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Hard Drive problem

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by johnking630, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. johnking630

    johnking630 Thread Starter

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    I have a laptop that has a 20 gig hard drive. I installed window's 2000 on it. The drive would not let me fully format it. I partitioned it several times to find out were I'm having the problem. It won't format the last 1.77 gig. What I have done was only recognized 14 gig. 6 gig is not even partitioned or formated. I am staying clear of the last part of the drive.

    My questions are will this prolong the life of the drive? Will doing this stop the drive from using that part of the drive?

    Thanks for your help!!
     
  2. ratchet

    ratchet

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    johnking630,

    Welcome to TSG.

    During the setup process did you delete all partitions before creating your current partitions.

    You could track down the harddrive manufacturers tools to check HDD.
     
  3. Jtoast

    Jtoast

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    I am a little confused.

    You say it will format all except 1.77GB but that 6GB is unpartitioned?


    you cannot format an unpartitioned section of a drive so either it is leaving a lot more than 1.77GB unformated or you have partioned more than you think you have.
     
  4. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Is it a Compaq?
     
  5. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    I'm with JToast; I don't understand that part, either.
     
  6. JSanguancheu

    JSanguancheu

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    You always lose some space when you format a HD. I forget what the reason was..

    If it says 20Gb, you'll probably have 19 once fully formatted. This is just normal.

    For example, my PC at work here has a 20Gb HD. When I check properties on it, it says 18.9Gb total.

    My 40Gb drive at home formats to about 37.5Gb..
     
  7. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    The drive varying from its advertised size after formatting is a matter of the manufacturers' lying about the size of the drive. You see, they misuse the numbers.

    A Meg is actually 1,048,576 bytes, NOT 1,000,000 bytes as the drive manufacturers would have you believe. But, alas, they all lie about it and call 1,000,000 a Meg so you will think the drive is bigger than it actually is.

    Years ago, drive space was measured and labeled properly. Then one manufacturer decided to stretch the truth and improperly label their drive to make you think is was bigger than the competitor's same-size drive. It worked, and the non-technically-minded consumer was duped into thinking he was getting something a little larger than the competitor's product. The competitor was losing business to this deceptive practice, and had to start using the same deceptive practice to compete on a level playing field. After a while, they were all lying about the size of their drives and no-one could quit because, well.... you get the idea.

    So, you aren't losing anything to formatting; you just didn't get it in the first place.
     
  8. johnking630

    johnking630 Thread Starter

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    I guess I didn't make myself clear. Let's say it's a 20 gig drive. I partitioned it into 14 - 2 - 2 - 2. The last 2 gig partition would not format fully. It pauses at 99%. And makes a repititious noise, over and over. I didn't let this go on for very long, fearing that it would damage the drive further.
    Is the drive bad or should I let it try and finish formating. Also, if I only used 14 gigs, would the drive last longer because it's not using the bad part of the dirve? That is, if it's bad.
    Thanks, I hope this clears things up.
     
  9. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    I always format in DOS mode. That way, I see the error messages if there is a problem. Windows doesn't always show them to you. Format it as FAT 32 in DOS mode, using a Windows 98 boot disk. Let it finish. Look for "Trying to recover....." error messages when you hear the noise.

    If you see that error, the disk platters have bad surface area.

    The DOS command is FORMAT x:, where x represents the drive letter you are formatting.
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If the drive has developed bad sectors, it's not long for the world, and I wouldn't trust it with my data! :rolleyes:
     
  11. johnking630

    johnking630 Thread Starter

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    I can't use DOS. I can't even use the window's 98 start up disk. I have NO floppy drive on my laptop. Is there a way to get around it? I have window's 2000 installed. I'm using the format that window's 2000 uses when you boot from cd.
     
  12. Rockn

    Rockn

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    Get an adapter and put it in your desktop PC to format it. Most retail PC stores carry them now. I fthe drive is making that sort of noise it isn't a good sign anyway....get yourself some diags from the drive manufacturer just to make sure....oh yea, you can't boot to a diskette.
     
  13. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    I agree that a drive with bad sectors is not to be trusted as a drive without them; however, I have seen drives with one-, two, or even three bad sectors that ran for years without developing another bad sector or giving any other usage problems. One of those drives had a bad sector from the day it was new. I'm not sure about the others. They came to me some significant time after they were new.

    I also had two other drives on different occasions that developed many, many bad sectors. One's bad sectors were all in the first 10% of the disk. They seemed to remain constant. The other drive had all its bad sectors in the middle of the disk. Using third-party software, I managed to create two primary partitions on each also having a partition just large enough and placed just so that they enveloped only the bad sectors. After fully setting up the partitions and formatting, I went back and deleted the partitions where the bad sectors were. This left me with one drive with one good (but 10% smaller) partition and another drive with two partitions.

    Of course, I did all this when hard disk real estate was much more expensive than it is now. Those drives ran for years without a problem.
     
  14. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    In the bad old days of MFM and RLL disks, bad spots were much more common, not to mention that the flying height of the heads was significantly greater. Nowadays, when a disk starts developing bad sectors, it's pretty rare for it to last long. I know I sure wouldn't be putting any of my data onto it! :rolleyes:
     
  15. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    I agree; I would not use it for mission-critical data; however, these drives were being used in non-important machines. By the way, these were IDE drives in the 1-Gig range.
     
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