The IDE.DSK disk driver of 3.12 can only support a partition below 8Gb. The ISADISK.DSK can be able to access partition over 8Gb. However, just to use the ISADISK.DSK driver is only a workaround at the moment and it's NOT a desirable installation. You should apply all the necessary patches to build a reliable system. Following is the procedure to use a large IDE hard disk in Netware 3.12:
First off, from Novell's website, you will need to download and extract out 312PTD.EXE along with LIB312D.EXE and NWPAUP1A.EXE. Each will fit on a floppy disk.
1. Create the DOS partition (Size = RAM + 100Mb, or larger as you may need to copy all the install files & patch files to your HD and also reserve space for occasional RAM dump) and/or install DOS from the Setup diskette.
2. Extract the three files you have downloaded to separate directories on the DOS partition.
3. Install the software. Unless you have a bootable Netware installation CD (not available for 3.12), you need a DOS version of MSCDEX.EXE and will be prompted to install the file if it is not in your DOS directory.
4. If installing from an IDE based CD-ROM, consult your CD-ROM documentation for driver install.
5. Reboot your system after install.
6. Start the NetWare 3.12 installation from the CD or floppies. (i.e., D:\netware.312\english\install [or whatever letter MSCDEX assigns to your CD-ROM])
7. After NetWare installs the DOS portion of the software, DOWN and EXIT to DOS from the server prompt.
8. Copy the IDEATA.HAM, IDEATA.DDI, IDEHD.CDM, IDEHD.DDI, IDECD.CDM and IDECD.DDI to the C:\server.312 directory. (these will be in the extracted file set from NWPAUP1A.EXE)
9. Copy 312PTD.EXE to the C:\Server.312 directory.
10. Execute 312PTD.EXE.
11. Update the server with the following command c:\server.312\312PTD\native\loader\lswap <space> c:\server.312\ 312PTD\native\loader\loader.exe <space> c:\server.312\server.exe
12. Type Server from the prompt. Type the server name and IPX address
13. From the console prompt load c:\server.312\312PTD\native\start\npapatch load mmattrfx load nbi31x load c:\server.312\IDEATA
14. Assuming the hard drive is connected to the primary controller, use the suggested INT and Port numbers -- note them down to be added to the Startup.ncf load IDEATA statement to automate driver load using the parameter Int=x and port=y.
15. Load Install. Create the NetWare partition, SYS volume, and mount the volume. Complete the installation of the System and Public Files.
16. Create the Autoexec.NCF file. Add the following lines and save load after311
17. Create the Startup.NCF file. Edit the IDEATA command line to add the int=x and port parameters.
18. Load, from the command line, the following load c:\server.312\312PTD\patch312
19. Install the patches from the c:\server.312\312PTD directory when prompted for a path.
20. DOWN and EXIT the server
21. Run Server.EXE
This should work -- as you can see, using >8Gb IDE drives can be VERY complicated with 3.12 or 3.2. Upgrade to Netware 5.1 can save a lot of work if you're upgrading your server equipment.