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I've known for quite a while that my hard drive needed reformatting, but I've been putting it off for years (literally!) out of fear. Well, turns out my fear was well-founded. I finally got up the courage to reformat my main drive, and what a horrible experience it was. The good news is it's now squeaky clean (after much hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth).

The bad news is...I had two hard drives: The old 2MB drive was drive D:, the new 10MB drive was my main bootup drive C:. This is the one I reformatted. Before reformatting, I copied the entire drive over to D:, but after the reformat, D: seems to have disappeared. Well, I have a D: show up in Windows Explorer, and two hard drive controllers are listed in System info, but all the data is gone, replaced by some Windows files! I never typed "format D:", nor any other command specifying the D: drive. When I booted from the start-up disk, it did create a RAMdrive (whatever that is...)

I hope this makes some sense to someone. Did I lose all my data, or is my computer just not seeing it for some reason? Any thoughts?

(and please--no lectures on how I should have backed things up better. I know. I at least had my Quicken files backed up on floppies, which turned out to be corrupted [so why did Quicken gladly back them up if the disks were corrupted anyway?] but I was able to rescue them. Gawd I HATE computers!)

Ellen
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The bad news is...I had two hard drives: The old 2MB drive was drive D:, the new 10MB drive was my main bootup drive C:.

Just for grins, check and see if you now have an "E" drive.
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I at least had my Quicken files backed up on floppies, which turned out to be corrupted [so why did Quicken gladly back them up if the disks were corrupted anyway?] but I was able to rescue them. Gawd I HATE computers!)

Odd thing (IMHO) about backing up Quicken or Money files - my disks have always turned out to be "corrupted" or couldn't be opened. Out of the 30 or so disks I have empty, how could I have picked the 1 disk that was corrupted to copy my money files to? And what does "file can't be opened" mean when we're obviously copying files so we can read them? Just sayin'.


MizL
*there oughta be a way*


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What version of Windows?

When you say you copied the "entire drive over to D:" what do you mean by that? How, exactly, did you accomplish this? You list your drives as a "10 MB" C: (I presume you mean 10 GB) and a "2 MB" D: drive; how did you copy the larger drive to the smaller one?

What drives are listed when you open "My Computer"?
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Odd thing (IMHO) about backing up Quicken or Money files - my disks have always turned out to be "corrupted" or couldn't be opened. Out of the 30 or so disks I have empty, how could I have picked the 1 disk that was corrupted to copy my money files to? And what does "file can't be opened" mean when we're obviously copying files so we can read them? Just sayin'.

If/when you wish to save something important and have the best chance of success, run a "thorough" scandisk on the media after formatting, checking it for bad sectors - If the disk doesn't pass, pitch it. In Windows 2000 (and I suspect XP) that's done in My Computer - Right-click on the drive with the disk you wish to check inserted/mounted - Go to Properties - Tools - Mark "Scan for and Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors."

Bob <- learned the hard way, a couple of times.
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Well, I have a D: show up in Windows Explorer, and two hard drive controllers are listed in System info, but all the data is gone, replaced by some Windows files!

The data may well still be there - and recoverable - even if the drive was inadvertently formatted - unless you manage/managed to write over the area of the disk where the data existed... which may or may not have happened.

If you want a chance of recovering your data, don't do any more writing, erasing, formatting, etc. on any of the drives until you find/recover the data. It might even be possible to recover data from the floppy disks that are corrupted, depending on how they are corrupted.

Gawd I HATE computers!

Depending on how important finding/recovering the data is to you, you may wish to contact someone in your area that feels more comfortable working with computers to help with finding and/or recovering the data you think you may have lost. The more someone might inadvertently do, the less likely the odds of recovering the data.

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Just for grins, check and see if you now have an "E" drive.

I don't have to check--the E drive is my CD-ROM drive... and there's no F drive.

Ellen
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What version of Windows?

98

When you say you copied the "entire drive over to D:" what do you mean by that? How, exactly, did you accomplish this? You list your drives as a "10 MB" C: (I presume you mean 10 GB) and a "2 MB" D: drive; how did you copy the larger drive to the smaller one?

