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How to Partition and Format a Master Hard Disk by DOS

How to Partition a Master Hard Disk

To partition a master hard disk, run the fdisk command:
1.       Insert the Startup disk in the floppy disk drive, restart your computer, and then use one of the following methods, depending on your operating system. For a Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Me Startup disk:
a.       When the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed, select the Start computer without CD-ROM support menu option, and then press ENTER.
b.       At a command prompt, type fdisk, and then press ENTER.
c.       View step 2.
For a Windows 95 Startup disk:
      d.     At a command prompt, type fdisk, and then press ENTER.
e.       View step 2.
2.       If your hard disk is larger than 512 MB, you receive the following message:
Your computer has a disk larger than 512 MB. This version of Windows includes improved support for large disks, resulting in more efficient use of disk space on large drives, and allowing disks over 2 GB to be formatted as a single drive.

IMPORTANT: If you enable large disk support and create any new drives on this disk, you will not be able to access the new drive(s) using other operating systems, including some versions of Windows 95 and Windows NT, as well as earlier versions of Windows and MS-DOS. In addition, disk utilities that were not designated explicitly for the FAT32 file system will not be able to work with this disk. If you need to access this disk with other operating systems or older disk utilities, do not enable large drive support.

Do you wish to enable large disk support?
If you want to use the FAT32 file system, press Y and then press ENTER. If you want to use the FAT16 file system, press N, and then press ENTER.For additional information about the FAT32 and FAT16 file systems, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
118335  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/118335/EN-US/ ) Maximum Partition Size Using FAT16 File System
154997  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/154997/EN-US/ ) Description of the FAT32 File System
3.       After you press ENTER, the following Fdisk Options menu is displayed:
4.           1. Create DOS partition or 
Logical DOS Drive
5.           2. Set active partition
6.           3. Delete partition or 
Logical DOS Drive
7.           4. Display partition information
5. Change current fixed disk drive
Note that option 5 is available only if you have two physical hard disks in the computer.
8.       Press 1 to select the Create DOS partition or
Logical DOS Drive
menu option, and then press ENTER.
9.       Press 1 to select the Create Primary DOS Partition menu option, and then press ENTER.
10.   After you press ENTER, you receive the following message:
Do you wish to use the maximum available size for primary DOS partition?
After you receive this message, use one of the following methods, depending on the file system that you selected.
For a FAT32 File System
 .                    If you press Y for the FAT32 file system (in step 2) and you want all of the space on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C, press Y, and then press ENTER.
a.       Press ESC, and then press ESC to quit the Fdisk tool and return to a command prompt.
b.       View step 7.
For a FAT16 File System
If you press N for the FAT16 file system (in step 2), you can accept the default 2 GB size for the partition size, or you can customize the size of the partition.

To accept the default partition size:
c.                   If you want the first 2 GB on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C, press Y, and then press ENTER.
d.       Press ESC to return to the Options menu, and then view step d in the following "To customize the partition size" section.
To customize the partition size:
e.                   If you want to customize the size of the partitions (drive letters) on the hard disk, press N, and then press ENTER.
f.        A dialog box is displayed in which you can type the size that you want for the primary partition in MB or percent of disk space. Note that for computers that are running either Windows 98 or Windows Me, Microsoft recommends that you make the primary partition at least 500 MB in size. Type the size of the partition that you want to create, and then press ENTER.
g.       Press ESC to return to the Options menu.
h.       To assign drive letters to the additional space on the hard disk, press 1, and then press ENTER.
i.         Press 2 to select the Create Extended DOS Partition menu option, and then press ENTER.
j.        You receive a dialog box that is displays the maximum space that is available for the extended partition. You can adjust the size of the partition or use the default size. Note that the default maximum space is recommended, but you can divide the space between multiple drive letters. Type the amount of space that you want, press ENTER, and then press ESC.
k.       The Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition menu is displayed. This is the menu that you can use to assign the remaining hard disk space to the additional drive letters. Type the amount of space that you want to assign to the next drive letter in the Enter logical drive size in Mbytes or percent of disk space (%) box, and then press ENTER.
l.         A table that lists the drive letter that you created and the amount of space on that drive is displayed. If there is free space on the hard disk, it is displayed near the bottom of the table. Repeat steps e through g until you receive the following message:
All available space in the Extended DOS Partition is assigned to local drives.
m.                 After you receive this message, press ESC to return to the Options menu.
n.       To activate the partition from which you plan to boot (usually drive C), press 2 to select the Set active partition menu option, and then press ENTER.
o.       When you receive the following message, press 1, and then press ENTER:
Enter the number of the partition you want to make active.
p.                   Press ESC, and then press ESC to quit the Fdisk tool and return to a command prompt, and then view the following "How to Format a Hard Disk" section in this article.
How to Format a Hard Disk
After you create the partitions, you must format the partitions:
1.       Restart your computer with the Startup disk in the floppy disk drive.

