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setup gives VFAT Initialization error

Posted on 1999-01-15
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Question by:pbatton
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by:Patricia Siu-Lai Ho
ID: 1651835
To pbatton,are you using the Fdisk file getting from win98 CDrom to partition yr harddrive?what's yr Harddisk?Fdisk from win98 can partite Fat32 harddisk over 2G to 8.4 G. After partition, use Format file from win98 CDrom or startup disk to format drive as drive number:/u/s (system disk) or drive number:/u (data disk). Is that done?    Pslh

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by:pbatton
ID: 1651836
You'll have to be more explicit.  We did an fdisk from DOS only.  Where is it in Win 98?  Don't know how to do that.  Also the hard drive is an old 640MB one so don't need an over 2 GIG partition.  The hard drive worked fine with DOS, but can't get Win 98 to install.  It has 504 MB as DOS and then it has the rest in that NTFS format that we can't even get into.  Give me explicit directions and I'll try it.  
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by:Patricia Siu-Lai Ho
ID: 1651837
To pbatton,my last comment can only be a normal assumption as you did not give us yr Pc configuration. May I know yr Pc details like HD, CDrom, ram, graphic card etc. What kind of win98 disk that you have? an OEM CDrom disk with a startup disk or a CDrom win98 (upgrade version) or a CDrom win98 (full version)?   lookg fwd to recvg yr reply.   Pslh
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1651838
The very first thing to do is verify that the BIOS is set up correctly for the hard drive.
Configuring a drive larger than approx. 500MB requires the use of LBA (Logical Block Addressing) in the BIOS.
If the BIOS has an auto-detect feature for IDE drives, use it.
When the drive is found, you may have several options for ways to configure it.  Select LBA.
If LBA is not available, you will need an overlay utility to permit use of the entire drive capacity.
Let me know what you find.
Regards,
Ralph
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by:pbatton
ID: 1651839
Ralph and Pslh,

We set the bios for LBA mode and the CD-ROM for auto.  I'm not a novice, although I know you don't know that.  All of the other peripherals aren't too old and  were working fine.  The motherboard is an Abit, with 24 MB of RAM, an Intel Pentium 120 CPU,  the CD-ROM a Hi-Val 40X, video card a Diamond Stealth PC, but this is really all immateriaI.  Only the hard drive is an older one.  We have 3 working PC's in the house now that we built ourselves and this is our "test" platform, from parts we had upgraded from.  We know the system is good, it was working with a different hard drive, although with Windows 95.  We were given this 640MB hard drive and thought it would be fine for a test computer, but it had been formatted with OS-2 (which I know nothing about)  and Windows 3.1 on it.  I don't even know if that is the problem.  I played around a lot with it since posting this letter and deleted all the partitions and then booted with DOS 5.0 and repartitioned asking for 1 primary partition of all the space and then reformatted it all.  I then upgraded to DOS 6.22 and am now in the process of reinstalling Windows 98 - we'll see what happens - if it still hangs.  If you have any suggestions or comments - I'd be happy to hear them.  I have a feeling from the amount of free space it said was available to install Windows, that it's still not seeing that 103 MB that had OS-2 on it though!  Any suggestions about that too?  
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1651840
>  "I have a feeling from the amount of free space it said was available to install Windows, that it's still not seeing that 103 MB that had OS-2 on it though!"

I think you'll find that space is not recognized by the system BIOS.  Be CERTAIN that LBA is used, or you'll have this problem.

Type the following from a command prompt:

     FDISK /STATUS

Please post the results here.
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:pbatton
ID: 1651841
Ok did some more checking.  The drive is a Western Digital Caviar 640 MB.  If I auto-detect it comes up with 3 possibilites.  If I check the LBA one, it won't boot further than the Verifying DMI Data Pool - it hangs there.  If I choose the normal it doesn't hang it boots up but I don't get all of the drive.  
If I type FDISK /STATUS here is what I get:

Disk      Drv          Mbytes         Free       Usage
   1                            610              107          82%
               C:               503

I'm totally confused now!  Also if I put Auto in and choose LBA mode, it will boot but get same thing when I type FDISK /STATUS

????
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by:pbatton
ID: 1651842
PS:  Got to get to bed - I've been working with this all night long!  I'm hoping you guys will have an answer that will put me on the right track in the morning though!  This is very frustrating.  I'm only seeing 503MB of the drive and don't understand why.  I know about LBA, but why won't it work for me?  By the way when I finally got Windows to load I looked in system and find I also have a drive controller that has a yellow exclamation mark because it says it needs IRQ 15 which is taken, but those are all the other controllers and you aren't able to move them either!  URGH!  Can't think anymore tonight - need sleep.  
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by:Patricia Siu-Lai Ho
ID: 1651843
To pbatton, 24mb ram is not sufficient to handle win98 system, win95 is more compatible. For win98, at least 32mb ram, otherwise memory insufficiency will cause a lot of running problem. The next key point to take note on:
Selecting the right version of Fdisk/format to partition yr drive:-
(1)Dos mode 6.2 and Win95 (Fat16) system:-
For win95 it is a MsDos 7.0, if you want your harddisk to be able to run other Dos programmes 6.2 and also having win95, First using Fdisk (file getting from your Msdos 6.22) to partite yr drive and format (file getting from yr Msdos 6.22) into Fat16.  Then start installation of win95.  Then you will got a dos version command and autoexec.bat and config.sys. After installation of win95, you can have win95 mode and dos-mode both existing.
(2)No dos programe to keep but running a win95 system only.
Then selecting the Fdisk (file getting from the CDrom of win95 directory) to partite and format yr drive into a Fat16 system.
(3)win98 is a Fat32 system, you can have choice not to converting into Fat32 but using Fat16 so that your stored files can also be read by win95 of other Pc.
(3a)Fat32:- Thus, using the Fdisk (file getting from the startup floppy disk of win98, you can find it if inserting the startup floppy disk into a: drive and boot the Pc )
(3b)Fat16:- as step (1) and then start to install win98.
Thus, wld like to hear yr preference first.   Pslh  
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rmarotta earned 200 total points
ID: 1651844
pbatton,

