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Unable to access safe mode

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jasnick, Oct 16, 2005.

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  1. jasnick

    jasnick Thread Starter

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    Have second old computer that is networked to main computer.

    Second computer 334MHz 256RAM

    2 physical harddrives: C=XP Pro, 18GB D= Win98se, 3GB

    [When I want to use Drive D I go into the BIOS and change the boot order.]

    Made the mistake of putting GoBack on Drive D - something has gone wrong and now Drive D won't boot - am getting Load Error! message. When I try to disable GoBack I get a message about the MBR being corrupted. Drive C (XP) is still working normally.

    I wanted to get into Safe Mode so I could uninstall GoBack (F8) but it doesn't work. Also tried F5 and Cntrl.

    So I thought I would re-format D but get an error message: cannot format a network drive.

    So I am well and truly stuck.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I don't understand. Are C: and D: on the same machine? What does the network have to do with the problem? Is D: a network drive or not?
     
  3. jasnick

    jasnick Thread Starter

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    Elvandil

    C: and D: are on the same machine. 2 physical hard drives. This machine is an older machine and it is networked with my main computer. I'm not sure what a "network drive" is - all I know is that when I tried to format D: in the normal way by booting to a boot floppy, then Start with CD ROM support, then at the A prompt I typed "format D:" without the quotes of course and got the message "cannot format a network drive".
     
  4. rolandk10

    rolandk10

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    there is a line that can be put into the msdos.sys file that will disable safe mode. There is a little trick you can try (at your own risk) to force the machine into safe mode. Boot the machine. When you see the splash screen for windows, kill the power to the system. When you restart, it should go to the safe mode menu.
     
  5. jasnick

    jasnick Thread Starter

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    rolandl10

    Unfortunately it doesn't get to the spash screen - after the usual checks, it goes to a "Load Error! message - press any key to reboot " whewupon the whole things starts again with the same result.
     
  6. rolandk10

    rolandk10

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    Okay. Didn't read your post clearly the first time. It's 2:00am and my mind may be getting groggy! :)

    Try to run fdisk on drive d: and delete the primary dos partition...then recreate it.

    Also, make sure your boot disk is not trying to mount a network drive. You can find this in the autoexec.bat file by using the edit command at the a: prompt...if you don't have edit or fdisk on that boot disk, you can copy them from another machine...
     
  7. jasnick

    jasnick Thread Starter

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    OK - will get fdisk off the other machine - thanks
     
  8. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Boot from a Win98 SE boot floppy (with large drive fdisk). Do a directory listing on your drives to be sure what drive letters are assigned to what drives. They will not be the same as in Windows. From a boot floppy, D: is probably your CD-ROM and your second partition may be E:. But you need to check. So, at the A: prompt, type:

    dir D:

    and so on for other letters, just to see what is on that drive. If there is nothing on it, this will not help you identify what letters go with what drives, but running

    fdisk

    from the floppy and pressing the menu item (4) for partition information, will show you the drives and what drive letters are assigned to them.

    Then, you can use fdisk to remove all partitions and logical drives from both disks, create new ones, and format.

    Be sure to set the partition that you want to boot from "Active" with fdisk, and always answer "y" to large disk support when asked.

    As a general rule, never assume that the drive letters assigned by a bootable disk or another operating system looking at your drives are the same as the drive letters assigned by Windows to those partitions or drives. Always verify by another method that you are looking at the correct partition, such as partition size. If you don't, you may someday format a partition containing all your data or operating system by mistake.
     
  9. jasnick

    jasnick Thread Starter

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    Elvandil

    Thanks - think I understand. First have to ascertain which drive I need to format and it may not have the same drive letter it has now which is D - is that correct?

    You say then to use Fdisk to remove all partitions but I only want to remove the partition that contains Win98SE. Can I do that?

    Thanks for the download.
     
  10. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Yes. D: may be your CD-ROM, so you need to check the letters. And of course only remove the partitions that you want to remove.

    Look through the menus in fdisk to see what options are there to become familiar with it. Esc returns you to the previous screen.

    Don't forget to use the option in fdisk to switch drives so that you can see each of them separately.
     
  11. jasnick

    jasnick Thread Starter

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    Thanks Elvandil

    Have to go out tomorrow so it may be a day or two before I get back but I will let you know how I got on !
     
  12. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    OK. Good luck. Time for bed for me, so let us know how you come out.

    The options are pretty straightforward once you see them---I just wanted to be sure you got to the correct destination.

    And one more thing---if fdisk can't remove a partition for some reason (GoBack, for example), try putting delpart.exe on that floppy and running

    delpart

    to attempt to remove it.

    If there isn't enough space on the floppy, remove format and unformat. You can save them and put them back later.
     
  13. jasnick

    jasnick Thread Starter

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    Elvandil

    Think I am halfway there but wanted to check before going any further.

    To recap: original setup: C: large disk = XP; D: small disk = Win98SE

    Got into Fdisk, deleted small drive and created another one. Think that the one I deleted said NON-DOS partition whereas the new one says PRI-DOS. Not sure what this means. Should I have made the new disk something other than a PRI DOS partition?

    According to Fdisk the situation is NOW:

    Fixed disk drive 1: C:1 A PRI DOS (small drive)

    Fixed disk drive 2: D:1 A PRI DOS (large drive)

    This is the opposite to what they used to be - perhaps because I deleted one the other moved up the order?

    HOWEVER, if I boot to the C drive, XP comes up as it used to though according to Fdisk the large drive is now D. I know you said the letters may change but am worried I may format the wrong one.

    If I boot to the D drive - the GoBack splash screen comes up and up and up and up.

    If I look at My Computer in XP, it lists:

    Local drive = C, Local Drive= D, CD Drive= E and CD_RW= F. It says: the disk in drive D is not formatted - do you want to format it now? Can I do it this way?

    If I format via Fdisk/format, I am a bit worried I may format the wrong disk because Fdisk thinks the small disk to be formatted is C whereas Windows thinks that is D.

    You are probably just as confused as I am LOL Hope you can follow all that.
     
  14. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Well, I am a bit confused, too, but the gist of what you are asking is whether you can partition and format your second drive from within Windows so that you know for sure which one. Right?

    Yes, that is a very good idea. Fdisk is really an old DOS tool that is not usually needed in XP once things are running normally and you get access to the things you want.

    Now that you can access the partition from within Windows, delete all the partitions on that second drive and start fresh.

    You might want to right-click My Computer, Manage, Disk Management. There you will see all your drives and partitions. By right-clicking, you can perform all the tasks you need to perform, and you can also change drive letters if you want (Many people like to keep D: and E: for CD-ROM's, for example, but you can't change the system drive letter).

    Looks like you are making progress.

    PS. That "non-DOS" partition was a monstrosity created by GoBack. The rest looks as it should.
     
  15. jasnick

    jasnick Thread Starter

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    Elvandil

    Not there yet. Formatted the D drive via XP.

    Am now trying to install Win98SE.

    Using your boot disk again, got to the A prompt and had the Windows disk in the CD ROM drive. It told me the daignostic tools were successfully loaded to Drive E. Tried to type "setup" but had to go down to drive G before it was recognised. It ran the Scandisk and said no errors on C,D and E. Got to the Windows 98 Set up Screen. It prepared the Setup Wizard, finished, then beeped and just showed a couple of lines of gibberish. That was the second try. The first time after it finished the setup wizard it said: Bad fault in MS-DOS Extender.

    Any ideas? Thanks

    This is not going well.
     
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