NOTE: If you are using a Windows 95 Startup disk, a command prompt is displayed and you can skip to step 2. If you are using a Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Me Startup disk, select the Start computer without CD-ROM support menu option when the Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed.
2.       When a command prompt is displayed, type format c: /s, and then press ENTER. This command transfers the system files and should only be used when you format drive C (or your "active" drive). For all other partitions, type format drive: (where drive is the letter of the partition that you want to format).

NOTE: If you receive a "Bad command" or "Bad file name" error message, you may need to extract the Format.com tool to your boot disk. To do this, type the following command at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
extract ebd.cab format.com
After the Format.com tool is extracted to your boot disk, type format c: /s t a command prompt to format your active partition, or type format drive: if you want to format a partition that is not your active partition.
3.       When you successfully run the Format.com tool, you receive the following message:
WARNING, ALL DATA ON NON-REMOVABLE DISK DRIVE C: WILL BE LOST!
Proceed with Format?
4.       Press Y, and then press ENTER to format drive C.
5.       After the format procedure is finished, you receive the following message:
Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for none)?
NOTE: This is an optional feature that you can use to type a name for the drive. You can either type an 11-character name for the drive, or you can leave it blank by pressing ENTER.
For information about how to repartition the extended partition and logical drives, view the "How to Repartition and Format the Extended Partition and Logical Drives of a Hard Disk" section in this article.

How to Repartition and Format a Slave Hard Disk
How to Repartition a Slave Hard Disk
If you want to add a second hard disk (slave drive) to your computer, you need to make sure that the jumpers on both the master (original) and slave (new drive) are set according to the manufacturer's instructions first so that your computer can detect the hard disks. Verify that your hardware is installed correctly, and then follow these steps:
1.       Click Start, point to Run, and then type command (Note that the cmd command only works on Windows 2000-based computers).
2.       At a command prompt, type fdisk, and then press ENTER. The following menu is displayed:
3.           1. Create DOS partition or 
Logical DOS Drive
4.           2. Set active partition
5.           3. Delete partition or 
Logical DOS Drive
6.           4. Display partition information
5. Change current fixed disk drive
Note that menu option 5 is available only if you have two physical hard disks on your computer.
7.       Press 5, and then press ENTER. When you do this, the selection changes from the physical disk 1 (master) to the physical disk 2 (slave).
8.       Press 1 to select the Create DOS partition or
Logical DOS Drive
menu option, press ENTER, press 2 to select the Create Extended DOS Partition menu option, and then press ENTER. When you make your slave drive an extended MS-DOS partition, your drive letters does not change. For example, if the first drive contains partition C and partition D, your slave drive becomes D unless you set the slave drive as an extended partition. If you skip this step and just create another primary MS-DOS partition for the slave drive, the new drive becomes drive D and what used to be drive D, changes to drive E.
9.       You can partition the slave drive to make other logical drives just as you did with the original master drive. If your computer cannot detect the new drive, you may need to add the following line to your Config.sys file, where drive is a letter that is greater than the last drive letter on the computer (including the CD-ROM drive):
lastdrive=drive
10.   After you finish using the Fdisk tool, format the new partitions so that you can use them. After you press ESC to quit the Fdisk tool, restart your computer to start Windows.
How to Format a Slave Hard Disk
To format your new partition or partitions, use one of the following methods, depending on your file system. For a FAT16 file system:
a.                   Double-click My Computer, right-click the partition that you just created, click Format, click Full, and then click Start.
b.       After the format procedure is complete, click OK to close the dialog box.
For a FAT32 file system:
      a.     Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, click Drive Converter (FAT32), and then click Next.
b.       In the Drives box, click the drive that you want to convert to the FAT32 file system.
c.       Click Next, and then click OK.
d.       Click Next, click Next, and then click Next again.
e.       When the conversion procedure is finished, click Finish.
NOTE: Do not use the /s switch that you used when you set up drive C. All you need to do is to format the drive or drives so that you can use them (for example, if you created two new drive letters, you need to format both drives).

