External Hard Disk problems

  homer4god 08:23 31 May 2006

I have a freecom 80gb external drive connected to my windows 2000 pro system.
At the moment it is formatted NTFS. I want to reformat to FAT32 because I want to give it to my dad who is running windows ME.

There are 4 bad sectors on the drive that I can't fix. The disk works OK on my system but when I try to format back to fat 32 using disk management tool it get to 99% then I get an error saying the volume is too large.
Does anyone have any ideas on any disk tools that could help me out or just any pointers would be great.
Thank you.

  mgmcc 08:35 31 May 2006

Windows XP, and it may be the same for 2000, cannot format a partition larger than 32GB as FAT32, although it can use a larger partition. Can the drive itself, if it is a standard 3.5" hard drive, be removed from the enclosure and connected directly to the PC's IDE cable? With a Windows 98 "boot floppy", it could then be FDISK'd to remove the "non-DOS" partition, repartitioned and formatted as FAT32 in DOS.

To create a partition larger than 32GB in DOS, use FDISK 1.2.1 from click here

  homer4god 08:40 31 May 2006

The drive is a sealed unit, it would mean breaking the enclosure to get the drive out and I would rether not do that. It is a pain the the back side that it is a usb drive.

  Tabvla 09:06 31 May 2006

As stated by mgmcc the problem that you have really has to do with the 32GB limitation for a FAT32 format.

My advice would be to firstly try to sort out the bad sectors. Giving your dad a disk with bad sectors might not be such a good idea. A disk with bad sectors can be difficult (sometimes impossible) to backup. Depending on where the sectors are it can cause system crashes and other undesireable behaviour.

Remove all existing partitions on the disk and then reformat as NTFS using a low-level formatting tool. If you are lucky this could sort out the bad sector problem. Bad sectors need not necessarily be phyisically damaged sectors they can also be sectors that are magnetically corrupted which will be rectified by a low-level format.

Once you are happy with the disk, partition it into 3 partions of about 27GB each. Then reformat each of these partitions to FAT32 format.

Using a disk management tool such as Partition Magic or Acronis Disk Director makes the job very easy. If you don't want to buy the product you can always download a free trial version to do a one-off job.

  homer4god 09:38 31 May 2006

I will give it a go, where woild be the best place to get the low level format tool from Tabvla?. the drive is a hitachi(freecom)

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