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Microsoft KB Archive/101626

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Knowledge Base

Windows NT Removable Media Requirements and Limitations

Article ID: 101626

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q101626

Windows NT supports most removable hard disks and magnetic-optical disk drives. These disks are treated as hard disks because they must be partitioned and they are assigned a drive letter. However, Windows NT does not support write-once disk drives.

Windows NT supports removable media subject to the following restrictions:

  • A removable hard disk can have only one primary partition. Extended or logical partitions are not supported.
  • Windows NT supports only the Windows NT filesystem (NTFS) and MS-DOS-compatible (FAT) file system on removable media.
  • The user cannot assign the drive letter for the device.
  • Removable disks are not supported in a fault tolerant manner.
  • You can install the Windows NT system files (the files contained in the WINNT directory) on a removable disk. However, the NT boot files, such as NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM, must be on the hard disk drive (fixed disk).
  • If the paging file is located on the device or if the device has the NTFS installed, the media is locked until the system is shutdown.
  • The FAT file system locks the media while it is in use and unlocks it after approximately 10 seconds of inactivity. NOTE: Windows NT supports a 20.8MB "floptical" disk as a floppy disk, not as a hard disk. Each write to a floppy disk is performed on a write-through cache basis and you can remove a floppy disk as long as the drive light is not on.

Additional query words: prodnt iomega bernoulli WORM

Keywords: kbhardware KB101626