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Author Topic: Hard Drive File System Questions  (Read 4263 times)

app103

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Hard Drive File System Questions
« on: January 27, 2007, 06:13:47 AM »
I have a 400 gig hard drive that I created 6 partitions on.

The first 4 are formatted FAT32 and are about 60 gigs each.

The 5th is about 60 gigs too

The 6th is about 80 gigs.

When formatting the partitions, I was given a FAT32 option on the first 4 but not the 5th or 6th....only options were NTFS or ext3. (Partition Magic)

I wanted to make the whole thing FAT32 just in case there should be a reason why I might have to put this hard drive into my other pc for any reason...like if this pc dies. (other pc is 9x)

I didn't select a file system for the last 2 partitions because I wasn't sure what to do.

Windows XP says the file system is RAW on those last 2 partitions.

I have read & write access to those 2 partitions in XP even though the file system is RAW.

What I want to know is this:

  • Is it ok to leave it like this or should I format those last 2 as NTFS?
  • Can 9x access the files if I leave it RAW?
  • What would be the negative effects of leaving it the way it is now?
  • Is it safe to put files on it while it's RAW? Am I risking data loss?


f0dder

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2007, 09:14:42 AM »
Hrm, if the partitions are "RAW", you shouldn't be able to access them as drives - otherwise something is horribly messed up. Wouldn't be surprised if partitionmagic has messed something up, to be honest.
- carpe noctem

app103

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2007, 02:04:36 PM »
Well here is what I am looking at:

In Explorer:
SNAG-0175.png

Properties of S:
SNAG-0176.png

Properties of T:
SNAG-0177.png

Partition Magic:
SNAG-0180.png
(it didn't say it was FAT32 last time I checked it, but now it does)

f0dder

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2007, 02:13:40 PM »
That sounds preeeeety fucked up. Run compmgmt.msc and see what it thinks the partition layout is like. I do not trust partition magic; it usually seems to work flawlessly, but when it fucks up, it fucks up bigtime.
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app103

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2007, 05:41:49 PM »
That sounds preeeeety fucked up. Run compmgmt.msc and see what it thinks the partition layout is like. I do not trust partition magic; it usually seems to work flawlessly, but when it fucks up, it fucks up bigtime.


Ok...did that...

It says it's FAT32:
SNAG-0183.png


Carol Haynes

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2007, 06:57:12 PM »
What happens if you go to My Computer, right click on the offending drives and choose Format ...?

Do you get the option to format FAT32 then?

There is no reason I know of why you can't have as many logical FAT32 partitions as you like.

Out of curiosity is there a reason why you are hanging on to Windows 98 on your other box? You can find cheap remaindered copies of Windows 2000 (and probably cheap WinXP OEM soon) if you look around and then you can use NTFS across both systems. (I don't mean second hand copies by the way).

I don't know where you are based but here is a UK site with pretty reasonable OEM WinXP offerings ... http://www.overclock...upid=33&catid=20 (and even Vista OEM offerings at knock down prices).


A useful tool that has saved my life a number of times is Partition Table Doctor (http://www.ptdd.com/). You can download a free trial which will check your drive for consistency. If it finds errors and you want it to fix them you will need to buy it. I haven't needed it often but a number of times utilities like Partition Magic have left my drives screwed up and PTD has fixed the errors. One of the good things is that you can backup your partition table details when you know you have a good setup and then restore those settings if something should get broken in future. The purchased version comes in two versions - a windows app and an ISO file to burn to CDROM which is bootable and allows you to fix partitions without having to get into Windows.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 07:01:40 PM by Carol Haynes »

app103

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2007, 07:52:43 PM »
What happens if you go to My Computer, right click on the offending drives and choose Format ...?

Do you get the option to format FAT32 then?

No, I don't get that option...only NTFS.

But I don't have a FAT32 option on any of the other partitions on that drive or any of the other hard drives I have in this PC. I have a total of 3 in here now. One is a 40G FAT32 with 4 partitions from another 9x pc that I don't have any more. I don't get an option to format that one as FAT32 either.

It's as if FAT32 exists in the outside world, and this PC will deal with it (read/write), but it isn't going to allow you do FAT32 on anything, if it can help it.

