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Patched IO.SYS for 9x/ME

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#1
jaclaz

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Just stumbled on this:
http://home.exetel.c.../phelum/w98.htm

Windows 98SE incorrectly registers LBA partitions in some cases. This causes phantom drives to appear in Explorer. The problem is caused by a bug in IO.SYS and occurs when an LBA partition occurs in a non-LBA extended partition or is the first drive encountered after processing a non-LBA extended partition. This bug is also present in the Windows ME IO.SYS.

The patched version of IO.SYS in the link below :-
.....


Maybe mdgx or any of the other W9x/Me gurus can comment/confirm?

jaclaz


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#2
blackwire

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nice find seems to fix the problem with two usb drives showing up with nusb

#3
Dave-H

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I just tried this modified IO.SYS file on my Win98SE system, and it completely rearranged my drive letters, fortunately not including drive C:!
:no:
Beware..............

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#4
jaclaz

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I just tried this modified IO.SYS file on my Win98SE system, and it completely rearranged my drive letters, fortunately not including drive C:!
:no:
Beware..............


Could you please post how your Hard drive is partitioned and how letters were before and after using the patched files? :unsure:

FYI, though unrelated:
Letter Assigner:
http://www.v72735.f2s.com/LetAssig/

jaclaz

#5
Dave-H

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I just tried this modified IO.SYS file on my Win98SE system, and it completely rearranged my drive letters, fortunately not including drive C:!
:no:
Beware..............


Could you please post how your Hard drive is partitioned and how letters were before and after using the patched files? :unsure:

FYI, though unrelated:
Letter Assigner:
http://www.v72735.f2s.com/LetAssig/

jaclaz

My main drive is partitioned into C: (Windows 98SE and System drive) and D: (Windows 2000 drive)
I also have a separate archive drive E:, and a removable EIDE drive F:

If I remember correctly, C: stayed the same, E: became D:, F: became E:
I can't remember what happened to D:!

Very worrying at the time, but fortunately putting the original IO.SYS file back fixed it!
I was I thought facing the horror of using fdisk, which always frightens me to death!
:)

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#6
jaclaz

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I see. :)

...but I miss some more details to try and understand what happened...

Drive lettering in general, and expecially with multiple drives depends also on the type of partitions (i.e. Primary vs. Logical Volume inside Extended) and filesystems used, not only type of filesystem but also types of partiion (CHS vs. LBA), usually depending on size of partition.

This is the way it "should" be:
http://support.micro.../kb/51978/en-us

and is consistent with your report if the second partition on your first drive is a logical volume inside an extended partition, and all other drives have not primary partitions, or if all partitions on all drives are primary ones.

Since it is quite rare to find a setup with drives having only Logical volumes inside Extended, it is more probable the second idea, that you have all Primary partitions, which, in the case of first drive having two primary partitions visible by DOS/Win 9x/ME, is a "non-standard" situation.

Where the meaning of "standard" is what FDISK would let you do.

See this thread for some reference:
http://www.msfn.org/...d-H-t85729.html
and particularly this post:
http://www.msfn.org/...h....html&st=20
where a possible explanation for different "drive lettering" order on different OS's is attempted.

Most probably the patched files do "correct" this situation along the referenced MS KB also with multiple primary ones. :unsure:

jaclaz

#7
Dave-H

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I certainly only have one primary partition, which is the boot drive C:
This was the only drive not relabelled when I replaced the IO.SYS file.
D: is indeed a logical volume inside an extended partition, on the same physical disk as the C: drive.
The other two drives are not partitioned.
All drives are all FAT32 as they have to be for access under Windows 98 of course.

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#8
jaclaz

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The other two drives are not partitioned.


Well, NO.

Any hard drive IS partitioned, at least with ONE partition.

So you have:
C: -> First Active Primary partition (boot drive) on first hard disk
D: -> Logical volume inside Extended partition on first hard disk
E: -> First Primary partition on second hard disk
F: -> First Primary partition on third hard disk

So, theoretically and according to the MS information, drives should be lettered as following:
First Primary partition on first hard drive ->C:
First Primary partition on next (second) hard drive -> D:
First Primary partition on next (third) hard drive -> E:
First volume inside Extended Partition of First hard disk -> F:

The reason why you have (normally) a different scheme of lettering remains a mistery, :unsure: unless you have something else that assingns letters :blink: .

