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Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive

Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive - PCSTATS
Abstract: Installing a hard drive for the first time? Need to partition a current drive into smaller disks? You can do it, and we can show you how.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jan 22 2008   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Partitioning and Formatting a hard drive for Win9x/ME Installation

If you are installing a hard drive for the first time that will have a Windows 98/NT operating system installed on it, the partitioning and formatting process is basically the same, except that we have to also specify an active partition from within FDISK.

With FDISK loaded as in the last step select (1) to create a partition and on the next screen choose (1) to create a primary (first) partition on that drive. Select (y) if you wish to use all the space on the drive for this one partition, or (n) if you wish to make more than one partition on the drive now or later.

If you selected (n), enter the amount of space you wish to use for the primary partition. Hit 'esc.' If you selected (n) and did not use the full amount of space for your first partition, you must now make a secondary (extended) partition using the rest of the free space. To make the extended partition press (1) to create another partition, then (2) to create an extended DOS partition and accept the default (maximum available) size for the extended partition, then press 'ESC.' This will take you to the menu for creating logical drives (volumes) in the extended partition you just made.

To create a logical drive (that is a drive visible to Windows and represented with a drive letter such as C: or D:), simply fill in the amount of space you require the drive to have. If you do not use all the available space, FDISK will prompt you to create a second logical drive, and so on, until all the space in the extended DOS partition you created previously has been accounted for. FDISK will assign drive letters sequentially from the first available. There is no way to alter this in Windows 9x/ME.

You must now designate an active partition, which indicates a bootable partition that can hold an operating system. Press (2) and choose partition 1 to be active.

From the main FDISK menu, press (4) and take note of which drive letters have been assigned to which partitions. Press ESC twice to exit FDISK, then reboot the computer and use the Boot CD/Floppy to return to the A:\ prompt.

If you are booting from a CD, type 'x:' where x is the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive. This will be anywhere from D: to Z: depending on how many partitions you just created. If you only made one, your CD will now be drive D:, if you made two partitions on the new hard drive it will be E:, etc.

Type 'cd win98' for a Windows 98 CD to begin the installation process


'cd win9x' for a Windows ME CD installation, depending on which operating system you are using.

If you are booting from a boot floppy, and **only have the one newly installed hard drive in the computer,** type 'format c:' then 'y' to format it in FAT32. Note that this command should ONLY be used if you are installing Windows freshly onto the new hard drive. If you already have data on your c:\ drive, formatting it with this command will erase all the data on it completely!

Once the format is complete, you can simply type 'setup' to begin the Windows 98/ME installation process

Formatting in the Windows 9x environment

Since you have used FDISK to create a partition or partitions on the new hard drive, one or more new volumes should be present when you open 'my computer' on your Windows 9x/ME desktop. To use these, you must now format the fresh partitions, which is accomplished by simply right clicking the volume you wish to format in Windows Explorer (not IE mind you) and selecting the 'format' option. Do not use the quick format option.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive
 Pg 2.  SATA and IDE Hard Drives
 Pg 3.  Physically Installing an IDE Hard Drive
 Pg 4.  Preparing an IDE Hard Drive For Installation
 Pg 5.  Physical Installation of a IDE Hard Drive
 Pg 6.  Physically Installing a Serial ATA Hard Drive
 Pg 7.  Physical Installation of the SATA Hard Drive
 Pg 8.  Confirming the Installation of a Hard Drive
 Pg 9.  Partitioning and Formatting a Second drive in Windows 2000/XP
 Pg 10.  Partitioning and formatting for the Installation of Windows 2000/XP
 Pg 11.  Partitioning and formatting a Second Drive in Windows 9x/ME
 Pg 12.  FDISK Commands continued
 Pg 13.  — Partitioning and Formatting a hard drive for Win9x/ME Installation
 Pg 14.  Troubleshooting hard drive installation

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