This article was previously published under Q104205
If you have a logical drive in an extended partition that has been
formatted with NTFS, it can be removed using Disk Administrator unless
Windows NT has been installed on the partition. If Windows NT resides
on the same partition, you need to use either of the following two
NOTE: Removing a partition requires that you back up any important
information beforehand, as each procedure below will destroy all the
data on your extended NTFS partition. If you plan to remove the entire
extended partition, all logical drives within it will be destroyed as
well. In this case, make sure you back up data on all logical drives.
WINDOWS NT 3.5x and 4.0
NOTE: To return to MS-DOS as your primary operating system, drive C must be
formatted as FAT. If you do not want to return to MS-DOS, skip steps 3 and
If you only want to change the file system back to FAT for the logical
drive that Windows NT is installed on, skip step 2 for any NTFS drive you
wish to keep, and steps 3 and 4.
Backup any data you want to keep on any NTFS logical drives or partitions.
Use Disk Administrator to remove all NTFS drives except the drive
Windows NT is installed on. If drive C is NTFS, you must recreate the
partition as FAT.
Boot with an MS-DOS floppy disk which has the SYS command on it.
From drive A, type:
Boot with the Windows NT Setup Disk and run custom setup. For speed
purposes it is best to skip the mass storage detection and manually
specify any supported SCSI compliant adapters you have. If you have a
CD-ROM drive, you will have a choice of installing from either the CD or
3.5" disks in drive A.
If Setup finds a copy of Windows NT to upgrade, press N to have Windows
NT not upgrade the existing copy.
Press ENTER after confirming the hardware list matches the hardware you
If Setup finds a copy of Windows, press N to not have Windows NT
installed into the Windows directory.
You will be at the partitioning screen next. On this screen you will
have the choice to delete the NTFS partition. Select the NTFS partition
to be deleted. To select the partition use the up and down arrow keys.
Press D to delete the partition.
Press L to confirm the deletion.
You will be back in the partition screen. Select the unpartitioned
space by using the up and down arrow keys. Press ENTER to have Windows
NT installed on that partition.
Choose to have the partition formatted as FAT and press ENTER.
When the format is complete, Setup will ask for a path for Windows NT
to be installed into. If you want to keep Windows NT, either change the
path or accept the default and finish setup. If you want to go back to
MS-DOS, press the F3 function key twice to exit Setup. Remove any
floppy disks in drive A and press ENTER to reboot the system.
WINDOWS NT AND WINDOWS NT ADVANCED SERVER VERSION 3.1
Using Setup Disk Created by WINNT.EXE
NOTE: This procedure requires that you have a FAT partition somewhere
on your first hard disk drive. If all your partitions are NTFS or
HPFS, this procedure will not work.
From Boot Loader, choose MS-DOS for your operating system, or
restart your computer with a bootable MS-DOS floppy disk inserted.
Type the following command line:
This directory's existence is checked for by the setup disk
Insert the disk created by WINNT.EXE during setup and restart your
Do as directed by Windows NT Setup, choosing Custom when prompted
for the type of setup.
At one point, Setup will display an error message similar to the
Unable to load file system support. The distribution disk may be
Ignore this message and press ENTER. Choose any path when prompted.
When you have the option to choose which partition to install to,
note that the NTFS partition is labeled "Unknown or unformatted."
Choose this partition and press P to create or delete a partition.
On the next Setup screen press ENTER to remove the "non-partition."
Press ENTER again to return to the partition choices.
Press F3 twice to quit Setup and restart your computer.
Using Norton Disk Edit
Start Norton Disk Edit.
From the Object menu, choose Drive.
Choose Physical Disks.
Choose Drive and choose OK.
Select the hard disk that contains the NTFS partition.
From the View menu, choose Partition Table.
Select the partition marked "EXTEND" and press ENTER to look at
the extended partition.
Look for an entry in the extended partition table that reads
"HPFS." If you cannot find the "HPFS" partition, look for another
"EXTEND" partition, highlight it and press ENTER again. Do this
until you have found the partition marked "HPFS."
Highlight the partition marked "HPFS" and press the SPACEBAR until
it reads "Unused."
Exit Norton's Disk Edit, making sure to save the changes.
Use the MS-DOS FDISK command or Disk Administrator to re-create
the deleted partition.
If you are a Small Business customer, find additional troubleshooting and learning resources at the Support for Small Business site.