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GADS...partitioned with FDSIK and no I have no disk

Posted on 1999-07-05
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Sigh...I have an NEC 486 that I was setting up to use in a three PC home network just for practice.  I have upgraded the CPU with Evergreen Technologies upgrade to a 200 mhz, and all went well.  Then, I wanted to do a clean install of W98 (it had 95 on it).  I fdisked the HD and partitioned using a W98 boot disk.  I no get the prompt A:> but cannot get to FORMAT c:\ from here.  It will not recognize "C".  I fear the worst, but am anxious to give it the college try and any help would be appreciated.  This is a learning thing and I'm game to try anything.  I have 64mb ram, 3.2 G HD and well, ask away! :)  Doreen  
Question by:baldridged
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Expert Comment

ID: 1158499
Well, baldridged, here are some questions for you:
Do you have any other DOS computers in your house that you can grab programs off of?
Do you have a CDROM and Win98 on CD?

If you said yes to the first question, then do this:
1. Take a clean diskette and put it into a (working) computer.
2. Type "format a: /s" (without quotes)
3. Type "copy c:\dos\format.* a:" (without quotes)
4. Take the diskette and put it into the nonworking computer.
5. Turn on the nonworking computer, thus booting from your newly made boot disk.
6. At the A:> Prompt type format c: (repeat for each logical drive such as d:, e:... don't try to format the CDROM :))

this SHOULD work. If it doesn't, well, you've got nothing to lose :)

Author Comment

ID: 1158500
Type "copy c:\dos\format.* a:" (without quotes)

This option did not work.  I got msg...file not found.
Any ideas?  Thanks thus far!  :)  Doreen

Expert Comment

ID: 1158501
After you finish with fdisk, reboot your system with the 98 boot floppy. From the A> prompt, try format then. Trying to go straight from fdisk to format without the intervening reboot can cause problems.

Best wishes

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Expert Comment

ID: 1158502
In the startup screen, is the hard drive detected by the BIOS? If so, report what it says.

Author Comment

ID: 1158503
First, for Ron, I had rebooted after fdisk and before format.  Never even tried it without rebooting first.  At least got that right.

BIOS recognizes my HD as HD 0.....2111 MB.

I have tried the W95 start up disk and managed to get the formating done of three partitions I created of 665 mb. each.  My system now does not recognize my CD Rom. It came pre-installed with this relic.  Any drivers provided.  

Expert Comment

ID: 1158504
Is the CD-ROM detected in BIOS? Otherwise, it's pop the case time to get the manufacturer and model number.

The next step is to go to the manufacturer's web site (preferred) or and get the real-mode drivers.

Run the install program that comes with the drivers. At the very least it should put a device driver in your config.sys file and mscdex in autoexec.bat

Reboot. If you get a mscdex message saying drive F is installed, at this point you can reinstall from your CD-ROM

Cute trick to fool Win98 into thinking an OS is already installed: create a file called ntldr, with one line in it: rem

Save this file to your C drive.

Hope this helps



Expert Comment

by:My name is Mud
ID: 1158505
This i extracted from
>>...The upgrade utilizes the highest rated 133 MHz AMD5x86...

now you say:
>>...I have an NEC 486...
>>...I have upgraded the CPU with Evergreen Technologies upgrade to a 200 mhz...

I don't think this is possible, since evergreen state that the highest rate is 133MHz, using a 33MHz bus...
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 1158506
> I noW get the prompt A:> ...

Enter 'FDISK /STATUS', and tell us the results.

Accepted Solution

Tatsnice earned 300 total points
ID: 1158507
Hate to jump in ....  When you created the partition with fdisk did you make the partition active.  

The partition must be made active before you can format it.


Expert Comment

ID: 1158508
Also, Since the machine is an older one, The bios may not recognize the drive size without a little help.  Either the bios will have to be upgraded(via flash upgrade, or purchase of the latest chip for that board)

Another route would be to visit the manufacturer of the harddrive, and downloading an overlay (eg.EZ-drive)

This program will format the drive and install itself.

Expert Comment

ID: 1158509
Hey, hey, hey! Sorry about that. If the computer that works that you are getting the program from is a WIndows 95/98 computer, you must type "copy c:\windows\command\format.* a:" (obviously without quotes). Sorry! (You can also feel free to read and try these other suggestions. They are very good)

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