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How to make C: visible in DOS mode ?

Posted on 2004-10-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I startup my PC with with floopy drive in the DOS mode, i could see A:\ only, not  C:\ or D:\
how can i make the C: visible in DOS mode so that i can copy files from it without taking the hard disk out of the box? the hard disk is working fine 100% at the moment, i just don't want to start up with C:\.
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Question by:livingstoneitdept
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 12264659
It depends on the operating system you use and the format of the hard drive.  If you use Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows NT, then your C drive MIGHT be formatted with NTFS.  If that's the case, DOS or a Windows 98 boot disk will NOT be able to see the C: drive.  They simply don't understand drives with NTFS.  There is a driver for dos from winternals.com, called NTFSDOS that will allow this, but you have to buy this.

IF your running a later version of Windows 95, 98, 98SE, Me, 2000, or XP, your C: drive MAY be formatted as FAT32.  FAT32 cannot be seen by DOS 6.22 or earlier versions or the upgrade/initial version of Windows 95.    You CAN boot to a "DOS" disk if that DOS disk is a Windows 98 bootdisk.  98 WILL see FAT32.  You can try to download a 98 boot disk at www.bootdisk.com.

There are a couple of other options for getting files off a disk if you need to without using the OS installed on the system.  You can download knoppix - which is a version of Linux that doesn't need to be installed.  Simply download an ISO image and burn it to disk.  Then boot from it - it's entirely self contained on the CD and runs from that.  It includes a CD Burning program and I BELIEVE it can READ (not write) NTFS drives.  You can also boot with an XP or 2000 CD into a Repair mode.  There is a "recovery console" option that can read the disk, but there are a number of restrictions on how this works and getting files off is next to impossible.
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by:www_JamesClancy_com
ID: 12264982
1st off...all the points should go to leew..LOL...that is the correct answer.....but personally....I would take the hard drive out of the PC and attach it to anotehr PC as a slave drive.  Then drag and drop..easy as pie!

But like leew said, NTFS drives do not show up in DOS.  So my recommendation is my answer. leew gave you the exact answer to your exact question.  And I agree with it totally.   But you may just want to go with my recommendation. if you need help on how to do it..I will give you steps on how to hook up that drive to another PC.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 12265625
Accessing NTFS from DOS

Normally you cannot access NTFS Partitions from a DOS boot disk however you can access files from the recovery console. To Launch the recovery console either start the PC from the windows CD or the windows boot floppies and select "Repair" to proceed to the recovery console.

YOU CAN access NTFS partitions using third party tools

THE BEST (But not Free)
NTFSProfessional http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/ntfsdospro.shtml

NTFSDOS Professional mounts your NTFS volumes and gives them drive letters, so you can run applications and use files on NTFS volumes transparently. NTFSDOS Professional is small enough to run from a MS-DOS boot diskette so you can even access NTFS volumes on a system where Windows NT/2000/XP isn’t installed or able to boot. This makes it ideal for repairing corrupt files or configuration problems that prevent a Windows NT/2000/XP system from booting.

NTFS Reader DOS Boot Disk (Freeware)
http://www.ntfs.com/products.htm

provides read access to NTFS drives from the MS DOS environment. It supports long filenames as well as compressed and fragmented files. NTFS Reader for DOS allows you to preview the files on NTFS and copy them from NTFS to FAT volumes or network drives. In order to use the software you need to copy the readntfs.exe file to a bootable floppy disk and boot from it.

You can also create a bootable Floppy for NTFS Systems
HOW TO: Create a Boot Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;305595

**********Bootable CD Options************

Ultimate Boot CD
http://www.paulscomputerservice.net/index.php?body=./software/bartPE.php
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD
http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
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