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Swap Active partition

I was re-formatting my drives on an old Sharp Actius PCA280 sub laptop.
There are two logical drives on a single disk. Without meaning to, I deleted C: - the system drive, which meant that D: - the data drive - became C: and also took on the Active bootable partition. When I re-created D: most things are fine and I have installed Win 98 onto the new D: but it is not the active bootable partition. This does create minor irritations as, amongst others, the default location for new program installs is always C: which is not where I want them.
I have tried using Partition Magic, which gives an option to change drive letters. However, after changing the letters around, it says (sensibly enough) that it will need to use one of its routines to go through the programs/registry and change the drive letter references. It also insists on a re-boot. On re-boot, it says it cannot find a crucial file and changes the drive letters back to how they were. So I've given up on that.
I don't seem to be able to use the old DOS Sys N: command (where N is the drive letter you want the boot files applied to). I am a little worried about using FDISK to mess with drives in this way. I have not yet tried the TweakUI powertools suite, which I seem to recall had some drive letter tweaks in it.
However, does the Expert community here have any guidance as to what the best way of achieving this swap is, that ideally does not involve re-loading the OS again, as I have already had quite a trying time getting the OS downgraded from XP with NTFS to Win 98 with FAT32?
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obuckley
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obuckley
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1 Solution
 
SysExpertCommented:
Well I would consider using Ghost, Acronis or free software to image each partition seperately.

The wipe it, and create the proper drives and sizes normally, and restore from your backups.

In theory, since this is fat32, you could just use a Fle copyier from a DOS prompt, like xcopy to copy all files  as a backup, but you may  miss out on hidden and system files.
 
I hope this helps !
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obuckleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comment Sys Expert,
I have a copy of Ghost, but surely the problem there is that the boot system files, File Allocation Tables etc. which are now on the wrong drive will be copied by Ghost into the Ghost of the wrong drive and then copied back into the wrong drive when I restore from the Ghost?
Also, I am not yet confident of having any external drive capability I can connect to the laptop to receive the Ghosted versions into - it is an old laptop! Maybe an external USB drive would do it, but I sure hope Win 98 recognises this as a USB 2 otherwise USB 1 could take a while.
Regards
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SysExpertCommented:
USB2 is not supported in win98 at all, although there may be some DOS drivers that may support it. DO a google search. Ghost also has some USB drivers .

regarding the partition info.
If you backup a partition ( not the whole drive ), then ther shouuld not be an issue, since the partition info for FAT32  IS CONTAINED  in the partition table and not in the partition data.

In a worst case scenario, you can change the drive letters and active partition in Partition magic or similar programs, but the order of creation is important, which is why you had issues after the deletion.


I hope this helps !
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nobusCommented:
i would just use FDISK from a bootable floppy or cd, and change the active partition - no harm done ; if it does not work as you like, just change it back. if you need more info, just ask
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obuckleyAuthor Commented:
Hi Nobus,
I am going to try what you suggest, but I have not had time to do that yet over the holiday season.
Please bear with me. I think yours is the most likely simple solution to my problem.

Sys Expert,
I did try changing the drive letters with Partition Magic. This did not work, as I mentioned in the question; also I did not see an option within Partition Magic to alter the active partition. Are you sure this option exists? Finally, I thought Win 98 SE did support USB 2.0. I know 98 FE did not - am I mistaken there?
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nobusCommented:
i'll be lookie
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SysExpertCommented:
USB 2.0 is not supported in any version of Win98 that I kno w of, USB 1.1 is supported as an add on From MS, in win98SE

Depending on how the partitions are defined, it is hard to say.

In general Partition magic will let you set the active partition. Check the Help, or try to use Fdisk .See
bootdisk.com for bootable win98 floppy images etc.

Does this laptop have a built in restore option ?

You definitely need to make a backup frst.

If not mentioned, you can remove the hard drive and use either a USB to 2.5" laptop adapter or a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE adapter , About $10 ) to connect your laptop drive to another machine to backup or create a host image etc.

 
I hope this helps !
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nobusCommented:
where does usb come into play ? - missed that part . . .
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obuckleyAuthor Commented:
Nobus, the reference to USB is that short of removing the drive and connecting to another PC with an adapter and running Ghost, I can only copy the disk to another drive using an external drive on a USB cable. Copying anything like that over USB1.1 and back again, may take longer than I had intended to throw at the exercise.
Anyway, I'll try FDISK when I have a moment.
Thanks to you both.
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nobusCommented:
'k
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