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fdisk cannot delete partition

Posted on 2004-09-12
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I need to re-format an external Maxtor One Touch USB 80g harddrive. I have a Win98se computer, and as Maxtor says, I went to Start, Programs, MS-DOS prompt and am using fdisk.  

I switch to the correct drive, but when I try to delete the partition before formating it will not let me.  It says,  "Could not change partitions because the disk could not be locked".

Be glad for any suggestions.
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Question by:egascho
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Assisted Solution

by:ITcrow
ITcrow earned 100 total points
ID: 12039972

You are running 'fdisk' from inside windows, whilst the disk is in use by windows. This is
preventing you from making changes using 'fdisk' from 'DOS'

Use Windows 98 bootdisk to make changes to the drive using the 'fdisk' utility.

Making Boot Disk:
If I recall correctly, here is how you could create a boot floppy in Windows 98:
Start => Settings => Control Panel => Add/Remove Software > Windows > Create Boot Floppy
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by:philby11
ID: 12040115
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by:kinveachy
ID: 12040333
Yup,

Or go here:

http://www.elitedatasystems.com/98bootpg.htm

download the executable file and when you run it, it'll create the boot disk for you...
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by:
DiCeR earned 150 total points
ID: 12041923
I havent had a look at the bootdisk kinveachy linked to, but if this bootdisk is a "regular" win98 bootdisk it will not give access to USB-devices.

You'll need USB Drivers on the bootdisk for that to work and bootdisk.com offers some of those:
http://www.bootdisk.com/usb.htm

I'd suggest making a bootdisk with one of their solutions and include FDISK on it. Concentrate on making a bootdisk that gives you actual access to the USB-unit before you worry about partitioning it.

Or - you can do what I'd do: Disassemble the unit and install the HD internally in a PC and use regular methods for partition-operations, re-partition and put the HD back into the external enclosure. Please be aware that it might void any warranties you have on your Maxtor unit. Make sure you know what you do if you take the unit apart!

Good luck
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Expert Comment

by:deepri_154
ID: 12094290
Use Win98 Bootable floppy disk.......try to do fdisk from that.......
If it does not help.............use  Unlimited bootable CD
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