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Windows 7: Format issues

07 Jul 2010   #1

windows 7 32 bit home
Format issues


My 1 TB seagate external harddrive was working up until today on windows 7 32 bit home edition.

All of a sudden windows asks me to format the hard drive.

if I do format it, do I lose all my data on my hard drive? I've had it for a year now and have no problems with it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2010   #2

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

Don't format it ! You will lose all your data. Can you test it on another computer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2010   #3
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Hello mj123 Welcome to the Seven Forums!

Unfortunately if you elect to format the drive at this time that would clean the existing partition completely meaning the loss of all data and files. When first buying any new external hard drive they typically see a factory Fat 32 volume and advise reformatting that to NTFS for Windows use when not planning to run other OSs. But unfortunately too often most leave the Fat volume intact and simply start storing files immediately on them.

The first thing to try now would be going into the "Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management" to see if the drive is being seen there. If so right click on the volume and select the change drive letter option to see that will reinitialize the drive for you when giving it a drive letter. Windows should then mount the partition as a new logical drive when you see the new hardware notification and prompting to view content.

Examine the data cable at both ends to insure each end is plugged in fully as well as trying a different usb port if this is a usb and not eSata model. Sometimes simply changing a port will tend to see a better detection by Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Jul 2010   #4

windows 7 32 bit home

I thought so. The harddrive was working but just stopped all of a sudden. It works on my netbook. Its jsut windows 7 thats the issue I think.

Should I just spring for another hard drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2010   #5
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

The first thing now since it is known to work ok on the netbook is debugging the detection problem seen on 7. For the time being if you have enough space on the netbook's drive backing things up and only then giving it a good reformat should help to see it added in on 7 as a new drive ready for use.

Even when going and buying a new drive that will still be seeing a factory Fat 32 volume on it. This is for compatibility in most cases Mac as well as Windows. This is how they are shipped new. The support pages for each will generally recommend reformatting them to NTFS being native with Windows when only using them for Windows as storage devices.

Fat 32 can be the reall bug at times while still being used for those as well as seen with usb flash drives. The unplugging and replugging of the drive between different machines will often see Windows loaded without it being plugged in where it needs to be readded on as a new device. Have you gone into the Disk Management to see if it is seen there?

The images here show how to add a new volume in the DM once a drive has been wiped clean. That would be an option once you have all files backed up from the drive to see a fresh partition to work with and likely avoiding the present detection problems you are running into on 7.

The last is actually the first thing when right clicking on unallocated space to select mbr by default for volumes less then 2tb in size.

Attached Images
Format issues-diskpart8-new-volume-wizard.jpg Format issues-diskpart9-new-volume-wizard2.jpg Format issues-diskpart10-new-volume-drive-letter.jpg Format issues-diskpart11-new-volume-format-label.jpg Format issues-diskpart12-new-volume-click-finish.jpg Format issues-diskpart13-drive-we-cleaned.jpg Format issues-diskpart6b-guid-partition-table-mbr.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 - OEM Service Pack 1

I had this problem a couple of times with my external USB 1TB Western Digital.

Solution boot down the PC, unplug the drive, reboot the PC plug in the drive. Worked for me.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2010   #7
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Sometimes that will see a fresh detection by Windows. I ran into that when buying the first 500gb drive later removed from the external casing for use internally while testing the betas last year and needing the extra drive space.

Two larger 1trb models were simply removed and reformatted as well to NTFS for internal use since then to avoid any Fat 32 issues. The first was when the old XP/Vista dual boot had been present and you had to close out the WD software installer each time you replugged the 500 back in. No thanks! I simply reformatted it to clean that up!

The first thing I tell anyone who isn't dual booting with another OS is reformat any new drive to avoid this exact same problem. For those still running XP or Vista it's practically a must anyways to avoid needing any software installer for Windows to even see the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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