I might mean GB--as I'm sure you can tell, I'm no expert on computers. The data on my large drive was just slightly less than the size of my small drive. I just went into Windows Explorer, selected the entire drive, and copied to the other.

What drives are listed when you open "My Computer"?

A: = floppy disk
C: = main drive I just reformatted (but listed as 8GB, not 10GB, and partitioned for FAT32--something I had to do when I reformatted)
D: = secondary drive, with a few Windows-type files (listed as 2GB, and just FAT, not FAT32)
E: = CD-ROM drive

A newer computer is on my wish list (mine's---are you sitting down?--seven years old!) but our budget doesn't allow it at the moment (yes, I know I can get a new box for around $500; our budget still doesn't allow it).

Ellen

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It appears that the physical unit that you call the C drive has been partitioned into two virtual drives. "C" with 8 Gbit and "D" with 2 Gbit, making a total of 10 GBits. The psysical drive that you call "D" is "missing". Thats why I asked whether you had a drive "E" thinking it might have been moved down the chain. However, as you say, your CD is drive "E" and you have no "F" so it appears that that getting a new drive letter assigned is not what happened.

Hopefully someone smarter than I will have a better idea.
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Still might be missing part of the whole story. You say you copied contents of drive C: to drive D: using Windows Explorer, then "formatted" drive C:.

Two questions: What command did you use to format drive C:? Since a format operation erases the disk, you would have had to reload Windows (or something) after formatting to boot up the computer on drive C:. What did you do after formatting drive C:?
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Could you please do the following and report the results.

Start>Programs>Ms-Dos prompt. At the prompt, type the following:

fdisk/status

Then press enter.

The information that shows up would be useful.



IHS
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As a non-expert, (and many on this board will attest to that) but one who had his share of problems with catastrophic HD failures, I'm going to take a shot in the dark and ask a question or two I hope you won't find insulting: Is your secondary drive properly connected (power and IDE cable)? Are your jumper settings correct? Were the drives connected while you were reformatting drive C:?

~aj
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Two questions: What command did you use to format drive C:? Since a format operation erases the disk, you would have had to reload Windows (or something) after formatting to boot up the computer on drive C:. What did you do after formatting drive C:?

Well, first I made a start-up disk. Then I restarted in DOS mode, and tried format c:/s, which the instructions I was trying to follow said to do. But it said I didn't have enough memory for this. So then I just tried format c:

I then booted with the start-up disk, and tried to reload Win98 from the original disk. Didn't work. I got some error message I didn't quite understand. I finally (and I don't remember how) figured out I needed to run fdisk and partition the drive. I did this, but Win98 still wouldn't load--kept getting hung up. Then I somehow or other figured out I needed to format the drive again after repartitioning it. This time Win98 loaded just fine. And that's where I am now--newly loaded Win98, but no second hard drive.

Hope this made some sense. I still don't know how I figured all this out!

Ellen
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Could you please do the following and report the results.

Start>Programs>Ms-Dos prompt. At the prompt, type the following:

fdisk/status

Then press enter.

The information that shows up would be useful.


OK...I get a table telling me I have two drives, C: and D:

C: is 8 GB and 100% usage
D: is 2 GB and 100% usage

I don't understand the usage figures. That can't be hard drive space--I have less than 400 MB (yes, M, not G) of stuff loaded on C: at the moment!

Ellen
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Is your secondary drive properly connected (power and IDE cable)?

Well, it seemed to work before the reformat, and I didn't open the box at any time, so it should be connected the same way it was before.

Are your jumper settings correct?

Uh...the what? I've no idea...

Were the drives connected while you were reformatting drive C:?

Yes. As I said, I never opened the box. Nothing physical should have changed during this process. Should I have disconnected the second drive?

Ellen
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Ok. Next you need to make sure that the missing HD is actually plugged in. That means power cable connected to it, it is spinning up, and the IDE cable is properly connected and seated both on the drive and on the MB.

