Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Win98SE Max Hard Drive Size

Last response: in Windows 95/98/ME
Share
October 20, 2002 4:24:10 AM

I have read two different articles that state Win98SE should not be installed on,

Article(1) a 40 Gig hard drive or larger.
Article(2) a 64 Gig hard drive or larger.
[only one partion C:/, ie. using all space.]

Which is correct, or what is the max size that can be used without any problems.

Thanks
October 20, 2002 8:44:05 AM

To the best of my knowledge, neither article is correct, unless brand new information has been released by Microsoft on the subject.

There <i>is</i> a Windows issue with hard drives larger than 32GB, but this is with Windows 95, not Windows 98SE:

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q246818&" target="_new">Windows 95 Does Not Support Hard Disks Larger Than 32 GB</A>

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;q243450" target="_new">ScanDisk Errors on IDE Hard Disks Larger Than 32 GB</A>

The second error only occurs with Win98/98SE when using an older Phoenix BIOS, but does not happen if the BIOS uses logical block addressing.

There is also a problem with older versions of FDISK not recognizing hard drives over 64GB in size, but this is corrected by downloading the latest version:

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q263044&" target="_new">Fdisk Does Not Recognize Full Size of Hard Disks Larger than 64 GB</A>

And, of course, Win2K and WinXP CD's cannot create FAT32 partitions over 32GB in size during setup, but this has nothing to do with Win98SE.

I have successfully installed Win98SE on single partition 80GB hard drives without any difficulty or stability issues, although this was at the user's request, and it was certainly not my personal preference. What the upper limit might actually be, I can't say, since FAT32 supports an unlimited root directory. However, I doubt that Win98SE will end up being able to support the full 2 terabytes that is the theoretical maximum limit of a FAT32 partition. After all, no one knew that Win95 would have a problem with 32GB disks and media until hard drives began to reach a certain size.

Currently, I can think of no good reason to install Win98SE on a single partition that is 32GB or greater, but this is due to the inefficiency of the file system; not because Windows can't run on a larger partition. The operating system simply doesn't require this much running room, and it's a waste of disk space. IMHO, a good, average size for a Primary DOS partion that will contain Win98SE is 4GB. Any other disk space should be reserved for additional third-party programs and personal files on another partition, or partitions. Windows supports up to 4 partitions per disk, and this is easily accomplished with FDISK or a third-party partitioning utility.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
October 21, 2002 3:23:27 AM

Is the FDISK utility in the Win98 SE OEM bootdisk, at bootdisk.com, the new updated version for hard drives larger than 64Gig.

DCB_AU
Related resources
October 21, 2002 5:05:29 AM

I haven't checked, but I'd suspect that this was taken into account when the self-extracting files for the boot disks were posted.

But just to be on the safe side, after you make one of these boot disks, download the newest version of FDISK, and then copy it over to the floppy. Overwrite the other version that's already on the disk, and then you won't have to worry about it.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
October 21, 2002 5:17:36 AM

I'm running 98se and 30 and 40 Gig drives no problem, my bud running 2x80Gig and he got no problems.

But on old motherboards you might have limitations because one of my real old motherboard refuse to take anything over 30 gig using 95, 98se, or even 2000

would make me say that size got more to do with the bios instead the OS

<font color=red>Got a silent setup, now I can hear myself thinking.... great silence</font color=red>
October 22, 2002 2:11:01 AM

Thanks Toejam31

DCB_AU
November 3, 2002 4:59:07 AM

I was running Win95 on an 80GB drive, partitioned and formatted using a Win98 bootdisk. No, there is no limit that I know of. There MIGHT be a 120GB limit but even if there was, you probably don't plan one using a larger drive than that.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
!