Computer Support Forum

Solved: Help needed to securely format hard drive - no screen or CD drive

Question: Solved: Help needed to securely format hard drive - no screen or CD drive

Hey Guys,

I have a netbook which I want to recycle however it has been used for business purposes and I want to properly format the drive. The issue I have is that it does not have a CD drive nor does it have a working screen. I have connected the hard drive to external display and manually deleted all files from the computer but I know this is not really 'deleting' anything.

How can I format the drive from within Windows? Unfortunately I cannot get bios to display on the external display so I can not do anything from DOS or Bios simply because I can't see anything!

My latest attempt has been to use Active KillDisk to create a bootable USB however this is when I ran into the issue of the Bios and DOS not displaying, it will only display once windows has been loaded.

Any ideas?

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Preferred Solution: Solved: Help needed to securely format hard drive - no screen or CD drive

I recommend downloading and running Reimage. It's a computer repair tool that has been proven to identify and fix many Windows problems with a high level of success.

I've used it in the past to identify and fix everything from blue screens (BSOD's), ActiveX errors, corrupt files and processes, dll/exe/sys errors, recover lost memory, Windows update problems, defragging, malware removal etc.

You can download it direct from this link (This link will automatically start a download of Reimage that you can save to your computer.)

Answer: Solved: Help needed to securely format hard drive - no screen or CD drive

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I have a customer's Satellite L305D S5895 laptop. This was shipped to me by the customer who tried to install Windows XP Pro, Vista and none would install. He said he tried all installation CDs he had and finally gave up on it and shipped it to me.

When I got it the partition were deleted so I tried to install Win 7 and when I do doing a custom install I get an error saying the hard drive can't be formatted on disk 0 or it will give an error that no hard drives were found.

I reset the bios to default and no matter what I do it won't format or find the harddrive. I was going to upgrade the bios but the only way I found to upgrade the bios is after windows is installed. There is no way to make changes to the bios for settings that would have to do with the hard drive. This has a Toshiba MK2546GSX (S1) hard drive.

When installing Win 7 I get the normal windows, "windows is starting", "Select Language", "Select System", "Type of install", "Custom Install", "Delete partitions", "New Partitions", "Format", then the error message "Windows cannot format a partition on disk 0. Error: 0x80070057"

This happens regardless what system I try to install. I've tried two different versions of XP, one of Vista and 3 Win 7 and each time a different install CD.

System Specs
AMD Turion (TM) 64 x 2 Mobile CPU
CPU Speed 2.00 GHz
Toshiba MK2546GSX (S1) hard drive
Pioneer DVD-RW DurkD08l... Read more

Answer:Solved: win 7 can't find hard drive or can't format hard drive on clean install

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I need to know how to force the computer to format the main hard drive. How would you do that from the bios? I need help fast! Thanks.

Answer:Urgent Help needed on how to format the hard drive!

I don`t believe you can format a hdd from bios.

Normally you would format the drive from the Windows disk, or via a 98 boot floppy.

Can you explain what it is you`re trying to do and why?

Regards Howard

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Hi. My external hard-drive stopped working yesterday. This is what's happening:

I plug it in as usual, then it says "You need to format the disk in drive F: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?".
I'm thinking it's more than likely an issue of having pulled out the usb cable without clicking 'safely remove'.

Yesterday I actually got it working again briefly by typing "chkdsk F: /R" into command prompt. Now when I do that it doesn't work, it says "The type of the file system is NTFS. Unable to determine volume version and state. CHKDSK aborted." And when I double click on F: drive in my computer it says "F:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable".

Are there any other options besides using some sort of data recovery tool (I'd rather not do this just because it takes a long time)?

Answer:Solved: External hard-drive:...format the disk in drive F: before you can use it.

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Not sure where to put this but I need to send a hard drive back to Western Digital and was wondering if programs like Paragon's Wipe disk which uses DoD 5220-2M algorithm to wipe info renders the dive inactive?

In short will using a software secure wipe program render the HD inoperative, which is something I'm not tying to do.


BTW I don't really need anything elaborate as the info on the drive isn't that secret, but just enough that someone has to work to recover the info if they were nosey enough to do so.


Answer:Securely wipping a hard drive

No. It wont render it inoperable, but DoD is perhaps overkill. Is the drive attached a a secondary drive in the computer? If so you could run this...far simpler and just as secure:

Cipher Command - Overwrite Deleted Data in Windows

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I'm thinking of selling my laptop soon and was wondering what the best way to completly shred all of my data on the hard drive?


Answer:securely wipe and clean hard drive

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Lenovo is replacing my failing hd under warranty and I need to return the defective hd. I have deleted my current personal files using spybot's secure shredder and then the freerase utility when some files proved too large for the spybot's shredder.

I have summit's hard disk scrubber installed and plan to run it tonight to clear the free space using the heavy scrub overwrite [3-stage pattern 0s,1s and random]. I had a hard time getting the drive to boot last time, but if it will boot again tomorrow I'd like to turn off hibernation, reboot and then rerun the scrubber. That would scrub the hibernation file, wouldn't it? I also plan to set pagefile to clear at shutdown. If I'm able to run the scrubber tomorrow after a reboot, it would also be in the free space and get the heavy overwrite, correct?

If the drive is still running I was then going to run Darik's Boot And Nuke from a boot cd using the interactive mode so I could skip the hidden service partition and just wipe the main partition. I'm hoping it won't take days and days to run. The thinkpad x41 tablet's hd is infamous for its slowness.

The only other hd wipe freeware utility I found was killdisk - the freeware version only does a single pass of 0s but it might be quicker.

Are there some temp folders or caches whose files I ought to shred before shutting down the hd in case it totally dies before I can use DB&N?

Is there a boot utility that overwrites by folders so I c... Read more

Answer:How best to securely erase thinkpad hard drive

I am thinking that you can just run the DBAN quick mode, it does not take that long and it should deal with the entire drive. Is there any particular reason you don't want to trash the hidden partition?

Also Lenovo does not go through all your personal data, so you should be ok with just a quick wipe.

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Is there a Windows program that will securely wipe a hard drive's contents? I have a number of old HDDs we are going to get rid of, and I was planning connecting them to my external USB ports, as opposed to powering on and off a spare system each time I need to use a new drive? I'd rather just connect them to a running system and blank each one.

Answer:Securely wipe a hard drive (ah, but a catch!)

Disk Eraser would work.

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I am listing my X220 for sale and wonder how I can securely erase the hard disk drive. I have been using Mac OS X since its inception, and was trying to determine whether I wished to return to Windows with this machine. I know how I would proceed with a Mac but not on the Thinkpad. The drive lists three partitions/drives.C: Windows 7D: Lenovo Recovery (I have the recovery disks)E: Service002 I would like to erase securely so that the data would be unrecoverable, and wonder how that is done with leaving the D: sector intact (and maybe the E: sector?).  

Answer:How to securely clean X220 hard drive

I do not have an X220 myself, but I believe the recovery disks allow you to perform a full restore that erases the entire contents of the hard disk drive as one of the recovery options.
Aryeh Goretsky

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If I want to completely and securely wipe my hard drive so that there is nothing recoverable left, will a clean win 10 install with formatting do this?

Or do I need to first use killdisk or something similar to wipe the drive, then install windows?

if I use a tool like that, will I still be able to install windows 10 by creating a bootable USB? or will my USB drivers be gone, and if so, how should I do this?

Sorry I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I tried searching for a guide on this process and all I'm getting are the basic instructions on a clean install which don't exactly answer these questions.

Answer:Will a clean install securely wipe the entire hard drive?

You would need to use killdisk as I believe Windows Installer only uses quick format during installation to cut down the install time.

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I believe I have malware infections on my PC - I have another topic going in the relevant area, meanwhile, as a fall back I'm preparing to reformat and reinstall.

