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Thread: last drive=Z?

  1. #1

    Post last drive=Z?

    I've got two new 30 gig drives that I want to partition out in FAT 16 but there are not enough letters in the alphabet to contain all my partitions with cd, cd burner, and zip drive. One drive has NT 4 and the other has Win 95 for the dual boot configuration. I don't want to use NTFS or FAT 32 due to performance issues (video capture). Is it possible to get more than 26 drive letters out of my system? And if so, how do I do it?

    Thanks a lot.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Third rock from the Sun
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    Don't think it's possible, the only thing I can think of is create fewer partitions.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    WA, USA


    Due to its smaller cluster size, I'd think FAT32 would outperform FAT16. (Windows 95 didn't get FAT32 until OSR-2 (OEM Service Release 2)). The FAT (and NTFS) cluster size increases as we increase the size of the partition. Then again, with large files this is less of an issue.

    NTFS has more file system overhead than either version of FAT when we're talking about small partitions (less than 500MB), but FAT16 is considered very inefficient for volumes larger than 1GB.

    NT4 cannot access a FAT32 partition, but Windows 2000 can. The maximum size of a FAT16 partition is 4GB, but only 2GB if you want Win95 to be able to access it. Of course, Win9x can't access an NTFS partition. In your dual-boot configuration, the C: partition will have to be FAT.

    Back to the question: We are indeed limited by Windows to the 26 letters of the English alphabet.

    NTFS provides a way to work around this; select "[something] Volume Set" from the "Partition" menu in Disk Administrator (see Disk Administrator Help). (I don't currently have NT4 installed.) You create a volume set by combining multilple areas of free space on one or more hard disks into a single logical disk. (I'm cribbing from the NT4 Workstation Resource Kit.)

    Dilemma: Even if your video software will install on NTFS and can be run under NT, I would expect decreased performance compared to Win9x. Reason: The NT Kernel zealously guards the hardware from being directly accessed by an application program.

    Assuming your version of Windows 95 supports it, I'd recommend FAT32 for your video work. (I'm not involved with video other than a bit of DVD, so there may be a better answer.)

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