problems formatting Medion external hard drive

  br1anstorm 00:34 19 May 2009

I have a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP Pro with XP2. I recently bought a 320GB Medion hard drive to use as secondary storage for backups etc.

The Medion HDD came with 1 partition in FAT32 format. The instructions said that "it will not be necessary to reformat or repartition it", but then went on to suggest that it might be desirable to repartition and reformat to NTFS (listing the advantages of NTFS)!

As my original C drive is NTFS, I therefore thought I should reformat the external one. I connected it, and in My Computer right clicked it, hit Format, and chose NTFS.

About an hour later, it appeared to have almost finished, when up popped a message saying "The format did not complete successfully".

So I searched forums, then went looking in Disk Management. The external hard drive shows there, as healthy, with 289 GB NTFS. But when I tried to save something to that drive, up came a message saying the drive was not formatted. So I tried again to format, this time from within Disk Management. Another hour, 99% complete, when the "did not complete" message appeared again.

More forum searching suggested that XP might not be able to format partitions bigger than 137GB (why not?). So I tried a primary partition of 18GB, and tried to format in FAT32. Same "did not complete" message. Nevertheless I tried to format the rest of the drive in NTFS. And guess what...

Can anyone explain or assist?

  radi8or 06:04 19 May 2009


click here try this.


  br1anstorm 21:41 19 May 2009

Thanks, radi8tor Bob - I had a look at your link and the tool it described. Might work, I suppose. But I'd quite like to know what the problem is before I start experimenting with 3rd party add-ons as possible solutions.

And there's another more profound point. I'm looking to use this HDD for backups. So I need to trust it, and rely on it. If it won't even format, how can I be confident it will properly save, and reliably restore, my data?

Incidentally I omitted to mention that - after the failed formatting - the HDD shows up as healthy in Disk management, and as Drive E in My Computer, but its Properties say that all the space is used (by 0 bytes) and that the disk is in RAW format. Eh?

If the problem over NTFS formatting is a recognised and explicable one; or if - as is entirely possible - I did something wrong or out of step in trying to format the HDD, then I'd be ready to look at options for solving the problem. So I'm still hoping someone can actually explain why and how the disk won't format!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:19 19 May 2009

will it format as FAT32?

Last time I had a similar problem ended up using kill disk to completely wipe the disk and then reformatted OK.

  woodchip 00:04 20 May 2009

You cannot do it like that, Right Click My Computer\Manage\Disc Manager remove the Partition on the Drive this is a Fat32m then Create a new NTFS partition in windows right click the drive and choose Format

  br1anstorm 11:25 20 May 2009

Fruit Bat - In Disk Manager I created a new primary partition and tried to format it as FAT32. Got the same "did not complete successfully" message.

woodchip - I had already tried exactly what you suggest: removed previous partitions, created new partition, tried to format it as NTFS. Same problem - format won't complete. In Disk Manager it shows as healthy, but with no file system. In My Computer/Properties, the HDD shows as RAW format, with disc fully "used" by 0 bytes.

If there's no obvious explanation, I think I may simply return the HDD, get my money back, and find another brand that works....

  pcdimwit 17:56 26 Jun 2011

Hi, I am thinking of buying a 500gb Aldi (Medion) USB external drive (I have a Buffalo one which is very good) While trying to research if its a good buy I came across this guy, Brianstorms problem and the replies from member "Fruitbat" and "woodchip" (who have solved many of my previous problems so I assume they are something of a "computer wizards") so basically my question is: should I buy a 500gb Aldi USB external drive, currently on sale for £39.99 to use with my Acer & Asus windows XP and Vista respectively laptops - just for storing extra things really, nothing special, thanks PCDIMWIT

  woodchip 20:28 26 Jun 2011

pcdimwit Yes it should be a good drive, but it would be better for you to start your own thread on this. I can then still help. Check also Maplins for some good buys on Seagate USB drives, they also have 2.5 inch Drives very cheap and do a good job. I bought a 250Gig Seagate Freeagent GoFlex from them does not need a external power supply just works from USB. So no more bits to carry round only the drive and USB cable

  woodchip 20:37 26 Jun 2011


I don't have your Problem, as I use Acronis Disc Director Suit 10 That Partitions Formats etc with Ease. I think it would be better for you to use thired party tools to do what you want, as the 137Gb could be the problem. It depends on if you have the full Windows Update on your PC and the OS you are using to do it on. Acronis does away with all those problems

This is for version 10 link

Version 11 is out but it only does the same job

  pcdimwit 22:04 26 Jun 2011

OK, thanks for that Woodchip, I know I put it in twice, but thought this post wouldnt be picked up on as the original query was from some time ago. Sorry!! PCDIMWIT

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