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


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Ah, gotcha.  And that makes sense.  Such a requirement would only be if one needed it, ie commercial use.  It's amazing how much very expensive equipment still uses good old reliable dos to do the job. :)

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DOS has a simpler implementation of FAT32 than Windows 9x. I was able to Patch it to work up to 32K.

VFAT only supported 2K until I Patched it for 4K. Above 4K I think there are issues with Caching since Caching is done by Memory Pages which are 4K.
I have identified two internal variables that don't have valid values when larger Sectors are used.

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  • 8 months later...
On 8/12/2019 at 12:44 AM, rloew said:

DOS has a simpler implementation of FAT32 than Windows 9x. I was able to Patch it to work up to 32K.

VFAT only supported 2K until I Patched it for 4K. Above 4K I think there are issues with Caching since Caching is done by Memory Pages which are 4K.
I have identified two internal variables that don't have valid values when larger Sectors are used.

Amazing to see that dos can handle 32k sectors!  That paves the way for a lot of future compatibility. :D

So with vfat, would the caching be the only thing lost?  If so, then would disabling caching allow for an easy patch for sectors >4k?

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/26/2020 at 2:47 PM, rinkymehra19 said:

Today I plug it on my Win98SE, but I wasn't able to see any content of the drive.When I start the Paragon NTFS, the system once freezed and during my second try it commit to reset.

Old news. :boring:  What part of "VFAT only supported 2K until I Patched it for 4K" did you fail to understand? :dubbio:

On 8/12/2019 at 1:44 AM, rloew said:

VFAT only supported 2K until I Patched it for 4K. Above 4K I think there are issues with Caching since Caching is done by Memory Pages which are 4K. I have identified two internal variables that don't have valid values when larger Sectors are used.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello to all!

I have gotten a new 4 TB WD external USB HDD and have read this thread and whatever else I could find to figure out how to get it working.  I found the WD Quick Formatter, and was glad to see the Windows XP compatibility option and I thought that would solve all my problems by doing what it does, I assume with the Master File Table and NTFS with its special sector size trickery.

The next day, I found that besides using this for backups and general storage, my sister had all the home videos digitized which I wanted — on her MacBook.  As many here likely know, the Macintosh OS X is capable of reading NTFS, and it does have built-in writing support, but it's disabled by default because it's apparently not good enough to be considered reliable.  There are third-party programs for this which have free trials, but I don't think my sister would be willing to mess with all that for (what she would consider) a simple file transfer.

All this said, it appears that my only option is the extended FAT!
I have read that Windows XP supports this with a Windows Update.  It just sounds so simple — a file system supported both by Windows XP+ and the Macintosh OS X, supports large volumes and files over 4 GB (which I know I have to deal with because of all these years of video footage) — I feel like I must be missing something here, because otherwise why wouldn't everyone do it?

Also, if Windows XP will support exFAT with this Windows Update, does that mean it will properly format my new HDD to work with all systems by itself, and I won't need a Windows 7 system or the WD formatting utility program at all?

Any clarification is much appreciated!

Thanks,
      Thomas

Edited by ThomasW
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4 hours ago, ThomasW said:

Also, if Windows XP will support exFAT with this Windows Update, does that mean it will properly format my new HDD to work with all systems by itself, and I won't need a Windows 7 system or the WD formatting utility program at all?

No. You'll need to use the WD Quick Formatter to reformat the 4 TB WD external USB HDD with 4 kiB sectors (= Windows XP compatibility option) so that XP will be able to use it. Afterwards you can format the this as a single primary partition with NTFS, exFAT (after installing WindowsXP-KB955704-x86-ENU, of course) or FAT32 (but for FAT32 you'd need Ridgecrop Consultants' FAT32Format and, of course, it doesn't support files bigger than 4 GiB).

4 hours ago, ThomasW said:

I feel like I must be missing something here, because otherwise why wouldn't everyone do it?

Because, nowadays, most of the ca. 1% of all PC users who keep on XP (a) don't have nor want Macintoshes and (b) have no reason at all to reformat the partition as exFAT, since the WD Quick Formatter yields the Windows XP compatible partition as NTFS, which is usually perfect to be used with XP+ and all PC unixes (linux/BSD/illumos). Or, in other words, you must be the first human being alive to face the type of problem you described, IMHO.

 

 

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@dencorso Make that two, for I use Windows and MacOS interchangeably all the time :)

You just never hear about it from me, because FAT32 is enough for most of my file copying needs, and read-only NTFS is adequate for the rest.

Plus, there exists a read-only HFS+ driver for Windows XP and up which can help too, and one doesn't need to be running Windows on a Mac to enjoy it, for all you need to do is install two .sys files (four if installing on x64) plus a few registry entries to enable it on any PC running a supported Windows version.

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c

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12 hours ago, dencorso said:

You'll need to use the WD Quick Formatter to reformat the 4 TB WD external USB HDD with 4 kiB sectors (= Windows XP compatibility option) so that XP will be able to use it.