Presuming this is all OK, you need to reboot the computer and go into the BIOS. There will be a section there labeled something like "standard settings" or "basic configuration" or some such. Enter it.

This section will give you your choices for devices connected to the IDE busses. You need to make sure that the IDE connection that is appropriate for your second hard drive is enabled and (most likely) set to "Auto". I can't be more specific because the labeling varies widely from system to system and I don't know where/how you have your second HD connected. But you need to make sure the second HD is being detected by the system. During the startup screen, ordinarily the system tells you what hard drives it has detected; are both showing up there?
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I then booted with the start-up disk, and tried to reload Win98 from the original disk. Didn't work. I got some error message I didn't quite understand. I finally (and I don't remember how) figured out I needed to run fdisk and partition the drive. I did this, but Win98 still wouldn't load--kept getting hung up. Then I somehow or other figured out I needed to format the drive again after repartitioning it. This time Win98 loaded just fine. And that's where I am now--newly loaded Win98, but no second hard drive.


It sounds like you may have partitioned drive C:, using fdisk, into 2 partitions, the active DOS partition (8 GB) and a 2 GB logical drive - I suspect from your comments here and earlier. You then formatted the logical partition C: and your old drive D: is probably the other drive that you see. I don't see your mention of formatting the logical drive that you apparently setup in fdisk - so you probably have some unused disk space on the large drive that is not accessible until/unless it's formatted.

If you "partitioned" drive C: as your above comments mention (and you had a 10 GB drive C: before and it's only 8 GB now), you should now (potentially) have 3 "logical" hard drives. You really shouldn't have needed to use fdisk, at all - It's only used to setup newly manufactured drives or to change partitioning on existing drives. Anything that you had on the drives that you ran fdisk on is pretty much gone.
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You might need to run fdisk on the second logical drive of the large drive (that seems apparent from your description of the total physical size of drive C:) to set up its capacity before you can format it - dunno all that you did/completed in fdisk.
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From your comments, I really don't think that you need to go into the BIOS.
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Considering the age of your PC, you might benefit from using HD setup software available from the manufacturer of your HD - as such software often helps with enabling large drive formatting when the BIOS is too old. I think (it's been a while and my memory doesn't recall specific details sometimes) that 8 GB is the max. drive capacity w/o an HD manufacturer's BIOS overlay installed on the HD and an older BIOS. If your BIOS is old, fdisk can't defeat the limitation.

Bob
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This section will give you your choices for devices connected to the IDE busses. You need to make sure that the IDE connection that is appropriate for your second hard drive is enabled and (most likely) set to "Auto". I can't be more specific because the labeling varies widely from system to system and I don't know where/how you have your second HD connected. But you need to make sure the second HD is being detected by the system. During the startup screen, ordinarily the system tells you what hard drives it has detected; are both showing up there?


Setting the BIOS to Auto detect the drives at every boot is ok and can be done - Generally, there are 2 "Auto" detections for each of 4 potential drives within the BIOS - One detects drive presence and the other detects its parameters... Still, there are better ways to set the BIOS than to Auto detect at boot. Most BIOS software includes a feature that allows the BIOS to detect drive presence and set its parameters one time, within the BIOS, and using that feature enables quicker booting of the PC.

Given the limited experience of the poster, I wouldn't recommend her changing BIOS settings, until that should become a more apparent course. As the poster said in her original post that she had a 10 GB drive and now has an 8 GB drive and that she used fdisk, it appears that she partitioned the large drive into 2 logical drives. Changing the BIOS won't correct that and the poster's inexperience with BIOS features could cause some additional things that will need to be addressed.


v/r

Bob
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Ellen,

When you run fdisk/status, the first column should be disk, followed by drv, mbytes, free, usage. Under the disk column heading, if both drives are seen you should see disk 1 and 2 listed like this:

DISK____DRV ___ MBYTES_____ USAGE______ FREE

1
................ C:

2
.................D:
If this is what you are seeing, then both drives are being recognized, and your 10 GB drive is only being seen as an 8Gb drive due to lack of int 13 support from your bios. The second drive is being seen as what it is, a 2 GB drive. If this is not what you see, IOW, if disk 2 does not show up, then disk 1 has been partioned into an 8GB and 2GB partitions.

