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Project Shiva


Tripredacus
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Super bump.

Shiva has not been used since this last post, and has been sitting in a corner collecting dust in a gaudy chassis that has no side panel. I have put together a new system that I was going to use for a specific purpose (as with everything) and then I had thought that the purpose is parallel to Shiva. Now when I'm talking about Shiva, I'm talking specifically about the HDD with the OS on it, not particularly the hardware.

I am going to clone the disk to another, to boot it in the new computer, to see if a transition is possible. If it is, it would be the 4th board the OS has been on. The first question is what the maximum disk size is that I can clone and extend to that will work with Windows 98 FE? Shiva currently lives on a 20 GB IDE disk, and the disk in the new system is 250 GB, which I presume is too large.

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It's been quite some time since my last encounter with any version of Windows but as far as I remember all my partitions on the Win98SE machine were (and still are, just unused) at no more than 32GB. The HDD is 160GB but due to the BIOS limitation on that particular machine it would only read 137GB so I created four 32GB partitions as FAT32 and the rest is an EXT2 partition created with a live Linux.

 

So... if the BIOS on the new machine is capable of 48bit LBA - thus not limited to 137GB HDD - you may have to partition it with extra care, that is no more than four primary partitions, and any partition be it primary or logical should not exceed 32GB. Can't remember why that 32GB limitation exists, maybe somebody else could offer details or link to software that would overcome it, if exists.

A very important thing is that you will have to install one of the HDD patches that remove the 128/137GB HDD limitation (there are two of them as I recall, MDGx's page should provide links) on the current setup before cloning and moving the OS to the new machine, if it's not already installed, otherwise you will have problems with files/folders that cross that 128/137GB border.

 

For cloning you may use any suitable tool that you know and trust, or try FoxClone, a free Linux tool specifically designed for this task. Also GParted on a live Linux setup would allow you to extend the original system partition to the full size of the new partition it has been cloned to.

 

Good luck!

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21 hours ago, Drugwash said:

Can't remember why that 32GB limitation exists, maybe somebody else could offer details or link to software that would overcome it, if exists.

It is a limitation of FAT32 within Windows, so you are right on that and I didn't think to remember it. Especially since I had to figure that out in order to deploy DOS images via WDS. I shouldn't have a problem of finding another 20 GB disk to clone to, but my stash of disks is untested. So that project of a) finding a valid disk and b) archiving relevant data may take some time to accomplish.

I would end up using Ghost to copy the disk.

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You can use any disk as backup/clone destination, providing it is at least 20GB in size as the original one. If the original disk has more than one partition you can also choose which partition(s) to backup/clone.

The cloning application is entirely of your own choice - I merely mentioned an alternative. I believe people should always be aware of all their possible choices.

Good luck!

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Good to see you around, my friend! :hello:
I feared the recent (google provoked) problems for access from Eastern Europe were preventing your access, of late.
I'm sorry to say but we're still far from solving it completely, because the revenue from ads is sorely needed to keep MSFN going...
All best wishes! :yes:

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Hey Den, nice to see you guys. Yep, direct access is still blocked but luckily there's Tor. I still get e-mail notifications from the board and if there's something I can do to help... Things changed for me; been on Linux for more than a year, memory's getting hazier each day, the world is a mess... Anyway, hope you guys are OK all things considered.

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First batch to run through of testing out drives from my stock pile. After all the years of adding used disks to my collection, this is the first time running through them.

Good disks: (PO/POH)
- WD Caviar WD102 10.2 GB
- Maxtor 90320D2 3.2 GB (182/35763?) loud access
- Maxtor 91531U3 15 GB (6884/1665?) loud access

Warning disks: (PO/POH)
- Quantum Fireball Plus AS 20.5 GB (1764/30947?) Reallocated Sector Count 100

Bad disks:
- Quantum Fireball CR 6.4 AT 6.4 GB (not detected in Windows)
- Seagate ST32122A 2.111 GB (locks up during post)
- WD Caviar WD200 20 GB (not detected in BIOS)
- WD Caviar WD200 20 GB (clicks)
- WD Caviar 307AA 30.7 GB (clicks)

I'll update this post as I test more disks. So far only 3 disks I got that are good are too small. Not sure about that Allocated Sector Count disk... I've run disks that have that and I believe someone once told me that it was safe to ignore but do a backup-type thing.

Also interesting in that batch is the Maxtor 91531U3 which has more power on times than power on hours.

