Space creation on two HDD' required please

  Drum 13:49 12 Oct 2003

I was helping an elderly lady with her computing recently, and when installing a scanner for her the other day, discovered she had two HDD's.
This was a complete revelation to her, and explained how she seemed to be loosing files occasionally, and other strange happenings.
Both drives are the same size (3.5Gb), but she only has a few hundred Mb spare on each, and not enough space to hold the files she will be creating for a book she is writing.
So my requirement is really to obtain more drive space, and without upgrading the hardware I'm not sure what is the best way to address the issue.

C is set as master with W98 OS on it, and D is set as slave with W2000 OS.
1. Is it safe to delete the OS on the D drive after transferring required files and programmes etc.?
2. Also, at this stage should the D drive be formatted?
3. Is it possible to merge the two drives under one drive letter?

I'm kinda out of my depth here, so any help will be much appreciated.

  pinka 15:12 12 Oct 2003

are you sure she has 2 hard drives and not just a partition on the one ?

  Diemmess 15:27 12 Oct 2003

Pinka has asked a vital question which needs answering before you do anything!

Plunging in from hearsay rather than knowledge, isn't Windows 2000 based on NT4 and a FAT16 system?

If it is, it may have been a gift from someone, there are certain to be difficulties in W98 management from C:

As a matter of principle if you can be sure all data and applications are safe on C: first, then a Format of D: saying goodbye to everything on that drive should effectively double the space available to her.

  pj123 15:46 12 Oct 2003

If you go into the BIOS you will be able to see if there are actually 2 physical hard disk drives (1 master and 1 slave) or just one drive partitioned into two. Let us know before you do anything else.

  Drum 16:36 12 Oct 2003

Thanks for that guys.
I'm almost certain there are two HDD's, as a new physical drive was apparently added some time ago.
She thought the drive was replaced with a bigger one and her old data transferred to it, but it seems not to be the case.
I'll make certain by checking in the BIOS next week, and report back before I do anything.

I'm a bit worried about the above comment " there are certain to be difficulties in W98 management from C: ", but hope some of you will be able to talk me through this.

Thanks again.

  pj123 16:48 12 Oct 2003

Don't worry about that comment yet. Just let us know whether it is two physical hard drives or one partitioned into two.

  Drum 11:21 15 Oct 2003

I had a look at my friends PC again yesterday and went into the BIOS
Under the standard CMOS features:

Primary master....Auto
Primary slave......Auto

Secondary Master....Auto
Secondary Slave......Auto

ie nothing giving an actual Mb size, or the words 'none'.

I then paused the boot up screen at the detecting HDD part:
Primary master..Maxtor 52049U4
Primary slave..none.

Secondary master...WDC AC2250OL
Secondary slave....LITE on LTR-40125S

What does this mean?

By going to her C and D drives in Windows explorer and looking at properties, the drive sizes are 2.35 Gb each, not the 3.5 previously reported. She also has an 'A' (floppy)drive, and an 'E' CD/Rw drive.

Question, how do I determine which version of windows is on the D drive, ie which file contains the version info.?
I mentioned W2000 before, because this splash screen sometimes appears on boot-up, and then vanishes.
A very strange machine this one, and her space problem is quite acute, so any help much appreciated.

  Bruce_Lee 11:31 15 Oct 2003

Looks like there are two seperate drives.
The original Maxtor (DiamondMax Plus 40 Ultra ATA 66) drive as Master 1 and a Western Digital as Master 2.

Why are there two different operating systems running? If Windows 2000 is not required then get rid of it as Win 98 is much more user friendly.

  OK Computer 11:38 15 Oct 2003

You literally might as well copy all data required off the D:\ drive and give it a clean format. Sounds like the drive given to her was second hand and was running Windows 2000 (why on such a small hard drive I dont know!) but still.

The drive should have been formatted before being given to her.

  Drum 10:26 16 Oct 2003

Thanks for the response.
What are the pros and cons of two masters vs. master and slave?

Also could someone answer my my question about where do I find OS info on drive E ?

  temp003 11:16 16 Oct 2003

Better not do any formatting of any drive before you are sure what's on each disk.

We are now pretty sure there are two hdds. Device Manager should also confirm this (Right click My Computer, Properties, then for Windows 98, just click Device Manager, and under Windows 2000, click Hardware, Device Manager, and then look under Disk Drives - you should see 2 disk drives).

In your 1st post, you think there's Windows 98 on the C drive, and Windows 2000 on D Drive, but you want to be sure.

You also mention a "splash screen" on boot up which disappears. This may or may not be a boot menu. If the screen gives you a choice between Windows 2000 and Windows 98, then that's a dual boot menu created by the subsequent installation of Windows 2000. What makes me hesitate is it should appear every time, not sometimes, as you said.

My own suspicion is 98 was installed on C. Then someone added a hdd for her, and installed Windows 2000 on the D drive, creating a dual boot (not necessarily intentionally).

First, find out what OS is running when the machine is turned on, by default. Right click My Computer, select Properties, and it will say, under the General tab, what operating system is running.

If you see it's Windows 2000, the next step is find out whether there's a dual boot with Windows 98 at all. Still in My Computer Properties, click the Advanced tab, Startup and Recovery, and under the section system startup, default operating system, click the drop down list to see if, apart from Windows 2000, there's another item called "Microsoft Windows 98" or something like that. Don't change the selection. Then click Cancel.

If the drop down list contains a reference to Windows 98, then the computer has 2 operating systems installed.

To find out where each OS is installed, double click the D drive in My Computer, and see if you find a folder called WINNT under D (i.e. D:\WINNT). If so, Windows 2000 is installed on D.

Double click the C drive, and if there's a folder C:\WINDOWS. That's Windows 98.

What to do next depends on your answers to the above checks, what the lady wants, and how far you want to "improve" on the system, without upsetting her settled habits.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

HTC U12 Plus review: Hands-on

Best Android emulators for Mac

TV & Streaming : comment regarder Roland Garros ?