The Norton Utilities is a suite of disk and system utilities designed to enhance system performance and stability. It started off as a set of disk utilities written by Peter Norton, and later was sold by Symantec. It competed against Central Point PC Tools and the Mace Utilities. In 2003, Norton Utilities was merged with Norton SystemWorks, but later split back out.
I have tried the other suggestions, but most of them are not going to cut it because they only let you view and edit disk sectors and are not aware of disk structures like directory entries, partition tables, boot sectors, FAT, $Mft, inodes, etc.
• Introduction • The Norton Disk Editor and ... • MD5 Checksums -- links for obtaining some free MD5 programs (required). • How to make a Windows Startup Disk • Make more than one copy! • Can DISKEDIT run under Windows 2000/XP or Windows 9x/ME ? • Running DISKEDIT under DOS • DIRECTORY View of the Windows 98 Startup Disk • "Layout" of a 1440 kb diskette (Boot Record, FATs, Directory and Data) • Windows 98 SE Startup Disk Directory • Windows ME Startup Disk Directory • The Windows XP Startup Disk (only an edited version of the Win ME disk!) • MD5 Sums for checking every file on all the Windows Startup Disks!
This page makes use of DISKEDIT.EXE (one of the utility programs in the Norton Utilities package) to examine the contents of the Windows 98, 98 SE, ME and XP Startup Disks. [Note: Although Microsoft's DEBUG.EXE program is quite limited compared to DISKEDIT, there are a number of things you can learn here using only DEBUG.] The version of DISKEDIT we'll be using is from the Norton System Works 2002 CD by Symantec (Spammers have been hawking this one at reduced prices for a long time... NOTE: Most of the software on this CD is what I consider overbloated and will stuff the Windows REGISTRY full of junk, a practice which always disgusts me! Obviously, I'm not encouraging you to install everything on this CD nor to purchase it just for this page! I have, however, found a few of their programs helpful; though some are also dangerous! Caution: I do not recommend ever using NDD on a system with many logical drives; especially if you have both a Win NT/2000/XP OS and Windows 98 (perhaps as a dual boot system) which will share any FAT/FAT32 drives. If you do happen to run NDD, never use 'fix' on any drive; unless you SAVE all the changes to an Undo file first!). ALTERNATE METHOD for Obtaining a Rescue Version of DISKEDIT.EXE: Search Symantec's Public FTP site ( _us_canada/tools/win95nt/) for files related to NAV, and you just might find a download which contains the DISKEDIT utility! When we looked in 2007, the file ned_2001.exe (NED="Norton Emergency Disks"), included DISKEDIT.EXE inside the file, Disk2.img (a floppy diskette image file). Either use the executable (ned_2001) to create only diskette 2 (it gives you a choice for each disk), or find an imaging program to extract the files (the .exe and its DOS help, DISKEDIT.HLP).
These pages are intended to show you how to use a Disk Editor to both view (at first) and make changes to a floppy diskette, or even your hard drives (later on). We are examining The Windows 98 (and the Win ME or Win XP) Startup (boot) Disks and using the Norton Disk Editor, simply because these are readily available (there are other commercial disk editors; such as WinHex, which can be used while running a Win NT/2000/XP OS). At the same time, you will also be learning about the FAT file systems (how their Boot Records, FATs and Directory structures function); also some facts about the OSs which use these file systems and possibly a bit about NTFS and others as well.
[To the best of my knowledge, no version of DISKEDIT will run under Win 2000/XP and/or understand NTFS 5.0 (NTFS 4.x was the file system for Win NT4). The only disk editors I know of that run under Win 2000/XP are: WinHex (which I recommend; it has MANY features in a single program!) or Runtime Software's disk explorer for NTFS (a 'spinoff' of their recovery software); you must purchase separate programs for either FAT32 or NTFS from them! If you know of a similar disk editor (not one that is just someone's dream or still in alpha tests), please tell me about it.]
