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Unable to Re- Format HDD.

by newbie2004 / October 7, 2004 12:57 AM PDT

I have tried to re-format my HDD. I consistently get the following on-screen:
Microsoft RAMdrive version 3.06 virtual disk E
Disk Size: 2048K
Sector Size: 512 bytes
Allocation unit 2 sectors
Directory entries 64
Preparing to start your computer
This may take a few minutes.Please wait.
The diagnostic tools were successfully loaded to drive E.
To view HELP, type HELP and then press ENTER.
A:\> ( I type)FORMAT C
Parameter format not correct - C.

I have consistently been getting this response.
Please help!
My computer is an un-branded model.
Two HDD's
1) Primary master Quantum Fireball P ASI0.2
2) Primary slave Samsung SV1021D
two CD drives Sec. master Creative CD-RW
Prim slave Atapi CDRom.
OS Windows ME ver 4.90.3000
My Boot sequence is A,C,SCSI.

I am trying to re-format my prim. master Quantum.

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(NT) (NT) Try Typing: FORMAT C: With Colon Punctuation
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 7, 2004 1:00 AM PDT
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Re: (NT) Try Typing: FORMAT C: With Colon Punctuation
by newbie2004 / October 7, 2004 1:23 AM PDT

Sorry tried all permutations of positioning the Colon Permutation.

My problem started after I ran this FOC anti-virus AVAST and deleted a bundle of ?infected files.

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Is 'C' Recognized At All ?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 7, 2004 2:29 AM PDT

At the A:\> prompt, type "C:", then press the Enter key. If the partition is fine, then C: will be recognized and you'll see a C:\> prompt. If that is there, then type a DIR and see if any directories are shown.

As Bill describes below, using a Windows 98 or WinME bootdisk should allow you to repartition, (if necessary) then reformat the drive.

Hope this helps.


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Re: Unable to Re- Format HDD.
by billzhills / October 7, 2004 2:19 AM PDT

1. FDISK the drive and see what your partitions are.
Should have Primary DOS partition set active.

2. What boot disk are you using?
"C" "C:" "C:\" possible combinations

3. From M/B Primary IDE connector -> middle connector to slave drive -> end cable to master drive. Jumpers should be master/slave.


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Re: Unable to Re- Format HDD.
by newbie2004 / October 8, 2004 2:44 AM PDT

Dear Grif & Bill,
Finally managed to re-format the HDD.
Now, having problems installing OS Windows ME.
Will be hopefully, able to resume the installation on Sunday morning, your time.
Will detail the problems I keep encountering on trying to install the OS.
Thank you,
Warm regards,
Very happy weekend,

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Try this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 8, 2004 2:57 AM PDT
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Re: Try this.
by newbie2004 / October 10, 2004 2:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Try this.

Hi Guys,
I'm back.
Tried UBD every which way and
After..... verifying DMI pool data .....
Invalid System Disk
Replace the Disk and then press any key.

After re-formating each time and then re-booting
No:2 without CD-ROM Support
Please while setup initializes
......perform routine check on your system
to continue press ENTER

Dialog box Scandisk checked foll drives
Drive D no errors
" E no errors
Another dialog box
System Error
cannot read from drive C
clicked on CANCEL

after checking system

Message SU0013
Setup cannot create files on your startup drive for Windows M Edition.
If you have HPFS or Windows NT file system, you need to create an MS DOS boot partition. If you have LANtastic server or superSTOR Compression, disable it before running setup.
Exit setup

This is what I keep encountering.
Please Help.
Thank You for your Patience with this novice.

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So why not the easy way?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 10, 2004 2:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Try this.

I could use FDISK to remove the partitions, create new ones from a DOS boot diskette from

Then I could boot that diskette again and format C:/S

I don't see you doing the hard drive preparation. Why?


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(NT) (NT) /S switch doesn't work with ME
by TONI H / October 10, 2004 6:37 AM PDT
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Re: (NT) /S switch doesn't work with ME
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 10, 2004 6:41 AM PDT


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Re: Unable to Re- Format HDD.
by datalookup / October 10, 2004 7:55 PM PDT

Here is a suggestion, on a working computer,go to the site and download the Windows98 SE bootdisk creator. Copy the Files to a blank floppy and label it 98 Bootdisk. Put this disk in the floppy drive and boot the computer. At the boot menu,select Start Computer Without CDROM Support. When it gets to the A:\ prompt, type format: c: /s and press Enter. Press "Y" to start the formatting process. Have your Windows 98 CD handy with the Product Key and all of the driver disks for your computer. Good Luck with a Clean Install of Windows 98. Write back if there are any unforseen errors.

