fdisk says no fixed disks present, BIOS shows

Microsoft Windows 98 se (full product)
September 2, 2010 at 21:40:35
Specs: Windows 98SE , 800mhz 512Ram
This is on Windows 98SE.

When I boot from a floppy and type fdisk it says "no fixed disks present," but the BIOS shows the drive and is set to Auto. I believe this is a software problem because it got worse. First when I booted up it said:

"A device file that is specified in the SYSTEM.INI file is damaged. It may be needed to run Windows. You may need to run the Windows Setup program again. If the file is included in another software package, you may need to reinstall the software that uses the file. C:\WINDOWS\System\VMM32\ifsmgr.VXD"

At that time I could boot up to the screen where you select Safemode or C: prompt, and get to a C: prompt (but not safemode). I tried scanreg /restore, and it began to run but did not work.

With repeated rebooting I can not get to a C: prompt, and it says "Invalid Boot diskette, Insert BOOT diskette in A:"

I check BIOS and it sees the disk.

See More: fdisk says no fixed disks present, BIOS shows

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September 3, 2010 at 01:34:57
Download the Software Fitness Utility Software from the Hard Drive manufacturers Support Site, even though the drive may be recognised in BIOS it could still be knackered...

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September 3, 2010 at 04:29:09
What is the capacity of the drive in question? Are you using the newer version of fdisk that works with large drives?

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September 3, 2010 at 11:16:21
10 GB, "Maxtor 51023H2"
The BIOS sees the drive, but when I load up I can get to no C: prompt, even from a boot disk.

What system utility software do I download.

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Related Solutions

September 3, 2010 at 13:00:15
Yeah, the bios can sometimes see the drive while fdisk can't. The usual solution is to do a low level format although with an IDE drive that sometimes doesn't work out.

But first check that the drive data cable is in good condition and tightly connected.

If it's not the cable then most likely either the drive is shot or the LLF will fix it.

I uploaded a version of DiskManager at Driverguide:


It's got a low level format utility on it. If you download it, it's usually easiest to use the 'view a series of ads' option. Let the ad load and then click 'no thanks' or whatever takes you to the next one. They'll be 5 or 6 or them.

Another good LLF is MaxLLF. It was once a download for some of Maxtor's smaller capacity IDE drives but I've used it on larger drives. A google search should turn up a download. If you use it, format with the LBA option and not C/H/S.

Those are true low level fomats and not zero fill. And they should only be used as a last resort.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

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September 5, 2010 at 09:01:15
When you boot with '98 boot-floppy... you can at least get to an a:\> prompt OK; but not see anything via Fdisk... to do with the hard-drive.

I'm inclined to think the drive is toast or almost...; likely been slowly failing...

The drive test utils from its website may well indicate just how well or otherwise it really is.

If it doesn't pass with flyng colors... seriously consider a new/replacement drive.

The true LLF is a very long shot; may revive it - but I have my doubts...; but no harm to try when all else fails?

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September 5, 2010 at 09:15:31
Download Seatools for DOS and use it to check the drive.


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