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Installing, Partitioning & Formatting HDDs





mcridder
1. INTRODUCTION
---------------
This document covers the basics of installing, partitioning and formatting
an IDE harddrive. It will briefly discuss BIOS compatibility and settings,
overlays, and the actual physical installation of the harddrive including
jumper settings and cables.

After that, we'll cover partitioning the harddrive for use in computer with
a single or multiple hard drives and formatting the drives for use.


1.1. Some Simple Definitions
You may wish to read these definitions to gain a bit of familiarity with
some of the terms which will be used often in this document.

PARTITION - A partition is a logical division of a hard disk created so that
you can have different operating systems on the same hard disk or to create
the appearance of having separate hard drives. A partition is created when
you FDISK the hard disk.

Primary DOS Partition - The Primary DOS Partition is the main one - the one
your computer will boot from. This partition will need to be formatted
before use and will need to contain system files so that it can be booted up.

Logical DOS Drive - A Logical DOS drive exists only within an Extended DOS
Partition. Each Logical DOS Drive gets a drive letter of its own and each
Logical Drive must be formatted prior to use.

Formatting - Formatting takes the defined Primary DOS Partition or Logical
DOS Drive and prepares it to allow you to read and write data to it.
Partitioning may be likened to a farmer dividing his fields into plots and
Formatting would be digging furrows prior to sowing each plot.


1.2. Things You Will Need
-Your new hard drive
-And IDE, ATA66 or ATA100 data cable (more about cables later)
-A Phillips screwdriver
-Screws to mount the drive - often provided by the drive manufacturer.
-A bootdisk for your operating system (www.bootdisk.com if necessary)
-The FDISK.EXE program - you may need to add it to your bootdisk.
-The FORMAT.COM program - you may need to add it to your bootdisk.


1.3. Safety
Your computer runs on electricity - 120V of electricity if you‚€™re in North
America, 240V in Europe. There‚€™s enough current and voltage present to kill
you if you are not careful.

Never work on your computer with the power turned on.

Never touch the circuit boards with your hands or metal objects such as
screwdrivers when the computer is turned on. You could shock yourself or
worse still, you could damage components in your computer by short
circuiting them.

Always unplug the computer after your turn it off. Modern computers always
have a little bit of electricity running through them even though the power
switch has been pressed to turn the computer off.

Always wait a couple of minutes after turning off the power and unplugging
the computer. Some computer parts get very hot while they are running and
you want to give them a few minutes to cool off before you go thrusting your
hands into the computer case.


1.4. System limitations
Many older computers have problems with today's large, modern harddrives.
When these computers were built, harddrives with large storage capacities
just didn't exist. You may be able to update the system BIOS on these
machines to allow them to properly recognize and use large drives. In some
cases, Drive Overlay Software may be needed. This software fools your
computer into thinking the drive is a different size than it really is and
lets it use all of the drive's storage capacity.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you buy a harddrive for your
computer:

YOUR COMPUTER'S BIOS DATE PROBLEMS YOU WILL LIKELY HAVE
-------------------------------------------------------------
Leading up to August 1994. You may not be able to properly access hard
drives larger than 528 MB in size.
Leading up to February 1996. You may not be able to properly access hard
drives larger than 2.1 GB.
Leading up to January 1998. You may not be able to properly access hard
drives larger than 8.4 GB.

YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM LIMITATIONS
-------------------------------------------------------------
Windows 95 or 95A Your system will be unable to access disk
(v 4.00.950 or 4.00.950a) partitions larger than 2.1 GB. You can divide
larger hard drives into multiple partitions,
each 2.1 GB or smaller. If you have an older
BIOS, you may also be limited as to the
maximum size of your hard drive.

******************************************************
Bootdisk.Com Note:
For Windows 95 original and Version 95A, your primary partition is limited
to 2.1 gigs. Extended partitions can be made to whatever size the bios
allows. Logical drives are limited to 2.1 gig. So, while the extended
partition may be 8 gig, you can only create 2.1 gig logical drives within
it. In other words, if you have a 10 gig drive, your C: [primary] partition
is limited to 2.1 gigs, you can then make a 8 gig extended partition, but
then you will have to create 4 additional logical drives. You will have no
choice but to format 5 drives letters c: d: e: f: g:
******************************************************


Windows NT 4.0 Windows NT 4.0 will be unable to properly
access a hard drive larger than 8.4 GB without
the atapi.sys file found in Service Pack 3 or
later.