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Re: Unable to Re- Format HDD.
by datalookup / October 10, 2004 8:09 PM PDT

Disregard my previous post, it's for installing WIN 98 (OOPS). You are working with Windows ME. Did you try creating a new WIN ME bootdisk? If so, normally you would first create your partitions. But, seeing that you haven't mentioned anything about them they must still be intact. Boot the computer with the Win ME boot disk and select start Computer Without CDROM Support. At the A:\ prompt, Type format: c: The "/s" switch does not work with Win ME. After the C: drive is formatted, continue to format the rest of the partitions, e.g. format: d: etc. Good luck.

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Re: Unable to Re- Format HDD.
by newbie2004 / October 11, 2004 1:16 AM PDT

Hi Guys,
Am back to bug you guys with my problem.
Did not prepare HDD re- fdisk, as am not familiar and there are ?no partitions on this HDD.
My computer has two HDD's.
Both 10GB.
Trying to re-format and install on drive C.
Earlier a Techie had installed MS DOS and ONLY THEN Windows ME.
This disk is 10GB( actuality 10.2GB)
FDisk shows 9.723GB on drive C.
Does this mean ?there is a partition.
Please correct if I'm wrong:
I intend to run FDisk to delete any partitions
THEN format
THEN boot and install MS DOS
THEN boot and install WinME

I hope this will work,if there is a partition accounting for the approx. 500MB, please help.
Are the MS DOS and WIN ME installed on the same drive?
Thank You,

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Re: Unable to Re- Format HDD.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 11, 2004 1:32 AM PDT

"I intend to run FDisk to delete any partitions
THEN format
THEN boot and install MS DOS
THEN boot and install WinME"

I'd do this instead...

"I intend to run FDisk to delete any partitions
run FDisk to create the partitions I want
THEN format
THEN boot and install WinME"


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You don't have to use FDISK
by TONI H / October 11, 2004 2:04 AM PDT

on the C: drive. It's already set up with one partition using the whole drive. The size you stated is correct for a 10GB drive, so all you have to do is use your bootdisk for ME, enable cdrom support when asked, then at the A: prompt type FORMAT C:

When that is done, type F: at the A: prompt again....or type R: and press Enter. Depending on which bootdisk you use, the cdrom drive letter will be different so when you get the screen asking to enable cdrom support watch it carefully to see what drive letter gets assigned for the cdrom and use that letter.

Once you change to that cdrom drive letter, put in the ME cd and type SETUP.......the install will begin. Make sure you have the Product Code/Key number handy because you will need it during the installation.


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Re: You don't have to use FDISK
by newbie2004 / October 12, 2004 4:09 AM PDT

Hi Guys
Followed the path, took me in deeper.
Problem found:
Tried to use Scandisk's Fix-It.
Stopped at about 25%
Another Screen stating the FAT media byte is missing,
among other problems.

Sorry Guys, it's 2A.M. time to hit the sack.
Will review my written notes and make another post tomorrow of the other problems.

Basically unable to SETUP as drive C has problems.
Will re-installing the MS-DOS give me a cure.
Please advise.
Thank you,
Kind regards,

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Re: You don't have to use FDISK
by newbie2004 / October 14, 2004 3:48 AM PDT

Hi Guys,
Problem solved.
HAD to run FDisk to create a primary DOS partition i.e. creating a partition of my whole HDD.
then format.
Then re-boot with cd-rom support to install Win ME.
worked like a whiz.
Next problem, cant get proper colors on desktop,try as I may, only 16-colors.
Please help.
Thank You,

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Re: You don't have to use FDISK
by Tman1 / October 14, 2004 4:25 AM PDT

Find out the brand/model of the video card, then download the drivers from the manufacturer's website and install the drivers.

