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Disk Management
Windows 98 provides a number of utilities to partition, format and manage disks. The most popular of these are FDISK and FORMAT

FDISK for hard drive Partitioning
Fdisk can be used for creating and managing partitions. However it is important to note that if you delete any partitions with FDISK then all the data in that partition will be permanently destroyed.

Note:- on older systems (mostly 486 and early pentium) be careful about repartitioning the hard disk using Fdisk. If the drive size is larger than 540Mb then some systems required drive translation utility between the hard disk drive and the BIOS. This was typically used on systems in which the BIOS does not support large drives. If the drive has been partitioned using one of these utilities, then it is important to use that program to repartition the drive otherwise you will be limited to 540Mb (as opposed to the full drive size).

Partitioning Drives
If you want to partition a hard disk into one drive, you must first use Fdisk to delete all logical drives and existing partitions.Then you will need to create a new primary partition and make it active. You can also partition a hard drive so that it has more than one logical drive.

Fdisk is an MS-DOS based application that can be run from MS-DOS command line or from within WIndows 98 (provided you are partitioning an additional hard drive rather than your primary C drive). The partitions that Fdisk creates are MS-DOS partitions. The Startup Disk that windows 98 creates from the add remove programs option in the control panel, contains a copy of Fdisk, which you can use if a hard disk becomes corrupt or unreadable.

> To start Fdisk

1. If you are starting Fdisk from a Startup Disk, put the disk in drive A: (Floppy) and press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart the computer. At the command prompt on the A: Drive, type fdisk and hit <Enter>

2. If you have a hard disk smaller than 512Mb, the Fdisk Options screen appears.

You can choose to do the following:

Create a partition or logical drive
Set the active partition
Delete a partition or logical drive
Display partition information

If the computer has two or more hard disks, Fdisk displays a fifth option named Change Current Fixed DIsk Drive, with which you can switch to another disk drive.


If you have a hard disk larger than 512MB, the following screen appears:-

Your computer has a disk larger than 512MB. This version of Windows includes improved support for large disks, resulting in more efficient use of disk space on large drives, and allowing disks over 2GB to be formatted as a single drive.

IMPORTANT: If you enable large disk support and create any new drives on this disk, you will not be able to access the new drive(s) using other operating systems, including some versions of Windows 95 and Windows NT , as well as earlier versions of Windows and MS-DOS . In addition, disk utilities that were not designed explicity for the FAT32 file system will not be able to work with this disk. If you need to access this disk with other operating systems or older disk utilities, do not enable large drive support.

Do you wish to enable large disk support...........? [N]

If you enable large disk support, any drives created will be FAT32. As such, you will not be able to access the newly created drive if booting from a boot disk created by Windows NT3.5, Windows NT4, Windows 95A, or MS-DOS (6.xx and earlier). Other versions of Windows from Windows 95B (OSR2) along with Windows 98,ME,2000,and XP all support FAT32.

If you answer "Y" you will be using a 32-bit FAT

Answering "N" means you will be using a 16-bit FAT. Fdisk will only allow up to 2GB for a partition even if the disk is larger.

Each Fdisk screen displays a Current Fixed Disk Drive line, followed by a number. If the computer has only one hard disk drive, this number is always 1. If the computer has more than one hard drive, the number shows the disk Fdisk is currently working on. The first hard drive on the computer is 1, the second is 2, and so on. The current Fixed Disk Drive line refers only to physical disk drives and not "logical drives".

Note:- If you installed a disk compression program then, Fdisk displays the uncompressed, not the compressed, size of the drives.

> To configure a hard disk using Fdisk

1. Delete existing partitions.

2. Create a new primary MS-DOS Partition.

3. For a multiple partitioned create other partitions.

Note:- If you use Fdisk to repartition a hard disk, all the files on the original partitions will be lost permanently. Please ensure tha all the data files on your hard drive are safely backed up before using Fdisk.

1. Deleting Partitions and Logical Drives
You can use Fdisk to delete partitions before creating a new primary partition. You must delete partitions in the follwing order:

A. Any non MS-DOS partition

B. Any logical drives in the extended MS-DOS partition

C. Any extended MS-DOS partition

D. The existing primary MS-DOS partition.

> To delete a partition or logical drive

In the Fdisk Options screen, press 3, and then ENTER. The Delete DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive screen appears.
Press the number for the kind of partition you want to delete, and then press ENTER.
Follow the directions on the screen, and repeat the steps for deleting any additional logical drives or partitions.

If Fdisk cannot delete a non MS-DOS partition, then you will need to delete the non MS-DOS partition by using the software used to create it.

2. Creating a Primary MS-DOS Partition
On a new disk, or after you have deleted all other partitions, you can create a new primary MS-DOS partition.

> To create a primary MS-DOS Partition

In the Fdisk Options screen, press 1, and then press ENTER. The Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive screen appears.
Press 1, and then press ENTER. The create Primary DOS Partition Screen appears.
If you want the partition to be the maximum size then simply press ENTER.
If you you do not want the partition to be the maximum size, press N, and then press ENTER. Another Create Primary DOS Partition screen appears.
To specify the partition size you want just follow the instructions on-screen, and then press enter.
You get two ways to specify the partition size. You either specify as a percentage of disk space (eg 50%) or a s size in megabytes of disk space. If you decide to specify a percentage of disk space then remember to include a percent sign (%) after the number ( typing "50" rather than "50%" will give you a 50Mb drive which is generally speaking not a lot of use)

If you created the primary partition using the entire hard drive, then you can now exit Fdisk, and reboot the computer to floppy disk. (your hard dirve will not contain any operating system (indeed it hasn't even been formatted) so it won't boot.

3. Creating other Partitions

If you chose not to use the entire drive for the primary partition, you can now create an extended DOS partition(unless you want to use the existing disk space for another operating system such as linux).
To create this partition, select Option 1 from the main Fdisk options screen, then choose to create an extended DOS partition. This will typically be set up for the remaining disk space on the drive. FDISK will prompt you to created logical drives after the Extended DOS partition is created. You have the same options to specify the partition size you want as a percentage or number of megabytes of disk space. Logical drive sizes are also done the same way.

Finally, if you created a primary and an Extended partition then you will need to set an active partition if you want to install an operating system on this drive. If you don't set an active partition on the drive then the operating system won't boot.. From the main Fdisk options menu, select option 2, and then select the Primary partition to set it active.

Formatting a Hard Drive
If Windows 98 is already installed on your hard disk and you need to reformat a hard disk (not the drive with windows on it) then
In the Windows explorer you can simply right click the drive icon for that disk and then click Format.

IF windows is not installed or if you want to To Format the drive that currently has windows on then you can use a windows 98 Startup Disk.
First ensure the Startup Disk is in drive A and switch on the computer to boot to it. At the command prompt, type the following:-

format drive: (where drive is the letter of the drive you want to format.)

If you are formatting drive C: then you can copy system files to the hard disk by typing the following at the command prompt:

format c: /s

When the warning message appears, proceed with formatting by pressing Y, then press ENTER.

When formatting is complete, type a volume label (which is a name for your drive - if you want one), and then press ENTER.

If the drive has already been formatted and you haven't repartitioned with FDISK then you can use a quick format using the /q switch

eg: format c: /q

This is much quicker since rather than formatting the whole drive it simply formats the file allocation table which then makes the operating system treat the rest of the drive as if it were empty. For the average user there are only 2 notable differences between a quick and full format. Firstly a quick format is much quicker, and secondly a Full format though much longer may detect any Bad Sectors on a drive.


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