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Molecule

using a 500 G external HDD ... pre-formatted for XP-Vista

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IS there a driver to make it possible for me to read from/write to a USB external HDD ... using its factory preformat in NTFS, for XP and Vista?

The model is a Seagate FreeAgent Pro 500 G, for Firewire, USB2, eSATA. It requires XP or Vista, or OS X 10.4.8 for Macs.

It apparently sees the w2k wintricks driver, and MyComputer/Properties/DeviceManager/DiskDrives recognizes it by name just fine, without any question marks etc.

When I left click MyComputer, it shows up as drive "P," and when right click on drive P, w98se informs me that the drive is not formatted, and asks if I want to format it?

If there isn't a NT driver that I can use, and I have to reformat it, and if I use LLXX's extended ESDI_506.PDR (in C:\Windows\System\Iosubsys\), can I theoretically format it (my risk, no questions asked) as one 500 G FAT32. Or, should I make it up as 4 drives each less than 137 G (say 1 primary 50G, 1 extended 450G, all FAT32)?

If I needs to reformat it from XP-NT down to FAT32, is there a DOS format tool that will recognize the USB drive? (My Partition Magic 8.0 doesn't recognize it, probably because of the USB.)

Thanks

Edited by Molecule

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I believe each partition should be no larger than 32GB in Win98/ME. << Scratch that

Dunno what tool can see and operate on an external HDD under 98SE. You may try a Linux live CD (Knoppix or something) and then try to partition it from that environment.

Edited by Drugwash

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I believe each partition should be no larger than 32GB in Win98/ME.

That would be a lot of partitiions! Actually 120 GB drives as a single partition is fine in Win9x operating under the ATA/IDE port ESDI_506 interface. Above 136 requires another driver or a patched one. BUT this is not the ATA/IDE interface. This is the USB interface. This exact topic: Large Drives on USB and SATA is what I would like to see fleshed out! Even the famous http://48bitlba.com/ website artfully dodges this issue.

Watching this thread closely for authorative information that up to now has been very sparse. Anyone with links and references about large drives under USB and SATA jump in!

IS there a driver to make it possible for me to read from/write to a USB external HDD ... using its factory preformat in NTFS, for XP and Vista?

The model is a Seagate FreeAgent Pro 500 G, for Firewire, USB2, eSATA. It requires XP or Vista, or OS X 10.4.8 for Macs.

It apparently sees the w2k wintricks driver, and MyComputer/Properties/DeviceManager/DiskDrives recognizes it by name just fine, without any question marks etc.

No driver software is needed (software defined as some added device or port driver or IoSubSys component typically of file type PDR, MPD, SYS, DRV, 386, VXD). This is a USB drive, the driver was already shipped with Win98se in the form of the USB port drivers. Now, those original files from the CDROM have received a healthy update in the form of the Maximum-Decim Native USB Drivers, read that thread! Then go to AXCEL216 / MDGx to get the NUSB file. It contains all the required updates to USB related .SYS and .PDR files. In summary, NUSB handles the so-called driver that you asked about.

Now to get Win9x to add a given USB device (in this case your 500 GB HDD) to its tree of devices in the registry a .INF (just a plain ASCII text) file is used. This sometimes requires some extra loving care though. When I first used NUSB it did not work for me on a certain HDD, but that was back in the NUSB 2.x days. I subsequently added the so-called WinTricks package from here which did work. It adds two new system files plus a very important INF file (NOTE: this package is actually a modified Lexar driver with a different .INF plus the same two system files). What it does is to cause most mass storage attached to USB to be added as BULK (this is what we want), and it also effectively bypasses any 3rd party software from being required to operate the device. BULK is like a giant floppy drive, it requires no 3rd party access software. If you add the Lexar/WinTricks package, these files should wind up on your system:

Jdusbpd.pdr .... Windows\System\IoSubSys

Jdusbms.sys .... Windows\System32\Drivers

Wtgenusb.inf ... Windows\Inf (aka Jdusbms.inf)

When I left click MyComputer, it shows up as drive "P," and when right click on drive P, w98se informs me that the drive is not formatted, and asks if I want to format it?

If there isn't a NT driver that I can use, and I have to reformat it, and if I use LLXX's extended ESDI_506.PDR (in C:WindowsSystemIosubsys), can I theoretically format it (my risk, no questions asked) as one 500 G FAT32. Or, should I make it up as 4 drives each less than 137 G (say 1 primary 50G, 1 extended 450G, all FAT32)?

