Computer Repair Reference Manual


Old 02-28-02, 03:36 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: US
Posts: 357
Question Computer Repair Reference Manual

I recently purchased a surplus computer (233 Mhz processor w/ 32XCD ROM 64 megs of RAM) at a county government sale. Unfortunately, they had wiped the hard drive clean so there is no operating system.

When I use a Windows 95 universal boot disk, and then try to install Widows 95 as the OS, I get an error message as follows:

"Setup found a compressed volume or a disk-cache utility on your computer. Quit setup and check your compressed volume with your disk compression software or remove the disk-cache utility".

I'm lost when it comes to this stuff, but eager to learn.

If anybody can get me started in the right direction, it would be appreciated. Also are there any suggestions on a easy to use ( no techno-babble ) manual that will tell me how to get a computer up and running and add upgrades etc?
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Old 02-28-02, 04:46 PM
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Cool fdisk

Unfortunately what you call “Techno Babble” is what you are going to have to learn. But for now have you used “fdisk” on the Startup disk and typed “fdisk /mbr” without the quotes. This deletes the master boot record on the drive. Next is to “format c:/u” which is format the drive “unconditionally”. This erases everything on the drive. Shut down and restart, go into the BIOS and look for and select boot from device and select “CDROM, C then A”. Again shut down, this time as it posts it will ask if you want to start with CDROM support you select “Yes” and phantom drivers will load. Back at the “A” prompt type d:\ (Assuming you only have a floppy, CDROM and HD.) and at the flashing “D” prompt type “Setup” w/o the quotes. This will begin the load process of 95 (yuck). That processor will easily run 98 SE. Try this and let us know if any secret smoke gets out Stand alone programs to do this are available but why use them when all you need is offered in "Fdisk"?
Old 02-28-02, 04:59 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: US
Posts: 357

Do I do fdisk /mbr at the "A" prompt? And is there a space between fdisk and the backslash?

If you haven't figured it out yet, "this is all Greek to me" but I'm up to the challenge.

I do have Windows 98--can I install that when it comes time in your previously posted comments instead of the 95 version? I was assuming the universal boot disk had to have 95 with it.

Again, the help is appreciated.
Old 02-28-02, 05:23 PM
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Cool fdisk 98

You will have to use a 98 boot disk. Go to and get a 98 boot disk… at the “A” prompt from bootup type “fdisk” <Enter> you should see this: “fdisk:/_” with the underscore flashing. [will look like this: fdisk:/fdisk /mbr] hit the <Enter> key.
Wont take but a few moments. Then go from there, at the flashing fdisk prompt type “format c:/u” again w/o the “”.
Old 03-02-02, 12:35 AM
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Speaking of "Techno Babble" mine's kinda all pooped out right now, but...

This "disk-cache utility" he was warned about might be an "overlay" (?)...I think that's what it's called.
You know, that nasty business that Hewlett Packard, and some other computer manufacturers plunk onto the HD to try to force you to their will.

FDisk gets all bent out of shape with some of those, and (if pooped-out) memory serves, can even disable the HD altogether.

Am I off base with this?
Old 03-02-02, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,019
WonderMess, neither one is steath programming.

A compressed drive volume is simply a hidden system file stored in the root directory on the hard disk. When they are detected drvspace.bin loads. By default the first CVF is assinged C: and C: is assigned H: As of Win95 drvspace.bin and dlbspace.bin are exactly the same.

Reading between the lines: 233s' were of the era of 2G hard drives. FAT16 supports CVFs, FAT32 does not [although CVFs created on FAT!6 can be moved to FAT32 drives].. Given an older computer, CVFs, and a 2G hd, logical OS deductions would be Win3x, or most likely Win95. If a CVF existed the governments Admin. errantly deleted or formatted the drive before CVFs were removed. If CVFs existed they may have contained sensitive information..., now easily extractable. And it's a minuscule task to delete CVFs. (ie: on the boot disk, remove file attribs from drvspace.*, rename or delete it. Boot, do the same for files in the root directory - folder to Windows users). Furthermore, given the assumptions of FAT16 and a 2G hard drive, a full Win98 installaton will eat most of hard drive.

Disk-caching utilities store recently accessed disk data in ram. Windows would be very slovenly without disk caching. A caching utlilty could have been removed in the same manner as CVFs.

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