I have 2 internal drives, both 300GB, and 2 External drives

I understand the process to reinstall, and I'm a little paranoid that a standad format instruction may leave residue data, I'd like to be able to wipe and rewipe several times to make sure nothing survives.
Does anyone know of an application or technique I can use here please, or have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Answer:How Do I Securely Wipe Hard Drive Prior To Vista Reinstall

This free program will wipe your drives clean: follow the instructions there and you'll get rid of everything.But, for most virus infections it's not necessary to go to these lengths - a simple format will kill most everything.

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If I want to completely and securely wipe my hard drive so that there is nothing recoverable left, will a clean win 10 install with formatting do this?

Or do I need to first use killdisk or something similar to wipe the drive, then install windows?

if I use a tool like that, will I still be able to install windows 10 by creating a bootable USB? or will my USB drivers be gone, and if so, how should I do this?

Sorry I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I tried searching for a guide on this process and all I'm getting are the basic instructions on a clean install which don't exactly answer these questions.

Answer:Will a clean install securely wipe the entire hard drive?

You would need to use killdisk as I believe Windows Installer only uses quick format during installation to cut down the install time.

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Hello and good morning to u all. Ive had my brand new windows 7 desktop for about nearly a month now, all is well with the desktop...considering my prev pc was windows XP, so its a big leap for me, but def worth it LOL. The only problem that I seem to have is that under the solve pc issues: A liitle icon keeps showing that Ive never backed up my data...and this is totally correct, so I need good advice on how to do this. Okay I have a 1tb external hard drive attached to my desktop,...and all my videos, photos, docs are already backed up on my external hard drive, so that is ok...BUT all my itunes music is currently ONLY on my desktops hard drive(very silly I know, lol!!!)...and there are prob 1 or 2 other things on the desktop that I need to back up to....So far, for my desktop it says total size is 919GB, space free is 767GB. My music is probably the most importat thing i have on my desktop. So i just need some advice about how to do it 100% correctly, and the correct way how to do this pls.
Do I use the windows backup system, and if yes how pls??
OR can anyone advice on any better freeware please??? Also whichever I used will it automatically back up all my new data on a daily basis...or will I have to manually do this each time pls?/
They say that constant data backup is prob on of the most importnat things for computer users, lol..i guess they are write. Much appreciated for any help that can be rendered.

Answer:How to securely backup my music, etc with windows 7 to my external hard drive?

I use Acronis True Image to back-up to external HDD.
I have C drive which only has my OS and software, D drive which contains My Documents etc. I also have other internal HDDs for video, music and photos. Using Acronis, I make an image of my C and D drives to separate partitions on 1 ext HDD. I then have copies of my video, music and photos on 2 other ext HDDs.
This may be a bit OTT but I have never (!!!) lost any data, software or settings. There have been 2 occasions in the past few years when my C drive has gone belly-up but using the back-up image, it only takes a short time to be up and running again exactly as it was before on a new C drive.

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I am going to be giving away and donating a couple of old PC's.
Before I do, I would like to DEFINITELY remove directories and their files containing financial, etc. information so that there is no chance of them being 'undeleted' or recovered.

I would also like to leave the OS and some of the programs & software that came with the PC intact for the new user of the PC.

I didn't see anything in the 'Drive Cleaner' section that seemed to be able to do this and I have used 'wipefile' before but I was hoping to find something that would work at the dir and subdir level instead of at the file level.

Any help\suggestions\URL's will be most appreciated!!!!

Thanks in advance!!!!

Answer:Securely Deleting DIRs\Files On Hard Drive (Leaving OS Intact)....

????? I thought that someone would have done this already........


Guess I'll have to try some trial and error..........

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I'm planning to sell my old laptop after I transfer my files to a new one. Then I would like to sell the old laptop. I want to make sure though that none of the old data is accessible or "un-deletable" by hackers and the like. I also want to make sure I wipe the old laptop correctly so that it still functions.

I have all my original installation and driver disks, so is there any recommendations on how to go about this?

I ask because I'm not sure if the usual reformatting/clean install of windows will completely get rid of old data on the computer.

Answer:Easiest way to securely wipe hard drive and reformat laptop for resale

You're absolutely correct in thinking that. You can use a utility like KillDisk ([email protected] Kill Disk Hard Drive Eraser. Low Level Format.). Essentially, it will eliminate everything on the hard disk and replace it with zeros in each sector. They have both a Windows and DOS (Bootable) utility. One run should deter most hackers but if you want added security, you can run through it three times or to the US Department of Defense standard where they will consider it unrecoverable, which is seven times.

After that, you can use your recovery media to reinstall the OS and its applications and updates and what not.

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I am not sure where to post this, but my screen is either flickering or not working at all when I boot normal. It works fine in safe mode, but I was thinking about trying to formatting my hard drive and it would appear to not be possible in safe mode. Can someone please help me?

Answer:Screen Flicker (format hard drive?)

Try updating your video drivers first.

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I have a Dell Inspiron 2200. After boot-up it goes straight to blue screen with:

STOP: 0X0000007B (0XF89A8528, 0XC0000034, 0X00000000, 0X00000000)

I want to clean the hard drive and start over. I have tried to start-up in safe mode, but it comes back to this blue screen and message.

Any other options?


Answer:Trying to format hard drive...can't get away from blue screen

Hey Chad,

Here is a reference on the Microsoft site to this specific problem:

You can take this approach to try to fix the problem yourself. If you want to reformat your drive you will need to use either a Windows disk, or some other third party program to do it.

I don't know of any other way, someone correct me if I am wrong.

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I bought a used 80GB hard drive and installed it in my computer as a second hard drive (F. When I started the computer it showed up and was accessable, showing all the files of it's previous owner and everything was fine.

I thought rather than digging through it and manually deleting redundant files I could simply re-format it by right clicking Local Disk (F and selecting properties/format. I chose the "Enable Compression" option and clicked "start". It went through the process and when it finished I got an error message saying "Windows could not complete the format".

My (C drive is jumpered to master and (F is jumpered to slave and it was working fine untill I attempted to reformat. Now all I get when I try to double-click on it is an error message: "(F is not accessable. The parameter is incorrect." If I double-click Local Disk (F, and select properties, it shows " Used space: 0 bytes. Free space: 0 bytes."

I'm not sure if it is even relevant, but is it possible that if it had a different version of XP than the original one on my (C drive (XP Home/SP2) that this could be a possible connection? I have never formatted a hard drive before other than a clean install of Windows on (C and I really have no idea what I did wrong or how to even go about formatting just the (F drive with a clean install of Windows.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

Answer:Solved: Hard Drive Format... Help

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Have a 160 g seagate sata hard drive that has a bad install of xp on it and am trying to format it to get rid of the bad install so I can install windows 7. Have it attached to another machine and tried to format but it still has the bad install of xp there. cant get rid of it. am I doing something wrong? Obviously, huh. write protected possibly...I dont know. Thanks.

Answer:Solved: Cannot format hard drive

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replaced hard drivewhat format should I use on hard drive to load windows xp (fat) or (ntfs)

Answer:Solved: hard drive format


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is it possible to format a hard drive using my desk top and install the hard drive in my laptop and expect it to work?

Answer:Solved: Format hard drive?

The hard drive needs to be formatted and Windows installed in it in the computer that it's going to be used in.


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Hi guys.
I have a second hard drive that's lost all of its content so I thought I'de format it before reloading my data.
I'm tried to format my drive without success.
I've tried through both Windows explorer and disk management.
It shows that it's formatting but sits at 1% for ever.
Any ideas guys?

Answer:Solved: Can't format a hard drive

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I have a windows 95 operating system computer. I need to load windows 98 to it.I was told that the Windows 98 Full O.E.M. version cannot be used I have to buy the windows 98 upgrade. The problem is I already purchased the Full version over e-bay is it true that even if I format the hard drive the O.E.M. still cannot be used?