A question (only if you have time and will to experiment, of course ;)):
can you try to boot from a simple Win98 DOS boot floppy and check if drive lettering remains the same?

jaclaz

#9
Dave-H

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The other two drives are not partitioned.


Well, NO.

Any hard drive IS partitioned, at least with ONE partition.

Of course, I should have said that the drives in question are single partitions on separate physical disks!
:)

So you have:
C: -> First Active Primary partition (boot drive) on first hard disk
D: -> Logical volume inside Extended partition on first hard disk
E: -> First Primary partition on second hard disk
F: -> First Primary partition on third hard disk

So, theoretically and according to the MS information, drives should be lettered as following:
First Primary partition on first hard drive ->C:
First Primary partition on next (second) hard drive -> D:
First Primary partition on next (third) hard drive -> E:
First volume inside Extended Partition of First hard disk -> F:

The reason why you have (normally) a different scheme of lettering remains a mistery, :unsure: unless you have something else that assingns letters :blink: .

A question (only if you have time and will to experiment, of course ;)):
can you try to boot from a simple Win98 DOS boot floppy and check if drive lettering remains the same?

jaclaz


Booted from a floppy and the drive letters remained the same, with the addition of a RAM drive G:
My two DVD drives, normally G: and H: became H: and I: as you would expect.

It's so long ago now, but I assigned the drives in DOS using fdisk, and it may well be that to get them the way I wanted them I had to physically disconnect drives so they weren't visible to fdisk.
That may have been the way that I got the extended partition on the first disk to be D:

I do remember that I had to reassign them in Windows 2000 to get the letters the same as in Windows 98, but at least that's relatively easy to do!

Edited by Dave-H, 29 May 2008 - 05:19 AM.

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#10
jaclaz

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It's strange. :blink:

I don't think there is a way to "assign" letters with fdisk.

And what you report, besides not being following the MS KB is also different from common experience:
http://www.msfn.org/...d-H-t85729.html

The fact that letters remain the same even when booting from floppy should mean that no software like letter assigner is changing drive letters, and thus the only explanation could be if the partitions on second and third hard disk were logical volumes inside extended. :unsure:

The fact that you remember changing drive letters in win2k appears to be consistent with this, as 2K (and XP/2003) use different rules for assigning drive letters:
http://www.dewassoc....riveletters.htm

which, would return in your case exactly the lettering scheme you are describing.

jaclaz

#11
Dave-H

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I didn't assign specific letters with fdisk.
What I probably did (and this is a very long time ago now so my memory is hazy!) was to only connect the main hard disk to the system, partition it into two partitions, one of which was primary and made active.
That became the C: drive and the other partition the D: drive.
I then added the other two disks to the system one by one, with single full capacity partitions.
They became E: and F:
You are probably right that they are in fact logical volumes inside extended partitions.
I wasn't aware at the time that I was creating a non-standard configuration!

Accepting that my configuration is non-standard, why would that mean that changing the IO.SYS file would rearrange the drive letters (presumably to what would have been the standard configuration.)
Are the drive letter assignments actually stored in IO.SYS?
That would certainly explain it.
:yes:

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#12
jaclaz

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You are probably right that they are in fact logical volumes inside extended partitions.

If they are, than the "normal" IO.SYS has lettered the drive along what is stated in the MS KB.


I wasn't aware at the time that I was creating a non-standard configuration!

Accepting that my configuration is non-standard, why would that mean that changing the IO.SYS file would rearrange the drive letters (presumably to what would have been the standard configuration.)
Are the drive letter assignments actually stored in IO.SYS?
That would certainly explain it.
:yes:


First thing rest assured that it is, at least theoretically, a "standard" configuration. :) There is no law whatsoever against having a drive with just a big extended partition.

