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Hard drive doesn't format

By MNE ·
When I tried to format the drive in Windows ME, I get a blue screen and system lock. I booted using a boot disk, tried formatting it through DOS, appears to format fine, the percentage counter goes up and I the summary at the end, however, all the data is still on the drive. I can view directories on the drive but if I try to access any files the system crashes (windows). I tried to fdisk the drive and that too appeared to work, but after a restart everything was still there. Any ideas how to format the drive and make it usable, or is my suspicion of the drive being at the end of its life accurate???

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Hard drive doesn't format

The problem with FDISK is that it only removes the File System or Master Boot Records depending on the version of Windows used. What you need to do to erase a HDD is to down load a utility from one of the HDD makers IBM used to have WIPE and that writes 0's to every sector erasing all the data.

Maxtor has a similar utility although it takes quite a bit longer to run but if you can still see data on a HDD after running one of these utilities over it there is something radically wrong with it. It should be a blank drive that requires running FDISK and the Format.

Of course you need a working computer to download these files and make up some Boot Floppies.

Col

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by Dennis.Rhine In reply to Hard drive doesn't format

Look for a program such as AutoClave which wipes the hard disk instad of formatting it. I use AutoClave because it is free and does a very good job. Once the drive is erased then try setting up Windows again and see what happens.

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by dmiles In reply to Hard drive doesn't format

You may have a Hard Drive that you want to format but cannot.

The problem may arise when the format is trying to recover lost clusters. Obviously this means that some damage has occurred and however small the format will attempt to recover the cluster before it continues. This may lead to so many attempts to recover that you may get a message saying that you have run out of memory ? the format cannot continue and you are left with what you know consider a useless Hard Drive ? not so.

Obviously you cannot format the drive but you can still run a diagnostic program on it, which has a reasonably good chance of fixing the problem.



Norton Utilities from Symantec.com is one such utility.



You can purchase Norton Utilities on its own or with the Norton System Works package. The package also comes with 5 other programs.

Fixing the Drive

Get access to Norton Utilities or some similar program

If you have a computer with 2 hard drives, use the good Hard Drive with Windows on it, and install Norton Utilities to this.

If you have another PC install Norton Utilities on to that.

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by DouglasB In reply to Hard drive doesn't format

Have you tried the fdisk/mbr command to make a new boot record?

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by MNE In reply to Hard drive doesn't format

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