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Can I re-use SATA drives?

By pcdctor
Oct 18, 2006
  1. I have several Wester Digital 400 GB SATA drives that came out of a computer that no longer exists. I would like to use those drives in other servers. When i try to initialize them they just fail. I have even hooked them up to a server running 2003 and Disk Management see the drives but when i try to initialize them it says that the operation failed and to check the system event log for details. When I look into the event manager under system there is nothing there. Is there a way that i can completely strip these old drives of their content so that I can use them again?
     
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    SATA is no different than IDE, aside from the interface. They are not 'consumable' and you should have no problems reusing them.

    What you should try is using the WD Lifeguard utility and 'zero' (a.i.k.a. low level format) the drives. This will wipe absolultely any data from the drives, including any disk locks or encryption that may be the cause of your problem.

    Initilizing disks under Windows does two things.
    1.) Writes a new MBR
    2.) Tags the last sector with a disk identifier

    If initializing fails, it cannot do one of those two things. Aside from all of the drives not physically working or problems with diskmgmt.msc, there's not a lot of reasons this could happen. So I think zeroing the drives with the WD utility will be a good method to see if you can indeed access and write to the drive outside of Windows. Once the zeroing completes, you should be able to do anything you'd like with them. If you can't... well, we'll need to investigate some more. :)
     
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