Why is that my drives are not recognized

Question

I really need some big help. I think I know what the problem is, but I don't know how to fix it. I'll start from the beginning.

I bought my computer from an independent dealer that sold me my computer with a partitioned harddrive. Both harddrives were 5 gigs each. One was the C drive and the other was the D drive. It also came with a Creative cd-rom drive (drive E) and a HP CD Writer drive (drive F).

After a couple of years, I found the 2 partitioned drives annoying because they were so small. I wanted to combine them into one 10 gig drive. I didn't know much about it, but I used Partition Magic 7.0 and merged the 2 drives. It worked for me. However, when I was in Windows ME, the C drive was my 10 gig drive, the D drive was the Creative drive and the E drive was the HP drive. When I loaded the computer and went through DOS, DOS read my C drive as the 10 gig drive, D was labelled MS-RAMDRIVE where files such as my Attrib.exe, MSCDEX.exe, Command.com, etc files were. Drive E was still my Creative drive and drive F was my HP drive. So there was a discreptency between DOS and Windows in recognizing the drives.

I think it was around that time when my Creative drive stopped working. Discs would not read in the drive, but the same discs would read in the HP drive. When I went through DOS and tried to read the drive, I got the CDR101 message. I contacted Creative and they said I needed a new drive. So I just didn't use the drive anymore.

Yesterday I decided to reformat my whole computer. Before I did, I said, what the hell, I'll check the Creative drive. I put the Winows ME disc in, and to my surprise it read the disc and auto-loaded. I rebooted the computer, and once again the Creative drive was not working. I thought I would just load the computer with my HP drive.

I deleted the drive, loaded Windows ME through the HP drive and everything was okay. I loaded the driver for my graphics card through the HP drive and that was ok, but then I wanted to install Microsoft office and the HP drive didn't read it. The disc does load on my laptop, so it is not the disc. I went through DOS and tried to read from the drive and again I got the CDR101 message. I decided if I reformatted again, I could start from the beginning, but both drives are not recognized so I cannot load any discs.

When I loaded Windows ME, before I experienced the problems with the HP Drive, in Windows, the C drive was the 10 gig drive, D was the Creative drive and E was the HP drive. In DOS, C was the 10 gig drive, D was the MS-RAMDRIVE which contained the MSCDEX.exe file, E was the Creative drive and F was the HP Drive.

I think that both drives are actually okay, but I think I screwed up the configuration when I merged the two 5 gig drives, hence the difference between DOS an Windows in recognizing the drives. I hoping someone can help me so that the computer will recognize the drives again so I can load Windows ME.

I am not too good with fooling around with the system configuration, so I would need a very basic explanation. It would be much appreciated if someone could help me.

Thanks,

Steve

Answer

This question was answered on October 14, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Ok, the first thing you need to do is backup all your data on to floppys or CDs If you are installing Windows Me on a new hard drive, you will first need to partition the drive

To partition the drive, you use a program called Fdisk that's on the Startup Disk

Note: Always follow the Fdisk on-screen prompts carefully The program tells you how to maneuver through the menus, when to press the ESC key to go back, when you need to restart your computer, and so on

To partition the hard disk:

1 At the A command prompt, type fdisk, and then press [Enter] If the hard disk is larger than 512MB, Fdisk asks whether to enable Large Disk Support:

o If you want to install other operating systems on this computer, you need to know whether they can read FAT32 If they cannot, choose No Operating systems such as Windows NT(R) 4.0 or the original Windows 95, for example, cannot read FAT32, but Windows 98 and 2000 can

o If you don't plan to install operating systems other than Windows Me or Windows 2000, you will probably want to use Large Disk Support It allows you to create partitions larger than 2GB (which is the limit for FAT16) and provides greater file storage efficiency

2 When you are prompted about enabling Large Disk Support, type Y or N, and then press [Enter] The Fdisk main menu appears

3 at the command prompt, type 3 to delete the existing partitions and follow the on screen instructions If what you want is to just set a primary patrtiton do the following At the command prompt, type 1 to create a Primary partition You are then asked whether you want to use the maximum space (the entire drive):

o If you choose Yes, this uses up to 2GB for a FAT16 partition or the entire drive for a FAT32 partition

o If you choose No, you can specify how large you want the partition to be

If you want to use only part of the drive as the Primary partition, you can return to this menu later to choose Option 2 to create the Extended partition When you choose Option 2, you are prompted whether to use the remainder of the drive; then follow the prompts through the process of creating logical drives in that partition Continue with this process until all the space is used up on the hard disk

4 Optionally, to make the Primary partition "Active", select Option 2 from the Fdisk main menu Follow the instructions

The Active partition is the partition that the computer boots from You need to set the Active partition if you created both Primary and Extended partitions If you created only a Primary partition, it will automatically be set to Active

5 When all this is finished, press the [ESC] key to exit Fdisk When you are prompted to start your computer, leave the bootdisk disk in the A drive and restart your computer by using the power switch or by pressing [Ctrl] [Alt] [Del]

Format

After partitioning the hard drive (if necessary) we want to format the hard drive:

To format drive C, at the A prompt type the following:

Format c:

and then press [Enter] You will be warned that all data will be lost Select Yes to continue with the format

For each logical drive you created (such as D and E), at the A prompt type the following:

Format drive: (where drive is the appropriate drive letter)

Make sure you are formatting only the new drives you created, not other drives on other hard disks in your computer.

Once formatting is complete, you can begin setup To do so, switch the command prompt to the CD-ROM drive (typicallyE:, since the Windows boot floppy creates a RAM drive as D:), type setup (and press [Enter]) If you have specific installation requirements, you may want to run setup with one or more command line switches

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Author

Posted by julie of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on October 14, 2004