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Author Topic: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...  (Read 4110 times)

barney

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I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« on: February 27, 2011, 08:44:52 PM »
Folk,

This is embarrassing.  I'm trying to format a 1T [internal] HD.  Easus Partition Manager pukes, DOS-level pukes (from CMD line), Kubuntu/Ubuntu both puke  :-[.

And they don't tell me why  :huh:.  

'Twasn't that many years agone that I could do a low-level format, but seems that ability has evaporated with time.  I remember RLL, MLM, maybe several others whose abbreviations no longer occur to me.  But I simply cannot format this one particular drive.  It once hosted WinXP, Win7, a couple of Linux distros.  But now I cannot format/clear it from any OS I have available.

HELP!?!P

BTW, just in case, I'm not trying to format it from an OS mounted upon it - it's been erased of all content, although I couldn't get rid of some of the Windows dirs.

(Modified for notifications  :-[.)

Carol Haynes

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2011, 08:52:24 PM »
If you want to wipe the whole drive why not just delete all of the partitions and then build a new partition table? You should be able to format the new partitions.

If you have a Easeus Partition Manager recovery disk you should be able to boot from that and do the necessary - unless there is a hardware fault on the drive.

MilesAhead

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 08:54:58 PM »
Did you try diskpart on cmd line?

Commands should run something like this in an admin prompt:

diskpart

list disk

{ make sure you correctly select the disk you're going to erase }

select disk n    (where n is the number shown by list disk to be the erasure candidate)

clean  (this cleans everything off so get the right disk)

create partition primary


Now you should be able to format NTFS or whatever.  Here's the ref page:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415



edit: should be "select disk n" not "select n" but in any case, follow the MS docs. But I've used this sequence to format new disks I've purchased and also to erase format and create bootable USB keys.

edit2: many of the online tips regarding diskpart leave out the clean step. So you mess around and no matter what you do you can't format or create partitions because the disk was never blanked.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 09:12:31 PM by MilesAhead »

lanux128

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 09:31:30 PM »
since the contents are already erased, you may want to try Darik's Boot and Nuke.




MilesAhead

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011, 09:43:02 PM »
This is one of those tasks made a lot easier if you have a docking station. Once you clean, create a partition and format, just pull the drive and it's all ready to use in any machine or in a dock.  Plus it makes it obvious which drive you are cleaning since it will usually refer to USB something or other when the do List Disk command.


4wd

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2011, 11:24:48 PM »
Could you tell us the model of HDD and OS?

A lot of new 1TB and bigger now use Advanced Format, (basically 4kB sectors instead of 512B), you may need to jumper the drive to enable it to work correctly on XP, (if it's single partition), or use software from the manufacturers site.

Still, that shouldn't affect the ability to format it.

Have you tried Parted Magic ?

mouser

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2011, 11:30:48 PM »
As 4wd points out -- it's at least possible that a 1TB drive is too large for an old pc and is confusing some hardware.  Is the bios seeing the proper size of the drive?

MilesAhead

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2011, 11:54:36 PM »
It sounds like it was the system drive with multiple OS on it and now he's trying to boot a CD and work it while it's in the machine. More details would be helpful.

wr975

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2011, 02:31:28 AM »
Quote
This is embarrassing.  I'm trying to format a 1T [internal] HD.

Shouldn't be embarassing. Your drive is probably defective.

I had kinda the same thing with a Western Digital 1 TB hdd... couldn't create a partition. No matter what I tried. After hour of trying I gave up and sent it back in to Western Digital (warranty replacement) and got a new (refurbished?) one. Anyway, no problems at all with the new drive, so the old one was probably defective.


btw: As a last resort you can try a Windows installation CD to delete your drive, create partitions and format. If this fails, there's really something wrong.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 02:37:02 AM by wr975 »

MilesAhead

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2011, 06:16:17 PM »
He mentions not being able to get rid of Windows directories.  Sounds like he tried to delete stuff rather than just cleaning the drive off with the appropriate command.  I would think diskpart would be in the repair utilities but you never know.  There must be a rescue CD out there somewhere with it on.