IHS

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I'd almost wager that she partitioned the 10 GB into one 8 GB partition and didn't finish setting the size on the 2nd partition in fdisk, or formatting it. If fdisk was run on the 2nd partition, DOS and Windows can't see the it. The drive D: that she sees is probably the original old 2 GB drive that she mentioned in her original post. I think she said that the 8 GB logical drive shows as a Fat (16) partition - so she probably didn't/couldn't enable large drive partitioning using fdisk and the 10-year old BIOS - the BIOS is pre-FAT32/init 13 BIOS. HD manufacturers' HD setup software often is capable of defeating the limitation and enabling large drive formatting (been there done that.) Optionally, if she's satisfied with the 8 GB size, she should be able to convert the drive to Fat32 within Windows 98, but might lose some DOS functionality with the old BIOS. I'll bet there's 2 GBs of the big drive that can be initialized in fdisk and formatted - or the drive manufacturer's install software could enable its full capacity (and likely provide full DOS functionality with a FAT 32 large drive format) with a re-installation, from scratch.

Bob
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If fdisk was run on the 2nd partition, DOS and Windows can't see the it.


If fdisk wasn't run on the 2nd partition (i.e., the 2nd partition wasn't initialized in fdisk), DOS and Windows can't see it - Sorry for the errors in grammar.
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D: = secondary drive, with a few Windows-type files (listed as 2GB, and just FAT, not FAT32)
E: = CD-ROM drive

A newer computer is on my wish list (mine's---are you sitting down?--seven years old!) but our budget doesn't allow it at the moment (yes, I know I can get a new box for around $500; our budget still doesn't allow it).

Ellen



My error - It looks like the (apparently) partitioned large drive is formatted with a FAT32 file structure. (I thought it was the other way around.) I guess Windows 98's Format command defaults to that file structure after running fdisk - or you ran the FAT32 conversion feature that's included with Windows 98 after Windows was installed.

If the "new" drive D: is, in fact, your old drive (as would seem a plausible likelihood with a FAT16 file structure, a file structure common to Windows 95 and prior versions of DOS, while the other drive has a FAT32 file structure), it would seem that the data saved to it may well still be there - unless the drive was reformatted and Windows 98's Format command kept the file structure with which the drive was originally formatted - Very curious.

In a prior post, what did you mean by "Windows-like" files on drive D:? Could you provide more details? - File names and extensions (Right-clicking on some of the files and going to Properties will give you the file extension (the 3 characters after the .) What kind of data did you save there, i.e. what were the originating programs - Quicken, MS Works, MS Access, Excel, Word, Outlook, Lotus Notes, pictures, etc.? Did you use backup software or just copy it, for instance with Windows Explorer?

By the time we get done with this, you'll prolly be capable of upgrading your PC with parts to an AMD Athlon XP processor, 256 MB of DDR RAM, new AGP video card and new ATX case (for under $250) - swapping your HD, floppy and CD-ROM drives to the new box.

BTW: If you haven't cleaned it, I'd suggest getting a CD-ROM drive laser lens cleaning disk and running it through the drive - could have been a reason the drive wouldn't work on the original install. Alternatively, the CD-ROM driver that's on the Windows 98 Setup disk and an option during a boot to the Setup disk might not have initialized properly. Have you cleaned your floppy drive lately? These are some commonly overlooked matters that can revitalize your PC and make it work a little better and keeping the floppy drive clean can help with avoiding disk corruption.


Bob
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Given the limited experience of the poster, I wouldn't recommend her changing BIOS settings, until that should become a more apparent course. As the poster said in her original post that she had a 10 GB drive and now has an 8 GB drive and that she used fdisk, it appears that she partitioned the large drive into 2 logical drives. Changing the BIOS won't correct that and the poster's inexperience with BIOS features could cause some additional things that will need to be addressed.

