Setup Does Not Check for INT-13 Extensions

Setup Does Not Check for INT-13 Extensions
Before Creating System Partition

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The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server


When you install Windows 2000, Setup allows you to delete, create, and format the system/boot partition. Windows 2000 does not impose any restriction on the size of the system/boot partition because it can format the partition using the FAT file system (up to 2 gigabytes, or GB), the FAT32 file system (up to 32 GB) or the NTFS file system (up to 2 terabytes) before copying the Setup files.

The system partition is defined as the partition containing the files needed for the initial system startup. For Windows 2000, these are the, NTLDR, Boot.ini, and sometimes Ntbootdd.sys files.

Windows 2000 supports large system partitions because it has the ability to use BIOS INT-13 extensions to boot the operating system on partitions with more than 1,024 cylinders, or 7.8 GB in size. After Windows 2000 Setup copies files, it restarts the computer to continue with GUI-mode Setup.

During the restart, you may receive the following error message after the computers completes its Power On Self Test (POST):

A disk read error occurred.

Press Crtl+Alt+Del to restart.


Windows 2000 Setup does not determine BIOS INT-13 extensions are enabled or available for use before allowing the creation of a system partition with more than 1,024 cylinders, or typically larger than 7.8 GB.

If you have a SCSI controller with options for drive translation disabled, and INT-13 extensions are disabled in the SCSI BIOS, the drive’s geometry is then native, or raw. This means that the partition table contains non-translated Cylinder, Head, and Sector (CHS) values and may need to rely on the INT-13 extensions to boot the operating system. If the system partition is large and cannot be described within the partition table’s upper limit of 1,023 cylinders, INT-13 extensions must be used to boot from the partition.


Enable the INT-13 Extensions option in the SCSI controller’s BIOS. This allows Windows 2000 to boot and continue with GUI-mode Setup. If your SCSI controller does not support INT-13 extensions, you are bound by the restriction outlined in the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q224526 Windows NT 4.0 Supports Maximum of 7.8-GB System Partition.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

You may be able to create a Windows 2000 boot floppy disk using scsi() syntax in the Boot.ini file to continue Setup. This only provides a temporary solution, and you should investigate in more detail why the computer cannot boot from the system partition on its own.

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