25th XP Partition won't install

By khakisheep ยท 4 replies
Feb 1, 2006
  1. Hello everyone.

    Here's my situation. I've got 24 XP installs that all work fine and dandy. I go to install the 25th and as I try to format the drive NTFS it gives me the error message that "Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged."

    Let me first assure you all that the disk is not damaged. I have tested 6 HDD's which all work fine bu then on the 25th install give this message. This error is not hardware related in any way that I can discern. I have used multiple HDD's, MOBO's, processors, PSU's, cables, cd-roms, install cd's etc etc etc etc. All Hardware possibilites have been exhausted.

    I've found some hints towards people saying XP just won't allow partitions to go past 25. Anyone have hints or can allude to something that might be able to get me past this boundary?

    The funny thing is while the XP install and format fails on every attempt, an install and format with Win2k does just fine. However you cannot go back later and then upgrade to XP.

    Thanks for the feedback!
  2. khakisheep

    khakisheep TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Anyone have any thoughts or comments on this one? I could really use feedback on it.
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Life in Kentucky must be really boring! Haven't you got anything better to do than installing the same stuff over and over again?
    There are only 26 drive-letters available, A and B for floppy-drives, the other 24 (D-Z) for hard-disk partitions/drives.
    Make some of those harddisks (hot-)swappable, then you can format more on other harddisks.
  4. fgaliegue

    fgaliegue TS Rookie Posts: 51

    Ermno, there can be "two letter drives" as well when you've exhausted the single letter ones. Been there, done that (I've mounted 39 network shares from a Samba PDC just for tests and all worked OK)

    I'd rather say it's a limit with the XP disk model. Every OS has such limits anyway, so...
  5. khakisheep

    khakisheep TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes I'm beginning to just accept that its an issue with XP just not allowing this. The drive letters are not an issue. After Z they begin recycling drive letters again, so my 24th partition I believe was 'E' again. But its not so much boring as it is frustrating. I think I'm going to continue this work project and begin the 25th and thereafter installs as Windows 2000 and see what happens with that.
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