STEP BY STEP TO REFORMAT PLEASE.......
i have a 6 gig hardrive that has alot of **** on it that was factory installed by the manufacturer that was bundled in with the system. not to mention it runns sluggish and the hard drive is getting full. i want to start from scratch and reformat the hardrive. i have a new windows 98 disc and boot floppy. what is the first thing i have to do and the next step? i'm not very computer literate so please let me know step by step. i have read a few different ways on how to do this , but seems to be a couple different variations. i became a little confused. what is correct way?
Your computer doesn't use IML bios does it? If not you have two options. 1) Use a program that came with your HDD to reformat and partion. If you have such a program I'd recommend you'd use it. 2) use format and fdisk to format and partition your HDD.
The former varies with the different programs but basically entails you booting the floppy and following instructions.
The latter is a bit harder, but still rather easy. You need to make a boot disk, a good place to start is a windows 98 startup disk but make sure that format.com and fdisk.exe are on the disk -- edit.com is another conveneiant file that Windows doesn't put on the disc for you. Once you have your boot disk do the following.
1) Boot to the disk
2) Go to the command prompt and type 'format x:' without the quotes and replacing x with your drive letter.
3) Run fdisk and use it to partition your HDD.
4) Boot to the win98 disc again and select "restart system with CD rom support"
5) Once the system reboots put go to the C: and type 'md win9x' without the quotes and replacing x with your version of windows
6) Put the windows cd into the drive and type 'copy x:\win9x c:\win9x' with the 'x' in the first drive name the letter of your cd drive.
7) Go to the win9x dir on the C: and type 'setup'
8) Setup windows
that's about it, if you have any questions, either post them and let me respond or ask someone who knows more than me
I disagree with a couple of SX's steps.
First of all, you have to format after you partition (fdisk) the drive. Second, if he's already having trouble with filling up the drive, don't waste the hard drive space by copying the Win98 CD onto the hard drive.
Make sure you have the CD-Key for your CD-Rom, if you don't, I'll tell you how to find it, but after you format the disk, it's too late.
1) If you don't already have one, make a Windows 98 Startup Disk by going to "Add/Remove Programs" in the Control Panel. Click on the "Startup Disk" tab. (Make sure it's a Win98 Startup Disk; Win95 Startup Disks don't automatically include the necessary CD-Rom drivers)
2) Back up anything you want to save onto other storage media. (When you format, all data will be lost)
3) Put the Startup floppy in the A: drive and reboot. When prompted, choose to start the computer with CD-Rom support. (You don't really need CD-Rom support yet, but it's a good time to make sure you can access the CD-Rom)
4) When the floppy disk finishes loading, you'll be left at the A:\ prompt. Type "fdisk", when prompted, choose to enable large disk support by selecting the default choice. (FAT32)
5) Delete the partition on the hard drive.
6) Create a new partition(s) on the hard drive. Hit "Escape" to exit fdisk. (if you create multiple partitions, you'll have to set one of them as "active")
7) Hit <CTRL><ALT><DEL> to reboot your machine, when prompted, choose to start the machine with CD-Rom Support.
8) When the floppy disk finishes loading, you'll be left at the A:\ prompt. Type "format C:".
9) When Format finishes, choose a Volume Label for your drive if you want.
10) When you're back at the A: prompt, type "setup" to begin installing Win98 from your CD-ROM, everything else is simpy a matter of answering the questions that Window setup asks.
You don't need to change directories or copy any files onto the hard drive, the path to the setup program on the CD-Rom is on the Startup floppy.
[This message has been edited by Fingers (edited 03-08-2001).]
Yeah, me getting format and fdisk switched was a stupid mistake, my bad.
If you install the OS from the HDD you won't need the CD near as much in the future. I've found this to definately be worth the space, but it's up to you. One thing that might be a disadvantage is that if you decide to free up the space and delete the file on your HDD, Windows will still look to that folder for the disc during hardware installation and whatnot. The folder's only 121mb, but it's up to you.
Fingers, I'm curious why formatting the HDD doesn't eliminate the CD support you just installed. Won't that delete the driver that the windows setup CD installed?
Other than that, just make sure you DON'T have IML BIOS (as some store-bought systems will) and that you, as fingers said, have the CD key for windows.
what exactly is IML BIOS? not sure if i do or not.. how do i check? please help
IML BIOS are HDD based BIOS. There's a chip on your mobo that is read during boot, this referrs the system back to the HDD where it finds the BIOS. Naturally, formatting the HDD results in erasing the BIOS and thus you can't boot. In these cases the vendor would have provided you with a quickstart disk or CD for you to reformat and reinstall windows from. The problem is that the CD generally puts all the **** you're trying to get rid of back on the computer.
I don't know of any way to check if you have IML BIOS other than calling your vendor or reading your computer's documentation, although I'm unsure whether or not they'd advertise this 'feature' as it's universally considered one of the worse moves of the computer industry. Calling tech support (or customer servervice, which ever is free) would prolly be your best bet unless anyone else can give you a true litmus test for whether or not you have IML BIOS. BTW, if you still have any restore CDs that came w/ your system, you can always give a reformat a try and use the restore CD if it fails.
LOL SX, it's and easy mistake
When you make the Win98 Startup Disk, format and fdisk are on the floppy...so are the CD-Rom drivers. In the method I described nothing comes from the hard drive, the OS and CD-Rom drivers load from the floppy. The path to the setup.exe is already mapped to the CD-Rom in the floppy's autoexec.bat. You could do the format:/s thing, but I haven't found that to be necessary.
