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fdisk command fails and returns to A: \> prompt

Posted on 2001-06-19
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
The Win98 PC boots from a good floppy and loads Dos into memory.  A:\>fdisk
Would I like help with large disks...... <Y>
A:\>

I cannot get fdisk to run. I suuggested I did not want help with large disks..still a return to the A prompt. The memory is Ok,the keyboard is Ok, the CMOS has no funny settings.  What could be happening here.... please?
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Question by:redstolly
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Expert Comment

by:jlauster
ID: 6208282
Sounds like your  boot floppy is corrupted. Try a new one from:

http://www.bootdisk.com/
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Author Comment

by:redstolly
ID: 6208311
I tried three floppies, one ofwhich I checked for viruses and correct operation with a good PC. ps The OS on the offending PC is OK.
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by:jlauster
ID: 6208367
Sounds like you may have a boot virus on your computer. If you have anti-virus software, run a scan that includes boot sector. If possible, run it from DOS. If anything is found, do not use the floppy disks without scanning them also.
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 6208373
OK, If fdisk thinks the disk is corrupted it will stop working.

To clean the disk, download a ZAP util,

http://www.storage.ibm.com/techsup/hddtech/welcome.htm

has 1 or 2 utilities for this.

That should fix your problem.

Otherwise :

I would recommend that you download a diagnostic disk from your harddrive manufacturer's url. This will tell you right off where you are at and if
   you can recover from it. It may be under waranty, the harddrives are usually covered for three years and you can make out the RMA on their site
                     also. Depending on the manufacturer of the hard drive, you can download diagnostic utilities from their sites to check the drives.
 www.seagate.com
  www.maxtor.com 
   www.westerndigital.com
     www.quantum.com
     www.ibm.com
http://www.storage.ibm.com/techsup/hddtech/welcome.htm
    www.fujitsu.com 

I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:wlennon
ID: 6208456
If you are getting into winodws at all, open Windows Explorer, rithg click on the drive and see if it tells you it's FAT16 or FAT32.

if it's Fat32 then you already have large disk support, it may not be turned on in your BIOS.  If you do not see it in your BOIS it will need upgrading.
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Accepted Solution

by:
wlennon earned 200 total points
ID: 6208466
Re-reading this question, I caught something I didn't catch the first time...Are you using a Win98 Start-up Disk???  If not you can make one by going to Start>Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs and you will see a tab that says Startup Disk.

That is the disk that needs to be booted from.
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 6209455
On the other hand, it might be an idea to run an older version of fdisk, just to see what happens. If no HD is present, the fdisk tells you so. If partitions aren't recognized, you're notified of this (non-dos partition). This quitting to the A: prompt without message is unnatural and suggests something like virus or possibly BIOS boot sector protection.
Regards
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:sir_giatay
ID: 6213046
1. a good clean diskette..
from your system/ or from any win95 or win98 system using MS-DOS prompt type:   sys a:
- it loads a the io.sys and command.com so that the bootdisk will boot
2. create a file config.sys with the following line:
DEVICE=A:\HIMEM.SYS
3. of course you copy the c:\windows\himem.sys to the disk.
4. copy fdisk.com and format.com from c:\windows\command to that diskette
5. over a 512MB HDD you should enable large disk support for fdisk
6. change the active drive to that of your desired drive
7. goodluck
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Expert Comment

by:wlennon
ID: 6219145
Or if your CDROM is working, that too has the FDISK program available.

Be sure that you tell FDISK what size of partition you want, it will have choices, If I do not partion for two drives for separate OS's, I tell it to do the large available space.
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Expert Comment

by:ComTech
ID: 6313527
Hello everyone,

This question has been open for quite awhile. I am going to allow feedback from the questioner and experts. If it is not resolved, I will delete or accept an answer based on the info I have been given. Experts, feel free to offer input. I will monitor this question for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate.  

I reserve the right to disallow any comments that may not have a direct conclusion

Thank you,
ComTech
Community Support Moderator

*Question Author, please return and resolve this question.
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