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Hard Drive Space Lost during Reformat_Reinstall Procedure

Posted on 2004-04-02
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I recently did a clean install/reformat of my hard drive. I installed win3.1 and msdos 6.0 for nostalgic and gaming reasons. When i did another format_install of win98se, i discovered that:

1. My hard drive was changed from FAT32 to FAT16

- i was able to convert back to FAT32 using a windows utility

2. My 8 gig hard drive was now showing only 2 gig of useable space

- i initially discovered this while running norton speed disk defrag program.
- i went back and did another format_install with no results
- in system information it shows the hard drive at 8gig
- after the second reformat, the disk space available shows 2 gig, not 8 (in dos)

- after the first reformat_install the disk space available showed 8 gig (in dos) but when i did the win98se install, i first became aware of this problem


question: how do i get my lost 6 gigs of space?
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Question by:Ryan94063
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11 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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jthow earned 125 total points
ID: 10739358
ISTR that 'System Information' gets its data about disk size from the BIOS.  That's reporting the physical size, not the usable space.

I think you need to run the W98 version of Fdisk and delete the structures created by DOS6, then create new partition(s) before formatting, rather than just doing a format. From (fairly old...) memory DOS 6 doesn't understand disks larger than (I think) 2.7gig or - as you have discovered - anything about FAT32.

Good luck.

JohnT
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Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 10739889

You may also have conflicting problems because Win 3.1 is a FAT16 OS and Win98SE is FAT32.

FAT16 does not recognize HDD larger then 2GB (2.1 if I remember correctly).

AFAIK they cannot co-exist in the same HDD.

As suggested above go for a clean reinstall of Windows (fdisk, format and setup).

Zee
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Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 10739900

Correction:

FAT16 is limited to 2GB per partition. If you want to keep FAT16 (why???) you must create multiple partitions in your HDD.

Zee
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:jthow
ID: 10740417
Knew it was one of those numbers, Zee. ;-)

I don't think the author wants to keep DOS 6 / W3.n, so he won't need to keep the FAT16 stuff. If he does, and wants W98 as well, he's going to need something like BootMagic and dual boot or it'll get a tad messy.

JohnT
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:gonzal13
ID: 10743134
I agree with all the above comments. What one cand do is reformat for fat 32 and then from windows go into msd and run the dos programs. We have come so far that most of the old dos programs are obsolete. Even when WinXp is used dos does not exist. If possible, why not format for fat 32, install windows 98se, then buy for 200 dollars an upgrade to XP? Now if you know a student at a local college you cand get the profession WinXp upgrade for 99 dollars. That is 1`/2 the regular price.

Also, if you have an older machine, formatting a large disk say 10 gig which is actually obsoete and the smallest disk is 40 gig wich is a practical size, you will need a new boios to recognize the largr HD. You can get a Promise care or equivalent which wil recognize a HD up to 120 gigs. Thus yu would not need to buy a new machine.

gonzal13(Joe)
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Author Comment

by:Ryan94063
ID: 10751625
Thanks Thanks Thanks for the responses!

FDisk was the answer. I experimented with creating an extra partition for my C:Drive but decided on the original configuration. Upgrading is not in my foreseeable future but i am very happy to finally understand partitions, having gone through this. Thank you Joe,John and Zee for your responses and also to "mr mac" for referring me to this website.
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Author Comment

by:Ryan94063
ID: 10751637
i also wanted to point out that the key moment was adding the syntax /s to the format c: command in order to add the system files to that drive. Had I not done a wee bit of research on FDisk before attempting, i may of run into problems. Instead it went very smoothly indeed. cheers
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Expert Comment

by:jthow
ID: 10751797
Thanks for the feedback.

Glad you've got it sorted.

JohnT
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 10752206

Well done.
:)
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:gonzal13
ID: 10752421
It is wonderful to read that some one says thanks for the help. It just increaseses the enthusiasm to get online every day. The points are not the goal, as I see it, but just the ability to help someone in trouble!

gonzal13(Joe)
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Author Comment

by:Ryan94063
ID: 10753852
No Fellas, thank YOU for the help. you guys are the heroes of the story.

take care, James
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