To make it easier for those not familiar with DOS commands, I'd suggest installing Windows from the CD-Rom, then creating a "Win98" directory and copying the files with Windows Explorer. The first time you need a driver from your CD-Rom, just "browse" to the Win98 folder on your hard drive. After that, it will always default to that folder instead of prompting you for your Win98 CD-Rom every time.
Everybody has there own preferences, this is just how I do it.
Oh man codybear, that could've saved me alot of typing. (sigh)
It's one of my "favorites" now.
if my computer came with a recovery startup disk preloaded with everything on it do i have to use this? the reason i shy away from that is it has alot of the **** on it that i'm trying to get rid of. can i load just a windows 98 cd or not? is it a choice thing or am i pretty much stuck and must use this disk that came with my computer to reformat?
Hi jubby (James),
Here is the systematic guide I promised you on formatting. If you are stuck or you need additional information send me an email and I’II get back to you.
1. Place a bootable diskette in to the floppy drive immediately after power on (make sure that your bios settings, start-up options/sequence indicates that the first start-up drive is the floppy drive or a:\> )
2. You will be presented with the a:\> prompt
3. At the a:\> prompt type dir Hence, you will have a:\>dir (Press enter (return key)
4. A screen will appear with the contents of your bootable floppy disk.
5. The file, which you require is, called Fdisk
6. At the a:\> prompt type Fdisk Hence, you will have a:\>Fdisk (Press enter (return key)
7. A screen will appear stating at the bottom ‘Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N)’. Indicate Y for yes.
8. The next screen represents Fdisk options. These range from 1-4 (but you may have fives options if you have more than one HD connected to your computer)
9. To establish the state of your hard drive, go to option 4 (Display partition information)
10. This screen will either show that you have a partitioned hard drive or that no partition(s) were detected. If a partition is detected it will inform you which partition is the active partition.
11. If no partition(s) were detected, and bearing in mind that you will need a partitioned hard drive in order to format your hard drive; press Esc to get out of this screen and back to the Fdisk option screen. (Bear with me for now. This information is simply for completeness).
12. Press Fdisk option 1 (Create dos partition or logical disc drive)
13. The Create dos partition or logical disk dive menu screen appears
14. Press create dos partition or logical disk drive option 1 (Create primary dos partition). It is necessary to have a primary partition otherwise you will not be able to install Windows. You can stipulate the size you would like your primary partition to be. Any other partitions you wish to have will be up to you (extended or logical drive – but remember to stipulate yes for ‘Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N)’ each time you go back in to Fdisk. Moreover, follow the instructions for extended and logical drives. It’s self-explanatory.
15. Press Esc and go back to the Fdisk options screen
16. Press Fdisk options 2 (Set active partition). You will need to do this if you wish to install Windows. Follow the instructions. It is self-explanatory. (Create an active partition or change it.).
17. Press Esc until you arrive back at Fdisk options.
18. Press Fdisk options 4 (Display partition information)
19. You should find that you now have one primary partition, which is ‘active’. (This procedure will help you to manipulate the active partition of a single HD).
20. Press Esc until you arrive at the a:\> prompt
21. Warm boot (reboot) your computer and place a bootable diskette in to the floppy drive immediately after power on.
22. At the a:\> type format c:/s (This MS-Dos switch may not happen because c:> will not have any system files on it and for the simple fact that no Ram will make it impossible to use this switch). The difficulty here is that if you are using an EBD (Emergency Boot Disc) you will need to insert your EBD, restart your computer, and change directories to the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive (usually one drive letter ahead of where it typically resides because of the RAM drive created by EBD). If EBD still does not boot your CD-ROM then the drivers on your EBD do not include your CD-ROM device driver or a generic device driver to do the job instead. You will need to edit your Config.sys file adding the necessary line for your CD-ROM device driver and maybe even installing the CD-ROM device driver on to the EBD.
23. Hence, you have something like d:\>format(space)c:/s (Note also if you receive a ‘Bad command’ or ‘Bad file name’ error message, you will need to extract the Format.com tool to boot your disc.
24. Type at the prompt, hence, a:>extract(space)ebd.cab(space)format.com
25. After Format.com is extracted to your boot disk and the MS-Dos command prompt is displayed, type format c:/s (e.g., d:>format(space)c:/s). Alternatively, type format drive: for partition(s) not marked as your active partition. Follow the instruction on the screen. I have already explained what to do in the above explanation so I will not repeat myself.
26. The /s switch will copy system files to the ‘c’ partition on your hard drive. The system files are essential if you wish to install Windows. Without the system file, the partition will not be recognised.
27. Restart (boot) your computer with your bootable diskette in place and either indicate that you wish to use CD-ROM support or go to the prompt for your CD-ROM and type setup.exe. Hence, it may look something like this: d:>setup.exe
28. Your windows CD-ROM will start spinning using both methods and Windows will start installing itself on to your c:>.
James, you can use either your original Windows boot diskette or an Emergency Recovery Diskette (ERD) which you would have built using the Add/Remove applet in the Control Panel. You only need to use a couple of commands on your ERD so it will be all right to use. Make sure you have a good working ERD though.
I hope this is of help.
All the best,
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