General discussion

I'm out of ideas!

While trying to defrag a Win98 PII 400MHG with 192MB ram, and 4.3GB the system crashed and it looks like the FAT table is scrambled. Nothing we could do short of formatting the original hard drive worked. We tried to re-install windows but during the Scandisk startup, it found numerous errors and eventually ran out of disk space. We delete all non-essential data and programs and tried again but scandisk again found numerous errors and ran out of disk space. We don't want to format this drive because the data is hard to replace and isn't backed up. We can access the subdirectories thru dos though.

We tried to install a second hard drive and install windows on the second hard drive but the system wouldn't recognize the second hard drive.

Removing the original hard drive created more problems. Thinking we could format the second hard drive, we removed the original and only had the second drive. I formatted the harddrive adding the system and went to fdisk. In fdisk, it showed this disk as the second, not the first but I didn't think too much of it. I set it up as a primary partition, FAT32, and everything looked good.

Now looking at drive C: we have the root directory and the system on the hard drive. When we try to boot to this drive we get "no operating system found". When I boot from a Win98 Floppy, and enable cd-rom support, I can access drive C: easily.

At this point I decided to install Win98 from the CD-rom but I received the following message.

Error SU0013
Setup could not create files on your startup drive and cannot set up Windows. If you have HPFS or Windows NT file system, you must create an MS-DOS boot partition. If you have LANtastic server or SuperStor compression, disable it before running Setup. See SETUP.TXT on Setup Disk 1 or the Windows CD-ROM.

After looking this up in google, I have done everything suggested in the microsoft knowlege base but I'm still at a loss.

I believe the problem points back to fdisk and the current disk being number 2 instead of number one.

How can I make this the primary disk (the bios shows only one hard drive)? Is there an easier way to correct my original problem with the first disk.

Sorry it's so long but I'm tired after working long hours and getting flustered with my mom's computer.

Should I nuke' it?

Thanks in advance,

Denny Jones

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Time for a KNOPPIX.

At they were able to use a KNOPPIX CD to boot and backup to CDR and networks. Even if you can't boot the KNOPPIX CD, you can boot the KNOPPIX kickstart diskette and it gets the rest from CD.

After you use either a network or CDR to secure the data, then you can wipe the drive and try again. Or find some 20 dollar drives to replace the failed unit.

Figure 5 years and it may be too far gone.


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Re: Time for a KNOPPIX.

We're taking your advice. Just ordered a reconditioned 10GB WD drive from Computer Geeks. Thanks so much for your help.

Denny Jones
Davison, MI

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Re: I'm out of ideas!

It's rather optimistic to think your data from the old hard disk, with a scrambled FAT and numerous scandisk errors on it, can be retrieved. Some of it, maybe. Without backup, a lot may be lost forever.

If there's only one hard disk, it should be configured as a master on the first IDE. Easy to check in the BIOS if that's the case. Then use Fdisk to make a FAT32 on it, format it, and use a Windows 98 boot diskette to install Windows 98 on it. This shouldn't give problems if the hardware is OK.

Then with Windows 98 running, see what data you still can get off the old one, configured as, say, a slave on the first IDE (or if you like, master on the second IDE, which doesn't matter at all).


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Re: I'm out of ideas!

Thanks for your suggestions. After work we'll tackle it again using your suggestions.


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Re: I'm out of ideas!

We reconnected the original hard drive and it still has a phantom 4 gig drive in addition to the original hard drive and the one we added (based upon running Fdisk). I don't know where the phantom drive is coming from. I think that this means that replacing the drive will not work until we get rid of the phantom drive.


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You mean to say ...

that you have a system with 2 hard disks pysically, the same 2 hard disks mentioned in the BIOS, while FDISK /status (run from a boot diskette) states there are three? Mind, I'm speaking of disks, not of partitions on them.
I can't believe it. But if it is, certainly something with the machine is wrong. It's not a Windows 98 problem, because the OS that is on those disks doesn't matter at all.


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Re: You mean to say ...

That's the jest of what I'm trying to say. We have two hard drives installed but when we run fdisk, it shows three! We haven't been able to remove the first disk (which isn't physically there) regardless of how we configure the system; adding or removing hard drives.



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Re: You mean to say ...

FDISK is easily confused by other IDE devices. Or failed hardware.

When faced with this one, I'll get shiny new 80 conductor IDE cables, set all drives to Cable Select, then place one hard per cable on the Master connector and use both IDE channels (one per drive.) The reason is simple. Some IDE drives will never work on the same channel. This will confuse people, but the brutal legacy of IDE is that no where did Seagate test to see if their product work with all Maxtor drives...


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Re: You mean to say ...

