Re: messed up partition table reinstalling windows 98

Alex Janssen wrote:
j arwood said the following on 04/29/2007 07:30 PM:
Hey Folks,

This is kinda off topic, but I'm not really all that familiar with DOS's
fdisk or the mbr and thought someone her could lend a hand

I have a client whose Windows ME crashed, so I thought we'd try her on
Ubuntu. She's decided that she really doesn't want to screw with the
learning curve, and wants to reinstall 98SE (the only install disk she
has) then upgrade to XP (yeah I know, I know).

I booted up her system using the 98 floppy, ran fdisk and deleted the
non DOS partitions thinking that would get things rockin' for the 98
setup cd. NOT!

She has an 8 GB HDD and now fdisk is only showing 2 partitions:
Partition 1 as an Extended DOS partition 353 MB
Partition 2 as a Primary DOS partition 24 MB With a status of A (active
I'm assuming)

it Then goes on to say:
Total disk space is 8056 MB (which should be correct for a 8 GB drive)
The Extended DOS Partition contains Logical DOS Drives

when I display the logical drive info I get:
No logical drives defined
Total Extended DOS partition size is 353 MB

I then decided to try booting from an Ubuntu live cd to completely wipe
the drive and try again. When the CD tries to boot, I get a grub error 22.

Looks like there's some kind of bootloader (grub/mbr) issues at hand.

Anyone able to help me out to help this lady out?

Just run fdisk and delete all partitions, if you don't want what is on
them, and create a single primary partition less than 32 GB, check the
limits on Win98. Reboot the computer and format the new partition.
Then run the Win 98 Install.

If you have the Win XP upgrade disk, don't bother installing Win 98.
Just start with the XP upgrade. It will prompt you to put in the Win 98
CD to verify that you qualify for an upgrade then continue with the install.

Too bad you can't talk her into trying Ubuntu. My sister's the same
way. She knows Windows and is afraid of learning something new. She
wants others to be able to jump right in there and get something working
and nobody in her real estate world knows anything about GNU Linux. The
computer, to her, is an appliance. It had better just work. Not that
GNU Linux doesn't work. Maybe your client's the same.

As soon as MS drops support for XP, I am poised to start installing GNU
Linux, Ubuntu, in it's place. I've had everybody in my company using
T-bird, Firefox and for over a year, now. They'll hardly
know they've switched. Company users I talk to say they don't care what
the o.s. is as long as they can still do their work.

Good luck,

Thanks, Alex.

The tip on the upgrade will save a chunk of time.

The only problem I have with fdisk (aside from the fact that DOS fdisk
really, well, sucks) is that it's refusing to delete the two partitions.
I guess I should have said that in my OP. mea culpa.

I really don't know if the problem is in the bootloader or the fact that
the Extended part is before the Primary part, but after a lot of changes
of phrasing with Google, I finally did find a couple of apps I added to
the 98 boot disk that claim to wipe out all bootloaders and the FAT
parts. Here's the link for any folks who may run into similar problems.
Wipe8 and Zap63:


Found thru <> for my fellow Mac users who may
know yaboot, Open Firmware and Mac's Bootx that may be clueless when it
comes to PC hardware.

Thanks again.

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