For information about how to repartition the extended partition and logical drives, view the following "How to Repartition and Format the Extended Partition and Logical Drives of a Hard Disk" section in this article.

How to Repartition and Format the Extended Partition and Logical Drives of a Hard Disk
Use the steps in this section to resize or combine your extended partition and logical drives. Make sure that you have a reliable backup of any important data that you have on your extended partition and logical drives before you proceed. If you want to combine your entire hard disk in one partition, use the steps in the "How to Partition and Format a Master Hard Disk" section in this article.
How to Repartition the Extended Partition and the Logical Drives
NOTE: When you use this method, two or more partitions are left on your hard disk, a primary partition (usually drive C) and an extended partition. Even if you use the FAT32 file system, there is an 8-GB partition limitation unless you obtain a BIOS upgrade that fully supports interrupt 13 extensions. For additional information about why there is an 8-GB limit, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
153550  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/153550/EN-US/ ) Hard Disk Limited to 8-GB Partition
If you have a hard disk that is larger than 8 GB and you are not using a disk overlay program or disk management software, you need to partition and format the space that is remaining after you create each 8-GB partition:
1.       Place the Startup disk in your floppy disk drive, restart your computer, and then use one of the following methods, depending on your operating system. For a Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Me Startup disk:
a.       When the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed, select the Start computer without CD-ROM support menu option, and then press ENTER.
b.       At a command prompt, type fdisk, and then press ENTER.
c.       Go to step 2.
For a Windows 95 Startup disk:
      d.       At a command prompt, type fdisk, and then press ENTER.
e.       Go to step 2.
2.       If your hard disk is larger than 512 MB, you receive the following message:
Your computer has a disk larger than 512 MB. This version of Windows includes improved support for large disks, resulting in more efficient use of disk space on large drives, and allowing disks over 2 GB to be formatted as a single drive.

IMPORTANT: If you enable large disk support and create any new drives on this disk, you will not be able to access the new drive(s) using other operating systems, including some versions of Windows 95 and Windows NT, as well as earlier versions of Windows and MS-DOS. In addition, disk utilities that were not designated explicitly for the FAT32 file system will not be able to work with this disk. If you need to access this disk with other operating systems or older disk utilities, do not enable large drive support.

Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N)?
If you want to use the FAT32 file system, press Y and then press ENTER. If you want to use the FAT16 file system, press N, and then press ENTER.For additional information about the FAT32 and FAT16 file systems, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
118335  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/118335/EN-US/ ) Maximum Partition Size Using FAT16 File System
154997  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/154997/EN-US/ ) Description of the FAT32 File System
3.       After you press ENTER, the following Fdisk Options menu is displayed:
4.           1. Create DOS partition or 
Logical DOS Drive
5.           2. Set active partition
6.           3. Delete partition or 
Logical DOS Drive
7.           4. Display partition information
8.           5. Change current fixed disk drive 
9.             (this option is only available if you 
   have two physical hard disks in the computer)
10.   Press 3, and then press ENTER. The following menu is displayed:
11.       1. Delete Primary DOS Partition
12.       2. Delete Extended DOS Partition
13.       3. Delete Logical 
DOS Drive(s)
in the Extended DOS Partition
4. Delete Non-DOS Partition
14.   Press 3, and then press ENTER.
15.   The Delete Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition screen is displayed with a chart that describes the attributes of your hard disk, as shown in the following example.
Collapse this tableExpand this table

Drv
Volume Label
Mbytes
System
Usage
D:
(User Defined)
2047
FAT16
100%
E:
(User Defined)
2047
FAT16
100%
F:
(User Defined)
2047
FAT16
100%
G:
(User Defined)
2047
FAT16
100%
H:
(User Defined)
2047
FAT32
17%
I:
(User Defined)
1498
UNKNOWN
13%



Total Extended DOS Partition size is XXX Mbytes (1 MByte = 1048576 bytes).

WARNING! Data in a deleted
Logical DOS Drive
will be lost.

