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USB DOS Driver for Western Digital 1600JB external hard drive.

Posted on 2005-03-19
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Ive been looking for a dos usb driver that works for the wester digital 1600jb external drive.  I need to boot off a dos diskette and be able to write to this usb device.  I have tried a few drivers but nothing so far works.  Any one have success with this?  Thanks.
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Question by:wawaldo
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by:veedar
ID: 13585543
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by:Watzman
ID: 13586054

Do a Google search for "DUSE", it's a DOS USB driver put out by Cypress Semiconductor, a firm which makes a lot of USB controller chips.  It works with a lot of various USB devices and USB controller chips (including many non-Cypress chips), but by no means is it completely "universal".  However, it's generally considered to be the best DOS USB driver.
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icemanwol earned 500 total points
ID: 13587599
Make sure the drive is in FAT32 format.  Also, look out for the size of the drive.  I am unsure if dos /dos usb drivers will be able to correctly handel a drive over 137GB.  Even though this is not DOS based, you may want to take a look at bartPE.  What it is is a stripped down version of windows XP that boots and runs completly off a CD.  It has USB support, network support, ntfs support, and supports alot of basic programs like virus scans.
http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
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by:Watzman
ID: 13587823

The 137 gig limit doesn't apply here.  That limit applies only to older PHYSICSAL IDE interfaces and their drivers.  In this instance, the computer to drive interface is USB.  The 137 gig limit could theoretically apply within the external case (between the controller in the external case and the drive), but I'm sure that it doesn't, because all of the USB to IDE controller chips have been designed recently enough to take that into account.  If the drive isn't on a motherboard IDE port, you generally don't have to worry about the 137 gig limit (it could be an issue if it's on an OLD PCI IDE controller, but, again, the issue then is between the controller and the drive, not between the PC and the PC and the controller.  As far as the PC is concerned, drives on a PCI controller are treated as SCSI drives, which don't have the 137 gigabyte limit).

Using FAT for a 160 gig external drive is a problem in and of itself.  FAT really breaks down once the partions get above about 32 gigs, so you would be talking about dividing the drive into about 5 partitions.  That's pretty ugly in an of itself.  But if you need it for certain applications, like video editing or storing DVD images (video or data), it breaks down completely, because you may then need individual files larger than the FAT file system can support.  On my own external drive (200 gigs), I created one FAT partition, so that it could be used with Win98, and just let the rest of the drive be one very large NTFS partition.
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by:icemanwol
ID: 13596923
No, i'm mainly worried here, watzman, because dos/dos drivers tend to have some/all 16-bit code.  Which can have a limit on the drive capacity.  Such as the scandisk, fdisk, and defrag from windows 98se do not work on drives over 137gb because they have old code in them.  I am unsure if this is the case with the DOS USB drivers, but it would be something to watch out for.


problems with win98/me and hd over 137gb: http://www.48bitlba.com/win98.htm
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by:icemanwol
ID: 13596940
One more thing to add, if you remember, Windows XP before SP1 and windows 2000 before sp4 are unable to correctly use drives over 137GB without special drivers, even if the BIOS/IDE controller is able to handel them.  Just wanted to prove that this is not always a hardware issue, it can be software related too
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by:Watzman
ID: 13597475
Iceman,

Re: "One more thing to add, if you remember, Windows XP before SP1 and windows 2000 before sp4 are unable to correctly use drives over 137GB"

I know what you are saying, but that's not right as you said it.  Yes, there is a 137 gigabyte limit.  But it's in the IDE drivers, not the operating system.  It doesn't apply to drives that don't use the MOTHERBOARD IDE interface.  It doesn't, for example, apply to scsi drives, RAID drives, drives on a PCI slot IDE controller (assuming that the PCI controller doesn't itself have that limitation -- older ones do, newer ones don't) and, of relevance to this case, it doesn't apply to USB drives.  It's important to understand where that limit is and why it arises -- and that it's limited to the MOTHERBOARD IDE drive interfaces.  It's not, in particular, so much a drive size limit as an IDE interface limitation.

Using DOS, you will have some limits, but I don't think that they are capacity limits per se (although I'm not sure of that).  The biggest limit is that DOS will not recognize an NTFS partition, and you really don't want to create FAT partitions larger than about 32 gigs.  Of course DOS doesn't normally work with USB anyway, but as I pointed out earlier, there are some DOS USB drivers (DUSE in particular).  However, DOS may not be able to cope with any single drive of even quite a bit less than 137 gigs.  DOS has to keep a copy of some of the drive data structures (including the FAT table) in memory, and these items, plus simply the time required to search the directory the way that dos does it, can become overwhelming when the drive gets extremely large.  FAT file systems as implemented in DOS and Windows 98 start to break down between 16 and 32 gigabytes (per partition), much less 137 gigs.
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