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Unable to format drive which is NTFS to Fat32 or install Win98 se

By bimal_kumar_sanghi ·
I am unable to format my C drive which is NTFS into Fat32.

Here is the history.
I had dual operating systems -
Windows 98 se - C drive - 18.6 gb (Fat32)
Windows Xp Professional - D drive - 18.6 gb (Fat32)

and I have an empty E drive - 18.6 gb (which I can convert to NTFS and Fat32 using format easily without any problems)

I wanted to store a file bigger than 4 gb, so I read that converting Fat32 to NTFS would make that possible.

So I converted C drive to NTFS.

Now the problem was that I could access the files in C drive through Windows Xp operating system, I could not boot to Windows 98 se

I then read that Windows 98 se does not support NTFS drive. Since I wanted Windows 98 se in my computer I had to reformat the drive which was the only way to convert it back to Fat32.

I backed up all important data on D drive and then tried formatting the C drive using format function. But I got an error saying ?Windows was unable to complete the format?

So I deleted All the Program, Windows and other files which were on the C drive manually. The C drive is empty and I do not find any hidden files also.
I tried formatting again but it gives the same error ?Windows was unable to complete the format?

So I tried installing Windows 98 se from MS-DOS command prompt by copying my Windows 98 se files on my E drive.
It went successfully till I got the Windows 98 se screen saying that it was not able to install Windows 98 se as the drive I was installing in was HPFS or NTFS. Either I had some compressed files or disk cache utility on the drive.

I checked the C drive with my antivirus and saw some 34 files being scanned which were not visible on the drive.

The above when I see in Disk Management now shows as follows - (after doing the above )
Disk 0 Dsk1_vol1 (C:) Dsk1_vol2 (D:) Dsk1_vol3 (E:)
Basic 18.63 gb NTFS 18.63 gb FAT32 18.64 gb FAT32
55.90 gb Healthy (System) Healthy (Boot) Healthy

C drive has 18.5 gb free out which 123 mb is being taken up by probably the 34 files which I unable to see.

I tried to delete the C drive using disk management but the option is not highlighted to be used and is grayed out (Delete Partition). It is the same for D drive (Delete logical drive). Only E partition has the option (Delete logical drive)

I have not used the Fdisk command from MS-DOS because I had read going through the various websites which had similar problems that I cannot delete a partition if it is primary and there are one or more logical drives attached to it.

It can only be done if the logical drives are deleted first.

But since I seem to have one partition and two logical drives, can somebody please help me in installing Windows 98 se on my C drive?

Or am I missing something?

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I think you're hosed.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Unable to format drive wh ...

I could be wrong, but I think you're going to have to start over from scratch. As you noted, you can't FDISK primary C: without first killing logical and E:. Until you can FDISK C: and format it as FAT, you won't be able to put 98 back on C:

In Disk Management, what's the Disk 0? Can you format it as FAT32, change the drive letter on C: to Z:, assign the letter C: on Disk 0, and put 98 on there?

Alteratively, you could download VMware's free VMware Server product and run 98 as a virtual machine under XP. You could use the NTFS C: to store the virtual machine and hard drive.

You may want to repost this using the "Ask a Question' button. There's an entirely different set of members who follow that forum, and technical questions get better answers over there.

Just out of interest, what kind of file did you need to store that was 4Gb?

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by bimal_kumar_sanghi In reply to I think you're hosed.

In disk management Disk 0 is -
ST360012A (if that's what you are asking, sorry i am not well versed in computers enough)consisting of the three partitions c, d and e

And the volume's tab under ST360012A properties is -
Disk: Disk 0
Type: Basic
Status: Online
Partition style: Master Boot Record (MBR)
Capacity: 57239
Unallocated space: 0
Reserve space: 0

This is how it looks like - (as mentioned in post 1)
Disk 0 Dsk1_vol1 (c:) Dsk1_vol1 (d:) ....
Basic 18.63gb NTFS 18.63gb Fat32 ....
55.90 gb Healthy (System)Healthy (Boot) ....

