Slave drive partitions/data corruption booting w/ different W2K master drive?



My 30Gb master W2K system drive crashed and I'm replacing
it with the original 20Gb W2K system drive that already
has Windows 2000 and most of the software I use installed
on it. The 20Gb W2K drive was removed before I added the
30Gb master drive and a 120Gb slave drive which I divided
into four partitions. Can I go ahead and connect and boot
the two drives together without corrupting the partitions
or data on the 120Gb slave? All drives are formatted with
Windows 2000 FAT 32, not NTFS.

If it's likely that booting the two drives together will
corrupt the partitions or data on the 120Gb slave drive,
is there any software that can be used to get around this?
I have Power Quest Partition Magic 8.0 which I haven't
installed yet. Would this work? Would converting the
master and slave drive to NTFS format get around this? I
do not want to lose the data on the slave drive.


R. C. White

Hi, Rizzzzo.

There should be no problem using the two drives together. I suggest you
unplug the 120 GB slave drive temporarily. Then plug in your old 20 GB as
master and make sure that it boots properly and that Win2K on it is still in
good shape - lacking only all the data on that 120 GB drive. When you are
comfy with Win2K on the old drive, then shut down and plug in the 120 GB

Use Disk Management to be sure that "drive" letters are assigned as you want
them. If left to its own devices, Win2K uses built-in algorithms to decide
which is Drive C:, D:, etc., each time it reboots; this can result in
shifting letters when a drive or partition is added or removed. Disk
Management can make your assignments more permanent.

Unless you expect to install Win9x/ME on this system some day, I see no
reason not to convert the whole system to NTFS. It should not affect this
first question of using the old drive with the new one. But, NTFS is more
secure than FAT32, both in the sense of security from prying eyes and
unauthorized users, and in the sense of security from loss or corruption of
file data.

You can use Partition Magic to make the conversion, but, if you read the PM
user's manual, you'll see that all PM does is call Win2K's convert.exe - so
you might as well just skip PM and run convert.exe yourself. The Win2K
version of convert.exe usually results in 512-byte clusters, rather than the
standard 4 KB clusters for NTFS. As you probably know, smaller clusters use
disk space more efficiently, but at a cost in performance (defined as
read-write speed). The WinXP version of convert.exe usually results in the
4 KB clusters.




Many, many thanks for your most thoughtful, thorough, and
incisive reply.


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