Additional comments for Windows NT 4.0
If you are installing Windows NT 4.0 on a new system, you will need to do so
from a FAT-16 partition. NT cannot boot from a FAT-32 partition commonly
used with later versions of Windows 95 and with Windows 98. The maximum
size for a normal FAT-16 partition is 2.1 GB. There are special programs
such as Partition Magic 5.x and Symantec‚€™s GDISK which ships with Ghost
which can create a 4.0 GB Fat-16 partition. This is a special type of
partition with oversized clusters and it can only be used with Windows NT
4.0.




2. INSTALLATION
---------------
Installing a hard drive takes a little bit of preparation. In general,
there are 6 steps to installing a drive. Some of the steps may be skipped
depending on how recent your computer is.
-Configuring the Jumper Settings on each hard drive.
-Mounting the hard drive.
-Connecting the Power and Data cables to the hard drive.
-Connecting the Data cable to the system mainboard.
-Configuring the System Bios.
-Installing any Drive Overlay software if required.

These instructions are guidelines only. Each hard drive manufacturer does
things a little differently. Some drives may have 10 or more jumpers. You
should always consult the documentation that comes with your hard drive to
find the proper settings for your drive. Using an incorrect setting may
cause damage to the hard drive.

BEFORE YOU DO ANY WORK ON YOUR COMPUTER HARDWARE, ALWAYS TURN THE POWER OFF!


2.1. Configuring the Drives
A typical modern system mainboard (or motherboard) has two IDE/EIDE channels.
There is one connector on the motherboard for each channel and each channel
can support two devices.
2 CHANNELS x 2 DEVICES = 4 DEVICES

Each channel has a Master device and possibly a Slave device. IDE drives
come with a controller card built into them but when two devices exist on
the same channel, their controllers tend to conflict with each other. By
setting one device as a Master and one as a Slave, you remove any possible
source of contention.


2.2. The Cable
A standard IDE cable has three 40-pin connectors on it. Two connectors are
closer to one end than the other. One edge is COLORED and indicates the
position of PIN 1. Match it with PIN 1 on the motherboard and the hard
drive(s). This cable is suitable for hard drives, cdrom drives and internal
IDE Zip drives. Typically, you can install any drive at any position on the
cable, although it is good practice to connect the master drive at the end
of the cable and the slave in the middle. This cable cannot achieve ATA66.

An ATA/66 or UDMA-66 cable appears similar to the standard IDE cable. It
has the same types of connectors at the ends, however the connectors are
color coded - unlike the standard cable. The blue connector always connects
to the motherboard. The black connector at the end of the cable connects to
the Master Drive and the grey connector in the middle of the cable connects
to the Slave drive, if any. Connecting the drives in any other way will
cause them to not work properly.

ATA 66 Cable diagram:

BLUE CONNECTOR------wire-----GRAY CONNECTOR-------wire-------BLACK CONNECTOR
TO MOTHERBOARD TO SLAVE DRIVE TO MASTER DRIVE

The ATA/66 cable has the same 40-pin connectors on the ends, however the
cable has 80 conductors on it instead of the normal 40 conductors. The
extra wires are grounded and are used to isolate the signal wires of the
cable. This cuts down on signal interference and lets the computer transfer
data faster to and from the drives.


2.3. The Hard Drive
IDE hard drives all appear remarkably alike from the back. There is an IDE
Data connector, the power connector and most of the time the Master/Slave
jumpers are also on the back - however, there are drive manufacturers who
put the jumpers on the underside of the hard drive. Always consult the
documentation which comes with your hard drive. Often, jumper settings are
also shown on the label affixed to the drive. On our hard drive, the jumpers
are located on the back.

There are usually 3 jumpers - Master, Slave and Cable Select.

- Master is used when there is a single drive or this drive is the main
drive in the system.
- Slave is used when you already have a Master drive on the same IDE cable.
- Cable Select is used in some systems. Both drives need to have the Cable
Select jumper enabled and the drive at the end of the cable becomes the
Master with the Slave drive being located in the middle.

When you have just a single hard drive, it is set up as a Master.

Some drives have a special setting for when the drive is the only one there.
This is called the ‚€˜Single‚€™ setting.

Example 1.

Our computer system has two hard drives and one cdrom drive.

Primary IDE Channel Secondary IDE Channel
Master Hard Drive 1 CDROM drive
Slave Hard Drive 2 Free

-Drive 1 will have its jumper set to the Master position and will be
connected to the end of the cable used on the Primary IDE channel (channel 1)
-Drive 2 will have its jumper set to the Slave position and will be connected
to the middle of the cable used on the Primary IDE channel (channel 1).
-The cdrom drive will also be set as a Master drive, however it will be
connected to the end of the cable on the Secondary IDE channel (channel 2).

This leaves one position open (Slave on the Secondary IDE channel) for a
future hard drive, zip drive or other IDE device.


Example 2.

