Convered to NTFS - Still Have FAT Segments


Dave B

In going to WInXP from Win98SE, I converted my 'Disk 0' to NTFS. The
conversion went OK, and the whole system seems to work OK.

I recently got back into the Computer Management routine, and find my 40 gig
Disk 0 now has 3 segments, the first labeled "47 MB FAT Healthy (EISA
Configuration)", the second "(C:) 34.15 GB NTFS Healthy (System)", and the
third "3.05 GB FAT32 Healthy (Unknown Partition)"

3 questions:
1. Why do I still have the FAT segments?
2. Can they be converted? - best I can tell from the H & S info is that
only whole volumes can be converted.
3. Do I care? the "If it ain't broke don't fix it" theory





Ted Zieglar

The 47MB partition sounds like a hardware diagnostic partition, i.e., a
partition containing hardware diagnostics provided by the OEM which you can
invoke at startup with a function key. In Dell computers, for example,
pressing F11 invokes the diagnostic partition. In fact, Dell's partition is
~47MB, so perhaps you have a Dell computer?

The 3GB partition is very likely a recovery partition which you can use to
return your computer to the way it was when it left the factory. (This will
completely erase your hard disk.)

The method you used to convert to NTFS did not convert these partitions
because, being FAT partitions, they are 'invisible' to the conversion
process. The invisibility is intentional, since the OEM would rather that
their customers not mess with these things.

IMHO you should leave the diagnostic partition, since it's handy to have in
case you run into hardware problems and it only takes up a measly 47MB.
Besides, it's almost impossible to re-install it by yourself. As for the
recovery partition: If you've mastered the art and science of backup there's
no need for the recovery partition, so there's 3 more GB to hold video of
junior's birthday party. However, don't wipe out the recovery partition
unless you have an XP CD.

Dave B

Thank you Ted
And right on, it is a Dell. And we have had a real time of it. XP
contained some corrupt files when received, so we started out by reloading
from the disk. It has been a real mess - but again, is OK now.

BTW, I emailed dell back and forth for over 3 weeks - they couldn't make the
network connection feature, or the Help & Support feature (how prophetic)
work either. When I finally said OK, take it back, they said since I'd had
it over 21 days it could no longer be returned - followed by (and this is a
direct quite) "Have a nice day".


As a matter of interest, how would I get rid of the 3 g partition? Still
not sure it's worth 3 gigs (especially after all we have been through)- but
that indeed would be several (grand)children's birthday parties.

Thank you for the very informative reply. It is much appreciated.


Use Computer Management to access Disk Management.
Everything to disk is viewed or activated from that
Administrator's tool.

I am rather concerned why you even have a FAT partition.
Even if XP was reloaded, the NTFS option should have
automatically setup the partition as NTFS. Where did that 3
Gig partition come from? Maybe from the way FAT32 was used in

Best to try to enable that 3 gig partition in Disk
Management first - to learn what it is before 'trying to fix
it'. If it is really a FAT32 partition, then Disk Management
should enable you to look inside that partition. Always look
before fixing.

BTW, how does XP contain corrupt files? XP is read from a
CD-Rom. Either they unpack and load properly, or the
corruption is detected up front. If corrupted, then there
must have been some error messages. Messages that may mean
other things must be done up front. And what are you doing
with Windows 98SE on a new Dell? Other details that may
completely change the answers you are receiving.
May 18, 2005
Reaction score
Might help

Ok, I had the same problem with a partition on a maxtor 30 gig, in an athlon 850. I installed xp pro and had ME previously. The hard drive kept a part of the Fat 32 partition. I used Max Blast and other softwares to try and delete it, nothing worked. I reinstalled ME for kicks thinking i could manage this problem with a 98 boot disk. Fdisk would say it was gone, but it was still there in my hd space. I finally installed xp on my second hard drive and used disk management to get rid of the fat partition for good on the first drive. I then installed xp pro on the first drive and it worked, the fat was gone. If you have two hard drives, this might be a good option for you.

Dave B

Good point - I do have a second HD, but I was trying to stay out of it for
other reasons. I also have an external, which has plenty of room.
Hmmmmmmmm! Maybe.

I have to straighten out my reference to my Win98 first, though - got
wrapped up in all the Dell crap and forgot where I was going (or where I was
coming from - well - you get the idea.)

Thank you for the suggestion. I'm taking everything under advisement at
this point.




Dave B

All good points - I got wrapped trying to simplify two separate sets of
problems. Big mistake.

The 98 comp hardware died in the middle of an attempted upgrade to XP.
Fortunately, I had compete backups of all data. Purchased Dell. When
received, several functions were inop. A quick email exchange with Dell
advised to do the F11 thing. Didn't work. Then advised to reformat HD and
reinstall XP (not F11 - reinstall). Did, H&S, network connections and some
other stuff would not work. Screwed around for over 21 days as previously

No question that (various) MSNewgroups saved my bacon. Again, as previously
reported, system is now working well.

Three things really impressed me about this whole exercise.

1) My undying thanks to Bill G for arranging things so I cannot restore the
files that I had so carefully backed up on the 98. (I very seriously
considered (re)installing 98 on the Dell just so I could restore my backups.
Fortunately, I got smart and gave up that idea before it too got out of
2) Dell's telephone support is criminally poor.
3) I have absolutely no idea how I wound up with 3 partitions on my C:
drive, or how they got formatted as they apparently are.

What I am going to do next? Don't know, maybe nothing. On the other hand,
I may be back :)

Thank you for your help. It is very much appreciated.

But enough of this.


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