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Re: You don't have to use FDISK
by newbie2004 / October 16, 2004 12:49 AM PDT

Finally did remember, video card was manufactured by s3 Graphics.
did the necessary and the color's and choice available are fine.
Thank you,
Wish a very happy weekend,

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Yep, You'll Need Drivers For ALL Hardware
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 14, 2004 4:33 AM PDT

.....Soundcard, video card, modem, ethernet, etc. If the computer came preinstalled with Windows ME, then it's possible that you have a driver CD, or "resource" CD that will contain the drivers. If not, then you'll need to hunt them all down on the net, as "Tman" mentioned above.

Hope this helps.


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DEBUG to ID video card
by TONI H / October 14, 2004 5:08 AM PDT


An easy way to discover what the actual video card is is by using good old DEBUG as follows:

Open a command prompt (DOS window)

Type DEBUG and Press the Enter/Return key

You will get a little hyphen prompt ( - )

Type DC000:35 and Press the Enter/Return key

You will get several lines of numbers with readable text in a column on the right edge of the screen.

Depending on the card you will probably have another hyphen prompt at the bottom. Type D and press the Enter/Return key (you may need to do this a couple times until you have seen enough in the text column to identify the card.

When done and ready to quit type Q and Press the Enter/Return key to return to the normal DOS Prompt.

This is what it will look like:

C000:0030 08 00 00-30 33 2F 32 37 2F 30 30 ...03/27/00
C000:0040 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
C000:0050 E9 AD 08 00 02 11 46 10-E9 37 19 E9 3F 19 50 4D ......F..7..?.PM
C000:0060 49 44 58 00 5B 00 00 00-00 A0 00 B0 00 B8 00 C0 IDX.[...........
C000:0070 00 5B FF 7F 4E 56 00 05-01 D8 1A 80 03 17 05 02 .[..NV..........
C000:0080 00 00 00 00 E4 01 E0 02-60 01 F8 04 00 00 00 00 ........`.......
C000:0090 B5 00 50 00 3A 11 71 28-45 88 9F 88 2D 89 E2 88 ..P.:.q(E...-...
C000:00A0 F6 88 71 03 94 03 6D 89-00 01 01 00 3F 3E 37 36 ..q...m.....?>76
C000:00B0 00 00 00 00 00 .....
C000:00B0 4E 56 49-44 49 41 20 54 4E 54 32 NVIDIA TNT2
C000:00C0 20 4D 6F 64 65 6C 20 36-34 20 56 47 41 20 42 49 Model 64 VGA BI
C000:00D0 4F 53 0D 0A 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 OS..............
C000:00E0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
C000:00F0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
C000:0100 00 00 00 00 00 00 56 65-72 73 69 6F 6E 20 32 2E ......Version 2.
C000:0110 30 35 2E 34 2E 31 37 2E-30 33 0D 0A 00 43 6F 70
C000:0120 79 72 69 67 68 74 20 28-43 29 20 31 39 39 36 2D yright (C) 1996-
C000:0130 31 39 39 39 20 1999

***************as you can see from this example, the video card is identified as Nvidea TNT2, 64.......your's will be different, I'm sure.

Once you have that information, you can then go to that mfr site and download the correct drivers and install them.

As Grif mentioned, you will need to identify all your other hardware, too, and also get the latest drivers for them while you're on the net.

A good program to get that will identify everything for you is called BELARC and you can either download the program free from their site or you can run an online scan directly from their site to get the information.

BELARC Hardware ID:

This one is FREE. Run it on line, D/L or copy to a floppy (500K+). Anyone who is wondering what is in their machine should find this useful.

The "Belarc Advisor" is useful, and free for personal use. It "builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware." It runs on Windows 95/98/Me, NT 4, Windows 2000 and XP, and in just a minute or so, creates a local web page (one that resides on your PC--- nothing is sent back to Belarc). The page contains a rundown of all the hardware in and attached to your system, plus information on all the installed software including license and version numbers. Makes a handy reference.


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Re: DEBUG to ID video card
by newbie2004 / October 16, 2004 1:00 AM PDT
In reply to: DEBUG to ID video card

Hi Guys,
Thank you for the Belarc.
Thank you for all your care, guidance, concern, promptness and most importantly your PATIENCE in helping this novice.
Now, so far so good.
Till the next problem,
Warm regards,
Will still be following all the posts on this forum.

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I'm glad we could all help and
by TONI H / October 16, 2004 8:55 AM PDT

we were all newbies at one point and the patience of others helped us get to where we can help others now.

As newer technology keeps coming out, we'll still be newbies no matter what anyhow. LOL


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