View Full Version : Reformating a hard drive

01-06-2003, 02:29 PM
The hard drive on one of the computers we use at work is just about full. Which is starting to cause errors to happen in the dos based program that is run on it.

The boss rang the technican that looks after the computers (as the program that runs on the computers as well is his creation) asking what could be done to fix the problem (like deleting some of the history and other information off the hd etc). The technican said it could be done but it wouldn't make much difference as there is too much information stored on the hard drive.
(Ok, this I fully agree with. After looking at how much space is left on the hd myself).

Here's the punch line which I don't agree with and I'm wondering if you could explain to me if this is right or not.

The technican said, "that he needs to by a new hard drive and install the program on it".

I thought that he would be able to reformat the hard drive and re-install the program on it and use the backup informat that we save each day to disk.

The program is a dos based, does this matter, I thought you could reformat the hd not matter what? Or is this guy just leading us astray?

So, if we start off with doing the fdisk and then the reformat won't that delete the data that is actually on the hard drive or not?

Maybe I have no idea at all, but I'm just curious to see what ideas you guys have to offer me.

Anyway, another part of the question is where do you stand with the ATO on this, so long as you've got the main info they require what's on the drive doesn't really matter so long as you've got copies of the takings, etc from the shop there should be no prob right?

Like he's saying to us that we can't delete the info on the hd cause we need to keep the hard drive info for tax purposes, is this guy mad or what? *or just me* So long as we have resonable info on what goes on day to day we should be right, you can't tell me that every comany is Aus has to get a new hd everytime it becomes full?

Sorry if I haven't quite explained myself properly, but I think you'll get the general idea of what I'm trying to say.

RE: Can we reformat the hd or not?

Or should I just shut my mouth cause I have no idea what I'm talking about?

01-06-2003, 02:59 PM
No expert here but I'll kick in my 2 cents worth anyway.
Odds are that the daily backups that you have been saving on disk are just that ... daily. The only info stored on those disks are the transactions of that day. The sum total of all transactions that are saved to the hard drive could prolly be recreated by reinstalling all backup disks that have been created since the hard drive came into regular usage. Therefore, (if my logic is correct) if one were to format the HD, reinstall the program, and replace the info that has been backed up (a major project) you would be right back where you started ... a full HD.
It seems to me that you have few options (remember .... no expert here). Delete dated info that is no longer required ... copy important files to floppy (tape, CD, whatever) then delete em from HD and/or get a bigger or second HD installed in the system.

01-06-2003, 03:09 PM
The only important info that will have to be put back into the program is the customer accounts I think, not every day-to-day transaction.

As this will be recorded on the Z reading on takings printout that gets done everyday, and the gst is also recorded day-to-day. So not all the info will have to be re-installed.

My main concern is why should we have to replace/buy a hard- drive rather than just reformatting it?

01-06-2003, 03:24 PM
No ideas on Aus legalities but yes I do understand what you are saying. In the event that you do not have to keep all info on your HD to satisfy the tax people why format at all? So long as your point of sale program does not have a problem with daily transactions/no longer current files being deleted then it follows that you should be able to simply delete the unnessesary files and reclaim the HD space.

G Smith
01-06-2003, 08:20 PM
WS...I'm no expert here but let me take a shot at this

If what you are saying is..

You have backed up all transaction records and you don't need to keep them on the hard drive.

All you need is the program installed and customer data reinstalled.

This should be very do-able.

01-06-2003, 08:34 PM
Yeah I can't see any probs either unless someone can point out some software/program integrity prob that we can't see here. What flavour of Win9x os is on it sis and whats the CPU and speed plus the size of the hard drive and how much system memory does it have? :?:

hows that extra memory in your's anyway? and if ya still got that burn prob then I may have a solution that I'll tell about via MSN

01-07-2003, 10:11 AM
It seems to me that if you just add the program in question to the hard drive and use it as a secondary (not replacement) drive, then everything will be set. You can copy over the old records and continue on with your backups. That still leaves the OS and other programs intact on the main drive. The only thing needed would be to change the path of the program being used, and possibly the path of the backup within the program itself.

As to the tax thing, I can't say what Australian taxes are like; but I can say that in the States, we keep our tax records on file for a minimum of 7 years for most companies. Uncle Sam has a very long arm so it is best to stay prepared.

01-07-2003, 10:39 AM
That was my thinkin' as well but I think that my sis is tryin' to look after her Boss' best interests here and wants all her options covered first. ;)

01-07-2003, 11:35 AM
what i dont understand is, even if you do format, you'll run outta space pretty soon again wouldnt you? you'd hit those bad sectors again, so why not buy a new hd and copy the daily backup onto it. this way you have a bigger hd that is usable in the future and your not afraid of reformatting it everyother month cause the hd is full..

01-07-2003, 02:04 PM
Windows 3.x is running on the system, but remembering that the program that is 99% used is a dos based program. The only time windows is used is when they have to print shelf labels.

The system itself is used for a convenience store which could have upto a thousand transactions per day. That's why I think most of the memory is being used up as this will be stored in history.

The only real important things to backup and re-install on the system should be the products (pricing and bar-codes), customer accounts etc. So if we do a backup of these, reformat, re-install the program and then install only the products and customers accounts. Then there should be plenty more room to play with for another couple of years.

This system has been running at least 2 years, so with all the history of every keystroke removed it should last another couple or years, right?

Just correct me if it would be just easier to just replace the hard drive?

01-07-2003, 05:38 PM
Can ya wait till I get back up next week with another old drive to add to it? :?:

I got quite a few old ones here that would be perfect for ya as DOS doesn't use as much room as the more modern Windows does so will a 1/2or4GB one do? (the 4GB I'd have to partition for ya into 2 x 2GB but maybe the main drive can be shadowed over and the old one used just as backup? :?:

I can show ya how do add it so ya know for when the main drive needs to be done ;)

or your's if it don't dummy spit a PSU again :eek:

01-07-2003, 05:43 PM
I'm not sure he'd let us fiddle with it, I was just curious to know whether this guy was having a lend of him or not.

01-07-2003, 05:47 PM
In the long run it would be better as how old is that setup now? How long is that drive goin' to last for before it drops it's guts just before a backup is done? Remember ya PSU? And all that stuff just layin' everywhere? :?:

01-08-2003, 02:34 PM
*shakes head* have you been drinkin?

What stuff lying around everywhere?
Besides, I'm talking about the work comp not mine.

01-08-2003, 05:07 PM
Yes I know but I was just just usin' your PC as an example of "Murphy's Law" (stuff = dust/fluff/grease/etc). ;)