1. Please. This I have to see. Either start the computer to the MS-DOS prompt, or click Start, Programs, MS-DOS Prompt and at the command line, type the following and then press Enter.

fdisk /status

2. When the screen is displayed, click the MS-DOS icon in the upper left-hand side in the colored bar, and then select Edit, Mark with the mouse. Move the mouse cursor to the upper-left margin where you see a line of information written from having executed the line above. Press the left mouse button to lock the cursor there (Y). Move the mouse cursor then to a point to the lower right-margin (X) being sure that everything above would be included when this square is drawn, which results when you click.

3. Press the Enter key, type exit, and then press Enter to return to Windows. Or, you could simply click the X in the ULHC to close DOS.

Note: The information which was in the drawn square was copied to the Clipboard and may be pasted anywhere as long and it remain in there. Copy this to a forum message for my information please.

Bill Gaston

Pardon ma ACKsent, ah'm frum Austin, Tex_As, USA

....its been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies.
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I'm confused.....

"Error SU0013
Setup could not create files on your startup drive and cannot set up Windows. If you have HPFS or Windows NT file system, you must create an MS-DOS boot partition. If you have LANtastic server or SuperStor compression, disable it before running Setup. See SETUP.TXT on Setup Disk 1 or the Windows CD-ROM."

By this error, it appears that when you set up the harddrive, you used the installation disk that came with the drive and installed ezdrive/ezbios on the harddrive when you probably didn't need this bios disk manager program.

I would do the following:

1. Remove the original harddrive and put it off to the side temporarily.

2. Download a program called DELPART and put it on a floppy disk. Then boot up the computer using the W98SE bootdisk, put the DELPART floppy disk into the drive after you get to the A: prompt, then type delpart.exe and press enter so that the program will run.

3. Now delete ALL partitions on that new drive that it shows are there....remove the floppy disk, replace it with the W98SE bootdisk again, and reboot the computer.

4. FDISK and FORMAT as instructed below:

Have your older version windows installation disks handy if your Windows is an upgrade because you will need proof during the installation that you are eligible for the upgrade and have your product key code (ID) # handy so you can enter that information also during the installation. If you still have your old harddrive installed at this point, and need the ID number, go to RUN type REGEDIT and click the plus mark in front of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SOFTWARE then MICROSOFT then WINDOWS and now click Current Version...scroll until you find the Product ID number (you will need this for W95) and the Product Code Key (you will need this number for ALL later versions of windows). Use a magic marker and write the number you need either on the cd itself or on the boot disk so that it will always be available.

Again, if your old harddrive is still available, save to disk (floppy, zip drive, or cd if you have a cdrw) all files that you want to be able to restore later on. The CONTENTS of your Favorites folder (not the folder itself), email messages, address book (only the .wab and .wa~ files), data you have personally created, zip downloads so you don't have to hunt for them again, mp3 files you may have downloaded, etc. Go through your C: drive folder by folder in Explorer to make sure you don't forget anything. Any programs you have installation disks don't worry about because you will have to reinstall them again anyhow. Make sure you have the correct info in Dial Up Networking for your ISP icon written down somewhere so you can get back on the net, too.

Now... The instructions below include the FDISK instructions to do that before you can format the drive or drives....if you only have your C: drive and you want to keep it that way, you'll be fine. Formatting the drive and how long it takes to do it will depend on the size of your harddrive itself. Installation of Windows will take about 30-40 minutes.

Have your hardware installation disks handy for anything that windows doesn't have drivers for and can't install for go into Device Manager and click the plus mark in front of your hardware to get the manufacturer and model numbers of what you have. Then go to or or or or or and log in using 'drivers' as the username and 'all' as the password...look alphabetically for your manufacturers or your part/model numbers and then download the newest drivers for your hardware ahead of time. Burn these to cd or save to other media or harddrives also.

The first thing you have to do is to change the jumper for the harddrive to Master with Slave if your cdrom or another harddrive is attached to the same cable....otherwise jumper it for Master or Single (WD drives are prejumpered to be a Master already...meaning NO jumpers are required so they have them offset on the pins; they only give you the jumpers in case you need them). Once all connectors and cables are securely attached (the large gray cable has to have the red/black line down the side attach to the number 1 pin on both the motherboard and on the back of the harddrive and the newer 80-wire cables are color coded and must be connected properly....the blue end goes on the motherboard, the black end goes to the Master device, and the grey middle connector goes to the Slave device if there is one). Then boot up the computer and press whatever key you need to in order to get into your Bios SETUP (usually the DEL key). Once there, use the keyboard arrow keys to get to the auto hdd detection program and press Enter and it will run Y for yes if the size of the drive is seen correctly and then press Y for all other drive information for the other IDE controllers even though they will say zeros (you may not get that particular window for choices on newer bioses so if the harddrive and cdrom are showing on those motherboard bioses, you're fine). Once that is finished, use the ESC key to leave there and then go to Save and Exit. Have your boot disk in the drive because when you press Y to Save, the computer will reboot by itself. If your bios can't see the whole harddrive, you will have to use the ezdrive/ezbios program that comes with the DataLifeguard download to install the bootmanager program and it will walk you through all of the following steps to setup the drive and install windows on it....but only use this disk if your bios can't see the whole drive.