DISKEDIT.EXE can be installed anywhere on your computer (in a FAT32 or FAT16 file system) or even on a floppy diskette (FAT12). If you run Win 2k/XP, place it on a floppy and consider creating a FAT32 partition on your hard disk for such programs. If you run Win9x, you should place a copy in your C:\WINDOWS directory (along with its help file), so you have it available at any DOS/Win9x Command prompt. ____________ * MD5 checksums are essentially a unique way of identifying files or streams of bytes. They are created by use of an open source mathematical algorithm which has been built into many security applications. You can read more about MD5 checksums and find links to some free MD5 programs here: Free MD5 Programs. MD5 programs will be required to complete the exercises.
How to make a Windows Startup (Boot) Disk Note: Making a Windows ME Startup Disk is very similar to what you'll see below. However, for Windows XP you insert a diskette in the floppy drive and open the FORMAT Dialog (such as right-clicking on the drive letter under Explorer), but before starting the actual format process, you select the checkbox to make a "Startup Disk" instead.
This section will explain how to make a Windows 98 Startup Disk from a Win 98 installation (so we can all have the same copy of a diskette to examine and work on; well, almost the same, since the OEM field in your Startup Disk's Boot Record will likely have a different "IHC" string and also have a different serial number depending upon when the diskette was created. There are also a couple other files that will be dated at the time of its creation).
Since this is also the same disk that Windows asks you to create during the installation process, you may already have one! In that case, the OEM field in its Boot Record will contain the phrase "MSWIN4.1" rather than an "IHC" string.
NOTE: If you do not have a bootable Windows 98 or 98 SE OS on your computer, you should still be able to download a copy of the Windows 98 Startup Disk from the Internet (you could start looking for one at: www.bootdisk.com), or possibly borrow one from a friend to remedy the situation.
If your hard disk does not contain a folder titled "win98" which contains all of the ".CAB" install files for your OS, then at some point during this process you will be asked to insert the Windows 98 CD in your CD-ROM drive:
5) You should then see the following dialog box; follow the directions (although you should label the diskette as suggested, remember that this what most techs simply refer to as a boot disk), then Click on the "OK" button:
5) Once the progress bar reaches 100% it will disappear and the floppy disk drive activity light should turn off. If you're going to keep the diskette as one of your trusted Boot Disks, then remove it from the drive and set the write-protect tab to read-only and test to make sure that it will boot up your computer; running a check on the MD5 sums for your diskette (see below) will make sure that all the files on your disk are OK. If you use the disk at a later date and something doesn't work, you could check the MD5 sums again (perhaps on another machine) to make sure it hasn't become corrupted. Make two or more boot disks (preferably with even more utility programs than just the Microsoft versions; I'll comment on that later) and store them in clean and safe locations so you'll always have one when necessary.
Although I do not recommend doing so, it is actually possible to run the Norton Disk Editor under Windows 2000/XP if and only if you: 1) Force it to do so, 2) Understand that this will only be possible for a diskette in your floppy drive (never for a hard disk!) and 3) Accept the consequences of whatever side-effects may arise from doing so; such as DISKEDIT running at a slower speed than normal.
First, make sure you have placed a floppy diskette in your A: drive (with the write-protect tab set to read-only). After executing DISKEDIT, it may take quite some time before you see anything happen! When you finally see this warning message, click on the "Ignore" button:
After waiting again for some time, you will finally be able to select your floppy drive as a Logical drive from the menu (use the ALT+ENTER keys to switch between a DOS-Window and full-screen). I wouldn't try doing much more than simply viewing the diskette's Boot Record, FATs or Directory under these conditions; trying to write to the disk may cause other problems. This is, however, one way you could study the HELP file without having to boot into real DOS. Each time you execute DISKEDIT under Win 2000, a note will be placed in Win2000's System Event Log stating: "Application popup: 16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem : DISKEDIT.EXE An application has attempted to directly access the hard disk, which cannot be supported. This may cause the application to function incorrectly. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application." 2b1af7f3a8