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Old 04-30-2006, 05:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default GDisk

Hey, this is my first time posting on these forums and hopefully will more often :]

I heard of a utility called Gdisk. A more advanced version of Fdisk that you can get from Norton Ghost. I have Norton Ghost 9.0.
I want to use Gdisk to wipe my hard-drive. I was told that it overwrites all of the files and eliminates Disk slack or where ever there is a deleted file and overwrites it. Im doing this as a project for Computer Forensics and testing if I am able to go back and see files I deleted after using Gdisk. Since when you delete a file It doesnt get deleted off the hard drive but rather deletes the path way to it so the OS cannot see it. It doesn't go away until it is overwritten. To my understanding GDisk Writes a bunch of 0's across the whole Hard drive to overwrite everything after formating it.

First off Im not sure where the Gdisk.exe is in Norton Ghost. Another thing is I geuss Im suppose to make a boot up disk with Gdisk.exe and im not sure of how to do that as well.

If someone could help me with this is would great Thank you :]

Im running XP pro 120 GB hard drive NTFS 3.2 intel pentium 4 processor, 1G of memory.

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Old 04-30-2006, 09:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Introduction to GDisk


You want to know what Ghost's GDisk utility can do and when it can be used in place of the Windows FDisk utility.

GDisk is a DOS command-line utility, GDisk.exe, that includes all the features of FDisk and additional features. Everything you can do with FDisk you can do with GDisk. Partitions that are created with GDisk are indistinguishable from those that are created with FDisk.

Because GDisk runs only in DOS, you cannot access GDisk from within Windows. Instead, copy GDisk.exe to a floppy disk, start the computer from a bootable floppy disk, and run GDisk from the floppy disk. GDisk is located on the Ghost installation CD and in the Ghost installation folder on your hard disk.

GDisk has six main modes of operation, the first four of which correspond to the menu options in FDisk's main menu:

Creating partitions - Primary DOS partitions, Extended DOS partitions, Logical DOS drives.
Deleting partitions of any type, including Non-DOS partitions.
Listing current partition information.
Activating a partition (nominating it as the bootable partition).
Making existing partitions invisible and visible again.
Reinitializing the Master Boot Record.
Batch Mode - a mode that enables multiple commands in the same GDisk session.

Advantages over FDisk
GDisk provides some capabilities that FDisk does not -- such as on-the-fly formatting -- and provides a safer alternative in situations in which known problems with FDisk can cause data loss and hardware damage.

GDisk is command-line driven and much quicker than FDisk. It allows you to define standard configurations in a batch file and apply them to multiple computers.

Disk space
GDisk uses disk space better. It is more aggressive in finding free space on the disk for new partitions. In virtually every case it will find space that is ignored by FDisk (this space can vary between 0.5 MB and 16 MB).

GDisk reduces slack space (disk wastage). GDisk is more aggressive than the FORMAT utility provided with Windows 95 in attempting to keep cluster sizes small. For some partition sizes, GDisk is able to format partitions with cluster sizes that are half the size that FORMAT would select, resulting in an effective 10-35% increase in drive capacity.

Partition management
GDisk allows you to hide partitions, so you can have more than one Primary DOS partition with different versions of DOS or Windows in each partition. Normally, it is not possible to have more than one DOS or Windows installation on the same computer. The ability to hide partitions allows the computer to boot into any selected bootable partition, ignoring other installations of the same operating system in other partitions.

Avoid known FDisk problems
The FDisk supplied with Windows 95 has a problem that can create overlapping partitions that will almost certainly lead to corruption of existing partitions. The same problem can also result in partitions that extend past the end of the disk, which can cause permanent damage to the drive when the partition is formatted. This is the one situation in which GDisk does not imitate the exact behavior of FDisk, even with the compatibility switch turned on.

The FDisk supplied with Windows 95 has a problem in which it is not possible to delete newly created partitions if the provisionally assigned drive letter to the new drive matches a drive letter currently assigned to a CD-ROM device. GDisk allows the partitions to be deleted even if the new drive letter is currently assigned.

GDisk is useful as a diagnostic tool. It performs extensive integrity verification checks on the partition tables before performing any operations on the drive.

GDisk can display the partition information in a raw cylinder/head/sector format. This may be of use to technicians investigating problems with a computer's partition table.

