Fer heck sakes, don't change the IDE cables around. Put 'em back!
FAT32 means you could use a Win 98 startup disk to start the machine and remove or move files on the drive(S). Of course, this means you have to figure out DOS commands. CD to change from one folder (directory) to another. COPY to move files. The correct sequence of commands to move things. What to move. DIR to see what's on the drive. DIR /P to see what's on the drive one page at a time. DEL to delete a file.
Do you have a DOS startup disk? If not, you can make one using a self-installing file located at this site
Make the disk according to directions. Boot your computer with it. It should say A:\> on a blank screen.
Change to the C: drive by typing:
Then find your directories by typing:
. . . which will display the directories in wide format.
Choose which directory has something you can remove. It's hard to figure out what some of them are because many will use a tilde in the filename. You can't see long filenames in DOS. Program Files would probably look like:
And My Documents would look like
So, if you have any large files, like a disk image you don't need, in My Documents, you could go there by typing:
. . . and pressing the enter key.
. . . to get a directory of files. Make notes of the filenames you can get rid of, complete with their extensions. For instance, if you have picture files that are taking up a lot of room, they might be jpg files. To delete a file named myhorsebill.jpg, which would look like myhors~ jpg you would type:
. . .and you'll be asked to confirm the delete.
will take you back one level, to C:\>
Or, you can move files to the D: drive if it's functional, by typing:
move myhors~.jpg D:
to move it to the root directory of D: or
move myhors~.jpg D:\newpics
if you have a folder on D: called "newpics." You can create this folder by switching to the D: drive:
. . . and typing at the D:\> prompt:
. . . Then you can test to see if it's there by typing:
If you were successful, you'll see:
It's slow and it's painful. But if you can delete or move enough files to get scandisk to run and complete, you may be back in the system, and you can restart Windows and do some more serious moving.
Once you're finished moving files, you can exit DOS and restart your computer by removing the floppy and either hitting ctrl-alt-del or just shut it off! (::sigh:: Those were the days.)