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  1. #1
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    Hard Drive FDISK Problem

    Hope this isn't too wordy. A couple mos. ago installed new 120G WD hard drive in computer. Attempted to use WD Data Lifeguard Tools to partition and format the disk (1partition) Utility said everything was OK. When I attempted to install windows, I received an error message saying there was not a valid DOS partition and I could not install windows. Started over, blanked everything out, went through the routine again and tried to install again. Same result. After 4 or 5 tries, I gave up on the utility disk from WD and did a dos fdisk and formatted the disk. Seemed like everything went OK and windows installed. I then installed all my apps and restored my data and ini files, etc. Over a period of weeks it was finally done and worked well.
    I had installed Partition Magic and it reported that I had an unknown partiton type on my drive. In properties, PM reported that I had two partitions that overlapped, one an active dos and the other unknown. Since the computer worked OK, I unistalled Part. Magic and continued using Win 98. (Drive Image as well as Ghost reported a strange partitioning of my drive also.)
    A few weeks ago, I decided to upgrade to Windows XP Pro but when I tried to do the upgrade, the install stopped and informed me that there was something wrong with my hard drive. I have made a "Ghost" image to my D: hard drive (30g) which is already quite full with data of it's own and I have a Ghost boot disk to restore the image back to the C: drive, once I get it re-partitioned and re-formatted.
    I am looking for suggestions as to my next steps. Two partitions instead of one?, would fdisk /mbr fix or damage anything?, Am I likely to be able to use the WD utility disk for the operation which would create the two partitions or should I just use DOS and fdisk, create two and format? Attached is fdisk report of the two disks on my drive now. Thanks for any help you can give me.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Hard Drive FDISK Problem

    That 1st partition on your C drive is the one created by the WD disk utility and would normally be used to setup larger HD on a system that wasn't able to handle that size HD. They are not recognized as a normal DOS partition.
    Usually the only way to get rid of it would be to go back into the WD program and look for an option to remove that partition completely. A fdisk from DOS would ignore this WD partition. Thus your two partitions on the C:.
    Once the WD partiton is gone, you could use a utility like "Partition Magic" to combine or recreate another "normal" partition or you could go to DOS fdisk and start over again. Whether you go with 1 or 2 or more partitions is your choice, although splitting up a big HD like that is probably the more efficient way to go.
    There have been any number of threads on the Lounge, that discussed the merits of multiple partitioning, in GREAT depth. Unfortunately, the search feature is disabled here, so you would have to do some manual looking around, ( unless someone else can jump in and point out some. Personally, I would go for three, 40 gigs. <img src=/S/thinks.gif border=0 alt=thinks width=15 height=15>

    Bob
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  3. #3
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    Re: Hard Drive FDISK Problem

    I agree with Viking on Three 40GB Partitions. Partition Magic will do this for you very easily.

  4. #4
    Lounger
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    Re: Hard Drive FDISK Problem

    Thanks, Viking and Cowboy for your comments so far.
    Is this extra hidden partition a "normal" thing that the various flavors of Windows can deal with? My purpose, Is to upgrade to WinXP and I guessed that this non-dos business was causing the upgrade to fail. Win 98SE is running like a champ on my current setup. I received the error message, during the upgrade attempt, that there was something wrong with my hard drive. I was hoping that if I could re-partition and re-format the hard drive, the upgrade would go forward.
    I have read extensively on the merits of multiple partitions (system partition, program partition, data partition, etc., ) but at this point I would like to get the drive in a state that would accept an upgrade to XP without losing my current stuff.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Hard Drive FDISK Problem

    Man, if your OS is running well for the time being, you ought to make a good BACKUP of everything you really need, just in case! The reason I say that is that when you try to get rid of that offending partition, whether you use the WD utility or Partition Magic, I wouldn't want to bet my life on your danger of losing something or everything in the process. What bothers me is that you say PM reported that the two partitions overlap! I do think you should try to get rid of the WD-created partition and see what happens.

  6. #6
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    Re: Hard Drive FDISK Problem

    Yes I would try to remove the WD partition with the WD utility first, with the knowledge that there's a good chance that you'll lose everything (back up! like BigAl said) XP is more strict about what it will allow, which is a good thing, for it forces you to set things up right. 98 would be happy to run until it ran into a conflict (such as the overlapping partitions, for example), and then just crash. XP won't allow that to happen. You need to get this straightened out. It's not the way your hard drive should be set up, and it will only cause problems on down the line.

    As for the partitioning setup can of worms, here's what I do:

    3 partitions (at least). One for the Operating System and programs, one (or more) for data, and one for the pagefile. Putting the pf on it's own partition ensures that it will not become fragmented. It's partition only need to be as big as 1.5x max memory (plus a little wiggle room). The other partitions should be about 3x the size of the data on them, to facilitate defragmentation, so if you have 10g of OS/programs, 30g is a good size (of course 40g is good, too, but 15g is too small to allow for the defragmenter to move files around effectively) Of course by separating the OS from the data, you can change OS without having to reload all of your documents and files when you are done. It also makes backing up your data a simple process.

    But that's just me.

    kip

  7. #7
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    Re: Hard Drive FDISK Problem

    One other thing I would add to that is to put your Temp Files on a different Partition. He's right about putting your Page File on a different Partition[For Fragmentation Purposes} it won't do anything for Performance though unless the Page File is on a different Drive and of the same speed or faster then the one the OS is on, but it will help with Fragmentation. And I agree that the way it is Partitioned now does not set well with me personally, but thats just me.

  8. #8
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    Re: Hard Drive FDISK Problem

    307886: HOW TO: Move the Paging File in Windows XP

    308666: HOW TO: Move the Spool Folder in Windows XP

    These are for XP but I think they will extrapolate pretty closely to 98SE. The nice thing about the paging file and fragmentation is that the paging file doesn't have a high propensity to fragment normally, and the better defraggers Perfect Disk, Diskeeper 7.0, or 8.0 can quickly defragment it.

    SMBP

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  10. #10
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    Re: Hard Drive FDISK Problem

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I attempted to remove the non-dos partition with WD utility but all I got was abort,retry,fail when I selected installing drive. Used fdisk and removed c: dos disk and then non dos disk. Used fdisk again and set up hard drive. Used ghost to back up and restore system from c: Next step will be to create additional partitions and then back to the XP upgrade. Thanks again for the help

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