Formatting My C Drive (main Hard Drive)

  dave**1** 09:19 09 Nov 2004

I have had to format my hard drive for one reson or another, but it seams to be taking a long time (coming up to 24hrs & not even 20% done)

I am formating in dos mode using Format C:

The harddrive is split in two C: drive is 30Gig and D: drive is 10 Gig

All it says is trying to recover allocation (followed by a group of numbers, that is always going up)

Is this normall is has some thing gone baddly wrong?

  Catastrophe 09:30 09 Nov 2004

Certainly does not seem normal to me. Especially as you will only be formatting C: not D: as well.

  Catastrophe 09:54 09 Nov 2004

I did a Google on "recover allocation" format and came up with this:

: If I have formatted an old gateway 4GB through dos/fat32 the hard drive try's to recover allocation unit's for hours and hours. why is this ? and what can I do to resolve this.

"Sorry to say it, but your old HDD is probably in VERY BAD condition. Suggest that you give it ONE chance; that is, find the HDD maker's pseudo low level formatter and run it (MAY be a function in the maker's Diagnostic Utility). A pseudo low level formatter just erases the drive (writes zeroes to EVERYTHING user accessible). Then run the maker's Read/Write surface scanner (MAY be a function in the maker's Diagnostic Utility); if none, format the drive (start format and get some sleep). When the HDD is formatted run CHKDSK to see how maany bad sectors you have - if more than 0.5 to 1.0 percent of total HDD capacity - discard the drive. If only a few bad spots run scandisk and perform a thorough (Read/Write) surface scan then decide what to do - if any bad sectors run scandisk frequently to see if drive is getting worse - discard the HDD if it is going bad.

Hope this helps,

I cannot vouch for this (as I don't know) so suggest you wait for someone who knows what they are doing.

  dan 11 09:57 09 Nov 2004

Yes it would seem that you have problems with your hard drive. A normal 30 gig format should take 10 - 20 minutes. If it is trying to recover allocation units, then it seems to me that you have either a damaged hard drive or a lot of bad sectors on the disk.

If you know the make of the hard drive, see if you can download a utility from it's website to check the condition of the drive.

You could try to mark any bad sectors, if there is any, by running a full scandisk from dos. If this is the problem then it will mark these sectors as un-usable and the format may, I stress may, proceed at a faster pace.

  dan 11 10:00 09 Nov 2004

I didn't refresh before posting 0)

  Catastrophe 10:07 09 Nov 2004

Here is another. There are plenty more.

"The message "Trying to recover allocation unit x" followed by format terminating
with the message "Format Terminated" is a BAD sign.

I had that happen with a Western Digital Caviar 1 GB hard disk drive.
In that case, the hard disk drive was failing.
It started happening on that hard disk drive at about cluster 7,765 thus
*ONLY* 238 MB of the hard disk drive was good! BAD!!!

With the above mentioned hard disk drive, I heard and saw all the major telltale
signs of hard disk drive failure:
When powering up hard disk drive, the hard disk drive will emit
"KA-TICK, KA-TICK, KA-TICK" also will emit "KA-TICK, KA-TICK, KA-TICK" when
attempting to send a write data command.

Any attempt with the DOS format program at about cluster 7,765 would
result in "Attempting to recover allocation unit x" then "Format Terminated"
some seconds after.

Even SpinRite for that hard disk drive was NO HELP.
The hard disk would be emitting "KA-TICK, KA-TICK, KA-TICK" when using
SpinRite. SpinRite was not getting past that point of the beginning of
problem area. It was locking up.

Format failing with "Trying to recover allocation unit x" then
"Format Terminated" telltales hard disk drive failure.

But before saying the hard disk drive is junk, check the BIOS settings.
You may be getting the above format error symptom, because the hard disk drive
BIOS parameters are not correct.

  Catastrophe 10:09 09 Nov 2004

dan 11

No problem. :)

  dave**1** 12:41 09 Nov 2004

Thanks for that.

Will check the BIOs setting as soon as I can (At the min may be a few days HA! HA!)

I bought the Laptop from MESH just under a year ago so if no joy with that will contact them.

P.S Is there any way I can recover the data off the D: drive from DOS?

  Catastrophe 13:54 09 Nov 2004

"P.S Is there any way I can recover the data off the D: drive from DOS?"

If C: partition is damaged you cannot acccess D: partition which [i]may[/i] be OK. If you fit a new (master) C: drive and load O/S etc. and make your old drive slave you might be able to get something from it.

I suppose you could use a floppy boot and look to see if there is anything on D:

  Catastrophe 14:01 09 Nov 2004

Oooops! Laptop.

You can try a floppy start-up boot and look at D. After that I suppose you would have to find alternative method of using old D: (if there is anything there). Maybe HDD housing with USB link. I know you can get them for normal HDDs. Anyone know if they exist for small (size) laptop drives?

  Catastrophe 14:14 09 Nov 2004

Yes! Here you are.

click here

but ends about14.50 UK time.

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