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Windows 7: can't FORMAT an external Hard Drive in my PC

01 Jul 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
can't FORMAT an external Hard Drive in my PC

I just can't figure out a way to format a hard drive in my PC. it shows in disk management as UNALLOCATED and NOT INITIALIZED.

I tried doing the stuff I've read in various websites and blogs but still I CAN'T do it. I'm no computer whiz, but I'm quite sure i can understand simple computer instructions. I tried doing the right click thing to select the options, but most of it WERE GREYED OUT!!! so KUDOS to me for trying.

I even resorted in downloading third party applications to easily help me FORMAT the said drive, but lady luck just wont smile on me. It shows me the error CYCLIC REDUNCDANCY CHECK! after i try to format it with fat32formatter.

Any help will be much appreciated guys. I just don't know what to do

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2015   #2
Sky Ranch

Windows 7 Home 64-bit

Take a look at this friendly tutorial courtesy of Brink.
Partition or Volume - Create New

Also, further reading that might be helpful.
Disk Check
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2015   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

In disk management, right click on the little box where it says Disk0, Disk1, etc. and initialize the disk. Then you can create partitions.

Attached Thumbnails
can't FORMAT an external Hard Drive in my PC-2015-07-01_1944.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Jul 2015   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

yeah, i just browsed on the old thread about similar situations, and found the same solutions. I am very much willing to do the steps, the only problem is I cant select the first 5 options when i right clicked on the UNALLOCATED disk. the only options disk management give me are PROPERTIES and HELP.

i even read a thread on how to clean it up using the command line, but even that technique resulted to the same error message. Data Error: cyclic redundancy check

now im really running out of options.

when i ran it over a third party data retriever application, all my file in that drive are almost in perfect condition, i was even able to copy, save and put them on a new external so i have really no problem anymore when it comes to the files. it is just so frustrating because i promised to give the device to my niece, and then the problem arose..

but thanks for the reply. it means a lot dude..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2015   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709

Are you sure you are doing what whs post #3 shows.

You must make sure you are right tick on the proper drive.
If you are ticking on the drive you are booted (C) it will not allow what you are trying to do.

Could you complete this tutorial by Golden with your externals plugged in.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2015   #6


Plug in the drive, open an Elevated Command Prompt,
run the following commands exactly as written with each followed by Enter:

SELECT DISK # (replace # with the number of the drive, making absolutely certain it is correct)
CLEAN ALL (wipes the drive, takes approx one hour per 320gb)

Without closing CMD box, look in Computer to see what letter was assigned the disk. This may also popup in an Autostart box. Then continue with:

CHDSK [drive letter]: /r

Watch results to see what problems are encountered. If problems persist or formatting fails, test the drive with the maker's
HD Diagnostic full scan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2015   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

@ LayBack Bear

Are you sure you are doing what whs post #3 shows.

You must make sure you are right tick on the proper drive.
If you are ticking on the drive you are booted (C) it will not allow what you are trying to do.

Could you complete this tutorial by Golden with your externals plugged in

-Yep! I performed the same instructions. The options it provided me were OFFLINE, PROPERTIES AND HELP only. The INITIALIZE DISK is GREYED OUT. The same results, however I've encountered a new error message when i ran it with Active@killdisk. I clicked on the kill button of the program and noticed that on the properties window of the drive I'm erasing, it is clearly written in RED: MBR NEEDS TO BE FIXED!!!

And what in the world does that mean? hehehe..I just got home now and will about to check the internet regarding that message. If it was in red, then i guess it is the cause of the problem or would it make my hard drive a complete dud?

whooo...but thanks guys for the help and replies. Like I said, all help will be fully appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2015   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

@ gregrocker

i was able to reach the diskpart clean all part in the CMD window, and the result was: Diskpart has encountered an error: The media is write protected. See the system event log for more information.

I'm not sure if I continue to type in the next step which is CONVERT MBR will give me a different result or what. Right now I rerun Active @ Killdisk just to wipe or kill all the data in the drive. It is about halfway done, so I just got to wait a couple more minutes or hours for this to finish, then I'll go and check on the thread as well.

1 more thing buddy, on the properties of the disk (the one I'm trying to format) active @ killdisk said this in RED: MBR NEEDS TO BE FIXED!
what does that mean?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2015   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

1. Post a screenshot of how your drive looks like in Windows Disk Management. You haven't done that so far. See post#5 and do that. Adhere to all points mentioned in that tutorial and present a full screen untruncated screenshot of WDM.

2. Also install and run the latest version of Partition Wizard 9.0. Post a screenshot of the first screen on launching the application. PW can present some additional information than what WDM shows..

I know that you are just interested in formatting it.

At this stage we do not know the capacity of your drive and also whether it was formatted as an MBR disk or GPT disk.

If sector 0 of your external HDD had gone bad then nothing can be done to revive your external. All indications so far point to that.

We can try to examine Sector 0 of your drive with bootice and check whether we can write zeros to that sector. That will categorically confirm whether it is indeed a bad sector. But that only after the above two screenshots.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2015   #10


If you succeed with a full wipe (same as Clean All) with your tool then it should clear the MBR. If not you can try the wipe function in Partition Wizard. Post back the pictures of Partition Wizard and Disk Mgmt requested.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 can't FORMAT an external Hard Drive in my PC

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