I have a 6.4Gb IBM hard disk which I have formatted several times during its 5 year life. I reformatted it again but this time it reported a strange size 6200.48Mb. Now when I try to run FDISK I get the following error message " Error reading fixed disk."
I'm running Windows 98Se and used the versions of FORMAT and FDISK that come with thet version.
When it auto-detects in the BIOS it shows the correct size.
The "error reading fixed disk" message might appear if no partitions are set active, if the drive/cable isn't working properly, if the HDD settings in the BIOS are incorrect, or if a program has messed up the partition information. Several people have had this problem after using NT or Linux partitioning tools. You usually set the active partition using fdisk, but in your case you could try a 3rd party program. IBM should have a zero-fill utility available for download, along with some diagnostic tools here.
Also make sure that the BIOS settings are correct, and try changing between Large (CHS) and LBA.
If the HDD still isn't working, test it in another pc with a different cable.
BTW, if you type "fdisk /status", what does it show ?
And if you can get hold of a Win 2k cd, running setup and its partition manager could cure the problem. I looked through my self-made error library, and someone posted in a newsgroup that the Win 2k partition manager was able to repartition his drive (after experiencing this problem), even when partitionmagic and fdisk failed.