What drive do you want to delete? Type the letter for the drive that you want to delete, and then press ENTER.
16.   When you are prompted to type the volume label for the drive, type the volume label if the drive has a volume label.

NOTE: You must type the exact label or press ENTER if there is no volume label. If you type an incorrect label name, you receive the following message:
Volume label does not match.
Enter Volume Label?
If you type the correct volume label, you receive the following message:
Are you sure (Y/N)?
The default answer to this message is N. You must press Y, and then press ENTER to delete the drive. The words "Drive deleted" are displayed in the chart next to the drive letter that you deleted.
17.   Repeat steps 3 through 7 until you have deleted all of the drives that you want to delete. When you are finished, press ESC. If you remove all of the logical drives, you receive a "No logical drives defined" message and a chart of drive letters that you changed or deleted. Press ESC to continue.

NOTE: If you want to resize the logical drive or drives by making them larger or smaller, do this now. If you want to remove the extended partition, view step 11.
18.   Press 1 to select the Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive menu option from the Fdisk Options menu, press 3 to select the Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition menu option from the Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive menu, and then press ENTER. When you do this, you receive a "Verifying drive integrity" message with a percentage-complete counter.

NOTE: When you use this step, the extended partition is not deleted, only the logical drive or drives in the extended partition are deleted. You do not need to remove the extended partition to resize the logical drives. For example, if you have one logical drive in the extended partition and you want to make two logical drives, delete the logical drive and create two logical drives in the extended partition first. Note that you are still limited to the total space in the extended partition.
19.   After the drive verification procedure is finished, you receive the following message:
Total Extended DOS Partition size is XXX Mbytes (1 MByte = 1048576 bytes)

Maximum space available for logical drive is XXX Mbytes (X%)

Enter logical drive size in Mbytes or percent of disk space (%).
The "maximum Mbytes available" is the default size, however, you can change the number if you type the number for the partition size that you want to create, and then pressing ENTER. Press ESC, press ESC to quit the Fdisk tool and return to a command prompt, and then view step 11.
20.   If you want to remove the extended MS-DOS partition, press ESC to return to the Fdisk Options menu. Press 3 to select the Delete DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive menu option, press ENTER, press 2 to select the Delete Extended DOS Partition menu option, and then press ENTER.
21.   The screen shows the current fixed disk drive and information about it. The extended partition is listed in the Type column. For example:
22.       Partition  Status  Type  Volume  Label         Mbytes  System   Usage
23.       C:         1 A     PRI   DOS     (your label)  1200    FAT16    50%
24.       2                  EXT   DOS     (your label)  1200    UNKNOWN  50%
25.       
Total disk space is 2400 Mbytes (1 Mbyte = 1048576 bytes)
You also receive the following warning message:
WARNING! Data in the deleted Extended DOS Partition will be lost.

Do you wish to continue (Y/N)?
26.   Press Y, and then press ENTER to delete the partition. You receive the following message:
Extended DOS Partition deleted
Press ESC to continue
NOTE: If you try to delete your extended MS-DOS partition before you remove all of the logical drives, you receive the following error message:
Cannot delete Extended DOS Partition while logical drives exist.
If you receive this error message, repeat steps 3 through 6, and then follow steps 9 and 10 to delete the extended MS-DOS partition.

The Fdisk Options menu is displayed. If you leave disk space unpartitioned on your hard disk, Windows may not display the full size of your hard disk, only the amount of space that is available.

IMPORTANT: After you change the Fdisk options or delete partitions, the data that was on the partition is deleted and cannot be retrieved. Be very sure that you understand this procedure before you attempt to follow it. If you want to start with a clean configuration or if you want to redo your current configuration, back up everything that is important to you before you use the Fdisk tool.
27.   If you want to use the unpartitioned space on your hard disk, you must format the drives. When you successfully run the Format.com utility, you receive the following message:
WARNING, ALL DATA ON NON-REMOVABLE DISK DRIVE X: WILL BE LOST!
Proceed with Format (Y/N)?
Press Y, and then press ENTER to format the drive.
28.   After the format procedure is finished, you receive the following message:
Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for none)?
NOTE: This is an optional feature that you can use to type a name for the hard disk. You can either type an 11-character name for the drive, or leave it blank and press ENTER.

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