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FAT 32 Table Fixable?

By mcsarob ·
I'm trying to resolve a problem with an older PC (HP) with a 4GB hard drive & Windows 98SE. The drive thrashes constantly, but has been recently scanned & defragged; there is over 2GB of free disk space and few installed apps. I thought there was a virus, but nothing detected (unable to read the BOOT partition though). However, programs are not running right, if at all. The system boots to both regular and safe mode OK.
Here's what I suspect: something has trashed or damaged the FAT table. I tried running scandisk, but it cycles from checking the FAT to folders back to FAT, etc. without doing anything. It is possible the system has suffered a power surge.
My question: What should I do?
1. Is the FAT table repairable with a utility?
- or -
2. Should the drive be FDISKed, FORMATed and re-loaded?
I'm trying to save the user's data and don't trust the drive to try and copy anything reliable/readable from it the way it is.
Thanks!

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FAT 32 Table Fixable?

by TheChas In reply to FAT 32 Table Fixable?

Remove the drive, and install it in another PC as a slave drive.
Back up the files from the drive.

You should now have no problems running scandisk in thourough mode on the drive.

Now, place the drive back into the original PC, and see if it runs any better.

Next, look for applications running in the background. Numerous programs install what used to be referred to as TSR (terminate and stay resident) programs that hog system resources.
Every Icon in the system tray equates to reduced free resources.

You say you have virus scanned, now run scan for "adware" use AdaWare from Lavasoft www.lavasoft.de
This may be all you need to clean things up.

If you still feel the drive is suspect, then by all means perform a clean install of everything.
Make sure that you have the following:
Windows startup disk.
All device drivers.
User settings for ISP and other services.

Start by booting from the startup disk,
Run fdisk, and delete all partitions.
Re-boot, and run fdisk again to create the primary dos partition.
Re-boot, and format the C: drive.
Now, you can run setup, and re-install Windows.

I install the manufactures device drivers when the driver wizzard asks for each device.
The drivers should be installed in this order to avoid problems:
Chipset / Motherboard drivers.
DirectX (from Microsoft)
Video driver.
Monitor driver.
Modem,
Sound card
Other devices.

Chas

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FAT 32 Table Fixable?

by mcsarob In reply to FAT 32 Table Fixable?

Thanks, hadn't thought of installing it as a slave.

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FAT 32 Table Fixable?

by kwduke In reply to FAT 32 Table Fixable?

These signs could also be a signal that the hard drive is about to fail.. you said it is an older system, so I assume an older hard drive..
The FAT table is not repairable without losing data... so I would try what the previous answer said to try to get the data off and see if reloading from scratch helps, and prepare for a new hard drive.

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FAT 32 Table Fixable?

by mcsarob In reply to FAT 32 Table Fixable?

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FAT 32 Table Fixable?

by mcsarob In reply to FAT 32 Table Fixable?

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