formatting a second drive

Posted on 2004-10-12
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have installed a 40 GB hard drive as a slave to the original 3 GB that came with my 'hand me down' Compaq Deskpro 4000. (The other specifications were unavailable besides my motherboard's being dated 1997-1998.) I already have a dual-boot with Windows NT 4.0 and Windows XP on the original disk.  My intent was to add the second disk for strictly storage purposes. My problem emerges in two places: first, I get an error message 1791 that reads disk 1 error(disk 1 is the newly installed disk) then I'm prompted to press f1 to boot. I boot up fine, go into disk management within XP and make a primary partition of about 10 GB, after which I'm prompted to format. Everything seems fine until the formatting reaches 100% completed and I'm told in an error message that the format couldn't be completed.  Please, can someone assist?
Question by:pro-fessor
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

LucF earned 500 total points
ID: 12289783
Hi pro-fessor,

Your BIOS doesn't support disks that big, you should be happy if it'll happely accept a 8.2 GB disk.
You have two options in this case:
1) find an updated bios that will solve this (very unlikely it'll work as this system is pretty old)
2) Get yourself a PCI-IDE controller and connect the disk to that card, it uses it's own bios for the disk so it'll circumvent your bios limitation. These cards can be gotten at every PC store for just a few bucks.

Afterwards, your problems will be solved.


LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 12289793
Mmm are you trying to format a FAT drive bigger than 37Gb XP dont like this :) can you format it as NTFS?

Expert Comment

ID: 12290497
you can format it as NTFS,
just make the cd the 1st boot then
insert the windows xp cd press any key
and follow the directions no need to go
trouble with those filthy floopys

Expert Comment

ID: 12297412
Using a possesive with a gerund!

I agree with LucF: this is a BIOS issue. I think his solution 2 is your best bet.

However ...

I have setup a 40 Gbyte HDD on an older machine using a drive that had a jumper setting to limit its visible size to 32 Gbytes. I partitioned the 32 Gbytes into 1x20 Gbyte primary dos and a "12 Gbyte" extended dos. When I came to
set up a logical drive on the extended partition I was surprised to find there were 20 Gbytes available. Both partitions formatted happily in FAT32 and as far as I know both drives worked normally ever after. I can't  be sure but I think the machine had a 1998 BIOS capable of recognising a 32 Gbyte HDD (obviously) but I would definitely have been setting it up as a master on the second IDE controller. The OS was Win Me.

I am not sure that all HDDs have the 32 Gbyte limiting jumper available.

And I just looked at another machine (the one above is in my son's possession 150 kms away) that is the same vintage and in fdisk it is showing its third HDD as having 32248 MBytes and containing the following drives E: 4910, J: 4910, K: 4910, L: 4903, M: 9813, N: 9812. So that's a 40 Gbyte drive that has come out of  an upgraded machine and stuck in a spare drive bay in an old machine just in case. I don't remember the transfer as being anything other than routine. But it was already formatted. The drive is an IBM-DTLA-305040 but I'm not going to open the case to find out what jumpers are set.

So another option may be formatting on another machine capable of accepting a 40 Gbyte HDD.

Anyway my main advice is don't give up just yet and you have always got LucF's solution 2.

Good luck.


Expert Comment

ID: 12298526
Hold the phone.

I just checked that system properly and while drive N: can be inspected and most things are visible using Windows Explorer not everything is accessible. Looks like I can get to everything under that 32 Gbyte limit (including the file allocation table) but not over. About what I expected, actually.

Also the system is a Win98SE/NT4 dual boot and NT4 can't see anything but that may be an administrative thing (I practically never boot it into NT4).

I now expect that my son won't be able to write anything on his big dive beyond the 32 Gbyte limit.

Looks like LucF's solution 2.


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