If I needs to reformat it from XP-NT down to FAT32, is there a DOS format tool that will recognize the USB drive? (My Partition Magic 8.0 doesn't recognize it, probably because of the USB.)

Yup, this is where it gets interesting: the size of your 500 GB HDD. If you were to pop it out of the enclosure and attach it to the onboard ATA interface (assuming it is SATA/PATA), the built-in ESDI_506 driver is in control and would choke on access above the 136 GB barrier. Since you are under USB and *not* doing this, my understanding is that you will not need to mess with ESDI_506 because it (or the LLXX patched driver) only comes into play when a disk is attached to the ATA interface. If you take it out of the enclosure, yup. On the USB, nope. But I am waiting to hear some cold hard facts about this. :whistle:

Forget the partitioning idea, unless you want the extra drive letters. Partitions have no bearing on this problem, it relates to TOTAL SECTORS ON THE DRIVE and how this very large number is subsequently handled by the Windows drivers which were programmed to use smaller numbers. In essence, it is a math problem. No matter how many partitions you have, the total sectors remains the same. And yes, Google will find you a million people who insist otherwise, but they are all wrong, period.

What is unclear to me is how that ATA port driver is bypassed for both USB and SATA based drives, if at all? It must be bypassed if USB and SATA drives are ok. I've read what most others have read, but the authorative sources are scarce.

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot

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Well, here's my two cents:

NTFS is a no-no.

I use an External Hi Speed IOMEGA HDS725050 500 GB USB HDD.

It is formatted as FAT-32 and is recognized by NUSB.

At first I set it up as a single 500 GB primary partition. It'd work OK, *BUT*, NDD32 crashed beyond hope with it,

as it had 15.2 millions of clusters. It was quite bothersome to me, so I decided to repartition the drive and now I'm quite happy using it with a primary 250 GB partition plus a logical 250 GB partition inside an extended partition. NDD32 is now happy as each has just 7.1 millions of clusters, which is less than NDD32's limit (known to be somewhere above 8.6 millions of clusters). Read more about it here: Install w98 on Large Drives Post #37 (and do follow the links in it) and then my own #42. You'll need to replace some Win 98SE programs by their Win ME conterparts in order to avoid problems. Read that same thread from post #1 to know more about them.

And to make Win 98SE allow you to set more than just one letter to the disk you'll have to set it as removable in the Hardware Manager, reboot, add the second letter, reboot, uncheck again the "removable" box and reboot (better leave it as "removable", Win 9x/ME will be stabler this way with the disk plugged in). The system will now find the two partitions and give each a letter, a not-so-short while after you plug or turn on the external disk, whichever you do last.

Edited by dencorso

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Paragon Mount everything should in theory allow you to write to NTFS partions under win 98.

I do not know if they still support it though and it is not free either. I think the demo version only allows you to read files from NTFS.

To read from NTFS partitions you could also use NTFS reader.

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man, thar's some good up stuff there ... thanks guys

Charlotte...

BTW that's one awesome signature you got -- IMHO international trafficking in children is bigger business in the U.S. now than trafficking in drugs ever was, which at one time recently, was big enough to float the entirety of "the Wall St. economy." The total $$ involved in trafficking in children are not trivial and your signature line says it ALL ... where's it from?

I remember the wintricks driver from http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showto...st&p=662854. It's a sweet one, and has served me well, for everything, when other drivers got tangled up on something.

On my system, the file WinTricksWTGenUSB.INF is found in %windir%\inf\other\. The only things in \inf\ are drvidx.bin and drvdata.bin.

I don't know if use of one filename (drvidx.bin and drvdata.bin) for all USB drives causes problems when two USB-HDDs are linked to the same driver ... I run camera SDs and USB thumbs off it without problems. I saw somewhere a thread where someone tried to hook up two thumb drives and got into trouble, but I don't think he was using wintricks.

For a disconnect of a USB drive, the wintricks author recommends that we go to Device Manager, select Disk Drives, right click the device, and select remove. Then pull the USB plug. On his instruction sheet, the image of his Device Manager shows two devices for his one USB thumbdrive?? I show one, per USB device??

I made a small pdf of the author's instructions and wish I could upload it to the board ... didn't we used to be able to do that?

With the 500 Gb Seagate NTFS hooked up (more later) the drvidx.bin file is 358,159 bytes, and drvdata.bin is 1,207,810. Seems Kinda big?