There was something I forgot to mention that I don't know if it has any bearing on this...it's hooked up to a PCI IDE controller card. I don't know if that's important info or not.


Out of curiosity is there a reason why you are hanging on to Windows 98 on your other box? You can find cheap remaindered copies of Windows 2000 (and probably cheap WinXP OEM soon) if you look around and then you can use NTFS across both systems. (I don't mean second hand copies by the way).

It's actually WinME, not Win98. And the reason why I am hanging onto 9x on it is because it's a really old pc (10 yrs old!) and there isn't anything but 9x or 3.1 drivers for most of the hardware. In some cases I am using Win95 drivers with ME. So anything newer than WinME isn't an option, unfortunately. (it's also only 233mhz, 64mb RAM...slower than a constipated snail)

That is also the pc that I test 9x compatibility on, with apps I write. It's a good tough PC that you just can't kill...just keeps on running. It was a good thing to have around when my P3 died, and just in case something happens to this one, it's currently my only other option, if I want to keep my sanity. That's why I want to make sure this new hard drive is FAT32. I would hate to have something happen, be forced back to that old pc, and not be able to access my data.

I'll grab a copy of PTD and see what it says. My father has said good things about it, too. Said it was the one software purchase he has never regretted and that everyone should buy a copy.

app103

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2007, 01:27:08 AM »
This is what PTD is showing:
SNAG-0184.pngHard Drive File System Questions

Is there some sort of diagnostic tests in this? Because I didn't see anything other than a surface scan that this program can do.

And there was nothing that suggests that anything is wrong.


Carol Haynes

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2007, 06:15:58 AM »
When you start PTD it scans the drive to see if the Partition table is consistent. You can force it to do this using the Partitions > Check Properties.

If it reports the partition properties with no problems showing the fault must lie somewhere else. The trouble is programs like Partition Magic tend to use Windows utilities to do the formatting and verifying so if you can't sort it out via Windows Explorer you are likely to find PM won't be able to either.

Since you want FAT32 partitions you could always use a Windows 98/ME startup disc or CDROM to check properties with FDISK (take care though) and format these partitions from MSDOS (though you will need to be careful to work out the correct drive letters as they won't be the same as in Windows). If you format this way you may find when you start windows it says it has found new hardware (the partition id changes when you format) and need to reboot. You may find the drive letters change to but you can change those back to what you want easily enough using the Disk Manager in the system management tools.

The other option you could try is to use Windows Management tools (right click on My Computer in the Start menu and choose Manage) to delete the offending partitions and then recreate them using that tool rather than PM. If Windows can't create FAT partitions something in your file management system is seriously screwed up. In which case you may want to revert your system disc to a backup where disc management works properly.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 06:19:37 AM by Carol Haynes »

app103

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2007, 04:58:21 PM »
Problem is solved!

Now let me explain how I did it...

I was told by a friend that Partition Magic has problems if you create more than 4 partitions on a hard drive with it...it will screw up partitions #5+.

Solution:

  • Use Windows to destroy the last 2 partitions.
  • Use Windows to recreate them and format them NTFS, if that is the only option you have.
  • Use Partition Magic to convert the 2 partitions to FAT32, shrinking them to under 60 gigs if necessary, first. (expand them to desired size when finished)
  • Reboot.

This worked and everything is now correctly reported.

SNAG-0187.png

f0dder

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2007, 05:05:39 PM »
Why use PartitionMagic in the first place, when you can use compmgmt.msc + format? :)
- carpe noctem

app103

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2007, 05:09:34 PM »
Why use PartitionMagic in the first place, when you can use compmgmt.msc + format? :)


Because I was only getting the option of NTFS...not FAT32.

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2007, 05:18:44 PM »
Weird... perhaps it's just disabled in the GUI because "christ, doesn't make sense, stupid user" etc. If you haven't filled with data yet, try dropping to a shell and do a manual "format /fs:fat32 x:" and see if it bitches?
- carpe noctem

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Re: Hard Drive File System Questions
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2007, 05:21:25 PM »
I will just leave it be...too much bother & trouble and everything is fine now...plus I did start copying stuff onto it already.