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External Hard Drive Formatting Issues (XP)

This is a discussion on External Hard Drive Formatting Issues (XP) within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hey, first post-this forums a great help been going through many many posts to find a solution for my problem,


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Old 07-12-2005, 08:38 PM   #1
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Hey, first post-this forums a great help been going through many many posts to find a solution for my problem, but as last resort I signed up and posted this :D

Ok the problem:
I bought a new WD 80GB External Hard Drive to back my music up (model: WD800B008). Yesterday I stayed up until 2am trying to figure out why it was being read as "unknown device" but fixed that by buying a PCI USB Card. Now when I plug it in it comes up correctly as USB Mass Storage Device.

The problems comes from trying to access it, it wasn't pre-formatted like I thought so I created a partition using mycomputer>manage>disk management. It now shows up in My Computer and when I try to open it, it says the drive needs to be formatted.

I formatted it through Disk Management twice and everytime at 100% it says "Drive Format Unsuccessfull". I downloaded partition managers and formatted it through Paragons Manager and it said there was an error. I got SwissKnifev3 and it said Read/Write error when I try to format it through the program.

I have also tried to format it through FDISK, my windows cd, my linux command prompt and still nothing.

I assumed this was caused by a bad HD in general, should I return it and get it replaced? Should I wait to test it on my computer at work? Any suggestions on fixing it or figuring out how to format it?



extra notes:
running P4 1.6ghz, SiS chipset, 256ram, ALi USB 2.0 PCI Card
Device Manager name for HD: USB MASS STORAGE DEVICE (NO EXCLAMATION)
In Disk Manager the status is HEALTHY, and the "device is running properly" plus the correct size shows up in GB.
*Creating and deleting partitions and drive labels (currently H:) is not an issue, purely the formatting failing
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:18 PM   #2
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Id like to add that Ive been through these steps as well

the IRQ is correctly stacked

uninstalling the USB hosts/hubs and restarting DOES NOT work, ive tried many many times

turning the computer off for 30min (including the switch at the back) did nothing

i currently have 11 different USB jacks and ive tried nearly all of them, and im pretty sure usb isnt the issue anymore
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Old 07-13-2005, 03:36 AM   #3
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Welcome to TSF:

I think by now you have run sooooo many partitions programs and things on that drive that I doubt you could load anything to it.

step #1 / run a drive eraser on the drive and get it back to a new "clean" drive
https://dban.sourceforge.net/

Step # 2 / download and run the manufacturer's diagnostic utility on the drive

step # 3 / if diag utility passes / use FDISK to partition and set partition active (win ME boot disk version ~ it has support for drives larger than 64Gig) bootdisk.com

Step#4 - install OS after it has been partitioned / let WIN XP do the formatting / my opinion is Win XP is difficult to follow when trying to make partitions and setting them active for first time use / thats why I am a big beliver in FDISK - not other 3rd party progs though because many of them strip you of the option for future FDISK use.

let us know how you progress

regards

joe
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Old 07-13-2005, 10:36 AM   #4
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thanks for the reply

I downloaded dban to do as you suggested but I realized I dont have any floppy disks. So I had to go back to the computer store anyway so I just brought back the HD and got it replace with a new one. Right now it seems to be working correctly and is at 45% formatting so if I have any problems I'll update it here.


peace
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Old 07-13-2005, 11:03 AM   #5
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I got the same error from Disk Management when formatting the NEW hard drive, I have to go to work but I'll pick up a floppy disk and run the Wester Digital diagnosis program when I get home.

I could still use some suggestions though
Does anyone know the cause of a brand new hard drive not being able to format through windows? (not fdisk)
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Old 07-13-2005, 03:02 PM   #6
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Confused

Hmmm / odd issue here

I would suggest looking into your USB controller / have the drivers been upgraded to 2.0 ?????

I would try updating your mobo bios

which service pack do you have installed ????

if all else fails / I would try partioning your drive in half / then format and see what happens / if that goes well / we can then begin to narrow your problem down /

regards

joe

P.S. Dban also has a CD version ?????

ALSO*** what are the details of your OS disk ???? Our hardware manger (DAI) from another post just reminded me of another potential problem / is your OS an OEM version or retail version / OEM versions are soemtimes locked to a hard drive & mobo ID numbers ~ when the OS tries to load to devices that dont match the installation fails !! ??
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Old 07-13-2005, 03:10 PM   #7
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You might consider removing the drive and connecting it to your system on a secondary IDE channel. See if you can beat it into submission with a direct connection, then put it into the USB case.
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:08 PM   #8
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alright I just came back from work, I do web design so our computers are top of the line-so I figure if the HD works it would work there.

To my surprise it worked perfectly, the intel usb found the device..one difference I noticed then from at home is that the balloon pop-up when the device was installed by windows was "Western Digital Disk Drive", where my computer at home would just say "Disk Drive".

I formatted the drive through disk manager and it worked with out any problems. I transfered files, made a folder and deleted files and everything worked fine.

BUT then I got home and plugged it in and the drive came up as the old M: drive I had initlized earlier before work. When I formatted it at work I called it F: drive, but now I realized my F: drive at home is being used by my CDRW.

the M: drive is still coming up in my computer but when I double click it its empty, but the drive info says at least 200mb is used which is exactly what I transfered onto it at work.

At work I have basically the same set up

Work Computer:
-Windows XP SP2 PRO
-Intel Usb Controller
-its about 6-7 months old (bios cant be that out of date)
-factory built
-2 hard drives, one 60gb other is 4.4gb

Home Computer
-Windows XP SP2 PRO (with all updates, bought retail)
-ALi Usb Controller on a PCi Card w/ 5 ports
-SiS motherboard usb controller w/ 4 ports
-QDI Group motherboard (rough support from purely asian manufactorer)
-BIOS could be as old as when P4's started coming out, i dont remember flashing it since then.
-Home built
-2 hds, one is 40gb (MAXTOR), and an acient 16gb hd


to "johnwill" I would love to open my enclosure but that would void my warranty and I'll wait it out before doing that. (warranty is also a last option, im impatient :D but also very good with computers)

ALSO I just downloaded a WD program that can reformat my usb drive back to "original manufactors fat32", right now its formatted as NTFS
The WD Diagnosis program doesnt read my hard drive as working so I cant diagnosis it.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:59 PM   #9
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wow I found the solution, you should put this up in a faq somewhere

The real problem was my computer was configured wrong to allow caching to the external hard drive, and I hear this problem is cause with internal ones as well.

I downloaded Cacheman and customized the system cache as "maximized for file sharing"

This fixed the problem of the drive not responding and not properly formatting. I learned this after 6 hours of reading and trying to figure out what motherboard I had to update the bios (my motherboard manufactorer's site was half in japanese lol).

Anyway there was such a small solution to the problem
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Old 07-14-2005, 05:46 AM   #10
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Intrudah

WOW thats a unique glitch ! Nice job finding that one !

regards

joe
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