Formatting Drive


cedricd

Link Posted 20/02/2011 - 13:22
Not as straightfoward as i had hoped! I have a spare IDE 80GB drive which I have enclosed in a housing. The drive is fine and is recognised by my computer as a USB - IDE no problem here! However I can`t format the drive in order to use it. Windows in it`s wonderful glory tells me eventually that I must format drive "E" and "F" before I can use it then promptly tells me that Windows cannot format. Being a man from Yorkshire I can`t bear to throw out the drive. Any help much appreciated please.

Cedric
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prsjnb

Link Posted 20/02/2011 - 13:46
Try deleting the partion and/or changing the drive letter assigned using the 'storage options' of the computer management console as described below:

How to Use Computer Management on the Local Computer
NOTE: You must be logged on as Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group view and modify most properties and perform most computer-management tasks.

To start and use Computer Management on the local computer:

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.

Alternatively, use the 'Disk Mamagement tool' as described here:

link

Failing that, go the the HDD manufacturers support site, download their disk tools software, create a bootable CD (this is usually available as an automatic option)and then use this to test the drive, carry out a low-level format and then create a new (NTFS or FAT32 if you want to use the drive with e.g. an Apple PC) partition.

If that doesn't work, 'bin' the drive and buy new one as it is now possible to buy 1TB external HDD's for under 50.00 . In point of fact, unles your'e strapped for cash and/or don't have beter things to do with your time, my advice would be to forget the old drive and buy new.

Jon

DoctorJeff

Link Posted 20/02/2011 - 14:52
The clue is that when you plug it in, your PC assigns two drive letters to it. This suggests that it has come from a computer where the manufacturer has put a recovery partition on it - originally it would have been drives C: and D:.
You don't say what computer you have (evidence suggests a Windows machine)or what the OS is, but some versions of windows can be very sniffy about working with certain other formats. If you have a friend with an Apple Mac, plugging it into that should allow the Apple to read the disk, and to re-format it to NTFS which most of the current Windows machines can work with.
To do the job properly, you need to be able to delete the second partition and then reformat. You can, however, leave the second partition alone and just put up with a (probably) 67 mb drive.
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Algernon

Link Posted 20/02/2011 - 14:53
On an external box the drive needs to have an Extended Partition not Primary Partition. If you've had it running in the past as your main boot drive it will be seen as a Primary Partition. That's why the computer is trying to see it as Drive D.

You need to delete or change the partitions on it(see Easus below), create an Extended Partition, create a Logical FAT32 Drive on the Extended Partition. This should then be given the drive letter for the last HDD by the system.

Not all external boxes allow you to create partitions on them. In that case it's better to put the HDD back on your computer either as a 2nd drive or remove the 1st drive while you format it from a bootable floppy or CD.

There's quite a lot of good free Partitioning Software such as Easus This can convert a Primary Partition to a Logical Partition so it's probably your best bet.

The old Partition Magic Boot disks or CD's could manage an 80gb drive easily if you know anyone who has one.

You might have to search Google for a better answer.

Edit: Ultimate Boot CD is still free and contains programs to manage partitions.
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Last Edited by Algernon on 20/02/2011 - 15:10

cedricd

Link Posted 20/02/2011 - 17:25
The drive was originally in an Acer laptop but not the original (that was 40gb). Just seemed a shame to trash it whereas it could be useful for making a copy of images when I`m on holiday.

The machine I am trying to delete it on is an Acer running Windows 7. I can`t put it back into the original laptop because that went terminal three laptops ago.

Cedric
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stu49

Link Posted 20/02/2011 - 17:48
should be straightforward !? very odd !

if you'd like to send it to me (and pay return postage) I'll sort it for you FOC Unless it's something terminal of course !

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greynolds999

Link Posted 20/02/2011 - 22:44
If this is an old IDE it may have a hardware jumper which is trying to force it into being a primary drive.

Check the jumpers to see what position they are in.
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Mannesty

Link Posted 20/02/2011 - 22:54
1: Check that there is a jumper on the drive to make it a 'Master'.
2: Use the Microsoft Disk Management utility to delete any existing partitions on that drive, assuming you don't want to keep anything that may be on it.
3: Use the Microsoft Disk Management utility to create a new partiton.
4: Format the drive (hopefully).
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Algernon

Link Posted 21/02/2011 - 10:12
If it has the jumper set to "Cable Select" (CS) that should be OK and no need to set it to "Master"... although you could try that also just in case the External Box is being a bit funny.

You can get an adapter from laptop size IDE to full size IDE so that it could be put into a Desktop PC for partitioning.
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fatspider

Link Posted 21/02/2011 - 10:24
If you right click on the drive in My Computer and you get the option to format from there, if windows then trys to run a format and then comes up with the error then its possible the drive is faulty.
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fatspider

Link Posted 21/02/2011 - 10:26
Try right clicking on the drive, select properties > tools > check disk.
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Mannesty

Link Posted 21/02/2011 - 10:27
Algernon wrote:
If it has the jumper set to "Cable Select" (CS) that should be OK and no need to set it to "Master"...

Leaving a drive set to 'Cable Select' leaves the decision process to some electronics of unknown intelligence with no guarantee that it'll decide correctly.

My recommendation is sound, and guaranteed to eliminate further frustration from incorrect drive identification. Put the link on to make it a 'Master', it will work, leaving it as 'Cable Select' may not.
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Algernon

Link Posted 21/02/2011 - 13:50
Mannesty wrote:
Algernon wrote:
If it has the jumper set to "Cable Select" (CS) that should be OK and no need to set it to "Master"...

Leaving a drive set to 'Cable Select' leaves the decision process to some electronics of unknown intelligence with no guarantee that it'll decide correctly.

It's a computer It always decides correctly SATA drives don't even give you a choice. The Ext. Box only has one drive anyway. Most laptop drives are set to CS and the other two settings are probably Drive 0 and Drive 1 in which case Cedric could try Drive 0.

It's probably the Ext. Box anyway that has a cheap controller that doesn't allow formatting.
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cedricd

Link Posted 21/02/2011 - 19:10
Thanks folk for your advice. Think I might give in and send it to the unhappy drive bay in the council yard! Especially as I have another lens on the way which I am sure will beg me to lavish hours of devotion and many shutter clicks.

Cedric
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Algernon

Link Posted 21/02/2011 - 21:34
Let Stu have a look at it first
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