Your Personal Experience Installing Windows 2000 Professional on a Large Hard Drive

Posted on 2007-08-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Looking to hear from someone who has _personally_ installed Windows 2000 Professional on a large IDE hard drive.

What were the issues You had to deal with?

How did You solve each one?

Were there any software tools you used?

Hoping for a Complete step-by-step description
[but not down to the level of then we pressed ENTER  :)  ]

Already have links to good sources found by some very helpful people and by the author.

Now hope to be able to read the practical details from someone who had _actually done_ this exact type of installation

--- installing Windows 2000 Professional on a large hard drive ---

Thanks very much in advance.

(Author has sucessfully installed W2KPro about half a dozen times already on smaller hard drives.)

Question by:news2003
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    If you use Windows 2000 with SP4 interated (or create your own slipstreamed cd then there are no issues and it overcomes the 137Gb limit of earlier versions.
    LVL 27

    Expert Comment

    I'm not expecting points on this answer since KCTS already stated it.  But I wanted to second his opinion.  I've installed W2K on large drives quite a few times (more than 10).  As long as I'm booting from W2K disk with SP4, it's no problem at all.  And, not that I've had to, but if you had to use an earlier version of W2K, then slipstream it and you're good to go.  

    Author Comment

    Thank you both for your helpful replies.

    Have been checking information at which, as you probably already know, is dedicated to the 137 GB barrier issue.

    They believe that for Windows 2000 Professional, the <EnableBigLba registry value> must be set to 1 for a large hard drive to work properly with Window 2000 Professional.  (Apparently based on Microsofts <48-Bit LBA Support for ATAPI Disk Drives in Windows 2000> at ) offers a free tool to check or change the EnableBigLba registry value at

    An older PC here has small hard drives (80 GB or less) running under Windows 2000 Professional, Service Pack 4.

    When the free program EnableBigLba Tool checks for the EnableBigLba registry value, it finds that <EnableBigLba value is NOT defined in the Registry>.

    From this it may be possible to conclude that Service Pack 4 by itself does not create or set the EnableBigLba registry value.

    Realize that simply using W2K with Service Pack 4 seems to work quite well on hard drives larger than 137 GB for both Experts.

    Is there some way to reconcile that result with Microsofts insistence on the EnableBigLba registry value?  And the program EnableBigLba Tool saying the Registry bit was not defined on the older W2K Service Pack 4 computer here?


    Author Comment

    Have not tried the slipstreaming approach but installing Windows 2000 Pro, Service Pack 2, then updating to SPs 3 and 4 from the Microsoft site gave the following result.

    The BIOS could always see the full size of the 300GB drive.

    Windows 2000 Pro only saw the smaller part of the drive even after Service Packs 3 and 4 were installed.

    However, with SP 4 installed, as soon as the EnableBigLba Registry bit was set, Windows 2000 could see the entire drive.

    This experience seems to suggest the registry bit is essential to the process.

    Some documentation on the issue is at _Windows 2000 - Help Installing 48-bit LBA as Boot Drive_

    They also have a free tool that can be downloaded to check and set the EnableBigLba Registry bit at

    Thanks to both KCTS and to michko for their intelligent and helpful postings.
    LVL 27

    Expert Comment

    V - I was only seconding KCTS's opinion and not really expecting any points from this post.  I think KCTS should get credit as he did provide what should be a workable answer.  When doing initial install with SP4, I've never had to modify the bit-set.  First suggestion should have worked.  Anyway, I won't object to whatever the final resolution is.

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