The option in Disk 0 is to convert it into a dynamic disk. No option to convert it into Fat32

Unable to change drive letter of C to Z. Windows says cannot change the letter of your system volume or boot volume

Disk 0 consists of 55.90 gb which includes C, D and E. So I don't think i can put Windows 98 se there.

Yes. I would like to try using Windows 98 se as a virtual machine under Xp and use NTFS: C to store the virtual machine and hard drive. But -

1) I want to fix the problem of not being able to format the C drive and make it a clean partition with no files in it.
2) Will the Vmware's Virtual machine be as good as installing Windows 98 se on a normal partition?

Since I am new to Tech republic, I did not know that. Thanks for letting me know.

I wanted to back up my original Playstation 2 God of War 2 Dual Layer DVD of 7 gb + on a new DL DVD.


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Some Hints

by Pieter In reply to .....................

As Palmetto said... VM ware will be your only option! You cannot convert back to FAT32 from NTFS... If you really cannot dont want to or for any reason can wipe XP and start over you will have to use a virtual station to load win 98 and store the image file on C: - VMware is easy to use I suggest you try it or format C: entirely!

There is one other alternative and that is making a ghost of XP format C: create a deul boot install win98 and drop the image of XP back but if you dont entirely understand what that's about I wont try it you might loose all data..

Good Luck.... :)

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Download KillDisk at the link below

by OnTheRopes In reply to Unable to format drive wh ...

http://www.killdisk.com/ <br><br>
The first link has User Guides.<br><br>
I haven't used KillDisk for a couple of years but as I recall it runs from a floppy and you are prompted for the actions you want to perform at boot-up. KillDisk will wipe all data from your C: drive and you should be able to reload 98SE afterwards. <br><br>
Standard practice for me when I'm using format tools is to back up any data on the <i><b>physical</i></b> drive that I don't want to lose. In your case I'd backup everything on the XP - drive that I wanted to save <i><b>before</i></b> running KillDisk on C: drive.

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OK your only option here is to backup to an external Source

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Unable to format drive wh ...

Then wipe the HDD and all the different Partitions then set about reinstalling first 98 and then XP to the second Partition.

You need to install 98 First as that needs to be on the Boot Drive/Partition and then after wards you can install XP as that doesn't need to be installed to the Boot Drive/Partition.

As for the files on the C drive that you can not see these are Boot Files for XP and if you manage to delete them you will not be able to open XP as the necessary files will no longer be present telling the system where to look for the XP installation.

You can opt to use Kill Disc for a wiping utility or you can use Boot & Nuke available here


But no matter what else you do once you convert a drive from FAT to NTFS there is no going back to the way that things where you have to erase everything first and then proceed to do a clean new install.


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KillDisk vs. Boot & Nuke

by CharlieSpencer In reply to OK your only option here ...

Got a preference? I've been using KD for years and wonder if there's a reason to switch.


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Palmetto it's just personal preference and the fact that I have the utility

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to KillDisk vs. Boot & Nuke

Already available. When I'm wiping any HDD I just grab what is handy and work off that.

Personally I'm lazy and easy to get on with as I don't bother to change things once I've found something that works. For instance I still use IBM's Wipe & Zap that boots off a Floppy a lot of the time as it's small easy to use and handy. Boot & Nuke can be copied onto a CD and booted from there if required and because of that it's easy to work with.

Though like all wiping utilities none are overly fast but then considering what they do what more can you expect?


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by CharlieSpencer In reply to Palmetto it's just person ...

I'm about to start having to wipe drives on machines that don't have a floppy, so my bootable KillDisk 3.5 is going to be useless. Since I've got to build a CD, I thought I'd look at other solutions.


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OH well in that case Boot & Nuke has an option to download an ISO image

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Understood.

And burn to CD if that's any use to you.


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by Jacky Howe In reply to Unable to format drive wh ...

just found this. This bloke gets araound eh. Maybe I should look at discussions a bit more often.

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