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Thread: Win95b Support for Large SCSI Drives

  1. #1

    Default Win95b Support for Large SCSI Drives

    I have also posted this question in the following thread, but thought it might be better asked here.

    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...653#post445653

    Today I took eight OEM SCSI drives (two 34gb and six 72gb) and one by one hooked them into a WinXP machine so I could use DISKPART to remove an OEM EISA partition, leaving the drive completely blank. All eight drives were accessible on the WinXP machine at full capacity, but I did not partition any of them permanently.

    I did experiment with partitioning and formatting one of them while on the XP machine. I was unable to create a single partition for the entire capacity using FAT32 - I had to use NTFS. I don't understand this since I thought FAT32 could go to about 128gb. After this test, I deleted the partition.

    I then took one of the 72gb drives and hooked it into a Pentium 90 running Win95b. This machine currently has a 10gb IDE drive using EZ-BIOS since the AWARD BIOS is limited to accessing 8gb. When I went to FDISK, it only sees the 72gb drive as a little over 3gb. I then swapped in a 34gb drive and the machine sees the whole drive.

    Based on what I have read, I can understand why the FDISK utility on the Win95 machine does not see more than 32gb. But why does it only see 3gb of the 72gb drive? My initial guess is it is looping around the drive twice and there is 3gb left on it's third "loop"...and even that doesn't make sense.

    Any idea what is happening?

    Could the EZ-BIOS software (which is installed on the IDE boot drive) be causing interference? And if so, does this mean EZ-BIOS is being applied to every drive on the system? If that is the case, I will not be able to copy the data from the IDE drive to the SCSI drive to eliminate EZ-BIOS on this machine...at least not while both source and target drives are on this machine.

    Thanks...Joe

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    I have also posted this question in the following thread, but thought it might be better asked here.

    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...653#post445653

    Today I took eight OEM SCSI drives (two 34gb and six 72gb) and one by one hooked them into a WinXP machine so I could use DISKPART to remove an OEM EISA partition, leaving the drive completely blank. All eight drives were accessible on the WinXP machine at full capacity, but I did not partition any of them permanently.

    I did experiment with partitioning and formatting one of them while on the XP machine. I was unable to create a single partition for the entire capacity using FAT32 - I had to use NTFS. I don't understand this since I thought FAT32 could go to about 128gb. After this test, I deleted the partition.

    I then took one of the 72gb drives and hooked it into a Pentium 90 running Win95b. This machine currently has a 10gb IDE drive using EZ-BIOS since the AWARD BIOS is limited to accessing 8gb. When I went to FDISK, it only sees the 72gb drive as a little over 3gb. I then swapped in a 34gb drive and the machine sees the whole drive.

    Based on what I have read, I can understand why the FDISK utility on the Win95 machine does not see more than 32gb. But why does it only see 3gb of the 72gb drive? My initial guess is it is looping around the drive twice and there is 3gb left on it's third "loop"...and even that doesn't make sense.

    Any idea what is happening?

    Could the EZ-BIOS software (which is installed on the IDE boot drive) be causing interference? And if so, does this mean EZ-BIOS is being applied to every drive on the system? If that is the case, I will not be able to copy the data from the IDE drive to the SCSI drive to eliminate EZ-BIOS on this machine...at least not while both source and target drives are on this machine.

    Thanks...Joe
    I wonder if the problem is 16-bit integer truncation or something like that.

  3. #3

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    By the way, I am using a PCI Adaptec 2940UW SCSI controller and the 68 pin cable. The drives are 80 pin SCA types and I am using an adapter so I can connect the 68 pin ribbon cable. I am using the same physical controller, cable and adapter when I access the drives on the Win XP machine and the Win95 machine.

    Joe

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    Today I took eight OEM SCSI drives (two 34gb and six 72gb) and one by one hooked them into a WinXP machine so I could use DISKPART to remove an OEM EISA partition, leaving the drive completely blank. All eight drives were accessible on the WinXP machine at full capacity, but I did not partition any of them permanently.

    I did experiment with partitioning and formatting one of them while on the XP machine. I was unable to create a single partition for the entire capacity using FAT32 - I had to use NTFS. I don't understand this since I thought FAT32 could go to about 128gb. After this test, I deleted the partition.
    You cannot format a volume larger than 32 gigabytes (GB) in size using the FAT32 file system during the Windows XP installation process. Windows XP can mount and support FAT32 volumes larger than 32 GB (subject to the other limits), but you cannot create a FAT32 volume larger than 32 GB by using the Format tool during Setup. If you need to format a volume that is larger than 32 GB, use the NTFS file system to format it. Another option is to start from a Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) Startup disk and use the Format tool included on the disk.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    I then took one of the 72gb drives and hooked it into a Pentium 90 running Win95b. This machine currently has a 10gb IDE drive using EZ-BIOS since the AWARD BIOS is limited to accessing 8gb. When I went to FDISK, it only sees the 72gb drive as a little over 3gb. I then swapped in a 34gb drive and the machine sees the whole drive.