Answer:[SOLVED] format hard drive

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I installed a new hard drive and have some errors when booting up. I just want to format the drive and start over but it wont let me format saying cant use with this version of dos........please help!

Answer:[SOLVED] format hard drive

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Hi, I want to format my hard drive ( been two years ) ! It is now running XP Pro, which I do not have the discs, and I want to switch back to XP Home, which I have one disc that came with the computer !
I've tried booting up with the disk, so that I can format my hard drive, but nothing happens!
Can anyone help me to get rid of the Pro and switch back to Home ! The last time the computer guy put in Pro for me , but now I can't upgrade, because I don't have the disk !!
I want to try and save money by doing it myself, I guess that's the reason he put in Pro - so that I would have to call him !!
Please help, I know it must be easy, I just need to be shown the way !!

Answer:Solved: Format hard drive xp pro

Is your Bios set to boot from the cdrom first?
Where did you get this XP Home disk from? Is it a restoration disk or an actual install disk?

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I have a new harddrive I have run seatools on it to clear everything having done this I tried to format the harddrive but everytime I try this it says format did not complete, if I plug the harddrive into an icybox and try to format it on another pc then put it back in mine it works apart from i can't run chkdsk or disk defrag can anybody tell me why it won't work on mine as if it is faulty i can get my money back.

Answer:Solved: can't format hard drive

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I am trying to format my hard drive using the Windows XP CD. (I have Windows XP Pro installed on my computer).

The computer boots from the CD OK.
Then loads Files.
Then "setup is starting Windows".
"Welcome to Setup".
"To set up Windows XP now Press Enter".
Then I get the following message.
"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer. Make sure that any disk related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufactures supplied diagnostic or setup program.
Setup cannot continue. The quit setup Press F3."

I have ran check disk twice with no results. I have downloaded a program called kill disc to a floppy but am reluctant to use it if I have underlying problems. The hard drive appears to work fine as do all the programs. The computer has been checked for viruses and spywear etc. and is clean.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


Answer:Solved: Why can't i format my hard drive?

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i installed linux then decided i wanted windows back so i tried to format the hard drive it wouldnt format, i looked at the file system and it says raw, what do i do???!!! i need that hard drive!!!

Answer:Solved: cant format hard drive

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I am having to format a hard drive and have never done one before. I am looking for some help and advice. If anyone wants to give me a hand I am all ears and willing to learn.

Answer:[SOLVED] format hard drive

Bryan posted this awhile ago, but it's a good read on how to format and reinstall win98

First what type of Microsoft CD do you have? I'll assume it's W98. If it's not, don't use these
instructions til you let us know what version you'll be installing. Anyway, if it’s an upgrade CD then
you’ll need to be sure you have your old W95 CD or 3.1 diskettes available. During the install you
will be required to prove you have a qualifying product for the upgrade. If you have a Full Copy of
W98 on CD, then that's all you'll need.

You'll also need a W98 bootdisk. If you don’t have one then you can make one
from here. Or if you still have access to your W98 PC or any other W98 PC you can make one from


Be sure to have your Windows "Product Key" available. You’ll need it during the install. It should be
on the sleeve that holds your W98 CD or on the Windows booklet. If you have neither but have
access to your W98 PC, then you can get it from the Windows registry. Start>Run, key in regedit
and press enter. Navigate to here by single left clicking on each one of these in the left pane,

The ProductKey is listed in the right pane.

Once you have all of that, insert the bootdisk and power on the machine. It should boot up to a boot
menu. If not, you’ll need ... Read more

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I'm putting an extra hard drive in my friends system and I can't find the proper procedure in my school book. This is my 3rd format but this time I'm leaving the origonal in place as master. I'm not going to do anything to that one. The system has XP Home and I will use ntfs. The new 160 gb hd did not come w/any inst. cd. It is man. by Seagate. I'm not real experienced so please give explicit inst. Thank You

Answer:[Solved] How to format new hard drive?

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I have an 80Gig Maxtor HD I want to use with a new usb external enclosure. The drive is recognized when installed as an additional drive in my computer. Can I use the device manager to format it so it will be recognized when connected as an external drive? Or is there another process that is needed for formatting.

Thanks, Al

Answer:Solved: Format Hard Drive for External use

Right-click Computer, Manage, Disk Management. Right-clcik the drive and remove all partitions so all the space is unallocated. Create partitions the sizes you want and format. Change drive letters, if you want.

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A big hello to the tech support forum, this is my first post!

I have recently installed a clean version of XP pro on a new hard drive and in an attemt to reformat my old hard drive I made the old drive dynamic. However, now when I try to format the drive using the new XP it fails. I fear it is becasue I have an operating system installed on the old disk and windows doesn't want to delete it.

Any help on how to reformat this disk would be much appreciated.

Many thanks


Answer:[SOLVED] Format dynamic hard drive

G'Day Hoopers, and Welcome to TSF!

My suggestion would be to set the 'old' drive up as a 'Slave' to your 'new' one first.

Once you have done this, boot up the computer and retrieve all your data; then; Go here, and look for a program called "Boot N' Nuke", which will completely wipe that drive clean....but read the article tips first!

'Boot N' Nuke' will be a slowish process, as it will 'zero' the drive.

Try this and report back with any queries/concerns.

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Bit of a long tail but it may help any that try to help.

I had problems with the second SATA HDD (a Maxtor 6Y250M0) which I use for storage/backups; it was divided into two partions. I checked with CHKDSK found it dirty and went for the recovery option; this failed with an i/o warning. Went for the option to reformat which appeared fine but when I tried to `Delete Partition` it refused.

I loaded the SeaTools floppy and used the Z (erase track 0) option. Whilst I was at it I did a check of the drive and it came back as `good`.
I then went to the format option, which loaded the Wizard, and set the drive up as a single primary basic NTFS partition. This can be written to and read from.

I now have the need to divide the drive back into two partitions but both the `Delete Partition` and `Format` options are greyed out. This applies to both drives.

Can anyone please help me regain the facility and tell me where I went wrong?

Many thanks in anticipation.

Answer:[SOLVED] Hard Drive Format Greyed Out

Had a similar problem read this thread.

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I am not sure where to post this.

I bought a new computer. It had an intermittent problem with the video card. The manufacturer agreed to replace it. I had loaded programs on the first computer and used it while awaiting the replacement unit. Now I need to return the bad computer, but I want to be sure that all my Information and personal data is gone. Can anyone tell me the best way to do it? The drive is a 1 TB with no partitions. I have tried using a program (Eraser) to securely delete my data , but that looks like it will take forever. I also tried Darik's Boot and Nuke. That would be the best solution but I could not get it to work. I think there was a problem with unrecognized USB ports. I know that a format does not guarantee my data cannot be recovered but I think that will be good enough. But how do I format the drive. I don't have a system disk, plus I don't want to reinstall the operating system in any case. I just want my stuff off the drive.

I will certainly appreciate any help. Thanks very much.


Answer:Solved: Want To Format Hard Drive To Return to MFG

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Compaq 5834
Windows 2000 Pro
Version 5.0
Servic Pack 4
192 RAM
c:\ Primary hard drive = 13GB
d:\system_save drive = 3GB
g:\Add on hard drive as slave = 40GB

Purchased a 'acomdata' 120GB usb2.0 hard drive.Followed installation instructions, but it will not format the drive. When the formatting screen appears, the only choice I have is FAT, NTSF, or FAT32 and start. I've tried all three, and I've tried formatting the drive on a Dell laptop with Windows XP with same result. After about 40 minutes, the process appears to complete by the progress bar and a message appears which says formatting cannot be completed.
H:\ shows on menu in MyComputer but clicking on properties show the drive has no free space even though there is 0 bytes of data in folders and files.
The Acomdata tech support desk has not responded. Any help out there?

