Partition problems

Posted on 2000-03-08
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I have 2 hds, but three partitions.  HD0 is split into two partitions, drives c and e.  HD1 is drive d.  I wanted to install Linux on its own partition, so I used fdisk to delete the logical drive e and then the Linux installer to reclaim that free space as a new partition.  Something happened during the installation process, however, and I was forced to reboot.  After setting the c drive as the active partition, I was able to get back into w98.  However, I wanted to recreate the e drive (I have decided not to try installing Linux on this box again.)  However, fdisk keeps throwing me in circles as I am unable to delete the extended partition since it says that logical drives exist, yet when I go to delete the logical drive it says "No logical drives found."  I DO have the appropriate fixed disk selected, and fdisk correctly reports the size of the extended partition (the file system is left blank.)  Anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong?  How do I reclaim that partition to make it my e drive?
Question by:scotsmen

Expert Comment

ID: 2596063
Have you tried deleting it as a non DOS partition then then extended partition.

Accepted Solution

dmaguillo earned 200 total points
ID: 2596078
U can use "Ranish Partition Manager". I easy to use and it can resolve your problems... (i hope).

Download from:

(it's freeware, and only 56K)

Bye... :)

Expert Comment

ID: 2596263
I think that dmaquillo is right. You will need a non MS fdisk program. I had a similar problem with trying to remove my linux swap partition and as soon as I used a non MS fdisk program it worked fine. I have had no experience with "Ransih Partion Manager" but as long as it can read Linux partitions then it will do the job.

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Expert Comment

ID: 2596272
1)  Change the drive letter of your second to something other than D:

To change the drive letter assignment for a disk or CD-ROM drive.

Open the System Properties dialog box.
Click the Device Manager tab.
Click the plus sign next to the type of drive, and then double-click the disk or CD-ROM drive for which you want to change the letter. In this case change what your d drive to e.  This should make d available to the system for use.  
Click the Settings tab.
Under Reserved drive letters, change the drive letter assignment.

Reboot and run fdisk to activate the second partition on the C drive which should be D: since fdisk allocates the next available drive letter.
You can also open the System Properties dialog box by clicking Start, pointing to Settings, clicking Control Panel, and then double-clicking System.
If the option to change the drive letter assignment is unavailable, you cannot change the drive letter.

2) If all else fails disconnect the D: drive from system, remove from Bios and reboot system from floppy.  Run fdisk to establish 2nd partition on C:.  Shutdown, from Bios redetect hard drives.  Your second drive should now be E:.  You can proceed from there as you see fit.  Good Luck!


Expert Comment

ID: 2596387
I didn't read your question close enough. Maybe have the linux setup delete the unwanted partition. If this is not possible. Then try what is mentioned above.

Expert Comment

ID: 2596766
scotsmen, if you are interested in deleting all the partition information, you should run a debug of the Master Boot Record which will delete all partition information and let you start clean with Fdisk.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 2596884

I believe that dmaguillo suggestion is among the easiest, and very very safe.  Just visit the author web site at
and you can download the version 2.37.12.  Uncompress it to a folder, and boot you computer to safe mode command prompt only and run the program  PART.EXE, make sure you safe you partition table to a file before proceeding (just as a precaution).  The documentation is very helpful.  Read it (each and every line) if you are not sure.

good luck,


Expert Comment

ID: 2597358
I had the exact same problem today. Fdisk does not recognise the partition created by the Linux setup program because it is not a FAT or FAT32 partition. It is a Linux Native partition. You have to start the Linux setup again and run the partition program. For example, I installed Red Hat Linux on my machine at work. To delete the partitions created I had to use Disk Druid. Simply select the Linux partitions (root, swap,/home etc..) and hit Delete. You should then be able to go back in to fdisk and re-create your previous drives.


Expert Comment

ID: 2597441
This has happened to me too.
Remove all the other hard drives in the comp except the one which you want to use. Partitions can get messy at times.

Try an older version of Dos first. the old version can be downloaded at

These steps should probably fix your problem.

Note: If that hard drive in which you want teh partition removed is usless. Put that drive as a master in the computer and remove all the other HD's and try this
then FDISK and see.

Expert Comment

ID: 2597583
these problems can all be solved with a simple 30sec debug routine from a DOS prompt without removing hardware and the solution is definate.

Expert Comment

ID: 2597812
The info provided in some of the answers will guide you towards solving your partition problems. However, there wwere answers that don't address the core of your problem - for instance: Changing drive letters.  That has little bearing on the problem.
The answer that mentioned LINUX install doing a partial partitioning job is very close to the cause of your trouble.  My step-by-step recommendation is as follows:
  1) Simplify - remove 2nd HD (which has a primary partition on it, causing it to be recognized by the BIOS as the D: drive. [This is done by the BIOS before the logical drive in the extended partition on the 1st HD (HD0 as you called it) is recognized as the E: drive]
   2) Boot from a floppy drive that has an FDISK program on it which a "modern" version of FDISK.  Not all FDISK programs are the same!  WIN 98's; OPENDOS's; and LINUX's FDISK can handle the larger Hard Drives.  DOS 6.22's & WIN 95's Fdisk can't do the same job.
   3) Use the FDISK program with its appropriate operating system - I do recommend using the OpenDos one (available from CALDERA.COM) with the slash X option  [FDISK /X] to delete the;
      a) DOS LOGICAL DRIVE in the extended  partition or,
      b) the NON-DOS LOGICAL DRIVE in the  extended partition.  (This is most likely what happened - the LINUX install made this partition a non-DOS one!)
   3) If you still have problems then go to a DISK-MANAGER program (They usually come with the Hard Drives when you buy one)  Their names are EZ-DRIVE, MAXBLASTER, etc.  These programs will set up just about any HD.  One worry, some have been provided by a particular brand (maker) of Hard Drives, and will not work with another's brand.  Your local PC group shold be able to loan you one that will work.

  Final comment.  When FDISKing, don't (if at all possible) do this from anything other than a FLOPPY BOOT disk - Even though you are on the C: dirve and trying to FDISK the D: drive - the C: booted OS (like WIN98) may think some of its needed files are on the D: drive and thow your "F-DISKing" into a loop!
   In truth, with WINDOWS one can't be sure that some critical WINDOWS files are NOT on the D: drive!  Check this out very carefully (Search for all instances of "D:\" in your REGISTRY, WIN.INI & SYS.INI files) before modifying the D: drive!

   Regards   CLS-ED

Expert Comment

ID: 2597903
again, this can all be solved without removing hardware and without all this work.

here's how:

1)  reboot to DOS
2)  type debug and hit enter
you will see a -
type fcs:200 400 0 and hit enter
you will see a -
type RAX and hit enter
you will see AX 0000
type 0301 and hit enter
you will see a -
type RBX and hit enter
you will see BX 0000
type 0600 and hit enter
you will see a -
type RCX and hit enter
you will see CX 0000
type 0001 and hit enter
you will see a -
type RDX and hit enter
you will see DX 0000
type 0080 and hit enter
you will see a -
type E100 CD 13 and hit enter
you will see a -
type p and hit enter
you will see a -
type q to quit and hit enter

there ya go, no partition information
now use fdisk to create whatever partitions you want, format them, and do whatever you want.  should take you about a minute to do and you'll never have to crack the case.


Author Comment

ID: 2597946
Much obliged for your help, but the Ranish Partition Manager was the easiest solution.  It required neither opening up the case nor removing all of my partition information.  

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