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Format Failed Now Windows Explorer Crashes

By PuzZah ยท 11 replies
Mar 29, 2005
  1. I was using windows xp to format a hard drive, when it reached 100% it said

    Since then, I have been unable to open my computer in windows explorer when the hard drive is present in the system.

    I don't have a clue how I might go about getting my hard drive running again as i can't even get to it to start formatting it again. I don't mind about the data on it so an extreme solution is acceptable.

    Any ideas?

  2. elfinster

    elfinster TS Rookie

    We've had simliar problems here lately. Most of the time booting from Dos on a floppy (not ms-dos, the old one) and running fdisk to format/delete the partition and then install windows. Hope it works for ya.
  3. RickM

    RickM TS Member Posts: 27

    Hi PuzZah,
    You mentioned you are not worried about the data on the HDD.
    I would give this a try.
    Go into the BIOS and scroll to "BOOT"
    Select the "First" boot device as your CD ROM
    Put the Windows XP CD in the CD and start your system.
    Your system will fiddle around a little and then finally go to a boot from your CD.
    Select CD Support.
    Your system will go through several tasks.
    Finally.... Just follow the questions it asks. When it comes to "Format" select NTFS (NOT QUICK) Do a FULL NTFS format.

    For more info on NTFS click on this link: http://www.ntfs.com/

    You will be asked to "Insert" your Windows 98 CD if you are installing Windows XP upgrade, if so have your Windows 98 CD ready, It just checks a few things and then goes right back and tells you to insert Windows XP CD.
    You "ARE" going to loose all you data. This procedure will be doing an NTFS format of your drive and install Windows XP.
    Depending on your system speed, it will take about 30+ minutes to install Windows XP.
    You system "WILL" boot up from the HDD after the process.
    Good Luck.
    I know loosing all your data "BITES" but it seems to me you need to do the above NTFS formatting on you HDD.
    You may be able to choose FAT32 format but I really can not advise you on what the outcome would be. Maybe others at this forum can fill you in on that.
    RIck M.
  4. PuzZah

    PuzZah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    The drive i need to format does not need windows installing so i'd prefer not to format using the XP formatting tools on the boot disks/cd as that will install windows. The dos version i have has no support for drives > 30 GB which stops me using that method. Unless thats the wrong version of dos?
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Are you sure your computer supports that hard drive? Maybe it's too big?

    There are many ways to wipe that disk. Actually you only need to wipe the beginning of the drive so Windows doesn't see a partition table and will let you create a new one.

    You can probably download an utility from the HD manufacturer that will let you wipe the drive and run diagnostics on it.

    Download the Windows 98SE custom bootdisk from www.bootdisk.com. I'm not sure about the limitations of the fdisk version on that floppy but you can try it out.

    Download any CD Linux and use the dd command to wipe the beginning of the pesky drive.

    The method RickM suggested is perfectly valid too. You don't have to install Windows. Just let it do the formatting part and the cancel out. I do have my doubts about Windows setup being able to handle the drive if Windows itself hangs..
  6. PuzZah

    PuzZah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    The drive has worked perfectly for ages just since i tried to format it its just sorta died. I will look for an application on the manufacturer's website later.

    Thanks to all who replied. I will reply to this topic later if i have further problems

  7. PuzZah

    PuzZah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    When using the XP setup formatting tools to format the disk I recieved the following message:

    Both methods of formatting (Xp setup and windows) both seem to get to 100% before saying that a format was not possible. I don't know if this is significant but its really annoying.


    Thanks again,
  8. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    GO to hard drives makers web site get the utility to zero out the disk. What this does is writes all zeros to the disk run the utility it will take anywhere between 1-3 hours depends on the speed of your cpu after that is done go to BIOS set boot order to cdrom reinstall xp on your fresh new hdd...
  9. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    If you can get the 98 se floppy software add zapit or wipeout (LLF utility)
    boot from that without cdrom support
    at a prompt do a dir/p find where the wipeout exe is
    look like this
    it will load and ask the number of drive to format
    primery is 0 and 2nd is 1 and so on
    the larger the drive the longer it will take to format (write 0's to drive)
    after it is done insert your OS cd and to a ntfs or dos format as per OS instructions
    If you can make your on boot disk you dont need the 98se files
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You don't need to low level format the whole drive.
    You only have to run diagnostics to make sure the drive is OK.
    Then just zero out the beginning to kill the partition table.
  11. PuzZah

    PuzZah TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I couldn't seem to find the utilities mentioned above. Any chance you could provide a link.

    I've tried to use the utility provided on the maxtor site, both the DOS and windows versions but they either claim to have completed but windows then says the drive is not formatted, or the maxtor utility closes while formatting and says 'unexpected program termination'

    I'm at kind of a loss now... :(

  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The Maxtor utility performs a low level format. What an OS needs is a high level format.

    The point of zeroing out the drive is to remove any corruption that might confuse Windows and prevent it from doing the high level format.

    You are supposed to create the partition(s) and format them with Windows after running the Maxtor utility.
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