Where, then, is the other physical drive?
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Okay....very strange things are now happening with my computer. Starting with my message simply disappearing... So I'll try this again.

My error - It looks like the (apparently) partitioned large drive is formatted with a FAT32 file structure. (I thought it was the other way around.) I guess Windows 98's Format command defaults to that file structure after running fdisk - or you ran the FAT32 conversion feature that's included with Windows 98 after Windows was installed.

Yes, the large disk (C) is FAT32, the small disk (D) is FAT16. The large disk was apparently originally partitioned as FAT16, but Win98 wouldn't install until I repartitioned it to FAT32 (kept giving me an error message telling me this in a foreign language). I never did anything--no fdisk, no reformatting--to the D: drive. Nuttin'.

In a prior post, what did you mean by "Windows-like" files on drive D:? Could you provide more details? - File names and extensions (Right-clicking on some of the files and going to Properties will give you the file extension (the 3 characters after the .) What kind of data did you save there, i.e. what were the originating programs - Quicken, MS Works, MS Access, Excel, Word, Outlook, Lotus Notes, pictures, etc.? Did you use backup software or just copy it, for instance with Windows Explorer?

Here's where things get strange. Last time I looked, there were a dozen or so files in a folder called "Wininst0.400". The folder is still there, but now instead of a dozen or so files, there are dozens. Many applications, DLLs, INIs, INFs, and SYSs. So how the heck did a few files turn into so many? I swear, I didn't do a thing!

By the time we get done with this, you'll prolly be capable of upgrading your PC with parts to an AMD Athlon XP processor, 256 MB of DDR RAM, new AGP video card and new ATX case (for under $250) - swapping your HD, floppy and CD-ROM drives to the new box.

Are you speaking English? :-)


Oh, and both C and D drives show up at startup--listed as fixed drives. And as for going into the BIOS, I don't even know how!

Ellen
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Where, then, is the other physical drive?

I think (strongly suspect) that the D: drive that shows is the "other" (old) physical drive - still formatted in its original FAT16 FS. I think that she either disabled Large Drive Format when she ran fdisk and was limited to 8 GB - or (perhaps more likely) the aging System BIOS didn't support a "Large Drive" format and fdisk defaulted to a max of 8 GB. I suspect that Ellen has 2 GB of disk space on her large drive that needs to be initialized in fdisk and formatted in order for her to be able to access and use it. DOS and Windows can't see what fdisk hasn't initialized - as you well know.

These are just my thoughts, suspicions and observations.

v/r

Bob
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Okay....very strange things are now happening with my computer. Starting with my message simply disappearing... So I'll try this again.

My error - It looks like the (apparently) partitioned large drive is formatted with a FAT32 file structure. (I thought it was the other way around.) I guess Windows 98's Format command defaults to that file structure after running fdisk - or you ran the FAT32 conversion feature that's included with Windows 98 after Windows was installed.

Yes, the large disk (C) is FAT32, the small disk (D) is FAT16. The large disk was apparently originally partitioned as FAT16, but Win98 wouldn't install until I repartitioned it to FAT32 (kept giving me an error message telling me this in a foreign language). I never did anything--no fdisk, no reformatting--to the D: drive. Nuttin'.


I don't think that you can format a 10 GB drive using a FAT16 file structure... I could be wrong - would need to read some white papers, but think that won't work. Win98 should install on an HD formatted with a FAT16 - That's why the OS affords a FAT32 conversion utility - though usually that's done as a matter of an upgrade from W95 to W98 - IF I recall correctly. If the drive was originally formatted with its manufacturer's HD installation software that included an overlay that enabled init 13 (11 or 16 - give or take a few teens) and a FAT 32 "large drive format" - That could, perhaps, account for some of the problems that you experienced - I was wrong in my original observations - You likely did either need to run fdisk - or the drive manufacturer's drive prep. software to get rid of the drive's contents and prep if for a fresh installation of Windows - Sorry for that... "A mind's a terrible thing to waste!!"

