formatting harddrive.

Posted on 2005-03-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
i did a format c: on my nephews pc but forgot to leave the system files on , now when i boot up it asks me to put the system file disk but i dont have one .
anyideas what to do.
Question by:dlawre
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 13448186
get a booy disk from www.bootdisk.com

boot with it in the PC

at command line

sys a: c: {enter}

LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 13448187
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Richard Quadling
ID: 13448189
Hi dlawre,

On your pc.

Take a floppy disk.

You are going to wipe the disk by formatting it, so don't use one with your latest and greatest work on it!!!!! Final notice!!!!!

Insert floppy disk.
Open a command prompt /MSDOS box
Type in ...


This will create a bootable floppy disk.

Once done,

find SYS.* on your computer.

Copy that to the floppy disk.

Go to nephews pc.

Insert floppy disk

Boot up.

At A: prompt type


Remove disk.


You should not have a booting C:

But there will be no OS.
You will need to get drivers for a CD or a bootable CD to install an os, unless you have it on floppy!


Richard Quadling.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Richard Quadling
ID: 13448194

Oh look. Same minute! Same answer. Not copied!!!



Author Comment

ID: 13448624
i have now succeeded in gettingsystem files on.
used startup disk ad ask for cd rommsupport--put my windows 98 disk in and it went through and copied all files but on comuter restart instead of carrying on a message comes up saying
disk boot falure insert systems disk and press enter.
this only takes me right back to beginning
dont understand why it didnot crry onloading win98
can you help please.
LVL 40

Accepted Solution

Richard Quadling earned 200 total points
ID: 13448673
On the bootable floppy, copy fdisk.* to it and on the nephews pc, try

fdisk /status

and see if the drive is even partition correctly?

You may want to start this from scratch.

But, in this case, I would create a proper os install floppy disk.


Author Comment

ID: 13448709
used fdisk-it says the following
type=pri do
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Richard Quadling
ID: 13448741
And if you SYS C: A:

What is output by ...

DIR C:\ /A


Author Comment

ID: 13449836
not sure i understand what to do?
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 13451149
Download the following file to a functional computer, insert a blank floppy disk, and run the file to create a replica of a Windows 98se boot floppy:


With the 98se boot floppy you don't need to have a bootable hard drive because it temporarily unpacks necessary files into a virtual "drive" in memory and knows where to access the files for the duration of the power-up.

Boot to that one with CD-Rom support and see if it can access your CD-Rom.  Bear in mind that the "virtual drive" created will come after the last hard drive, but before the CD-Rom drive, so the drive letter of your CD-Rom will be pushed up one letter from what it usually is in Windows.

To verify that it can see the contents of the Win98 CD-Rom, type the following command when it gets to A:\>

dir  /on  /b  /p  E:\win98\*.CAB

This should give you a sorted list of the .cab files on the CD something like this:


Anything else, and it hasn't found the correct drive using that drive letter, or the generic DOS CD-Rom drivers on the floppy don't work with your CD-Rom.

In the latter event, you would have to ascertain the make of the CD-Rom drive, and download the dos driver for it, which will be a .sys file.  These are specified in the boot floppy's config.sys file like:

device=oakcdrom.sys /D:mscd001
device=btcdrom.sys /D:mscd001
device=aspicd.sys /D:mscd001

and you would have to add the file to the floppy and either change one of those lines to the name of the .sys file, or add another line to include it.

IF it has seen the contents of the "win98" folder of the CD, just type:


where "x:\" is the letter of the CD-Rom drive.

Author Comment

ID: 13451812
did all you said and then found bios had been changed- now all ok.
many tx for good information.

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