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afflik1923Flag for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Win 98 USB hard drive (fat 32 formated) - files invisible on XP/ Vista - HELP?

Job, install Windows Vista PC and transfer files from Windows 98. Easy? Not so!!!
Probem, getting files off of the old Windows 98 box. Firstly, I use a USB hard drive. After spending ages tracking down the drivers to make it work on the Windows 98 PC, I irst formateed the drive.
I then transferred the first batch of files I needed from the Windows 98 Pc to the USB drive.
Actually took ages but completed it. Then plugged the drive into the new Vista PC.

It still sees the files that were there before I formated it on the Windows 98 (full format - NOT quick) PC.

I cannot see any of the files I took AGES transferring!!

Can anyone please help. I have another Vista questy to follow about Vista mail importing from Outlook Express on the Win 98 PC (I copied over a DBX file but it does not seem to import it) but main thing for now is how I read the fat 32 info on the USB hard drive.
Note I took the USB home and tried it on my Windows XP hard drive and the same thing, it can only see the files BEFORE I formatted it on Win 98.

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Try formatting the usb drive in the Vista machine as Fat32 then retransfer the files from the 98 machine
Does the 98 machine see the transfered files still?
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I don't believe Win98 formatted the USB drive at all.

It was probably already formatted in NTFS...?

I think the suggestion above to format in FAT32 on the Vista machine is smart and should eventualy fix the problem.

Avatar of afflik1923


I tell you, I FORMATED it Fat 32!!!
At first when inserted into the Win 98 PC it would not recognise it. I then found the driver CD (very unhelpful generic driver CD that came with my sumvision 2.5" drive enclosue which I put an 80GB hard drive in). I randomly choose a driver from the "enclosures" part of the CD - no way of id'ing which one I should use, but it worked. Worked in that I was now able to recognise the drive on the Windows 98 PC although it said wrong format (can't remember exact message here).
So I clicked format and (although I expected I woudl not be able to I tried quick format).
It said this was not possible and a full format would be necessary. So I said OK and after being warned of data loss, watched the progress bar.

It happened quicker then I thought, perhaps about 10 mins to format, I was expecting a bit longer on this old PC, but once it completed I was able to drop files to it from the Windows 98 PC.

So I copied some files over. All seemed to go as expected.
Plugged drive into Vista (or XP or win 2000) and the files that were there before formatting were still present!!!!
Plugged it back into Win 98, and the files I copied from Win 98 are still there.
wahtever I plug it into, it shows the appropiate respective files.

Conclusion, some how two partitions must of been created. Ithink this because when I run partiion magic it shows 15 GB of unformated space at the end and makes no mention of a FAT32 parition.

So how weird is that!

My problem, what do I do about it. I've already dpent 10 hours instead of 2.5 hours on this job. All things Win 98 related are horrible.

I could not get the PC's to network with each other. I want to cry. This PC does not want to share its files.

also when in Vista, it did not give the optoin to format in Fat 32. Even in windows XP.

However my Windows 2000 box is giving that option. I'm going to format it in Windows 2000, but I'm not sure if to choose FAT or FAT32.

Any suggestions?
Easier to take out the Win98 HDD, slave it in the WinXP machine.

Bootup to WinXP and copy the files from the slave drive.

Or slave to Vista...
fat32 but if blue's suggestion is an option, it would be easier
OK well I used partition magic to destroy all partitions. It seems there was something weird going on the drive as PM reported exactly that saying there is a chance of data loss on the drive and it should be repaired immedietly by backing u, destroying partitions and starting again.

So I have destroyed the partitions in PM. I'm not going to recreate it as one big one under FAT32. however to increase compatibility do I,
create a logical or primary partition. It's only going to be a single partition, I just want to MAXIMISE compatibility possibilities with Win 98.

thanks again.
Oh  by the way, I got to the page where I can create a partition by using "manage" computer and then selecting the drives section.
Create a primary partition in FAT32.

Ok well I started a logical partition last night on the 80gb and coming back to it this morning it just says, size to big (did not get exact error)

The drive is recognised in Windows but if I try and do anything with it, it just says needs a format. Quick format did not work , but having started normal format it seems to be going.

Shoudl I just abandon this and use partition magic to format it as a fat32 primary partition or am I better to let Windows sort it.
I just want to maintain 100% compatibility with the Win 98 os
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Hmm, there is an idea create a small primary partition.

PM seemed to do it very quickly and the FAT32 parition is ready. However on transferring a file it says that it does not support long file names??
Is this correct? I thought FAT32 could support long files names and Windows 98 does support this?

Are you dragging and dropping or copying any other way?
dragging and dropping.
Before I visit client I want to be 100% sure I'm doing this right and am prepared with a drive that will take date from his device.
The driver for that USB device probably doesn't support LFN's...?

Try downloading this driver:

DO NOT run it (it's for 98SE), but extract it to a new folder.

Try updating the USB external drive driver by pointing the wizard to this new folder that contains the driver files.

Hopefully it will update.

Restart the PC and test.

Good luck,

By extracting I mean unzip it to a new folder.

Winzip will do the job well.
This is more for me than Afflik. You can hook up at FAT32 Win98SE hd to the same ribbon as an NTSF hd  in an XP machine and just copy the data? Make it a slave I understand, but that's all that needs to happen?
Yes, slaving the HDD it's as simple as that. You can also use the secondary ribbon if you need to.

And you will have immediate access to the Win98 hard disk.

And, because it is a slave, if Windows 98 OS is on that drive, it won't try to start up?
Not exactly correct but true.

OK well it all seemed to work in the end. The intial problem must of been that there were two partitions on the drive and one could only be seen in Win 98 and the other in 2000 onwards.

Partition Magic  format as a primary paritiion seemed to pt things right and despite my inital report there was no problem wiht long files names.

Thaks for all the input.
Glad it worked out OK for you.