This is a general guide / overview on the procedure
to format your hard drive. If you have special problems not
covered in this document, please ask your questions on
Now to begin, you will need a MS Dos6.xx or
Windows9x boot disk.
You first need to decide what operating system you
intend to load after formatting the hard drive. It is best
and easiest to use a boot disk for that Operating System, such as
MS Dos6.2 or Windows95b or Windows98SE. You will need
the proper Windows95/98 boot disk in order to load the these
operating systems on the computer, else it will reject loading due
to the wrong Operating System on the computer.
Insert your boot disk in the floppy drive and start
the computer. Once the system has completed booting and an
A: prompt appears we are ready to start.
Type: format C: /s
This statement tells the system to
format your "C" drive and when it is finished to copy
the system files to the drive, (the /s switch for 'System').
You can format a different drive this way by using a different
Format should display: WARNING, ALL
NON-REMOVABLE DISK DRIVE C: WILL BE LOST!
Proceed with Format (Y/N)? Type [Y]
Your screen should display the size of your drive and a countdown
in percentage of formatting completed. Depending on your
computer's speed and the size of the drive it can take from a few
minutes to over 15minutes.
When it reaches 100%
complete, you will see a new message:
FORMAT COMPLETE. SYSTEM TRANSFERRED.
This indicates that the files
required to boot your computer from the hard drive have been
copied from the floppy to the hard drive. The computer can
now boot from the hard drive without a boot disk in the floppy
You will see one last message:
Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for
Type anything you like or leave it blank - [Press
You can now begin to load your Operating System.
You may receive the error message:
"insufficient memory to load system
This is caused by the lack of a memory manager
loaded at boot and your PC can only access the first 1mg of ram
memory. There are two possible solutions:
1) Omit the /s
switch when formatting. This is done by typing this:
FORMAT C: [press enter]
Then when the format is complete, manually add
the system files to your hard drive by using this command:
SYS C: [press
2) You will need to load a memory manager in order to overcome
this issue. Not knowing what operating system boot disk you are using
is an issue here. However, Windows98 boot disks load a memory manager,
so let us assume it is either Windows95 or earlier.
You need to add the file HIMEM.SYS to your boot disk and
then modify your Config.sys file on the boot disk.
Unzip the file to your boot disk and
add this line in the Config.sys, (make this the first line):
Now, reboot your computer with the boot disk and it should work fine.
You will find that the boot disks
we offer for download are all configured with a Memory manager and
contain the file: HIMEM.SYS