What's the "best" way to format my old HD?

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xer987

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I have an old Dell that I'm using to run a very simple program for work. It was used as a family computer before it got moved to my shop. It has a lot of garbage on it that I don't need. I want to start fresh with my copy of Win98SE. Thanks in advance...
 
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This is a cut and paste from Bryan(mod), it's pretty good in my opinion

First what type of Microsoft CD do you have? I'll assume it's W98. If it's not, don't use these
instructions til you let us know what version you'll be installing. Anyway, if it’s an upgrade CD then
you’ll need to be sure you have your old W95 CD or 3.1 diskettes available. During the install you
will be required to prove you have a qualifying product for the upgrade. If you have a Full Copy of
W98 on CD, then that's all you'll need.

You'll also need a W98 bootdisk. If you don’t have one then you can make one
from here. Or if you still have access to your W98 PC or any other W98 PC you can make one from
there.

Start>Settings>ControlPanel>Add/RemovePrograms>StartupDisk>CreateDisk

Be sure to have your Windows "Product Key" available. You’ll need it during the install. It should be
on the sleeve that holds your W98 CD or on the Windows booklet. If you have neither but have
access to your W98 PC, then you can get it from the Windows registry. Start>Run, key in regedit
and press enter. Navigate to here by single left clicking on each one of these in the left pane,

HKEY_Local_Machine>Software>Microsoft>Windows>CurrentVersion.
The ProductKey is listed in the right pane.

Once you have all of that, insert the bootdisk and power on the machine. It should boot up to a boot
menu. If not, you’ll need to change the boot sequence in your BIOS to A,C

After it has booted to the bootmenu, select the option to "Start with CD Rom Support". Somewhere
on the screen at the very end, it tells you what drive letter it has temporarily assigned to the CDRom
drive. It will look something like this, e: MSCD001 or e: OEMSCD001. In that example, the CDRom
drive is e. Make a note of it. If you don't see that phrase on the screen then you didn't get CD Rom
support. Stop and do not go any further since you won't be able to install Windows from CD without
CDRom support.

Assuming you did get CDRom support, then at this point, once you've fdisked and formatted the
drive, there's no going back. All of the data and programs will be erased from the drive. At an a:
prompt key in the following,

fdisk

Leave the default set to "Y" for large disk support and press enter.

Now use the option to "Delete Partitions". Delete any and all you see listed. Now take the option to
"Create a Partition" and create a "Primary DOS" partition.

format c: /s

When it's done insert your Windows CD. Key in the following at the prompt and be sure to change
the drive letter, "e", if necessary, depending on the drive letter assigned to your CDRom drive. You
should have made note of it earlier.

e:\setup
 

xer987

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Mar 17, 2004
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That's great...but...I forgot. What about the hardware that's already installed on the computer. Will I need all the drivers for everything? Modem, NIC, graphics, etc... Will Win 98SE recognize them?
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2002
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You can do all this without needing to format the hard drive. Othewise it would be alot more difficult to keep any drivers you will need. You can also save any critical data you might want to keep.

If you can boot to the computer, run the device manager to determine what hardware you have. In particular, the video card, network card, sound card and modem.

Then go to the manufacturer's web site and download all the necessary drivers. You can put these in a directory such as c:\drivers

If there is any data you want, you can copy it to something like a C:\data directory.

You might as well copy the source files for Win98SE to a directory on the hard drive at this time also.

Then boot with a Win98 floppy
Delete everything but those two directories and install from the hard drive.
You can use the DOS deltree command to delete directories and subdirectories. For example deltree /y c:\windows will delete the windows directories and everything below it.

So you get the benefits of a clean install and still have a place to save important files.
 

xer987

Thread Starter
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
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10
Thanks Guys...Got everything up and running and works great. I do have another problem though. When I formated the HD it didn't get rid of the partition. I still have C and D. I probably missed a step in formating. It's not a big deal, but I would like to get rid of it. Is there an easy fix?
 
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If you want to take it back that far, just run FDISK and delete all the partitions. The create a new primary that is the entire drive.
 
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