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How to Install NT 4.0 Server | NT 4.0 Home Page | Tutorials |

General Install, Installation, 8.4GB Limits, Ultra DMA/66 Install


Preliminary considerations

There are several factors to be considered in installing the Microsoft NT Server 4.0 Operating System.

  1. Type of "File System" to be used : FAT, or NTFS
    1. FAT -
      It allows for Dual Boot with Windows and the data on the partition can be read by other operating systems. For example if you were to boot the NT server having FAT partitions with a windows 95 boot disk, you would  be able to see and use the data on that partition.
      FAT does NOT provide for security of the files.
    2. NTFS -
      NTFS partitions can not be accessed by non-NTFS operating systems such as DOS or Windows 95
      It also does NOT allow you to Dual Boot between NT and Windows.
      It is able to provide file level security.
    3. NOTE: you can NOT install NT on a FAT32 partition like the one used by windows 98

  2. Full Install vs. Upgrade
  3. Re-install over an existing NT 4.0 Server environment

Note: If you decide to partition the "boot" partition with NTFS, the install process will NOT allow you to do this. What will happen is that you will select NTFS, the computer will format the partition as FAT, then the computer will tell you it needs to reboot and the partition will automatically be converted to NTFS after the reboot.

Another issue is the size limit of the "boot " partitions ( this does not apply to subsequent partitions which are not bootable). The "boot" partition can not be larger then 4GB according to the NT server manual. In reality the size cannot be larger then 2GB (this has been the experience of this author).

If you want to have the boot partition larger than the maximum allowed, finish the installation with the smaller partition (the max allowed) and then log on as an Administrator and go into the Disk Administrator. There you will be able to EXTEND the partition by adding the unused space to the original partition.

A better suggestion would be to make the partition as small as 1.5GB (for drives larger than 2GB) and have only system information and applications on that partition. The remainder of the drive can later be formatted into a second partition to use the left over space.


What you will need

  1. The NT 4.0 Server CD-ROM
  2. 3 install disks
    These disks can be easily created in a DOS/Windows environment by using any computer that can read the NT 4.0 Server CD-ROM disk.

    1. a) Go to a DOS prompt and change to the directory /i386/.
    2. b) using the keyboard type
           winnt /ox <enter>
      ( there is a space between WinNT and the /ox )
    3. c) The computer will ask you (one at a time) to insert 3 disks which will be formatted and the required boot files will be copied. Label these disks Disk 1 of 3 , Disk 2 of 3 and Disk 3 of 3.

The Installation process

Using the 3 Install Disks

Turn off the computer

Place the disk "Disk 1 of 3" in the floppy drive and allow the computer to boot.

The computer will ask for the other two disks.

a message that the system is inspecting your computer hardware will be shown

A blue screen titled "Windows NT Setup" will be displayed as the floppy is loading

You will next get a message to Insert the disk #2 (Please insert the disk labeled Windows NT Server Setup Disk #2 into Drive A: Press ENTER when ready)

Put disk 2 in the drive and press Enter

Again with the blue screen you will notice messages about files loading (at the bottom of the screen.)

Then the screen will change by showing at the top

Microsoft windows NT Version 4.0 (Build 1381)

You will next see the blue "Welcome to setup" screen with 4 options

- to learn F1
- to setup up Enter
- to repair a damaged NT R
- to quit Setup F3

Press <Enter> to continue

You will next see the screen explaining about the hard drive controllers with 2 options

- to continue press Enter
- to skip mass storage device S

.press the Enter key

the computer will ask you to insert disk 3 in the drive

put the disk in and press Enter

the screen will clear (blue) and the hard drive controllers found will be shown


...Found : IDE CD-ROM (ATAPI 1.2)/PCI IDE Controller

2 options will be presented

- To specify additional SCSI S
- If you do not have any additional Enter

Problem Detecting SCSI Controller during Install

Note: If the computer does NOT detect your SCSI controller, run the install again. When you first see the Blue screen during install, press the F6 key which will bypass the auto install and prompt you for the device driver.

press Enter to continue

again the screen will clear (blue) and messages will be shown on the bottom line of the screen such as "loading NTFS..."

At this point you might get the warning screen about "detecting hard drives that have more than 1024 cylinders". This can usually be ignored by pressing Enter

Press Enter to continue

The screen will now ask for the NT Server CD-ROM disk

Please insert the compact disc labeled
Windows NT Server CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive
- Press Enter to continue

.put the CD-ROM disk in the drive and press Enter

The Licensing Agreement will be shown

Read the agreement and press the PageDown as many times as needed to read the agreement.

When you have reached the bottom of the agreement, the F8 option will activate (as shown on the bottom line of the screen).

Press the F8 key to continue

at this point, if there was a previous version of NT server on the drive you will be presented with a screen that allows you to either upgrade the version or to install a fresh version

Press N to install a new version or Enter to upgrade

(the assumption here is that you are installing a new version)

The Windows NT server setup screen will now be shown which will detail the items found

Computer: Standard PC
Display: Auto Detect
Keyboards: XT, AT....
Keyboard layout: US
Printing Device: Microsoft Mouse....
No changes: the above list matches my computer

Press the Enter key to continue

you will now see the unpartitioned space shown within a text box on the lower part of the screen

press the enter key to select the partition

the next selection asks for the type of partition

- Format the partition using the FAT file system
- Format the partition using the NTFS file system

select the NTFS option (bottom one) using the arrow keys and press Enter

when you are prompted for the size type in a value (smaller then or equal to 2000 which equates to 2gb) and continue

the partition will be constructed and you will see a percent indicator on the screen

After the partition is created you will see another screen that asks for the path to the system files. The computer will have the default "\WINNT" in the text box. This should be used as shown on the screen, so just press the Enter key to continue

Next you will be asked if you want the computer to perform an exhaustive test of the hard drive. This is a good idea so press Enter to continue. This can take about 10 minutes to finish.

