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Problems formatting an external hard drive in Win98SE

This is a discussion on Problems formatting an external hard drive in Win98SE within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Help! I just bought a 160GB Seagate Barracuda hard drive (set it to Master) and installed it in a NexStar


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Old 12-09-2004, 05:30 PM   #1
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Help!
I just bought a 160GB Seagate Barracuda hard drive (set it to Master) and installed it in a NexStar USB/FireWire external enclosure from Vantec. I installed the drivers for Windows98SE, and plugged in the USB. My computer does not seem to "see" it, so I'm not sure how to go about formatting it.

The little research that I did tonight led me to believe that I need to partition the drive first, with something called "fdisk" in DOS. Again, my research suggested that when I run "fdisk", I would get a menu of 5 choices - the last of which being "Change current fixed disk drive". I understand that this is where I select the external drive, so that I don't format/partition my main C:drive by accident.

I opened the DOSprompt from the Start Menu (under Programs) and typed fdisk. When the Menu came up, it only had 4 choices, and my option to change drives wasn't there. I take this to mean that my computer still doen't see the new drive in any way.

Am I doing something wrong? what's my next step?

ps Would it just be easier to hook it up to another system running something higher than 98SE, partition and format it there - and just make sure I use FAT32 so my pc will recognize it?

thanks
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:23 AM   #2
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Just a guess here but your ext. hdd is probably USB 2.0 and your USB ports on your computer are USB 1.1

They don't like each other. Check to see if it says it's backward compatible to USB 1.1
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:32 AM   #3
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info with the unit says it is backwards compatible with usb 1.1
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:22 AM   #4
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Ok, then how about will your hardware bios natively support a hdd that big?
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Old 12-10-2004, 02:20 PM   #5
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External USB/Firewire disks don't suffer the limitations of the system BIOS, the driver provides the actual interface without any BIOS interaction.

You have the process right, I'm not sure why you can't see it with FDISK. Did you check to see if any errors show up in Device Manager, and that the USB disk is there?

You can connect it to another system to format, keep in mind that 2K/XP will format FAT32, but only to 32gig a logical drive. You can use Partition Magic on 2K/XP and format a FAT32 partition of any size.
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Old 12-17-2004, 07:50 AM   #6
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If you install it in the system to format it simple use the software from Segate to format it and that will eliminate the 32G limit of of Win.
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