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win98 reads hard drive size incorrectly

Posted on 1999-01-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I purchased a new computer with a 6.8 gig hard drive. Win98 correctly read the drive then. Win 98 lost some necessary files and would not start. I reinstalled win98, but other problems arose. Before it became clear that I was having a hardware problem, I had tried reformatting my drive. That worked temporarily. The machine would not boot on C. I then tried a DOS 6 setup. the program reformatted the hard drive all right but then the computer would even boot from A. I sent it back for the warranty work,the computer now works fine. The problem is that win98 now reads my hard drive as a little over 2gig. Bios says 6.8 gig and a third party shareware program called Config also reads the hard drive as 6.8gig. My question is if the manufactures reinstalled win98 on the DOS6 format would that cause the incorrect drive size reading, if so, would the problem be corrected by using win98 fat32 or partition magic?
Thanks
Dennis
Email: elden@agate.net
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Question by:elden
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by:msunder
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Problem is you formated using Dos, which limits the max size of a partition.  You need to make yourself a win98 boot disk with fdisk etc.. on it.  Use fdisk to create the whole partition and then install 98.  This will solve the problem.
ps. make sure you have a boot disk that is 98 and has the correct cdrom drivers on it.
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larbel earned 100 total points
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Because FAT16 can only handle up to 2gig per partition, and since your HDD is already partitioned, you can increase the space even with FAT32 converter.  What you need is Partition Magic to convert to FAT32 and then resize the current partition.
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by:larbel
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Oops, I meant 'you *can't* increase the space with FAT32 converter'....
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by:msunder
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larbel :
much easier to reformat and reinstall then to spend money on software.  Plus a clean install over a orgianlly formated FAT32 would be a much better approach.  And please comment only until the user asks someone to answer it.  I mean i could have locked it with the same answer i gave and still would have solved the problem.
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by:larbel
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msunder:
'Much easier to reformat and reinstall'????!!!!!!  An average user will take approx. 1-2 hours to format and install windows with all the drivers.  Not to mention if there's other programs installed and personal settings.  With Partition Magic, Elden's problem can be solve within 15 mins!  Also, please check Elden's question: 'would the problem be corrected by using win98 fat32 or partition magic?', it was Elden's intension in the first place.  Nevertheless, PM is always a good program to have around.
As for answering the question, that's the way I've always been with no one ever complaining.  If Elden didn't like the answer, there's always the reject function!  I'll post comment only if the user requested it that way in the question.  And yes, you could of locked the question and still solve the problem, but by suggesting reformat and reinstall window, I think you might as well post an answer to each and every question in EE and 80% of them could of been solved too!
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by:dew_associates
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Elden, setting your system up again is not really that difficult. Here's a procedure that will help you. If there are any questions, please ask and we'll take you through it step by step. Dennis

First, since you have Windows 98 already running, let's make an emergency boot disk, then we'll streamline it some.

Making an emergency boot disk for Windows is simple, and if you can't remember where you put your boot disk, you can create a fresh one at any time: Open Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs option, click on the Startup Disk tab, then click on the Create Disk button.

The Windows 98 boot disk includes generic SCSI and IDE drivers that let you access most CD-ROM drives. Adding CD-ROM support for Win98's boot disk (or putting it on when those generic drives don't work with your CD-ROM drive) is, unfortunately, a much more difficult process. If you want to have access to a CD-ROM drive when you boot to a DOS prompt, you must load at least two files, one or more real-mode device drivers that allow DOS to recognize your hardware, and the Microsoft CD-ROM extension (Mscdex.exe, found in the \Windows\Command folder), which allows the operating system to access the CD-ROM file system. If you have a SCSI drive, you'll need to load ASPI drivers for the SCSI adapter as well.

Most hardware drivers will work only with a specific drive model. If you have a DOS driver disk, use the driver on it. Your next-best option is to ask the PC manufacturer for real-mode CD-ROM drivers; Dell and Gateway, for example, offer a full selection of drivers on their Web sites. If you have no luck with either of these options, you'll have to track down drivers the hard way, by searching for them, but if you post your drive type and model we'll find them for you.

Download the correct driver file, then copy it and Mscdex.exe to the boot floppy. Next, modify the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files on the boot disk as follows, substituting the name of the driver you downloaded. Note that in the following examples the /D switch is required; the label that follows the switch must be identical in both startup files. The /L switch is optional; use it to control the letter assigned to the CD-ROM drive at startup.

Add the following line to Config.sys:

DEVICE=a:\driver_name.sys /D:MSCD001

Add the following line to Autoexec.bat:

A:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD001 /L:<driveletter>

Finally, test the boot disk to make sure you can access the CD properly. After verifying that the disk works, put it in an envelope and tape it to the side of your PC, where you'll be able to find it in case of emergency.

Now let's customize a little to build (or rebuild) your system!

Windows 98 packs a hefty package of essential system-configuration utilities onto a single 1.44MB boot floppy disk. It includes five drivers for common IDE CD-ROMs as well as generic SCSI drivers. It also has a full set of DOS utilities. Unfortunately, Microsoft chose to make the boot disk needlessly complex by loading many of its utilities onto a RAM disk. The RAM disk software loads before any other drivers, which uses up a drive letter and bumps your CD-ROM to a different drive letter than the one it uses under Windows. It makes the boot process slower. And if for any reason you are unable to create a RAM disk, you won't have access to crucial system files, most notably Mscdex.exe, without which you'll be unable to access your CD-ROM.

