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Windows 2000 not reading NTFS drive

By NickStudent ·
I have an IDE drive with a lot of important data, all on one NTFS partition. It was hooked up to a XP machine, and worked great. My XP machine went down, and I am not in the position to buy another machine right now. I had an old machine lying around that had windows 98 on it. I installed Windows 2000, which still won't read my drive. The BIOS sees it correctly, and my roommate's XP machine reads it fine, so I know it is not dead. I see it in Windows Explorer, but the volume name is gone (It is just called Local Disk). If I try to access it, it says that it is not formatted. any ideas of what I am doing wrong? Is it related to the machine being built for Windows 98, which didn't support NTFS?

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by Choppit In reply to Windows 2000 not reading ...

It could be that the NTFS volume is too large to be properly addressed by the BIOS on the older motherboard. Check the geometry for the drive against that detected or configured in the BIOS. If this is where the problem lies there may be a BIOS update which can support the larger drive.

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by NickStudent In reply to BIOS

Thanks for a quick reply. I think I can rule out a BIOS issue (keyword think) because of 3 things: First, I got the most recent BIOS update, dated 2001. Second, I used to have FreeNas running on this system, and it addressed the drive wonderfully. And finally, I have run HWinfo32, a diagnostic tool for windows, and it sees the drive and it's full capacity as well.
Now one thing that is interesting, is that there is a geometry section in the report. I don't even know what that means, but since you brought it up, this is what that section says:
Number of Cylinders
Number of Heads
Sectors per Track
Bytes per Sector
Bytes Per Track

Does this mean anything?

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Yes, geometry

by NickNielsen In reply to Geometry?

The "Unknown" in the Bytes per Sector and Bytes per Track is the giveaway. The drive is not reporting the geometry the BIOS is expecting. Since the drive works in other machines, the problem is the BIOS.

If you absolutely have to have this data on a daily basis, may I suggest you purchase a new drive and divide it up as required into FAT32 partitions. Ask your friend with the XP machine to allow you to transfer the absolutely essential data onto the new drive.

It's only a workaround, but it will give you access to your data until you get a new PC.

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BIOS flash

by NickStudent In reply to Yes, geometry

Do you think that doing a BOIS flash would do it? I tried to do one, but at the time, it was the last thing I suspected, so I don't even know if it took or not. Wouldn't FreeNAS recognizing the drive and using it indicate that it wasn't a BIOS issue and more likely a Windows issue?

I also just want to thank both of you for the help. This site is great, I can't believe I had never heard of it before.

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BIOS Flash

by NickNielsen In reply to BIOS flash

Go ahead and flash the BIOS, it can't hurt. Make sure you have a stable power source, of course, and get the most current version for your motherboard you can get.

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