Questions about win 98 and win 9x OS?

By wilbasket23 · 8 replies
Feb 20, 2002
  1. Hello everyone. how are u? i have some question to ask. Can ya help me. i heard a rumors or a true not sure about win98 or any win9x OS, doesn't support big hard drive like 80 gig hard drive. Win 98 or any win9x OS only support hard drive up to 64 sth gig. Is that true, or is just a rumors. Someone saying that only Win Xp support bigger drive like 80 gig or above . Can ya please help me. Thank You
  2. ToRN

    ToRN TS Rookie Posts: 156

    Never heard of this issue.
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Win95 doesn't support drives larger than 32 Gb (see M$ support Q246818). Win98 does but its SCANDISK has problems with those drives (see M$ support Q243450).
    The reason might be 65,536th cylinder which translates to 31.5 Gb (33.8 if k=1000).
    Another limit, however, is 137 Gb. Current ATA interface uses 28 bits addressing which translates as 2ˆ28 * 512 bytes = 137 Gb.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    He's more machine now than man, twisted and evil.

    FAT16 (which was the only FAT that the first issue of Windows 95 could read) is limited to 2 GB a partition.

    FAT32 (readable by Windows 95 2, windows 98, windows 2000, blah, blah, blah... but NOT Windows NT4, has a theoretical limit of 2 TB a partition.

    2 TB used to be laughable, but methinks that there will be multi-terrabyte hard drives by 2005.

    NTFS5 (which is only readable by Windows 2000, XP and Windows NT4 with service pack 6, I think) has a theoretical maximum partition size somewhere in the exobytes region. I did know the exact amount, but I can't remember. Could have been 2 exobytes perhaps.

    It appears that the 32 GB thing is caused by a bug in many BIOSes which could probably be updated.

    Looks like there is a current limit of 137 GB until a new EIDE protocol is designed, unless I am missing something. This new protocol should give BIOS support for drives in the region of over a hundred petabytes. That's a lot.
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    FAT16 can also be formatted with 64k clusters (!), allowing 4 Gb partitions. I've read that it's supported only by NT OS's but I haven't had problems with other OS's. Maximum file size doesn't change, however, it's still 2 Gb.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    That would be correct.

    As for the Windows 98 thing, I know that Windows XP supports a much larger drive thanks to the NTFS file system. This does not circumvent the limitation on the system level. does it? Some older computers cannot properly recognize a high capacity drives, because of the system itself. This is usually solvable by a BIOS flash. I'm unaware of what actually causes this, biut I assume it is just some short-sighted programming rather than an actual hardware limitation.

    The 2 TB limitation of NTFS 5 is actually a recommendation. Unofficially, it supports a "far greater drive capacity". Since I don't happen to have such a large drive, I don't know this for a fact or even why this is, but I remember reading it on the MS knowledge base some time ago. I have never actually read solid numbers on the "real" limitation however. I'm curious now.
  7. ldogg

    ldogg TS Rookie Posts: 33

    not true not true. I have a 30 gigger and 100 gigger both fat32, and they run fine on Windows 98SE which I still say is the best windows. Never had any scan disc problems either.
  8. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    Hardware will limit drive size to a maximum of 137Gb if you are only using standard <ATA100 IDE. Only ATA133 or SCSI supports more than 137Gb AFAIK.

    Win 98 & onwards support fairly big drives 2TB i think, but hardware will be your problem before windows is.
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    From q243450:
    Note the word "may". Consider yourself lucky.
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