Windows 95/98

Home
Windows Support Menu

 

File and Disk Administration

Partitioning Hard Disk

NOTE: It is ESSENTIAL that the customer be informed about the potential for data loss. You should advise the customer that the troubleshooting steps you are about to advise, can destroy the data on the customer's HDD. Advise the customer that they may stop the call at this point and make backups of their data. In the event of a potential virus infection, the customer may elect to stop the call and purchase a virus protection software package. In either situation, Dell is not responsible for the customer's data.

MSDOS, Windows 9X and Window NT (FAT)

Checking, Deleting and Creating a DOS (or FAT) Partition

Checking the Partition:

Execute the FDISK.EXE utility from the MS-DOS boot diskette or the Windows 95 Startup Disk, and display the hard drive partition information. To view the hard drive partition(s), Microsoft FDISK Utility has a parameter that causes it to display the partition status automatically. To check the partitioning status, type the following at the DOS prompt:

A:\>fdisk /status

This command provides information similar to that found by selecting option 4, Display Partition Information, from the FDISK Options menu. Except with the "/status" switch, it does not display if the drive is set to ACTIVE. Run the FDISK utility and select option 4 to view the ACTIVE partition information. If the primary partition is not set to ACTIVE, set it to active and see if drive boots.

If the above does not correct the problem then the hard disk will have to be repartitioned by doing the following:

Repartitioning your hard disk involves:

Deleting any non-DOS partitions.

Deleting the logical drives in the extended DOS partition, if your system has any.

Deleting the extended DOS partition, if your system has one.

Deleting any primary DOS partitions.

Creating a new primary DOS partition.

Specifying the maximum disk size for the partition, and making the partition active.

Deleting and Partitioning the Hard Disk:

1. If you are not already running MS-DOS X.XX* or Windows 95, insert your MS-DOS Boot Disk or Windows 95 Startup Disk in drive A. Then restart your computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.

2. Type "fdisk" (without the quotation marks) at the command prompt. The FDISK Options screen appears (after you have selected whether or not to enable FAT32 if this is an option for your operating system):

MS-DOS Version X.XX* or Windows 95
Fixed Disk Setup Program
(C)Copyright Microsoft Corp. 1983-1995

FDISK Options

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1. Create DOS partition or logical DOS drive
2. Set active partition
3. Delete partition or logical DOS drive
4. Display partition information

Enter choice: [3]

Press Esc to exit FDISK

3. Press 3 to choose Delete partition or logical DOS drive, and then press ENTER. The Delete DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive screen appears:

Delete DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1. Delete primary DOS partition
2. Delete extended DOS partition
3. Delete logical DOS drive(s) in the extended DOS partition
4. Delete non-DOS partition

Enter choice: [ ]

Press Esc to return to FDISK Options

4. If one of your partitions was not created with DOS, press 4 to choose Delete non-DOS partition, and then press ENTER. If your partitions were created by using DOS, skip to step 10 of this procedure. If you chose option 4, the Delete Non-DOS Partition screen appears:

Delete Non-DOS Partition

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Partition

Status

Type

Volume label

Mbytes

System

Usage

C: 1

A

PRI DOS

MS-DOS_6

Mbytes

FAT16

33%

2

 

Non-DOS

 

Mbytes

 

33%

2

 

EXT DOS

 

Mbytes

 

33%

Total disk space is 540 Mbytes (1 Mbyte=1048576 bytes)

WARNING! Data in the deleted non-DOS partition will be lost.
What non-DOS partition do you want to delete..? [1]

Press Esc to return to FDISK Options

5. Type the number of the partition you want to delete, and then press ENTER.

6. To confirm the deletion, press Y, and then press ENTER.

7. Press ESC to return to the FDISK Options screen (illustrated earlier in this procedure).

8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 if you have any other partitions that weren't created by using DOS.

9. The FDISK Options menu should be on your screen. If you have a partition that was created by using DOS, press 3 to choose Delete partition or logical DOS drive, and then press ENTER. If you have just one non-DOS partition, skip to step 21 in this procedure. If you chose option 3 on the FDISK Options screen, the Delete DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive screen (illustrated earlier in this procedure) appears.

