Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

MSFN is made available via donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. The use of ad-blocking software hurts the site. Please disable ad-blocking software or set an exception for MSFN. Alternatively, register and become a site sponsor/subscriber and ads will be disabled automatically. 


Andrew T.

Win2K upgrade partition & drive letter woes

Recommended Posts

I took the plunge and "upgraded" from Windows 95 to a Win95/Win2000 dual-boot configuration today. For the most part, the install process itself was pretty painless: All my hardware was automatically identified and configured (except for the NIC), and my existing operating system was left untouched.

 

One big caveat, though: I accidentally went through the installation process while I had a USB thumb drive plugged into the computer. When Windows 2000 was finished installing, I discovered that it had decided my thumb drive was "C:," while my actual "C:," "D:," and "E:" drives had been bumped to "D:," "E:," and "F:!" They retain their original drive letters if I boot into Windows 95. Will it cause problems for the drive letters to be different between my 95 and 2000 installations?

 

Making things even stranger, if I go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management it claims that my secondary hard drive has 36.92GB of unlettered, inaccessible space! The hard drive in question is a Seagate ST340014A that's marketed as a 40GB drive at most, and is formatted as a single 30GB FAT32 partition. What the heck is going on?

post-146323-0-65075400-1422129264_thumb.

Edited by Andrew T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(*GULP*)

 

You've screwed up! It looks like you Partition Tables are messed up.

I'm assuming the "D"-drive is the Win2000 USB stick?

It *appears* that the Win95 is the "E"-drive from the image and what you said.

 

? Or is that a secondary 10GB HDD marked as "D"? If so, it's in the wrong cable connection position. Howw is the BIOS set to boot HDD0 or HDD1? ("inaccessible" first partition on Disk-1 is definitely wrong.)

 

Better call jaclaz!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my first screenshot, D is my primary hard drive (with the Windows 95 installation), E is the secondary hard drive (with the Windows 2000 installation), and F is obviously the CD-ROM.  The USB stick wasn't plugged in at the time, but if it were it would have been picked up as "C."

 

Here's an update:

 

I booted to 95, stuck the 2000 CD in the drive, and kicked off the installation process again...but when prompted to do so, I selected the "Repair a Windows 2000 Installation" option.  After it was finished, I was left with a black screen of gibberish.  Then I booted again, and Windows 2000 came back to life...this time with drives C, D, and E in their rightful place!  There were a few kinks to work out since some associations and shortcuts were pointing to the wrong drive letter, but otherwise everything seems to be normal now. :thumbup

 

Well, almost normal.  The phantom 36.92GB partition is still there, and I don't know why it exists.

 

Another wrinkle:  A phantom, inaccessible "F:" drive appears when I boot into Windows 95.  This isn't a new problem (I first noticed it a few weeks before I installed Windows 2000), but it seems to be a symptom of the same cause.

post-146323-0-58600500-1422244146_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet another update...

 

After reading this thread elsewhere on the forum, I downloaded a copy of EaseUS Partition Master 9.x.  It revealed that the phantom 36.92GB partition was formatted in the EXT3 file system (!!)

 

This means that it's an artifact from my last attempt to install Linux on this system, six years ago!

 

Can I simply delete the partition with Win2000's administrative tools and reclaim the disk space without repercussions?  I'm nervous because it overlaps with the FAT32 boot partition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading this thread elsewhere on the forum, I downloaded a copy of EaseUS Partition Master 9.x.  It revealed that the phantom 36.92GB partition was formatted in the EXT3 file system (!!)

Well, with all due respect for edborg :), in that thread he asked himself the "wrong" question and managed to get a "wrong" answer.

What happened there was that he had an extended partition (LBA, type 0F) and that booting to grub4dos a ("wrong") menu.lst entry made that partition entry "hidden", changing it's type to 1F.

All he had to do (in that case) would have been to change back the partition type to 0F.

 

Right now I have no idea in which situation is your disk, why don't you run partinfo and provide a screenshot?

