Large Disk Solutions
By: Walter Metcalf
In the previous article we looked at the reasons behind most
of the problems caused by modern large disk drives. In this article we shall look at some of the
solutions to these problems.
Since IBM has not updated FDISK and Boot Manager for large hard drives, users have been forced to search
elsewhere for solutions to their partitioning and multiple-operating system needs. This article does not
attempt to present a complete list of vendors who have solutions OS/2 users might find useful. A more
complete discussion of that topic can be found one of my earlier series Boot Manager Shootout. The discussion here will be limited to two products and combinations thereof
that I have found particularly successful in dealing with the problems outlined in the previous section.
Next week we'll look at several products that successfully handle boot menus under in multi-operating system environment. Be sure to check back then!
- Partition Magic
Although I stated earlier that the current versions of Partition Magic (the only versions that support large
hard drives) no longer have OS/2 code, they still are quite useful to knowledgeable OS/2 users.
Partition Magic 5.0, the current version, has three important features that contribute to this usefulness:
HPFS support, a fully functional DOS GUI version of Partition Magic 5.0, and a DOS utility called PTEDIT,
about which more will be said later.
- HPFS Support
HPFS Support remains unchanged from previous versions of Partition Magic, except that logical
drives are not displayed in the PM menus.
- The DOS version of PM 5.0 has all the functionality of the Windows version. Moreover it can
be started by booting from a special pair of diskettes.
- Most of the time the DOS version avoids creating the dreaded ExtendedX partition
described earlier. However, to be safe, always select the extended partition and click
on the blue Information Tool, and verify that the Partition Type is Extended (05) just
before exiting Partition Magic.
- I strongly recommend wherever possible you avoid the Windows version of
Partition Magic 5.0 because in my testing it always tries to create (or convert the
existing Extended to) an ExtendedX partition, and therefore can cause serious problems
- If in spite of all your care, you find your Extended Partition (Type 05) has become the
dreaded ExtendedX (Type 0F) partition, all is not lost. You can use the utility
PTEDIT (Partition Edit) to convert the Type 0F partition into the normal Type 05 (Extended) partition by the following this procedure:
- Select the Type column of the Type 0F partition; verify that the Partition
Information box says "Extended X".
- Click on the Set Type button.
- Highlight "05 Extended" from the pop-up list.
- Click on "OK", and then click on "Save Changes".
- If you are sure you have done everything correctly, click on "Yes".
- Once you have carefully verified your changes, exit the utility by clicking
on the "X" at the top right of the window.
NOTE: It cannot be stressed enough that you must be VERY CAREFUL when using PTEDIT.
When using this utility, you are directly editing the Master Boot Partition, and one mistake
could easily render your ENTIRE HARD DRIVE unusable! Properly used, however, PTEDIT is a
valuable tool. If you have the CD version, you will find it in the \UTILITY\DOS directory.
After Partition Magic 5 has been installed you can also find it in the "\UTILITY\DOS"
subdirectory of the directory containing Partition Magic 5.
- Recommended Strategy
Because the OS/2 drivers have been been kept up-to-date, I recommend that when you first get you
get your new large hard drive, you partition it with FDISK for OS/2 and then format it under OS/2.
Among other things, this avoids certain limitations within Partition Magic for DOS
such as a maximum partition size. After that use Partition Magic for DOS to resize and move
partitions. (Note: Because of the maximum partition size limitation mentioned above, it is a
good idea to keep your partition sizes a reasonable size--say under 3 GB.
Next week: Boot menus under Diverse Operating Systems, Part 3
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