In a prior post, what did you mean by "Windows-like" files on drive D:? Could you provide more details? - File names and extensions (Right-clicking on some of the files and going to Properties will give you the file extension (the 3 characters after the .) What kind of data did you save there, i.e. what were the originating programs - Quicken, MS Works, MS Access, Excel, Word, Outlook, Lotus Notes, pictures, etc.? Did you use backup software or just copy it, for instance with Windows Explorer?

Here's where things get strange. Last time I looked, there were a dozen or so files in a folder called "Wininst0.400". The folder is still there, but now instead of a dozen or so files, there are dozens. Many applications, DLLs, INIs, INFs, and SYSs. So how the heck did a few files turn into so many? I swear, I didn't do a thing!


Installing Windows might have done that - if you (wisely) chose to backup your prior installation of Windows during the installation process - I rely more on "research" for particulars (and some background and experiences) and dunno, offhand, what the folder for preserving a prior installation might be named... read: I would have to read some "white papers" to know for sure - or would take the word of some capable posters on this board. Is that "all" that's on drive D:? - might be enough to enable a restoration (perhaps including your data files) - but there may be more.

By the time we get done with this, you'll prolly be capable of upgrading your PC with parts to an AMD Athlon XP processor, 256 MB of DDR RAM, new AGP video card and new ATX case (for under $250) - swapping your HD, floppy and CD-ROM drives to the new box.

Are you speaking English? :-)


I can speak (a little, as in very) Chinese and/or Hispaniola - but you seem to do very OK with English and Geek ~ ~ though you CLAIM "GAWD I hate computers!!" - If you're short on cash, at the moment, I can perhaps whip up a system (short of parts in your current system) with a more modern BIOS to hold ya' over from "junk" spare parts laying around... just remember me, when/should you "hit the lottery!!"


Oh, and both C and D drives show up at startup--listed as fixed drives. And as for going into the BIOS, I don't even know how!

Then, you do not need to edit the BIOS.

Should you decide to build/upgrade your own system, you will need to - But, you seem capable... and manufacturers (fortunately, if not ironically) provide nifty instructions, either with the "mobo" or "on-line" manuals - that even I can read and understand.


Regards,

Bob @-@
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And as for going into the BIOS, I don't even know how!


You can access the BIOS by holding down a key on your keyboard as the system boots - usually the DEL, INS or F2 key - the lower left corner of your screen usually tells the key to depress to enter the System's BIOS software - unless the manufacturer of your system threw a screen over it.

There's a LOT of stuff that you can do in the BIOS that, with various hardware, CAN enhance your system's performance - but that's another day's agenda.

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Okay....very strange things are now happening with my computer. Starting with my message simply disappearing... So I'll try this again.


Throughout your posts, you've mention a number of rather unusual things happening with your PC - even with boots to the Win98 floppy Setup disk. I wonder if the power supply in your PC might be starting to head for retirement.


Bob
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By the time we get done with this, you'll prolly be capable of upgrading your PC with parts to an AMD Athlon XP processor, 256 MB of DDR RAM, new AGP video card and new ATX case (for under $250) - swapping your HD, floppy and CD-ROM drives to the new box.

Are you speaking English? :-)


Here's a mainboard that works very well (I've used it to upgrade a PC that had PC133 memory). The board will take up to an Athlon XP 2100 (I tried it with an XP 2000 processor w/o problems - dunno know why they show no higher than an Athlon 1.33 processor.)

http://www.goroyalpc.com/product.asp?m_cat=computer&cat=motherboardcombo&action=show&id=497MotherboardCombo

The "combo", with 256 MB of RAM, 1.33 GHz processor, heatsink and fan, their assembly and testing of the parts you buy from them would cost $150 + shipping.

Add a (needed) case with new ATX power supply for $35 http://www.goroyalpc.com/product.asp?m_cat=hardware&cat=casepc&action=show&id=150CASEPC and you got what you need to bring your PC up to date for well under $250.

You'll also probably need a new (PCI) modem (about $20-$25). An AGP video card would be nice ($30, and up), though not an absolute necessity unless you have an ISA of VESA based video card, and you would probably need to replace your sound card - but could do that later.

