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Using FDISK

Here are some basic ways you can use FDISK to Partition a Hard Drive.
While there can be many different scenarios,
I will try and cover the most common ones.

Overview and Getting Started
Partitioning a New Drive - Single Large Partition
Partitioning a New Drive - Multiple Partitions
Deleting a Single Partition
Deleting Multiple Partitions
Deleting a NTFS Partition
Fixing the Master Boot Record

Overview & Getting Started

1.

Basically FDISK creates partitions (kind of like rooms), on your hard drive.

2. You can have one large partition or divide it into multiple partitions, each eventually being assigned their own drive letter.
3. There are several different ways you may need to run FDISK and hopefully the following instructions covers most of them.
4.

If you need to create a Windows98 boot disk with the necessary files, you can download a Win98 floppy with many extras that are not normally included.

5. Boot with the Win98 boot disk
6. Run FDISK
7. The following instructions all assume that FDISK is running
8. Select Y for large hard disk support. This is what allows for FAT32 partitions

Partitioning a New Drive
(Single Large Partition)

1. Select 1. Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2.

Select 1. Create Primary DOS Partition

3. Select Y (the default) to use the maximum available size for a Primary DOS Partition and to make the partition active.
4. Reboot with the floppy
5. Format the drive

Partitioning a New Drive
(Multiple Partitions)

Creating a Smaller Primary DOS Partition and Making it Active
1.

Select 1. Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive

2. Select 1. Create Primary DOS Partition
3.

Select N to use the maximum available size for a Primary DOS Partition and to make the partition active.

4. Enter the partition size for Primary DOS Partition. The full size of the drive will be shown.
5. Press Enter and the Primary DOS Partition will be created
6. Press Esc
7. There will be a warning that no partitions are set active. You need to do this in order to boot from the primary partition
8. Select 2. Set active partition
9. Enter 1 for the partition you want to make active
10. Press Esc to continue
Making the Extended DOS Partitions and Logical DOS Drives
1. Select 1. Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Select 2. Create Extended DOS Partition
3. Typically you can use the rest of the hard drive size which will be shown and press the Enter key
4. Press Esc to continue
5. You will be prompted to create logical drives in the Extended Partition. This is where you divide up the extended partition into multiple drives. For now I'll just assume one extra drive letter of D:
6. Use the full remaining size for the logical drive size
7. Press Esc to continue
8. Reboot with the floppy and Format the C: and D: Partitions

Deleting a Single Partition

If there is just a single partition that needs to be deleted,
The follow steps detail the process

1. Select 3. Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Select 1. Delete Primary DOS Partition
3. Enter 1 for the primary partition to delete
4. Enter in the Volume Label (if there is one)
5. Enter Y for Are you sure
This now brings you back to a hard drive that has no partitions

Deleting Multiple Partitions

If there are multiple partitions on the hard drive and you want to remove them all, here are some general steps to follow

Basically you first need to delete the Logical Drives, then the Extended Partition, then the Primary Partition
Deleting the Logical DOS Drives
1.

Select 3. Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive

2. Select 3. Delete Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition
3.

Enter in the drive letter of the one you want to delete

4. Enter in the Volume Label (if there is one)
5. Enter Y for Are you sure
6. Repeat this until all the logical drives are deleted
7. Press Esc until you are back to the main menu
8. Once you are satisfied that everything is working the way you want, you can delete the old directories.
Deleting the Extended DOS Partition
1.

Select 3. Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive

2. Select 2. Delete Extended DOS Partition
3. Enter Y to continue
Deleting the Primary Partition
1. Select 3. Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Select 1. Delete Primary DOS Partition
3. Enter 1 for the primary partition to delete
4. Enter in the Volume Label (if there is one)
5. Enter Y for Are you sure
This now brings you back to a hard drive that has no partitions

Deleting an NTFS Partition

1. Select Y for treating NTFS partitions as large
2. Select 3. Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
3. Select 4. Delete Non-DOS Partition
4. Enter 1 for the primary partition to delete
5. Enter in the number of the Non-DOS Partition.. It should show as Type NTFS in the list above.
6. Press the Enter key
7. Enter Y for Do you with to continue
8. Press the Esc key to bring you back to the main FDISK screen.

Fixing the Master Boot Record

The first sector of a hard disk is called the Master Boot Record.
This contains the partition information for the hard drive and which partition is bootable
Occasionally the Master Boot Record can be corrupted by viruses.
Another problem are 3rd party partitioning utilities that can write a Master Boot Record that can't be used by an NT based operating system.

Fortunately is easy to repair

1. Boot with a DOS floppy disk
2. Run FDISK /MBR

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