edit: according to this article it's on the install DVD for W7. Follow the step by step how to access command prompt.  From there you should be able to run diskpart.

http://itexpertvoice...ive-minutes-or-less/

(skip over the stuff about automatic repair and just scroll down to the section about command prompt)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 06:21:18 PM by MilesAhead »

barney

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2011, 06:46:27 PM »
OK, folk,

Either already tried or subsequently tried all the above except for the Nuke and the Easus CDs  :).  Easus running from a separate disk on same machine, so don't think the CD would make any difference, and by the time I got to Nuke, too frustrated  :D.

Diskpart locked up on clean - no error message, just sat there for two (2) hours, all my patience could take.

The disk has been the primary drive in this box for couple of years, so sector size shouldn't be a problem.

I tried to manually delete stuff after diskpart locked up, that's why I mentioned the non-deletable directories.

Yes, I did remember to rewire so that the boot disk is disk 0.  But everything seemed to point to having an MBR on the now disk 1, and stuff was choking on it ... not something I remember having encountered in the past, but I suppose that could be reasonable.

However.

Have a friend that dismantles HDs and recovers data onto CD/DVD disks for a living.  Called him.  He's pretty certain it's a problem with the drive, but wants to look at it, so I yanked the damned thing and shipped it to him.  Ordered a new 1T drive, same designation, WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B1 ... well, OK, not identical, but same class of disk.  Sorry for the furor, but 'twould seem this was another hardware glitch disguised as software bobbles.

barney

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2011, 06:48:37 PM »
BTW,

Thanks everyone for responding  :-*.  Seems some things just can't be fixed :(.

MilesAhead

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2011, 07:18:41 PM »
BTW,

Thanks everyone for responding  :-*.  Seems some things just can't be fixed :(.

They used to say "you can't hurt hardware with software."  Apparently it works both ways. You can't fix it either. :)

timns

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2011, 07:24:29 PM »
They used to say "you can't hurt hardware with software." 

I have managed that, actually  :-[ I found a 'poke' that activated a relay in my old BBC micro. Coupled with a timer, it made a faintly musical whizzing noise. Then it went bang...  :o

MilesAhead

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2011, 07:27:38 PM »
They used to say "you can't hurt hardware with software." 

I have managed that, actually  :-[ I found a 'poke' that activated a relay in my old BBC micro. Coupled with a timer, it made a faintly musical whizzing noise. Then it went bang...  :o

I think it was more or less to keep us assembly language guys from getting paranoid after locking up the machine again. :)  I was too poor to get a break-out switch. Had to cycle the power every time. :)

Cloq

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2011, 07:04:27 AM »
I think it was more or less to keep us assembly language guys from getting paranoid after locking up the machine again. :)  I was too poor to get a break-out switch. Had to cycle the power every time. :)


a bit OT..

Heh! Reminds me of when my buddy was trying to teach me the basics of assembly programming on an XT machine, problem was I built the machine from cannibalized parts from other broken machines and the damn thing would always shock me (whenever I missed the a key on the metal keyboard) and then freeze up.  ;D :mad:

Played Power cycle (hoping I wouldn't get shocked due to missing paint around the switch).. bzzt.. atleast a few times an hour.  :-* I can tell you a lot of cussing was involved.

Never did learn assembly between the cussing and him leaving a few weeks later (heard he ended up getting hitched a couple months later in Holland).

MilesAhead

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2011, 05:46:58 PM »
@Cloq   Sounds like the Pavlovian approach to assembler wasn't efficacious. That's really learning the hard way!

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barney

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Re: I have to admit defeat ... I cannot format a hard drive ...
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2011, 06:30:15 PM »
Hey,

Quick update.  Got a message from my HD recovery friend.  It seems there was a flutter in the drive motor  :huh:, and that was what was causing all the errors.  I'll take his word for it, this is his field of expertise ... but ... flutter  :huh:?  Sounds just a step or two down from the old Iomega ZIP drive click of death  :P.