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Windows 7: Can't format 1 TB WD external HDD

19 Jun 2013   #1
PatrickGSR94

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Can't format 1 TB WD external HDD

I have this 1 TB external USB HDD I purchased a few years back to use for backups. It actually hasn't been used in the past few months, and now Win7 tells me the data is corrupt on it. No big deal just format it right? I tried a quick format thru Computer Management, but it seems like it didn't do anything. So I tried a a FULL (not quick) format from within Windows Explorer. That took all night long, and in the end Win7 said it could not format the volume. So I tried another quick format from within Windows Explorer, same error message. And now when I click on the drive it says it's not accessible.

Could I try to format it from a DOS command prompt? I can hear the drive running, surely it's not dead is it??


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jun 2013   #2
Everlong

 

Have you tried running a chkdsk on the drive? I've experienced errors with drives not being accessible and can't be formatted that a chkdsk /f solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2013   #3
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

I assume you've tried powering down both external drive and your PC, disconnecting the USB cable, and then starting from scratch booting up the PC and then later plugging in the external drive?

Also, if you ever do want to disconnect the external drive when it's previously been connected and used, I assume you go through the MANDATORY "safely remove hardware" procedure first, only pulling the USB cable out from the PC after receiving the message from Windows that "it is now safe to remove hardware". I assume (or hope) that you do not simply pull out the USB cable without first doing the "safely remove hardware" thing.

If you don't follow the "safely remove hardware" procedure then you very definitely do expose the drive to possible corruption (because of unflushed/unwritten data buffers which still might exist).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jun 2013   #4
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

I would suggest you go to the link below, download the data lifeguard diagnostics and install it, run it -- and see if it detects your external drive: WD Support / Downloads / Legacy External / My Book Studio Edition

If it does, run the diagnostics on the drive to see what it finds.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2013   #5
PatrickGSR94

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

How long does chkdsk usually take on a 1 TB drive? I started it around 11 last night and it still hasn't finished at 6 AM. It says "CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)..." which it said within seconds of starting. It's been sitting on that line for over 7 hours now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2013   #6
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
How long does chkdsk usually take on a 1 TB drive? I started it around 11 last night and it still hasn't finished at 6 AM. It says "CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)..." which it said within seconds of starting. It's been sitting on that line for over 7 hours now.
In Elevated Command Prompt :
Code:
diskpart
list disk
exit
Which disk number is external 1TB disk. I use number 5 in this example

Code:
diskpart
select disk 5 (replace with correct number!)
clean (everything on physical disk is gone now!)
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs label="One TB Disk" quick
exit
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2013   #7
PatrickGSR94

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Tried that, said it couldn't format the disk, said check System Event Log, in which I found a couple of Event ID 137's:

The default transaction resource manager on volume \\?\Volume{a637e309-b843-11e2-ad3d-806e6f6e6963} encountered a non-retryable error and could not start. The data contains the error code.

Checked Disk Management, the disk had no label, so I put F: and "BACKUP" back on it. Tried again to format it from command line, said it did so, but still can't access the drive. Disk Management still says it has the same amount of data on it as before (just over 700 GB). Typed "dir" in command line and all the same folders are there as it had before, but now I can't access it at all through Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2013   #8
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi,

Try formatting it with Partition Wizard run from a bootable CD/Pen drive - this keeps Windows out of the loop.

Run MiniTools Partition Wizard Home edition. Download the bootable CD version from Free download Magic Partition Manager Software, partition magic alternative, free partition magic, partition magic Windows 7 and server partition software - Partition Wizard Online (the last one on this page)

You may either burn the ISO to a CD and boot from it or create a bootable pen drive with that ISO using Rufus Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way

Note: If you had created a bootable pen drive, when booting with it you have to type linux0 against the boot prompt and press Enter for the boot process to continue. ( It is zero and not the alphabet O. You may press TAB key to see all available options linux0, linux1, local, I think.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2013   #9
PatrickGSR94

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Sure, I'll give it a go with a bootable CD this weekend.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2013   #10
Faladu

Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Box (64-bit installed) + Service Pack 1
 
 

As far as the tip about safely removing USB fare, only matters if you have write caching enabled, I do not, just so I can remove all the USB stuff at will, of course if I know I am writing to it, I don't remove it and eyeball the activity light to make sure it's solid, not flickering, as it will during use.

Write-Caching - Enable or Disable
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 Can't format 1 TB WD external HDD




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