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Windows 7: External Hard Drive - Reformatting and General Access Questions

13 Oct 2014   #1
jamiemills

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
External Hard Drive - Reformatting and General Access Questions

I purchased an external hard drive from a second hand store (Toshiba Canvio Connect 500 GB, USB), and I have a few questions on it:

Background: When I first plugged in an error popped up saying the USB drive needed repair, I clicked OK and it failed. I opened the properties and the disk space claimed 100% used. I tried scanning the disk for viruses and malware before I tried opening it and that also failed. Then I attempted to open the folder, it prompted "Access Denied". I clicked around in properties but wasn't authorized to change any settings. After about 10 minutes, it opened. I then tried the virus scan again and it worked, scanning the files I later found plus a bunch of %recycle bin% files that I couldn't find. Inside were videos for a project the prior owner had apparently been working on. I tried to delete these files, and it wouldn't let me. No option for it, and I got the red cross of "not happening" when I tried dragging to the recycle bin.

So, I right clicked the folder and selected format. I code"Restore Device Defaults" and "Quick Format," and it failed. I then tried unchecking quick format, and it started, but the process bar made no progress. I tried to cancel, and it wouldn't let me - my options were retry the cancel or press cancel to cancel abruptly. I canceled abruptly and the disk under my computer disappeared.

I unplugged and replugged the USB adapter, and a prompt saying I need to format came up. I clicked OK, tried Quick Format again with no success, and resorted to the full format (probably better anyway). It's been running for nearly 2 hours and isn't quite to 50% yet. It also says 465 GB capacity when the drive is rated at 500 GB.

My ultimate question - is this all normal? Should reformatting take this long? Are the accessibility problems a consequence of settings from the previous owner? Does it sound like the drive may be damaged? I'm not computer literate (I'm proud I got a far as I did on my own) and I have 7 days to return this if it was a bad buy. Please help clarify these issues!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Oct 2014   #2
matts6887

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit
 
 

yes; I do believe formatting can take awhile depending on how large the disk is. It is possible the drive may have some sort of internal hardware issue(s). If after the full format completes you still cant access the drive properly, etc.; then yes i would say there is a internal hardware issue and you should probably try and get a refund on it and get a new drive instead of a second hand drive if possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2014   #3
jamiemills

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
update

Thanks for the advice. It's been running for 4 hours now and is almost at 75%. I'll let this finish and see what happens. Second hand only happened because I had store credit, so if this fails to correct the issues I'll buy new. Is the deceased capacity that's displayed (465 GB vs. 500 GB) a sign of an internal issue, or is that normal?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Oct 2014   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

465 is normal; usable capacity is typically about 93% of stated capacity.

You can easily download the hard drive analysis tool from the drive manufacturer's web site. It will probably have a short test and a longer one. The drive should pass both tests. The long test will likely take an hour or more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2014   #5
jamiemills

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

The format "finished" after over 5 hours, just to say that "Windows was unable to complete the format." Says it's likely due to connectivity of the hard drive or that the drive is Read-Only. I don't think it's read-only, and the icon in the my computer has disappeared a few times, which I thought was just a consequence of formatting - but I'm likely wrong. Anyway, thanks for all your help. I think I'm going to return it tomorrow afternoon and just buy a new one. That's a shame.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2014   #6
jamiemills

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I got it to work! I used a walk through on command prompts to clean the disk, then went to the disk manager to the newly unpartitioned space and created a new simple volume with it. I tried it with the default NTFS and it failed again, but noticed another option while I went through for exFAT. I tried that option and it worked!

However, I have no idea what these actually mean. I see that exFAT is primarily for Flash Drives, will this impede the performance of my External Hard Drive?

What did I actually do here?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 External Hard Drive - Reformatting and General Access Questions




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