Re-formatting a HD

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by ccrooks, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. ccrooks

    ccrooks New Member

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    So I got this HD that died on me a little while back... kaput... totally died. So, I got a new HD, installed XP pro and tried to re-format the new HD, but it never would re-format. It's showing that the drive is empty and there's nothing installed on it, but I for some reason can't re-format it. It's only a 30G HD, and my new HD is 120G, so it's not that big a deal, but I would like to move all of my music and movies off of the 120G onto the 30. Any ideas?
    :x:
    p.s. when I try to reformat, it says that windows is "unable to format the drive" :greddy:
     
  2. __23skidoo

    __23skidoo ...has the nuts

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    Use fdisk from the command line at startup. Do a low level format.
     
  3. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    fdisk cannot do a low-level format... In fact, no one but the drive manufacturer can do a low-level format on a modern hard drive, and it involves removing teh controller board if you do.
     
  4. __23skidoo

    __23skidoo ...has the nuts

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    Right, It should have read:

    1.Use fdisk from the command line at startup.
    2.Do a low level format.
     
  5. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    I repeat again, you can NOT do a low-level format on a modern drive.

    I assume you meant "do a long format" which really just "writes zeros to the entire drive". A low-level is a much more involved process that physically rebuilds the platter. This was often required on older drives as data could physicall shift and sectors would go bad. Controller boards now, however, compensate for these characteristics.

    It is impossible to low-level format a drive in your computer... Only the manufacturer has this capability, and it involves a special device and the removal of the hard drive's controller.

    Modern hard drive controllers are actually programmed to ignore a LLF command.
     
  6. Keyzs

    Keyzs OT Supporter

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    Correct!! Even the tools downloadable from the drive suppliers only set bits to Zero.
     
  7. stosh

    stosh BUBBLE BUTT BOBBY MAC

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    ok so how do I format my one and only hard drive so I can re-install windows?
     
  8. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    I assume it's Windows XP? If so, insert your Windows XP CD into your drive, and boot to it. You'll go through some blue screens. I believe the key sequence is hit enter to start, esc to cancel recover, F8 to accept license, del to remove the partition, l to accept, enter to create new partition, up to select quick format, and enter to accept.

    To give better directions:

    1) start the XP setup
    2) You do NOT want to repair your existing install
    3) Delete old partition when given a view of your HDD
    4) Create a new partition
    5) Format with NTFS (QUICK)
    6) finish install
    7) don't forget your chipset drivers!!!
     
  9. stosh

    stosh BUBBLE BUTT BOBBY MAC

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    I actually wasn't given any choices. This is what happens when I do that.

    CD starts to boot
    prompt comes up to hit any key to boot from disc (so I hit any key)
    then it goes right to a blue screen
    next it seems to scan thru a bunch of files for about 2min, never once giving me an option to do anything...
    then a bunch of coices come up none of which has to do with formatting
     
  10. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    is it a genuine MS disc, or was it butchered by someone like Dell/HP/Compaq/etc?

    The other option is to go to www.bootdisk.com and download the old Win98SE boot disk (great boot disk to have, anyway) and then boot to that and run fdisk to clear the partitions... effective clearing your data. XP setup can then format the drive for you (it has no choice)
     
  11. stosh

    stosh BUBBLE BUTT BOBBY MAC

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    fawk it was a dell disc. :)

    Ok it's funny I have another copy at home I was gonna try but didn't get to. It will be the first thing I do when I get home.
     
  12. stosh

    stosh BUBBLE BUTT BOBBY MAC

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    ok cool that should work!

    Thanks!
     

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