Fdisk and Windows 95

  • shaunamc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have an old compaq presario 1060 notebook. It hasn't been used since 98 or so. My next door neighbor's kid asked if she could have it--just for MS applications. I was trying to reload windows 95 or possibly 98. In the process of doing so......I tried to load 98....had a boot floppy and the 98 cd...restarted....setup starts...tells me it has to format my hard drive....I click yes to do so, it stays at O% then says " An error was detecte while formatting your primary hard disk partitions". I also tried doing it with 95, same error. Next I tried going A: fdisk........."did a few things" clicked a few yes and no's along the way....now C: is empty, still wont load 95/98. I also tried A: format c...that doesn't work either.


Any ideas, could it be the hard drive is shot? Should I just toss the crap out the window?
Any suggestions appreciated.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Try getting to the DOS prompt and type: format c: /u

That may or may not work.
If it doesn't, the way your post was written with the format process hanging at 0% and then giving you the error, there may be bad clusters at the beginning of the drive which is not a good scenario from the get-go and may also explain why the notebook hasn't been used in so long.

If it works, reboot and try the install again. If it doesn't, hard drives are cheap.
  • shaunamc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I tried doing format c: /u that gives me "bad command or file"
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That's because the startup disk doesn't come with fdisk or format. If you have access to another 95 machine or 98 machine, create a boot disk and copy fdisk.exe and format.exe to it.
  • shaunamc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

How exactly do I do that?
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You can create a boot disk by clicking Add/Remove Programs in your control panel and following the instructions in the Startup disk tab. Then copy the fdisk and format from the c-drive to the same diskette. (Obviously, you need to do this on a 95/98 machine).
  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Bearing in mind that format and fdisk will destory any data on your disk...

Write a new master boot record just in case the present record is currupt. Then format the disk using the format utility. I strong suggest you use utilities that ship with the operating system version you intend to use.

boot to boot media (not harddrive)
fdisk /mbr
1. run fdisk in interactive mode.
2. delete all partitions (are sure you want to do this?)
3. create a new primary partition (likely the full size)
4. mark new primary partition active
reboot to boot media again
format c: /s /v:harddisk

Reboot the computer and verify you can boot to the harddisk partition. (Type dir and confirm the volume partition is "harddisk")(1)

(1) This is just my paranoid check to be certain you only have one disk with one partition. :-)
  • ModernDestroyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

if you still need a boot disk go to http://www.bootdisk.com they have a large variety of boot disk options for win98 I would suggest the win98sec OEM that way it will load CD-rom support and it comes with fdisk and format. Once the laptop is booted with the disk and ur at the a: type fdisk and go to option 3 and it should let u delete any partitions on the disk, once all the partitions have been deleted go back to the main menu of fdisk and tell it to create a new primary DOS partition and tell it to use the max space available. Then reboot the laptop with the boot disk still in and once you get to the
Code: [ Select ]
A:\format C: /s
What that will do is format the C: drive and transfer the system files to it, then u can do a reboot (take floppy out) to make sure the C: is formatted with the system files once that check is completed then reboot again with the boot disk in and go to the E: drive or which ever drive letter is assigned to your CD-rom and type setup and that should be all that u need to setup win98 on that pc, as long as the win98 disk is a full version and not an upgrade ;)

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