With USB on my old mobo, it copies files at 500 kbs (arghh) and then takes forever to reregister the directory.

dencorso ...

thanks for the Iomega 500 eHDD model number -- I'm going to shift over to a flatland disk philosophy, using subdirs instead of drives

Kwibus ...

you da man on this post! I went to Paragon and voilà ... they have a proggie "NTFS for Windows 98"!! full read-write capabilities!! free!! (for a signup).

NTFS for Windows 98: http://www.paragon-software.com/downloads/..._downloads.html

Looks like Paragon may have some interesting software ... but to quality ... their NTFS for w98se is SEAMLESS in my 'puter!

I installed it. It doesn't seem to show up as a device by itself. But, when I hooked up a NT external HDD ... it found it! The drive shows up in MyComputer, and Device Manager, and when I right click and select properties, w98se shows the file system is ... holy yipes ... NTFS.

Not a glitch ... so, Paragon did their homework on that one.

BTW, on install, "NTFS for Windows 98" gives a warning dialog "To make the program work properly, it is recommended to turn off the Recycle Bin for mounted NTFS partitions!"

Summarized: a Seagate 500 Gb USB HDD formatted in NTFS works under w98seSP2. I am using a 733-P3, on an old mobo with USB 1. When connected, it is linked to the wintricks generic USB driver, and when Paragon's NTFS for Windows 98 is installed, and it seems to work -- both reading and writing.

(Because I'm thinking of returning it, as the USB 1 on my old mobo is too slow, I tested writing only by copying an original EULA.rtf file back, as an overwrite. No problems. The drive draws only 16 watts power, but still gets warm. The PS is 12v. The pdf manual that comes on it is totally toxic American bubble gum -- the first page says "Only smart people read the manual" -- arghh! -- that is then followed by 36 additional pages of click-here picture fluff, selling program after program of useless bloat. But, they say absolutely nothing about which file system they used, and why, what the UPS power requirements are, or other characteristics and limitations etc. I'm no hardcore techie, but that's a little too far on the light side, IMHO. Man does not live by bubble gum alone.

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Well, here's my two cents:

NTFS is a no-no.

I use an External Hi Speed IOMEGA HDS725050 500 GB USB HDD.

It is formatted as FAT-32 and is recognized by NUSB.

At first I set it up as a single 500 GB primary partition. It'd work OK, *BUT*, NDD32 crashed beyond hope with it,

as it had 15.2 millions of clusters. It was quite bothersome to me, so I decided to repartition the drive and now I'm quite happy using it with a primary 250 GB partition plus a logical 250 GB partition inside an extended partition. NDD32 is now happy as each has just 7.1 millions of clusters, which is less than NDD32's limit (known to be somewhere above 8.6 millions of clusters). Read more about it here: Install w98 on Large Drives Post #37 (and do follow the links in it) and then my own #42. You'll need to replace some Win 98SE programs by their Win ME conterparts in order to avoid problems. Read that same thread from post #1 to know more about them.

Excellent point about total clusters. Several partitions on a 500 GB (even more on 1 TB) would seem to be a smart tradeoff. I prefer single partitioning myself but this compromise may be unavoidable.

You know, someone should pool all this data of the various limits of common tools (FDISK, Format, Scandisk, Scandskw, NDD32, Win9x/WinMe versions, etc etc etc) into a nice table. I think RLoew offered some insight into these limits on that LLXX patched ESDI_506 thread.

I also just thought of a peculiar scenario that may happen in this configuration ...

Given a Win9x system plus LARGE Hard Drive on USB. The user has done some work involving the USB HDD. Later in the session something goes awry and a hard lockup (or a plain old power blackout). On restart the DOS Scandisk catches the ATA Hard Drive(s) as dirty and scans, and of course ignores the USB Hard Drive connected or not (I always disconnect them). When the system gets back to Windows, the user must remember to immediately run a Windows based Scandskw on the USB drive (WinME version no doubt, or Norton) or they will be making a big mistake by possibly writing to a 'dirty' disk. Certainly someone has come across this?

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dencorso ...

thanks for the Iomega 500 eHDD model number -- I'm going to shift over to a flatland disk philosophy, using subdirs instead of drives

@Molecule:

Well, to be more precise, since you are interested in the model number, it's an

External Hi Speed USB IOMEGA MDHD500-U enclosure with a Hitachi Deskstar HDS725050 500 GB HDD inside

The other HDD I have also tested is actually a multimedia player:

External Hi Speed USB Conceptronic Grab'n'GO CSM3PL with a 3.5" SAMSUNG HD501LJ 500 GB HDD inside.

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Charlotte...

BTW that's one awesome signature you got -- IMHO international trafficking in [sNIP!] ... where's it from?

