systemax comp not recognizing external hdd

Systemax aol optimized / X10- 23534
October 19, 2010 at 13:05:20
Specs: Windows 98
I have a Systemax computer which does not recognize an external hard drive. One of the things I did before using this computer was to put windows 98 second edition into it. Now it has become necessary to back up my data, so I recently bought a 500 GB external hard drive. The place where I purchased the drive formatted it with FAT32 with only one partition.

When I went to device manager in my computer, I found that the D drive had a yellow marker on it indicating a conflict. I read somewhere on the web to get rid of that conflict the controllers needed to be deleted and when the computer was restarted the conflict would be gone. Yes, the conflict was gone but the computer still did not recognize the drive.

By going to where my computer stats are located, I discovered that there are limitations to the FAT32 file system. Here are the Resolution of these limitations:

INFO: Limitations Of The Fat-32 File System
(Article: 1035)

Although the Fat-32 file system has a maximum accessible limit of 2.2 terabytes, there are still some limitations that occur with hard drives of today's large capacities.
Fat-32 4GB file size limit
The largest file size that be saved to a hard drive is 4GB. The Fat-32 access table cannot store the file pointers for a file larger than 4GB. If a file larger than 4GB has to be stored on the drive, Microsoft suggests changing the file system to NTFS (where possible).

Windows XP and 2000 format limitation within Windows using Fat-32.
If a slave hard drive is added to a system, you can format the drive using Fat-32 file system within Windows (formatting a drive within Windows is very fast - 90 seconds or less). The formatting program built into these versions of Windows has a drive size limitation of 32GB. If you format a drive larger than 32GB in Windows, after the format, only 32GB will be available. This is a limitation of the Windows format component. If you use a boot disk and format with the DOS format utility, the full capacity of the drive will be utilized. To overcome this limitation within Windows XP or 2000, Microsoft suggests changing the file system to NTFS.

Windows 98 Fdisk 64GB drive size display problem
The Fdisk program that ships with Windows 98 has a drive size calculation problem. If you look at a drive larger than 64GB inside the Fdisk program, the drive size calculation will roll over at the 64GB mark and display the drive size minus 64GB. For example, if the physical drive is 70.3 GB (75,484,122,112 bytes) in size, Fdisk reports the drive as being 6.3 GB (6,764,579,840 bytes) in size. Microsoft has a file download to fix this problem. You can find the information and download in Microsoft KB doc Fdisk Does not Recognize Full size of Hard Disks Larger
Than 64 GB (Q263044)

Windows 98/ME Fdisk maximum drive size limit
The Fdisk program that is included with Windows 98 and ME has a maximum drive size limit of 512GB. Microsoft suggests that Fdisk not be used to partition hard drives larger than 512GB and that a third-party program be used instead, such as Gdisk, a partitioning program that is included with Symantec's Ghost program.

I am not using XP so try to disregard XP explanations. I am open to any possible answers to this dilemma. I am beginning to think I should let the technicians at the place where I purchased this drive work on this problem.

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October 19, 2010 at 13:39:52
The limitation of FAT32 should not apply to Win 98SE external USB drives because the drive has a USB I/O Controller Card, for which you need the driver package.

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October 19, 2010 at 13:48:18
98 doesn't have native support for USB drives so you'd need to install 98 drivers for it, assuming they exist.

The 500 gig partition is probably OK as long as you don't run scandisk or defrag on it as I think those commands aren't stable on partitions requiring 48 bit lba access. But it'd be safer if it was partitioned into multiple drives with each one being no more than about 120 gig.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

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