so. Ask for help then, but basically it will be editing a file called C:\boot.ini, deleting the 98 system files on C, and maybe putting the XP swap file on C (so that the small 2GB partition can be of some use, and it's a good idea to have the swap file at the beginning of the hard disk anyway, so the small 2GB C partition may turn out to be a blessing).

If that's not what you want, and you want to get rid of 98 now, post back.

Partitioning in the next post.

  temp003 03:54 26 Feb 2004

"Should I format all free drive space to NTFS and should I partition the whole drive?"

You can create new partitions or logical drives from the remaining space in XP's Disk Management.

In XP, click Start, Run, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.

You will see your physical drives in the bottom half, where there is a sort of graph, and your hard disk is shown as Disk0.

To the right of Disk0, you should see the C and E partitions (with colour codes), the size and so on. After that, you should see the remaining space, which is described as either "unallocated space" or "free space".

You need first to create new partition(s)/logical drive(s) from the unallocated/free space. Then format them.

You can do so now, or wait till later when you are clearer about your needs.

Generally it is a good idea to keep your data such as photos, documents etc on a partition separate from the Windows partition, but remember this is not a replacement for backing up your data.

To create new partitions, right click the unallocated space area, and select create new partition. You will be given a choice to create a primary partition or Extended Partition, choose Extended Partition. You will be asked to enter size. For an extended partition, you should use up the whole of the remaining space.

Creating an extended partition takes no time. Back in the graph, the previously unallocated space will be enclosed within a dark green border. The space inside is now called free space, with a light green colour.

Now you can create as many logical drives within the Extended Partition as drive letters will allow.

Right click free space and select create logical drive. Enter size in MB (1GB=1024MB), choose a name for the partition if you like, and select the file system to format. No need to change the other options.

On file system, NTFS is generally better, unless you need to access the partition from a FAT32 partition. [So this will depend on whether you want to access it from Windows 98, and whether the XP partition is now on FAT or NTFS.]

Wait for the formatting to finish, and you see the word "healthy" in the new box for the partition/logical drive.

If the remaining space is already shown as free space, just right click and select Create logical drive, and proceed as above.

You don't need to use up all the free space. Create only such logical drives as you need at present.

  lilliebet 08:22 26 Feb 2004

Hi temp003 - loads of information, great stuff.

XP wouldn't allow me to delete the C partition during set up and it was, as you say, too small so XP is now on E which is 4GB, NTFS. D was the CDROM but I've changed that to Z just to move it out of the way. I've created a couple of other 4GB, NTFS partitions and left the rest free. Given that the disk is large and I'm not desperate for free space, I have no problem leaving C as it is for now. I've never worked with XP before and I'd like to know I've got 98 lurking in the background somewhere. It's my security blanket until I get used to XP. :-)

Thanks for your input, you've been a great help.

  temp003 09:10 26 Feb 2004

One thing you could do is back up your boot files on C, in case you later want to or accidentally do something about the C partition.

You can back up the files and create a bootable XP floppy at the same time.

Boot into XP. In My Computer, click Tools, Folder Options, View tab. (1) Tick "Show hidden files and folders" (2) Untick "Hide file extensions for known file types" (3) Untick "Hide operating system files" and say yes to the warning (4) Click OK. [You can change these settings back afterwards if you want - but I would always keep show file extensions, for security and clarity's sake.]

Insert a floppy. Right click Drive A and select Format. On the next window, just click Start and do NOT tick any of the boxes. You must take this step inside XP, and must do it even if you use a brand new floppy.

After formatting floppy, go to C drive. Under C drive, look for the 4 files ntldr, ntdetect.com, boot.ini and bootsect.dos.

The first 3 files are XP boot files, while bootsect.dos is for loading 98 in a dual boot.

Copy all 4 to the floppy. Remove and label it "XP boot floppy".

If you ever need to restore the boot files, you know where they are. Also, it is a bootable floppy. If you restart computer with the floppy inserted (BIOS boot sequence - floppy before hard disk), the floppy will boot you to the OS selection menu and ultimately load either OS (if they are still in their old partitions).

With all that hdd space, you were a little mean with the size of the XP partition :o))

Actually 4 GB should be enough, but just watch it. XP is much bigger, and it reserves disk space for various things (System Restore in particular).

download and save to disk all XP updates, and apply them. The one update you must apply immediately is the Blaster patch.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

WPA2 hack: How secure is your Wi-Fi?

HP’s new Surface Pro rival is designed specifically for Adobe-using designers and artists

Best kids apps for iPhone & iPad

Que faire si son iPhone ou iPad est tombé dans de l'eau ?