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[solved] XP installer doesn't read full hard drive

Last response: in Windows XP
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April 7, 2010 12:57:34 AM

Hello! I have spent a long time struggling with Windows over different errors, which all lead back to page file problems, which ultimately all led back to my RAM. I found this out after XP's system file went irreparably corrupt, when my hackintosh (installed on a different hard drive) started experiencing the same problems.

Bad RAM has been removed, and I'm trying to reinstall XP. I formatted the drive using OSX's Disk Utility program, wrote zeros to the entire surface, and partitioned it in FAT32 (Disk Utility can not format to NTSC).

When I use my CD to reinstall Windows, it does not read the full drive. It instead offers to install XP on a 130gb drive where my 640gb drive is. If I follow it through, it installs just fine, but it formats my 640gb drive to only have one usable NTSC partition of 130gb.

The last time I attempted this, I removed every drive and storage device from my computer except for the 640gb drive and the same thing still happened.

Relevant Hardware:
WDC WD6400AAKS-22A7B0 (Hard Drive)
ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe (Mobo)
April 7, 2010 2:42:35 AM

On Windows 95/98, due to the version of Microsoft's SCANDISK utility included with these operating systems being a 16-bit application, the FAT structure is not allowed to grow beyond 4,177,920 (< 222) clusters, placing the volume limit at 127.5 GiB (≈137 GB).

I suspect this limitation is coming into play with the OSX Disk Utility program. If you partitioned the drive with XP as FAT32, you'd likely only get 32GB partition. I think you need to install XP and allow it to partition the disk and format it using NTFS to utilize the full capacity.

Cheers.
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April 7, 2010 4:10:18 AM

That is a very useful response! Thank you!

I'm getting to work on it straight away. Advice heard and action taken!
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April 7, 2010 4:21:43 AM

Glad to help. Hope that it proves to be the solution. Let us know. Page faults can be caused by RAM or hard disk problems.
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April 7, 2010 5:04:05 AM

I'm leaning towards RAM. I've been getting page faults on my PC for a looong time, and I was convinced it was the hard drive... but when I started getting them on my hackintosh (which shares all hardware except it is on a separate hard drive), I realized it must be the RAM. Took out half of my ram (I have four 1GB sticks) and continued getting OSX kernal panics. Then I took out a third stick and it's been steady as a rock since. I set aside the third stick and I'm adding the others in one by one - did heavy photoshop work for the past two days on 2 GB and I've had zero problems. Before I could barely open firefox without getting a mac kernal panic.

Too bad the PC was already completely borked when I figured this out. Won't boot, system files corrupt. Even tried to manually fix it from my original disks and the XP repair console, and was unable to do so. Yikes.

But I will definitely be coming back if it turns out I'm wrong. The first thing I'm doing when I get XP installed right is running memtest86+ again.
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April 7, 2010 5:11:00 AM

Sounds like a plan! We'll wait to hear back.
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!