The question mark on the POH is just because it show up that way. It might be because I'm running my disk testing on Windows XP Home and perhaps the Crystal Disk Info doesn't work properly on that version. IDK. But I will have more disk to test out so I can hopefully find a good 20 or 30 GB IDE drive to use. And too bad about that WD 307AA, 30.7 GB seems to be the perfect size for FAT32.

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On 11/9/2020 at 9:10 AM, Tripredacus said:

The first question is what the maximum disk size is that I can clone and extend to that will work with Windows 98 FE? Shiva currently lives on a 20 GB IDE disk, and the disk in the new system is 250 GB, which I presume is too large.

Provided you 1) use rloew's PATCHATA to update ESDI_506.PDR on your Win98 installation (and your intended hardware does in fact support 48-bit LBA), or 2) keep your 98 partition limited to ~120GB at the beginning of the drive, then no, there is no problem using the 250GB drive. If the larger disk is connected via SATA, you will most likely also need rloew's SATA patch.

re: 32GB limit;
This is totally nonexistent. Windows XP (2K as well?) and later impose a false limitation and prevent you from creating a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB, but they manage larger FAT32 partitions created by other software/OS'es just fine. No such false limitation exists under 9x. I believe the origin of this falsehood can be traced back to an old KB article that claimed that the size of a FAT32 volume under Windows 95 was limited to 32GB.. but this was never true to begin with.

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On 11/13/2020 at 8:59 PM, Tripredacus said:

Good disks: (PO/POH)
Warning disks: (PO/POH)
Bad disks:

In my experience with the drives shipped to our country and even with those brought in second-hand machines from western-european countries , WD and Maxtor have been the worst, Maxtor being the absolute worst. I still have piles of them in various drawers. One of the first that brought me to the verge of a heart attack when broke down was an 8.4GB WD. Started 'clunking' continuously and that was it - I lost everything on it, because at the time I didn't have a CD-RW (not to mention a DVD-RW) to save files on discs.

A kind soul bought and sent me from the US a 160GB Seagate HDD and a STTH SHS-182D DVD-RW unit. That was back in the summer of 2006. Mounted the two on a Soyo SY-6VBA 133 board given by a friend, installed Win98SE on the HDD, and that machine has since been running 24/7 for about ten years. First three years have been hectic, with dozens of daily reboots - mostly resets, hard reboots - due to crashes and lockups in the Miranda IM alpha software that I was testing at the time, then the machine remained in stand-by for about a year after I moved at the house, before I brought it here and put it back to work, again running 24/7 but this time no more frequent reboots or resets. It did occasionally crash or lock up due to various software or drivers I was testing, but mostly it kept running for 20-30 days in a row.

My point is, I was so satisfied with my Seagate drive that whenever my friends came to me to have their systems fixed or upgraded I invariably recommended and mounted Seagate drives, and so far none of them came saying their drives crashed or had other problems. Now I'm not saying they're infaillible or anything - maybe it's been sheer luck or I just wasn't notified of any failures, but so far I don't have a single Seagate drive among the broken ones. I do have one of my first large drives - a 1.2GB Quantum Fireball - that broke after a few years of usage, but that was before Seagate bought them out (same goes for all the Maxtors as well), and I have a twin of that Quantum Fireball that kept working fine until a couple years ago on another machine that I just stopped playing with, so the drive may still be working now after 20 years.

So, again, this was strictly my personal experience in more than 20 years of dabbling with computer hardware. None of the above is meant as advertising or anything - just a true story from a different corner of the world.

On 11/14/2020 at 7:03 AM, LoneCrusader said:

re: 32GB limit;
This is totally nonexistent.

That'd be great. But still can't imagine what could've scared me so much back in 2006 that I chose not to get over 32GB with any of the FAT32 partitions. There must have been a strong reason, because at the time I wasn't one to always play it safe, and definitely didn't have any Win2k/XP at hand that could've artificially introduced that limitation by formatting the drive under such OS. Could it be related to some limitation or bug in Scandisk or Defrag, maybe before some solution was found, such as porting the WinME versions to 98SE?

Dunno, maybe it was something that has since been overcome, but still it would be good to figure it out before someone accidentally breaks their system or loses important files after operations such as Tripredacus' cloning that we're talking about, more so when his system is 98FE not SE and therefore it's possible the fix/enhancement may not have been available or installed.

See, now I'm playing it safe. Hopefully it's just my paranoia.

Edited by Drugwash
small correction for clarity regarding daily reboots
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