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Windows 98 > Troubleshooting Windows 98


Bad Cluster(s) prevent converting to FAT32

By: Arie Slob

If you have 1 or more bad clusters on your hard drive, Windows 98 will not convert the drive. There are several solutions.

You can modify the registry to have scandisk rescan bad sectors. See Microsoft's Knowledge Base Article No. 127055.

Note by Roy Lehrer:

A little clarification on the referenced Microsoft's Knowledge Base Article might be in order. Basically this article say to change the last digits of a specific registry key value to 04. While this will work and will cause scandisk to re-check bad clusters it will also possibly re-set scandisk options you have previously set.

To prevent this from happening you should add 04 to whatever your last digits are instead of just changing them to 04.

In my case the last digits are normally 40 because I have Report MS-DOS mode name length errors enabled in the advanced options. If I follow the Knowledge Base Article and change the last digits to 04, the re-check of bad sectors occurs but not the name length error check because it has been disabled. On the other hand, if I add 04 to my current 40 and change the value to 44, then I get both features.

Keep in mind that the 04 change is not permanent, it remains only until scandisk completes, and you close it. Then a 04 would revert back to 00, and in my case the setting for name length error checks would be lost until I re-started scandisk and went into the advanced options and re-enabled it, by changing the value to 44 instead of 04, then when scandisk completes the value is reset to 40 instead of 00 and I retain this setting.

Although this registry hack does reclaim bad clusters, I am not sure just how good the test really is.


You can use PowerQuest's PartitionMagic to convert to FAT32. PM is known not to have any difficulties converting drives with bad clusters on them.