To avoid the drive letters changing when a new drive is inserted, from the "dawn of time" ;) I have always formatted my hard disks with a smallish primary partition and all the rest one big extended partition, with one or more volumes in it.
This way, when I used the drive as second or third hard disk I simply hid the primary partition, but when and if I needed the drive on that or another machine as first drive, I unhid that partition and I would have a bootable system without any need to re-partition or use third party utilities like partition magic.
http://www.msfn.org/...n...6.html&st=2
http://www.msfn.org/...i...5.html&st=3


But the letter changing with the modified IO.SYS remains still a "mistery", the scope of the patch is to remove the problem that (actually not very often) happens in Win98 or Me when some "non-standard" partitioning schemes (or to be more exact logical volumes inside extended partitins with "wrong" CHS or LBA access) are used, fdisk does not create this situation AFAIK, but other "advanced" third party utilities may do that.

If you used fdisk to create your paritioning scheme, your setup should be "kosher", and the patch, while correcting a possible problem, creates another one. :blink:

Since letter assigner was developed of course we have no more any problems with drive lettering, and we can rename them at will under 9x/Me just like we are used to in NT/2K/XP, but your experience suggest that this patch should be used ONLY if the double lettering happens, and NOT as an "upgrade" patch.

jaclaz

#13
Dave-H

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I agree.
If you're actually having problems with drive letter assignments, or are doing a new installation, then using the modified IO.SYS is probably a good idea.
Otherwise, you need to be careful and be aware that the drive letters you're used to having can get altered by it and you may need to restore the original version to correct this.
:yes:

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#14
erpdude8

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Just stumbled on this:
http://home.exetel.c.../phelum/w98.htm

Windows 98SE incorrectly registers LBA partitions in some cases. This causes phantom drives to appear in Explorer. The problem is caused by a bug in IO.SYS and occurs when an LBA partition occurs in a non-LBA extended partition or is the first drive encountered after processing a non-LBA extended partition. This bug is also present in the Windows ME IO.SYS.

The patched version of IO.SYS in the link below :-
.....


Maybe mdgx or any of the other W9x/Me gurus can comment/confirm?

jaclaz


what about Win98 FE? That Steven guy did not mention Win98 first edition on his page and did not make an IO.SYS patch for Win98 FE.

anyway, I've figured out how to patch the IO.SYS file under Win98 FE thanks to the changes mentioned in his page.

Edited by erpdude8, 05 June 2008 - 12:30 PM.


#15
jaclaz

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what about Win98 FE? That Steven guy did not mention Win98 first edition on his page and did not make an IO.SYS patch for Win98 FE.

anyway, I've figured out how to patch the IO.SYS file under Win98 FE thanks to the changes mentioned in his page.


Care to share what you did here? :unsure:

Or maybe contact Steven Saunderson and tell him, so he can add the info to the page?

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 06 July 2008 - 08:34 AM.


#16
os2fan2

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The patched io.sys (w98.zip) downloaded from this is the one from kb 311561.

The official microsoft patch gives two files (winboot.98g, winboot.98s), which are identical to the bit. So the above changes will work on both 98 and 98se. It works also without alteration on Tihiy's reduced version of IO.SYS (eg ionologo.sys).

This patch of io.sys is in different locations to the w3xstart patch.

Edited by os2fan2, 25 August 2008 - 05:16 AM.


#17
dencorso

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The patched io.sys (w98.zip) downloaded from this is the one from kb 311561.

The official microsoft patch gives two files (winboot.98g, winboot.98s), which are identical to the bit. So the above changes will work on both 98 and 98se.

That's true. On the other hand, the patched io.sys (wme.zip) for Win ME is based on the original retail Win ME io.sys (110080 bytes 06/08/2000 05:00 PM) because they have the same size and just 82 differences between them (hence it's a patch), and not on the Win ME version of KB 311561 (110080 bytes 11/29/2001 09:29 AM), which has also the same size but 105963 differences from the file provided by Steven (hence they are completely different files, one cannot be a patch of the other). And no patched version of winboot.ebd (the bootable diskette version of io.sys, necessary to be able to use the "Real DOS-Mode Patch for Win ME" on it and make Win ME more bearable :angel ).

Edited by dencorso, 10 November 2008 - 04:45 PM.


#18
phelum

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The patched io.sys (w98.zip) downloaded from this is the one from kb 311561.

It might be identical but I doubt it. KB 311561 talks about hard error detection whereas my change fixes a software error that doubled the start key of a partition.

The patched IO.SYS relies totally on the LBA keys in the partition records even for CHS partitions. Perhaps this break from the specifications caused the drive letter problem reported above.

