fear of (a) average mind

you are human, no thing you do is wrong

a clean start #

<geek> OK you got a virus and you can’t fix it, you wanna give FreeBSD / Linux a go. what do you do ?

I like to back-up all me stuff and format everything, and i mean everything (back down to fdisk, even “fdisk /mbr” to really get rid of those meanies), back down to dos and reinstall.

It’s always handy the back everything up, all my stuff, pix, music, docs are all in one folder, so i can back-up dead easy. The folder is 40gb but i got a little network and a spare PC with a 40gb hard-disk in so that’s me back-up machine. People only learn about backing up when they lose all their “stuff”. i never learned the hard way, thank fook, me not silly. I know how crap PCs can be. (:

So what’s the point of this post… well to do all this i use me “super sys dos disk”, it’s a little floppy i like to use with some useful stuff on there, sys.com (to make a disk bootable), fdisk.exe (this is the dos partitioning tool, really cleans the system), good old oakcdrom.sys (dos CDRom driver, how ya gonna install Windows without a CD, let not get into floppy off network installing here, keep it simple), and some other useful dos utilities. There even room for some other progs if i need um. Well i thought I’d let ya all have it, in case, devil forbid, you have to do a full format / reinstall.

Download here:
dos.exe [645kb, right-click / save link as…]

Stick a floppy in and run the prog, it don’t need to be formatted as you can do it in this little prog (which i made using the very lovely WinImage)

So how do ya use this “super sys dos disk”, first off… “Whoo Nelly !”, don’t be putting this disk in and wiping ya PC. You’ll need some stuff first:
Your Windows Disk (or other OS, this should be a full sys disk not an upgrade as it will need to run in dos, so be careful of that). Oh and make sure you got the serial number for it to.

All ya driver disk (for all ya printers, modems, sound cards, vid cards). Windows may detect them OK but it’s better to be safe and you really should use the drivers that came with the device, not the windows ones, better performance and all that.

Disks for all ya programs (PhotoShop, Flash MX, MS Office, etc, etc). You will need to reinstall these again.

OH and of course don’t forget… BACK-UP YA FOOKIN’ STUFF… you not that stupid ?
That seems to be everything, what now ?
First off let me say that i am not held responsible if ya fuck up ya PC. If you’re not sure about something, then learn it. I aint gonna tell ya how to install Windows, just how to format down to a nice clean HD with CDRom, installing ya Operating System is up to you. OH and read the whole paragraph before doing just the first line, remember we’re wiping the whole disk here and messing with partitions and master boot records. I’ve got a few spare hard-disks so if i fook up i’m not really that bothered but if you only got 1 it makes it more important that you get yourself informed before trying this stuff. There i said it.
First make sure ya PC boots from floppy. Dead easy, just press Del or F2 when ya PC starts this will take ya to the bios. Look around for something that looks like “Boot Options” and slam the floppy at number 1, the CD at number 2 and the HD at the end. This will make the PC try to boot from the floppy first, if no floppy it will try the CD next… you get the idea. Press F10 or Esc to exit and save the changes in Bios.

Stick the floppy in and restart….. don’t choose any of the options yet (Fdisk of Format), just let it boot and see if it detects ya CD OK.

If no detect you can try and find a dos driver form ya CD or borrow a CDRom drive from a mate that dos sees, otherwise you’re pretty screwed, but don’t worry you aint done oot to the PC, just take the floppy out and restart and you back in Windows. “oakcdrom.sys” seems to work with everything tho.

If it detects, yay, lets wipe this bad-boy…

Restart again [Ctrl+Alt+Del] and pick (2) Fdisk, this will run “fdisk /mbr” first before running fdisk. “fdisk /mbr” is a little dos command that rewrites the master boot record (some baddies can live in there), read up on the link as there are some warnings in there about “fdisk /mbr” and the “Storage Dimensions SpeedStor utility”.
Fdisk running, just click enter (yes) when it asks: do ya wanna enable large disk support. Well if ya got a big disk you properly want it supported, yes.

First click 4 to select the forth option “(4) Display partition Information” then Enter. Lets have a look at what you got, you’ll see all the partition(s) you got to delete (“Non-DOS Partitions” for FreeBSD / Linux partitions), now you know what you got to delete click Esc to go back to the main screen.

Now click 3 to select the third option “(3) Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive” and press Enter. Hopefully you just got one partition so just click 1 to select “(1) Delete Primary DOS Partition” and Enter.

What primary partition do you want to delete [1] - (1 is usually selected so just press Enter)

Enter Volume Label - (type in the volume label up top of the screen, stupid i know. If there is no Volume Label just press Enter)

Are you sure (y/n) – (this is getting old, press Y then Enter)

Primary DOS Partition deleted – (are well all ya stuff gone now, are you feeling better yet ?) Press Esc to go back to the main screen.

You may need to repeat if ye got more that 1 partition, keep checking “(4) Display partition Information” till it empty.

Option (1) will be selected “(1) Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive” so just press Enter.

Option (1) will be selected again “(1) Create Primary DOS Partition” so Enter again…. let it do it’s thing.

Yeah you wanna use the max available size so just press Enter again (all this formatting is easy init). Let it do it’s thing again and it’s all done.

Press Esc the exit Fdisk and you back to the A:\> prompt, nearly there…

restart [Ctrl+Alt+Del] and this time on the blue screen pick option (3) Format

Watch it detect the CD then:
Proceed with Format (Y/N)?
Click Y then Enter…… Watch as it formats ya HD (it really watchable, really)

That’s it, all done, all gone, phew that was easy wan it. Just do what it sez on the screen (restart, taking the floppy out). Now it will boot from the hard-disk into DOS.

Quick run down:
Boot from floppy (see if ya CD is detected)
Restart (Fdisk all ya partitions to death and make new one)
Restart (Format that sucker)
Restart (into a nice, virus free, DOS hard-disk + CD)
Boot - Restart - Restart - Restart = Clean / Easy (:
What do ya know it worked (: if ye slam in a formatted floppy and type:
it will even make you another “super sys dos disk” to give to a friend, nice.

It feels so nice having a 40gb HD with nowt but dos on, OH the possibilities. </geek>