:o Yikes, I think you're reading too much into it! Song lyric from Iron Maiden! album: Seventh Son, track: 4. Could be a double entendre but I highly doubt it. You may want to consider editing that thing I [sNIP!]ed!. (phew, not a paragraph I expected to see on MSFN!).

On my system, the file WinTricksWTGenUSB.INF is found in %windir%infother. The only things in inf are drvidx.bin and drvdata.bin.

I don't know if use of one filename (drvidx.bin and drvdata.bin) for all USB drives causes problems when two USB-HDDs are linked to the same driver ... I run camera SDs and USB thumbs off it without problems. I saw somewhere a thread where someone tried to hook up two thumb drives and got into trouble, but I don't think he was using wintricks.

With the 500 Gb Seagate NTFS hooked up (more later) the drvidx.bin file is 358,159 bytes, and drvdata.bin is 1,207,810. Seems Kinda big?

No problem. Wtgenusb.inf just got renamed to WinTricksWTGenUSB.INF. It's perfectly fine and business as usual. I usually rename them back and move them into INF (and modify the registry too) so I have a trail back to the original distribution file. Leave it as it is because there is a data value in the registry hardcoded to that name and path now (infother).

Drvidx.bin and Drvdata.bin are the windows INF generated database. They are dynamic and reflect the last detection. I back these up often. Some situations require you to delete these two files, which causes re-detection of practically everything. Don't do this unless you are prepared for a very long night.

Size looks ok to me. Mine are currently 539 KB and 1,943 KB.

With USB on my old mobo, it copies files at 500 kbs (arghh) and then takes forever to reregister the directory.

Definitely skip USB below 2.0 speed! If you still have that system just grab a $9 NewEgg USB 2.0 PCI card. Or grab a new Mobo.

Paragon Mount everything should in theory allow you to write to NTFS partions under win 98.

I do not know if they still support it though and it is not free either. I think the demo version only allows you to read files from NTFS.

To read from NTFS partitions you could also use NTFS reader.

Dang, first time I have seen this! Doh! :wacko: I'm gonna feel real stupid if this was already mentioned in galahs Last Versions of Software for Windows 98SE thread. As mentioned above by Molecule it apparently has full Read/Write, the cost is nada, details here.

NTFS for Win98 (Non-commercial use only)

Full Transparent Access to NTFS Disks. FREE!

Still using Windows 98 in parallel with XP? Can't access disks created with XP from Windows 98? With NTFS for Win98 you can share important files and documents between both operating systems. This product will give you full transparent access to NTFS disks through a regular and conventional drive letter. Read and change any file, browse and search for files, copy and create new files and folders.

Does anyone have personal experience with this? Pluses and Minuses? Advantages and Disadvantages? Love to hear it!

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I'm very open to the idea that someone who knows a lot more than me about HDDs should open a new thread on the topic using NT drives in w98se! (I nominate Charlotte ... do I hear a second?)

Not that my initial issue, on connecting a large USB drive, is being overwhelmed by a more important and superior issue. E.G., this is not a "hyjack." The question of using NT drives in w98se is such an important one, TO ME, that IMHO it deserves its own identity on the MSFN menu board -- the idea is to enhance this board's reputation the worldwide den for w98se mavens. (Yes, I am a 98-bigot, and hope to keep this little light on, re the right of an owner to have full control of his or her own computer, which IMHO is not made easier by all the muck and PysOps darkness and "other usurpations" of NT-based systems.)

With a new thread on using NT with w98se, future members could limit their searchs on this question to title bars, and get links that focus in exactly on the topic.

My issue, generally of connecting a large external USB (although admittedly, and unaware, I did mention an XP aspect), has been pretty much resolved -- (a) wintricks works like a charm, (B) if it's NT, try NTFS for Win98 (see thread >>), and © if any NDD-like softwares might come into play, keep number of "clusters" down, e.g. use partition sizes of 250G of less -- but then -- ahem -- the "MBR" which maps out the internal LBA memory pages, would still have to point to physical addresses, as physically wired transistors at addresses XYZ, inside the card -- in other words the "partitioning table" (whatever the MBR of a USB chip looks like) in a USB chip would still have to point to a memory address at LBA = 251G as the starting point of the next partition after a 250 G partition -- so I'm still confused on that one.

To continue this thread, how do I "picture" the physical "file structure" of a particular USB memory device? Are the memory "chips" inside a memory stick mapped out as physical sectors and clusters as they are in a HDD? -- in the sense of the old 16-pin Digigal memory chips, which were 128k each, or 256k if you had a lot of money -- a "fully populated" ISA memory board back when was 12 inches long, weighed half a ton metaphorically, and cost $5 grand, which back then weighed a whole lot more.

