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Rebuild pc

Posted on 2001-06-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I'm paying the price for not paying attention when I was learning dos/hardware a decade ago. I played around with Partition Magic on my win95 home pc (Pentium 133) and it crashed (get the message "invalid system disk" when I reboot) My pc has two physical hard drives, the first (3 G) was partioned equally to C, E and F. The second (1.3 G), where i backed up all the data files is on D.
I used my rescue Floppy disk to reboot the pc. The C drive is stuffed, there's nothing in the windows directory so I have to reformat C which is ok since I have the data backed up on D.
The floppy disk has config.sys, format.com and fdisk.exe etc, and I have the win95 cd.
Do I have enough to rebuild/reformat C?
I've tried the following but havent got anywhere.
1) reboot pc using floppy in A
2) run fdisk
3) tried to reformat c by first removing logical drives and extended partitions (E and F). I dont think I did that right because even though a message says 3000 MB space available, only 1000 MB shows in lone partition C
4) tried "format c:" and "format c:/s". Didn't work, pc just hangs. On reboot, there's still files and directories etc on C so the format didnt work.
5) A friend suggested the above and also mentioned CMOS. Heard about it but cant remember how to get to it/use it

Can someone provide idiot proof, step by step instructions (that someone off the street can follow!) to rebuild my pc (just dont touch drive D). And, as I have the win95 cd is there a way I can make my CD rom bootable? If so, does that mean I can recover future system crashes easily by just rebooting with this CD.

thanks






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Question by:frankytee
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14 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:tskelly082598
ID: 6219528
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LVL 31

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rid earned 480 total points
ID: 6224018
To be absolutely sure you do not remove anything from the old D: drive, you can disconnect it entirely before you begin this quest. Pull out the ribbon cable from the drive. If C: is damaged, i.e. has lost partition info, it needs to be repartitioned. Boot with your start diskette. Run fdisk. Choose option 4, view partition info. What does it say? If the total available space does not tally with what you know about the drive, take a look at how it is presented in BIOS, if you feel comfortable with that. If, however, it seems OK in fdisk, dont bother. If there is an extended partition on this drive, look into that one and see if there are logical  drives there. These need to be removed if you want to repartition the drive. Then remove extended partition and primary partition. (Assuming you *really* don't need anything on that drive...). After removing everything, use option 4 again and verify that no partitions are present. Now you can partition the drive in the manner you prefer. Don't forget to set primary partition active... Reboot and verify partitioning. Switch off and reconnect second HD, if you disconnected it. Boot again and re-verify partitioning and check how drive letters are assigned. Format the "new" drives. Installation of the O/S is another thing.
If you choose not to disconnect second hard drive, make PDS you fdisk the right hard drive, it should be drive 1.

To access BIOS setup, you need to press the secret key during start-up. This can be, F1, F2, F10, <Ctrl-Alt-Esc>, Del etc etc. Some computers tell you during startup! Once inside the program you should look for IDE auto detect or possibly Standard Setup to view the disk parameter values and the size the computer thinks your drives have. Nothing in your Q makes me think this is necessary thogh, so use fdisk and format first.
Regards
/RID
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:frankytee
ID: 6229833
Have been hit by the flu recently. For some reason config.sys has been removed from my diskette, will have to create another diskette and try your suggestion.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:newwavepro
ID: 6243339
In addition to this make sure you have your CD rom dos drivers available, the MSCDEX.exe file and command.com it will be bootable as long as you make your autoexec.bat and config.sys files on the boot floppy and the MSCDEX.exe and you basic CD-rom driver files with it I am not sure thou it will all fit on 1.44mb floppy.. Depends on the size of the files

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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 6243750
Autoexec.bat and config.sys are optional - you don't need them just to run fdisk and format. The program files are needed, of course, but not much more. The disk needs to be bootable, which means the system files of the appropriate O/S. If you do not need support for FAT32, it could well be enough with a DOS 6.22 boot floppy containing only msdos.sys, io.sys and the format and fdisk program files.
Regards
/RID
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 6247773
To get rid of partitions use the util delpart.exe

It's available from

http://www.ntfaq.com/ntfaq/download/delpart.exe
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by:drcspy
ID: 6254999
Please advise what type of pc you have.......compaq.........whatever....etc.....
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:frankytee
ID: 6257933
my pc was bought from a dodgy one man dealer 5 years ago. it's just a plain no name, ibm compatible, pentium 1, 133mhz, 48 ram, win 95 with 2 physical drives.
haven't been able yet to take my pc apart at home yet and try the suggestions, work is going ballistic at the moment and my home desk has 9 mths of paperwork floating around so some serious spring cleaning required.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:frankytee
ID: 6296742
found BIOS setup, using <Ctrl-Alt-Esc> as rid suggested. played around with the settings for the boot sequence, but it only gives me around 4 options none of which is
cdrom, a, c (i'm assuming this is how you make the win95 cd bootable), so i'm left with sequence
a, c

When I try to format c by typing
format c:
 or
format c: /s
 or
format c:/s

nothing happens, the pc just hangs for over 30 minutes.
is my c drive gone forever?




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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 6297188
What does fdisk show when you use that?
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Expert Comment

by:newwavepro
ID: 6299259
no your harddrive is not gone forever its simply not being detected.  When you changed the bios settings, was a harddrive listed in the first page of the bios?  

If so then the harddrive is there, just need to use a boot floppy, when you get to the A:> you can check the integrity of the drive by typing in c:> and if you get a C:> then you are fine

If not. Use the fdisk as a mentioned above to make sure you have a proper partition, you may have to delete the existing partition(s) then restart, with the boot floppy, start fdisk again and create a new active partition and restart the system again.

Once the system is restarted, type a:> format c: /s /u

Depending on what type of drive that it is, if its a Western Digital for example they have a WDDIAG program that tells you if your harddrive is still good.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 6403963
Any news here? What happens?
/RID
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:frankytee
ID: 6408510
finally rebuilt my pc, problem was my floppy disk wasn't fully functional, a friend gave me a cd rom bootable win98 boot disk. after i reformatted my c drive i put in my win95 cd and installed win95.
Problem now is that some of the software wont install correctly, and as regclean didnt help I guess I will have to reformat my c drive all over again, but thats another issue (unless someone knows an inexpensive utility that will clean the registry).
you all gave some handy advice so it's hard to pinpoint who to give the pts to but i think rid was the most helpful, besides i may bump into him/her when i backpack scani again one day.

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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 6408786
Oh. Well, I'm not dangerous. A beer will keep me calm anytime.....
/RID
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