total drives; drive partitions; windows 3.11

June 5, 2011 at 07:08:47
Specs: windows 3.11
As I recall there is some limit (I think it was 8) to the total number of drives and partitions supported by windows 3.11 or msdos. Am I correct?

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June 5, 2011 at 07:17:18
The rules, which still apply unless third party partitioners are used, is you can have no more than four primary partitions or 3 primary and one extended partition. The extended can have as many logical drives in it as you have available drive letters.

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June 5, 2011 at 07:39:38
There are various limits depending on the Operating System in uses and the BIOS capabilities. The maximum size for and MS-DOS partition and consequently Windows 3.1 was using FAT16 is 2Gbs . There may be other limits imposed by the BIOS. Nothing ever had a limit of 8, either Mbs or Gbs.

Don't forget that when MS-DOS 5/6 and Windows 3.1 were released, 2Gb drives were unheard of. Windows 95 SE introduced FAT32 which extended the limit to 4Gbs

MS-DOS can support up to four partitions but only one primary partition could be active. You could have an extended partition with as many logical drives as would fit providing they were each 2Gbs or less and the BIOS supported 2Gb partitions..


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June 5, 2011 at 13:03:48
The total number of partitions in dos was 52 actually counting both the a and b drives.

There was no limit to drives but common computers only has ide channel limit to 4 drives plus the two floppies. Scsi and firewire and addon ide cards basically upped the limit to as many as you wanted.

I have called drives by the now unused aa, bb, cc up to zz drive letter assignment.

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Related Solutions

June 7, 2011 at 06:26:32
Thanks. This helps. I have reached the limit of primary.

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June 7, 2011 at 06:27:52
Thanks. Hve reached primary limit

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June 7, 2011 at 06:28:54
Thanks for the information

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