DoD specifications
GDisk.exe conforms to most current US Department of Defense (DoD) specifications.

Norton Ghost 2002, 2003, and Symantec Ghost 7.5 include two versions of GDisk: GDisk.exe and GDisk32.exe. The newest version of GDisk, GDisk32.exe, is a 32 bit program that can be run from within a DOS virtual machine. Use this version when you want to run GDisk from within Windows. This version uses the same command-line switches as GDisk.exe.

GDisk32.exe conforms to most current US Department of Defense (DoD) specifications.

Use GDisk32.exe for:
Unhiding a partition that the Windows NT or Windows 2000 Disk Manager cannot see.
Activating a diagnostic or recovery partition.
Adding or removing an operating system from the Windows NT or Windows 2000 Boot Menu. GDisk32.exe includes a new switch, -BOOTINI, for adding or removing entries from the Windows NT or Windows 2000 file Boot.ini. That is, when you use the -BOOTINI switch to add or remove entries from the Windows Boot.ini file, you change which operating systems are available on the Windows Boot Menu. For instance, if you installed Windows 98 to the computer and then Windows 2000, the Windows 2000 boot menu might not display Windows 98. Use -BOOTINI to add the Windows 98 partition to the file Boot.ini.

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Old 04-30-2006, 09:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Gdisk may be better than Fdisk but you should first try Gparted a exact clone of Partition Magic only it's completly free, Linux based boot disc, published under GNU license.
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you, Im going to attempt this now :]
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I put the gdisk app on the floppy rebooted and set the A drive to boot to first. It siad there was an error or non system file and to remove... next time it said remove media and restart.

=/ What to do ?
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would like to make a Boot Disk and have it do the following:

Run FDISK with switches, enable large disk support, Format the Hard-Drive, create a Folder on the C: drive, copy the files from a Win98 CD to the new Folder and automatically run Setup.

This procedure below will work for Win98-98SE, with modifications you can set it up to work with Win95 and Millennium as well.

Your first step is to download a program called GDISK. GDISK has switch options that FDISK does not provide. You can get GDISK at the following link or if you have Norton's Ghost it's on the CD.

Click the Link: Software then the small folder to the left of the line:

How-To Partitioning with Symantec's GDISK

You now need to make a Startup Disk from Control Panel_Add/Remove Programs_Startup Disk tab. When you finish leave the disk in the drive as we now need to modify it. From Windows Explorer click on the A: drive, Right click on the and select View. While holding down the Ctrl key left click the Mscdex.exe,,,, Scandisk.exe, and Scandisk.ini files, right click any of these files and select Extract, Select your Floppy Drive and click OK.

Next you will want to delete all the un-needed files on your Startup Disk **except** the following. When finished, you should only have the 12 files as listed below.









Our next step is to Edit the Config.sys file. Right click the file and choose Open With, select Notepad and click OK. On the Edit menu click Select All then once again on the Edit menu select Delete. Copy/Paste the line below and save your changes.


Next you will need the Autoexec.bat file. To make this easy so you don't have to create it yourself, you can download it here. Save the file to your Startup Disk.

You now need to unzip the GDISK.EXE file from your download to your Startup Disk. Be sure to double check your Startup Disk for a file count, you should now have 14 files.

We are now finished, but a little explaining is needed here with some important notes before we put this to use.

1. If you have a existing partition already on your drive you will see a "File Creation Error" message during the batch run, ignore this message as it is normal.

2. The GDISK switches setup in the Autoexec.bat file are structured to partition the drive as FAT32 and will use all the drive space as one drive. If you need to setup a drive less than 2GB or different partitions, please read the documentation in the file and adjust the Setup.bat accordingly.

3. Be sure before starting this procedure you have your Win98 CD in your CD-ROM drive.

4. This procedure will work with most ATAPI CDROM's, if by chance the batch file does not work with your drive you will need to obtain the correct drivers and modify the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files.

5. If your CD-ROM drive letter is anything other than D: you will need to modify the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files accordingly.

OK, I've read and checked everything, so how do I use this disk?

Well it's quite simple, put this Automated Startup Disk in the A: drive and start your machine.

OK fine it works well, but I'd like to understand how all this works, can you explain?

Sure, I have nothing better to do than to sit here all day free of charge and do this.....just kidding <VBG>. See this link for a breakdown on how all this works.

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