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Reply 40 of 89, by cudatox

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khyypio wrote on 2020-10-21, 07:53:

I´m glad it´s working well! Which adapter are using? Did you do any prep work, aligning, etc?

No prep work, I simply formatted the drive and installed WIndows. The SATA to IDE bridge I'm using is a cheap GL830-based one. I got mine off of Amazon, but you can find similar ones on AliExpress for far less. It does not have a M/S select jumper on it and I had to put it on its own IDE channel to get it to work correctly, so that is something to be aware of if you happen to buy one.

Reply 41 of 89, by jmarsh

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-10-21, 08:26:

It wasn't until Windows Vista/7 that mainstream Windows became aware of 4K sectors (or AF; Advanced Format).
They didn't support 4K sectors, but were aware of it. That started with Windows 8.x.

Windows supported 4KB sectors since at least XP, maybe even earlier. Definitely not starting with windows 8. I know this because I have a 2TB USB drive that only supports 4KB addressing with no option for 512 byte emulation. Even the machine I'm on right now has a 2.5TB 4KB HDD attached, and it's running windows 7.
The IDE/SCSI drivers in windows had to support variable sector sizes, because CDs (and later DVDs) used 2KB sectors.

On drives that do use emulation, aligning the data clusters in a FAT partition is achieved fairly easily by adjusting the number of reserved sectors (which specify the number of sectors between the start of the partition and the first FAT). So you have:
FATLENGTH = number of sectors per FAT, can be calculated by ceil(number of total clusters / 128)
X = number of reserved sectors (specified in the BPB)
N = number of FATs (usually 2, specified in BPB)
FAT sector 0: BPB
sector X: FAT copy 1
sector X+FATLENGTH: FAT copy 2
...
sector X + N*FATLENGTH: clusters
Which makes it obvious the reserved sector count can directly influence the sector alignment of the clusters.

Reply 42 of 89, by texterted

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khyypio wrote on 2020-10-21, 07:53:

I already have a 250 Gb Samsung 860 EVO. You´re about the SSDs being cheap but my goal here is to maximize the compatibility and lifespan of the SSD. Can I align it to 4K with Super FDisk?

Don't use your decent one, just grab one of those inexpensive, 120GB, Kingston ones.

Cheers

Ted

98se:- Asus A8v Dlx. A-64 3000+, 512 mb ddr, 4400 Ti, SB Live.
XP Pro:- Asus P5 Q SE Plus, C2D E8400, 2 Gig DDR2, Radeon HD4870, SB Audigy 2ZS.
Windows Home Server v1 :- Gigabyte GA-EP43, C2Q Q9550, Bunch of SATA HDD's.

Reply 43 of 89, by Jo22

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@jmarsh I don't mean to argue, but..
Both USB stack and USB HDD enclosures are special, these enclosures do all the translations for the HDD and PC.
Otherwise, my copy of Windows XP wouldn't be able to handle 5TB capacity of my USB 3.0 HDD also. 😀

Out of box, Windows XP is not 4K aware, as far as I know.
AF format was introduced in the late 2000s, say 2008 or so.
Speaking under correction, though. I could be wrong.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 44 of 89, by jmarsh

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-10-21, 10:43:

@jmarsh I don't mean to argue, but..
Both USB stack and USB HDD enclosures are special, these enclosures do all the translations for the HDD and PC.
Otherwise, my copy of Windows XP wouldn't be able to handle 5TB capacity of my USB 3.0 HDD also. 😀

They do not.
USB Mass Storage basically uses scsi commands.
The SCSI read/write (10) commands use a 32-bit field for the LBA (starting sector).
If windows was passing the wrong LBA (i.e. assuming the drive used 512 byte sectors instead of 4KB) the drive would be unreadable. The enclosure does no translation, the scsi read capacity command returns a sector size of 4KB.
USB drives that are over 2TB and have 512 byte sectors must support the SCSI read/write (16) commands (which have a 64-bit LBA field) in order to address all sectors on the drive. This may be how your 5TB drive is being accessed, you would need to confirm the physical sector size (see the command line below). My USB drive does not support the read/write (16) commands.

