1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

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

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by xer987, Apr 9, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. xer987

    xer987 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    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...
     
  2. brianF

    brianF

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 1999
    Messages:
    12,041
    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
     
  3. xer987

    xer987 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    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?
     
  4. brianF

    brianF

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 1999
    Messages:
    12,041
    You will need drivers
     
  5. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    22,468
    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.
     
  6. xer987

    xer987 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    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?
     
  7. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    22,468
    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.
     
  8. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/218860

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice