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Can someone help me fix up a mess please

By the_archer ·
I have a dual boot system on my PC; RedHat Linux 7.1 + Windows 98SE. I have a 10gb harddrive, first 2000mgs is C drive, next 2000mgs is linux, the rest I had for D drive. I have no probs setting up C drive and linux with a lilo boot, but encounter probs trying to create D drive.

Initially I created D drive during linux installation but it was only FAT and not FAT32 and windows wouldn't let me change it, could not defrag it either. When I had to reformat C drive because it got buggy and slow, I lost lilo boot. So I reinstalled linux to get lilo boot back (a mistake I guess but my main linux knowledge is as a user not as superuser). In the process lost access to D drive until reformatting it.

On my next effort, I did not try to create D drive from linux but went back to fdisk in DOS after linux installation and attempted to create D drive from there. But I obviously made a hash of it and now cannot access linux or D drive and my usable harddrive has shrunk from 10gb to 2gb.
Have tried to get rid of Extended DOS partition from fdisk but it says "cannot delete extended DOS partition while logical drives exist" so I try to delete logical drives in the extended DOS partition, but it says "no logical drives defined".

Does anyone know how to fix this mess? Or is it impossible and I need another harddrive? I don't mind if I have to reformat whole drive and repartition again from scratch as I have all important stuff backed up on zipdisks and floppies, but am unwillingto try to this in case I end up not being able to use harddrive at all, even 2gbs is better than nothing for the time being, until I can afford to buy another drive.

Regardless of the outcome to this prob though, can anyone tell this klutz the *correct* way of creating D drive after getting C/linux up and running? It is not explained in the RedHat manual I have, also I wrote an email to RedHat but got no reply.

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System Commander.

by jardinier In reply to Can someone help me fix u ...

I have discovered a marvellous partitioning and multi-boot program called "System Commander. You can install it on DOS or Windows, and go from there. It caters for all OSs.

As for "fdisk" I think that stands for "f..k up your disc."

For suggestions on deleting invisible partitions, I would refer you to the answers to a posting of mine by that name in the Technical Q & A section of Techrepublic.

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more information

by the_archer In reply to Can someone help me fix u ...

I have downloaded gdisk, an improvement on fdisk, and when attempting to use it to delete extended DOS partition is has told me that the logical DOS drive extends past the end of the extended DOS partition. I think this might mean that the harddrive is permanently stuffed. In the gdisk tutorial it said that this is caused by a bug in win95 fdisk, but I have win98SE, so obviously the bug was not fixed. Gdisk does however seem like a good program to use in the future to prevent this happening again.

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a little drastic

by JBoss In reply to more information

I have had similar problems. Partition commander is a program that works well for me now, but when i lost the space on my disk I went to the website of the hdd maker and downloaded a low level format program that you can run off of a bootable floppy.

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Thanks for the tip.

by jardinier In reply to a little drastic

I have an almost brand new 3 GB HD which will only let me use the first 500 MB. When I can locate it amonst all my miscellaneous junk, I will see if I can repeat your suggested course of action.

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Have you tried DelPart?

by SpongeBob_SquarePants In reply to Thanks for the tip.

This is a Windows NT 3.51 utility and works well to remove partitions that standard fdisk doesn't see. It will get rid of HPFS, NTFS, and all versions of FAT. It has saved hard drives for me in the past. You can find it at and it isa small download. I create a DOS boot disk and then add the DelPart.exe utility to it. Boot to the DOS floppy you created and then type delpart at the command prompt.

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Thanks for all your replies

by the_archer In reply to a little drastic

Sorry I have not accessed this website for a while, have been away. Thankyou all for your suggestions; my son is giving me another harddrive as he has just upgraded, but will try and salvage current drive to use for a linux server and keep new one for windows. Once I have the other drive installed will try out the suggestions I have been given that are free, hope one of them works.

Sorry but I don't know how to close this question off.

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format the sucker

by bruce In reply to Can someone help me fix u ...

2 solutions. (a) format the HDD and start again or (b) a bit more expensive but works good - buy a new one, just in case its faulty.


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