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Discussion Starter #1
well, too keep is short and sweet heres my problem - My parents computer has a virus that norton cant fix so i'm just going to format and install Win 98 (2000pro runs to slow on it anyway).

Problem is the damn 3.5" drive wont read any disks. Simple enough (i thought) so i grabbed an xtra one we had lying around at school (i checked it there and it worked) but when i put it in the computer it wont read any disks. The read light comes on, but never shuts off... anyone have any idea whats wrong? Is it something in the motherboard, or could it be as simple as a bad ribbon cable (I might try swapping cables later, when my computer isn't in use)

otherwise is there anything else i can do to format/reinstall other than pull their HD out, stick it in my computer and do it that way?

thanks for the help
 

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that problem sounds like you have the floppy cable on backwards.... as in.. the red stripe is on the wrong side on the drive. try flipping it around and see what happens
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I flipped the cable around, but then i didn't get anything - the light wont even come on.... I'll try a different cable tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Win98 cd isn't bootable.... only 2k and newer are...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
already tried it and it didn't work... would it be because its the Win98 upgrade cd??? is the 95cd bootable?
 

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Make sure the red stripe on the cable plugging into the motherboard is going in the same direction as the IDE HD cable. Also the twisted end of the floppy cable goes towards the floppy drive. Usually red goes towards power but it varies depending on brand.
 

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The full version of all of Microsoft's OSes since Windows 95 have all been bootable (except for some of the "Select" license versions). The upgrade CDs are not bootable.

It is completely possible that the floppy drive itself is borked. Floppy drives have moving parts and that means they are much more susceptable to failure than components that do not have moving parts. Save yourself a headache and grab a new one. They are about $5-$10 and even if the one in their computer isn't broken, it never hurts to have a spare.

If you've replaced all of the cables and the drive and the thing still won't boot, I'd look at the floppy controller as the culprit. Unfortunately they are usually integrated onto the motherboard which would mean you'd have to get a new board to boot from it. If that turns out to be the case, burn yourself a bootable CD with CD drivers (you can find many premade ISO images on the net for this) and install your copy of 98 that way.

Don't forget to have the 95 CD with you as your upgrade copy of 98 will ask you for it during the installation. There are ways around this, but since you have both, bypassing the upgrade check would be a waste of time.
 

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JGarrett911 said:
The Win98 cd isn't bootable.... only 2k and newer are...
Hey JG911,

how is your 2k cd bootable? mine's the pro version, full version too... Everytime i do a full format, i had to make bootdisks(4) out of the boot/bootdisk directory.

maybe you have the 2k server ? ...just curious
 

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win98se is bootable. both my 2000 and my XP are too.
 

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Bootable CD's are useless if your computer / bios is so old it does not support it. JG, how old is the computer? if its more then 4 years old, it probably wont boot from cd. Look in the bios and see if you have a boot sequence or something like that around.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i already changed the boot sequence in the bios, but its not really going to do me any good to boot off a cd anyway - i need to format before i re-install to get rid of the virus.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ok, this is becoming a huge headache... i got the drive to work (yes, it was just a ****ing cable on backwards and i feel stupid...it was the first thing i checked, but obviously didn't push it all the way in when i flipped it around)

but anyways, i then find out that my startup disk is corrupted :mad: I then get on my computer (XP pro) and format a 3.5" as a MS-Dos boot disk and stick it in moms computer which works great - i get the dos prompt i was looking for, but I have not Format.exe or FDisk.exe which i need to clear the drive.... and i dont even know if it'd do me any good anyway because at the dos prompt the only drive i have access to is my a: drive so IF i had format.exe and typed "Format c:\" all its going to tell me is that it cant find the drive....

any solutions? i tried lookin through the help files in windows, but the info in there is so worthless....
 

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I've not made a DOS boot disk with XP yet as I've had no need to do so. If it is truly a DOS boot disk and the computer you're trying to FDISK/FORMAT has a FAT32 partition (bigger than 2GB would be a dead giveaway) it won't see it. The only MS boot disks that will are Win95OSR2 and higher, Win98, and WinME. True DOS (and original Win95) boot disks don't understand FAT32 partitions as they are limited to dealing with FAT12 (floppy) and FAT16 (hard disk) partitions.

Grab a boot disk from the net that is of one of the supported OSes and give it another go. Don't forget to grab FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM that are the same version as the boot disk you download.

http://www.bootdisk.com is a good resource for finding what you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ok, i downloaded the boot disk files from that website... it loads up (after a while... 3.5" disks are so damn slow) and I hate Win2k with all the damn repair consoles and ****.. i just want to format the damn harddrive, but it wont let me. I get to the repair console and format is one of the commands it actually lets me use... so i try to format c: and it asks for the location of Autofmt.exe which i found to be in the c:\ directory but then it says it cant format the drive! WTF!

I wish it was as simple as it used to be with Win 9x.... but i cant use a 98 boot disk because it wont recognize the NTFS drive.... this is driving me crazy:mad:

so, to make it short - how do you format the harddrive (NTFS) on a Win2k Pro system?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
aight.. i figured it out... i just needed to copy AUTOFMT.EXE onto another disk so it would let me format the c: drive... then i just used FDisk to delete the NTFS partition and created a new Fat32
 

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Wait...people are still using 3½" diskette drives?

I've moved over to using ZIP drives. Way faster to boot with and can hold a larger set of startup files.

My DOS boot ZIP loads two different SCSI card drivers, SCSICD drivers, the IDE CDROM drivers, and Novell Netware DOS Client32. I also have Ghost, PartitionMagic, and registry editors on it as well, just in case. :)

Try that with a 1.44MB diskette! :p

-MacG467
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, that'd be great if i had a need for all of that, and had the extra cash for a zip drive just fall out of my ass:rolleyes:
 
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