I can't really add any mention for Win98FE in my page because I've never tested it.

Cheers,

Edited by phelum, 29 May 2009 - 03:49 PM.

Steven Saunderson

#19
dencorso

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The patched io.sys (w98.zip) downloaded from this is the one from kb 311561.

It might be identical but I doubt it.

Welcome to MSFN, phelum!
You misunderstood the sense of os2fan2's statement: She meant that the patched file you offer is based in the IO.SYS file from KB311561 (or, in other words, that you patched the KB311561 Win 98SE IO.SYS). This was of importance for her point because, inside the hotfix KB311561, there are two versions of IO.SYS, one meant to be used in 98SE, and the other for 98FE, but both those two files are in fact identical. Hence she concluded that your patched file must work OK also with Win 98FE.

Edited by dencorso, 29 May 2009 - 09:13 PM.


#20
phelum

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You misunderstood the sense of os2fan2's statement: She meant that the patched file you offer is based in the IO.SYS file from KB311561 (or, in other words, that you patched the KB311561 Win 98SE IO.SYS).

Thanks for the update and the welcome. Yes, misunderstanding is one of my acquired skills.

I'm glad that the patch has helped someone. I can't see why the key calcs were wrong in the first place but I did worry that the patch might break some existing disk setups. I'm still using this IO.SYS in multi-boot (DOS, W98, W2k) systems that I support.

Cheers,
Steven Saunderson

#21
dencorso

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BTW, if you get phantom drive enumeration or other LBA problems
in W9X, you might want to try my revised patch for V7.10 'IO.SYS'
(based on original patch by Steven Saunderson), available at :
http://jds.com-t.com/general.html


@jds: You say in your read.me:

However, one of Steven's changes were causing me other LBA problems, and since I didn't agree with it, I reversed it.

I've determined that the change you reverted is (quoting Steven Saunderson's original w98bug.txt):

* Offset 2072 was 04 now 00 (erroneous set of LBA flag for next par[tition]).

Would you please elaborate on what problems did that particular change have, and why do you consider it a misfix?


Sorry again for the delayed reply.

Anyway, the misfix is as follows ... When an LBA extended partition is defined, all logical partitions within in should/must use LBA addressing, even if they're not explicitly defined as LBA types. With the above-mentioned change, IO.SYS will look only at the type ID of the logical partition itself, ignoring the type ID (and hence addressing mode) of the extended partition that contains it. If the logical partition in question is not wholely within the 7.8G CHS limit, disaster (due to wrap-around)!

Joe.


We were talking about other matters, elsewhere, and this interesting development took place:
jds found a problem with phelum's patch and reversed one of the code modifications, to catter for the case of CHS logical partitions inside LBA extended partitions. His patcher for the Win 98 FE or SE versions of IO.SYS from KB311561 is findable at his site.

#22
phelum

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We were talking about other matters, elsewhere, and this interesting development took place:
jds found a problem with phelum's patch and reversed one of the code modifications, to catter for the case of CHS logical partitions inside LBA extended partitions. His patcher for the Win 98 FE or SE versions of IO.SYS from KB311561 is findable at his site.

I can see that my patch has had an unwanted side-effect. I didn't hit a problem because my extended partitions are all type 05 whether CHS or LBA. I need this type because NT4 doesn't recognise type 0F. I put a dummy partition at cylinder 1023 so systems that use CHS don't see anything after. NT systems always use LBA so they continue down the chain and find subsequent partitions. Win98SE does find FAT32 partitons after cylinder 1023.

Thanks for the update to my patch and the interest in it.

Cheers,
Steven Saunderson

Edited by phelum, 05 May 2010 - 03:49 AM.


#23
rloew

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We were talking about other matters, elsewhere, and this interesting development took place:
jds found a problem with phelum's patch and reversed one of the code modifications, to catter for the case of CHS logical partitions inside LBA extended partitions. His patcher for the Win 98 FE or SE versions of IO.SYS from KB311561 is findable at his site.