Answer:[SOLVED] usb2.0 hard drive won't format

More that likely the drive is defective, take back to supplier and have them test and supply new one.

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Holy *&^%, I am officially past aggravated. I needed to reformat an internal hard drive on a Gateway Laptop 7322GZ, 60GB drive. I am using a Windows XP Pro Upgrade CD (along with a full version of Windows 98SE for verification) and I deleted all partitions and set it to format the entire disk. Did not select quick format NTFS, just regular Format NTFS.

The drive used to have Windows XP Home on it. The boot.ini and many other operating system files were badly damaged or corrupt, so I had no choice other than to set it up as a slave drive and retrieve all of the data, then go for a full format and reinstall of OS. Now I am stuck here at my 2nd attempt at reformatting this drive and it will not format past 73%!!

I Googled and read about this happening (yes, at exactly 73%), but only on 160GB hard drive by Seagate and the solution was based solely on Vista 4 users. Yes, I searched and searched, but only found that exact entry/problem. (or maybe it was 260GB - I dunno).

So, what's going on and what is the easiest way to fix - or is the drive bad, or???

This is ridiculous .. really ..

Please, if anyone can assist soon I would really, really be grateful.

Answer:Solved: Can't format Hard Drive - stops at 73%. What the?!!?

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Ok so one of my friends bought one of does cheap encloser here at a pc show so i put in an old HDD that i had w/ some stuff to test it out...and none of the 4 pc's at home will reconize it at all ??? i ready that crap manuel it has 1page lol so do i need to format the hdd cuz im gettin pissed off like allways when something dont go right

And one more and i have a MxtorII 300gigs and when i want to move files over it says disk full and it has 280gigs free any suggestions on that ?

thanks for the advice

Answer:Solved: Hard Drive Encloser (format or not)

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I need your expertise for this one. I have an Samsung 60GB hard drive that I have been using for backup. The drive is in an external case connected thru a usb port & I have been using it for some time without problems. Since it was previously formated as FAT32, I decided to clean it up & reformat as NTFS.

After cleaning I ran Partition Magic 8, to set up 2 partitions & received an "error 27, Cannot lock drive".

Tried to reformat with Windows. After the format appeared to be finishing I received "Windows unable to complete format" .

The drive displays in MY Computer but shows no Total space or free space. If I click properties: it shows 0 used space 0 free space. Also none of the Tools in the run on it.

Running Win XP Home
What can I do to fix it????

Answer:Solved: Can Not Format External Hard drive

You may have to remove the drive from the external case and connect it temporarily on your secondary IDE channel. If you can't format it there, try the disk manufacturer's diagnostics and see if the drive has died for some reason. You might also try DBAN to totally clear the entire drive and see if that allows you to complete the partitioning and formatting.

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I'm trying to install and old hard drive that I had from an old pc into my new pc for some extra storage. The drive is show correctly when I boot up however, under computer management in windows vista, the drive is show as disk 0, unknown, and not initialized. when i right click the drive and attempt to initialize it i get the following error: "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error."
I don't know what to do from here and would greatly apreciate any help. I don't know what info may be needed for you to help me out so if there is any please let me know and I will provide it. Thanks alot for any help, its appreciated greatly.

Answer:Solved: 2nd hard drive unable to format.

Sounds like the drive is dead. Can you hear ot spin? Is ut recognized as being the correct size? How long has it been stored and where?

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Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version
OS Version: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Business, Service Pack 2, 32 bit
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) Dual Core Processor 5000B, x64 Family 15 Model 107 Stepping 2
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 1790 Mb
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 3100 Graphics, 256 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 476937 MB, Free - 329080 MB;
Motherboard: Hewlett-Packard, 3029h
Antivirus: Microsoft Security Essentials, Updated and Enabled

I am trying to wipe clean an 80GB hard drive that I have. I want to reformat it (unless there is a simplar way of wiping the hdd clean). I have the HDD connected to my computer using my USB to IDE cable adapter. Windows Explorer does not list the drive in the tree but disk management does recogniz the drive as drive 1. I was wondering why the drive isn't showing up in the windows tree and how to reformat or wipe the drive clean. I am new to using Diskpart and so I haven't been able to wipe or reformat the HDD.

Please help if you can. Thank you.

Answer:Solved: Format extrernal hard drive

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I decided to scratch the hd and redo everything after I just got a virus - even after the virus was gone everything was affected.

I create a C, D, and E partition. The C partition is for 98, the D for XP and the E for data. I formatted D: and installed xp - no problem there. then I went to C: and tried to format went through the usual gyrations and thermometer countdown but at the end it said "Windows was unable to complete the format". Am I doing something wrong? I tried FAT, FAT32 and NTFS.

I can think of two options - 1. there is something wrong with the hard drive 2. I should have worked with C: first (installed 98) and then proceeded to install XP

Help anyone!!!!

Answer:[SOLVED] Can't format a hard drive partition


You have to install Windows 98 first.
Boot the computer with a Parted Magic CD.
Delete the partitions - then create a FAT32 partition for Windows 98 - leave the rest of the HDD unformatted.

Install Windows 98.
When running Win 98 >> insert the XP disc.
XP installation will start >> choose New install (not upgrade).
After a little while the computer will restart and boot from the XP disc.
Create an NTFS partition where you install XP.
A dual boot will be created automatically.

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I have a Western Digital External hard drive and had problems with some corrupted files. As a result I decided to use the WD dianostics software to fix the problem but it didn't solve the problem. The WD software gave me the option of wiping the hard drive and I did that in the hope that I could start affresh and then copy my back up files to it again. The problem is that my computer now does not recognize the hard drive at all so it looks like I am going to have to reformat it to NTFS format. How do I get my computer first to recognize it and then how do I reformat it to NTFS format?


Answer:Solved: Format an external hard drive

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I have made a boot diskette , added smartdrv , but won't accept the smartdrv command, I'm slowly going crazy !! How do I get to BIOS, and how do I configure to startup from cd drive ?? Please help !! Have wasted hours on this thing !!

Answer:Solved: Unable to format hard drive !!!!

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Hello again, I just bought a western digital my passport 250gb portable hard drive. It came as fat32 and I have been trying to format it to NTFS. When I click the format button it starts off fine and everything goes well until it get to about 3/4 of the way done, then the light on the hard drive stops blinking and it is silent and the progression stops. Any suggestions?

Answer:Solved: Portable Hard Drive Won't Format

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Hi Guys
Just to let you all know I have installed countless number of hard drives but never come up against this problem before.
I have just installed a Seagate barracuda 250g pata drive in my sons pc.
Checked in bios and is recognized correctly as slave.
Booted to windows, went to diskmanagment and is correctly seen as unallocated.
Now this is where I have the problem,
I right click the drive and all I get is format (Greyed out) and properties.
I am running a lowlevel format on the drive at the moment to see if that helps.
Anyone got any ideas why this is.
Windows XP sp2

Answer:Solved: Can't Initalize/ format hard drive

You can't format unallocated space -- you have to create a partition first.

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Hi All

I’m having a problem rebuilding a friend’s computer which was suffering from the BSOD! I could not find a way of resolving this, but I did manage to get all the data by plugging the hdd into another sata cabled machine in the house.
I then formatted the disc, put it back in the original Dell Case and tried to load XP, this is where my current problems start. It loads the XP files and gives me the option to install, repair etc, whatever I choose I get the message “Windows cannot see a configured hard disk, make sure cables are connected etc”.
When I look in the bios I can see the disk is recognised ok!!
Could it be that I have removed something during the format that are vital to the running of the disk? If so does anyone have any instructions how to reinstall?
The problem machine is a Dell Dimension 8400 with a barracuda 7200.7 Sata hard disk.