The 2.5TB drive I have connected to this windows 7 box isn't even a USB drive, it's SATA.

It was known for a looong time before it actually happened that >512 byte sector drives were coming, plus like I said CDs were already using them. Windows XP can absolutely handle 4KB drives.

C:\>ver

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

C:\>fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo h:
NTFS Volume Serial Number : 0xf468faa168fa61b2
Version : 3.1
Number Sectors : 0x000000001ffbffff
Total Clusters : 0x000000001ffbffff
Free Clusters : 0x000000000f5aaeb9
Total Reserved : 0x0000000000000000
Bytes Per Sector : 4096
Bytes Per Cluster : 4096
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment : 4096
Clusters Per FileRecord Segment : 1
Mft Valid Data Length : 0x000000000aa80000
Mft Start Lcn : 0x00000000000c0000
Mft2 Start Lcn : 0x0000000000004058
Mft Zone Start : 0x0000000002bfce80
Mft Zone End : 0x0000000003050080

C:\>

Reply 45 of 89, by Jo22

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Okay, Windows XP's NTFS may support 4096 sectors and SCSI/SATA (or SASI) does so, too.
Nevertheless, support for transfer of srcror with 4096 on the software side ( PC<->HDD; protocol so to say) is highly unlikely on XP.

XP's installation CD is not even smart enough to create correctly aligned partitions. It always creates partitions starting at that odd sector 63 (?).
That's why early AF HDDs had the LBA hack which shifted LBA by 1, for example.
It could be enabled by a jumper on the HDD itself.

Anyway, I do not claim to be right. Maybe I'm wrong. To err is human, after all.
It's just that I find information online that supports my point of view.

Just like this one:

"Readiness of the support for 4 KB logical sectors within operating systems differs among their types, vendors and versions.[12] For example, Microsoft Windows supports 4K native drives since Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 (both released in 2012),[26] and Linux supports 4K native drives since the Linux kernel version 2.6.31 and util-linux-ng version 2.17 (released in 2009 and 2010, respectively).[27][28]"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Format#4K_native

Speaking of my USB HDD, I read something on the web many years ago.
Since I use my 5TB model for backups, I can't do experiments with it.

Edit: A forum user said:
"Some of the >2 TB external drives have a translation layer built into the SATA-USB interface which covers up for the 512/4k or MBR/GPT difference and presents it to the computer as a legacy drive. XP can use those. But since Toshiba specifically said the 3 TB Canvio Connect II won't work with XP, I assume that translation layer is not present in that particular model.

The presence of this translation layer results in the odd stories you hear of people taking the drive out of the enclosure and plugging it directly into the desktop's SATA ports, but being unable to see their data. I dislike it because you're totally dependent on the enclosure to remain functional to have access to your data.
"

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/getti … -on-xp.3015748/

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 46 of 89, by jmarsh

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-10-21, 14:00:

Nevertheless, support for transfer of srcror with 4096 on the software side ( PC<->HDD; protocol so to say) is highly unlikely on XP.

There is literally no other way it can be handled; if you ask the drive to return data for X sectors it will return 4X KB of data. The same way requesting X sectors of CD data returns 2X KB of data. If the OS tried to use a X*512 byte buffer you can imagine the outcome.

XP's installation CD is not even smart enough to create correctly aligned partitions. It always creates partitions starting at that odd sector 63 (?).
That's why early AF HDDs had the LBA hack which shifted LBA by 1, for example.
It could be enabled by a jumper on the HDD itself.

A proper "native" 4KB drive doesn't care where a partition starts because every LBA is naturally aligned.
It's irrelevant to 4KB support because it's only an issue for drives that use 512 byte sectors for transfers.

The misinformation seems to come from a) confusing "awareness" (i.e. the ability to align a partition on a 512e drive) with the ability to actually read/write 4KB sectors, b) Microsoft removing any mention of old unsupported OSes from their reference pages, and c) most drives larger than 2TB being preformatted with a GPT rather than MBR which XP won't recognise.

