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Can't format my external HD

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by martypohl, Feb 9, 2005.

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  1. martypohl

    martypohl Thread Starter

    Feb 9, 2005
    I recently purchased an external hard drive to use as a backup storage device. I'm using Win XP home ed. The drive came from the factory formatted in FAT32. I wished to format it in NTFS.

    The drive installed with no problem and was recognized by the operating system as being there and "healthy".

    Then I used the Disk Manager to format the drive in NTFS. It proceeded on its merry way giving a progress report ... 5% done ... 12% done ... etc.
    finally after 20 minutes or so ... 100% done. Then when it proceeded to inform me that it was writing the directory structure, it quickly stopped and produced an error message that "the formatting failed".

    It then became an orphan and was cast out as an "unformattable" device.

    Not wanting to use it as an expensive paperweight, I contacted the manufacturer's tech support and they walked me through another attempt.
    First we used Disk Manager to find what disk# it had assigned to this device, which it still recognized as being there. Then we went into DOS to clear the partition and prepared it for formatting. Then went through the formatting routine again ... same result.

    Went through the same routine both in protected mode and normal mode.

    Nothing worked, so they suggested that I send the unit back to them and wait a week for its return formatted in NTFS or a replacement if they couldn't format it. I agreed to do that, but I wanted to try one more thing first.

    I unplugged everything and went over to a friend who had a similar system running Win XP. Plugged everything in, formatted the drive in about 5 minutes with no error messages, no hiccups ... It was alive and well again! Plugged it back into my system where it was immediately recognized as a respected member of cyber society. Have backed up my main drive completely and sleep better now.

    I've attempted to contact Microsoft about this (I know, I know?!) to find out if I have a bad copy of format.com or what else could be wrong. Naturally..
    ... no response ... silence ... nada ... bubkus.

    I could get a copy of my buddy's format.com, but I'll never have the guts to try it. Not on this drive anyway.

    This is a long way around to ask if anyone out there has any ideas of what may have caused this, or if anyone has had a similar problem or solution or diagnosis?

    Thanks for hanging in there with me this long.

    Marty ([email protected])
  2. dmneoblade


    Apr 15, 2004
    Windows is broken.
    Please apply more duct tape.
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