It's not too big a problem. (You will need to re-install Windows, though.)

1)  Go to the CMOS setup, set the drive parameters correctly, and select LBA mode.
(The computer won't boot from the drive now, as it must be partitioned again.)

2)  Run FDISK after booting from from the floppy.  Delete any existing partitions, and then create a new one using entire drive's capacity, and make it active.

3)  Reboot and format the drive.

You're now ready to install Windows on the drive.
Let me know if you have trouble, or need help with creating the setup disk.  (You do not need to install Dos prior to installing Windows.)

Regards,
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:slipout
ID: 1651845
If you have upgraded hard drives in the past you should have an instilation disk for those hard drives. use that disk to partition the hard drive as if it were empty. It worked on my system even with another manufacturers disk. let it work automatically. It will ask permission to erase the previous information.
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Author Comment

by:pbatton
ID: 1651846
Ralph
I want to try your suggestion, but how do I install Windows 98 with no C prompt?  If I don't install Dos first - it won't boot from my CD.  I think there is something here I'm missing.  Thanks for helping - you've helped me before.

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Author Comment

by:pbatton
ID: 1651847
Ralph
I want to try your suggestion, but how do I install Windows 98 with no C prompt?  If I don't install Dos first - it won't boot from my CD.  I think there is something here I'm missing.  Thanks for helping - you've helped me before.

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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1651848
Follow the steps in the answer using your bootable floppy disk.
(You will need to have FDISK & FORMAT copied onto the floppy)
When you have partitioned & formatted the hard drive, Dos will recognize it as drive C:.
At that time, you need to boot from a startup floppy that has the Dos CDROM device drivers copied to it.
Dos will then see the CDROM as drive D:, and you can run SETUP (D:\SETUP.EXE) from the Dos prompt.
Let me know if you're still unclear on this, or if you need help creating the startup files for the floppy.
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:pbatton
ID: 1651849
Followed your directions step by step - still won't reclaim the disk space that was the OS-2 partition.   Fdisk didn't even see that partition.  Is it possible that once you have installed OS-2 on a partition it cannot be reclaimed by fat or would some other software such as System Commander allow me to do this?  Partition Magic 2.02 didn't.  
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1651850
pbatton,
FORGET about all the other hacks!  FDISK will do what you want.

When you posted the results from FDISK /STATUS, it told me that FDISK does, indeed, see ALL of your drive.  It will partition the drive as you tell it to, regardless of what is presently on there.

A few more details now, step-by-step:

1)  Boot with floppy that has any version of FDISK. (Dos 5 or newer)

2)  Run FDISK and go through the menu choices to delete ALL partitions on that drive.  (according to the FDISK /STATUS report, there are presently two)

3)  When there are NO partitons left defined on the drive, the total disk space should be the hard drive's size.  Now, create a new partition.  Choose the option to create the maximum size primary Dos partition and make it active.

4)  When complete, re-boot the computer and execute the FORMAT command (FORMAT C:) from the floppy.  Note total drive capacity reported by format.  Double-check by running FDISK /STATUS once again to determine that your drive is set up correctly.(there should be nothing free, with 100% usage.)

If everything is okay now, you can go on to your Windows installation.
If not let me know where it did not behave correctly, so we can get this going for you.

Again, let me know if you want help with the starup floppy used for installing Windows. (It's pretty easy)

Regards,
Ralph
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1651851
One other thing:

Let me remind you about LBA.....
It is imperative that LBA is enabled.
Don't worry about a delay at the first boot-up.  Once the drive is partitioned, it won't happen again.

Is the drive recognized and reported by BIOS at POST? (Power On Self-Test)  

Ralph
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Author Comment

by:pbatton
ID: 1651852
Problem seems to be solved. My husband seems to have figured it out. Reformatted the drive to at least get windows loaded and then used Partition Magic 4.0 to recover and reformat the OS2 space. It seems to have worked and it is seeing the entire hard disk. Thanx for all the suggestions.
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Expert Comment

by:munu2000
ID: 1651853
To pbatton,
I had experienced this problem before (VFat Initialisation error. What I did is, I done lower-level format then win98 setup disk FDISK, then format /u, OFF PC, Insert Win98 setup disk, choose direct install from Win98 CD. Now my Win98 run in Peak Performance.
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Author Comment

by:pbatton
ID: 1651854
Thank you for your comment but this question was already answered almost a month ago.  With the help of some of the experts, my husband figured it out and fixed it.  It is working now.  Thank-you for the advice however
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