Reply 47 of 89, by Ozzuneoj

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Haven't read the whole thread, but in my experience, you don't need to obsess over finding the best SSD for a Windows 9x or XP system. I've used a dozen different CF cards in DOS, 9x and XP, I've used repurposed 16GB Kingston M. 2 SSDs ripped from Chromebooks (using three adapters to connect to IDE) in 9x and XP, I've used old 64GB Crucial C300 SSDs in 9x and XP and i installed a Samsung 830 128GB in my wife's Vista laptop in 2012 which she used... Running Vista, which doesn't support TRIM... For about 5 years before I got her to upgrade to Windows 10. These are all MLC (and used for years), and I've never seen an SSD based system bogged down at all, let alone to the point that it was worse than a hard drive.

You can literally use almost any storage medium from the past 10 years and it will run Windows faster than nearly any hard drive made before 2006. If you leave some extra space for overprovisioning, you'll likely greatly reduce long term issues caused by a lack of trim unless you're doing something unusual that really exaggerates write amplification on the drive. I've never had to do this myself, but I believe if you ever managed to bog a drive down, you can just trim the drive in a newer OS once in a while (either by booting a different OS on the machine or putting the drive in a newer system). TRIM is nearly instantaneous, so this is far less troublesome than having to defragment a hard drive... as long as it doesn't nuke your file system... someone correct me if this is not a good thing to recommend, as I've never had to do this myself. 🤣

Edited for clarification: Also, from my understanding, modern SSDs have better garbage collection features built in to the controller and can maintain themselves well enough to function acceptably without TRIM in light workloads... certainly those expected in a DOS\9x machine would qualify as "light" by modern standards. I could be wrong, but I don't believe CF cards have any of these features, and yet people use them all the time for retro systems with very few problems. I just found a nice simple article about TRIM as well. If it was recommended but not 100% necessary 5 years ago, then with newer drives on an OS from the 90s, I don't think you absolutely need it.

It's also worth noting, my 98SE tester system has been running on a 16GB SSD like this for 2-3 years. The way I test hardware, I actually make copies of the Windows folder for each configuration (for example, one for testing Voodoo 3 cards, one for testing TNT cards, one for testing Sound Blaster ISA cards), so I have it boot to command prompt each time and then rename the appropriate folder "Windows" to test a certain piece of hardware. Works great, but requires a fair amount of space and lots of copying to create new folders (renaming one to change the configuration is instant however). I've never had issues with this, running on a super basic 16GB MLC drive that was used in a Chromebook for who-knows-how-long. No overprovisioning, lots of writes, no TRIM... and I use it frequently. It might benchmark more slowly now if I hooked it up to a new PC, but there's no way the difference is noticeable on the 440BX + PIII 850Mhz system in which it's being used.

Last edited by Ozzuneoj on 2020-10-21, 15:56. Edited 3 times in total.

Time Machine = FIC PA-2013 2.1 - K6-2 500 - 256MB PC-100 - TNT2 Pro 16MB AGP - Labway Yamaha YMF719-E - Midiman MM401

Reply 48 of 89, by Doornkaat

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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2020-10-21, 14:50:

Also, from my understanding, modern SSDs have garbage collection and other features built in to the controller so they can maintain themselves without the OS really needing to do anything.

Garbage collection does not replace TRIM.
I wholeheartedly agree that I can not imagine any Win9x PC being able to wear down a decent SSD fast enough to worry about using it on retro PCs. Also the speed reduction caused by the drive having to delete pages before writing new data in non blank blocks is irrelevant on probably everything up to Pentium 4 performance.
But on modern OS and with modern hardware and modern daily usage TRIM will definitely massively increase performance and greatly reduce wear on any SSD.

The SSD controller always assumes a block that's once been written to contains valid data even if the data has been long deleted by OS. This means the SSD maintains this data until the OS tells it to write to this block again.
The TRIM command lets the OS tell the SSD controller which blocks no longer contain valid data.
This means background garbage collection can efficiently recombine blocks containing valid data to fewer pages while the drive is idle to free up blocks that no longer contain valid data so they're instantly avaliable to be written to. It also means data that's no longer valid will not be copied around during garbage collection and wear leveling routines so all operations require less writes and put less wear on the drive.

