Can't format hard drive

  Colp 09:12 20 May 2004

After many problems I decided to format my hard drive. All went OK until the actual formatting bit, when it got to 27% of the drive formatted, then stopped. The little light went out and nothing else happened. I left it for about 20 minutes but no change. I restarted and tried again, but exactly the same thing happened. Does this mean my hard drive is damaged? Any ideas welcome.


  the-george 09:57 20 May 2004

Seems likely to be a bad sector or something on the hard drive. Most manufacturers will have doenloadable utilities to test the hard drive. I have used the Seagate/Conner utility on other drives although not all features are applcable. You could try this link to download the seagate utility or look for one more appropriate
click here

  Colp 10:07 20 May 2004

Thanks - will I be able to run any utility though, as Windows has been removed as part of the formatting?

And if there are bad sectors, will I be able to re-install Windows, or would I be better off buying a new hard drive, especially as they're not that expensive?

  JayDay 10:22 20 May 2004

If you've been having problems which caused you to reformat it could well be there is a problem with your HDD.

  Colp 10:29 20 May 2004

That's what I thought - so if I decide to buy a new hard drive(which I probably will)can I just buy any, or are there compatability issues? My PC is a Mesh Matrix, about three years old (two months out of warranty!)so any advice as to which HD to buy will be gratefully received. Also, are they fairly easy to fit?

Sorry for all the questions but I'm new to this area of computing, never having had any problems with the PC until now.

  cream. 10:54 20 May 2004

It would help if you could answer a few basic questions. When this information is know then you could be advised on trying to salvage the old disk and or installing a new disk.

What operating system are you using. i.e. 98, me, 2000 or xp?

Do you have a full copy of the operating system disk or a recovery disk?

Do you have all the driver disks?

What speed is your CPU?

The actual fitting of a hard drive is very simple and an experienced person can take the old hard drive out and install a new one ready for formating in a couple of minutes. There are only 2 or 3 golden rules to follow and these are very simple.

  Colp 11:03 20 May 2004

Using Windows ME, have all original disks and driver disks, but I'm not sure what is the speed of the CPU - if the choice is between 7200 rpm and 5 whatever, then I have 5 whatever.

  TomJerry 11:07 20 May 2004

Get an ultimate boot cd, boot from it and run diagnostic program from there click here. It is really a great CD with a lot of utility programs including HDD diagnostics.

As for new Hard Drive, you need to check the motherboard to find out what is the largest HDD it can take and if there is any bios upgrade available to make if take large drive. Old motherboards cannot take large HDD.

  jimmacroo 11:13 20 May 2004

My teenage daughter disbled the firewall on her computer and it is now virually unusable . I have tried varous virus scans, spy search software and it is still crashing. I read these responses and also in the latest issue of PCAdvisor that I could reformat the hard disc. But how do I do it?

  Graham ® 11:22 20 May 2004

A useful site which gives general advice relating to Windows 98, but applies to other systems too :

click here

  Colp 11:42 20 May 2004

Thanks TomJerry - I'll try that tonight and see what it tells me. If it does find a problem with the HDD, does that mean I won't be able to format and re-install Windows, or is there a way of doing this that avoids the bad sectors?

If I have to install a new hard drive could the village idiot tell me what the "golden rules" are?


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