Any Help would be greatly appreciated

Answer:Solved: Windows cannot see Hard Disk Drive after format - Help please

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See attached jpg for question and screen snap shots. System Info below

Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version
OS Version: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium, Service Pack 2, 64 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 23 Stepping 10
Processor Count: 4
RAM: 8188 Mb
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT, 512 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 608359 MB, Free - 437860 MB; D: Total - 2047 MB, Free - 1016 MB; F: Total - 72316 MB, Free - 62651 MB; H: Total - 1430796 MB, Free - 1421870 MB;
Motherboard: Dell Inc, 0PP150
Antivirus: Lavasoft Ad-Watch Live! Anti-Virus, Updated: Yes, On-Demand Scanner: Disabled

Answer:Solved: In Safe Mode - Still Cannot Format Hard Drive

Boot with the 75GB drive disconnected from the motherboard. My guess is you'll get some kind of error which should indicate how the drive is being used.

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hello u guys and i have finished up with the dban thing,after wiping my hard disk.

i just made a partition and i m unable to format it(Using Windows Format)
i have 500 gb hard disk.
4 Partitons

1- 100 gb(primary)(c:disk)
3-200 gb(logical)
4-100(which i m unable to format)(Logical)

all are ntfs partition

before making and formatting 3,4 partion a freind came to me he asked me to fill songs in usb drive.

i m using kis 2010 so i thought i need not worry bcz if any viruses or trojans are found they all will be deleted or disinfected by kaspersky internet security.

i found 8 viruses and 3 trojans out of which kaspersky deleted 5trojans and and two viruses and quarantied 1 virus.

i just scanned usb drive again and i found no viruses and trojan so i opened it and copied all data on 3 partion which is working correctly.

then i made and format 4th partion after restarting my pc.
i wasnt able to format this partion no matters how many times i format it.

i think the virus which was quarantined may have cause the problem.
i m confused bcz i scanned before opening the usb drive.when i found all viruses and trojans and whena ll viruses or trojans were deleted or quarantined the n i again scanned and i found nothing on usb drtive.

so i copied all the data to 3rd partion.after checking for viruses.

it hink the virus which kaspersky internet security quarantined is causing the problem.

the virus which kaspersky quarantined is moja.exe.

i dont know i opened to us... Read more

Answer:Solved: unable to format hard drive partition

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Okay so here's the story. I have just recently decided to try and use my old PC for some very basic Windows gaming. The problem is, it has Linux Ubuntu 10.0.4 on it at the moment and the hard drive is formatted in to something like an ext4 format. When I put in my Windows 7 install disc and boot from CD it all goes fine up until choosing where to install the OS. It won't let me format the hard drive inside of the setup process, yet to install Windows I believe it needs to be in FAT32 or NTFS format.
Also it won't let me format the hard drive inside Ubuntu itself because it comes up with the error that it is already in use.
So basically what I need is some advice on how to format it using either what I have already got or a little bit of freeware that I can burn to a disc and then power up the machine in to it to format the hard drive. Thanks in advance
Oh and here are the specs as they stand at the moment if you want them:

Old Packard Bell IMedia PC: (originally had Win XP 2005 Media Edition on but I have since installed Win7 RC then linux on it)
OS:Linux Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop
RAM: 512MB
HARD DRIVE: 80GB Hard Drive
PROCESSOR:Intel Pentium 4 (Don't know what speed it is running at)
GRAPHICS CARD:ATi Radeon Xpress 200

Answer:Solved: How do I format my Linux Hard Drive in to NTFS?

I have run into this with linux drives before. It is pretty easy to fix; simply wipe the drive with the drive maker's diagnostic app, DBAN, or any other wipe app. This removes everything from the drive ie it is how it came out of the box. If there is anything you need on the drive, make sure you have a backup before doing this task.

You download the diagnostic app from whomever made the drive ie WD, Seagate, etc. You will need the dos or boot version. One of the options is to zero fill the drive [sometimes called a LLF]

DBAN is available for download from many sites. Here is one

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I would like to know in very,very,simple plain english step by step instructions on "How to transfer code (for a signature I created on "" ),save it to HTML format,make a file on hard drive,import the file that can be sent along in all my emails"just so you
know how hard this may be to you that do not want to put up with me
here are some statistics(sp) I am a great-gran-ma computer illiterate
newbie,78years,but very eager and determined to learn.
So thanks to any of you brave souls willing to tackle this !!!!

Answer:Solved: Hard drive file,HTML format?

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I recently replaced my slave hard drive which I use to hold a drive image of by Windows XP OS on my "C" drive.
When I tried to partition the new drive (80 gig) using "Partitiion Magic", it failed, with an error message saying that there was a file error on the disc. Don't ask me to tell you what the exact error was because it has now vanished along with the contents of my hard drive. After the error message, I tried to format the hard drive and it refused to do so. I then downloaded a tool known as "Hard Disk Low Level Format Tool" and used it apparently sucessfully to format the hard drive.
I then tried to partition it again with "Partion Magic" and it replied with a message which I dont remember the details but it basically said that the hard drive was corrupt and therefore unfixable. Can anyone help me to "clean" the hard drive or should I just cut my losses and buy another. I was thinking of something like "nuke & boot" or is it "boot & nuke".
Thanks in advance.

Answer:[SOLVED] Problem trying to format my hard drive (slave)

use killdisk and partition and format from disk management

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Hi all,

I recently bought an Inspiron 1405 which has Vista installed on it. I would like to uninstall vista and install xp. So I inserted the XP CD into the drive and changed the bios so that computer boots up from CD.

It boots up from XP CD and goes to the blue screen and starts
loading the necessary files to start the installation.

Then after done with loading, it shows that famous blue screen: "Windows has encountered an error message and has to shut down otherwise it will harm your computer. If this is your first time, restart your pc and if it's not your first time them you have some devices which are not compatible, disable things blah blah".... So I never get to that point where it asks me to format or repair windows...

And when I restart the computer, ir either boots up from the CD again and comes to the same screen or it shows that Windows Repair wizard.

Please let me know how I should fix this problem so I can install XP...

Thanks in advance

Answer:Solved: How to format a hard drive with Vista and install XP?

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I backed it up using thinkpad rescue & recovery, then copied the backup to the hard drive, again using rescue and recovery. Is it normal that backing up my hard drive to an external USB wiped it?  i imagine it reformatted it.   A few questions: Can i use the hard drive for other files now? or will they be re-wiped with a scheduled backup?are there built-in tools to recover? (any recommendations?)can i put the backup in a directory off the root folder?  it is all a mess straight off the drive. any other advice appreciated. Thanks!

Answer:X200s - Backup to USB hard drive wiped the hard drive. help needed, a few questions

When you back up to a USB hard drive for the 1st time the disk will be prepared to make it bootable and it will delete other files that are on it. You should be able to recover your files using application like the one at, I used that one in the past and it worked a treat. If you want to back up to a USB hard I would not suggest you add other files on that drive manually but use it only for the thinkvantage backup.

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I have a hard drive on my computer marked, D: recovery ... I'm getting an error message that says it's full. It gives me a couple of options for clean up ... 1) this one looks like the standard "Disc Cleanup" on the system tools menu, but it only offers two choices and both of those show no bytes. 2) this looks like the "Add/Remove Programs" feature on the Control Panel.

My problem is what do I remove? Is this all simply back up and can I remove it all? Or do I have to pick between programs? All the programs listed in the menu l;ook to be programs I use in my everyday work...

I've never had a computer or even seen one that had this D: Recovery drive...

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to kick my way..................Chief

Answer:Solved: Hard Drive help needed....

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Hey all

I finally went out and bought a maxtor 40 gig hard drive, and I have a few questions.

First, I set the new drive as slave, and the old drive as master, and elected to copy the contents of the old drive to the new. I am not sure it worked. When I tried booting the system with the new drive only installed, it said a file wasn't found (sys. something) and I needed to insert a startup disk.

