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Formatted hard drive.

By jj5usa ·
I formatted my harddrive(20GB). The drive only recogonizes 2 GB. I ran fdisk and it see's the 20GB. I then converted the drive to FAT 32 and only regained 100MB's of the drive. Can anyone offer any suggestions to how to get it alll back? Thanks, JJ

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Firstly you need to supply more info

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Formatted hard drive.

And this would be better off in the Q & A Section but with the limited amount of info that you've given I'll attempt to answer your question.

Firstly did you run BIOS to recognize the drive? If not restart the computer and boot into BIOS and run the IDE Hard Drive Utility and chose option 2 if available. If FDISK is seeing all 20 GIG and the M'Board is set to read the drive then it should format up to something like 20 GIG actually 19. something most often.

If that doesn't cure the problem please supply the following info HD make, OS you're running, where you got the copy of FDISK, and possibly the M'Board make as well.


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Bad news

by dbucyk In reply to Formatted hard drive.

When you formatted your drive, I suspect you used a dos disk. Either way, it was formatted as fat16 and the maximum partition for fat16 is 2 GB.

I believe fat 32 is over 100 GB.

Unfortunately, you'll need to delpart.exe your computer and start fresh. Just download delpart.exe off the internet, create a boot startup disk and add delpart.exe to it. It'll fit on one disk.

Reboot your computer to A drive and after it has finished reading A drive, type in delpart. Before you do this however, back up your important information. Save changed and reboot your computer.

Then, if you want your computer to speed up a little bit, create custom partitions through fdisk after it finished rebooting and reading drive A. Create a primary, enable it to boot, an extended with two logical partitions.

After that is done, then reboot. After A is finished reading and you have enabled CD rom usage with the startup disk, then when the disk is done, change drives to the cd rom drive and type format c:

It will format the drive into fat 32. Why did I say all this, it's because that you'll be able to move your swap file to the partition that you choose.

This will cause a separate memory space when windows needs it. When your C drive fills up with programs under one partition, you might get a low memory error. Even if you have tons of RAM in your computer (It doesn't matter what operating system you're running when the low memory error happens), windows uses that hard drive space as virtual memory and when your hard drive gets full, your virtual memory goes down.

If you move your swapfile to another formatted partition, then your computer will never have that problem.

Also, the smaller the partition size, the faster the programs run.

I know with my computer, I am running windows 98se and I have three partitions. A swapfile of 3 GB, a program/writer partition of 2.2 GB and a 1.5 GB partition for windows.

My 128 MB 433 Mhz computer, with a few changes to the OS (no programming), my computer is running at a 600 Mhz with no hardware changes.

If you need any further help, please email me back at

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