The generic disk is an extremely useful all-purpose tool. But we recommend you also customize a leaner, trimmer boot disk just for your computer. Create a brand-new boot disk using the Add/Remove Programs option in Control Panel, then follow these steps (this procedure assumes that one of the Windows 98 drivers will work with your CD-ROM drive):

Step 1 Start your computer using the new boot disk. As it loads, watch the text messages to determine which CD-ROM driver your system uses. If the boot disk loads an ASPI driver for access to SCSI devices, make a note of its name as well.

Step 2 Create a folder called C:\Bootdisk on your hard disk. Open an Explorer window showing the contents of your emergency boot disk, and copy all files except the compressed Cabinet file Ebd.cab to the folder you just created. Then open Ebd.cab and drag its contents--12 files in all--into the folder you just created.

Step 3 Open an Explorer window showing the contents of C:\Bootdisk. Delete all files with the .sys extension except Config.sys, Ebd.sys, Himem.sys, Io.sys, Msdos.sys, and the driver files you noted in Step 1.

Step 4 Open the copy of Config.sys in C:\Bootdisk using Notepad or another text editor. Remove the line that begins menuitem=HELP. Under the [CD] section, remove all lines except the ones that refer to Himem.sys and the files you noted in Step

1. Delete the [HELP] heading and the line underneath it. Under the [Common] section, remove the line that refers to Ramdrive.sys. Close the file, saving your changes.

Step 5 Edit Autoexec.bat so that it reads as follows:
@IF "%config%"=="CD" MSCDEX.EXE /D:mscd001
Close the file, saving your changes.

Step 6 Delete all files from the boot floppy and copy the contents of C:\Bootdisk to the floppy.

Step 7 Use "Find, Files and Folders" and look for "Edit.com". It should be in your \windows\command folder. Copy that file to the floppy.  Then look for Emm386.exe and transfer that as well. It should be in your \windows folder.

Test your new boot disk to verify that it works properly. Your CD-ROM should once again have its correct drive letter, and the new floppy should boot up much more quickly than the default Windows 98 disk.

THIS NEXT PART IS EVEN EASIER, SETTING UP YOUR HARD DRIVE.

Step 1:      Boot your system to the disk that you built above. At the "A:/" prompt, type "Fdisk" without quotes.

Step 2: Remove each of the partitions, starting with any extended partitions and logical drives, then remove the primary partition.

Step 3: Now build a new primary partition equal to the full size of the hard drive. Make sure you make this partition active.

Step 4: Reboot the system again to the floppy. At the "A:/" prompt, type:

      Format c:/s  (And touch enter)

You will be asked whether you want large block addressing, and you enter "Y" (no quotes). The format will go through the entire  disk and ask you for a label at the end, just touch enter. When complete, remove the floppy from the drive and reboot the system.

Step 5: Now your ready to begin setting up Windows 98.

Copy the following files to your C:\ drive

Himem.sys     Emm386.exe   mscdex.exe    edit.com    (your CDRom).sys   config.sys   autoexec.bat

Step 6: Once the above files are copied, type "Edit" (no quotes) as the dos prompt and open your config.sys file and change it to look similar to this:

DEVICE=C:\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICE=C:\EMM386.EXE
DEVICE=C:\yourCD Rom sys file /D:MSCD000 /Q

(save this file)

Step 7: Repeat the procedure for your Autoexec.bat file. It should look similar to this:

PROMPT $P$G
C:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD000 /V /M:12

(save this file)

Step 8: Once the changes have been made and your certain all of the files are in the root of the "C" drive, restart the system and verify that you can access the cd rom drive.

Step 9:  Now your ready to install Windows 98. At the dos prompt, C:\ type D:\setup (with "D" being your cd rom drive-change it to your drive letter) and touch enter. Instead of a basic install, choose custom and select the components you want in each area.


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by:msunder
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I beg to differ with your opinion.  
However I will stand corrected on the
point of his question.  I will not however
stand down on my approach to the solution.

Mike S

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by:msunder
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The above comment was meant for Larbel and not you Dew.

Btw: Dew do you have a job?  I wish i could spend as much time as you do answering mine and others questions.


hahaha  Just curious :-)

Mikes
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by:msunder
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The above comment was meant for Larbel and not you Dew.

Btw: Dew do you have a job?  I wish i could spend as much time as you do answering mine and others questions.


hahaha  Just curious :-)

Mikes
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by:dew_associates
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Hi Mike: We considering that we are heavily involved in the computer industry, and we do assist companies in implementing in-house support departments, this is just a natural flow. Since I have several people here volunteering their time to help at E&E, it is a bit easier.
Den
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by:larbel
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Den & Mikes,

I agree setting up the system again is not difficult at all, but since FAT32 converter and Partition Magic were brought out in the question, I assume Elden prefer using these, if he wants to reformatting he would of done so as mentioned in his question he's done it before.
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by:elden
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In the interests of time and space, I failed to mention that, in addtition to to the hardware problem, I had problems with the company supplying enough drivers to correctly set up my i740 graphics card so that I could run more that 16 colors on my computer. That was my reluctance to reformat. I'm changing jobs and locations at present with no real time to do a re-install at the moment, which is why I hoped a program such as partition would do the job. I thank each of you for your time and your willingness to help people with their computer problems.
Sincerely,
Dennis
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