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Quick Guide to a Win98 Fresh Start - fdisk  and reformat

This is a very simple, but adequate guide for starting fresh in Win98. Fdisk seems to needlessly puts the scare in us. However, if this seems confusing to you ...STOP!!! Backup your data, and find somebody that knows what they are doing. If you have formatted your drive without fdisk...then you haven't done a real format at all. Print this page before starting, to make your life a whole lot easier.

Make sure you have a Win98 boot disk. If not, make a boot disk before you do anything. You can do this from the Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel, in Windows. This makes the process painless compared to Win95 when it comes time to reload Windows, which you will need access to the CDROM. When you boot to the floppy, you will be given the option of loading CDROM support.

  • Boot to the floppy

  • at the A: prompt, type fdisk

  • when asked if you want large disk support, say yes

  • select the option to delete partition or logical drive
    (if you have more than one partition, you will need to delete the logical first then repeat the same for other partitions until it says NO partitions defined)

  • you now have NO partitions

  • now select option #1, to create a new partition

  • you will get a question asking if you want to use the full capacity for one partition 
    (this is usually a matter of preference anymore, since Windows is handling the space more efficiently now)

  • if you just want one big partition, say yes. Fdisk will run through the motions and when done, give you a message that you must reboot before the disk will be usable.
    (if you want more than one partition, eg. you want C and D drives, you would select no and when asked, type in the amount of the space you want for C drive. (don't cut yourself short on space as Windows will slowly bloat as more programs are added in time.) Then repeat the process for the other partitions you want to add. The easy way is to enter a % such as 50%.)

  • reboot to the floppy with CDROM support

  • at the A: prompt type D: 
    (or whatever letter was assigned if you have multiple partitions)

  • type cd win98

  • type format C: /s
    (/s will transfer the system files to the hard drive after the format, making your drive bootable.)

 
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Updated 07/06/04

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