I'm clueless when it comes to reformatting a hard drive, but If you have a comp with windows 98, how would you go about reformatting it with Windows XP? I know you need a boot disk, but I'm guessing that you can't use a 98 boot disk for a XP installation.
Actually, you <i>can</i> use a Win98 boot disk to prepare a hard drive before installing WinXP. This method is often used when the end-user prefers to have FAT32 partitions that are 32GB or larger in size, as WinXP has a built-in limitation in this area. FDISK is used to create the partitions, and the standard FORMAT command to create the file system. Then the operating system is installed to the partition, by choosing the existing partition during setup.
However, it's easier to simply use the WinXP CD to delete the current partition on the disk, make a new one, choose the file system, and install ... especially if NTFS is used.
Personally, I still prefer FAT32, for various reasons of my own, and used a Win98 boot disk for the partition creation.
You are correct in what you say. I however, would not recommend that procedure. I have found that sometimes, XP doesn't like partions and formating from other sources-win 98 disk, harddrive manufacturer programs...I would recommend booting from the cd and creating the partions and formatting them from in XP. This allows XP to always be happy and you can do some cool things like creating two partions (1 gig and 10gig, format both (in NTFS, unless you have a good reason not to) and choose the second partion to load files into. When you finish loading the operting system and look in(start,setting,controlpannel,administrative tools,computer management,disk management you will see that the system and boot files have been put into seperate partions. You can then create a third partion and put your pagging file in it and a forth partions for all programs. If you have 2 drives, you can convet them to dynamic disks (disk management, right click and choose conver to dynamic disk and as always, reboot. you can then create stripped volumes for your pagging file and programs. Remember to choose allocation size as 64K unless you use the computer for video editing. This gives you a software raid 0 configuration for your pagging file and programs.
However ... in rebuttal, I have installed WinXP a few hundred times (at the very least) after creating multiple partitions with a standard Win98 boot disk on many PATA HDDs, with no difficulties whatsoever.
I do not use disk utilities from drive manufacturers to prepare disks, as this alters the way the partition tables are normally written, and this can cause difficulties with other programs after the OS is installed,; especially imaging programs, such as Drive Image and Norton Ghost, and partitioning programs, with Partition Magic being the first example that comes to mind. Third-party defragmenting tools, such as Perfect Disk, may also run into problems when these utilities are used to create and format partitions.
This allows XP to always be happy and you can do some cool things like creating two partions (1 gig and 10gig, format both (in NTFS, unless you have a good reason not to) and choose the second partion to load files into. When you finish loading the operting system and look in(start,setting,controlpannel,administrative tools,computer management,disk management you will see that the system and boot files have been put into seperate partions.
Again, to each his own ... but I fail to see the advantages of having system and boot files in separate partitions. Myself, I prefer having all the OS files (excepting the paging file) in a single partition of around 5GB, regardless of the files system being used, and install nearly all third-party programs in other partitions. Exceptions to that would be firewalls, anti-virus programs, e-mail programs, etc.
A single 1GB NTFS partition, simply for boot files, seems to me to be rather excessive, and a waste of space.
I see little point to having a separate partition exclusively for the paging file. I <i>do</i> see good reasons for moving the bulk of the file off onto a little-accessed partition, if for no other reason than it is unnecessary to image such a large file when backing up the operating system partition. But not for performance's sake. I routinely install at least 512MB of RAM in any system that uses WinXP, and as a result, the paging file access on those systems is completely negated. On my own systems, I have <i>never</i> had the paging files accessed, not in the last two years, despite playing many games and using several memory-intensive graphics arts programs, such as Photoshop.
This to me shows that having a separate partition devoted to the paging file is simply adding an unnecessary, basically inaccessible drive letter to the system, whether you choose to hide it ... or not.
The only reason for having a paging file at this date, with this OS (with enough physical RAM installed) is to satisfy older programs and the Windows Memory Manager that there is an actual area for any possible virtual memory pages pre-configured and accessible, even though the paging file is, for all intents and purposes, inactive.
I do not like software RAID solutions managed by Windows, and I also do not care much for dynamic disks. I have seen many instances of program incompatibility with dynamic volumes, and if I was going to implement a RAID variation, I'd install a hardware card, both for speed, stability, and additional features.
I have good reasons to avoid NTFS with the systems I build. Most users fail to understand, and/or are not willing to learn about the additional features incorporated by the file system, and as a result ... I have had many phone calls in the past from irate users who could not access compressed or encrypted files ... for one example. I have also found that although many claim that the file system is more robust, when data corruption <i>does</i> occur, or something happens to the MBR, actual repairs are much more difficult to achieve than we have all been led to believe. In other words, there's the real world scenarios we techs are supposed to correct with greater ease due the file system implementation, and then there's typical MS glorified hype.
With FAT32 in place, I still have a backdoor into the file system. With NTFS, users have to bring the system to me for file access and retrieval, unless they intend on spending quite a bit of money for a boot disk that allows both read and write access. And/or, of course ... I can spend a couple of hours explaining how to install and use the Recovery Console.
Despite my answer, I appreciate you taking the time to offer additional information and instruction to the thread, but ... in this particular situation, the offering wasn't exactly needed. You have my thanks, anyway. Helping each other is the way to go, and your contribution was interesting, although I can't say that I agree with your preferred set up. And so it goes.