Please note, this debug script comes from Dell support without their expressed consent. They gave it out to people in need and it eventually made its way to me via a guy named Bill. I will take it down willingly if Dell has any problem at all with my offer to pass along this excellent knowledge. Microsoft also has one at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q106/4/19.asp but the Dell one has always worked best for me.
Bill actually sent me three debug scripts. He says they came from a Dell Support person for laptops because he had to low level format a 12gig laptop drive after crashing it with PartionMagic 3.05. First, we have one to display your com and parallel ports. Next we have one that will display the type of video card you have. And the last one is the one listed at the bottom of this page for deleting partitions. Thanks Bill!
Andy sent me the link to Dell's support site where they list the debug script: http://support.dell.com/us/en/kb/document.asp?DN=TT1011054
Dave was the first person to send me a DEBUG script that will clean a hard drive of any partition information. It is the same one from the Microsoft link above. The Starman pointed out that I should be telling people that this does not wipe the data from your drive--it just clears the area that points to it. If your intent was to wipe the whole drive of all data then this isn't what you want. Just search for "drive random wipe" or "drive zero wipe" at your favorite search site.
Jason tried this in his western digital 6.0 gig drive and he said it made it into a handy dandy doorstop. I have no idea if the drive was already toast or not so I will never know if the script was the cause. I also know people have used it successfully of course. I just stopped recommending it once I got the Dell version. Of all the versions I have found, nearly all are modeled after the Microsoft version. The Dell one is unique which is also why I'm partial to it.
Lets make sure this part is perfectly clear so there is no confusion: If you use this script then you are assuming all liability for its failure or success. I'm offering this to people who need a last resort to clean their drive. I have been told by an ex-tech that there is a slight failure rate which renders an already screwed up hard drive into a pretty paperweight. It has always sounded like a good trade off to me, but you have to decide for yourself because neither Myself or Dell are responsible for what you do with this.
This script wipes DISK 0. The problem is, if you have more than one physical drive it can be hard to determine which one is going to get whacked. I suggest you remove all hard drives except the one to be cleaned before trying this. Trust me on this one--I have been playing with drives for years and I still get fooled once in a while. Just recently I came across a computer that was silently booting DISK 1 as C: and making DISK 0 into D: because the first disk wasn't properly bootable. Had I just assumed that the booting drive was 0 then I would have wiped the wrong one.
Boot to Win98SE startup disk (It is the best OS made boot disk ever). Type in debug at the A: prompt.
Enter in the following commands:
Blue: what you type in.
Pink: what is displayed on the screen. (DO NOT TYPE THIS IN!)
Black: this is useful information. (DO NOT TYPE THIS IN!)
To delete partitions on a hard drive:
-F 220 L1000 0 (ENTER)
-A CS: 100 (ENTER)
xxxx:0100 MOV AX,301 (ENTER)
xxxx:0103 MOV BX,200 (ENTER)
xxxx:0106 MOV CX,1 (ENTER)
xxxx:0109 MOV DX,80 (ENTER) <---"80" for hd1, "81" for hd2 >
xxxx:010C INT 13 (ENTER)
xxxx:010E INT 20 (ENTER)
xxxx:0110 (ENTER) <-------BLANK LINE "VERY IMPORTANT" >
Program terminated normally
- (CTRL)-(ALT)-(DEL) to reboot system
Now you have to f-disk and format and reinstall the operating system. This Microsoft Tech Document on How to Install Windows 98 on a Computer with No Operating System might help.