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format hard drive

I didn't get a restore disk, How do I clean my hard drive out before sending it back to Dell.

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RE: format hard drive

The disk you are looking for to reinstall your operating system is labeled Reinstallation Disk. It comes wil all systems.

MS-DOS® and Non-DOS Hard Drive Partition Removal Debug Script


The following Debug script removes the partition information (both DOS and non-DOS) on the hard drive. The script is intended for use on Dell systems with Dell provided operating systems and hard drives. The Debug script allows you to convert a drive from one incompatible partition structure to another, such as from Linux back to MS-DOS®. In the process all your data will be lost; you must repartition the drive, reformat the drive, and reinstall the software.

If you have installed additional hard drives that required the use of a special hard drive overlay utility and the Debug script below does not seem to have successfully cleared the partitions, you may wish to refer to an alternative Debug script available from Microsoft. Please note that Dell does not recommend the use of the Microsoft Debug script with Dell-provided operating systems and hard drives. For more information on the alternative Debug script, refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base at:


Article ID: Q106419 Title "Removing Non-DOS Partitions with Debug."

In order to run the Debug script you must have a bootable diskette that contains the Debug command or be able to access the command files installed by Windows 95, 98, or Millennium Edition (Me). For more information, refer to Dell Knowledge Base Article: FA1026410 Title "Why Do I Receive the Error Bad Command or Filename When I Attempt to Run the Debug Command?"


NOTICE: This debug script is for advanced users only. Its purpose is to remove all formatting and partitioning information from your hard disk when FDISK is unable to do so. THIS WILL ALSO REMOVE ALL DATA AND PROGRAMS FROM THE DRIVE. REPEAT: The next steps will remove all data from hard-disk drive. We URGE YOU to make a backup of any data and programs that you wish to save before proceeding. REMEMBER: ALL DATA WILL BE LOST! Be sure you have the necessary bootable media and files to reboot your system and install your operating system (boot disk with CDROM drivers, MSCDEX, FDISK, FORMAT, SYS, etc).

Turn on the computer.
Insert your boot diskette that contains the Debug command, or in Windows 95, 98, or Me use the Startup options to boot to Command Prompt Only.
At the DOS command prompt, type the following commands and press the key after each command:

NOTICE: Performing the following will remove all data from your hard disk drive.

NOTE: Type the following bolded text only. You will receive an error if you type anything other than the bold text. The non-bolded text represents the system response that will appear on your screen once you press after typing each command.

-F 200 L1000 0
-A CS:100
xxxx:0100 MOV AX,301
xxxx:0103 MOV BX,200
xxxx:0106 MOV CX,1
xxxx:0109 MOV DX,80 (Type 80 for the main hard drive - hd 0, or type 81 for the second hard drive - hd 1)
xxxx:010C INT 13
xxxx:010E INT 20

The message Program terminated normally appears.
Turn off the computer.
On the next startup the hard drive must be partitioned and formatted.
Creating a FAT32 Partition

1. Boot to your bootable media.
2. At the DOS prompt, type:
3. Press the key.
The following message appears:
Your computer has a disk larger than 512 MB. This version of Windows includes improved support for large disks, resulting in more efficient use of disk space on large drives, and allowing disks over 2 GB to be formatted as a single drive.
Do you wish to enable large disk support (Y/N)?

NOTE: This message is asking which addressing scheme you want to use on the hard drive: FAT16 or FAT32. This refers to the actual number of physical sectors that can be configured onto the hard drive. Early versions of Windows 95 (OSR 1 and earlier) support FAT16 only. Later versions of Windows 95 (OSR 2 and beyond) and Windows 98 support both FAT16 and FAT32.

NOTE: If you have a hard drive larger than 8 GB, FAT32 is required in order to gain access to the entire capacity of the drive.

4. Press the key.
5. Press the key.
The FDISK Options menu appears.
6. Press the key to Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive.
The Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive menu appears.
7. Press the key to Create Primary DOS Partition.

NOTE: If you receive the message: Primary DOS Partition already exists, then you must refer to Delete Primary DOS Partition section.

8. Verifying Drive Integrity will appear, and then the Create Primary DOS Partition menu will appear.
9. Press the key to use the maximum available size and to make the partition active.
Verifying Drive Integrity will appear.
10. Press the key until the DOS prompt appears.
11. Press the ++ keys simultaneously to restart the computer.
12. Use the FORMAT command to format your newly created partition.

For additional information on formatting, refer to Dell Knowledge Base Article: FA1011783 "How do I use the Format command to format disks?"
Format the Hard Drive
To format the newly created partitions, perform the following steps:

1. Boot to same bootable media you used to execute Fdisk.
2. At the DOS prompt, type the following:
format C:
where is to press the Enter key once.
3. If you created any additional partitions with Fdisk, you can format them as well by substituting their respective drive letters for C:.

How do I use the fdisk command to delete and partition a hard drive?

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>


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