( "Simple volumes" . A warning here. I am not sure on the term, but sometimes happens that data is intact, and you just lost the MBR section tiny data. In this case, though risky in some rare occassions, you could use fdisk /mbr , which does not delete the data, and recovers your disks. Seems you just wanted to reformat, so I guess no data is there. To recover master boot record (MBR), you can also use the free Rannish Partition Manager)
Several ways to do this.
Option a) (maybe better for you)
Use a Windows Me or Windows 98 disk. Those are bootable. And then use FDISK. You can use the one included as command there(best), or you can download (http://www.fdisk.com) from internet and just use them from a floppy diskette once you are in DOS. FDISK allows to create new partition, delete truely an old one, create extended one, etc, etc.
Reboot, with Windows cd inserted, and let windows install. It's strange that it does not show the "unpartitioned space" and let you start from there, though...
With the Windows XP CD inserted, switch on the computer. You should be sure that in the BIOS setup, it is allowed to boot from CD. It's usually allowed, so, only worry if a bootable CD wont work.
At certain point appears a blue screen with one of the options being: "To repair a windows XP...using console, press R " (or the like) .Just press R key.
I think you are prompted then your usual windows password.
You are now in a DOS screen, can type 'help' to see the commands.
You can type Diskpart, the command provided in the recovery console instead of Fdisk. I suggest use the NTFS partition option for disk greater than 32GB. In general, NTFS file system is recommended, anyway, for several reasons.
Option c) (I don't expand on it as is more complex. Is the one I often use.)
- Use a bootable floppy or CD
- Use Ranish partition manager (mainly to add multiple OSes boot) , or any similar to this.
- Use Fdisk or any other partition manager.