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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,


My PC is well overdue for a clean Windows installation, and I've decided to re-format my hard drive with multiple partitions. I've tried a few searches on this forum and can't find a thread dealing specifically with my needs, so here is my question-


Can anyone point me towards a good guide for formatting and partitioning a HDD? (Sorry if it seems like a dumb question, but I've never had to do this before and don't want to 'kill' anything. :))


Also, any guides on creating a "dual boot" setup would be appreciated.


Thanks,


-Bon


P.S. I apologise for this not being specifically HTPC-related... if I should be asking elsewhere, please point me towards a different forum.
 

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There are different ways to do it, but here is what ~I~ do on Win98SE:


1> Boot into Win98SE with an existing system

disk and the new drive as a 2nd drive.

2> start->run-> "command" (to get a DOS window)

3> MSDOS> fdisk

4> option 5 to select the new drive

5> option 1 to create a dos partition

6> option 2 (I think) to start creating

sub-partitions inside

7> Exit DOS window and reboot the machine

8> When it comes back up select "my computer"

and you should see a new drive letter(s).

If you right click on them you can pick

"format". You need to do a "full" format

on a new disk.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the help, but what do you mean by "new drive"?


I only have one hard drive, and I want to format that into three partitions. I'm happy to wipe it clean if that's necessary (as I will be backing up all my important data first).


Maybe I'm trying to do something that isn't possible, but here's what I'd ideally like to have:


Part. 1 - general Win98SE installation (all software/drivers, all PC functions)

Part. 2 - secondary Win98SE installation (minimal installation, strictly for HTPC use)

Part. 3 - data storage


Do I need two separate hard drives to have two separate Windows installations, or can I "dual boot" from two partitions?


By the way, this isn't a dedicated HTPC. Currently, it's not equipped for serious HT purposes, but I will be upgrading it over the next few months, and in the meantime would like to experiment with the dedicated partition.


Thanks again,


-Bon
 

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OOh - reformatting your existing system disk

without starting over from scratch... That

is much more difficult.


Unless you backup all your data and restore

it after a complete reformat (and you have floppy/

cdrom to boot from) you will need to use some

3rd party software to try to do what you want.


Try looking for information on a product

called "Partition Magic". It can manage

multiple boot paritions and (I think)

can modify partitioning on a system disk

that has already been installed.


Be careful! Backups are a good idea if

playing with disk partitions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks like I gave you the wrong idea. :)


I'm happy to completely re-format the hard drive and lose all data (if that's what you mean by "starting from scratch"). I plan on backing up all my important data first.


Will I need to purchase any software to do what I'm trying to do?


I've heard of this "Partition Magic" program, but I was hoping I could do it without buying any software (since I'm unlikely to be doing this kind of thing on a regular basis). However, if it's really going to be worthwhile, I'll happily consider purchasing it. How much does it go for?


Thanks again. I appreciate the help.


-Bon
 

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Hello Bon,


If you want to do a clean install, I would make a Win98SE Startup disk first, making sure it contains Fdisk and Format.com after you make the boot up floppy. Boot your pc making sure it boots from the floppy drive first (you may have to enter the BIOS screen to boot from the floppy first rather than the C drive). Once you boot from the floppy, type fdisk and hit the enter key. Fdisk will give you a menu. I'm sure there are many ways to do this but since you will want 3 partititions on your single hd, I would delete your present partition and then create a primary active partition and then an extended partition with 2 logical partitions within that extended partition. You can make the primary and first logical partition any size you want so long as it will have adequate space to contain the OSs and program files. After you create those partititions, reboot and then format each partititions separately. I do not know if you can have 2 Win98SE partitions without using additional software like Bootmagic from Powerquest or System Commander or other boot manager software. I know you can have dual or triple boot if you are using Win98SE/2K/XP together or WinMe/2K/XP together without additional software. Others may know of a trick to have 2 Win98SE installs working independently on 2 separate partitions without additional software.


Have Fun,


Rick
 

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Bon,


Do what Rick said with fdisk.


Just a couple notes: When you create your primary partition, it will ask you if you want to use all available space and set the partition to active. Say No. Then enter the size you want your drive to be (ex. 2000 for 2GB). You may then have to physically set that partition active from the menu (can't remember specifically). Then when you create your logical drive, it will ask you if you want to use all available space for the logical drive. Say Yes. It will then allow you to create extended partions within the logical drive. Make them whatever size you want. It should allow you to enter percentages for drive sizes, too: 33% primary, 33% extended1, 34% extended2 (or whatever).


Oh, and when fdisk first starts it will ask you if you want to enable large drive support. Just say Yes to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, guys. This has been really helpful.


I've done some more searching around (both on this forum and elsewhere), and yes, I definitely will need additional software to have twin Win9X installations. I'm currently looking at XOSL (freeware).


Another thing... my Win98 CD is the OEM version. Am I able to use this for dual installations?


Thanks,


-Bon
 

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I recently discovered an excellent website providing well written guides for what you want.


Especially check out :


Radified Guide to Hard Drive Partitioning Strategies


Backup with Norton Ghost


These guides provide many links for further information.


http://radified.com/index2.html


Slobbie
 
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