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Old 03-13-2005, 06:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default hard drive, operating system problem

Alright heres the problem I am having, maybe one of you more experienced gurus can help me out! lol.



I have this old gateway computer, its about 5 years old, anyway i was having problems trying to reformat it. First, I put in the disc that came with the computer and got a different result every time. The first thing that would happen when it booted up was that it would give two options in dos. (1) go to windows OR (2) install windows,

well it just made sense to me to install windows so I pressed (2). The thing would go into the install stuff, install windows.. and then I would proceed to install my programs and blah blah.. well when the time came to reboot it would tell me (1) go to windows OR (2) install windows. Obviously I picked (1), but for some reason it brought me back to that same two choices on the screen. I got frustrated with it and gave up. So I came back to it about a week later(I'm persistent aren't I? lol)

I put the same disc in, got the same two options as before and proceeded to install windows. Well windows went into the install mode, but before it could copy any files the thing went into dos and said something about an error in the install. I was really pissed off about that. I tried this same method for about an hour with the same exact results until I found out that my reformat disc was stratched all up!!! I don't remember it being like that before...

Anyway, so I put it in again and clicked on manual setup realizing that I probably just need to do it all through dos. I do the whole fdisk and format thing, but it didn't work!! IT said something about not being able to partition the drives or that my drive did not exist. After that I went through and made sure my hard drive was connected properly and it was! After all this mess, I put in my windows 2k disc I had on hand.(has nothing to do with this gateway I am trying to fix) and well it told me half way through the install that it couldn't install because I didn't have a harddrive.. LOL

After being frustrated because the company reformat disc didn't work, the manual way didnt work, and now my own OS disc isn't registering.. I decided to get a windows ME, 2k and 98 boot disc. The first two gave me the same error and the 98 boot disc told me my versions of dos were incompatible(I didnt think that was possible sheesh!!)

Well I went into the BIOS after being all stressed out and everything was set right and my computer was detecting a hard drive at bootup.

My question to you all is how can I fix this stupid thing without a factory reformat disc? Nothing is working right for me unless there is another way around all this. I hope that this drive can be saved and that I can put on another OS and not have to rely on a crappy factory disc every time. If someone can help me out that would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-13-2005, 06:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ummm...try Linux?

Seriously, try making a boot disk of Knoppix and see what you can find out about your HD with it.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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alright i'll give that a try but I just want to see what other options i have. Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Making and using a boot disk/CD of Knoppix or any other version of Linux won't mess with your Windows installation because the OS stays on the CD. It takes a while to start-up because of this, but it is really neat.

You should be able to check out your HD with it. You can at least look over your pations and see if anything is messed up.
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Old 03-14-2005, 02:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you tried removing your HDD, placing it as a slave in another PC and formatting it that way ?
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Old 03-14-2005, 04:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Try downloading a bootdisk from bootdisk.com, it should work fine for re-formatting and partitioning. Then try using everything again.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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well I think the problem is that the computer isn't detecting the harddrive.. so I am trying to get it out of the case but I can't get the dang thing out. I've taken out drives before but this one is different then the ones I have done. This one has these little green clips that slide forward or backward.. I am assuming that they lock and unlock the drive so it can be removed.. I tried both ways and it wont budge also I looked for screws or anything holding it in but nothing. I dont know it it is wedged in or not, but would you guys like it if I took a picture of it or something? lol i feel dumb cuz i cant get it out.
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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well, on the first time install I noticed something. after installing the files and it started booting up did you REMOVE the CD and/or floppy from the drive??? Make sure to do that! If that doesn't help do a flat install. I'm assuming its 98, so just goto Dos, remove the partition (if it wont remove, download a HD utility and write zero's to the drive), repartion and reformat. After that's done, create a new directory on the HDD call it.. say tempinstall. Now, copy all the files from the o/s directory on the cd drive to the tempinstall directory on the HDD (should be all the .cab files that extract the .dll files). Now you have all the installation files on the HDD. Goto the tempinstall directory and run setup from there (take the cd out). After it installs and reboots you'll need to install the drivers. Also, the XP version is different. The install files are in the i386 directory on the cd and the file to run is (I think) called winNT.exe... anyhow, this is called a flat file install and doens't rely on the cd from that point on (if you can just get it to manually copy the files from cd to HDD you should be fine). After everything is completely installed just delete the directory you created. I would call it something unique in case windows tries to create a directory called the same thing, for example dont call your directory windows or temp or something like that.
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Old 03-16-2005, 12:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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ok here goes go to a DOS prompt and put in your system CD and then type in fomat if that dosent work type in fdisk if that dosent work type in gsdisk persuming it is a western digital drive as all gateways do I hae don this many times before look in my signature
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Are you sure that you are selecting the right drive. Remeber C: changes to D:, becasue of RAMDrive
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