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Limitations of different operating systems

Preliminary remark: The following limits apply to a disk with 255 heads and 63 sectors per track. If the actual disk parameters are smaller, the limits might need to be adapted appropriately. It is therefore recommended to configure the disk with these disk parameters (255 heads and 63 sectors per track). A later modification of the disk parameters is not possible without reinstalling all partitions!

DOS with FAT16:
The beginning of a bootable DOS partition must lie within the first 2 GB of a disk, to boot successfully that partition.

Windows 95/98 with FAT16/FAT32:
The beginning of a bootable Windows 95/98 partition must lie within the first 8 GB of a disk, to boot successfully that partition.

Windows ME with FAT16/FAT32:
The 8 GB limit does not exist any more for Windows ME. A bootable Windows ME partition can be created anywhere on the disk. If the partitions begins beyond the 8 GB limit, the BIOS must support the extended INT 13h to boot successfully the partition.

Windows NT 4 with FAT16:
The beginning of a bootable Windows NT 4.0 partition with the file system FAT16 must lie within the first 2 GB of a disk, to boot successfully that partition.

Windows NT 4 with NTFS:
The beginning of a bootable Windows NT 4.0 partition with the file system NTFS must lie within the first 4 GB of a disk, to boot successfully that partition.

Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10:
The 8 GB limit does not exist any more for Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10. A bootable Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10 partition can be created anywhere on the disk. If the partition begins beyond the 8 GB limit, the BIOS must support the extended INT 13h to boot successfully the partition.

Linux:
The 8 GB limit does not exist any more for Linux starting with LILO 21.6. A bootable Linux partition can be created anywhere on the disk. If the partitions begins beyond the 8 GB limit, the BIOS must support the extended INT 13h to boot successfully the partition.