Problems trying to format HD and reinstall Win98

This is going to be a rather long post.
I'm hoping someone might have an answer for the problems I had yesterday while attempting to reinstall Win98. I will try to give as much information as I can without putting any of you to sleep.
I have a IBM DTLA307045 75GXP 45 gig drive, connected to my primary Promise U100 channel on an Asus A7V motherboard.
My drive is one of the ones that has developed a few bad sectors in the 4 months that I've owned it. It makes the typical scratching noise when it has found a bad sector. Most of the time it's running like a dream. Really fast, and really quiet.
I decided to reinstall Windows98. No big deal.. I used to do it every 3 months or so, But I haven't tried doing this since the drive developed its first bad sector.
I rebooted to my trusty Emergency Boot Disk, and tried to reformat my C partition, but I encountered problems. At approx. 12% completion, I encountered one of the bad sectors that i know to exist on that partition. I was informed that that the system was trying to recover allocation unit 63,106. I waited, but it never did.
I rebooted, and tried a quick format (erase), but it quit at about the same area (12%), and acted as though it had completed the task. I began to reinstall Win98 from my OEM CD. Setup was recognizing an existing installation on my C partition. I installed over it, believing that it would be wiped clean and I would be back to a fresh install, ready to install my drivers and get my equipment up and running.
After booting for the first time, I began receiving errors about all the registry entries that Win98 thought should be there, but couldn't find. I ended up deleting my System.ini file just so I could reinstall a fresh copy of the O/S.
Is there a reason why the format command didn't recognize the bad sectors and continue with the format? I ran ScanDisk's surface scan, and it uncovered NO new damaged sectors, but Format would run right into them and the drive would make its noises and halt. Is there another way to completely erase the C partion and clean Win off of my drive? I don't know of one.

NOTE: The last time that I had reinstalled Win98, I had copied a backup of the files to my F partition using the
Xcopy32 C:\*.* F:\Cbackup\*.* /s/c/h/e/r/k
command in a MS Dos Window within Win98. I had read that others regularly backup their O/S this way. I have a basic understanding of DOS commands, but I am no expert. I didn't know if I could recopy the files back to C and overwrite my Win98 files.
I attempted to copy the backup over to my C partition, hoping that it would get me back to my original installation, and that all I would have to do is uninstall and reinstall all of my programs that I had installed AFTER I had made the original backup. Wrong.
I had different versions of drivers mixed with the originals, Explorer was corrupt, etc. I tried this as an experiment, knowing that I could just reformat and do a fresh reinstall if it didn't work. I had no idea that I would encounter these problems while trying to format the C partition.
Is there a way to make a backup copy of Windows and then copy it back to the C partition without running into these problems?
Am I using the proper commands? I read that this should be done from a DOS box within Win98, and not from a pure DOS prompt.
Oh gosh, I can hear y'all snoring already, so I'll just post this and see what happens. Thanks for any help or ideas.
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  1. >My drive is one of the ones that has developed a few bad
    >sectors in the 4 months that I've owned it. It makes the
    >typical scratching noise when it has found a bad sector.
    >Most of the time it's running like a dream. Really fast,
    >and really quiet.

    Is the drive still under warranty? Since you've only had it 4 months, I would guess it is.

    Return the drive. This is a bad drive just waiting to get worse. I wouldn't waste my time or risk my data on it.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
    In practice, there is.
  2. You usually have to repartition the drive to recover bad sectors, when they are recoverable. Try it, if you can't recover them, return the drive.

    Suicide is painless...........
  3. OK -- I'll make this one brief as I can.

    I had a similar problem with an IBM DeskStar 45 gig, 7200 RPM drive. For some unknown reason, It would suddenly not format past 6 percent of the drive. Originally I thought the drive had gone bad due to the fact it was sitting on top of another drive, and possibly causing a heat buildup.

    So before I decided to buy another one, I called Tech Support from the place I bought it from and explained to the guy what the problem was. I was then informed that by going to the IBM website, I could download a low level formatting utility that could possibly solve the problem once and for all.

    Well, after I downloaded the utility files that basically runs from a PC DOS bootdisk, I simply ran the low level utility for about an hour, called appropriately enough "ERASE DISK". Afterwards as the program finished, I could now reformat the ENTIRE drive without any abrupt termination in the formatting process. Not only that, but ALL of the bad sectors I was having disappeared completely.

    Boy was I ever glad of that!!! Otherwise, if that low level utility had not solved the issue, I would have had to ship the thing to IBM for warranty repairs. ( supposedly they reimburse you on shipping charges )

    So if you are still having this issue of formatting bad sectors, instead having it to buy a new one, try downloading that HD utility from the IBM website just to cover ALL the bases.

  4. RJD,

    Thanks for the reply. As a matter of fact, I did just what you did. I ran the drive fitness test (DFT utility), and then the erase disk function, then the drive passed all the tests with flying colors. Unfortunately, this was the 2nd time I've done this. And to do this, I have to reconnect all my IDE devices around so that I can connect my hard drive to the ATA66 channel on my Asus A7V. The DFT won't detect my hard drive while connected to my Promise u100 controller channel. IBM's drive feature tool WILL detect the drive on that u100, but not the DFT. I've emailed IBM about a possible update to their utility, but I haven't heard back from them.
    Also, the last time I had to do this, the tests came back with no errors.
    Well, it's been over a week, and I'm formatted, partitioned, and running smoothly.
    In my system, I'm running the drive with room to breathe, and although I don't have a hard drive cooler, I do have a case fan blowing right up on it to keep it cool.
    I did go out and purchase another ATA66 cable for the drive, in hopes that the one supplied with the Asus mobo might be problematic. We'll see on that one.

    I don't think the erase utility fixes the bad sectors. I believe it makes note of where they are and avoids them. I might be wrong on that one.
    Once again, thanks for your input and ideas. Hopefully neither or us will have these problems again, but I'm not breathing easy just yet.
  5. You can get programs that erase everything off your drive, and leave a clean drive to load on, I have one called slate, and it took 2 bad sectors off the drive as well, (someone here said that they wouldent have been bad sectors, just corrupted data) but the programme got rid of everything, but as someone here said, If its under warranty, get rid of it and get a new one
  6. Just a tip to reinstall Windows 98 without reformating :

    1) Boot with a diskette or by restarting in MS-DOS mode

    2) go in the Windows system directory : like C:\Windows\system

    3) Delete all files in that directory : del *.*

    4) go back in the root : CD\ to have the C:\ prompt

    5) Rename the Windows directory like : "ren windows scrap" (note: I usually do that to not lose my time in deletation... I clean all the rest when the new Windows is reinstalled)

    6) Rename the Program FIles directory like : "ren Program~1 scrap2" (i'm not sure of the real name in DOS of the Program Files directory"

    7) Reinstall Windows...

    I hope it will help !

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