Posted 01 July 2005 - 01:13 PM
I guess this is the place to add some anecdotal stuff: [Note: All partitions are FAT32.]
I haven't attempted to see if I am corrupting anything on the drive, but I have used some Hitachi 250 GB drives in various configurations. Here's what seems to be working:
1) Using Partition Magic, I am only able to set the max partition size to about 196 GB regardless of position on the physical disk. The entire disk can be referenced by using two or more partitions.
This limit is imposed running Partition Magic 8.02 on Win98SE, WinME or WinXP.
The physical disk has only been accessed from XP if hooked to the IDE connector on the motherboard: Tyan S2466; made no attempt to use from 98SE.
Alternate configurations: USB 2.0 and/or Firewire external boxes. These seem to work everywhere including the DOS Firewire IOmega drivers from Ghost2003. I have tried 32 and 64-bit firewire cards and the IOmega driver works fine from DOS. The similarly-supplied USB driver has lots of problems: Won't support disks bigger than 127 GB at all in DOS, and additionally hates some USB cards entirely.
No problems with Firewire in 98SE, ME, XP, DOS with the IOmega drivers. Works in Sony Vaio laptops, random Via Firewire PCI cards, and even a 64-bit SIIG which runs major-way faster in DOS than when placed in a 32-bit slot on the Tyan S2466 [which has two 64-bit slots and the rest 32-bit.] Thus, the driver likes all of the hardware and any size disk, etc.
Yet, Partition Magic still won't let me make a FAT32 partition bigger than 196 GB, and I generally use two 120-odd ones thus I am avoiding the problem in 9x, so I have no answer about data corruption.
Last configuration is using Promise Ultra-133 TX2 which totally just works for adding plug-and-play non-boot disks using Promise drivers for 9x or XP. If you add the driver for XP into the mini-kernel, you can even install XP on one of the Promise-controlled drives. But with no drivers, DOS can completely access everything, and 9x with the supplied .MPD driver no problems at all. [Note: The Promise card has a BIOS chip on it that does all of this!] It can run in 32-bit mode or double-speed 32-bit mode if you have a double-speed motherboard such as the Tyan S2466. [Note the SIIG firewire card gets the speed not by doubling the bus speed, but rather that card is a 64-bit wide card on this same motherboard, etc.]
So, I am booting to a sub-120 GB disk and the driver talks to the 250 GB disks and I seem to have no problems with any system!
So, if I raise the partition size to beyond 127 GB, I can assume that would break the data and should be avoided?
ps: Now that I think of it, I did trick FDISK into making a full-size disk by first making a 7.8 MB primary, then extended for the rest of the disk, then a giant logical partition, then used Partition Magic to remove the primary partition, etc. Any attempt to change the size of the remaining partition set off Partition Magic to insist I down the size to about 196 GB.
Additionally, when I hooked this disk up in a USB 2.0 box partitioned that bigger way, Win98SE showed two copies of the drive in My Computer!!! [Yes, i was seeing double!]