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More IDE slots under WIN98SE ?


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Thanks for all the great info. I'll have to take some time to think through it and decide on my strategy. One issue that was mentioned earlier was the use of NTFS. While I strongly prefer NTFS, I usually go with FAT32 so that data can be read in Win98, as I've had zero luck with those NTFS utilities that supposedly allow read/write access from DOS/Win9x.

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Thanks for all the great info. I'll have to take some time to think through it and decide on my strategy. One issue that was mentioned earlier was the use of NTFS. While I strongly prefer NTFS, I usually go with FAT32 so that data can be read in Win98, as I've had zero luck with those NTFS utilities that supposedly allow read/write access from DOS/Win9x.

The free Paragon NTFS for Windows 95/98/ME seems to work very nicely. I haven't tested it extensively though but I recently bought several 640GB WD drives on eBay which were all NTFS formatted and had no problems whatsoever writing a few megabytes of files on them before I partitioned them to FAT32 volumes.

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-win98/

Edited by loblo
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Bear in mind, however, that NTFS does not have the 4 GiB - 1byte limit inherent to FAT-32, but Win 9x/ME was not designed with files bigger than that limit in mind, so that 4 GiB - 1byte is also the maximum file size Win 9x/ME kernel can deal with, regardless of the limits of the file-system being used.

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Somewhat Off-Topic:

The WD2001FASS (Caviar Black) is one of the only 2TB HDDs available that uses 512 bytes sectors and is SATA 300, jumperable to SATA 150, so it's viable for older boards having just SATA 150 support or for those SATA -> IDE converters, being thus a good recommendation for Win 9x/ME machines. However, they must be bought with due care, because there's also the more widely available The WD2001FAEX (Caviar Black), which also is 512 bytes sectored, but has a SATA 600 interface, being jumperable to SATA 300, but not to SATA150, so unusable by older motherboards. More info: WD Caviar Black specs.

And beware of both WD and Seagate "green" HDDs, for all those > 1 TB are 4 kiB sectored.

Another one is Seagate ST32000542AS which is (was) very common until recently. I fear that the HDD crisis is going to completely sell out the existing inventory on shelves even at these crazy prices. By early next year probably every single drive for sale will have been built since Winter 2011.

The question is whether or not the older style 512 byte sector drives will be manufactured anymore in volume. This whole disaster could be the vehicle for the 512 byte > 4 KB transition.

I'm trying to determine exactly what drives are in the FreeAgent and similar enclosures (only the 3.5" models). Their prices are up but not insanely higher. It might be a good idea to get a few and yank the HDD's out.

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Just popped in on the off-chance to see if there had been any more posts - and wow, I see we've moved on a bit ...

Ok - some feedback in case anyone's interested in what this old duffer is up to:

If it appears to anyone that the OP title is misleading - well actually it's not: for the purposes of a data sort-out, I wanted to achieve more IDE slots which would be guaranteed to run without problems under Win98SE, and as such this was both a hardware and software enquiry.

As I commented in my OP, I was thinking of using a RAID card in non-RAID mode, but what I didn't say then was that it's been a concern of mine all along that some RAID cards may insist upon a RAID configuration being generated on install.

Getting a 'head's-up' on Promise cards was extremely useful, for in the case of the FastTrak 100 series (RAID), the manual doesn't say that a non-RAID configuration isn't permitted, but then it doesn't say that it is, either - and I'd much rather stay with what I know for certain.

In contrast, the Promise Ultra133-TX2 card is not only non-RAID, but it's user manual talks about installing the card under Win95/98, NT4 etc., as well as under XP - so we're looking here at hardware from the right (for me) period of history. And that is EXACTLY what I have been looking for. So much so, that I've already bought one and am awaiting delivery. So - many thanks to dencorso for that recommendation.

Even if nothing else of interest was to come from this thread, then just identifying this card would have been enough - but having said that, it's always useful to be reminded about the need for a back-up plan.

But is running 4 x extra drives energy wasteful ? Not at all - they only generate 6 watts each, and as I'll be wrestling with this mega-sort over the winter months, 24 extra watts from a computer will mean 24 less watts that my heating system will have to supply. But I'll certainly be running the box with it's case off, in order to be kind to it's innards.

