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Installing Win NT 4.0 Server

By skutos ·
I have a 40GB hard drive that I am installing NT on for the first time. NT only recognizes around only 8GB. When I tried to format the whole 8GB NT informed me that it could not do the format. So I did a 4GB partition, formatted it with NTFS and loaded up NT 4.0 and updated to SP 6. My question is what software program would be the best to use to increase that 4GB partition and is there an easier way to do an initial install with NT 4.0 that will recognize the whole 40GB hard drive?

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by jschein In reply to Installing Win NT 4.0 Ser ...

Ok... NT is a special little program of it's own. Depending on what kind of server you will run, if it is just a file server, sure, partition magic will extend the size of the C drive.. but if you are putting programs on it, you MUST leave it @ 4 gb... Reason being is that with the ntfs, and nt system directory, anything larger, proper transfer of data, services outside of the 4gb will not properly function and you will be left with a server with non-stop errors.

If you need so much space on the c drive, make it 4gb, give the c drive 25mb of virt. memory (minimum required) and twice the amount of ram of virt. memory on the d. Only install system programs needed on c (Patches, updates, etc...) and install programs (office, winzip, adobe, anti-virus, etc...) on d drive.

Good luck

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by wcp In reply to Installing Win NT 4.0 Ser ...

The Motherboard (MB) may have a limit of recognizing a large hard drive (HD).
To get around this, either you have to replace the MB or install a PCI IDE card.

Once you have done this, you still need some work-around to utilize the 40GB HD.
You need a third party software (e.g. Partition Magic) or connect your HD to a computer with Windows NT 4.0 neither Windows 2k nor Windows XP). Create two partitions; one for System partition, where Boot.ini, Ntldr, and reside, and the other for Boot partition, where Winnt resides. Ideally, the System partition should be FAT16 and could be as small as 125MB. The boot partition should be NTFS and the rest of the size (close to 40GB).

The reason to do this is multiple.

1. Windows NT has a limit of 7.8GB for boot files (Boot.ini, NTLDR, and If any of these files is moved beyond 7.8GB limit, the computer will not boot! After you install programs and service packs, and creates files and so on, sooner or later, these files will be placed beyond the limit.
Please refer to MS KB 224526 at
MS KB 197667 ?Installing Windows NT on a Large IDE Hard Disk? does not work!

2. By creating FAT 16 System partition, the boot files will be within the limit. If any of these files become corrupted or missing, you can easily replace them without difficulty because you can use a Windows 98 startup disk, for example to access the System partition.

Once you set your HD, the installation of Windows NT 4.0 server is straight forward. Make sure you specify Winnt to be installed in drive.

If you need more information, please post a comment.

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by Joseph Moore In reply to Installing Win NT 4.0 Ser ...

This Technet article talks about the 8GB limit in NT4:

Yes, it is annoying, but that is how it works. Sorry for the bad news.

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by -Q-240248 In reply to Installing Win NT 4.0 Ser ...

THe 8GB partition limit is not avoidable during initial_DOS_NT_setup, due to DOS lilitations. Your only recourse is to use what the 1st answer stated: Get Partition Magic to expand the partition.

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by Rabbit_Runner In reply to Installing Win NT 4.0 Ser ...

There is a way around your problem.
Find SP4 or higher for Winnt4. In this there is file called atapi.sys. Expand this file and copy it to a floppy. Then during the install, when it asks if you have any drivers for SCSI adapters, press F6. This will then take you to a dialog screen and point it to the floppy with the atapi.sys.

Also on the intenet, do a Google for atapi.exe. This file, if you locate it, will contain the same file, plus detailed instructions for accomplishing what you want.

In addition, what you could do, take your hard drive and place it in another NT4 computer as a slave drive. Format the drive with NTFS. Then take the drive and place it back into your originial server. Now During the install process, it will ask you for drivers, and press F6 and point to the atapi.sys file.

Best of luck.

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