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Fdisk and dos does not see harddrive

By tymlls05
Feb 12, 2005
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  1. i have a compaq presario 5441. i recently reformatted the hard drive with a floppy i made. i put in the restore disc and it gave me the error "Free Space Not Found." I was told to use fdisk to delete all partitions on the hard drive. So i am using the windows 98 cd to boot the computer into dos but it always goes straight to

    "A:>"

    and the "d:" drive (cd) is the only one i can switch to. If i try to switch to "C:" it says invalid drive. ive gone through every letter and a & d are the only two i can use. The hard drive is connected and it has power. I don't know why it would stop working after a reformat. I don'tknow alot about fdisk or alot about dos commands. So how can i delete the partitions, or whatever i need to do to reinstall windows 98/compaq restore?

    p.s. when i try to install from the windows 98 second edition disc it says hard drive not installed properly and it gives some other reason why it may not be able to install to hard drive.

    hope yall can help.

    thanks tyler

    does anyone have any ideas?
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    When using FDISK, you only prepare a splitup (or not) of your harddisk.
    In your case, you need only 1 primary partition , which must be set to Active.
    You can pick this info from the FDISK menu.
    When done, you need to reboot from your floppy, then from the floppy you enter the command: format c: /s /u to transfer the system-files onto the harddisk.
    When that is finished you should be able to go from your floppy to your c-drive by typing in c: and hit enter.
  3. tymlls05

    tymlls05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    from the floppy or from the windows 98 cd it wont let me open the fdisk menu. i'll put a:>fdisk or d:>fdisk but it never brings up a menu... i know the hard drive has to still be good because all i did was reformat it... darn compaq. how can i make it see the hard drive if i cant get any of the fdisk stuff to come up? :mad:
  4. patio

    patio TS Maniac Posts: 700

    I noticed in your post you said it was a floppy you made that you used to format. How did you make the floppy?? Is FDisk included on it ? ?
    If not travel to bootdisk.com and grab the WIN98 custom bootdisk, extract it to flopp and you should be good to go...

    patio. :cool:
  5. Spike

    Spike TS Rookie Posts: 2,371

    I have seen a problem similar to this on two occasions, one of which may or may not have been your problem.

    on one occasion, the partition that was on the disk (which was a failing disk) was NTFS. FDISK on a win98 startup disk wouldn't recognise the drive. It was resolved by inserting a winxp cd, and formatting it in FAT32, and then running the win98 startup disk.

    On the other occasion, all partitions on the disk were badly corrupted. Same symptoms but the disk itself was fine. It was resolved by taking the disk out, slaving it on another machine, and formatting it from within windows.

    I have a feeling that both of these were rare occurances, but I thought that they may potentially be worth mentioning.
  6. sporks5000

    sporks5000 TS Rookie

    I had a similar problem at one point and was able to solve it by by going to the directory that fdisk was in before trying to run it.
  7. tymlls05

    tymlls05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the replies guys.

    i just right clicked on the a drive when the computer was working and went to format and said to "copy system files". which i am guessing fdisk was added when i did that.

    spike... "on one occasion, the partition that was on the disk (which was a failing disk) was NTFS. FDISK on a win98 startup disk wouldn't recognise the drive. It was resolved by inserting a winxp cd, and formatting it in FAT32, and then running the win98 startup disk. - On the other occasion, all partitions on the disk were badly corrupted. Same symptoms but the disk itself was fine. It was resolved by taking the disk out, slaving it on another machine, and formatting it from within windows."

    both seem like possible solutions... one issue is i dont have access to a windows xp disk. and ill have to check to see if my other computers ribbon has any extra attachement so i can move the hard drive to that computer and reformat it... but im still not sure how that would help if ive reformatted it once already.

    im pretty sure that fdisk was copied to the disk. when i type "fdisk" it doesn't say bad command it just says something like non system disk, or soemthing along those lines. i don't remember right now. but do yall think fdisk was added to the floppy when i copied the system files to the disk?

    and would reformatting it again from within windows be helpful? i was thinking it was just that compaq was just being a pain in the *** and wants it formatted a special way so *****s like me wouldn't go about working on the computer. and installing the restore or windows 98.

    thanks,
    tyler
  8. Spike

    Spike TS Rookie Posts: 2,371

    OK. Purely because I seem to be a little more dense than usual tonight, a bit of a recap on the problem.....

    1, You have a compaq presario 5441 -what operating system was it running before you started this?

    2, To create a boot disk, you just right clicked on the A: drive, went to format, and said to "copy system files".

    3, You attempted to boot your computer from this disk, and format your hard drive.

    4, When you inserted the OEM restore CD into the computer and rebooted, it told you that there was no free space on the hard drive, and told you to use FDISK to create a partition. - what CD is this? which operating system

    5, You attempted to use the win98 CD to boot into DOS, and you were informed that C: was invalid when you attempted to access it.

    Is this correct, and could you please fill in the two gaps if it is?

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    On the assumption that it's all windows98 through and through, I'm not sure that symply copying system files to a floppy is sufficient. The boot disk from the site mentioned above is what you want, if you don't have it already.

    It may not do much at all, but if you boot with that disk in the floppy drive, when you get to A:, then run FDISK /MBR which should clear the master boot record of the disk. then see if a simple FDISK will run. I don't see this being the solution, but it might be worth a shot (it's not like it takes long).

    Also, as your computer boots up, is it still detected in BIOS? It probably is, but on the other hand, if it isn't it would certainly explain an awful lot.
  9. patio

    patio TS Maniac Posts: 700

    At the A: prompt type dir/p and hit enter...
    This will tell you what is on the floppy.
    I still suspect it doesn't include fdisk.

    patio. :cool:
  10. tymlls05

    tymlls05 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    1, I have a compaq presario 5441 with windows98

    2, To create a boot disk, i just right clicked on the A: drive, went to format, and said to "copy system files".

    3, I booted my computer from this disk, and formatted the hard drive.

    4, When I inserted the compaq restore CD into the computer and rebooted, it told me that there was no free space on the hard drive. it said nothing about using fdisk. that came from forum

    5, I used the win98 CD to boot into DOS, and was informed that C: was invalid when i attempted to access it.


    and thats where im at.
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