10. If you have a logical drive, press 3 to choose Delete logical DOS drive(s) in the extended DOS partition, and then press ENTER. If you don't have a logical drive, skip to step 18 in this procedure. If you chose option 3, the Delete Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition screen appears:

Delete Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition

Drv

Volume Label

Mbytes

System

Usage

D:

 

117

FAT12

65%

E:

 

63

FAT12

35%

Total extended DOS partition size is 180 Mbytes (1 Mbyte=1048576 bytes)

WARNING! Data in a deleted logical DOS drive will be lost.
What drive do you want to delete.........................? [ ]

Press Esc to return to FDISK Options

11. Type the letter of the drive you want to delete, and then press ENTER.

12. Type the volume label if there is one, and then press ENTER.

13. To confirm the deletion, press Y, and then press ENTER.

14. If there are other logical drives you want to delete, repeat steps 11-13 above.

15. When all logical drives have been deleted, press ESC. An information screen appears.

16. Press ESC again to return to the FDISK Options screen (illustrated earlier in this procedure).

17. Press 3 to choose Delete partition or logical DOS drive, and then press ENTER. The Delete DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive screen (illustrated earlier in this procedure) appears.

18. Press 2 to choose Delete Extended DOS partition, and then press ENTER. The Delete Extended DOS Partition screen appears:

Delete Extended DOS Partition


Current fixed disk drive: 1

Partition

Status

Type

Volume label

Mbytes

System

Usage

C: 1

A

PRI DOS

MS-DOS_6

180

FAT16

33%

2

 

Non-DOS

 

180

 

33%

Total disk space is 540 Mbytes (1 Mbyte=1048576 bytes)

WARNING! Data in the deleted extended DOS partition will be lost.
Do you wish to continue (Y/N)........................? [ ]

Press Esc to return to FDISK Options

19. To confirm that you want to delete the extended DOS partition, press Y, and then press ENTER.

20. Press ESC to return to the FDISK Options screen (illustrated earlier in this procedure).

21. Press 3 to choose Delete Partition or Logical DOS Drive, and then press ENTER. The Delete DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive screen (illustrated earlier in this procedure) appears.

22. Press 1 to choose Delete primary DOS partition, and then press ENTER. The Delete Primary DOS Partition screen appears:

Delete Primary DOS Partition

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Partition

Status

Type

Volume label

Mbytes

System

Usage

C: 1

A

PRI DOS

MS-DOS_6

180

FAT16

33%

Total disk space is 540 Mbytes (1 Mbyte=1048576 bytes)

WARNING! Data in the deleted primary DOS partition will be lost.
What primary partition do you want to delete..? [1]
Enter volume label...............................? [ ]

Press Esc to return to FDISK Options

23. Press ENTER to delete your primary partition.

24. Type the volume label if there is one, and the press ENTER.

25. To confirm the deletion, press Y, and then press ENTER.

26. Press ESC to return to the FDISK Options screen (illustrated earlier in this procedure).

27. Press ENTER to choose Create a DOS partition or logical DOS drive. The Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive screen appears:

Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1. Create primary DOS partition
2. Create extended DOS partition
3. Create logical DOS drive(s) in the extended DOS partition

Enter choice: [1]

Press Esc to return to FDISK Options

28. Press ENTER to choose Create Primary DOS Partition. The Create Primary DOS Partition screen appears:

Create Primary DOS Partition

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Do you wish to use the maximum available size for a primary
DOS partition and make the partition active (Y/N).................?[Y]

Press Esc to return to FDISK Options

29. Press ENTER to specify the maximum size for the partition, and make the partition active.

30. Make sure your MS-DOS Boot Disk or Windows 95 Startup disk is in drive A, and press any key.

* - The MS-DOS version.

Last Resort for Deleting NON-DOS PARTITIONS

THIS is a handy program you can walk a customer thru to delete non-dos partitions or any partition should you feel the need to do so. Be careful, it really works and there is no recovery once it is run. This will work on ANY version of DOS and type of hard-disk (IDE, ESDI, MFM, SCSI).

CAUTION: THIS WILL WIPE OUT ANY EXISTING PARTITIONS ON THE HD!

1. Boot from dos floppy (version unimportant) and run DEBUG.

2. Enter the following commands. The machine's responses are in blue text:

-F 200 L1000 0
-A CS:100
xxxx:0100 MOV AX,301<ENTER>
xxxx:0103 MOV BX,200<ENTER>
xxxx:0106 MOV CX,1<ENTER>
xxxx:0109 MOV DX,80<ENTER>  "80" FOR HD 0, "81" FOR HD 1
xxxx:010C INT 13<ENTER>
xxxx:010E INT 20<ENTER>
xxxx:0110 <ENTER>
<---BLANK LINE - IMPORTANT! -G
Program terminated normally