Again, with what little writes are to be expected per day on a Win9x gaming machine it probably takes multiple decades to wear down the drive even with huge amounts of write amplification, so I also wouldn't worry about using an SSD in a retro build. But firmware functions like garbage collection can not replace the TRIM command.

Reply 49 of 89, by Jo22

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@jmarsh fsutils of XP doesn't show "Bytes Per Physical Sector :" ; likely because the OS always expected 512, so it wasn't mentioned.

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Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/comp … tibility-update

It also says that XP is not suited for 4kn/512e drives (the latter is false likely and marketing):
"While not stressed in the preceding table, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2003 R2 do not support 512e or 4Kn media. While the system may boot up and be able to operate minimally, there may be unknown scenarios of functionality issues, data loss, or sub-optimal performance. Thus, Microsoft strongly cautions against using 512e media with Windows XP or other products based on the Windows XP codebase (such as Windows Home Server 1.0, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows XP 64-bit Edition, Windows XP Embedded, Windows Small Business Server 2003, and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2)."

My last words on FAT32.. In comparison to NTFS, it is inconsistent. Some parts of it can get shifted or are larger/smaller, resulting in an aligment in which some of the 8x512Byte Sectors don't perfectly overlap with the drives 4K sectors anymore - even though the FAT32 partition itself starts at at the correct spot.

As for LBA. Yes, it is an arbitrary thing. Though it is also contiguous. Sector 64 starts after 63 etc.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 50 of 89, by Ozzuneoj

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Doornkaat wrote on 2020-10-21, 15:35:
Garbage collection does not replace TRIM. I wholeheartedly agree that I can not imagine any Win9x PC being able to wear down a […]
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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2020-10-21, 14:50:

Also, from my understanding, modern SSDs have garbage collection and other features built in to the controller so they can maintain themselves without the OS really needing to do anything.

Garbage collection does not replace TRIM.
I wholeheartedly agree that I can not imagine any Win9x PC being able to wear down a decent SSD fast enough to worry about using it on retro PCs. Also the speed reduction caused by the drive having to delete pages before writing new data in non blank blocks is irrelevant on probably everything up to Pentium 4 performance.
But on modern OS and with modern hardware and modern daily usage TRIM will definitely massively increase performance and greatly reduce wear on any SSD.

The SSD controller always assumes a block that's once been written to contains valid data even if the data has been long deleted by OS. This means the SSD maintains this data until the OS tells it to write to this block again.
The TRIM command lets the OS tell the SSD controller which blocks no longer contain valid data.
This means background garbage collection can efficiently recombine blocks containing valid data to fewer pages while the drive is idle to free up blocks that no longer contain valid data so they're instantly avaliable to be written to. It also means data that's no longer valid will not be copied around during garbage collection and wear leveling routines so all operations require less writes and put less wear on the drive.

Again, with what little writes are to be expected per day on a Win9x gaming machine it probably takes multiple decades to wear down the drive even with huge amounts of write amplification, so I also wouldn't worry about using an SSD in a retro build. But firmware functions like garbage collection can not replace the TRIM command.

Sorry, I didn't really state that the way I meant to.

You're 100% correct that a modern PC benefits from TRIM and that garbage collection doesn't replace TRIM. I was just trying to say that the drives aren't just dead in the water, unable to maintain themselves at all on an older OS. TRIM is needed to maintain performance on a modern system, but on an old system you'd have to have a pretty unusual workload (or a drive that's especially bad at handling it) for it to ever hurt the usability of the machine.

I'll reword that sentence a bit. Thanks. 😀

EDIT: Found an Ars article about this.

Time Machine = FIC PA-2013 2.1 - K6-2 500 - 256MB PC-100 - TNT2 Pro 16MB AGP - Labway Yamaha YMF719-E - Midiman MM401

Reply 51 of 89, by khyypio

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EDIT: Didn´t work, don´t try this 😁

Oh boy, so many opinions it´s making me dizzy... 😁 Anyways, I found a tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard, so I plugged the SSD to my Windows 10 PC and used the previously mentioned tool for partitioning, aligning and formatting. Could you guys take a look if I did this (or any of it) right?

