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A Traveller 12-01-2009 04:33 PM

How to format a disk for data to use with both Linux and Windows 98?
 
This is my first post here. Hi All.

I would like to ask if anyone could advise me about whether or not it is possible to have a data drive recognised by Windows (98SE) and Ubuntu (9.10) without using Windows to format it.

If I format the hard disk using FDisk, then Ubuntu recognises it, so everything's fine, however, if the disk is larger than 137Gb, I cannot format it with FDisk/Windows as it doesn't recognise the full capacity. If I format the disk in Ubuntu (which recognises the full capacity), will W98SE automatically show it in My Computer or do I need to do it a different way?

By the way, is the 137Gb max size due to WindowsSE, FDisk or the motherboard? I had already tried enabling LBA in Bios on my old pc but couldn't find a setting for that.

At the moment, I am not running a dual boot setup and am switching my data drive between the Windows and Ubuntu computers. Speaking about dual booting, my motherboard gives the option at startup to choose which the first boot device will be (without entering BIOS). I have come across numerous complicated questions on the Internet asking how to dual boot. Am I missing something?

Thanks.

kbp 12-01-2009 04:42 PM

As per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table

Quote:

On Windows 95/98, due to the version of Microsoft's SCANDISK utility included with these operating systems being a 16-bit application, the FAT structure is not allowed to grow beyond around 4.2 million (< 222) clusters, placing the volume limit at 127.53 GB.[14] A limitation in original versions of Windows 98/98SE's Fdisk utility causes it to incorrectly report disk sizes over 64 GB.[15] A corrected version is available from Microsoft, but it cannot partition drives larger than 512GB [16]. The Windows 2000/XP installation program and filesystem creation tool imposes a limitation of 32 GB [17]. However, both systems can read and write to FAT32 file systems of any size. This limitation is by design and according to Microsoft was imposed because many tasks on a very large FAT32 file system become slow and inefficient.[14][18] This limitation can be bypassed by using third-party formatting utilities
To summarise, if you create and format the partition as fat32 on Ubuntu, Windows should be fine to use it

cheers

bret381 12-01-2009 04:43 PM

You won't have any problems reading you windows drive from linux, however windows will not see your linux partition.

syg00 12-01-2009 04:44 PM

Format it in Ubuntu as VFAT (FAT 32) - Windows (even later than Win98) couldn't format large partitions, but would still use them o.k.
Win98SE should be o.k. as well

pixellany 12-01-2009 05:11 PM

I have not had dual-boot for over 2 years, so there is rust and mold.....;)

My favored approach was to put all shared data on ext3 and then use the ext2fsd driver in Windows. For the rare occassions that I booted into Windows, it seemed to work well. I was using Win2K and I don't know how well this driver works on later versions.

chrism01 12-01-2009 07:07 PM

In that case, I'd guess the qn is, is there an ext2fsd for Win98?

A Traveller 12-02-2009 01:52 PM

Thanks for all the replies. They really are appreciated.

I will try formatting it as VFAT, as suggested, and report back on how I get on. Since this sounds easier than to 'put all shared data on ext3 and then use the ext2fsd driver in Windows', I will try that first. My knowledge isn't that advanced yet! Haha.

Thanks.

resetreset 12-07-2009 01:40 AM

Is VFAT the same as FAT32, syg00? I think they're 2 separate things, VFAT was for Win 95, and 98 upgraded it to FAT32, which is different, and which is what the OP should use, IMO.

A Traveller 12-07-2009 06:30 AM

Hi All.

I put the new hard disk in my computer and set the jumper to slave (removed it). Unfortunately, the disk doesn't appear in the 'Places' menu, so I did some research on the Internet and came across the sudo fdisk -l command to check if the disk was there and got the following. I'm assuming that if I were to try to format it through the terminal, with my limited knowledge, it will format as ext2 or ext3 or whatever it is and not as VFAT. How can I simply make the disk appear in Places so that I can just right click on it and choose 'Format' from the context menu?

Thanks.


Disk /dev/sda: 20.5 GB, 20490559488 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2491 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x1b4f1b4f

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 2382 19133383+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 2383 2491 875542+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 2383 2491 875511 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table

kbp 12-07-2009 06:53 PM

Hi Traveller,

I don't think it will show up under places until it is partitioned, from the command line, the steps should be as follows:

Code:

sudo fdisk /dev/sdb
n (new)
p (primary)
1 (first partition)
[enter] (start at beginning)
[enter] (finish at end - use the whole disk)
t (change type)
c (Fat32 with LBA)
w (write and exit)

Then you can format it:

Code:

mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1
cheers

exvor 12-07-2009 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Traveller (Post 3776221)
This is my first post here. Hi All.

I would like to ask if anyone could advise me about whether or not it is possible to have a data drive recognised by Windows (98SE) and Ubuntu (9.10) without using Windows to format it.
...

Windows 98SE. Rummaging the bargin bin for that :p

A Traveller 12-10-2009 01:00 PM

kbp, thank you so, so, so, so much! That worked perfectly. I really appreciated your step by step instructions. It's an enormous help for newbs like me.

exvor, yes I know, but I don't think I'll ever be buying any Windows software later than 98. I'm going to stick it out with Linux, which I must say, has it's fair share of annoyances, especially when starting out! One of the main ones is installing programs.

Thanks everyone.


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