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NT installation help!!!

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Software » Windows NT, 2000 and XP » NT installation help!!! « Previous Next »

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Posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2000 - 6:44 pm:   

Can anybody help me with my NT installation? I am desperately in need of help!!!
I re-installed NT 4.0 on my computer(20GB hard disk) since I need more space on the system drive(c:). I deleted the system partition(2GB), then recreate a new partition(4GB)and reinstall the NT into this partition in NTFS format. After file copying, the reboot process was stuck with finding operating system. I tried once again to reinstall the NT, the same problem still came up ,and even worse, the rest 16GB space was dispeared after the first try.
What can I do to successfully install the NT system?
Danny Albers
Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2000 - 5:58 am:   

Sounds like you used a FAT32 FDISK program to partition your c: drive. You need to rerun FDISK and when it asks you if you wish to enable large disk support, say NO. You will be limited to a 2GB partition. Dont partition the rest of the drive until NT is installed.

Or, if you have used the Windows NT installation to do your partitioning, you may need to use the updated IDE drivers for NT that were part of service pack 3 or 4, I forget. But, I went to the microsoft knowledge base and did a search for "large disk support" in the NT section., then at the top choose support then knowledge base.

You will find an article and a download with complete instructions.

Good luck.
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2000 - 12:53 pm:   

One of the problems with NT is the partitioning. The only way we have been able to install NT on a larger drive (over 2GB) using the entire drive as NTFS (This saves having drive C:, and D:, and then your CDRom drive) is to have a spare hard drive with a blank NTFS partition.

We clone the partition over using Norton Ghost - a trial version can be found at - which also allows the resizing of FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS partitions. Then using the new drive, an installation of NT can proceed. This will allow you to have Windows on one large NTFS partitioned drive.
Danny Albers
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2000 - 5:48 pm:   

Just to tack on:

Microsoft severly warns about using boot partitions larger than 7.8 GB for Windows NT 4. This is a big NO NO with NT.

It's not only in all the NT literature, but all over the Microsoft Knowledge base. Keep your C: drive smaller than 7.8 GB. Even if using NTFS.

Check out this article, it may help:

Here is a quote from that article:


Whereas the Master Boot Record is generally operating system independent, the Boot Sector of the active partition is dependent on both the operating system and the file system. In the case of Windows NT and Windows NT Advanced Server, the Boot Sector is responsible for locating the executable file, NTLDR, which continues the boot process. The only disk services available to the Boot Sector code at this stage of system boot up are provided by the BIOS INT 13 interface. The Boot Sector code must be able to find NTLDR and file system data structures such as the root directory, the File Allocation Table (FAT) in the case of an MS-DOS FAT volume or the Master File Table in the case of an NTFS volume. These must be present within the area of the disk addressable by the 24-bit side, cylinder, sector structure used by the BIOS INT 13 interface and the partition table. This limits the size of the system partition to 7.8 gigabytes regardless of which file system is used.

**** end clip ****

Going over this limitation will probrably cause you nothing but trouble.

Good luck.
Danny Albers
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2000 - 5:52 pm:   

One more knowledge base article you should look at, with complete instructions.

Article ID: Q197667

***** Clip *****

During the installation of Windows NT to an 8 gigabyte (GB) or larger IDE hard drive, the computer may stop responding (hang) during the format portion of setup. If the drive was previously formatted as FAT and designated to be converted to NTFS, the computer may hang during the conversion process. Other symptoms include the drive taking an extremely long time to format or Windows NT not recognizing the entire size of the drive.

The Microsoft supplied generic IDE driver (Atapi.sys) may not be fully compatible with drives larger that 8 GB. This issue only affects IDE-based drives 8 GB and larger.

Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 (SP4) has a new Atapi.sys file that allows the drive to be formatted during setup of Windows NT. SP4's Atapi.sys can also access space beyond 8 GB on these IDE drives.

The system parition (boot partition) is still limited to 7.8 GB whether an updated version of the Atapi.sys file is installed or not. For more information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

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