Gives you an idea of how long my w98sePS21 has been running faithfully (or how my memory has been faithfully failing, or some combo of both ...) -- at one time my 8X scsi CDRWs were cuttin' the edge. Looks like it gettin' about time to mobo up again.

Edited by Molecule

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I'm very open to the idea that someone who knows a lot more than me about HDDs should open a new thread on the topic using NT drives in w98se! (I nominate Charlotte ... do I hear a second?)

Appreciate the nomination but I suspect there are better candidates lurking right here! Anyone else want to do a new thread please go right ahead, I'll join in eventually. I did download that Paragon package but its gonna be a while before I can get to it.

Not that my initial issue, on connecting a large USB drive, is being overwhelmed by a more important and superior issue. E.G., this is not a "hyjack." The question of using NT drives in w98se is such an important one, ...

Sorry about that. Wasn't thinking about it and almost hijacked the discussion! Good call about a new thread Molecule.

IMy issue, generally of connecting a large external USB (although admittedly, and unaware, I did mention an XP aspect), has been pretty much resolved -- (a) wintricks works like a charm, ...

That's good news about the WinTricks edited INF. Whatever works is what I go for. Having Win9x utilize all these modern USB devices a full 10 years after it was born is astounding. My Win9x boxes handle most USB devices even more smoothly than my WinXP boxes. Love it.

To continue this thread, how do I "picture" the physical "file structure" of a particular USB memory device? Are the memory "chips" inside a memory stick mapped out as physical sectors and clusters as they are in a HDD? -- in the sense of the old 16-pin Digigal memory chips, which were 128k each, or 256k if you had a lot of money -- a "fully populated" ISA memory board back when was 12 inches long, weighed half a ton metaphorically, and cost $5 grand, which back then weighed a whole lot more.

Flash drives are not comparable to any previous RAM or DASD storage. The difference is that they employ a layer of hardware programming which performs the critical task of wear-levelling. In essence it tries to write data to different 'sectors' each time using some algorithm to keep track of recently written cells to ensure that any given area stays as young as possible (if you can think of age as how many times a cell was written to). You cannot really decide where to write data like you can on a HDD (with some effort we can strategically place important data using a variety of methods). What we visualize as directories or 'sectors' is a metaphor here, behind it is real world of solid state cells and gates.

That is my own convoluted explanation, you would be well-served to read more authorative info from places like WIKI: Flash_Memory and Wear_Levelling. As usual they have good offsite links to their sources and more in-depth follow-up information.

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[...] it had 15.2 millions of clusters. It was quite bothersome to me, so I decided to repartition the drive and now I'm quite happy using it with a primary 250 GB partition plus a logical 250 GB partition inside an extended partition. NDD32 is now happy as each has just 7.1 millions of clusters, which is less than NDD32's limit (known to be somewhere above 8.6 millions of clusters). Read more about it here: Install w98 on Large Drives Post #37 (and do follow the links in it) and then my own #42. You'll need to replace some Win 98SE programs by their Win ME conterparts in order to avoid problems. Read that same thread from post #1 to know more about them.

Excellent point about total clusters. Several partitions on a 500 GB (even more on 1 TB) would seem to be a smart tradeoff. I prefer single partitioning myself but this compromise may be unavoidable.

You know, someone should pool all this data of the various limits of common tools (FDISK, Format, Scandisk, Scandskw, NDD32, Win9x/WinMe versions, etc etc etc) into a nice table. I think RLoew offered some insight into these limits on that LLXX patched ESDI_506 thread.

I also just thought of a peculiar scenario that may happen in this configuration ...

Given a Win9x system plus LARGE Hard Drive on USB. The user has done some work involving the USB HDD. Later in the session something goes awry and a hard lockup (or a plain old power blackout). On restart the DOS Scandisk catches the ATA Hard Drive(s) as dirty and scans, and of course ignores the USB Hard Drive connected or not (I always disconnect them). When the system gets back to Windows, the user must remember to immediately run a Windows based Scandskw on the USB drive (WinME version no doubt, or Norton) or they will be making a big mistake by possibly writing to a 'dirty' disk. Certainly someone has come across this?

Happened to me all the time. That's why I decided to change it to 2x 250GB, because I like to use NDD32.

Most of the info is in that thread I pointed or is reachable from links therein.

If you decide to start a table on all the various limts, I'll be glad to help tracking the info down.

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