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/173016-triple-booting-windows-nt-4-98-and-2000/

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/173016-triple-booting-windows-nt-4-98-and-2000/?p=1091850

(thread that might have BTW given some relevant info useful BEFORE you got into this ;))

Or run *any* tool showing the actual partition table layout?

 

jaclaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just realized something - you have Win95 that has a size limit of 32gb. Did you install that second HDD and then started having the "phantom"?

Browse this -

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/129027-big-hdd-48-bit-lba-thread-index/

And this - Link inside above link)

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/78592-enable48bitlba-break-the-137gb-barrier/

 

And look at this (re: Win95 disk size limits).

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/printpage/Hard-Disk-Drives-Capacity-Limits/482

Win95B - 32gb

Win98+ - 128gb

Note this has nothing to do with (re - Win95B) 48-bit LBA (*fix*) but the inherent limitations of the OS.

Jaclaz is free to refute the above link if deemed necessary. :yes:

 

HTH

 

edit - seems that the IO.SYS file *may* need patched.

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/118119-patched-iosys-for-9xme/

Edited by submix8c

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh!  It looks like I've unwittingly found myself waist-deep in problems I didn't expect.

After my Linux experiment six years ago, I formatted the drive under Win95 and used it as such.  Color me ignorant:  I wasn't aware at the time that the drive was supposed to hold 40GB, not its capacity as formatted of 32GB!

And it gets worse.  Windows 2000 now boots to a black screen punctuated by "droppings" of UI elements (except in Safe Mode), so something must have gotten corrupted somewhere.

I ran the PartitionInfo tool.  Surprisingly I wasn't able to get the 95 version to work (the "Physical Drive" list was blank), but the 2000 version gave me better luck.  Sure enough:  It detected disk errors, disk geometry errors, and partition errors on my secondary drive.  A screenshot is attached.

I suppose I'll need to reinstall Win2000 again and let it wipe everything off the secondary HD, repartitioning it into two smaller FAT32 chunks that both OSes can digest.  I'm worried that I'll lose my bootable 95 partition (which has hiterto been unharmed), since Win2000 makes the boot process goes through the secondary drive first.  Any pointers or advice, before I make the next move?

The one good thing to say is that I have a data backup!


Oh, and here's a regurgitation of what PartitionInfo says:

(Error for "FAT32X:")
Error #113: Primary partition starting at 15482880 overlaps previous partition.

(Error for "Extended:")
Error #113: Primary partition starting at 77417235 overlaps previous partition.
Info: MBR Partition Table not in sequential order.

(Disk Geometry Errors:)

Info: End C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
  Actual values are:
        0  0  80      0    1    1  83   5120   44   63        63  77417172
Info: Partition didn't end on cylinder boundary.
  ucEndHead expected to be 239, not 44.

Info: Begin C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
Info: End C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
  Actual values are:
        0  1  00   5120   45    1  05   5169   14   63  77417235    738990
Info: Partition didn't begin on head boundary.
  ucBeginHead expected to be 0 or 1, not 45.
Error #109: Partition ends after end of disk.
  ucEndCylinder (5169) must be less than 5169.
Info: Partition didn't end on cylinder boundary.
  ucEndHead expected to be 239, not 14.

Info: Begin C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
Info: End C,H,S values were large drive placeholders.
  Actual values are:
        0  2  00   1024    0    1  0C   5168  239   63  15482880  62672400

post-146323-0-30853300-1422320711_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Partinfo tends to be often more alarming than needed, but in this case it has it's good reasons.

 

It seems like the only "valid" volume on that disk is the FAT 32 Primary partition in Entry/ #2 anyway, and even that one needs  to be corrected (actually should as in "better if it is") in the CHS part.

