View Full Version : Botched Win2K install

09-08-2002, 02:20 PM
Hi all.
I was curious to know if my computer could boot from the cd drive.
So I threw a (work) copy of Win2k in the drive and sure enough, it booted and commenced the setup.
Now, since I didn't actually WANT to get rid of Win 98se from my PC, I aborted the Win2K install at the first screen, removed the cd and rebooted.
Much to my horror, the bios did not find a system disc!

I booted from a floppy, switched to the C: drive (which it allowed) and typed dir.
Invalid media reading drive C
Abort Retry Fail

was the cheery response I got.

So what has WIN2K setup done with the system files and fat of my hard drive?
I have files on there I'd like back.
If I do "sys" from a Win98 boot floppy will that fix it?
What do I do about the fat?
Any help greatly appreciated !

That's the last time I entertain my curiosity on MY pc.
Next time it will be someone elses... ;)

Babe Ruth
09-08-2002, 02:32 PM

I believe if you use the command FDISK /MBR it will eliminate the WinNT/2k boot sector and replace it with the DOS boot sector, therebye allowing you to reboot back to Win98. You will need to boot from a Win98(98SE) boot disk and then use the fdisk /mbr command.

See also MS Fdisk (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q69013&)


12-08-2002, 10:15 PM
Hi Babe.

I've tried your suggestion - to no avail.
After doing a FDISK /mbr, the partition display function still shows the file system type to be "unknown".
It's like WIn2k has removed the FAT altogether.
How can I recreate it?
What do forensics do?


13-08-2002, 12:18 AM
hopefully when u mentioned "I aborted the Win2K install at the first screen, removed the cd and rebooted."....u didn't converted ur primary partition to NTFS...if u did....then u have to reinstall win98se....as win98se only uses fat or fat32.

And yes u can use the " sys " command...use ur win98 boot floppy...select command prompt ...then just type "sys c:" with no quotations of course...that will copy the systems files to c: drive...then reboot.

I hope that helps..

Jim Q.

13-08-2002, 10:26 AM
Hi JimQ.

I tried doing a sys of the C: drive before anything else, but the thing is that there is no valid filesystem of ANY kind, so you can't copy the sys files onto the HDD. It doesn't even seem to be NTFS...

When I view the partition info using FDISK, it displays the file system as "unknown".

This seems a bit rude of Microsoft to use an installer that nukes your FAT, as soon as you get to the very first "Welcome to windows 2000 setup" screen :(

Somehow, I need to RECREATE the FAT using a utility that can scan the drive and redisplay files/directories.

Anyone with any ideas?


13-08-2002, 11:02 AM
The File Allocation Table is, I believe, where the filenames are held.
If they have been destroyed, any recovery will not be able to recover the original filenames?

I hope this isnt the case but fear it is....

13-08-2002, 06:38 PM
Recovery from an accidently deleted FAT 32 drive is covered in the knowledgebase of MS

Failing that, data recovery is the next option following by repartitioning, formating and installation.

The cause of the problem is less likely to be a problem caused by the setup of 2k and more likey to be a problem with either a physical drive defect or a corrupt boot record (either 1st or 2nd FAT). Other contributing factors could be references to earlier boot managers or a boot sector virus.
In any case checking of the drive for physical defects followed by a check of the first 120 - 150 sectors would be advisable.

All of the above should be done after data recovery.

Btw - NTFS does not use FAT and dynamic disk indexes are different to basic disk indexes.

King Arthur
13-08-2002, 09:16 PM
Merlin. Hullo old Druid. Have not seen you here for quite a while. How are you keeping? K A.

15-08-2002, 11:45 PM
True Pendragon - I often observe but see no reason to reinvent the wheel or instruct anybody how to reinvent it.

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