Hard drive partitioning

I have one hard drive partitioned into C and D. How can I unpartition (That is, only have C listed)?

How attached to your data are you? If you intend to keep it, you’ll need a product like Partition Magic which can add and remove drive partitions while saving your data. It costs about $50. If you don’t care about your data, or have it backed up and don’t mind reinstalling your OS, you can use FDISK from a boot diskette to repartition your drive.

I wouldn’t mind losing data on the D partition. Would unpartitioning essentially format the disc?

I will probably be formatting it at some point in the future, so data loss isn’t a huge problem.

How exactly would I do this? Step-by Step instructions would be helpful.

What OS are you using? I can’t be too specific without knowing, but basically you make a boot diskette and copy FDISK.COM to it. Shut down your PC and restart it with the boot disk in the A: drive, then follow these instructions. This is assumming a Windows-based OS. Macs, I can’t help with.

I’m using Windows 98 right now. How do I create a boot disk? (I assume I can’t just copy the file to the disk.)

You will lose data on both partitions as you have to delete all partition information and then recombine the drive into 1 large one.

Fdisk is fairly simple to use, delete partitions (from logical, extended etc) then make a new partition using 100% of the available space.

Maybe Q.E.D. will post specifics, I’m too lazy and haven’t touched fdisk in ages.

The quick way to make a boot disk is simply go to your command prompt and type “format a: /s” without the quotes.

Win98 also has a “book disk” maker somewhere in it.

Copy fdisk.com and then book on the disk.

You will get only your command prompt, then from there start up fdisk and start deleting your partitions. After, you will need to format the C: partition and then start reloading the OS.

Haven’t used Win98 in a while, but this should help:

Open an MSDOS Prompt window.

Type: format /?

Should give you the format options. I believe “format a: /s” may be the command to format the floppy and copy the system files needed to make it bootable.
Fdisk is a program w/lots of potential for loss of data, though, so read up. You should back up your important data whenever you mess with partitions. I recommend buying Partition Magic. It’s listed as $70 but you can find it for probably half that.

You should also make sure you really have the stuff to reinstall the operating system. A lot of computers do not come with the windows installation CD they come with recovery disks. These may or may not allow you to install the operating system. It behooves you to find out before you format the drive not after.

Where can I get fdisk.com? Is there a place I can download it?

FDISK.COM should be on your drive. It’s been a while since I’ve used Win98, but if I recall, it’s in the C:\windows\command folder. If not, just use Start menu > Find to search it out.

I’ve done it once before, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Also, I cannot find fdisk.com. I checked c:\windows\command\ and tried find. However, I did find fdisk.exe, will that work?

Yes. I was probably thinking of FORMAT.COM, and confused the extension. Or maybe Microsoft changed to a .exe extension for it. In any case, that’s the thing you want.

To emphasize, using fdisk to repartition your drive will make both partitions unusable. You’ll to reinstall everything from both your C: & D: “drives”.

fdisk is used to manage partions, format is used to make those partions usable.

Use fdisk to delete the partitions, then create a new primary parition that covers the entire disk. This is not a user-friendly experience.

Once that partition has been created, format it, then reinstall Windows & all your stuff. IIRC, if you can boot to your CD, then booting to your Windows 98 CD and letting it setup your C drive will let you skip the formatting step.

Partition magic will let you delete the D: partion and expand the the C: partition to the whole disk and retain your existing data. There’s Linux tools that do this, too, if you have a Geek friend. Those tools are free.

When you make a startup disk, it has all you need on it, fdisk, format, etc. Frankly you’d be better off using an old version of Partition magic or one that fits your OS.

fdisk is pretty risky if you don’t know what youre doing. Try searching for ‘partition’ at download. com & see what you get.

This is wrong. A system disk made with an OS up to and including Win98 has exactly 3 files on it: IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS and COMMAND.COM. Anything else you want on it, you need to copy yourself.

I think he’s talking about making a startup disk, using the Windows utility to do so, not just the sys command which only puts the 3 files (plus the boot sector) on it.

I never liked the boot disks that windows makes. I always start off with just the sys command, which leaves you with a disk just as QED described. Then I put the following files on it:

 Directory of A:\

05/11/1998  07:01p              93,880 COMMAND.COM
05/11/1998  07:01p              69,902 EDIT.COM
05/11/1998  07:01p              10,790 EDIT.HLP
05/11/1998  07:01p              63,900 FDISK.EXE
02/26/1997  01:55a              16,547 MTMCDAI.SYS
02/23/1995  01:20a               5,449 MTMCDAI.386
07/11/1995  09:50a              25,473 MSCDEX.EXE
11/18/2000  01:05p                  28 AUTOEXEC.BAT
05/11/1998  07:01p              49,575 FORMAT.COM
05/11/1998  07:01p              18,967 SYS.COM
11/18/2000  01:01p      <DIR>          cd
05/11/1998  07:01p               3,878 XCOPY.EXE
11/17/2001  01:10p                  51 CONFIG.SYS
05/11/1998  07:01p               3,878 XCOPY32.EXE
05/11/1998  07:01p              41,472 XCOPY32.MOD
              14 File(s)        403,790 bytes
               1 Dir(s)         620,544 bytes free

This is basically just a boot disk with FDISK, FORMAT, SYS, EDIT, XCOPY, and a fairly generic IDE CD ROM driver on it. If you don’t set the disk up with a dos mode CD rom driver, then you have to have a computer capable of booting from CD and also you have to have a bootable CD to install your OS from. There are many versions of windows which do not ship with a bootable CD.

Whenever I install 98, I use XCOPY to copy the install files (everything in the win98 directory and all of its subdirectories) over to the hard drive, then remove the CD and run the setup from there. The advantage of this is that when you install new hardware or change things around, windows looks on the hard drive instead of asking you for the CD, which by then I’ve shoved into a stack with about a million other CDs and can’t remember exactly which version of 98 went with which computer, etc. The disadvantage of course is that you use up a bunch of hard drive space to hold all of the files from the CD.

Ah, that could be. I hardly ever used that either. I have a batch file that I can run to make my boot disks, which I vastly prefer.

Care to share, Q.E.D.?