VOGONS


First post, by zapbuzz

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Hi,
I have successfully Partitoned and formatted a PATA disk with 500gb space to a 1 bootable fat32 boot disk for windows 98se and Millennium.
However this was done with a windows tool and another PC.
I need tools simple enough to do this from real dos mode like using fdisk and format.
Most more advanced tools only partition to 128gb due to depreciation around 2004 - 2007 and I don't like the microsoft drive letter alphabet approach.
Disks are getting hard to come by being small enough to run and large enough to seek data fast. PATA is dieing.
There is ways of doing it from windows but not DOS really and I think its an artificial block.
Any suggestions please?

Reply 1 of 5, by Zup

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AFAIR:
- Plain DOS can not format partitions beyond 2Gb (FAT16 limit).
- Windows 98 couldn't go beyond 120Gb or so without being patched, because its LBA support.
- Even it tried to not format disks beyond 32Gb or so, but could be forced to do so.
- To use a disk bigger than 2Tb, you must use GPT. DOS and every Windows older than Vista can not use GPT (XP could use GPT, but only specific versions).

My favourite tool to partition disks is gparted, using it on Puppy Linux (because it's a live lightweight distribution). Puppy 5.xx will run happily on 256Mb, so it will probably run fine on your Windows 98/Me machines.

And yes, PATA are dying. I'd recommend you to move to PATA to SATA converters, or move to SD or CF adapters. Keep on mind that some flash media are really fast reading data... but painfully slow writing data, and that flash cards tends to die often (but old your computers probably won't be working 24x7). I'd recommend you to make disk images when you've installed everything on your system... it will save you time when your flash cards die.

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Reply 2 of 5, by zapbuzz

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I found a bootable thing its called minitool partition manager makes a bootable portable win10 enviroment but thats not boot from floppy retro style and being a PE that means downloading the 32bit component that isn't pentium III compatable

Reply 3 of 5, by zapbuzz

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Zup wrote on 2021-07-21, 08:47:
AFAIR: - Plain DOS can not format partitions beyond 2Gb (FAT16 limit). - Windows 98 couldn't go beyond 120Gb or so without being […]
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AFAIR:
- Plain DOS can not format partitions beyond 2Gb (FAT16 limit).
- Windows 98 couldn't go beyond 120Gb or so without being patched, because its LBA support.
- Even it tried to not format disks beyond 32Gb or so, but could be forced to do so.
- To use a disk bigger than 2Tb, you must use GPT. DOS and every Windows older than Vista can not use GPT (XP could use GPT, but only specific versions).

My favourite tool to partition disks is gparted, using it on Puppy Linux (because it's a live lightweight distribution). Puppy 5.xx will run happily on 256Mb, so it will probably run fine on your Windows 98/Me machines.

And yes, PATA are dying. I'd recommend you to move to PATA to SATA converters, or move to SD or CF adapters. Keep on mind that some flash media are really fast reading data... but painfully slow writing data, and that flash cards tends to die often (but old your computers probably won't be working 24x7). I'd recommend you to make disk images when you've installed everything on your system... it will save you time when your flash cards die.

I found a way to access SATA by using a 150mbit SATA PCI card it doesn't use GPT and of such is limited up to 2TB disks which is fine there are tons of those.
Gparted I have limited knowlege of so i must ask can I select the sector/cluster sizes for my fat32 partitions?

Reply 4 of 5, by bakemono

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Did you try FreeDOS?

I think the source for the FAT32Format (Windows) program is on github so maybe someone could also try porting that to DOS.

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Reply 5 of 5, by darry

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bakemono wrote on 2021-07-22, 22:20:

Did you try FreeDOS?

I think the source for the FAT32Format (Windows) program is on github so maybe someone could also try porting that to DOS.

I do not trust FreeDOS' fdisk for, IMHO, a good reason . See Corruption issue when using rloew's TRIM.EXE (TRIM utility for DOS) with FreeDOS FDISK 1.2.1/1.3.1 partitioned DISK

I would also be inclined to not trust it's format tool by association. My go to solution for FAT32 formating and prior partitioning is Linux (Lubuntu LiveCD ).