This computer has one hard drive and one cdrom drive. This is a common
situation.

Primary IDE Channel Secondary IDE Channel
Master Hard Drive CDROM drive
Slave Free Free

Drive 1 has its jumper set to the Master position and is connected to the
end of the cable on the Primary IDE Channel. The cdrom drive is also set
as a Master and it‚€™s connected to the end of the Secondary IDE Channel.

On this system, we do have an alternate way to connect the drives if we
wanted to. We could set the cdrom drive as a Slave drive and then connect
it to the Primary IDE Channel. This would free up the Secondary IDE Channel
and if we were short on IRQs for some of our other devices, we could disable
the Secondary IDE Channel in the System Bios. You should consult your
motherboard manual on how to do this.


2.4. Mounting the Drive
Mounting the hard drive is very straight-forward. Modern hard drives are
3 ¬Ĺ wide and most cases will hold two of them. If you have more hard drives
and have run out of 3 ¬Ĺ bays, you can mount additional drives into a 5 ¬ľ
drive bay with mounting brackets - you will need to buy those separately.

The drive slides into a bay inside the computer case and is fastened into
place with four screws. You may be tempted to use fewer screws, but you
should use four if you possibly can. This helps to hold the drive firmly
in place and to cut down on vibration.


2.5. Connecting Data and Power Cables to Your Hard Drive
Once your drives are mounted in place, you should connect the data cable.

If you look at the IDE cable, you‚€™ll see two connectors nearer one end of
the cable than the other. This is the end that connects to the hard drives.
The end of the cable should be connected to the Master or Single drive.
The cable‚€™s center connector attaches to the Slave drive if you have one.
The cables should fit in one way only - press them firmly into place, but
do not force them, you could bend the connection pins on the hard drive.

If you have a cable which fits in both ways, one edge of the cable will be
identified with a red stripe indicating Pin 1 on the cable. A general rule
of thumb is that when connecting the ribbon cable, Pin 1 goes nearest to
the Power connections.

Next, attach the power connectors from the power supply to your drive(s).

Lastly, connect the other end of the IDE data cable to the motherboard.
Be sure to attach the cable to the proper IDE channel connector (Primary or
Secondary). If you are unsure of which one is which, consult your
motherboard manual.


2.6. Configuring the System BIOS
Reboot your computer and enter the System Bios - typically by pressing F1,
F2, Del or some other combination of keys. This varies from one
manufacturer to another, but it is always explained in your system manual
and is often displayed on the screen at start-up.

Here‚€™s the main menu of a typical System BIOS. The two areas we need to
concern ourselves with are the Standard CMOS Setup and IDE HDD Auto
Detection menus.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
ROM PCI/ISA BIOS
STANDARD CMOS SETUP
AWARD SOFTWARE INC.

STANDARD CMOS SETUP SUPERVISOR PASSWORD
BIOS FEATURES SETUP USER PASSWORD
CHIPSET FEATURES SETUP IDE HDD AUTO DETECTION
POWER MANAGEMENT SETUP SAVE & EXIT SETUP
PNP AND PCI SETUP EXIT WITHOUT SAVING
LOAD BIOS DEFAULTS
LOAD SETUP DEFAULTS


ESC : Quit
F10 : Save and Exit Setup
-----------------------------------------------------------------

If your BIOS allows it - and most modern BIOSes do - set your IDE Master
and Slave settings to AUTO. This will allow the BIOS to auto-detect the
hard drives at boot time and it will configure itself appropriately.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
ROM PCI/ISA BIOS
STANDARD CMOS SETUP
AWARD SOFTWARE INC.

Date (mm:dd:yy) : Sun, Aug 3 2000
Time (hh:mm:ss) : 12 : 00 : 00

Hard Disks Type Size Cyls Head Precomp Landz Sector Mode
Primary Master : Auto 0 0 0 0 0 0 NORMAL
Primary Slave : User 0 0 0 0 0 0 NORMAL
Secondary Master: None 0 0 0 0 0 0 ------
Secondary Slave : None 0 0 0 0 0 0 ------


Drive A: None
Drive B: None Base Memory: 0K
Extended Memory: 0K
Video: EGA/VGA Other Memory: 1024K
Halt On: All Errors Total Memory: 1024K
-----------------------------------------------------------------

In the screen above, you can see where the Type for the Primary Master
drive has been set to Auto. This should allow your System BIOS to
automatically find the hard drive when you start up your computer.

Some BIOSes have an option to ‚€˜manually‚€™ auto-detect drives. When you
choose this option, the BIOS will scan the IDE channels and will detect
the drives. You will be presented with two or three options for each
drive detected - choose the LBA mode for each drive (if available) as shown
below.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
ROM PCI/ISA BIOS
STANDARD CMOS SETUP
AWARD SOFTWARE INC.

