Author Topic: How to partition and format  (Read 4097 times)

Offline Doc Nyar

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How to partition and format
« on: July 18, 2003, 01:14:32 pm »
Make sure that you understand what your doing. Following the below steps will erase all data from your drives!

I got asked by e-mail how to partition and format a harddrive. Hopefully this topic will make you understand how to do it.

Note: For Windows XP, you can just setup your CDrom as boot device in the BIOS and all can be done from the cdrom !

FDISK - Partitioning:

It's important to have a bootdisk ready when you want to partition your harddrive. After you've partitioned your harddrive, all data will be lost, so make sure that before you start, you've backed up the things you want to keep !

If you don't have a bootdisk, here's a list with bootdisk downloads:


Win95
Win98SE
WinME
(Source Bootdisk.com)

Make sure that on your bootdisk are the following 2 files:
1) format
2) fdisk
If they're not on there, copy them from your existing operating system (search for format and fdisk).

You can reboor your comp from floppy and when done, type fdisk and press enter. You could get the following screen:

************************************************************************
Your computer has a disk larger than 512MB. 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 designed 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). . . . . . .? [Y]
************************************************************************


Press Y.

The next screen will be like this:


************************************************************************
                     Microsoft Windows 98
                  Fixed Disk Setup Program
            (C)Copyright Microsoft Corp. 1993 - 1998

FDISK Options

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1.Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2.Set Active Partition
3.Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
4.Display Partition Information
5.Change current fixed disk drive

Enter choice: [1]


Press ESC to exit FDISK
************************************************************************


The Options:

[1] Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive
This option along with Option 3 are the two most commonly used commands in
FDISK. It is used to create new partitions and logical drives within an
extended dos partition.

[2] Set Active Partition
A hard drive can have more than one Primary Dos Partition. In fact, it can
have four of them, however only one of the four may be active at any one
time - and it?s the active partition that the operating system boots from.
This option allows you to select which partitions should be made active.
This command is very rarely used and the typical home user will probably
never need to use it. We will not be discussing this option apart from
noting that FDISK won?t let us create more than one Primary DOS Partition
although you are allowed to have up to four.

[3] Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
The time will come when you want to delete a partition or logical dos drive.
Perhaps you are resizing your drive or you?ve accidentally created a logical
drive and wish to delete it. This is where you?d do that.

[4] Display partition information
This option allows you to see what partitions, if any, already exist on your
drive and how it has been divided up. This option does not make any changes
to your drive.

[5] Change current fixed disk drive
If you have more than one hard drive installed in your computer, you need to
select which one you want to be working on. Hard drives are listed in
numerical order. (1.. 2..)


If you already have partitions on your harddrive and want to remove them, you're first option would be 3. You need to delete Logical DOS drive(s) first. Once all deleted, you can proceed with option 1.

Creating partitions:
When you press option 1, you'll see the following:

************************************************************************
Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive

Current fixed disk drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1.Create Primary DOS Partition
2.Create Extended DOS Partition
3.Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition

Enter choice: [1]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options
************************************************************************


You'll first need to create a primary DOS partition first, so you'll press 1. Now you can allocate the size you want for drive C:. When done, in the first menu you'll need to make this partition active, therefore you press 2. Once done, press [ESC] to get out of the menu's. I'd suggest to turn your comp off, and after a few seconds back on again. You're now ready to format your harddrive.

If you want more partitions, you'll need to create the primary as above, but specify the amount of space you want to be used. Next step will be to create a Extended DOS partition. When asked for the size, make it as large as possible.  In that Extended DOS partition, we need to create Logical DOS drives. Here you need to specify the amount of space you want to be used per partition (FDISK will keep asking you if you want to continue to create logical DOS drives, untill all space is used). Again, once done, press [ESC] to get out of the menu's and till you're back with this prompt A:\. I'd suggest to turn your comp off, and after a few seconds back on again. You're now ready to format your harddrive.

Formatting is basically very easy. When you've booted your comp from the floppy drive again, just type format c: and off you go. Do this for all the drives if you have partitioned more then 1. Once done, boot from floppy again and make sure you boot with cdrom support (from win98 onwards, you immidiately can select run setup from cdrom from the menu). Once booted, go to the cdrom drive (will be the latest drive, so if you have only one partition, you'll need to type in d:. On the cdrom drive type setup and you can install Windows.

I hope this helps some of you. If not, let me know.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2003, 06:44:35 am by Doc Nyar »

Acriku

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Re:How to partition and format
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2003, 12:41:28 am »
Great tutorial Nyar, but I'm curious- what are the benefits/advantages of partitioning your harddrive? I have a friend who has one OS on one partition, and a different OS on another partition, and it sounds intriguing enough to do on my new (haven't started buying parts yet) computer.

Offline number6

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Re:How to partition and format
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2003, 12:51:06 am »
I can answer this one. At least what I see as benefits.

1. Partitioning your disk helps isolate problems. If you give 1.5 GB for the OS and the rest for your data you can do a fresh OS install anytime without worrying about losing your data.

2. You can actually save disk space by partitioning the disk into several smaller partitions. With the big hard drives of today this is less important than it used to be.

3. Like you said Acriku you can have multiple OS's on one machine. You could run Linux, Win XP, and Windows 98 all on the same machine.

4.  Security. If you create a partition specifically for network sharing you have less of a risk of sharing data by accident.




That's all that comes to mind off of the top of my head.  Bottom line is that it is worthwhile to do as long as you have a reason to do it.  It also helps in your understanding of how your hard disk is allocating space and is just a good thing to know. You won't have to rely on any setup tools once you know how to partition a disk yourself.

Acriku

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Re:How to partition and format
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2003, 12:55:17 am »
Thanks a lot :) Benefit #1 and #3 seem to be the ones I'd do on my new future computer. Thanks again!

WizzCat

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Re:How to partition and format
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2003, 04:23:21 pm »
Well if u are using WIN-XP its actually quite easy just choose: Controlpanel/administration/computeradministration in there under storage u can choose disk management to set up partions, delete then format and whatever. Without having to reboot the system.
Erasing the active system partition is however not recoverable. ;)

Offline Doc Nyar

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Re:How to partition and format
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2003, 05:13:04 pm »
Well if u are using WIN-XP its actually quite easy just choose: Controlpanel/administration/computeradministration in there under storage u can choose disk management to set up partions, delete then format and whatever. Without having to reboot the system.
Erasing the active system partition is however not recoverable. ;)



Better yet, in WIN XP you won't have to do any of the above. As soon as you boot from cd and start WIN XP setup, you get prompted on how and what you want to do with your harddrive(s)

Offline gryphon

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Re:How to partition and format
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2003, 10:09:59 pm »
Erasing the active system partition is however not recoverable. ;)

Is it even possible to errase the system partition with Win2K and WinXP, thought that just gave an error ?
Expect anything, and life will become boring...

RotteVis

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Re:How to partition and format
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2003, 12:18:07 am »
The most easiest and quickest way to partion a disk in half, is to take an ironsaw and just cut it through  ;D, always works fine for me

Offline Doc Nyar

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Re:How to partition and format
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2003, 04:50:51 am »
The most easiest and quickest way to partion a disk in half, is to take an ironsaw and just cut it through  ;D, always works fine for me

Don't try that at home kids ;D