Windows NT2000 Supports Large Hard Drives

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

Windows 2000 system partition can be formatted as FAT file system ( max 2GB), FAT32 file system ( max 32 GB) or NTFS file system ( max 2 terabytes) before copying the Setup files. Finally, support for large drives. Windows 2000 supports large system partitions because it has the ability to use BIOS INT-13 extensions to boot the operating system on partitions with more than 1,024 cylinders, or 7.8 GB in size. After Windows W2K Setup copies files, it restarts the computer to continue with GUI-mode Setup.

There can be problems. Windows 2000 setup does not verify that BIOS INT-13 extensions are enabled or available for use. If they are not, upon reboot, you will get the following error message after POST:

       A disk read error occurred.
       Press Crtl+Alt+Del to restart.

A similar problem occurs with SCSI controllers when drive translation is disabled and INT-13 extensions are disabled in the SCSI BIOS.

In either case, with these features disabled, the drive's geometry is native and the drive's partition table will contain Cylinder, Head, and Sector (CHS) values which cannot be described within the partition table's upper limit of 1,023 cylinders. INT-13 extensions must be used to boot from the partition.

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Related articles:

Setup Cannot Continue After Reformatting Dynamic System/Boot Partition
Details how to use Dskprobe.exe to edit the Partition Table volume data to fix untranslated offsets (int13 translation problem)

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