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repartitioning HD without data loss?

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February 2, 2008 5:17:39 AM

(I'm not sure if I should have posted this in Windows 2000 forum or here, but it's here.)

Hi guys. My parents' computer has a 200GB HD that's only formatted to 127GB because of the 28-bit LBA limit. We're running Windows 2000 SP4, but haven't yet done the registry fix to enable 48-bit LBA. (The unused space is currently not partitioned.)
I also have a Promise Ultra100TX2 controller installed in the PC (but can't remember off hand if the drive's hooked up to it or the MSI K6T266 Pro2 mobo.) EDIT: the 200GB drive is connected directly to the mobo. I also have a 250GB HD (split into 2 equal partitions) connected to the Ultra100TX2, but there's still a port available. Also I have an 80GB that's currently out of the computer.
Also, I bought a 750GB WD 7200rpm SATA 16m HD for $129, a 4-port USB 2.0 card for $7, and a USB to SATA/IDE cable for $12.

When I go to install my HD (it's going to be mounted externally), I'll also want to repartition the 200GB. Is there a way, besides Partition Magic, to resize the partition to take the entire available HD space on the 200? Would this, this, this, or this program work, and if so, which one should I use?

If I can't do the repartitioning of the 200 as easily as I could with Partition Magic without buying it (btw I noticed on their website: "create and modify partitions up to 300GB"), I'd be willing to either...
A) boot off something other than the 200GB HD, move everything from the 200 onto the 750, repartion the 200, resulting in the data loss (why do you think I moved everything to the 250?), move the stuff back onto the 200 from the 750 (This option would be preferred, even though it requires more work)
OR
B) add another partition (73GB or whatever it would be) to the 200 using the Windows Disk Management utility.


Also, is there a way to install Windows 2000 or XP on an external HD, so that I can boot off of it when I plug it into a different computer?
February 2, 2008 5:38:35 AM

No. You can't find a software tool to fix a hardware limitation in Win 2k's HAL. and there's no registry hack that I am aware of or would trust.

But, follow this advice, re-install your OS and you should be fine.

http://www.techsupportforum.com/833849-post41.html
Related resources
February 2, 2008 7:49:10 AM

pianoplayer88key said:
What do you mean by Win 2k's "HAL"?

Re-installing the OS would be much too difficult.

And, what's the hardware limitation that you're referring to?

This is the registry thing I was referring to.


HAL is the 'Hardware abstraction layer' that was inplemented in almost all of MS's OS's since NT 3.0. This refers to the fact that any instruction to any hardware device needs to go through the OS, and then be re-interpreted to the appropriate instruction for that specific hardware device. Simplistic explanation for a complex issue, but it should suffice for you.

In your situation, you have an issue with 28 bit LBA disk schema, which limits you to ~128 GB drive space per partition. To eliminate this issue, you need to install SP3 (from memory) for W2k. Then in order to implement the 48 bit LBA on your existing drives, you do need to re-install the OS then the SP, then re-format. For the future, it would also be better if you 'slipstreamed' the SP into your OS so the problem doesn't arise again if another re-install is necessary.

One hates to be the harbinger of bad news, but there it is. The link I sent should give you enough information to easily accomplish all of the above.

As to the link you posted, I'm not really in the market for a Grand right now.
February 2, 2008 8:56:31 AM

croc said:
HAL is the 'Hardware abstraction layer' that was inplemented in almost all of MS's OS's since NT 3.0. This refers to the fact that any instruction to any hardware device needs to go through the OS, and then be re-interpreted to the appropriate instruction for that specific hardware device. Simplistic explanation for a complex issue, but it should suffice for you.

In your situation, you have an issue with 28 bit LBA disk schema, which limits you to ~128 GB drive space per partition. To eliminate this issue, you need to install SP3 (from memory) for W2k. Then in order to implement the 48 bit LBA on your existing drives, you do need to re-install the OS then the SP, then re-format. For the future, it would also be better if you 'slipstreamed' the SP into your OS so the problem doesn't arise again if another re-install is necessary.

