Very Bad Partition Problem (win98), please help!!!

  • titaniumx3
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi,

Having been fortunate to have a completely stable PC for almost a year now I suddenly fell back into hell again!

My graphics card (I think) suddenly stopped sending a monitor signal and everything went blank on my screen. The PC seemed to keep running and boot up again though. I kept pulling the card out to see what was wrong and eventually it worked after I swapped cards with another PC and back again. I then had to reinstall the graphics drivers to make it work properely. After I did this I ran 3dmark2001 and it was over 30% lower than normal. I installed the motherboard drivers and the graphics driver again and set everything as before but now I kept having glitches and crashes when running 3dmark. This went on for ages with different drivers and all, but it all kept messing up. I then had enough! and formatted my C:, D: and E: drives (D for programs and E for games) as I always have done. This is where I hit my new problem! Win98 setup reports bad sectors and so it tries to fix it, but it seemed to take forever and so I decided to install win98 and solve the problem from there. After installing win98, to my horror I find that my drive partitions are all messed with a new empty 7mb D: drive with the rest of my drives pushed down a letter. The partition sizes are all messed up but luckily it seems my important data is still intact (about 12gb).

I have little experience in this problem and would appreciate any help on how to restore my partitions. If worst comes to worst I can backup the important data to my old pc and then completely format the whole hardisk. If this is the case can you give me some straightforward instructions on how to proceed? But I have heard of some programs that should solve this without the need to format everything.

My PC specs:
AthlonXP, Asus A7V8X Motherboard, 512mbDDR, GeforceTi4200
I have 80GB hardisk as master and another 10GB as a slave.
All partitions are in FAT32, with normally drives as C,D,E,F,G,H and I. The main problems I mentioned earlier seem to be with drives C,D and E.
If you have your own ideas i'm all ears but I don't mind formatting it ALL. The problem is that I have no clue as to how I do all this!

Currently I'm running scandisk on all the drives I have for bad sectors. Please, I really am in need of some serious help.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Not sure what to tell you about reformating to fix your partition size and drive letters, but I can tell you that scandisk when running a thorough check can take some time. The last one I did on an ME machine in safe mode took roughly 4 hours. Should we assume that drives C,D and E are on the 80 gig drive and the rest are on the slave?

The 80 gig drive WILL take a long time for scandisk so sit back and watch a movie or something.
  • titaniumx3
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Post 3+ Months Ago

All the drives I mentioned are on the 80gb hard disk and the slave has just one 10gb partition, but only the 80gb hard disk has been affected.
Once the scandisk has finished I need some suggestions on how to restore my partitions to how they were. I heard 'partition magic' is a good program for this stuff. If you have any experience with this program or something like it, please help, cos i've never used it before. I can format the entire 80gb harddisk and backup my 12gbs of important data but that itself will be nightmare! I just want some normal partitions again with my disk clean of errors, so that I can install WinXP and see if I haven't damaged my graphics card (where it all started!).
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My two favorite programs for this are Partition Magic (which is now owned by Symantec, btw) and System Commander (which is not only excellent for partitioning but a great dual boot proggy. Both are extremely easy to use and although I haven't looked at prices recently, Partition Magic should be about $20 cheaper, but doesn't offer the multi-OS boot capability System Commander does. Last time I looked System comander was around $55 US.

What it sounds like to me is that you reinstalled a new OS without deleting the first which is why you probably have an extra drive letter and everything got bumped up a notch. I've done that on multiple occasions by accident, but it's probably the only way you saved all your original files, so lucky you! *lol For example my work machine C: drive is the original XP Pro that came with the machine, but my current OS is on F: drive (Win2k) because of how I installed it. Oddly, I can't boot to XP and because I think the MBR is a little whacked, but have no intention of fixing it because I can access all the files I wan't anyway.
  • DuckIT
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If you now have XP on their i'd be tempted to run scandisk again (right click the drive>properties>tools>check now). If your still getting errors all over the place i'd be tempted to chuck the disk before you really loose some data.

Whilst scandisk in theory can mark the sectors as bad and carry on, in practice once a HDD starts to go its the best time to get rid of it before it dies completely!

S
  • titaniumx3
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've finished the scandisk in WIn98 and it seems to have corrected the problems it found, but strangely it found no errors in the C drive.

I looked at all the partitions carefully and it looks all wierd. The C drive is 21gb and exactly the same size (till the last byte!) as my E: drive. Its really confusing. The capacities don't seem to add up. The D: and E: drives still have data in them when they shouldn't as I formatted the D: and E: drives in dos when this all started.

If I use FDISK to completely format the whole hard disk and repartition it will the capacities read normally again? or is their a chance for Partition Magic to sort it out without deleting the partitions?
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I do have to agree with that DuckIT for sure.
  • titaniumx3
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Post 3+ Months Ago

How do I format the harddisk completely with fdisk? where can I download it from?
  • Smokenjoe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I can send it to you over e-mail if you want. I have a 98 disk that I set up with wipe/zap/Fdisk capabilities. If you want it, just PM with your e-mail.
  • titaniumx3
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the help everyone, but I've managed now to get win xp installed again with the partitions as they were. I got really vexed due to the hundreds of bad sectors that were appearing and just used fdisk (which was on my win98 cd all along) to delete my C: drive and then create the primary partition again. This then miraclously restored the original C: drive capacity and when I installed windows again there wasn't a bad sector in sight. I was very confused but happy. I deleted the extra 7mb partition and left it as unpartitioned space.
Unfortunately it did seem my graphics card did take some beating as didn't seem to overclock as well as it did before, but that was expected as it had been overclocked for a whole year already!

thanks again! :D
  • DuckIT
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'd be tempted to do really frequent backups of your essential data until your sure the disk is good. These things have a habit of biting you on the ass when your least expecting it :lol:

Guess it could have been a corrupt MBR or something?

S

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