Hard Disks Type Size Cyls Head Precomp Landz Sector Mode
Primary Master :

Select Primary Master Option (N=Skip) : N

OPTIONS SIZE CYLS HEAD PRECOMP LANDZ SECTOR MODE
2(Y) 849 823 32 0 1646 63 LBA
1 849 1647 16 65535 1646 63 NORMAL
3 849 823 32 65535 1646 63 LARGE
Note: Some Oses (Like SCO Unix) must use NORMAL for installation
| ESC : Skip |
-----------------------------------------------------------------


On older computers you may need to use manufacturer-provided Drive Overlay
software to fool the System BIOS into thinking the drive is different than
it really is and to allow you to access the full capacity of the drive.
Consult the documentation for the Drive Overlay software to see if you need
to use specific settings in the BIOS.

Once the BIOS settings are completed, reboot your computer. If you do not
yet have an operating system installed, you will need to use a boot
diskette in order to start up the computer.



3. PARTITIONING YOUR HARD DRIVE
-------------------------------
As stated earlier, partitioning your hard drive is dividing it up into
useable areas. The analogy I used was that Partitioning was like a farmer
dividing his fields into plots, each of which must later be ploughed and
furrowed prior to seeding. To do this, we must use the DOS command FDISK.
FDISK is a special-purpose program written to create and delete partitions
on a hard drive.

Depending on the version of DOS or Windows you have, you may see a different
initial FDISK screen when you run the command. Users who have Windows 95B
or C (also known as OSR 2.x versions) or Windows 98 will see the following
screen. Users who have other versions of FDISK will not see this screen.


-----------------------------------------------------------------
Your computer has a disk larger than 512MB. This version of Windows
includes improved support for large disks, resulting in more efficient use
of disk space on large drives, and allowing disks over 2 GB to be formatted
as a single drive.

IMPORTANT: If you enable large disk support and create any new drives on
this disk, you will not be able to access the new drive(s) using other
operating systems, including some versions of Windows 95 and Windows NT,
as well as earlier versions of Windows and MS-DOS. In addition, disk
utilities that were not designed explicitly for the FAT32 file system will
not be able to work with this disk. If you need to access this disk with
other operating systems or older disk utilities, do not enable large drive
support.

Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N). . . . . . .? [Y]
-----------------------------------------------------------------



If you answer [Y] on the above screen, FDISK will use a FAT-32 partition
table allowing you to have partitions over 2 GB in size. Windows 95, 95A
and Windows NT do not know how to access this type of partition, so don‚€™t
use it for these Operating Systems.


If you do not see the above screen, you should see one much like the one
below:

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft Windows 98
Fixed Disk Setup Program
(C)Copyright Microsoft Corp. 1993 - 1998

FDISK Options

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1.Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2.Set Active Partition
3.Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
4.Display Partition Information
5.Change current fixed disk drive

Enter choice: [1]


Press ESC to exit FDISK
-----------------------------------------------------------------

The Options:

[1] Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive
This option along with Option 3 are the two most commonly used commands in
FDISK. It is used to create new partitions and logical drives within an
extended dos partition.

[2] Set Active Partition
A hard drive can have more than one Primary Dos Partition. In fact, it can
have four of them, however only one of the four may be active at any one
time - and it‚€™s the active partition that the operating system boots from.
This option allows you to select which partitions should be made active.
This command is very rarely used and the typical home user will probably
never need to use it. We will not be discussing this option apart from
noting that FDISK won‚€™t let us create more than one Primary DOS Partition
although you are allowed to have up to four.

[3] Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
The time will come when you want to delete a partition or logical dos drive.
Perhaps you are resizing your drive or you‚€™ve accidentally created a logical
drive and wish to delete it. This is where you‚€™d do that.

[4] Display partition information
This option allows you to see what partitions, if any, already exist on your
drive and how it has been divided up. This option does not make any changes
to your drive.

[5] Change current fixed disk drive
If you have more than one hard drive installed in your computer, you need to
select which one you want to be working on. Hard drives are listed in
numerical order. (1.. 2..)


2.1.Partitioning and How Drive Letters Are Assigned
DOS and Windows have this annoying tendency to not allow you to arbitrarily
assign a drive letter to the partition of your choice. This really is no
fault of their own - it‚€™s actually handled by the System BIOS itself.
Windows NT 4.0 is the exception - it overrides the System Bios. Therefore
you must plan out in advance how you will be setting up your drives.

