I have an ASUS AC3TG-I mini-ATX computer for family games. The original HD was a WD-160 Gb that became to small after a year of service, it had W2K, Xp & Vista installed as multiboot. I replaced it with a new WD Caviar 320 Gb SATA-3 and the system bios recognises it. So I then partition it for drives C & D of 40 Gb FAT32 and drives E & F for 120 Gb NTSF using Partition Magic-7. No problems noted.
First I try to install Windows-2000 pro on drive-C, failure, installer claims all 4 partitions are either corrupted, full or unformatted. attempt format first to drive C then D, W2K installer states it is unable to format for either.
Then boot into DOS7 and check with FDISK - looks Ok, so re-format C & D Ok.
Next, try to install Xp pro first to drive-D, same failure, try again to drive-C and it REFORMATS then installs Ok, Xp boots & runs but still claims all other partitions are corrupted or need format, though it will access, save & delete files from them.
Try again to install W2K to Drive-D but have same format failures.
In frustration I buy & download Partition Commander-11 for $50. Use to remove & re-build all partitions as before, except E & F are reduced in size to 99 Gb each - installer gives same results with W2K.
Lots of uncertainty here and need help!
I think part of my problem is that W2K & Xp cannot access a partition larger than about 107 Gb, yet all partition on the new HD are less than this value and Xp seems less affected than W2K.
Have considered only installing Vista then using MS Virtual-PC to host the other OS's I want, but past attempts with this show that family & children get confused when closing a subordinate OS vs Virtual-PC shutdown, causing constant reboot problems - undersirable solution!
In older attempts to format HD's under W2K I have found that the OS only offers to format up about 107xxx Mb, though that is the only basis for my statement. Ref the original 160 Gb HD, like the cartoon kids that stated "we is our own worst enemy" I have to say that that HD was reused immediately after removal to replace a 60 GB HD in my wife's computer. Like you, I thought of this option, but after the fact!
Thanks Tom for the suggestion.
Next ....., I know there are people out there who are much smarter than I am, so come on people >>> HELP please.
Why did you use third party formatting tools... I would start by using the partition software that windows has.
I am not aware that MS offers any partitioning tools other than a miserable and spastic attempt incorporated in an OS setup! I know that all versions of windows do offer a format utility but since I need/want 4 partitions, I needed to get a program to do that - unfortunately for me I selected a lemon!
I do not doubt the capability of MS in program creation. What I had hoped to convey was that if MS offered any partitioning tools that the location or access is well hidden from their customers - even with you, you suggest that such tools are available but provide no further info. Why?
(I have used about all the MS operating systems sold to home users in the USA since DOS version 1 on the IBM - still I do not recall EVER seeing a partition program from them).
You are correct though that is not a stand-alone program. That was my very first effort in trying to configure the HD but you already know that program generates only one partition with each install and is seriously NTFS biased , often giving no other option >>> and does NOT handle any errors, just refuses to proceed <<< which is what occurred with me. So efforts to use other programs required!
Sorry if I have been offensive in any way - certainly not intended. Thanks for the article link - parts were new information. About the hand holding, yeah I need some I guess. Usually this IS basic, I have been heavy involved in building hardware for years and probably have partitioned 50 HDD with & without MS help, but this is a first for me, the HDD thing I have now seems useless for anything but a single large NTFS partition, which is probably going to occur today!
Anyway, am closing this post - been advised I might have started this in the wrong forum - need to move somewhere else.
My thanks to all!