TechNet Top Questions - November 22, 1999
Greetings! Here we provide detailed answers to popular questions submitted to TechNet via the answer forums and feedback alias. TechNet's Lon Collins, Microsoft Support Professional, provides you with answers and tips that can help many of you working in the trenches to deploy, maintain and support Microsoft products.
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Windows NT's® maximum file size
Hello, was wondering if anybody could confirm if NT has a maximum file size. If so, what is it? I have had various explanations on this and was hoping to get a definitive response. Any help, greatly appreciated.
Well Reuben, it depends on the version of Windows NT (whether it supports HPFS or not) and which file system you're talking about.
FAT and HPFS both have internal limits of 4 GB due to the fact that they use 32-bit fields to store file sizes. NTFS uses 64-bit fields for all sizes, permitting its data structures to handle volumes up to 2^64 bytes (16 exabytes or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes) - minus a little overhead. 16 exabytes is really, really huge.
This value is the theoretical limit for the NTFS file system. Practical limits having to do with the maximum allowable partition size described above limit the size of an NTFS partition to approximately 2 terabytes. Because the 32-bit fields of the partition table refer to the number of sectors in the partition, disks with larger sector sizes translate into larger permissible partition sizes. Currently Windows NT supports sector sizes up to 4 Kilobytes. With 4KB sectors, Windows NT can support a 16 terabyte partition. As new hardware or software schemes become available, NTFS will be able to handle substantially larger volume sizes.
It might be interesting to think about just how big even one exabyte is. One exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes. Let's say you need 1 exabyte of storage and decide to purchase 25 GB hard drives. In order to have one exabyte of storage, you would need almost 43,000,000 of these 25 GB drives. At about $US200 for the drives (with volume discount, tax not included), this works out to just over US$ 8.5 billion. That doesn't include the controller cards or chassis to hold these drives. I don't want to think about how long it would take to format the drives.
As long as we're straying from the subject, there's an interesting article from Michael Lesk (Division Director, Information and Intelligent Systems, National Science Foundation) titled "How Much Information is there in the World?" The article's a couple of years old, but offers an interesting view of the near future.
Searching for that Computer
I have a Windows NT 4, SP4 server set up with PPTP and VPN ports. I am connecting from a win98 machine. I am able to connect the network, and ping the IP addresses, and even map the net logon directory. However, I cannot browse the network in the Network Neighborhood. I have WINS installed on the NT server and I have its IP address assigned in the dial up VPN connection. What am I doing wrong?
The best recommendation that can be made is to avoid browsing over slow links - instead, connect to the shares directly. Of course, that isn't a very good answer to your question. One approach to troubleshooting this type of problem is to first determine if you are able to "manually" connect to a share by mapping to the network share by any of the following methods:
In Explorer, by selecting Tools, Map Network Drive
Via the Start button > Run, and entering the server & share name
Or via a command prompt and executing a NET USE command to the know share
If you can map to a share in any of these methods, then this tells you that the PPTP session is working properly, and the problem lies with Browsing. One good place to start is with Knowledge Base article 188305, "Troubleshooting the Microsoft Computer Browser Service."
This Knowledge Base article offers a very good step-by-step approach for determining if servers on a particular segment are represented in the browse list on a remote segment. The article describes several tests and these tests rely on the Windows NT 4.0 Resource Kit utility BROWSTAT. If you do not have the Resource Kit, you can download a subset of the Resource Kit, free of charge from the Windows NT 4.0 Resource Kit Support Tools Web site. This subset of the Resource Kit contains the BROWSTAT utility.
The technical paper "Windows NT 4.0: Virtual Private Networking" contains a lot of good information, including a Troubleshooting section at the end.
Configuring a home network
I am trying to setup a small local LAN in my home. I have one machine setup with NT4.0 Server as a PDC. I have 5 other machines on the network all running Win98. What do I need to do to allow the Win98 machines to see the server and grant permissions to particular folders to my kids?
Here's what you need to do. First, make sure the Windows NT server and the clients are running the same network protocol. Second, create User Accounts for each person on the PDC by running the User Manager for Domains application which is (typically) under Start > Programs > Administrative Tools > User Manager for Domains. Once User Manager for Domains is started, select User > New User from the menu at the top of the User Manager window. Enter the new User name (which will be this user's 'logon' name), password, and confirm password. You probably want to de-select the "User must change password at next logon" box. As a way of confirming exactly which group(s) this new user belongs to, you can click on the "Groups" button to view this user's group membership. Click OK.
Next, on the Windows 98 machines, configure the machines to log on to the Windows NT domain (let's call it HOMEDOM) by
Clicking Start > Settings > Control Panel > Network. On the Configuration tab, 'Primary Network Logon" drop-down box, choose "Client for Microsoft Network". On the Identification tab, enter your Windows NT domain name (HOMEDOM in this example) in the "Workgroup" field.
When Windows has restarted, you should now see a logon dialog box with three fields: User name, Password, and Domain. In the User name field, enter a User account name you created in step 1. In the Password field enter the password which you also specified in step 1, and in the Domain field, enter the Windows NT Domain name (again, HOMEDOM in this example.)
Estimating SQL Server Table Size
Where can I find a guide on sizing a SQL Server 7.0 database? With SQL Server 6.5 there was a formula to follow to help calculate the storage requirements. It does not appear that similar information is included within SQL Server 7 help or books online. Thanks.
As many of you will recall, the "formula" provided in the SQL Server 6.5 Administrator's Companion (Appendix B) was, shall we say, painful. It consisted of several pages of information on how to calculate various types of rows, indexes, data types, and basically was a narrative describing a spreadsheet.
This appendix is no longer in SQL Server 7.0 Books Online. With the recent release of the Microsoft BackOffice 4.5 Resource Kit, a utility is included called DataSizer that takes much of the pain out of estimating SQL Server 7.0 database sizes.
The DataSizer spreadsheet is a tool that helps estimate the size of tables in SQL Server 7.0. It contains two worksheets, labeled Clustered and Heap. The Clustered sheet gives formulas to estimate the size of a clustered index table and its nonclustered indexes. The Heap sheet gives formulas to estimate the size of a heap table (any table that does not have a clustered index) and the associated nonclustered indexes.
The BackOffice Resource Kit, version 4.5 contains the following Resource Guides and CD:
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Resource Guide
Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Reference Guide
Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0 Resource Guide
CD-ROM, featuring dozens of tools and utilities.
That is it for now. Check out the new TechNet Top Questions on November 22, 1999.
Illustration by Elizabeth Anderson, MSN Staff