on a win98se machine i have, i added a seagate st33232a (3227mb) hard drive. it was a pull from a broken server we had at work. i believe it may have had windows for workgroups installed.

the hard drive was installed as a slave on the secondary ide controller and the system booted and cmos altered to reflect the additional drive.

in the windows environment fdisk can be found in the "command" folder within "windows" folder.

fdisk will prompt you to select the fixed drive to examine for partitions and logical drives. the existing drive is fixed drive 1, as it holds the active partition that boots the system.

the new-to-me drive was previously formatted with fat16 and had a non-dos partition - perhaps ntfs as win98se cannot recognise ntfs. i deleted all partitions and created a new one.

i was prompted to restart the machine and found that the new drive was waiting, simply labelled d:, in the my computer window.

i attempted to format the drive by right-clicking the drive's icon and specifying that i wanted system files copied too, but was told that i had to run a "thorough" check in scandisk first.

785,699 clusters later, i check the drive and find the system files had been copied.

i shut down the pc, replace the primary master disk with the newly formatted drive, reboot and update the cmos, only to get a message saying that the pc could not boot as no system files were found, replace with a valid system disk blah blah.

this was because fdisk can only make the primary partition of fixed drive 1 an active partition.

(if you remember, the new hard drive, when i was setting the partitions was fixed drive 2.)

i did not mentiuon this earlier as i thought it might confuse the issue.

i restarted the pc using the win98 install cd, selected to boot from the cd when prompted, then selected to boot with cd-rom support but not run windows 98 setup.

had i required the format command i would have required to run win98 setup as it is created in the ramdrive during boot.

from the a:\> prompt i typed fdisk, chose to use large disk support (which i had also done before - large disk support is fdisk's way of asking if the drive[s] will be formatted using fat or fat32) and finally chose to set the active partition.

i was prompted to restart the machine again and removed the windows 98 cd.

the pc boot to the c:\> prompt as expected as the drive had been formatted earlier with system files.