The way drive letters are assigned works like this:

-Primary DOS Partitions get drive letters first, starting with Drive 1,
then Drive 2 and so on.
-Logical DOS Drives inside of Extended DOS Partitions get drive letters
next - starting with Drive 1, then Drive 2, etc..
-CDROM, ZIP and other removable IDE drives get their drive letters last.
These aren‚€™t so big a problem because for these drives you can specify
drive letters.

IMPORTANT: If you're adding a new hard disk ALREADY PARTITIONED
If the drive you're adding already has a primary DOS parition, and your
first hard drive has an extended partition with Logical partitions in it,
the drive letters of these logical partitions will be pushed back, and any
programs you have on it will see their links and shortcuts broken. To avoid
this situation, add an unpartitioned drive only, or add a partitioned drive
that ONLY has logical partitions in an extended partition.


2.2 Let's Partition A Drive!
Enough of that. Let‚€™s do some partitioning. I‚€™m going to do two examples
here.

In the first example, we will have only one hard drive, 4.5 GB in size.
The Operating System we will be using will be Windows 95 A. The same
limitations for this OS also apply to DOS, Windows 3.1 and to some extent
to Windows NT 4.0 and earlier.

In the second example, we will have two hard drives. The first will be 8.4
GB and the second will be 10 GB. We‚€™ll be using these with Windows 98. The
same limitations apply to Windows 2000.


Example 1.

Since we are using an OS which has a 2 GB size limitation for partitions,
we‚€™ll have to create multiple partitions to be able to use all of the drive.
There‚€™s a number of ways to do this. Since it‚€™s a 4.5 GB drive, we could
create two 2 GB partitions and one 500MB partition or we could create three
1.5 GB partitions.

First we need to run FDISK. Since we using a Windows 95 we will not enable
large drive support. If you are prompted with this when starting FDISK,
choose [N]o.

We should now be at FDISK‚€™s main menu.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft Windows 98
Fixed Disk Setup Program
(C)Copyright Microsoft Corp. 1993 - 1998

FDISK Options

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1.Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2.Set Active Partition
3.Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
4.Display Partition Information
5.Change current fixed disk drive

Enter choice: [1]


Press ESC to exit FDISK
-----------------------------------------------------------------


Choose Option 1 to Create a DOS Partition.


Next, you‚€™ll be asked what - kind - of partition to create as shown below.
We need to create a Primary DOS Partition and make it active so that we can
boot off of this drive. To do so, we‚€™ll choose Option 1.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1.Create Primary DOS Partition
2.Create Extended DOS Partition
3.Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition



Enter choice: [1]



Press ESC to return to FDISK Options
-----------------------------------------------------------------


FDISK will prompt us as to how large we want to make this partition. If we
do not enter a number, it will make the partition as large as it can. Since
we are limited to 2 GB partitions, that‚€™s how large it will make it. We‚€™re
going to make ours the maximum size allowed, so we‚€™ll just hit enter to
continue. At the same time as FDISK creates the partition it will make it
Active.

Some older versions of FDISK will not do this for you and you will need to
return to the main menu by pressing ESC and then selecting Option 2 to
choose the partition to make Active.

The Partition we just created will now become Drive C:
Now we need to create an Extended DOS Partition to hold our logical DOS
drives. Since you can only have one Extended DOS Partition per hard drive,
we‚€™ll create it using all available drive space.

From the Create Partition or Logical DOS Drive menu, we‚€™ll choose Option 2
and then tell FDISK to use all remaining available space - in fact, this
is the default.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1.Create Primary DOS Partition
2.Create Extended DOS Partition
3.Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition



Enter choice: [1]




Press ESC to return to FDISK Options
-----------------------------------------------------------------


FDISK will create the partition for us and then we‚€™ll be asked if we wish
to create any Logical DOS Drives within the partition. The answer of course,
is yes.

Creating a Logical DOS Drive is the same as Creating a Primary DOS Partition.
Again, we‚€™ll be asked how large we want to make the Drive and then it‚€™ll be
created for us. We‚€™re going to have a 2 GB Logical DOS Drive so you can
either specify a size in MB or let FDISK make one as large as it can for you.
Remember, 1 GB = 1024 MB so for a 2 GB Logical DOS Drive, we can specify
2048 MB as the size.

This second Logical DOS Drive has now become Drive D:

We still have some space remaining - about 500 MB, so let‚€™s create another
Logical DOS Drive using all remaining drive space.

This third Logical DOS Drive is now Drive E:

We‚€™ve finished partitioning this drive!
On to the next example.


Example 2.

In this example, we have two hard drives. The first will is 8.4 GB and the
second will be 10 GB. We‚€™ll be using these with Windows 98. We‚€™ll leave the
first drive as one big partition. The second drive will be divided in half.