It's possible to get really decent performing stuff w/o it breaking your pocket or being overly complex (an instruction manual with pictures and diagrams is included.) In my experience with the vendor, they assembled and tested the mainboard, memory and processor and heatsink and fan in the case that I bought from them. I switched the floppy, cd, and HD from the other PC, together with cards that fit (the ones in the - white - PCI slots and the brown AGP video card slot <won't be a brown AGP slot in your computer>), installed Windows 98 and turned the PC over to its pleased owner within a few hours.
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You can get the same GA-7ZXE mainboard combo deal here, with an option to pick faster "XP" processors, starting at the same amount of money. While this vendor will assemble the mainboard, processor and cooling heatsink and fan, I'm not sure that they will bolt the board into a case for you - unless you called them and asked that they do so.

http://direct.mwave.com/mwave/ProdMBBUNDLE-GIGABYTE.hmx?UID=&CID=&updepts=BUNDLE&DNAME=%3Cb%3EMB+BUNDLE+w%2F+CPU%3C%2Fb%3E&Back=ProdMBBUNDLE-GIGABYTE.hmx?


The manuals that come with Gigabytes mainboards are really well written in easy to follow step-by-step fashion (in English - and also Chinese :-). An on-line manual for the board is available at Gigabyte's website:

http://www.giga-byte.com/products/products.htm

I suspect that (it sounds like) your computer has seen its better days - just trying to get you prepared with some affordable viable options.

Bob
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I suspect that (it sounds like) your computer has seen its better days - just trying to get you prepared with some affordable viable options.

Yeah, I guess these things weren't meant to last seven years. But my 28.8 modem does give me some nice zen time...

My husband has a friend who allegedly knows computers. He built DH a computer for his business for around $350 (this was a couple years ago). But I really don't want to use him. First, I'm not as in awe of his skills as everyone else is. He's the one who put in my new hard drive (and I suspect one reason why I've had so much trouble with it!)--but that's another story. And I don't like the way DH's computer is set up, though I guess that could be changed. Second, he uses pirated software. Now, I know Bill Gates is rich enough, but there are other reasons to have legal software, like technical support and upgrades.

BTW, IIRC fdisk did ask if I wanted large drive support, and I said "Yes." It then did the FAT32 partition, which apparently removed the formatting, which I had to redo. But I still don't know what's up with the D drive... You know, I just looked at Control Panel, System, Device Manager, and it lists three hard drives...two have "Use automatic settings" checked, but the other has "Basic configuration 2" highlighted. Does that give any insight?

Ellen
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It sounds likely that you have legitimate rights to install your software on a hardware upgrade to your PC. The new motherboard would enable an MS fdisk "native" reformatting of your large drive to its full capacity w/o the HD manufacturer's BIOS assist "overlay".

"Basic configuration 2" doesn't ring a bell - Sorry. Have you ever reformatted the small drive? - I suspect not. (I wouldn't suggest reformatting that drive, because it possibly contains the data that you wish to recover. If it were my PC and my data, I probably would physically disconnect the drive from the PC, until I effectively addressed other issues - or needed the data in an urgent situation.)

Though your original post suggested a likelihood that someone else might be better qualified than you to upgrade your PC, I have changed my perception in that matter.

A 10 GB HD is reasonably modern. That alone (plus owning rights to your software) should save well over $100, over buying a new PC.

Personally building/upgrading a PC from parts can instill a LOT of insight and confidence - I think you can handle it... I will, and I have every confidence that other participants on this board will, help - where, as, when and how you may need it - It's a pretty good crew.


Best regards,

Bob
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He's the one who put in my new hard drive (and I suspect one reason why I've had so much trouble with it!)--but that's another story.

I don't know that I would be tooo hard on the guy - but I've read that HD drive manufacturer "overlays" sometimes yield later problems. MS fdisk (or other OS drive initialization and formatting software, including Linux, NT-based and Novell's) is, with little doubt (at least to my mind), a more reliable way to go - even if/when you may have to partition the HD.
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