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Formatting an old computer

By kwk2spt
May 1, 2009
  1. okay i just received an old computer with a pentium 1 133mhz (without mmx), 32mb of memory, a 1.6gb hard drive, and thats about all i know so far. however, i do know that it had previously been running win95 and that it had had problems before i received it. i made the mistake of deleting the partition before i attempted to format the drive...so then i attempted to format the drive from dos...it hung on 7% and failed on 8%...then i attempted to format the drive via a win98 disc...it hung on 7% and failed on 8%...then i decided i would run scandisk...it fixed various errors in the first three categories including "file allocation tables" (which seemed to be the problem area) and then froze at 34% on the fourth option which was file format or file something (after taking over 24 hours to get to 34%) so i restarted and was hoping that with file allocation tables being "fixed" that perhaps i would now be able to format the drive without any problems...however it still hangs on 6% or 7% then fails on 8%. my question is...is there anything and i mean anything i can do other than going with a different hard drive (i know it seems worthless not to replace the hard drive but for the moment i would desperately like to save this one as it has become personal over the last 48 hours)? thank you in advance for any help that anyone can provide as it is greatly appreciated by many people. thank you
     
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Instead of formatting, always Partition

    Boot from your 95 or 98 Windows boot disk
    Select the command prompt only > F4
    On the command line type: FDISK and then press Enter
    Select each partition and then select delete

    Once all partitions have been removed exit Fdisk
    Restart your computer
    Boot from the Windows disk and install Windows (allowing Windows to automatically set up the partition (some user intervention required)
     
  3. kwk2spt

    kwk2spt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    thank you again kimsland

    thank you for your advice, however when i use fdisk to delete then restart with the win98 disk it asks about large disk something then restarts again then tries to format through the win98 setup and the same problem at 8% saying "an error was detected while trying to format your hard disk" and then returns to the dos command prompt with cd support...?
     
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

  5. gguerra

    gguerra TS Enthusiast Posts: 559

    Your BIOS has to be set correctly for the hard drive. Set it to Auto or LBA before proceeding with any OS install, otherwise you may have problems which it appears is the case. If the drive is good you still need to set it up correctly in the BIOS.
     
  6. kwk2spt

    kwk2spt TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    still not working

    thank you for the help kimsland, but i tried delpart and got the same error msgs. i tried testdisk to analyze the disk and it froze at 68% after stalling several times. however after doing both these things i still get the same error msg in win98 setup and a different one when i try to format from dos (with cd support), it now says: "not ready, format terminated". thanks to you as well gguerra, but when i enter setup (if im looking at the right thing) i believe its already automatically detected. also i failed to mention one thing about the computer...the battery (i guess its the battery) for the cmos time and date is dead because every time i restart, the time and date are not set. could this be causing any of my problems? i apologize for not mentioning this before if in fact it is a factor. thanks to anyone with any further advice.
     
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Yes I would recommend purchasing the $3 battery.

    The "LBA" support (stated by gguerra), should then be re-confirmed, and CMOS settings saved

    Still issues, have a look at the tiny jumper at the end of the Hard Drive, it should be in position (M) Master, and CDrom Drive should be in position Slave
    If this doesn't help try CS (Cable Select) on both Hard Drive and CDrom Drives
     
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