I tried booting with the old drive master and new drive slave, and it worked, but I now have 5 gigs free in my old drive (I had 500 megs free before, where did I get the extra space?) and I have about 19 partitions of 2 gigs each.

How can I get rid of all the partitions? Are they really necessary? It's a pain in the butt to have not only drive C, but F, G, H, I, J, K, L, etc. all the way up to V.

I will start over if needed, I just want the best approach possible. A friend of mine said he might be able to let me use his Norton Ghost 2002 program, if that is better then the Maxtor included software.

So basically, any help is appreciated. I am running Windows XP Pro in case anyone needed to know. I just need a step by step tutorial

I am eagerly awaiting your responses. Thanks!

Answer:[SOLVED] Hard drive help needed

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I'm new to Vista. I bought a 320gig hard drive and a external case and formated it with EXFAT. Ran into some problems and now Vista won't read the drive. I've tried 9 different recovery programs but none works with EXFAT. Is there anything out there that will? (yes, I didn't know what I was doing when I formated it. I thought FAT was FAT!) Any help will be greatly appreciated -Dot

Answer:Solved: recover files off hard drive with exfat format

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Hi everyone,

Was just trying to format my drive to FAT32 using cmd, it got to 2% and then failed for whatever reason.

Now when I plug the drive in nothing happens, not sure how to get it formatted again so it is recognised? I refuse to believe the hard drive is fried!

Your help is greatly appreciated.


Answer:Solved: Hard Drive format fail - now won't recognise device

No matter - Fixed it!

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Hi all, I am new to this forum and would greatly appreciate any and all help. I have a Dell desktop Inspiron 530S that is 4 years old and had windows XP installed. Unfortunately, it appears that the hard drive has now died and I need to get a new 1. I have checked Dell, techforless, and and have found the same model (#WD2500AAJS) but am not very knowledgeable about these things and cannot afford the Dell tech support.

I need to know the following:
1. If I purchase the same model hard drive can I just plug it in and reinstall windows from the cd that came with the computer?
2. I have seen some hard drives advertised that indicate they do not come with free fall, is that something I need to worry about?
3. I have read in different forums about people putting new hard drives into their computers and needing to do jumpers and updating bios and I don't know how to do any of these things nor can I get the computer to boot so I can try anything with it.

If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it. I can't afford to purchase a new hard drive without being able to install it and get the computer working and no one I know is able or willing to help.

Thank you!!

Answer:Solved: Hard Drive Assistance Needed

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Working on a Compaq Presario CQ56. The Toshiba SATA 320GB Hard Drive was failing and was repaced with a new one identical to the pevious one. I ran the 4 Recovery Disks from the previous hard drive running Windows 7 Home. It was going well until I got a screen with X:\windows\system32\cmd.exe - startnet.cmd stating that there is not enough usable free space on specified disk(s) to extend the volume. (image attached)

I am not able to do anything. The drive is the exact same size as the previous one so I am not sure the issue. I also have a Boot CD, 2 Backup Disks, a Repair Disk, and a full back up saved on an external drive. Any suggestions on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:[SOLVED] Help w/ hard drive replacement needed

It looks like there is used space on the C: drive You would need to do the diskpart /Clean command on the C: drive before you can restore to the C: drive

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I am currently running Windows Vista Ultimate on my Acer Aspire 9815WKHA Laptop, I have a 500gb seagate external drive plugged in via USB 2.0 (the drive is a desktop version). It has been working fine for about 3 months until now. I recently updated my drivers with PC Updater which slowed the machine down and had problems shutting down, I rolled all the Drivers back through PC Updater, system was still playing up so i transfered all personal important files to the Seagate External Drive (inc. C:\Program Files ... as i have programs what i needed to keep). I attempted to restore Factory Settings through Acer ERecovery system and it black screened on me, i left it for 40+ mins and had to hard reboot, after a few issues I used my back-up disks to reboot the system, Laptop working fine but my External Drive (Seagate) will not show up in "Computer". It is showing up in Computer Management "Disk Management" but when I right click it only shows up with "Help", in the bottom pane i right click and it shows "Convert to Dynamic Disk..." "Properties" "Help". I can't seem to assign a Drive Letter and can't seem access the External Drive to retrieve my data (very important data). Can somebody help me with this issue, either to get it working again or just to retrieve my data.

- I have tested the USB 2.0 with another External Hard drive and a Pen drive.
- I have tested the Seagate External Hard Drive on another Laptop (... Read more

Answer:Solved: Help needed: External hard drive

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Im Having what seems like an interesting problem. My laptop (with windows 7) recognizes that my external hard drive is plugged in but I cant access it. (Hopefully this is the right forum for this)

I plug it in, the computer recognizes that its plugged in.
I open Device and Printers menu and it shows that it sees the External Hard Drive.
I open My Computer, the external is not there.
I go to Disk Management, and it is found but when I tried to assign a letter it gave an error.

When I plug in Thumb Drives though, I have full use of it. Moving files on and off it, open files on them, etc.

All the Thumb Drives I try work properly.
All External Hard Drives (i have 5) are recognized but not accessable.
All External Hard Drives and thumb drives work on other computers just fine.

My question is, how do I go about getting use of my external hard drives using this computer?

Any Help would be great.

Answer:Solved: External HArd Drive Help needed

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I'm not sure if you guys help with upgrade info or not?

I have a Dell Inspiron 700m notebook.
It has an Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.60 GHz 1.59 GHz, 496 MB RAM
It has 52 GB hard drive

I've figured out how to upgrade RAM and finding one that is compatible with my laptop, but I am having a hard time understanding if an upgrade of an internal hard drive is possible and just where to get?

For example, I can't figure out if this is an internal hard drive or not?

Answer:Solved: Upgrading (hard drive) help needed

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I have a very straightforward question: I am running WinXP Pro on my computer and I just got an external USB hard-drive to back up my data before I upgrade to VISTA.

My internal hard drive is NTFS file system, and the external drive is FAT32. My data backed-up perfectly.

However, I understand that VISTA is NTFS only (for the drive that it's installed on, which in my case will be the internal drive). I will be installing the VISTA OS on the internal drive, and using the external drive solely for backing up data.

I don't want to back up my data externally, upgrade my PC to VISTA, and then discover that I can't access the data on the external drive.

Here's my only question: will VISTA work with a FAT32 external drive, or do I have to convert that external drive to NTFS *before* I attempt to connect it to VISTA?

awaiting your replies - I'll appreciate all the help I can get!

Answer:will VISTA read a FAT32 external hard drive,or do I have to format the drive to NTFS?

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format my hard drive for clean install of new windows 10 on flash drive

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Whenever I connect a hard drive to my computer via USB port, Windows tells me, "You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?"

The first sentence is a false statement. (The proprietary security software I use mounts and interacts with the physical hard drive just fine.) And okay, I get that Windows looks, sees neither FAT nor NTFS, sees no MBR, and wants to alert me to that.

It's the second sentence that terrifies me -- I'm worried one of these days I'll accidentally press Enter at the wrong time, or click 'Format disk' instead of Cancel, and Windows will proceed to wreckingball my drive.

How can I stop Windows 7 from issuing this alert that asks me to format the drive, when it sees an "unformatted" drive connected?

All solutions welcome. I am completely OK with reducing my machine's functionality, e.g. making Windows on this machine lose the ability to format any hard drives whatsoever. And I'm probably amenable to drastic haxxory if that's what it takes (I'm not nearly sysadmin-fluent but I can usually RTFM my way through complicated instructions, and I know the basics - how to write batch files, enable/disable Services, etc). I was disappointed to discover it's not as simple as editing AutoPlay settings.