One hates to be the harbinger of bad news, but there it is. The link I sent should give you enough information to easily accomplish all of the above.

As to the link you posted, I'm not really in the market for a Grand right now.


Actually... I was also at the same time posting a message in a piano forum. Seems that my copy and paste got mixed up.... Here, below, is the URL I was trying to link (and I've edited the other post also):

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305098

Also, I already have SP4 installed (and it has been for several months - I think before we got my dad's 200GB drive (and possibly even before I bought my 250G before the 200). Could I still repartition some way without reinstalling?
Or, since I don't want to spend $%u221E on PartitionMagic, is there a way I could copy everything from the 127GB partition on the 200 onto the 750GB (while booting off another HD), repartition/format the 200, then move everything back, and run as normal?

One reason I really don't want to reinstall, is cause we have almost %u221E programs installed that would take %u221E time to reinstall (and in many cases, find the original install disks / download websites (some of which may no longer be available), and I really only have -%u221E:%u221E%u221E to do it.

And, what order should I do that in? Would something like the following be acceptable?:
do the enable big lba registry change
install the 750 gb hd, format into 1 partition
boot off my 250GB or 80GB HD, both of which have Windows 2000 installed (or, if necessary, reinstall and/or update to SP4)
copy everything from the 127GB partition on the 200 onto the free space on the 750
repartition & reformat the 200
copy everything back onto the 200 from the 750
reboot off the 200, and use as normal
February 2, 2008 4:49:04 PM

Is there a way to run that under Windows, or could I install it onto a 128MB CF card I use in my digital camera (connected via card reader via USB port) and boot off it? (Or, should I install it on a much faster 4GB or 8GB card I have?)
February 2, 2008 6:18:02 PM

You can't run GParted under Windows. I haven't heard of bootable CF cards yet. You can boot from an USB-stick. Anyway, you need to burn the GParted Live CD to copy the files to the USB-stick. I know it's a waste of CD space. Here's another tutorial on using GParted: http://www.howtoforge.com/partitioning_with_gparted .
And please, BACK-UP your hard disk before using GParted.
February 2, 2008 7:48:25 PM

How about I just...

format & partition the 750 using our existing Windows 2000 SP4 after I enable the registry key
boot off some separate media (like maybe a 250GB or 80GB HD I have that has Windows 2000 also on it (although I may need to update it to SP4)
copy everything from the 200 onto the 750
reformat & repartition the 200
copy everything back to the 200 from the 750
reboot from the 200, and use the computer as normal

would that work?
(I've been able to access/manipulate Windows files while booted off a separate physical drive that it wouldn't let me access while booted from the same drive, so I expect I should be able to copy everything from one drive to the other if I boot from a 3rd drive.)
February 3, 2008 8:48:06 AM

Ok so far what I've done is install Windows 2000 and SP4 on my older 250GB HD (which was already split into 2 125GB partitions).

The 750GB is currently being formatted. After it's done, the plan is to:

boot back onto the normal Windows 2000 (on the 200GB HD), enable big lba on there.
reboot back onto the temporary install on the 250GB
copy everything from the 200GB drive onto the 750GB drive in a specially marked folder
reformat the 200GB as one partition (note: something I need to be careful with - the boot loader (boot.ini specifically) that enables booting into the temporary install is located on the 200GB drive.)
copy everything back onto the 200GB from the folder on the 750.
reboot as normal into the normal 2000 install.
once everything is confirmed as working properly, delete the folder on the 750GB and the windows install on the 250GB.

Note: in the temporary install, I can detect the extra 58 or so GB of space on the 200GB HD, even though it's plugged directly into the K7T266 Pro2 motherboard. (the 250GB HD is plugged into a Promise Ultra100 TX2 PCI controller, and the 750GB is plugged in via a USB to SATA/IDE adapter into a USB 2.0 card.)

Is there anything I need to watch out for? I will NOT be formatting the 200GB disk until we are sure we are backed up and we're going at this properly!


Also, should I have just edited my previous post, or was it ok to reply to it, seeing as it had been at least 18 hours since the last reply?
!