This is what I did to use my 10TB WD drives with xp.  I then went to windows 7 to partition the drive into 5x MBR 2TB partitions, let it format them to NTFS, and then used the ridgecorp fat32format (found here: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm) to reformat the NTFS partitions to FAT32. 

While it takes time to mount all the partitions--it works on xp and higher as well as most nas units I have tried it with, and should work well with macs as well.  It is unfortunate that I have not found a way to format any other sata drives to 4kn sectors as I could then use enterprise class drives with xp in the same manner. 

4kn drives in xp pretty much allow you to break the 2TB drive size limit, although you are limited to 2TB partitions.  But I dealt with this before when I had 9GB cheetah drives on my windows 3.1 system and had partition limits of 2GB--some story, different decade, lol.

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7 hours ago, SamirD said:

4kn drives in xp pretty much allow you to break the 2TB drive size limit, although you are limited to 2TB partitions. 

Why? I have a NTFS formatted 4KiB sectored USB 3.0 WD My Passport using a single primary partition of 4TB for a long time already (since Mar 11, 2018, to be exact), with no issues at all. At the time I said (link, it's in the 1st attached .pdf):

Quote

I confirm it does work! I've just formatted a 4TB WD My Passport (manufactured in 2017, which came as GPT)
with the tool you indicated and lo: it's now visible to XP and declares 4KiB sectors and a capacity of
4,000,751,546,368 bytes, of which 4,000,561,778,688 bytes free!

And there is report by @Asp of having created a single 6 TB patition (in the 3rd attached .pdf to the post linked above), too.
 

 

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3 hours ago, dencorso said:

Why? I have a NTFS formatted 4KiB sectored USB 3.0 WD My Passport using a single primary partition of 4TB for a long time already (since Mar 11, 2018, to be exact), with no issues at all. At the time I said (link, it's in the 1st attached .pdf):

And there is report by @Asp of having created a single 6 TB patition (in the 3rd attached .pdf to the post linked above), too.
 

Sorry, I should have specified.  This is for someone that wants to keep using FAT32 for compatibility. :)

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Sure, if we go back to the real cause of the 2.2 TB "limit", it isn't.

The limit is the 32 bit size of the two LBA fields in the partition table of the MBR, which limits the size to 2^32-1= 4294967295 sectors.

So 4294967295*512=2199023255040 or roughly 2.2 TB [1].

When the sector size is 4096 bytes, the limit becomes obviously 8 times that, i.e. 4294967295*4096=17592186040320 or roughly 17.5 TB.

NTFS has no issues whatsoever with larger than 2.2 TB partitions.

jaclaz

[1] actually on post-XP (due to other limits on XP it seems not possible) making a special arrangement of 2 partitions one can reach almost 4.4 TB 

 

Edited by jaclaz
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  • 2 months later...

During the time I got just got anempty WD My Book enclousure including the controller.Today I got a 14TB WD Red Pro hoping that I easily upgrade, because my existing 6TB and 4TB My Books are getting full, but the WD Quick Formatter can't see the drive.WD probably locked to use the WD Formatter only to their external drives series, not sure.Seems that  I have to return the 14TB WD Red Pro and get the usual 14TB WD My Book :( If there would be a way to do it manually like the WD Formatter does...

Edited by Comos
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5 hours ago, Comos said:

During the time I got just got anempty WD My Book enclousure including the controller.Today I got a 14TB WD Red Pro hoping that I easily upgrade, because my existing 6TB and 4TB My Books are getting full, but the WD Quick Formatter can't see the drive.WD probably locked to use the WD Formatter only to their external drives series, not sure.Seems that  I have to return the 14TB WD Red Pro and get the usual 14TB WD My Book :( If there would be a way to do it manually like the WD Formatter does...

I have run into a similar issue when I tried an HGST enterprise drive in an easystore enclosure that I know worked for easystore drives.  I think the root cause of the issue is that generally sata drives cannot change their sector size from 512e to 4kn (unlike sas which can), and the easystore, et al externals must have drives that have this capability enabled.

If you want to try manually, you can boot up a live cd of parted magic and there are linux commands to change the sector size (don't know them off the top of my head, just saw them on the servethehome forum).

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7 hours ago, SamirD said:

I have run into a similar issue when I tried an HGST enterprise drive in an easystore enclosure that I know worked for easystore drives.  I think the root cause of the issue is that generally sata drives cannot change their sector size from 512e to 4kn (unlike sas which can), and the easystore, et al externals must have drives that have this capability enabled.

If you want to try manually, you can boot up a live cd of parted magic and there are linux commands to change the sector size (don't know them off the top of my head, just saw them on the servethehome forum).

As I recall from the early days when I was investigating this, the sectors are actually 4K, but emulated into 512 and it looks like that some part of the role is playing the WD controller from the enclousure, because of you remove the drive from it and connect it to a regular SATA controller, you can only see a raw data.

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