Use the boot disk for the operating system you want to put on the harddrive (if you need one that gives you cdrom support go to or and download one now and make sure you get the right version for the windows that you will be putting on the harddrive and then extract that file to a temporary folder on your harddrive somewhere, read the readme file to know how to create the disk, then put a floppy disk into the drive and follow the instructions from the readme file to get your disk made. If you downloaded the bootdisk and it's an .exe file, you can just click it and it will start to create the bootdisk for you automatically. Also, when you use the bootdisk you downloaded, it will default to being the R: drive for the cdrom, but this is only temporary until you reach the windows desktop.


Once you have booted to the A:, then type FDISK and enable large disk support, and you will get a menu.

First choose to Delete Partitions. If you have existing partitions and want to have just one partition or if you want to change the sizes of those partitions, choose first to Delete the Logical Drives within the Extended partition. Then Delete the Extended Partition. Then Delete the Primary Dos Partition. DO NOT REBOOT...just go back to the Main Menu of Fdisk and do the following now. (If the steps in this paragraph don't work for you, it's usually because the drive is brand new from the factory and no partitioning has been done to it yet, so don't worry about this and go to the next steps instead.)

Create a Primary Dos Partition (if you only want one partition then use the entire drive when asked...if you want more partitions, then type in a certain amount...figure on at least 4000MB for windows and the internet and then make the partition Active by either saying yes when asked or press the ESC key to the main menu and choose #2 to make the partition active. (Less room is needed for this partition in reality; however, I usually use this amount as a safeguard for any programs that still will not install to anywhere except the C: drive and also for the extra files that programs will throw into the C:\Windows and C:\Windows\System folder by default without your knowing about it even if the actual install folder is located on another partition.)

Now, if you want partitions, choose #1 again to create Logical Drives, and then choose #3 to create an Extended Partition and when asked use the balance of the drive to do this. Press the ESC key and you will be asked about creating Logical Drives within that Extended Partition...say yes and create the Logical Drives using parts of the balance of the drive for each partition you want to create. Make note of the drive letters being assigned.

Use the ESC key to get out of Fdisk and back to the A: prompt and reboot with the same floppy disk to make the changes take effect...and this time Enable CDROM support when asked.

If you have a restore/recovery disk and Master cd from your vendor for your type of computer and if you haven't changed any of the hardware since you bought it new, you should use those disks to do what you want at this point. However, if you have separate installation disks for Windows and your hardware and no master restore/recovery disks, then, again, at the A: prompt, now type FORMAT C: /S (NOTE: the /S switch doesn't work with WinME so leave it off) to get the boot drive ready to receive data. When you are finished with the C: drive, now type FORMAT D: then FORMAT E: etc. for the logical drives you created.

Now if you have enabled the cdrom support, you can change to the cdrom drive (the W98 boot disk will make the drive letter two letters higher than your last partition drive letter but the downloaded bootdisk will be R:), and put your Windows installation cd into the drive and type SETUP....the installation will begin.

Graphical description available here:

5. Once you have this completed and Windows 98SE is installed, come back and let us know so we can take you to the next step of adding your original harddrive back into the picture.


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Re: I'm out of ideas!

Why not scratch from scratch?

Call the Original HDD as OHD and the Second or Spare as SHD, just for easy identification.

1) Install the SHD as the Primary Master. I presume that you know what this is ..... else get back to me.

2) Do a boot from a Floppy and run fdisk/mbr. This should clean up your Master Boot Record.

3) Run Fdisk and Delete ALL partitions - Logical drives on Extended Partition, Extended Partition and Primary Partition; in that order.

4) Create a Primary Partition, say 1.5 GB ( this will take a drive letter C). Create the remaining as an Extended Partition and assign a Logical drive (which will be D).

5) Make Primary Partition (C) active.

6) Reboot.

7) Format C and D drives.

Cool Install Win98 on C.

9) Now the computer should come on normally. If you get stuck anywhere .... get back to me.

10) If step 10 is cleared, then install the OHD.

Please note:
There are 2 IDE connectors in the PC, each can support 2 phepherals. The Primary and Secondary connectors can each have a Master and a Slave unit.

In step 1, SHD was installed as the Primary Master.

If your CD drive is configured as a Slave, configure your OHD as the Secondary Master. If your CD is configured as a Master ( it can be only a Secondary Master!), configure your OHD as a Slave, does'nt matter whether Primary or Secondary.

11) When the computer comes on, both the Hard Drives with their Logical drives must exist. Please note that the D drive will be the First Partition of the OHD.

All the Best


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