In MiniTool Partition Wizard I created two partitions to my Samsung 860 EVO, a 32 Gb for OS (C) and 127 Gb for games (D). I made them both Primary, file system FAT32 and cluster size 4KB. I also set the Partition Align to "Cylinder" of the 32 Gb partition.

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Then set "Align" to both partitions and at this point I clicked "Apply"

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After aligning I set "Format" for both partitions (FAT32 and 4 KB)

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When formatting was done, I ran the Disk Alignment Test and everything seems to be okay...

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What do guys think, is this SSD ready for some Windows 98 hardcore action?

Last edited by khyypio on 2020-10-22, 16:15. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 52 of 89, by jmarsh

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-10-21, 15:40:

@jmarsh fsutils of XP doesn't show "Bytes Per Physical Sector :" ; likely because the OS always expected 512, so it wasn't mentioned.

Your picture shows 2 things:
1. That's a 512e drive, not 4KB native.
2. That's either not XP or for some strange reason you're using a Vista theme.

Anyway, I'm done. Instead of relying rumours and Wikipedia (which are basically the same thing) my posts are based on first-hand experience: Windows has been able to use native 4KB drives since at least XP.

Reply 53 of 89, by khyypio

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khyypio wrote on 2020-10-21, 20:24:
Oh boy, so many opinions it´s making me dizzy... :D Anyways, I found a tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard, so I plugged the S […]
Show full quote

Oh boy, so many opinions it´s making me dizzy... 😁 Anyways, I found a tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard, so I plugged the SSD to my Windows 10 PC and used the previously mentioned tool for partitioning, aligning and formatting. Could you guys take a look if I did this (or any of it) right?

In MiniTool Partition Wizard I created two partitions to my Samsung 860 EVO, a 32 Gb for OS (C) and 127 Gb for games (D). I made them both Primary, file system FAT32 and cluster size 4KB. I also set the Partition Align to "Cylinder" of the 32 Gb partition.
1.jpg

Then set "Align" to both partitions and at this point I clicked "Apply"
2.jpg

After aligning I set "Format" for both partitions (FAT32 and 4 KB)
3.jpg

When formatting was done, I ran the Disk Alignment Test and everything seems to be okay...
DiskAT1.jpg
DiskAT2.jpg

What do guys think, is this SSD ready for some Windows 98 hardcore action?

So this didn´t work, when I boot via Windows 98 installation CD, it can´t even find C. Then I made only the partitioning and aligning in MiniTools, also activited the C-partition in it, then I did the formatting in older EaseUS (FAT32, 4KB). Then I could go to C but I couldn´t copy anything in there (Abort, Retry, Fail). After that I just tried to ran the installation straight from the CD and I got this:

IMG_20201022_184722.jpg
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If I let it format, it messes up the 4KB alignment. What am I suppose to do here? 🙁

Reply 54 of 89, by darry

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khyypio wrote on 2020-10-22, 16:01:
So this didn´t work, when I boot via Windows 98 installation CD, it can´t even find C. Then I made only the partitioning and ali […]
Show full quote
khyypio wrote on 2020-10-21, 20:24:
Oh boy, so many opinions it´s making me dizzy... :D Anyways, I found a tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard, so I plugged the S […]
Show full quote

Oh boy, so many opinions it´s making me dizzy... 😁 Anyways, I found a tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard, so I plugged the SSD to my Windows 10 PC and used the previously mentioned tool for partitioning, aligning and formatting. Could you guys take a look if I did this (or any of it) right?

In MiniTool Partition Wizard I created two partitions to my Samsung 860 EVO, a 32 Gb for OS (C) and 127 Gb for games (D). I made them both Primary, file system FAT32 and cluster size 4KB. I also set the Partition Align to "Cylinder" of the 32 Gb partition.
1.jpg

Then set "Align" to both partitions and at this point I clicked "Apply"
2.jpg

After aligning I set "Format" for both partitions (FAT32 and 4 KB)
3.jpg

When formatting was done, I ran the Disk Alignment Test and everything seems to be okay...
DiskAT1.jpg
DiskAT2.jpg

What do guys think, is this SSD ready for some Windows 98 hardcore action?

