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The non-DOS Partitions constructs a problems when you upgrade to later versions of MS-DOS because MS-DOS assumes that non-DOS constructs are owned by another operating system and, therefore, do not use, delete, or change non-DOS partitions or other non-DOS constructs in any way.
For those using versions of MS-DOS that have lesser levels of hard- disk support, such as MS-DOS versions 3.2 and 3.21, there are a number of third-party hard-disk-management software packages that allow non-DOS Partitions to access multiple partitions and/or partitions in excess of 32 MB. However, these third-party packages may use non-DOS constructs to assist in managing the hard disk, possibly including non-DOS partitions.
Some computers require the use of third-party hard-disk- partitioning software because the system ROM BIOS does not fully support the drive parameters of the hard disk that is being used or because the hard disk has more than 1024 data cylinders.
The Debug script on the following page, used with the MS-DOS program, deletes non-DOS partitions when you upgrade to a new version of non-DOS Partitions, enabling the entire hard disk to be used by non-DOS Partitions. It does so, however, by clearing out the entire partition table on the hard disk, which results in the deletion of ALL partitions on the hard disk.
You need to use this method if your current version of MS-DOS cannot delete non-DOS partitions. Because all data on your hard disk will be destroyed by this procedure, you must back up your hard disk before using this Debug script.
There are two ways to use the following Debug script: Partitioning puts barriers on a disk so different areas of the drive can have different types of data on them. The reasons for partitioning may be for running different operating systems on the same drive, Microsoft DOS, LINUX and IBM Warp to name a few.
There can be further subdivisions in each partition for other reasons. Other reasons I have used Partitions are: LIMITING LOSES. If a file corrupts a drive the damage is limited to that drive. I have a drive that developed a physical surface defect.
I created three partitions using only the partitions in the good area. This drive still works after 3 years, but was unusable before partitioning. With FAT16 partitions the space is divided into a limited number of sectors. Any file, no matter how small, uses the sector size as the minimum space it requires. Four files with 1 byte each can use more that 100 kb with 32 kb sector sizes.
A 1 gigabyte partition will have 16kb sectors. With Windows 95b and later you can use FAT32 partitions which keep the block size at 4096 on partitions up to 8.4gb in size. That doubles to 8048kb on partitions over 8.4gb and less than 32gb. It has a maximum size ot 2 terabytes. But there are drawbacks. Only the later systems can read the drive.
You can't use DOS 6.22 or, even, Windows 95a to access the drive. If you wanted to install Windows 3.1 on the drive you can't. A freeware alternative to FDISK is Ranish Partition Manager. This, like Symantec's Partition Magic, can adjust and reconfigure partitions without losing data.
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