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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:06 PM   #1
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Hard Drive Format Question

I hope this isn't too far off topic. I had a new editing system built and decided to use a brand new 250 gig SATA drive for my system drive. Every time I freshly installed WINDOWS XP, the software automatically partitioned the drive directly down the middle, thus making my computer now see it as two 125 gig drives. The first time I did this I thought I may have accidentally hit the wrong key stroke. I tried it two more times with different, brand new hard drives and always the same result. I never had this problem installing the same Windows disk with my 40 gig SATA. Does Windows not like being on such a large hard drive so it automatically partitions?

Any ideas?
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:33 AM   #2
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Earlier there was a 137GB harddrive size limit with windows. (or with pc hardware?)
But with newer systems (windows XP/Vista) this should not be a problem anymore. Might still be hardware limitations on older systems.

With one of my previous computers, the BIOS had to be updated before the computer would accept harddrives bigger than the 137GB limit.
Before I did this, XP only saw a 137GB harddrive instead of the correct 250GB.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 04:49 AM   #3
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Thank You!

Trond:

I am using an old version of XP (not even with service pack 2!) and the computer is brand new with a new ASUS motherboard. Could it be my old version of XP and not the bios?
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Old June 26th, 2008, 07:44 AM   #4
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Your new motherboard should definitely accept the biggest harddrives available today.
So yes, based on that, it could be a problem with your XP. Have you tried to install SP2? Might be worth trying.

I am wondering a bit about your XP automatically partitioned the harddrive. Is this a setting you have made yourself? It didn't happen to me. (I have only used XP with SP2)
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Old June 26th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #5
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You should format your drives with NTFS instead of FAT32 - should solve your problems.

// Lazze
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Old June 27th, 2008, 12:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars Siden View Post
You should format your drives with NTFS instead of FAT32 - should solve your problems.

// Lazze
For info: My harddrive was already formatted with NTFS, and still I had that problem before I upgraded the BIOS.
Because Hugh's problems occur after each reinstalling of XP, I believe this most likely must be a XP problem.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 01:17 AM   #7
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Hi Hugh...

You may want to trawl through this lot.


It gives you chapter and verse on how to do it.


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313348/

CS
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Old June 27th, 2008, 01:19 AM   #8
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If you are booting directly from the XP CD, there should be a step right at the beginning of the installation where you can create partitions then format them. An old school blue DOS screen. You have to hit F8 to accept the licensing agreement etc.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #9
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I researched a bit more about this today:

Windows XP (without any service pack!) only accept 137GB.
XP with SP1, 2 or 3 does not have this limitation.

If you have access to another computer with XP SP1, 2 or 3, use this computer to format your 250GB harddrive. And then, install the formatted harddrive in your new computer and install XP.
(Do not choose "format" during the install process). Now your old XP should recognize the full 250GB.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #10
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Michael: I follow the prompts to the letter and start with a completely deleted partition (you know the drill... hit D then hit L then hit this and that etc. And the auto partition becomes apparent when the entire process is complete.

Trond: My copy of Windows XP is so old that it doesn't even have SP 1, if that! But I cannot understand why the bios won't override the software. Also, I installed a completely formatted hard drive and I believe there's no way to install XP without formatting the hard drive The mandatory two choices are quick format and regular format, both NTFS.

Chris: Thank you for your research and thank you all for taking the time to address my inquiry.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #11
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Sounds like you've got a copy of XP gold (for those uninitiated, software goes "gold" when development is finished--at least as finished as it can ever be--and it's ready to be shipped off for disc replication), as I also do. From this, you'll be unable to properly partition the disk during setup, since only SP1 and later support disks larger than 137GB, as already mentioned.

What you'll need to do is either get something like Partition Magic, which I use (kind of pricey, but comes in handy for this stuff) and would recommend as the most painless way to proceed, or follow the instructions at http://www.theeldergeek.com/slipstreamed_xpsp3_cd.htm to create what's known as a "slipstreamed" Windows XP installation CD. Those instructions include the use of SP3, so you'd be as up to date as possible.

I had some other instructions here about Microsoft's "Diskpart" utility, but upon more careful reading it appears the program will extend anything BUT the current system or boot partition, so that's useless. Sorry.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 11:01 PM   #12
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Thank You, Robert.
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