Thanks for all the info - appreciated.

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I see that the discussion in this thread spawned a renewed discussion in the NTFS for DOS/Win9x thread. I should probably address any more detailed comments in that thread but yeah, several years ago I tried the Sysinternals NTFS for Win98 utility and it was a disaster. My memory's quite blurry but as I recall, I was eventually able to see and access NTFS partitions with some quirky behavior, but the showstopper was numerous repeated BSoDs mostly involving the FDD. I finally gave up and uninstalled it to regain system stability. I also didn't have much confidence in data integrity to/from NTFS partitions with it. I recall looking at the Paragon version but I don't think it was freeware at the time and I didn't try it. Like I said, I strongly prefer NTFS for its robustness but I also want to have full read/write access from Win98 with 100% confidence in data integrity.

Thanks CharlotteTheHarlot for your thorough detailed advice and info as always. I was aware of Karen's Replicator backup utility and had checked it out some time ago but never DL'ed and used it. I may give it a test drive soon. It wasn't clear from the documentation whether it works in Win98 but I assume it does.

Also, I've been out of the market a while and wasn't aware of the recent spike in HDD prices you mentioned. It seemed like HDD prices were on their usual downward trajectory. That sucks, and I'll have to keep a closer eye on things.

@SAE140: Your thread title was indeed accurate but "misleading" in the sense that it was more about the rationale for needing more IDE ports with the HDDs and data access/backup, or at least the subsequent discussion. I also wasn't aware that 3.5" HDDs used that little power but there's still the issue of heat generation and cabling mess, not to mention wear and tear on the HDDs.

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  • 5 months later...

XXCOPY. Get the free version of XXCOPY (you must get XXCOPY FREEWARE v.2.96.5 - xxfw2965.zip, which is the last version that works in 9x/ME). For XP+, get the latest version. XXCOPY rules! :yes:

Resurrecting this thread from the dusty vaults...

I recently installed and started using XXCOPY per dencorso's strong recommendation, and as he stated, I am very impressed with the utility and its powerful capabilities. I initially installed v.2.96.5 since he indicated it was the last version that still works in Win9x/ME, but later I decided to give the latest version v.3.11.2 a try since the (meager) documentation indicated it works in all versions of Windows. I haven't used it that extensively, but so far it seems to work fine in Win98 SE. The only quirk I've noticed so far is that it doesn't seem to handle the OS-generated short filename (8.3) alias... you have to specify the full LFN (long filename) in v.3.11.2 whereas v.2.96.5 seems to handle the short name alias without any problems.

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v.2.96.5 of XXCOPY is the last ASCII version. Later versions are UNICODE, and while Unicows.DLL may enable one to use it, there's no telling which quircks may lurk in them. Test any later version *very* carefully to validate what it does well, before trusting it. For mission-critical tasks, like incremental backups, I do use the latest version while on XP, but on 9x/ME I don't trust anything above v.2.96.5, which is guaranteed (by Kan Yabumoto -- the author -- himself) to work. This snippet of info quoted below shows the telltale remark "Unicode support", which usually means "not anymore for 9x/ME". :(

2.96.5 2008-01-08 Tested with Windows XP Service Pack 3

2.97.0 2008-03-02 Unicode support

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Thanks for the great info as always, dencorso. I could not locate a changelog for XXCOPY but I knew you had some valid justification for your statement that v.2.96.5 was the last version compatible with Win9x/ME. The main XXCOPY website is very sparse in terms of information and apparently most of the valuable data is contained within those numerous technical bulletins, which are not very user-friendly and convenient to navigate.

I would've been happy with v.2.96.5 until I found that it didn't support the "Wild-Wildcard" exclusion feature. That's when I decided to try the latest v.3.11.2 since as I said, the website states "Supports all Windows versions (except Windows CE)". So far in my limited usage it seems to work fine, but the lack of support for short (8.3) filename aliases is quite annoying since it's a real pain to have to type the entire LFN when specifying files. I may revert back to v.2.96.5 in Win98 SE and use v.3.11.2 in WinXP like you.

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