So this didn´t work, when I boot via Windows 98 installation CD, it can´t even find C. Then I made only the partitioning and aligning in MiniTools, also activited the C-partition in it, then I did the formatting in older EaseUS (FAT32, 4KB). Then I could go to C but I couldn´t copy anything in there (Abort, Retry, Fail). After that I just tried to ran the installation straight from the CD and I got this:
IMG_20201022_184722.jpg

If I let it format, it messes up the 4KB alignment. What am I suppose to do here? 🙁

Something is indeed not right . If you can't even access a FAT32 formatted partition under Windows' included DOS , there is no point in trying to install Windows onto it .

I may be mistaken, but just formatting an existing partition should not change its offset and, consequently, its alignment . Many programs tend to combine partition creation and filesystem creation, but, AFAIK, it is at partition creation that the calculation for proper offset and hence alignment is done . If you want to test that, just re-format on your retro machine (without re-partitioning) and re-test alignment on your modern PC .

Either way, as a test, you could forget about alignment for now and just try to format and install, just to see if there is not another issue at play here . If you do get past that hurdle, remember that at first boot Windows will try to access the disk using ESDI_506.PDR which does not handle >127GB drive sizes, so you must patch or replace ESDI_506.PDR before that first boot . Read the info provided with BHDD31.ZIP for more detailed instructions .

Reply 55 of 89, by khyypio

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darry wrote on 2020-10-22, 16:19:
Something is indeed not right . If you can't even access a FAT32 formatted partition under Windows' included DOS , there is no p […]
Show full quote
khyypio wrote on 2020-10-22, 16:01:
So this didn´t work, when I boot via Windows 98 installation CD, it can´t even find C. Then I made only the partitioning and ali […]
Show full quote
khyypio wrote on 2020-10-21, 20:24:
Oh boy, so many opinions it´s making me dizzy... :D Anyways, I found a tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard, so I plugged the S […]
Show full quote

Oh boy, so many opinions it´s making me dizzy... 😁 Anyways, I found a tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard, so I plugged the SSD to my Windows 10 PC and used the previously mentioned tool for partitioning, aligning and formatting. Could you guys take a look if I did this (or any of it) right?

In MiniTool Partition Wizard I created two partitions to my Samsung 860 EVO, a 32 Gb for OS (C) and 127 Gb for games (D). I made them both Primary, file system FAT32 and cluster size 4KB. I also set the Partition Align to "Cylinder" of the 32 Gb partition.
1.jpg

Then set "Align" to both partitions and at this point I clicked "Apply"
2.jpg

After aligning I set "Format" for both partitions (FAT32 and 4 KB)
3.jpg

When formatting was done, I ran the Disk Alignment Test and everything seems to be okay...
DiskAT1.jpg
DiskAT2.jpg

What do guys think, is this SSD ready for some Windows 98 hardcore action?

So this didn´t work, when I boot via Windows 98 installation CD, it can´t even find C. Then I made only the partitioning and aligning in MiniTools, also activited the C-partition in it, then I did the formatting in older EaseUS (FAT32, 4KB). Then I could go to C but I couldn´t copy anything in there (Abort, Retry, Fail). After that I just tried to ran the installation straight from the CD and I got this:
IMG_20201022_184722.jpg

If I let it format, it messes up the 4KB alignment. What am I suppose to do here? 🙁

Something is indeed not right . If you can't even access a FAT32 formatted partition under Windows' included DOS , there is no point in trying to install Windows onto it .

I may be mistaken, but just formatting an existing partition should not change its offset and, consequently, its alignment . Many programs tend to combine partition creation and filesystem creation, but, AFAIK, it is at partition creation that the calculation for proper offset and hence alignment is done . If you want to test that, just re-format on your retro machine (without re-partitioning) and re-test alignment on your modern PC .

Either way, as a test, you could forget about alignment for now and just try to format and install, just to see if there is not another issue at play here . If you do get past that hurdle, remember that at first boot Windows will try to access the disk using ESDI_506.PDR which does not handle >127GB drive sizes, so you must patch or replace ESDI_506.PDR before that first boot . Read the info provided with BHDD31.ZIP for more detailed instructions .