Since we‚€™re using Windows 98 and it supports large drives, when FDISK asks
if we want to enable large disk access, we‚€™ll say [Y]es.



-----------------------------------------------------------------
Your computer has a disk larger than 512MB. This version of Windows
includes improved support for large disks, resulting in more efficient use
of disk space on large drives, and allowing disks over 2 GB to be formatted
as a single drive.

IMPORTANT: If you enable large disk support and create any new drives on
this disk, you will not be able to access the new drive(s) using other
operating systems, including some versions of Windows 95 and Windows NT, as
well as earlier versions of Windows and MS-DOS. In addition, disk utilities
that were not designed explicitly for the FAT32 file system will not be
able to work with this disk. If you need to access this disk with other
operating systems or older disk utilities, do not enable large drive support.

Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N). . . . . . .? [Y]
-----------------------------------------------------------------


At FDISK‚€™s main menu we‚€™ll select Option 1 to create a partition and then
we‚€™ll choose Option 1 again to Create a Primary DOS Partition. When
prompted as to how large we want the partition to be, we‚€™ll tell FDISK to
make it the maximum allowable size - which in this case will be the whole
drive.

This partition will be set Active and will be automatically assigned as Drive
C:

Now, we‚€™ll return to the main menu because we need to work on the second
hard drive - this one has just been partitioned.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft Windows 98
Fixed Disk Setup Program
(C)Copyright Microsoft Corp. 1993 - 1998

FDISK Options

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1.Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2.Set Active Partition
3.Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
4.Display Partition Information
5.Change current fixed disk drive

Enter choice: [1]


Press ESC to exit FDISK
-----------------------------------------------------------------


Choose Option 5 to be presented with a list of available drives. Here‚€™s an
example.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Change Current Fixed Disk Drive

Disk Drv Mbytes Free Usage
1 19571 100%
C: 6150
D: 13421
2 19564 8 100%
E: 19556
3 13037 8 100%
F: 11037
1992



(1 Mbyte = 1048576 Bytes)
Enter Fixed Disk Drive Number (1-3). . . . . . . . . . . . [1]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options
-----------------------------------------------------------------


In the example above, there are actually 3 drives listed - we have only two,
so we‚€™ll select Disk 2 and then press Enter. FDISK will now be working on
the second hard drive we have installed in our system.

We should be back at the main menu again. As before, we‚€™ll choose Option 1
to allow us to create a partition. In this case, we‚€™re going to create an
Extended DOS Partition and then make some Logical DOS Drives within it.

As in Example 1, we‚€™ll select Option 2 to create the partition.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1.Create Primary DOS Partition
2.Create Extended DOS Partition
3.Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition



Enter choice: [1]




Press ESC to return to FDISK Options
-----------------------------------------------------------------


When prompted as to how large we want to create the partition, we‚€™ll tell
FDISK to use the whole drive. Remember, we decided to split this drive in
half so after the partition is created and FDISK asks us how large we want
to make the first Logical DOS Drive, we‚€™ll say 50%. Once that drive is
created, FDISK should ask us if we wish to continue making drives - if it
doesn‚€™t, just return to the Create menu and choose Option 3. This time,
we‚€™ll let FDISK use all the remaining space on the drive which should be 50%.

Hit ESC a few times to get out of the FDISK program and be prepared to reboot
your computer. It‚€™s time to format those drives!


2.3.Deleting Partitions

Actually, before we rush headlong into formatting, let‚€™s take a look at
deleting partitions. It‚€™s not difficult at all - but it can cause you to
lose data if you delete the wrong drive or partition.

Let‚€™s look at FDISK‚€™s Delete menu

From FDISK‚€™s main menu, choose Option 2. You should then see the menu below.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Delete DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1.Delete Primary DOS Partition
2.Delete Extended DOS Partition
3.Delete Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition
4.Delete Non-DOS Partition



Enter choice: [1]




Press ESC to return to FDISK Options
-----------------------------------------------------------------


As you can see, there are several options for deleting things.
The first one is used to delete Primary DOS Partitions.
The second is used to delete Extended DOS Partitions. You cannot delete an
Extended DOS Partition while there are still Logical DOS Drives within it.
The third option is use to delete those Logical DOS Drives I just mentioned.
And the last option is used to delete partitions created by operating
systems.
Special Note: THIS DOESN‚€™T ALWAYS WORK! You may need to use a third-party
partitioning tool such as Delpart.exe, Symantec‚€™s GDISK or Partition Magic.