Your help is greatly appreciated. I just can't afford to risk losing data that's probably worth a hundred times my annual salary to an ill-timed key press or an ill-aimed button click. (Granted, ... Read more

Answer:[SOLVED] Help? Can Win7's attempt to format a USB-connected hard drive be stopped?

Found this one which may do it Windows 7 ? disabling "you need to format the disk?" pop-up window ? PZolee's blog

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After a message on screen saying back up your hard drive it will fail soon and pressing F1 it then seems to get stuck on the loading screen. I am not too clever with computers. Do I need to simply buy a new hard drive to get the laptop working again or is it far more complicated than that. My guess is the latter.

Thanks in advance for any help given

Answer:Satellite T130 - Stuck on loading screen - new hard drive needed

So by doing research do I need to buy a USB CD drive and reload Windows 7 by going into Bios and selecting that FDD option to boot from? Is that what I need to do? My hard drive is readable and I have got all the important stuff off from it I would just like to know if it is fixable or whether I should wipe the hard drive and sell it for spares.

Thanks for any advice

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The other day i went to format a partition(called drive D) of a hard drive in dos mode. Just after i pressed enter for the format to begin i relised that in dos my partitioned drive D was actually called drive G and my other hard drive which was drive E was called D, so I was actually formatting drive E. I quickly pressed restart and once in windows tried accessing drive E but it wouldnt let me because it sais it needs to be formatted because it hasnt got a File System. Ive used getdataback to access it but I want to know if there is a way to give the drive a file system name without actually formatting it?

Answer:Hard drive problem.. Cancelled format now cant access drive

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I have an Dell desktop with a 1tb HDD running Win 10, am looking to install an SDD then migrate over to this drive leaving the 1tb HDD just for my files.
My 1st question is; I have 4 sata slots on the motherboard 1 = 1tb HDD, 2 = free, 3 = DVD, 4 = free. Have read somewhere always use the lowest number slot for an SSD & if that is so do I put the SDD sata cable into slot 1 & HDD into slot 2
when I first install the SDD drive or change them later after I have cloned the HDD ?
As I am going to use my 1tb HDD just for my file storage will I be albe to do a full fomat on the HDD ie clean all partitions.
Many thanks

Answer:Format main hard drive. Want to install SDD then migrate to this drive

Hi. . .
I would suggest that you install Windows onto the SSD without the HDD being connected.
After Windows 10 is installed on the SSD, then reconnect the HDD and use Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) to format the HDD in NTFS format.
Doing the installation this way assures that no boot related files are written to the HDD during Windows install onto the SSD.
Regards. . .

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Relevance 76.67%

So, the screen on my friend's laptop is dying and I took his hard drive out and put it in a USB 2.0 external enclosure. The hard drive has Windows XP installed on it.

When I connected the hard drive to another laptop he has that is running Windows Vista (Home Premium I think), Vista mounted the drive as read-only and I'm told I'm denied access to most of the files on the drive. By using the UAC, I can gain access to the files but I don't understand why I'm getting the security problems, in the first place.

I then connected the hard drive to another system, a desktop system running Windows XP Home Edition, and when I tried to access the files, I get "Access Denied" messages. So, there must be something on the hard drive in the USB enclosure that is causing the security problems.

When I connect the drive to my Linux system, I can access the files without any problems.

Any ideas on what the problem might be? I'm posting this issue here since the ultimate goal is to get read/write access to the hard drive in the USB enclosure on the laptop running Vista.



Answer:Solved: Help needed with access to hard drive via USB enclosure

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I need to format my hard drive [D & C drive]

so i wanna know Will format the hard drive [D & C drive], delete the all file
in it? Like the software that i install [ C:\Program Files], will they remain there or
will be deleted?

i already make a back up to all my Document project [ on D drive as i shown above] but to be honest, i dont want the process to delete my " Program Files" folder [ C:\Program Files]& my Document project [ on D:drive]........

** I just reinstall my pc 4/5 days ago [ maybe on 20 or 21/3/2012 ]

Answer:Will format the hard drive [D & C drive], delete the all file in it?

Formatting a drive or partition will completly wipe it, delete everything.

Take note you will be unable to format a drive with Windows on it if you are using that installation, you need to use a boot disk. If using dual boot you can format one Windows drive from the other.

2 more replies
Relevance 76.26%

I wish to format an external Hard Drive for Windows 10 and then install the Drive into my Laptop and load Windows 10 from the DVD I created from the ISO file.
My reason for doing this is to get a completely clean install, as every other time I have tried I end up with a poorly function Windows 10 PC and some of the old information such as Wall Paper, Network setting, Home Group etcetera are still set up in the New "clean" installation which I believe are causing the very slow Boot up along with other problems. Each time in the past I have agreed to "keep nothing" but that does not seem to work!

Answer:Format external Hard Drive as a boot drive

plug into another PC using a usb caddy
the drive will appear in disk management either right click and select format (do not do a quick format) or you could use command prompt (admin) and run diskpart to remove all partitions and make just one partition on the drive before formatting.
refit in the laptop
ensure DVD is set as first boot device
insert DVD and and press any key to boot from he windows iso (DVD must be bootable made using windows media creation tool for w 10).
follow the prompts to install windows (you cannot install windows onto the drive while it is in the us caddy on the other PC).

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Hi everyone,

I recently accidentally formatted a hard drive. So, I quickly install a file recovery software (EaseUS Data Recovery). Then the result shows that most of SWF files are big in size. I think that lots of my files have been converted or combine with other files. So, how do I recover my files?

Answer:File format changed into other format after format a hard drive

This may not be the best answer, but I would recover the files first. That is you biggest concern right now. Then try to see what you need to do to fix them.

4 more replies
Relevance 75.85%

I am doing a new build and it's my first SATA computer. I ordered a Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0GB/s Internal Hard Drive. (Bare Drive). Man is it ever bare. There is no information with the drive and no map to the jumper settings and no jumpers included. I an building a pretty bare bones system with a Gigibyte GA-P61-USB3-B3 LGA 1155 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard and a Intel-Core i3 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA1155 Processor and a Samsung Black Blu-Ray Combo SATA Model SH-B123L Optical drive.

Having never built a SATA machine, I have no clue as to the necessary jumper settings that will be needed on the hard drive and even if i need to make any jumper settings. Any help or advise on this would be a big help. TY in advance

Answer:Solved: New build hard drive jumper settings help needed

7 more replies
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I'm new here, so hope people don't mind me posting what is (to me at least) a confusing issue.. But I'm at my wit's end with this computer now, and need some new viewpoints on the problem!

It all started a few weeks ago - New system, with an older hard drive. Specs as follows:

Q6600 G0 (stock)
Asus P5K-E
Crucial Ballistix DDR-800 RAM (2 x 1GB, running at stock)
ATI HD4870 512mb graphics card
Hitachi Deskstar 250gb SATA (old, as I've said)

Everything was fine, aside from some intermittent driver issues which I tagged down to the graphics card being new / having new drivers. However, I started getting BSOD crashes telling me 'DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL' which I understand is related to dodgy drivers and / or dodgy RAM / HDD?

Either way, I couldn't restart and get back into Win XP unless I unplugged every USB device and then booted back in. At first I thought it was a problem with giveio.sys, since safe mode would crash on this file when booting up.. So I removed any programs using that file, and the file itself - problem seemed solved.. Until another BSOD a week later.

Finally gave up and formatted - wiped everything clean, started reinstalling... And another BSOD. Couldn't get back into Windows at all. Have tried installing using the Windows XP SP2 CD, but can't get into install or the recovery console - same BSOD every time:


STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x2E1997BD, 0x00000002, 0x00000000, ... Read more

Answer:Solved: Strange BSOD Error - Hard Drive or RAM? (or perhaps neither?) - Help needed

8 more replies
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My wife has a Samsung R510 lap top that has gone wrong , im trying to reinstall Vista but i cant cos it says "To install the device driver needed to access the Hard Drive , insert the installation media containing the driver files ""
Were can i find them please ? im using the recovery disc to reinstall Vista .