I can see that my patch has had an unwanted side-effect. I didn't hit a problem because my extended partitions are all type 05 whether CHS or LBA. I need this type because NT4 doesn't recognise type 0F. I put a dummy partition at cylinder 1023 so systems that use CHS don't see anything after. NT systems always use LBA so they continue down the chain and find subsequent partitions. Win98SE does find FAT32 partitons after cylinder 1023.

Thanks for the update to my patch and the interest in it.

Cheers,
Steven Saunderson

Can you tell me under what conditions does the Partition Start Sector become doubled without your Patch? I have observed a bug that causes spurious Partition Start Sector settings, but they are not doubled. I have developed a fix that corrects the problem. I recently ran some tests and found that your Patch did not fix the Bug I identified.
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#24
phelum

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Can you tell me under what conditions does the Partition Start Sector become doubled without your Patch? I have observed a bug that causes spurious Partition Start Sector settings, but they are not doubled. I have developed a fix that corrects the problem. I recently ran some tests and found that your Patch did not fix the Bug I identified.

My hard drive contained an extended partition (type 05) that was about 30GB. This partition contained CHS accessible volumes before cylinder 1023 and others (NTFS and FAT32) from cylinder 1024 onwards. There was a FAT32 volume before cylinder 1023 and I would get a phantom drive in Win98 if I set this volume's type to 0C.

A simple test to show the problem is to create an extended partition (type 05) on a drive and add a type 0C (FAT32 LBA) volume. IO.SYS will double the start key whereas the 32-bit disk code in Win98 gets it right.

I realise that type 05 partitions shouldn't exceed cylinder 1023 but I had to use 05 not 0F for NT4 compatibility. Also, all LBA keys must be correct. I didn't see this as a problem because NT always uses LBA keys and my partitioning program ensured they were correct. But, this might cause problems in setups that rely/use CHS only.

The recent comment that an LBA extended partition should contain only LBA volumes might explain why IO.SYS works the way it does.

Cheers,
Steven Saunderson
Steven Saunderson

#25
rloew

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Can you tell me under what conditions does the Partition Start Sector become doubled without your Patch? I have observed a bug that causes spurious Partition Start Sector settings, but they are not doubled. I have developed a fix that corrects the problem. I recently ran some tests and found that your Patch did not fix the Bug I identified.

My hard drive contained an extended partition (type 05) that was about 30GB. This partition contained CHS accessible volumes before cylinder 1023 and others (NTFS and FAT32) from cylinder 1024 onwards. There was a FAT32 volume before cylinder 1023 and I would get a phantom drive in Win98 if I set this volume's type to 0C.

A simple test to show the problem is to create an extended partition (type 05) on a drive and add a type 0C (FAT32 LBA) volume. IO.SYS will double the start key whereas the 32-bit disk code in Win98 gets it right.

I realise that type 05 partitions shouldn't exceed cylinder 1023 but I had to use 05 not 0F for NT4 compatibility. Also, all LBA keys must be correct. I didn't see this as a problem because NT always uses LBA keys and my partitioning program ensured they were correct. But, this might cause problems in setups that rely/use CHS only.

The recent comment that an LBA extended partition should contain only LBA volumes might explain why IO.SYS works the way it does.

Cheers,
Steven Saunderson

Microsoft considers LBA the preferred access mode. Since a type '0F' Partition requires use of LBA, it is safe to assume that any Logical Partition contained within it can be accessed by LBA, regardless if LBA is specified. FDISK makes this assumption, so your Patch at +2072 breaks this. JDS removed this part of your Patch.

Without the +2072 Patch, your Patch at +206C now causes all Logical Partitions to be set for LBA access. This would be a problem in any machine that does not support LBA.

Without the +206C Patch, the value of using a Type '05' Partition with LBA Logical Partitions is severely diminshed. Besides needing your +3A01 Patch, you will be unable to define Partitions that start above 8GB. Type '05' Partitions were meant to be CHS only and there may ber even more issues.

Basically what you have done is make a workaround for a problem that is basically a Windows NT problem not a DOS problem.

Windows 98 has different code so it handles these nonstandard partitions differently, so you get the duplicate mounts.

I think you would get much better results if you fix the problem in Windows NT instead. Since it can handle LBA, the modification should be relatively simple.

The problem I found does not require CHS Partitions or non-standard Partitions, only the presence of NON-DOS Partitions, such as NTFS.
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