Now let‚€™s delete some partitions!
Here‚€™s a sample system configuration:

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Change Current Fixed Disk Drive

Disk Drv Mbytes Free Usage
1 19571 100%
C: 6150
D: 13421
2 19564 8 100%
E: 19556
3 13037 8 100%
F: 11037
1992


(1 Mbyte = 1048576 Bytes)
Enter Fixed Disk Drive Number (1-3). . . . . . . . . . . . [1]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options
-----------------------------------------------------------------


In this example, you can see that Disk 1 has two partitions on it - Drive C
and Drive D. We‚€™re going to delete Drive D: Please note - by deleting this
partition, Drive E will become D and Drive F will become E.

Using Option 4 from the main menu, we can get a bit more information about
the drive.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Display Partition Information

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Partition Status Type Volume Label Mbytes System Usage
C: 1 A PRI DOS 6150 FAT32 31%
2 EXT DOS 13421 69%


Total disk space 19571 Bytes (1 Mbyte = 1048576 bytes)

The Extended DOS Partition contains Logical DOS Drives.
Do you want to display the logical drive information (Y/N). . . . ?[Y]



Press ESC to return to FDISK Options
-----------------------------------------------------------------


We see here that Disk 1 is 19.5 GB in size, it has a 6 GB Primary DOS
Partition using Fat-32 and it has an Extended DOS Partition which is 13.4 GB
in size. If we wish, we can see more info about this partition.

Anyhow...
From the main menu we‚€™ll choose Option 2 to enter the Delete menu, then
Option 3 to delete a Logical DOS Drive. Here‚€™s what we see:

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Delete Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition

Drv Volume Label Mbytes System Usage
D: 13421 FAT32 100%







Total Extended DOS Partition size is 13421 Mbytes

WARNING: Data in a deleted Logical DOS Drive will be lost.
What drive do you want to delete. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ? [ ]


Press ESC to return to FDISK Options
-----------------------------------------------------------------


At the prompt, we enter the letter of the drive we wish to delete. Some
people like to name their partitions - for example, it‚€™s not unusual to
have Drive C: labeled as OS and one of the Logical DOS Drives as GAMES or
DATA. If the drive has a volume label we‚€™ll have to type that in as part
of the confirmation that we really, really want to delete this drive. Then
we‚€™ll be asked again if we wanted to delete the Logical DOS Drive. If we
say yes, FDISK will at long last delete the drive.

Okay. We‚€™ve gotten rid of the Logical DOS Drive, but we still have the
Extended DOS Partition. To get rid of that, we return once again to the
Delete menu and this time choose to delete the Extended DOS Partition. This
partition doesn‚€™t get a label, so we should just be able to delete it after
being prompted that we really want to do so. If there were any other
Logical DOS Drives in this partition, we would be unable to delete the
partition until we deleted the drives.

Right. You‚€™ve learned how to delete partitions. It‚€™s time we finally got
around to formatting.



4. FORMATTING
-------------
Partitioning was the hard part. Now we get to the easy part.

Now that you‚€™ve finished partitioning your hard drive(s) you need to reboot
your computer using your boot disk. Remember how I said that partitioning
was like the farmer dividing his field into plots? Well, now we need to
plough those plots and make some furrows.

Formatting a drive prepares the drive to accept data.

Here‚€™s the way it works. Once you‚€™ve rebooted your computer with your boot
disk, you should find yourself at the now familiar A:\> prompt.

If you type Format /? You will be shown a list of possible options or
switches for that command. It may look daunting, but there‚€™s really very
little to it, in fact, most of what you see never gets used. Ever.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
FORMAT drive: [/V[:label]] [/Q] [/F:size] [/B | /S] [/C]
FORMAT drive: [/V[:label]] [/Q] [/T:tracks /N:sectors] [/B | /S] [/C]
FORMAT drive: [/V[:label]] [/Q] [/1] [/4] [/B | /S] [/C]
FORMAT drive: [/Q] [/1] [/4] [/8] [/B | /S] [/C]

/V[:label] Specifies the volume label.
/Q Performs a quick format.
/F:size Specifies the size of the floppy disk to format (such
as 160, 180, 320, 360, 720, 1.2, 1.44, 2.8.
/B Allocates space on the formatted disk for system files.
/S Copies system files to the formatted disk.
/T:tracks Specifies the number of tracks per disk side.
/N:sectors Specifies the number of sectors per track.
/1 Formats a single side of a floppy disk.
/4 Formats a 5.25-inch 360K floppy disk in a high-density drive.
/8 Formats eight sectors per track.
/C Tests clusters that are currently marked "bad."
-----------------------------------------------------------------

The following switches are hold-overs from the old DOS days and are unneeded
today.

/F:size /B /T:tracks /N:sectors /1 /4 /8

For the most part, these switches were used when formatting floppy disks.

/V[:label] is sort of redundant since after you format a drive, it will ask
you if you want to give it a name or label. You can specify it on the
commandline, you can do so after formatting, or you can just leave it blank
and hit Enter when prompted for a name.

