Microsoft KB Archive/104205

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Article ID: 104205

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q104205

If you have a logical drive in an extended partition that has been formatted with NTFS, it can be removed using Disk Administrator unless Windows NT has been installed on the partition. If Windows NT resides on the same partition, you need to use either of the following two procedures.

NOTE: Removing a partition requires that you back up any important information beforehand, as each procedure below will destroy all the data on your extended NTFS partition. If you plan to remove the entire extended partition, all logical drives within it will be destroyed as well. In this case, make sure you back up data on all logical drives.

WINDOWS NT 3.5x and 4.0

NOTE: To return to MS-DOS as your primary operating system, drive C must be formatted as FAT. If you do not want to return to MS-DOS, skip steps 3 and If you only want to change the file system back to FAT for the logical drive that Windows NT is installed on, skip step 2 for any NTFS drive you wish to keep, and steps 3 and 4.

  1. Backup any data you want to keep on any NTFS logical drives or partitions.
  2. Use Disk Administrator to remove all NTFS drives except the drive Windows NT is installed on. If drive C is NTFS, you must recreate the partition as FAT.
  3. Boot with an MS-DOS floppy disk which has the SYS command on it.
  4. From drive A, type:

    sys c:

  5. Boot with the Windows NT Setup Disk and run custom setup. For speed purposes it is best to skip the mass storage detection and manually specify any supported SCSI compliant adapters you have. If you have a CD-ROM drive, you will have a choice of installing from either the CD or 3.5" disks in drive A.
  6. If Setup finds a copy of Windows NT to upgrade, press N to have Windows NT not upgrade the existing copy.
  7. Press ENTER after confirming the hardware list matches the hardware you are using.
  8. If Setup finds a copy of Windows, press N to not have Windows NT installed into the Windows directory.
  9. You will be at the partitioning screen next. On this screen you will have the choice to delete the NTFS partition. Select the NTFS partition to be deleted. To select the partition use the up and down arrow keys.
  10. Press D to delete the partition.
  11. Press L to confirm the deletion.
  12. You will be back in the partition screen. Select the unpartitioned space by using the up and down arrow keys. Press ENTER to have Windows NT installed on that partition.
  13. Choose to have the partition formatted as FAT and press ENTER.
  14. When the format is complete, Setup will ask for a path for Windows NT to be installed into. If you want to keep Windows NT, either change the path or accept the default and finish setup. If you want to go back to MS-DOS, press the F3 function key twice to exit Setup. Remove any floppy disks in drive A and press ENTER to reboot the system.


Using Setup Disk Created by WINNT.EXE

NOTE: This procedure requires that you have a FAT partition somewhere on your first hard disk drive. If all your partitions are NTFS or HPFS, this procedure will not work.

  1. From Boot Loader, choose MS-DOS for your operating system, or restart your computer with a bootable MS-DOS floppy disk inserted.
  2. Type the following command line:

    md c:\$win_nt$.~ls

    This directory's existence is checked for by the setup disk WINNT.EXE creates.
  3. Insert the disk created by WINNT.EXE during setup and restart your computer.
  4. Do as directed by Windows NT Setup, choosing Custom when prompted for the type of setup.
  5. At one point, Setup will display an error message similar to the following:

    Unable to load file system support. The distribution disk may be damaged.

    Ignore this message and press ENTER. Choose any path when prompted.
  6. When you have the option to choose which partition to install to, note that the NTFS partition is labeled "Unknown or unformatted." Choose this partition and press P to create or delete a partition.
  7. On the next Setup screen press ENTER to remove the "non-partition." Press ENTER again to return to the partition choices.
  8. Press F3 twice to quit Setup and restart your computer.

Using Norton Disk Edit

  1. Start Norton Disk Edit.
  2. From the Object menu, choose Drive.
  3. Choose Physical Disks.
  4. Choose Drive and choose OK.
  5. Select the hard disk that contains the NTFS partition.
  6. From the View menu, choose Partition Table.
  7. Select the partition marked "EXTEND" and press ENTER to look at the extended partition.
  8. Look for an entry in the extended partition table that reads "HPFS." If you cannot find the "HPFS" partition, look for another "EXTEND" partition, highlight it and press ENTER again. Do this until you have found the partition marked "HPFS."
  9. Highlight the partition marked "HPFS" and press the SPACEBAR until it reads "Unused."
  10. Exit Norton's Disk Edit, making sure to save the changes.
  11. Use the MS-DOS FDISK command or Disk Administrator to re-create the deleted partition.

Additional query words: prodnt 3.10

Keywords: kbother KB104205