Why do I receive error message when formatting hard drive?

Question

I reformatted the hardrive on a friends computer, and when I went to reboot it with the startup disk in, it told me that there was a system disk error, to remove disk and press any key. When I took the disk out and hit a key it gives me the same message to remove the disk and hit any key. I rebooted it and then tried to hit the F8 key and it just gives me the same message. Is there any way that I can reformat the drive or is it too late? I don't know how big the hard drive is but I didn't fdisk it. I don't think that it is partitioned. Can you help me with this?

Answer

This question was answered on March 11, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

A:

No, you can still format the hard drive, but in order to format a hard drive you have to fdisk the hard drive

These are the procedures to follow when reformatting:

When the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed, choose Start computer without CD-ROM support, and then press ENTER.

At the command prompt, type fdisk, and then press ENTER.

If your hard disk is larger than 512 MB, the following screen is displayed:

Your computer has a disk larger than 512 MB 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 2 GB 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 designated explicitly 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 no enable large drive support.

Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N).............? [Y]

If you want to use the FAT32 file system, press Y and then press ENTER If you want to use the FAT16 file system, press N, and then press ENTER.

After you press ENTER, the Fdisk Options menu is displayed Press 1 to choose Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive, and then press ENTER.

Press 1 to choose Create Primary DOS Partition, and then press ENTER.

After you press ENTER, the following message is displayed:

Do you wish to use the maximum available size for primary DOS partition?

FAT32 File System

If you chose the FAT32 file system in step 4, and you want all of the space on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C, press Y, and then press ENTER.

Press ESC twice to quit Fdisk and return to the command prompt.

Skip to step 10.

FAT16 File System

If you chose the FAT16 file system in step 4, and you want the first 2 GB on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C, press Y, and then press ENTER for yes.

Press ESC to return to the Options menu, and then skip to step i.

If you want to customize the size of the partitions (drive letters) on the hard disk, press N, and then press ENTER.

A dialog box is displayed for you to type the size that you want for the primary partition in megabytes or percent of disk space Note that for a Windows 98-based computer, Microsoft recommends making the primary partition at least 500 MB Enter the size of the partition that you want to create, and then press ENTER.

Press ESC to return to the Options menu.

Press 2 to choose Set active partition, and then press ENTER.

The following prompted is displayed:

Enter the number of the partition you want to make active.

Press 1, and then press ENTER.

Press ESC to return to the Options menu.

To assign drive letters to the additional space on the hard disk:

Press 1, and then press ENTER

Press 2 to choose Create Extended DOS Partition, and then press ENTER.

The dialog box that appears displays the maximum space available for the extended partition You can adjust the size of the partition or leave it at the default size Note that the default maximum space is recommended, but the space can be divided between multiple drive letters Enter the amount of space you want, press ENTER, and then press ESC.

The Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition menu is displayed This is the menu you use to assign the remaining hard disk space to the additional drive letters Enter the amount of space you want to assign to the next drive letter in the Enter logical drive size in Mbytes or percent of disk space (%) ox, and then press ENTER.

A table that lists the drive letter you created and the amount of space in that drive is displayed If free space still remains on the hard disk, it is displayed near the bottom of the table Repeat steps 1-4 until you receive the following message:

All available space in the Extended DOS Partition is assigned to local drives

After you receive this message, press ESC twice to quit Fdisk and return to the command prompt.

After you have created the partitions, restart you computer with the Windows 98 Startup disk or Boot disk in the floppy disk drive.

When the Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed, chose Start computer without CD-ROM support.

When the command prompt is displayed, type format c:, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: If you receive the message "Bad command or file name," the Format.com utility may need to be extracted to your Boot disk Type the following command at the command prompt, and then press ENTER:

extract ebd.cab format.com

After Format.com is extracted to your Boot Disk and the MS-DOS command prompt is displayed, type format c:

When you run Format.com successfully, the following message is displayed:

WARNING, ALL DATA ON NON-REMOVABLE DISK DRIVE C: WILL BE LOST!

Proceed with Format (Y/N)?

Press Y, and then press ENTER to format drive C.

After the format is finished, the following message is displayed:

Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for none)?

This is an optional feature that you can use to type a name for the hard disk Type an 11-character name for the drive, or leave it blank by pressing ENTER

Repeat steps 10-14 for any additional drive letters you created in step i.

Installing Windows 98

After you have partitioned and formatted your hard disk, you can install Windows 98:

Place the Windows 98 Startup disk or Boot disk in the floppy disk drive, and then restart your computer.

When the Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed, choose Start computer with CD-ROM support, and then press ENTER.

If CD-ROM support is provided by the generic drivers on the Startup or Boot disk, one of the following lines is displayed

Drive X: = Driver MSCD001

Drive X: = Driver OEMCD001

where X is the drive letter that is assigned to your CD-ROM drive.

NOTE: If the CD-ROM drive is not available after you boot from the Windows 98 Startup disk or Boot disk, you need to install the CD-ROM drivers included with your CD-ROM drive For information about how to obtain and install the most current driver for your CD-ROM drive, view the documentation included with your device, or contact your hardware manufacturer.

Place the Windows 98 CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive, type the following command at the command prompt, and then press ENTER

X:\setup

where X is the drive letter assigned to your CD-ROM drive.

The following message is displayed:

Please wait while the Setup initializes Setup is now going to perform a routine check on your system To continue press Enter.

Press ENTER, and then follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup

Good Luck.

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Author

Posted by Teri of Data Doctors on March 11, 2002