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>2TiB external USB drive and WinXP? Of course!


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I know it's a bit of a bump and I wish I found this thread earlier, but I wanted to confirm that the WD Formatter still works today.  I used it on 2x 10TB Bestbuy WD Easystore drives and was able to create 5x fat32 partitions on each drive that work both under xp and win7.

I learned something too as I was not aware that the formatter will allow changing the drive back to 512e in win7. 

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I purchased and tested a 4TB WD My Passport Drive. The current WD Formatter does work, although not quite as described in the documentation.

I found the SCSI commands needed to set the Sector size between 512 and 4K. Unfortunately, most other Drives do not support them.

It can also be set to 1K and 2K Sector sizes, which are supported by Windows from 2000 to 10 as well as 98SE with my Terabyte Plus Package.

I did not try 8K, 16K, 32K, or 64K Sectors because I wasn't sure if I could regain control.

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Yeah, the documentation here on the WD formatter is much more detailed than WD's docs on it.  I wish I would have found this earlier as I was curious if I had to 'install' the software or not.

Wow, I didn't know you could even have larger sector sizes than 4k.  I guess these would be emulated then so 8Ke, 16Ke, etc.  It would be interesting to see what these would do, but I wouldn't want to mess with them unless you could somehow reverse the process.  Perhaps some linux commands?  I know the guys on servethehome (enterprise computing forum) know ways to format 520k and 528k drives to standard 512k, so I'm thinking the same tools could be used for resetting a drive back to 512/4k from whatever it gets set to.

Edited by SamirD
forgot some thoughts
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The My Passport accepted the commands for 8K, 16K, 32K, and 64K but I did not commit them.

I am concerned that Windows 98SE would crash before I could reset it back to 4K or less. It crashes with 4K without my Terabyte Plus Package due to buffer overruns.

I haven't tried 520 or 528.

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My tools only work in 9x. Only the WD Formatter works in XP and 7+. WD Formatter did recognize the My Passport set to 2K.

Although I had tested DOS up to 32K, I never tested 9x with more than 4K. I'm not sure if VFAT can handle Sectors larger than Physical Page sizes.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I decided to take the plunge.

I tried 8K and 16K Sectors.

Neither worked in XP. CHKDSK did seem to understand and repair a NTFS Partition. Formatting failed for either FAT32 or NTFS. WD Formatter could reset and reformat the Drive.

Windows 2000 rebooted when I connected the Drive with 16K Sectors.

Windows 8 doesn't support 16K Sectors.

Windows 98SE did not support 16K Sectors even after further patching of VFAT. Raw access was available, as well as ASPI so I can set or reset the Drive as needed.

My RFDISK and RFORMAT tools can handle 16K Sectors as they were designed to support up to 32K Sectors.

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1 hour ago, dencorso said:

So it seems, for all practical purposes, 4KiB sectors are the upper limit, right?

Yep :), if you can call (keeping a straight face I mean ;)) running Windows 98 on a 4 Kb sectored 17 TB disk "practical" :whistle:.

jaclaz

 

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It's OK: I only run XP/7/*n?x/MS-DOS 7 nowadays... but I may add OpenVMS/Illumos/*BSD sometime in the future, too. :)
And *BIG* disks are for data. I run my OSes from partitions inside 120/128GB SSDs nowadays (sometimes from fast pendrives, too, although I know you don't consider them pendrives at all)... :D

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7 hours ago, dencorso said:

So it seems, for all practical purposes, 4KiB sectors are the upper limit, right?

Apparently for all versions of Windows. Patched DOS can go to 32KiB Sectors for a maximum of 128TiB per Partition.

Patched 9x can support Drives larger than 16TiB but with a maximum Partition size of 16TiB.

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Pretty unreal that DOS can access a larger partition size than 9x.

Wait, but isn't 9x still based on DOS?  I remember I would always take the command.com from 9x and use it under win3.1.  So then what version of DOS is the patched DOS that works?

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