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Using FDISK

WARNING: The following information applies to preparing an empty hard disk for the installation of Windows 98. If you use the following steps on a hard disk that is not empty, all of the data that is on that hard disk is deleted.

Before you install Windows 98 on an empty hard disk, you must first create a primary partition and then format a file system on that partition. Each allocated space on the hard disk (primary partition or logical drive) is assigned a drive letter. Windows 98 supports the FAT16 and FAT32 file systems. When you run the Fdisk tool on a hard disk that is larger than 512 MB, you are prompted to choose a file system.

The FAT16 file system has a maximum of 2 gigabytes (GB) for each allocated space, or drive letter. For example, if you use the FAT16 file system and you have a 6-GB hard disk, you can have three drive letters (C, D, and E), each with 2 GB of allocated space.

The FAT32 file system supports drives up to 2 terabytes in size and stores files on smaller sections of the hard disk than does the FAT16 file system. This results in more free space on the hard disk. The FAT32 file system does not support drives that are smaller than 512 MB.

 

How to Partition the Hard Disk

After you decide which file system you want to use, run the Fdisk tool:

  1. Insert the Windows 98 Startup disk in the floppy disk drive, and then restart your computer.
  2. When the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed, choose the Start computer without CD-ROM support option, and then press ENTER.
  3. At a command prompt, type fdisk, and then press ENTER.
  4. If the hard disk is larger than 512 MB, you receive the following prompt:
  5. Your computer has a disk larger than 512 MB. 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 designated 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 no enable large drive support.

    Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N)?

    If you want to use the FAT32 file system, press Y, and then press ENTER. If you want to use the FAT16 file system, press N, and then press ENTER.

  6. After you press ENTER, the Fdisk Options menu is displayed. Press 1 to select the Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive option, and then press ENTER.
  7. Press 1 to select the Create Primary DOS Partition option, and then press ENTER.
  8. After you press ENTER, you receive the following prompt:
  9. Do you wish to use the maximum available size for primary DOS partition?

    FAT32 File System:

    1. If you chose the FAT32 file system in step 4 and you want all of the space on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C, press Y, and then press ENTER.
    2. Press ESC, and then press ESC to quit the Fdisk tool and return to a command prompt.
    3. Skip to step 10.
    4. FAT16 File System:

    5. If you chose the FAT16 file system in step 4, and you want the first 2 GB on the hard disk to be assigned to drive C, press Y, and then press ENTER.
    6. Press ESC to return to the Options menu, and then skip to step i.
    7. If you want to customize the size of the partitions (the logical drives) on the hard disk, press N, and then press ENTER.
    8. A prompt is displayed for you to type the size that you want for the primary partition in megabytes or percent of disk space. Note that for a Windows 98-based computer, Microsoft recommends that you make the primary partition at least 500 MB. Type the size of the partition that you want to create, and then press ENTER.
    9. Press ESC to return to the Options menu.
    10. Press 2 to select the Set active partition option, and then press ENTER.
    11. When you are prompted to type the number of the partition that you want to make the active partition, press 1, and then press ENTER.
    12. Press ESC to return to the Options menu.
    13. To assign drive letters to the additional space on the hard disk:
      1. Press 1, and then press ENTER.
      2. Press 2 to select the Create Extended DOS Partition option, and then press ENTER.
      3. The option that appears displays the maximum space that is available for the extended partition. You can adjust the size of the partition or you can use the default size. Note that the default maximum space is recommended, but the space can be divided between multiple drive letters. Type the amount of space that you want, press ENTER, and then press ESC.
      4. The Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition menu is displayed. This is the menu that you use to assign the remaining hard disk space to the additional drive letters. Type the amount of space that you want to assign to the next drive letter at the Enter logical drive size in Mbytes or percent of disk space (%) prompt, and then press ENTER.
      5. A table that lists the drive letter that you created and the amount of space that is on that drive is displayed. If there is still free space on the hard disk, it is displayed near the bottom of the table. Repeat steps 1 through 4 until you receive the following message:
      6. All available space in the Extended DOS Partition is assigned to local drives

      7. After you receive this message, press ESC, and then press ESC to quit the Fdisk tool and return to a command prompt.
  10. After you create the partitions, restart you computer with the Windows 98 Startup disk in the floppy disk drive.
  11. When the Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed, choose the Start computer without CD-ROM support option, and then press ENTER.
  12. When a command prompt is displayed, type format c:, and then press ENTER.

    NOTE: If you receive a "Bad command or file name" message, you may need to extract the Format.com utility to your Startup disk. To do this, type the following command at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
  13. extract ebd.cab format.com

    After the Format.com utility is extracted to your Startup disk and a command prompt is displayed, type format c:.

  14. When you successfully run the Format.com utility, you receive the following prompt:
  15. WARNING, ALL DATA ON NON-REMOVABLE DISK DRIVE C: WILL BE LOST!

    Proceed with Format (Y/N)?

    Press Y, and then press ENTER to format drive C.

  16. After the format procedure is finished, you receive the following prompt:
  17. Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for none)?

    This is an optional feature that you can use to type a name for the hard disk. Type an 11-character name for the drive, or leave it blank, and then press ENTER.

  18. Repeat steps 10 through 13 for any additional drive letters that you created in step i.
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