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Can't install XP to Fat32.


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#1 Virii

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 01:55 PM

Hi again.

I recently removed several of my partitions along with reinstalling Windows XP, but this time on a fat32 partition.

My problem is that whenever the initial boot process finishes, and it reboots the pc, I get this error.

Disk Error

My partition info before starting, but after I had removed my previous partitions, was this.

|<------------unused space------------><-primary ext4-><---unused space--->|

I've tried creating, and installing, XP to primary fat32 partitions before, and after, the ext4 (Linux) partition. I've tried partitions sizes above, and below, the 32 GB mark. I've tried partitions with, and without, the LBA flag set. I've tried running the install from the install disc, and from DOS after copying the folders to one of the fat32 partition.

The results are all the same, I get the above error. I then tried installing XP in an NTFS partition like I did last time, and it worked right away...

I loaded up the Ranish Partition Manager, and it stated that my fat32 partitions didn't have a valid boot sector. Could that be related? Is it possible that my previous boot records are still lingering, messing up XP's install?

#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 02:50 PM

Not enough data to even START diagnosing the issue. :w00t:

What EXACT program did you use to create the partition?
What EXACT program did you use to FORMAT the partition?
WHICH EXACT settings did you use in the above programs when, respectively, you did create the partition and formatted it?
HOW EXACTLY did you initiate the XP install?
What MBR code are you using?
What EXACT error message are you getting?
This one? ;):
http://www.msfn.org/...ed/page__st__25

Disk error

usually you also have:

Press any key to restart

:hyper:

:cheers:
Wonko

#3 Sha0

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 02:53 PM

Did you format from the XP installation process or did you format from Windows (or Windows PE)?

I'd suggest finding out where the "Disk error" message comes from. It'll either be from the MBR or the active partition's boot sector. Speaking of which, did you have the correct partition marked as active?

"Disk error", if that's what it really said, is a message found in ISOLINUX. Perhaps you forgot to remove a CD from the CD drive? Just a guess. :hyper:

#4 Virii

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:15 AM

Not enough data to even START diagnosing the issue. :ranting2:

What EXACT program did you use to create the partition?
What EXACT program did you use to FORMAT the partition?
WHICH EXACT settings did you use in the above programs when, respectively, you did create the partition and formatted it?
HOW EXACTLY did you initiate the XP install?
What MBR code are you using?
What EXACT error message are you getting?
This one? :cheers::
http://www.msfn.org/...ed/page__st__25

usually you also have:

:whistling:

:cheers:
Wonko


Originally, I created/formatted the partitions with Gparted via my Linux install, and then through the UBCD. I tried creating, and formatting the partition through the XP install disc, but it's only format option was NTFS (unless I did something wrong).

I'm not using a MBR in specific. I had grub4dos installed as the bootloader, but I'd assume it'd get overwritten when I installed Windows.

Yes, sorry. The full error message was...
Disk Error

Press any key to restart

I believe I figured it out though. After reading this article here, I guessed that Gparted must not be formattting fat32 partitions under even 32GB with 32k clusters. I used fdisk from an old DOS boot disc to create the partition this time, ran the installer, and ... success. The only drawbacks were that I couldn't place the position of the partition, or create one over 32 GB that'd be XP installable. I then tried using the NTFS installed XP to create a 32GB partition, with the cluster size manully set 32k, and again XP installed just fine in that partition. Again the drawbacks were that I couldn't place the partition, and I couldn't create/format a installable partition over 32 GB.

My final method was...
- I used Gparted to create, and place a 32GB fat32 partition.
- I followed it up by loading the NTFS Windows XP (WinPE/BartPE would probably work for this), reformatting the partition with 32k clusters, and installing Windows XP to the fat32 partition.
- I then reloaded Gparted, and 'resized' the fat32 partition to 45GB (my intended target size), and rebooted.

Success!

Thanks for the help, but I deserve a smack on the back of the head for posting 'I need help' too soon. ;)

Edited by Virii, 05 August 2011 - 12:17 AM.


#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:18 AM

Guess why two distinct FAT32 formatting programs for NT based systems were developed? :whistling:
http://tokiwa.qee.jp...Fat32Formatter/
http://www.ridgecrop...fat32format.htm

;)

:cheers:
Wonko

#6 Virii

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:08 AM

Just out of curiosity, you wouldn't happen to know of a way to trick XP into installing on partitions over 32 GB, ... would you?

#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:08 AM

Just out of curiosity, you wouldn't happen to know of a way to trick XP into installing on partitions over 32 GB, ... would you?

In my (perverted) mind, and for once in my life :( I tend to think that is correct ;) what the MS guys think about the idea of a bigger than 32 GB formatted as FAT32 volume.

I mean there have to be REASONS to make such a big FAT32 volume. :cheers:

http://www.pcguide.c...artFAT32-c.html
32K clusters make slack space a nighmare.

This said, I guess :ph34r: that noone prevents you from:
  • create a xyz Gb partition/volume
  • format it as FAT32
  • change a single value (Total sectors) in the FAT32 BPB and limit the size of the volume to under 32 Gb
  • install XP to it
  • restore the previous "Total Sectors" value in the BPB

Since any and all FAT32 filesystem structures are at the beginning of the volume there should be no problems in doing the above.
Only thing is if the XP installers does further checks.
And additionally one would have to check what happens to the backup bootsector. (I don't think that until you run chkdsk or simialr utilities anything will happen, but you never know.

If you are game for experimenting, this would be a nice new thing. :(

:cheers:
Wonko

#8 steve6375

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:06 AM

I don't think you have shown that you cannot install XP to a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB ??

MS say in their KB article
You cannot format a volume larger than 32 gigabytes (GB) in size using the FAT32 file system during the Windows XP installation process. Windows XP can mount and support FAT32 volumes larger than 32 GB (subject to the other limits), but you cannot create a FAT32 volume larger than 32 GB by using the Format tool during Setup.

So, if you can create a correct partition (using one of the utilities Wonko linked to - or use RMPrepUSB ALLDRIVES) then XP should install OK.

#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:14 PM

I don't think you have shown that you cannot install XP to a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB ??

I think he did (though "between the lines"). ;)


I used fdisk from an old DOS boot disc to create the partition this time, ran the installer, and ... success. The only drawbacks were that I couldn't place the position of the partition, or create one over 32 GB that'd be XP installable.


The cluster number in a FAT32 should be:
http://technet.micro...y/cc938432.aspx

The FAT32 volume must have at least 65,527 clusters. The maximum number of clusters on a FAT32 volume is 4,177,918

Which should mean that with 32,768 bytes sector, sizes ROUGHLY between 2,147,188,736 and 136,902,017,024 are possible.

:cheers:
Wonko

#10 steve6375

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 04:36 PM

I think he did (though "between the lines"). ;)

Where? All I can see is that Gparted was used and that it is concluded that Gparted is not a suitable app. No other app was tried?

#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 05:00 PM

Where? All I can see is that Gparted was used and that it is concluded that Gparted is not a suitable app. No other app was tried?


I'll try again :whisting: :

I used fdisk from an old DOS boot disc to create the partition this time, ran the installer, and ... success. The only drawbacks were that I couldn't place the position of the partition, or create one over 32 GB that'd be XP installable.


In plain English it seems to me like:
  • he tried various options with Gparted (and all failed)
  • he tried various options with DOS 7.x/8.0 FDISK and succeeded in creating smaller than 32 GB "XP installable" partitions BUT failed with the SAME tool to create one bigger than 32 GB that was "XP installable"

;)

:cheers:
Wonko




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