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Appendix B Preparing the Hard Disk

This appendix describes how to use FDISK, a menu-driven program, to format the hard disk prior to installation.

Preparing a New Hard Disk (FDISK)

All disks (hard disks and diskettes) need to be prepared before you can work with them. This process is called partitioning and formatting (in the case of hard disks) and formatting (in the case of diskettes).

Once the operating system is installed, you can use the FORMAT command at any time to format diskettes; refer to the ``Command Reference'' chapter of DOSBook for a complete description of the FORMAT command.

Use the FDISK program to prepare a hard disk, if it has not already been prepared. In most cases, your dealer will already have done this for you.

The following description of FDISK assumes that you are preparing a hard disk for the first time, during system installation, and that you need to prepare a DOS primary partition. Once you have installed the operating system, refer to the ``Command Reference'' chapter of DOSBook for complete information about using FDISK to delete an existing partition, select a bootable partition, display the logical drives in an extended partition, or select an alternative fixed disk.

The maximum size of a partition is 2 GB (2048 MB) but you can create smaller partitions if you want.

You can use FDISK to create one primary DOS partition and one extended DOS partition which can contain as many logical drives as you require. You must create a primary DOS partition in which to install the operating system. An extended partition with logical drives allows you to pass information between DOS partitions on the disk as if between different drives.

If you divide a hard disk into a primary partition and an extended partition containing two logical drives, for example, you can address the partitions as follows: C: is the primary partition, D: is the first logical drive in the extended partition, and E: is the second logical drive in the extended partition.

When you run the INSTALL program, FDISK is automatically started for you if your hard disk is not prepared. You see the current partition status of the hard disk and a main menu of options.

To create a DOS partition, do the following:

1. Select the Create DOS partition option on the main menu.

2. Select the type of partition you are creating from the next set of options:

3. Proceed to the sections ``Creating a DOS Primary Partition,'' ``Creating a DOS Extended Partition,'' and ``Creating a Logical Drive in a DOS Extended Partition,'' as required.

Remember that you must at least create a primary DOS partition to install the operating system.

4. After you have created all the partitions and logical drives that you want on the hard disk, the INSTALL program asks you to reboot your computer by pressing <Ctrl><Alt><Del>. Leave the Startup diskette in drive A: and restart the installation program.

INSTALL will now load the operating system into the primary DOS partition automatically.

Creating a DOS Primary Partition

You can only create a DOS primary partition when no primary partition already exists on the disk. Do the following:

1. Select the Create DOS primary partition option.

You are asked whether you want to use all the available space on the disk.

1a. Type Y and press <Enter> if you want to use all the space.

Note that if you accept this default, there will not be any space left for an extended DOS partition.

Continue with Step 3 below.

1b. Type N and press <Enter> if you want to use only some of the available space.

Note that the DOS primary partition must be large enough to hold the operating system that you want to install.

Continue with Step 2 below.

2. You are prompted for the disk size in whole megabytes or the starting and ending cylinders for the partition (if you do not specify a size), if you answered N to the previous prompt.

Note that the operating system requires at least 20 cylinders.

3. If you answered Y to the previous prompt, FDISK assumes you want to use all available cylinders.

4. If FDISK finds a defective track on the system area of the disk, it does not create the partition and prompts you for another starting cylinder number. You are also prompted for a new number if there is insufficient space at a cylinder.

5. You are prompted to provide a disk label of up to 11 characters; this is optional.

6. You return to the FDISK main menu, which displays the details of the new partition. Press <Esc> to leave the FDISK program or choose the option to create an extended partition (see the following section, ``Creating a DOS Extended Partition'').

Creating a DOS Extended Partition

You can create a DOS extended partition only if no extended partition already exists on the drive and you did not use all the disk space for the primary partition. Do the following:

1. Select the Create DOS extended partition option from the main menu.

2. You are asked to specify the size in megabytes or the starting and ending cylinders for the partition.

After you specify the partition size, you return to the FDISK main menu, where the details of the new DOS extended partition are displayed.

Note that you cannot use an extended partition until you have created at least one logical drive in it; see the following section, ``Creating a Logical Drive in a DOS Extended Partition.''

3. Press <Esc> to leave FDISK or choose the option to create a logical drive in the extended partition.

You cannot use an extended partition until you have created a logical drive in it.

Creating a Logical Drive in a DOS Extended Partition

You can create a logical drive only if you have already created an extended partition. Do the following:

1. Select the Create logical drive in extended partition option from the main menu.

2. The screen displays the current status of the extended partition and you are asked to specify the starting and ending cylinders for the logical drive.

3. You can specify a label for the logical drive. The first logical drive is usually drive D:

FDISK displays the details of the logical drive just created.

4. Press <Esc> to return to the main menu. You can create another logical drive on the hard disk if there is space.

5. Press <Esc> to leave FDISK.


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