I suppose that´s one possiblity. You have a very similar system as I do, right? How did you get it up an running?

Reply 57 of 89, by darry

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khyypio wrote on 2020-10-22, 16:29:
darry wrote on 2020-10-22, 16:19:
Something is indeed not right . If you can't even access a FAT32 formatted partition under Windows' included DOS , there is no p […]
Show full quote
khyypio wrote on 2020-10-22, 16:01:

So this didn´t work, when I boot via Windows 98 installation CD, it can´t even find C. Then I made only the partitioning and aligning in MiniTools, also activited the C-partition in it, then I did the formatting in older EaseUS (FAT32, 4KB). Then I could go to C but I couldn´t copy anything in there (Abort, Retry, Fail). After that I just tried to ran the installation straight from the CD and I got this:
IMG_20201022_184722.jpg

If I let it format, it messes up the 4KB alignment. What am I suppose to do here? 🙁

Something is indeed not right . If you can't even access a FAT32 formatted partition under Windows' included DOS , there is no point in trying to install Windows onto it .

I may be mistaken, but just formatting an existing partition should not change its offset and, consequently, its alignment . Many programs tend to combine partition creation and filesystem creation, but, AFAIK, it is at partition creation that the calculation for proper offset and hence alignment is done . If you want to test that, just re-format on your retro machine (without re-partitioning) and re-test alignment on your modern PC .

Either way, as a test, you could forget about alignment for now and just try to format and install, just to see if there is not another issue at play here . If you do get past that hurdle, remember that at first boot Windows will try to access the disk using ESDI_506.PDR which does not handle >127GB drive sizes, so you must patch or replace ESDI_506.PDR before that first boot . Read the info provided with BHDD31.ZIP for more detailed instructions .

I suppose that´s one possiblity. You have a very similar system as I do, right? How did you get it up an running?

Having thought about it, if on a modern system, you formatted a filesystem bigger than 32GB with a forced cluster size of 4K rather than the 32K that it should default to, that is likely the reason Windows 98 SE and its DOS are choking on it as using a cluster size too small on a big file FAT32 filesystem will result in too many cluster for Windows 98 SE (and its DOS) to handle .

EDIT : See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previo ... dfrom=MSDN
With a 4K cluster size and a maximum of 4,177,918 of cluster , you can create a FAT32 filesystem about 16GB (a bit less actually) in size . Creating anything bigger with 4K clusters will be out of spec and Windows 98 SE (and its DOS) will not like it . If you want to create a bigger FAT32 filesystem, you must use a cluster size bigger than 4K . The biggest that Windows 98 Se will allow is 127GB with a 32K cluster size .

It has been a while (I last installed something like 4-5 years ago), but I think I was using a SIL3114 (or possibly a SIL3512) SATA controller at the time and I created my partitions in Linux (or maybe Freedos FDISK, which I do not recommend), formatted them in Windows 98SE's DOS and installed Windows . Even though it was not absolutely necessary at the time (SIL3114/SIL3512 do not use ESDI_506.PDR, so Windows was using BIOS compatibility mode until I install the SIL drivers), I still installed BHDD31.ZIP for the included utilities. I eventually switched to the onboard ICH2 controller and since BHDD31 was already installed, I did not need to do anything special .

My recommendation is to

a) partition with whatever modern alignment aware tool you like on a modern PC .
b) format as FAT32 on the destination retro PC (or on a modern PC with a 32K cluster size) and make sure everything is readable and writable .
c) Optionally, confirm on the modern PC that alignment is still OK (it should be)
d) Install Windows 98SE following the instructions provided with BHDD31.ZIP

If step b) fails, something is wrong either on you retro setup or the partition tools you used to create your partitions .

Reply 58 of 89, by khyypio

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darry wrote on 2020-10-22, 18:00:
Having thought about it, if on a modern system, you formatted a filesystem bigger than 32GB with a forced cluster size of 4K rat […]
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khyypio wrote on 2020-10-22, 16:29:
darry wrote on 2020-10-22, 16:19:

Something is indeed not right . If you can't even access a FAT32 formatted partition under Windows' included DOS , there is no point in trying to install Windows onto it .

