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The joys of OEM junk . . .

Ok – so I got a phone call from a family friend here a little over a week ago requesting some tech support.  I stop by to take a look at the PC, and it’s in a state that’s not worth fixing.  It’s an older Gateway PC running Win98, and it won’t boot to Windows – just sticks at the Gateway GoBack screen.

So, I convince the friend that it’s time for a new PC, and proceed to order the parts & pieces to build them a nice new Athlon64 / Windows XP Pro / Office 2003 PC.

So, I’m installing the new PC tonight – and slave the old HD into the new PC to pull across what data I can.  I boot into Windows XP, and discover that I can’t access the drive.  Mind you, it shows up in Disk Management, but it won’t let me assign a drive letter, or do anything besides format – which I obviously don’t want to do.

So, I throw a question out to the gang (the SBS MVPs are the best tech support resource a guy could have – primarily because we’re all scarred & jaded after countless ‘Been There, Done That – what a pain in the neck!’ experiences.  Well, Handy Andy comes to the rescue and confirms my suspicions that it has something to do with GoBack.  Basically, GoBack changes the partition type to it’s own type 44 – which Windows doesn’t recognize and thus won’t access.  Andy suggested booting to the old drive, pressing the Space Bar when prompted to access GoBack and disable it.  Then boot into Windows on the old drive & uninstall GoBack.  That’s fine & dandy – but if you remember correctly, I can’t get past the GoBack screen on the old HD – I can’t even get into the GoBack menu to disable it, let alone boot to Windows 98 & uninstall.  So now what?

Ah ha – Google to the rescue  :^)

You can fix this without having to boot to the old drive.  What you need to do is to get yourself a partition editor uitlity.  Luckily, PowerQuest had their PTEdit utility.  Now, Symantec recently purchased PowerQuest, but I was surprised to find out that you can still download PowerQuest’s free utilities from this Symantec FTP site:


So, I downloaded the ptedit.zip, extracted it an ran it.  I selected the drive I wanted, then clicked ‘Change Type’ button to change the partition type from the GoBack type 44 to Fat32 (type 0B).  I saved the changes to disk, rebooted and Voila! I have full access to the old drive. 


  1. Seth

    and to think i sat there for hours trying to get the data off another pc like that….

  2. Steve Peterson

    Dear Author,

    I’d just like to let you know that this page was a LIFESAVER!! I had this exact same situation (well, except I could boot my old drive, went ahead and did the simple GoBack uninstall) and was at a total loss for why my old drive was fine in Device Manager & Disk Manager yet was not being assigned a drive letter. Now, after your post, my old drive is happily visible on my new Dell system and transferring picture and document files with no probs whatsoever.

    Thank you, Google, and Handy Andy!!


  3. Endersothergame

    Thank YOU! I am so glad I found this site or some 300 GBs of irreplacable data would have been lost to me. I was going nuts…and the fix was too damn simple. Thank you

  4. atty

    Thank you and Thank you. This post saved hours and hours of grief…not to mention a trip to the data recovery service.

  5. Andy

    This was a great post – I’d found I had the same problems and was looking for something downloadable to change the partition type.

    Just couldn’t find all my disc utilities when I wanted them.

    The Powerquest utilities are now all downloaded.

    Worked a treat – far better than rebooting to 98 to deinstall goback.


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