A percent indicator bar will be shown

Next many files will be copied to the hard drive and an indicator bar will again show you the progress

Next, you will receive a message that this portion of the setup is done and you are to take out any floppy disk and CD-ROM disks from the computer. You will then press Enter which will reboot the computer.

The computer will reboot

The next screen will allow you to boot into NT


you should now see lots of text showing the partition hard drive and a quick message that says the partition is being converted into NTFS

the computer will automatically reboot when the conversion is finished

Next you will see the typical GUI window asking you to place the CD-ROM disk into the drive.

Put the disk in and click OK with the mouse

The "Setup copying files" message will be shown

The Windows NT setup screen will be shown

Press Next to continue

Enter your name and organization in the provided window

enter the CD-key into the provided window

Enter the number of Licenses you've purchased into the provided window and click next

Enter the computer name (the name you want the computer to be known as)

Select Primary Domain Controller and click next

enter a password for the administrator, verify the password and press next

you will next be asked if you want to create an Emergency Disk

Don't even think about this one. Click YES and press Next

(that emergency disk is the only thing that will save your rear end when things go bad)

The "Select Components" screen will appear. Select what you think you will need and press next

Next you will be told that the windows networking is being installed

Select the method your computer is wired to the network

Select whether you want ISS to be installed

Select a network card

Select the protocols you need installed (TCP is required) should probably have NetBEUI as well

Accept the services selected for you

And finally click next to install the components

You will see several more screens which vary depending on your selections.

You will also need to adjust the local time zone and the video card type which should be the default VGA during the setup (you can change it later to match your video card).

next you will be asked to label an "Emergency Disk" and put it into the floppy

Do this and allow the computer to format the disk and copy the files it needs to it.

The computer should now reboot. You are finished with the preliminary installation.

You must now log on as Administrator and configure the logins and install the applications.

There is one more thing to do. Install the latest Service Pack.

Drives Larger then 8.4GB

In order for NT 4.0 to properly work with a hard drive larger then 8.4GB you need to download the Service Pack4 ATAPI driver from the Microsoft site. 

You can download the ATAPI file from Microsoft. A link to that file and full instructions are found at the Microsoft KB article Q197667

If the Microsoft File is temporarily unavailable download it from this site.

The Contents of the atapi.exe download file are...

  • ...atapi.sys
  • ...disk1
  • ...oemsetup.inf
  • ...readme.txt
  • ...txtsetup.oem

Once you download the file, copy it to a floppy disk and run the file ATAPI.exe in order to extract the contents to the floppy. Then label the diskette "Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver."

Excerpt from the Microsoft article

  • Boot from the three setup disks supplied with Windows NT Server.
  • When asked if you would like setup to detect your mass storage devices, press S so that detection is skipped and you specify a mass storage device.
  • When setup list devices found, which should list <none>, press S again and insert the Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver disk and press ENTER twice.
  • After setup reads the disk and list the Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE driver, press ENTER to accept the driver.
  • Setup will now list Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver as an installed driver. If you have additional drivers for other mass storage devices, press S; if not, press ENTER to continue through setup.
  • Setup should continue through normally but, it will prompt you to insert the disk labeled "Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver Support Disk" at the copy phase after you have chosen or formatted a partition on a hard drive.


Ultra DMA/66 with ABIT BE6 motherboard and Maxtor 13.6GB Hard drive Install

We have been able to install NT 4.0 Server on a Maxtor 13.7GB Hard Drive successfully using a 4GB boot partition, and after installing the system, and upgrading to SP 3, used Disk Administrator to successfully format the remainder of the 10GB as an additional partition.

Steps to properly get the Abit "BE6" motherboard to work with a Maxtor 13.6GB Hard drive using UDMA (and it is fast).

1) Get the NT "UltraATA/66" driver diskette that came with your ABIT motherboard drive.

The drivers are only available from us via Email

Disk1 - 
Hpt366.sys - 
Hpt366.tag -
Oemsetup.inf - 
Readme.txt - 
Txtsetup.oem - 

2) Install the Hard Drive using the Special UDMA cable (Blue/Black/Gray connectors)

3) If NT is already installed using non-UDMA drivers and cables you will need to go into the control panel, open the SCSI Adapters, click Drivers and Add the driver  Then shut off the computer, change the cables, change the BIOS as shown below and restart NT.

4) Enter the BIOS and go to the "PCI/ISA" section that allows you to change the "Boot Sequence". Change the boot sequence to "CDROM, C,A " and right below that change the "Boot Sequence EXT Means" to "UDMA/66". Save the BIOS and exit.

5) Install NT. At the point where it detects the SCSI Adapters, select Others and place the UDMA/66 disk in the drive. The "HighPoint Technology HPT366 IDE Controller" should show up and install. Continue the install normally.

When you are done and windows NT is running, check in the control panel, SCSI adapters. The "HPT366 Ultra DAM Controller" should be included as a driver.






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