[CQ-Contest] Accessing Windows Hard Disks from DOS

kd4d at comcast.net kd4d at comcast.net
Tue Jan 25 06:04:01 EST 2005

Good morning, all:

There are a couple of tricks you may be able to use to boot DOS from a CD and
save your log files to (and run your logging programs from) to a Windows hard disk
without repartitioning the disk.  NOTE:  Repartitioning the disk, and even dual
booting on the hard disk, is not particularly hard.  I have written a detailed
procedure which is available at www.k1ea.com or www.trlog.com.

If your Windows hard disk happens to have a Windows partition that is formatted
as FAT32, you are basically done. Boot DOS (the version with Windows 98Se or later
or FreeDOS) and the drive will show up as C: with full read and write access.  Pretty

However, most Windows XP installations use NTFS.  There are free DOS drivers
that allow reading files from NTFS disks, but none that I am aware of that allow
writing.  However, the NTFS drives I have seen have about 10-30 MBytes of
"unused" or "free" space.  This is plenty for storing TR or CT and a bunch of
log files.

All you have to do is use qtParted (from a Linux rescue CD like www.sysresccd.org)
or fdisk to create a FAT32 partition in the unused space.  Warning:  If you
decide to use fdisk, Microsoft has a patched version you must use if your
hard drive is over 60 GBytes in size (most are these days).  You can get it
from www.bootdisk.com.

I don't have a written procedure for this, but I can walk you through it if you
need to do this and are willing to contribute to a procedure for it! Again,
dual-booting isn't that hard, but this is a clever solution for those of us
using other people's computers!  :-)


Mark, KD4D

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