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Partition a Hard Drive using Fdisk and Format

The steps below show the procedure for formatting and partitioning your new, additional hard drive.

IMPORTANT: ALL data/programs will be lost when performing this operation! (This only applies to the drive that you are working with.)

NOTE: If you are replacing an old or broken hard disk with a new one, the procedure is the same as below, except that you would need to boot your computer from a floppy system disk that contains the FDISK utility.

  1. Completely exit Windows and go to the DOS prompt. Do not use the DOS prompt icon.
  2. Type: FDISK and press [Enter].
  3. Choose option #5 to Change current fixed disk drive to the drive you wish to work with. The first drive in the system is the C: drive, so if you have added a new drive, select drive 2 to begin working with it.
  4. Choose option #4 to Display partition information. Take note of all the partitions listed, including partition number and Type. Press [Esc] to continue. If there is more than one partition listed, do the following:
    4a. Choose option #3 to Delete partition....
    4b. Based on the Type of the partitions that you noted in Step #4, select #1-4 for deleting the appropriate partitions.
    4c. When finished deleting all partitions, press [Esc] to return to the FDISK Options menu.
  5. Choose option #1 to Create DOS partition....
  6. Choose option #1 to Create Primary DOS partition or you can choose #2 to Create an Extended DOS Partition. An extended DOS partition cannot be bootable.
    Then enter the size that you wish to set for that drive, either in megabytes or as a percentage, and return to the FDISK Options menu.

    Only perform steps 7-9 if you are creating more than one partition on your hard disk. Otherwise, skip to step 10.
  7. Choose option #1 to Create DOS partition....
  8. Choose option #3 to Create Logical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition. Again, FDISK will offer the rest of the hard disk as the size. Each additional partition will be given a drive letter starting with the letter "D".
  9. Press <Esc> and exit FDISK.
  10. Go to DOS prompt and format the new drive(s). Use the following command:

    FORMAT drive: /U
  11. Enter the command DIR for each new drive to verify that the drive is accessible. Since the drive has just been formatted, you will not see any files listed, but the header information is sufficient to verify that the drive can be accessed.
  12. Reboot the computer to verify everything is working properly.

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