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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 13th October, 2006, 06:53 PM
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HD formatting issues

I have what I call my FrankenDell: Dell Dimension 2400 with a Celeron 2.6GHZ proc in it. I have pulled the CD-Rom,DVD, and HD out and re-placed them with my own. The BIOS will only let it boot or see a HD labeled C:. I am trying to format a drive to put Win 98 on it, but I can not put a HD in it that has a drive letter other than C:. All my other 6 drives have various drive letters attached to them, my ? is: HOW do I work around the problem?
Thanks in advance for ANY help.
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Old 13th October, 2006, 07:13 PM
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Welcome to AOA, suicidaltendenc! If you used Win2K or WinXP, the boot drive needn't be "C." With Win98, I think you're stuck with "C."
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Old 13th October, 2006, 07:28 PM
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The drive letters are assigned by the OS according to the order in which the drives and partitions are detected.

All DOS based OSen (this includes Windows 3.0, 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, and ME) assign drives in this order, to the best of my knowledge:
  1. Floppy drives get A: and B:
  2. The primary DOS partition on the first detected hard drive gets C:
  3. The primary DOS partition on each additional detected hard drive gets the next available drive letter.
  4. After all primary DOS partitions on all detected drives are assigned, any remaining DOS partitions on the first drive are assigned drive letters, in the order they are discovered on the disk.
  5. After all DOS partitions are assigned drive letters, any storaged device drivers that are loaded get a drive letter assigned according to the order in which they are loaded.

Note that the above information applies to standard versions of the above OSen. OEM versions may change this order, AIUI.

As far as I know, the order mentioned above is substantially the same for NT-based OSen, with the exception that the file system can be any one supported by NT natively (actually, I guess you could say that about 95, 98, and ME also, since they support FAT32).

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Old 13th October, 2006, 07:58 PM
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TY guy's for the quick reply's. As I said I have a FrankenDell, so I'm running a Dell MoBo with all it"s firmware. I have WD 120JB attached with XP on it ( NOT Dell software or HD). The problem is that I want to install 98 on a different HD, and I cannot format the drive thro XP to FAT32,or change the drive letter so it will be seen by the Dell MoBo to format it thro the 98 CD, even with boot from CD is on. I go thro a maddening loop of numerious error msg's relating to:there is no drive detected,cannot install this OS on this drive Blaa..Blaa.., and yes I have set my drive to Cable Select, Master, ect... At my wits end here . Not the smartest being in the circle of computers, but not stupid either, just need to figure this snafu out with a little help.
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Old 13th October, 2006, 08:00 PM
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Are you sure the drive is good?
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Old 14th October, 2006, 12:22 AM
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Works fine with any other OS or HD configuration. Got to the point where it re-booted for the 1st time and it gave me a not enough memory, I have 1.5GB iin it so I'm stumped.
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Old 14th October, 2006, 01:08 AM
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A quick fix:
Unplug all other drives and just leave the one you want for Win98.
Install Windows then plug all drives back in.

You wont have a dual boot menu with this method.
To change which drive boots, change the boot order in the CMOS.
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Last edited by Chernobyl; 14th October, 2006 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 14th October, 2006, 01:35 AM
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Tried that about 1.5G times lol.... This FrankenDell will not SEE ANY HD unless it is drive C:.Most of these drives have been used as storage drives and have letters of D,E,F,or even G(bottom of the chain..lol). Even when I run it as Master w/ my XP HD as slave it will not let me boot the master drive, even from the ing CD, whats up wit that.
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Old 14th October, 2006, 01:45 AM
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If your PC gives a not enough memory error when its plugged in, you have a hardware/BIOS issue.

Reset the CMOs in case it is corrupt .
I assume you have tried other hard drive cables but thought it worth a mention.

This could just be a problem with the memory.
Try using 1 stick of ram then the other and try using a different memory slot too.

edit: pls ignore the above, didnt realise the memory error was in Windows, not on boot.
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Last edited by Chernobyl; 16th October, 2006 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 14th October, 2006, 01:49 AM
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You might need to bite the bullet: A. Buy a new non-Dell mainboard. B. Buy a legit(not inferring that you don't already own it) copy of Win XP. ?? Mainboard sounds better, tbh.
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Old 14th October, 2006, 03:06 AM
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Have legit copy of XP, and gamer buddy (-OGz- BF:42 & BF2 clan) is sending a different MoBo and chip so I guess I'll have to wait to play.
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Old 14th October, 2006, 11:34 AM
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I seem to recall that 'Not enough memory' is an OS issue:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/253912

The dual boot could be tricky - at install time XP provides this option if one of the older systems is already there. Having two active boot partitions will cause problems - one needs to be hidden, in the bios, by disconnecting the cable or by using a boot loader (the XP/NT one or one of the other solutions such as those used for linux).
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Old 14th October, 2006, 06:12 PM
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Just currious, but cant you just use a win98 start up disk, install the drive you want win 98 on as the primary master, boot from floppy, FDISK, and repartition?

That would give you a drive with no letter designation and FAT32 formatting.

I understand all about Dell and it propietary firmware on some computers. I had a drive with a horribly corrupeted win XP instalation on it that I needed to get data off of. I went to my grand daughters Dell and opened it up. It had HDD as primary master and CD Burner/DVD rom combo as secondary master. I pluged the old HDD into primary slave and it would not boot. I tried every configuration I could think of but the computer would not boot if it had the extra drive installed. I had to install the old HDD as secondary master and leave the combo drive uninstalled. Then transfer my files to the C drive, then reinstall the combo drive, then burn my files. PITA.

So when you say the Dell Mobo won't boot because of the drive letter I kind of have to believe you.
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Old 15th October, 2006, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimF
I seem to recall that 'Not enough memory' is an OS issue:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/253912
Nail on head JimF , dropped my mem to 512k and viola!! it worked. Still have small issue but, wit youse guys around who needs to take it to the shop. Going to start over from scratch with a new install and keep a better record of any error msgs. Don't go anywhere fellas I will surely call on you soon enough.

This sure is FUN.

what do the smilies say
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Old 15th October, 2006, 06:43 PM
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Ok. Got as far as loading and runnin it once, but on 1st reboot I got a NDIS error. I tracked it down and found out 98 does not work well with procs over 2.2GHZ (mine is 2.6). Found a hotfix number for it (#KB312108) but cannot find it on MS's site as they quit 98 support on 7/11/06.Does ANYONE know where I can find this hotfix.
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Old 15th October, 2006, 10:37 PM
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Looking at the site I think MS still have a download here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/243199/EN-US

I can't say for sure as I don't run 9x myself anymore.
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Old 16th October, 2006, 12:19 AM
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Once more JimF thanks, now how do I get it on that drive .
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