How to setup NT Server 4.0 on greater then 4gig Hard Drive without Partition Magic or Atapi.sys.

A. The following was sent to me by Joshua Bolton and I thought you may find is useful, thanks Joshua!

This document of procedure assumes some understanding of partitioning in the Dos environment and that you know how to use FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM to make a drive bootable. It is also assumes that you know how to install NT Workstation or NT Server and that you know how to use Disk Administrator in NT. 

These are the following options if you are just using Microsoft NT 4.0
(There are other options using Atapi.sys or Partition Magic. Please see John’s FAQ’s or follow posts on Partition Magic)
1. access to another NT4.0 workstation or server
2. standalone installation

If you have access to NT Server or NT Workstation already installed in another system

1. first in the server or workstation you want to install NT to finally, do the following
2. use FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM from Dos6.22, Win95/98
3. I make a 125meg dos bootable partition. (I believe this can be smaller but have not tested how small I can go for the bootable partition and still mount NT.)
4. Put the drive in the NT Workstation or NT Server,(that has minimally Service Pack 3 installed), as slave or on the second IDE channel.
5. Using Disk Administrator create an Extended partition with the remaining disk space. Make NO changes to the primary (first) partition.
6. From the Partition Menu in Disk Administrator choose Commit Changes Now
7. Format the Extended Partition as NTFS
8. Exit and turn off the system.
9. Remove the drive from this system and put it in its new home (the other system).
10. Boot NT Workstation or Server from either using a boot disk with CD-ROM drivers or from the CD-ROM with a BIOS that can boot a CD-ROM.

Note: you now have NT on a NTFS partition that was NOT converted from FAT during the NT Install. This is a complete NTFS partition in that the MFT and NTFS partition pointers are in the right location and the right size. This configuration gives you ALL of the benefits of NTFS for your NT system.

If this is a standalone installation

You have a number of options depending on the size of your hard drive and whether you want to boot other OS’s.

A: install multiboot NT to 2-4gig primary partition with Win95/98
B: install multiboot with 95/98 and NT on separate partitions
C: install NT to an extended partition preformatted as NTFS
D: install NT in a multiprimary partition environment

A: Installing NT and Win95/98 on the same partition
1. There will be no FAT32 or NTFS conversion of the primary partition otherwise you will lose access to the OS that does not understand that file structure.
2. Install Win95/98
3. Install NT
You now have NT and Win95/98 in a multiboot using the same partition.

B: Installing multiboot of NT and Win95/98 on separate partitions
1. There will be no FAT32 or NTFS conversion of the primary partition. You CAN make a small primary partition (I recommend 125meg) and then create two logicals. One for NT and one for Win95/98. You can install Win95/98 to the primary (2-4gig) if you DO NOT convert to FAT32.
2. Install Win95/98. Convert to FAT32 if on separate, but not primary partition.
3. Install NT. Convert to NTFS if you desire.
You now have NT and Win95/98 in a multiboot using different partitions with the primary FAT16, Win95/98 on FAT32 and NT on NTFS. Or Win95/98 on FAT16 on the primary and NT on the logical with NTFS.

C: Installing NT to an extended partition preformatted as NTFS
1. This procedure requires you to install NT twice. Create your primary partition at least 2gig. It can be smaller but I have not tested this scenario.
2. Install NT to the Primary Partition.
3. Install minimally Service Pack 3
4. In NT’s Disk Administrator allocate the rest of the drive as extended partition.
5. Format as NTFS
6. Rerun NT install and choose to install to the NTFS partition with no changes.
7. After the install is completed and you are booted to the second install, delete the first installs Winnt directory. Edit the boot.ini and remove the references to the first install.
You now have NT on a nonconverted from FAT to NTFS partition with MFT and pointers in the right places and the right size. You will also benefit from the performance of native NTFS. You can also have a partition larger then 4-8gig.

D: Install NT in a Multiprimary partition environment
1. When you have multiple primary partitions created with other products then Dos or NT install, NT does not understand this partitioning scheme. So if you have the following setup:
a. primary partition
b. primary partition
c. extended partition
NT will not install to the second primary partition or its extended partition but will install to the first primary partition. This is because each primary partition contains its own FAT (file allocation tables which is what keeps track of file locations). The first primary doesn’t know about the second primary’s FAT. So when you boot from the first primary, NT reads it FAT and thereby can’t find the files it needs to load if these files are located on the second primary or its extended partition.
2. You can make NT boot to a secondary primary with System Commander, Boot Magic or other boot managers. Boot managers intercept and handle requests to mount different partitions. So by using a boot manager you can fool NT into thinking the second primary partition is really the first. 
3. This setup should never be used in a production environment but is meant for home training.

Important Notes:

I have never been able to get NT during install to allocate more then 4gig of disk space.
FAT32 is to address large drives or partitions beyond 4gig. It does NOT increase speed.
NTFS that is created by NT Install is a NTFS partition that was converted from FAT16. You will NOT get the performance of speed with this configuration but you will get the benefit of file level security.
I chose 125 meg for the minimum Primary Partition since I usually boot up on a boot disk with cdrom drivers. NT install needs this space to expand the temporary files it uses upon first reboot of the system during install unless you preformat an extended partition first.
To create NTFS drives larger then 4-8gig after the NT install you must install minimally Service Pack 3

Review of FDISK.EXE Rules
FDISK.EXE, the Dos utility, for partitioning a hard drive follows these rules.

You divide up a disk by creating a Primary Partition and then an Extended Partition. The primary contains all of the information for the layout out the drive including Extended Partition. The Primary contains the boot information and the File Allocation Tables (FATs) one and two. The Primary Partition must be made Active to boot.

The Extended Partition is divided up by creating Logical’s which are designated by a Logical Drive Letter.

So to FDISK.EXE a drive you create a primary, making it active, then the extended partition and then create logicals in the extended partition. You have to REVERSE the process if you want to remove the partitioning scheme. You would have to delete all logicals before removing the extended partition before you could remove the primary partition.

These rules are what determines drive letter assignments. For example one drive will have C: for primary and D:, E:, etc for the logicals. Two hard drives will have the first drives primary as C:, the second drives primary as D:, then back to the first drive with its logicals E:, F:, etc., then to the logicals on the second hard drive G:, etc.

After fdisking a drive you must format it to make it usable. I liken Fdisk to putting a Post Office with streets in a new town. Formatting is putting the addresses on all the houses. You do this by booting up on a boot disk. From a: type format c: /s (the /s is for system files).

Also see Q. I can't create a NTFS partition over 4GB during installation.

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