Thursday, January 05, 2006

Why I hate Windoz, reason #349

I recently installed Red Hat FC4 on my spare PC at home. By the time I installed everything I wanted on it, the performance just wasn't what I expected. Then again, I'm not really sure I expected much out of a 733Mhz Optiplex with a 16M video card and a 20G disk. I thought it was OK with RH9, but with todays computers I knew it could be better. Upgrading it was out of the question, because I don't really want to put that much effort into it. So I decided to switch it back to Windoz and pass it on to a family member.

Problem is, I bought the PC with Windows NT 4.0 on it and then upgraded to W2K a little while later. I searched the internet and found a couple places where I thought I could just install W2K from CD-ROM. Rather quickly I found out that since I was using an upgrade CD, I had to install an upgradable OS first. I searched for my NT disks and re-installed it. Of course with NT I had to create a 2G partition to install on and then an 18G partition for everything else. Then I popped in the W2K CD and ran the upgrade and wiped out the NT partition. Then I want to format the 18G partition and Windoz rolls on for about 60 minutes and then exits with "Unable to format partition".

OK. What's that mean?

So I try to format it again as an NTFS filesystem. "Unable to format partition" again.


So I try to format as FAT32 and voila, it's formatted. I'm not really interested in having a FAT32 filesystem, so I try to format it again with NTFS and it formats fine. Go figure.


DaPi said...

. . . and then, no matter how hard you try to install stuff on the 18GB partition, you will run out of space on the 2GB one sooner or later (esp. if you go on to XP).

I'd get hold of a util (e.g BootIt) that will allow you to stretch the 2GB partition, while the 18GB one is empty.

Gary Myers said...

Be careful with that.
I was doing a simiar thing with Partition Manager. The power cut out when it had done 90% of the work. The hard drive has been flaky since.

Niall said...

Windows upgrade CDs used to allow you to point them at a cd containing the OS you were upgrading from..

Noons said...

Yup, I think Niall got it spot-on: just let the upgrade ask for the "original" cd. It does so, you remove the w2k cd, pop-in the NT4 cd, it rattles for a while, then it asks for w2k cd again and Bob becomes your uncle.

At least that's how I got w2k in my daughter's pc: all I had was the original NT4 and the upgrade w2k. And the partitions are much larger than NT4 limits.

IIRC, the quirk was caused by fdisk from NT4 being brain-damaged. BTW, so is the one from w2K: it starts to crap with >80GB disks if memory doesn't fail me. But that's a different story...

Partition Magic still fixes most of these problems for me although like Gary says: make sure the power is there for the duration of the entire performance!... :)