/Q is used to Quick-Format a drive. You can only do this after the drive
has been formatted the normal way.

Enough already! Let‚€™s get formatting!

In Example 2 of our partitioning exercise, we created a total of 3
partitions. A Primary DOS Partition (Drive C and an Extended DOS
Partition with two Logical DOS Drives (Drives D and E). We now need to
format them.

Let‚€™s do Drive C: first.

As detailed above, the format command needs to be told which drives to
format followed by any optional switches.

Since we want to be able to boot up this drive after we are done, we will
also have to transfer System Files to the drive. Lucky for us, the format
command makes it easy. At the A:> prompt we‚€™ll type this:

A:\>FORMAT C: /S

(Don‚€™t type the A:\> of course - that‚€™s our DOS prompt)

We‚€™re telling it to FORMAT our DRIVE C: and to transfer System files to the
drive after it is done. Since this is an 8.4 GB hard drive, this could take
a while. How fast your drive formats depends on a number of factors - the
size of your hard drive, the speed of your hard drive and the speed of your
computer are the three main ones. The larger the drive, the longer it‚€™ll
take.

Once it finishes formatting, we‚€™ll see a notification stating System
Transferred and we will be prompted for a volume label. We‚€™re not going to
assign one, so we‚€™ll just leave it blank and hit Enter.

Next, we‚€™ll format our D: and E: drives. Again, at the prompt we‚€™ll type
this:

A:\>FORMAT D:

We‚€™re not using the /S switch this time - a Logical DOS Drive cannot be
booted from so there‚€™s no point in putting the system files on this drive.
Again, after formatting is complete, we‚€™ll be asked if we wish to assign a
volume label and again, we‚€™ll leave it blank.

We‚€™ll do the same thing for Drive E: Once we‚€™ve complete formatting Drive
D: we‚€™ll be back at the command prompt and we‚€™ll type:

A:\>FORMAT E:


Right. We‚€™ve created our three partitions and we‚€™ve formatted them. If we
now take out the boot disk and reset the computer, it should boot up from
the System Files on the hard drive and should go to the familiar C:> prompt.

One last thing - if you decide that you want to reformat a drive which was
previously formatted you can do so quickly by using the /Q switch.

Eg.
C:>FORMAT D: /Q

This should only take a few seconds and will wipe out any files and folders
you may have on that drive. If you do this to Drive C, you should do it
from your floppy disk and don‚€™t forget to use the /S switch again or you
won‚€™t be able to boot up from the hard drive.


That‚€™s it. We‚€™re all done!
Twisted Evil
lockwolf
was this copyed and pasted? Just wondering cuz this is good $Hiz
n0obie4life
Most probaly copy and pasted stuff without any credit...

PM me to prove that it isn't copied and paste Smile.

-close-
corey
It is good. If its yours, you might want to put this up as a page on your website, as the world could use another good partitioning doc.
nivinjoy
After installing an OS ,say Windows 7 is it possible to do partitioning..??

That is if i have a hard disk of 500 GB and while installing the OS C had 350 GB and D had 15 GB and E had 100 GB..!! Is it possible for me to have 3 more partitions F,G and H with the space taken from C drive..??
shenyl
There are many good partition managers that one can use.

Some can be installed within Win7, and re-size the non current active OS partitions (e.g. your D drive).
The free one I find reliable and easy to use and free is EASEUS partition manager.

Some can be booted from a CD, running a small Linux OS to allow you to partition your entire HDD.
The one one find most useful and reliable is the latest version of GPart.

Make sure you use the latest version - oh and it is free too.

Re-size your primary Win7 partition if neccessary to free up space for other partitions.

I find it most useful that you have partitions for OSes and then a shared Data partition or even 2 shared data partitions, that all you multi-boot OS can access.

Hope this help with question on partitioning after you have installed.

With best regards.
nivinjoy
shenyl wrote:
There are many good partition managers that one can use.

Some can be installed within Win7, and re-size the non current active OS partitions (e.g. your D drive).
The free one I find reliable and easy to use and free is EASEUS partition manager.

Some can be booted from a CD, running a small Linux OS to allow you to partition your entire HDD.
The one one find most useful and reliable is the latest version of GPart.

Make sure you use the latest version - oh and it is free too.

Re-size your primary Win7 partition if neccessary to free up space for other partitions.

I find it most useful that you have partitions for OSes and then a shared Data partition or even 2 shared data partitions, that all you multi-boot OS can access.

Hope this help with question on partitioning after you have installed.

With best regards.


Thank you for the information... I will try EASEUS partition manager and inform you the results..!!
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