I may be mistaken, but just formatting an existing partition should not change its offset and, consequently, its alignment . Many programs tend to combine partition creation and filesystem creation, but, AFAIK, it is at partition creation that the calculation for proper offset and hence alignment is done . If you want to test that, just re-format on your retro machine (without re-partitioning) and re-test alignment on your modern PC .

Either way, as a test, you could forget about alignment for now and just try to format and install, just to see if there is not another issue at play here . If you do get past that hurdle, remember that at first boot Windows will try to access the disk using ESDI_506.PDR which does not handle >127GB drive sizes, so you must patch or replace ESDI_506.PDR before that first boot . Read the info provided with BHDD31.ZIP for more detailed instructions .

I suppose that´s one possiblity. You have a very similar system as I do, right? How did you get it up an running?

Having thought about it, if on a modern system, you formatted a filesystem bigger than 32GB with a forced cluster size of 4K rather than the 32K that it should default to, that is likely the reason Windows 98 SE and its DOS are choking on it as using a cluster size too small on a big file FAT32 filesystem will result in too many cluster for Windows 98 SE (and its DOS) to handle .

EDIT : See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previo ... dfrom=MSDN
With a 4K cluster size and a maximum of 4,177,918 of cluster , you can create a FAT32 filesystem about 16GB (a bit less actually) in size . Creating anything bigger with 4K clusters will be out of spec and Windows 98 SE (and its DOS) will not like it . If you want to create a bigger FAT32 filesystem, you must use a cluster size bigger than 4K . The biggest that Windows 98 Se will allow is 127GB with a 32K cluster size .

It has been a while (I last installed something like 4-5 years ago), but I think I was using a SIL3114 (or possibly a SIL3512) SATA controller at the time and I created my partitions in Linux (or maybe Freedos FDISK, which I do not recommend), formatted them in Windows 98SE's DOS and installed Windows . Even though it was not absolutely necessary at the time (SIL3114/SIL3512 do not use ESDI_506.PDR, so Windows was using BIOS compatibility mode until I install the SIL drivers), I still installed BHDD31.ZIP for the included utilities. I eventually switched to the onboard ICH2 controller and since BHDD31 was already installed, I did not need to do anything special .

My recommendation is to

a) partition with whatever modern alignment aware tool you like on a modern PC .
b) format as FAT32 on the destination retro PC (or on a modern PC with a 32K cluster size) and make sure everything is readable and writable .
c) Optionally, confirm on the modern PC that alignment is still OK (it should be)
d) Install Windows 98SE following the instructions provided with BHDD31.ZIP

If step b) fails, something is wrong either on you retro setup or the partition tools you used to create your partitions .

So I did what you said, it didn´t pan out 🙁 Then I just simply did the partitioning and formatting with Super FDisk 1.0 and everything is running smoothly (and yes, I replaced ESDI_506.PDR as instructed). All the drivers are installed, no games though. Snappy boot-up and everything seems to work smoothly. BUT then I ran HDD benchmarks and take a look:

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SSD on the left, SD on right. SSDs rates are terrible compared to SD! If this is the best I can get, then it´s better just to get 120 Gb SD card.

Another weird thing: swithing DMA mode on from Device Manager turns performance to shit so boot-ups takes like 2 minutes and desktop use is horrbily choppy.

Reply 59 of 89, by bloodem

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TL;dr...

So far I have six retro PCs (Tualatin, Athlon XP, Athlon 64 and three Core 2 DUOs) with SSDs (all of them Kingston A400 120 GB) running Windows 98.

For the Core 2 Duo systems I'm using the onboard SATA controller in compatible mode.
For the other three I'm using these SATA to PATA adapters without any issues.

I didn't do anything special, simply ran fdisk (the one found on the Windows 98 startup disk), I partitioned the SSDs, set the active partition, formatted the partitions with the standard format command, removed the SSD, copied everything I need on it from my main work rig (including the Windows 98 install folder, driver collection, utils, etc), reinserted the disk and installed Windows. Never had any issues.

2 x Socket 3 / 3 x Socket 7 / 4 x SuperSocket 7 / 4 x Slot 1 / 2 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 2 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k