 

In other words the first two partition entries, #0 and #1 can be deleted, and it should remain only one entry in the MBR, in #2, as follows:

0C 963/195/1  1023/254/63 15,482,880 62,672,400

 

BTW, the fact that now the END CHS is 48/239/63 should mean that the partition was (badly) created on a machine with one of the "strange" BIOSes typically HP and Lenovo) that use 240 heads geometry :unsure: the virtual END CHS for 15,482,880 + 62,672,400 is 4864/239/63 and while the writing of 48 in the field (where you cannot actually write 4864 because it maxes out at 1023) may well have been a glitch in the matrix, the size of the partition (that ends up on head 239) when analyzed on the "normal" 255 heads geometry is really "queer".

If I try the same values with a 240 cylinder geometry, the CHS becomes 1024/0/1 5168/239/63. 

It seems like this partition is a dd copy of a volume created on a 240 heads BIOS machine and then *somehow* deployed to this disk.

 

All in all the idea of restarting from scratch is not that bad, though it is possible to fix the situation, you would need a good partitioning/repartitioning tool to move the FAT32 where it should be and to enlarge it to respect Cylinder/Head boundaries (optional but advised).

There is no reason why repartitioning the second disk this will affect the Win9x booting, but in case you can still use bootpart or grub4dos (or both) to fix the booting *any time*.

 

jaclaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(sigh...)

I see jaclaz (from the "partitioninfo" info) has isolated the problem to "moving" a pre-formatted drive from YUK-pc-A to YAY-pc-B.

 

Helpful hint - *always* when reusing an old HDD, get rid of any partition info in the MBR by whatever means. Compaq hates us all!

:puke:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I...

 

* Booted from the Windows 2000 CD
* Nuked all the visible partitions on the secondary drive, and formatted a new 10GB partition to install the OS upon.
* Finished installation, formatted a 27GB partition to use up the rest of the unformatted space, and deleted the "free space" pseudo-partition that was still coming up in Disk Management.

* Customized Windows 2000 back to where I had it before.

* Copied my data backups back to the reformatted drive. (Still chugging along...)

 

Now my partitions are error-free, and I can use the full capacity on 95 and 2000!

PartitionInfo does still display a tiny "unallocated" volume.  Still keeping my fingers crossed that more problems won't surface, but so far so good.

post-146323-0-61374500-1422419763_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just realized something - you have Win95 that has a size limit of 32gb.

...

And look at this (re: Win95 disk size limits).

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/printpage/Hard-Disk-Drives-Capacity-Limits/482

Win95B - 32gb

...

Note this has nothing to do with (re - Win95B) 48-bit LBA (*fix*) but the inherent limitations of the OS.

...

This is simply not true. Microsoft FUD compounded and repeated by other sites whose authors apparently never bothered to learn any better. I've been using 95B/C on 40GB and larger disks for many years now without any issues.

Of course the 128GB/48Bit LBA limit applies, but there is no such thing as a 32GB limit.

Edited by LoneCrusader

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Andrew T

The "tiny unallocated volume"  is "normal" along the partitioning scheme adopted by all MS OS's (up to Vista).

There is the *need* (it is not an actual *need*, at least not since DOS 6.22 or possibly even 5.00, but like many legends has been "kept in use" for several years and for several OS releases) of aligning the end of a volume/partition to a whole Cylinder.

This means that the last CHS address on a disk is n cylinders, and since a cylinder has (normally) 255 heads and each head 63 sectors, the net result is that you cannot have a partition smaller than 255*63=16065 sectors which multiplied by 512 equals 8,225,280 bytes,

Since real disk geoimetries are not (since many, many years) connected with the n/255/63 geometry used in the CHS scheme, their size is almost never a multiple of 8,225,280, so a small "unused rest" always remains at the end of the disk (unless of course you create your partitions manually or with tools that allow to specify addresses in a more accurate way.

If you check when you use disk manager or similar you will see how the size of the partitions go in steps of 8 Mb (and the above is the reason why this happens).

 

jaclaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and my mistake is that (AFAICR) that (32gb) was some sort of (older) BIOS limitation? :unsure:

 

(apologies for confusion)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...