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W2K PC suddenly thinks it's a FAT32 system

Hi,  This involves a Pent 4 1.8 GHz Dell PC that is running W2K.  When you power up, if the monitor warms up in time,  you see the "DOS" screen (ASCII Text) what shows the B&W progress bar at the bottom that says "Windows starting".

Then the normal Windows spash screen shows telling you that Windows is starting up.  Normally at this point I would expect the screen to change and a message box to show that displays various things that the OS is doing as it starts up.  However on this system what happens (and just started happening this AM) is that the middle of the Windows Starting Up splash screen turns into a sort of DOS window and some messages show that inform you that the "Type of File System is Fat32" and that is is going to check the file structure on the C: drive in 10 seconds.

If I let it run its course it does a chkdisk on the drive and then continues to boot in a normal manner until it gives you the blue screen of death.

If I hit a key during the chkdisk countdown, thus preventing it,  it'll boot normally and it'll be useable.  

I've checked the BIOS menu and there wasn't anything that mentioned the type of file system on the PC.

Any ideas?


PS  Would you believe it?  Next week I'm scheduled to go to a week long class on supporting W2K PCs/Servers...

2 Solutions
unless somones being screwing around with that box I have no idea what happened, if you want to convert it back yo NTFS you coudl use the 'convert' command:

Converts FAT volumes to NTFS.

CONVERT volume /FS:NTFS [/V]

  volume      Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon),
              mount point, or volume name.
  /FS:NTFS    Specifies that the volume to be converted to NTFS.
  /V          Specifies that Convert should be run in verbose mode.

hope that helps

if you rt click the drive and go to properties while in windows, it should tell you how windows identifies the drive (NTFS or FAT32). i don't know of any way the file system could just switch from ntfs to fat32, so either it was always fat32 or the disk diagnostics at startup are incorrectly identifying it, which could indicate a bad drive.
RichNHAuthor Commented:
We had a PC support person come in over night, here's what he did...

"I updated the bios, convert the partition to NTFS and updated it to all of the available Microsoft patches including SP4."

That seems to have fixed the problem.

I appreciate you're getting back to me.  


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