    Based on what I have read, I can understand why the FDISK utility on the Win95 machine does not see more than 32gb. But why does it only see 3gb of the 72gb drive? My initial guess is it is looping around the drive twice and there is 3gb left on it's third "loop"...and even that doesn't make sense.
    The Award BIOS limit I am familiar with is 33.8 GB. The Int 13 Interface is what is commonly referred to as the 8 GB limit.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  5. #5
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    First of all, the Windows XP formatter simply wants to make you use NTFS. You will need to use a different formatter. Usually I recommend just using FDISK, but it if give you too much trouble try a Linux boot CD.

    There is an FDISK update from Microsoft intended for Windows 98 SE, but it will work fine under the Windows 95 OSR 2 DOS. Note that it still has some cosmetic display formatting problems when partitioning large drives, but it should work fine.

    Technically FAT32 can go all the way up to 2TB. But I have run in to some serious problems in real-mode DOS with partitions over 128GB (not LBA related). Keep individual partitions 120GB or less and you should be fine.

    I don't know off hand if BIOS overlay software would interfere with the BIOS on that card. I also don't know what the upper BIOS limits of that card are, although I happen to have one of those cards in my machine.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    First of all, the Windows XP formatter simply wants to make you use NTFS. You will need to use a different formatter. Usually I recommend just using FDISK, but it if give you too much trouble try a Linux boot CD.

    There is an FDISK update from Microsoft intended for Windows 98 SE, but it will work fine under the Windows 95 OSR 2 DOS. Note that it still has some cosmetic display formatting problems when partitioning large drives, but it should work fine.

    Technically FAT32 can go all the way up to 2TB. But I have run in to some serious problems in real-mode DOS with partitions over 128GB (not LBA related). Keep individual partitions 120GB or less and you should be fine.

    I don't know off hand if BIOS overlay software would interfere with the BIOS on that card. I also don't know what the upper BIOS limits of that card are, although I happen to have one of those cards in my machine.
    Stone: Thanks for the reply. I was not trying to format the drive during the XP installation process, but after the OS was up and running (using IDE drives). Still, the XP Disk Manager seems to have the 32gb limit for FAT32. The Win95 machine has one of those Award BIOS with the problem discussed in the other thread. Even with the INT13 Extension, it will not "see" the capacity of an IDE drive greater than 8gb (without EZ-BIOS) and will hang during boot if I simply install a large drive; the cutoff is somewhere between 20gb and 40gb. This is unrelated to Win95.

    Someguy: The SCSI controller is capable of accessing these drives as it does so without an issue on the Win XP machine. Formatting these drives under Win98SE is certainly possible. But if I want to use them on the Win95 machine, why is Win95 FDISK only seeing 3gb of a 72gb drive, yet seeing all of a 34gb drive? That is the thing which is confusing me the most. I am assuming that even if I format the 72gb drive on a Win98 machine, when I install it on a Win95 machine it will not be accessible.

    Thanks...Joe
    Last edited by Grandcheapskate; January 31st, 2017 at 10:28 AM.

  7. #7
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    The XP FAT32 formatting tool is restricted to 32GB. You will need to pick up a third party tool.

    Some examples follow:
    http://knowledge.seagate.com/ka030000000tlrmAAA which uses Seagate's Disc Wizard tool.
    http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/ind...at32format.htm
    http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm

    There were internal limits as to the biggest drive possible drive under Windows 9x. I think Win95 was restricted to 32GB and Win98 to 128GB. I don't remember what the status was on patches for it and I don't know where to locate a Win95 friendly DDO for SCSI.

    I would try, in XP, creating multiple partitions of 32GB or less from the 72GB drive and seeing if Win95 sees the partitions. You should try smaller partitions if possible. IIRC, a 72GB partition will need 9MB of RAM to store the FAT. If your system does not have enough surplus memory to cache all the drives FATs, the system will be very slow.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    Even with the INT13 Extension, it will not "see" the capacity of an IDE drive greater than 8gb (without EZ-BIOS) and will hang during boot if I simply install a large drive; the cutoff is somewhere between 20gb and 40gb. This is unrelated to Win95.
    Yes, it is the Award BIOS 33.8 GB limit.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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    For what it's worth, there are two Linux live CDs that are an essential part of my toolkit. The first is gparted, a very flexible OS-agnostic partition editor. The second is clonezilla--a disk cloning tool.

  10. #10
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    According to here: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/bios/sizeGB30-c.html Windows 95 will not support drives larger than 32Gb, sounds like it's a hard coded limit, though I can't find much info on it anywhere.

    Personally I'd try partitioning the 74Gb drive with a Win98SE boot disk and create a 72Gb FAT32 partition, then boot up Win95 and see what happens. If you can read and write to it, then you're set. If not, then you can try multiple 32Gb partitions and see how that goes.

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