Please help .. shes like a bear with a sore head at the moment


Answer:Solved: Cant install Vista .. driver needed for hard drive

7 more replies
Relevance 75.44%


Let me start by saying that I know very little about editing hard drives, this may be simple, this may be not. I don’t know, but hopefully somebody can point me in the right direction.

Background; I wish to upgrade the hard disk in my DVD recorder, in order to do this I need to edit some data on a hard disk, the text pasted below comes from somebody who has done this;

Before continue write down maximum number of sectors in HDD. Very often is written on top of disk drive. From this number subtract 8MB => 16384 sectors.
This number we will be call "NoS" (Number of Sectors) (for example my NoS=1953508784 [=1953525168-16384])
To 1st sector (sector No. 0), where is partition table,
to offset 1CA to 1CD write number NoS-4 (for me 1953508780) converted to HEX (for me 74702DAC) but write it backwards!!! (for me AC, 2D, 70, 74).

To 5th (sector No. 4)
to offset 024 to 027 write number NoS/4 (488377196) converted to HEX (1D1C0B6C) and write normaly (1D, 1C, 0B, 6C).

to offset 02C to 02F write number NoS/4 (1D1C0B6C HEX) subscracted by number written in offset 028-02B (00004000 HEX) and subscracted by number 0100 in HEX. (for my numbers: 1D1C0B6C-4000-100 = 1D1BCA6C) and write normaly (1D, 1B, CA, 6C)

to offset 04C to 04F write number NoS/4 (1D1C0B6C HEX) also subscracted by number written in offset 048-04B (00095100 HEX) and subscracted by number 0100 in HEX. (for my numbers: 1D1C0B6C-95100-100 = 1D12B96C) and write normaly (1D, 12, B9, 6C)
To 335,981th ... Read more

Answer:Solved: Hard Drive Sectors, Need to edit; Idiots guide needed!

6 more replies
Relevance 75.03%

i got a virus that's been screwing up my computer, tried everything to get rid of it. Couldn't. So i've decided to format my hard drive. I think i'm supposed to do it from DOS and that i need a boot disk, but i have no idea how to start up in DOS and i recently had a new hard drive installed and now my A: drive isn't showing up so i can't create a boot disk. My OS is Windows XP. Please help...your my only hope

Answer:format hard drive, cant find A drive

You can download a boot disk here: are some other links that you may like to read first before formating:

3 more replies
Relevance 75.03%

I have a laptop with a partition HD. I want to re-format the entire drive and delete the partition. The problem I have is that I do NOT have a floppy drive and only have a CD Rom drive.

I can find figure out how to reformat with out a floppy drive to boot from.

Please help me!!!!

Running XP now and want to re-install it after.

Answer:How to format a hard drive w/o a floppy drive

Simply boot from the XP CD. It should do the lot.
XP does not usually use a boot floppy.

2 more replies
Relevance 72.98%

In have sold my dell xps m1330 with wins xp. When trying to format then c drive before sending item it kept saying cannot format as there are utilities using the c drive. How do I close all these utilities accessing the drive so I can format for security reasons before sending. As far as I can see I have closed everything but still getting the same problem.
Secondly, I then tried to install wins xp thinking it will format during installation. However, the xp disc I am using is older than the version installed so I abandoned the process only to end up now with a choice of 1)wins xp set up or 2) start wins normally on startup. When I choose the latter everything goes correctly. How do I get rid of this. The installation xp disc is a different one from that installed as it came w/o a disc.
Perhaps it I could find a way to format the c drive everything will go back to normal?? Thanks
Sorry to be so long winded.

Answer:Cannot format c drive urgent help needed

You need to think this through.

You are trying to format C:
You are using C:
like anything logical it will refuse to attempt to format/delete itself as that would mean it also deletes the instructions to delete...

As it is a Dell, have you thought of restoring it back to Factory Fresh ?
That will be a darn sight easier than reinstalling XP and all this lot click here
Here's your manual click here
Factory Restore: press the key before the Windows logo appears on the
screen. If you press F8 after the Windows logo appears on the screen, the
Advanced Boot Options menu will not appear on the screen. If you do not see
the Advanced Boot Options menu, restart the computer, and then repeat this
step until you see the menu on the screen. Follow the on screen instructions
That will wipe the drive and restore it back to how it was when first left factory.
These are the instructions for the XPS ClickHere
To restore your computer to the original factory installation, follow these steps:

Turn on the computer, after the Dell logo press F8 key repeatedly until you see the 'Advanced Boot Options' menu (Advanced Startup Options).
In Advanced Boot Options, highlight Repair Your Computer and press Enter.
Click Next and logon to the administrator account in the computer.
Click Dell DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup and DataSafe Options.
Choose Restore without preserving new or changed file. Click Next to continue.
Choose Yes and click Next to continue.
Progress status will appear. C... Read more

7 more replies
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I have a HP Pavillion laptop computer. I needed to replace my hard drive, the salesman at the store said I could buy an external hard drive and remove it from the case and use it as an internal. I did that. Now I get NTLDR is missing. I ordered recovery discs from HP but nothing happens when I try to use them. HP said I need to format the new hard drive but I don't know how. Can someone help a beginner?

Answer:Solved: how to format an external drive to be an internal drive

10 more replies
Relevance 72.16%

I have a second hard drive, which I recovered a deleted file into. I went into the find the recovered file, but it wasn't there, even though it used up a few gigabytes of space. I'm now frustrated, and I want to format the drive. It kept saying "being used by another process" or something like that, anyways, I went into the hard drive and deleted everything myself. The hard drive is now empty, but it still has about 16gigs of space being used, even though the drive is completely empty.

The software I used to recover my file was "Recuva". I uninstalled it, so it shouldn't be interfering with the formatting. Is there anyway to force format the hard drive???

Please help!

Thank you.

Answer:Cannot Format D-Drive (2nd hard drive)

Use your Windows install disc. When it gets to the point where it ask you where you want to install Win 7 indicate that drive. Then format the disc. Now exit the installation. If you cannot get that one to work then attempt it with a XP installation disc.

Another way is to go to your Control Panel and choice Administration Tools then go to Computer Management. From there go to Disk management. Once there right click on the Drive then click on Delete Volume. Once that is done, reformat. Hope this helps.

9 more replies
Relevance 72.16%

In summary:  

At the boot screen,
Port 0 (Drive D) is one Size, but then when windows opens fully and it is a
                    DIFFERENT SIZE
Boot screen is entirely different to the Disk Management Screen (And Windows Explorer screen)

In detail :

'Disk Management picture' - text version :
        Disk 0 - Drive (D)     223.57 GB    (same size as Port 4 - my
1st Priority Boot device - SSD in boot screen )
        Disk 0 -
        Disk 1 -    3 partitions    -->    Acer C   84GB free

'Boot Screen picture' - text version :

RAID Volumes
ID     Name             Level                          
Strip      Size             Status                    Bootable
0       Volume 0  &n... Read more

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I have a A51 8131-34U ThinkCentre with the 5 startup disks from IBM/Lenovo.  I am trying to re-format my hard drive using the NTFS format.  I don't know how to do it.  I can use the disks to restore the computer to its original settings but I don't see an option to format the hard disk as if I were using an XP installation disk.  Can someone please help?!? Thanks

Answer:Re-format Hard Drive to NTFS Format

soulsurvivor wrote:
I have a A51 8131-34U ThinkCentre with the 5 startup disks from IBM/Lenovo.  I am trying to re-format my hard drive using the NTFS format.  I don't know how to do it.  I can use the disks to restore the computer to its original settings but I don't see an option to format the hard disk as if I were using an XP installation disk.  Can someone please help?!?
If your drives are already FAT you can use the convert command to turn them into NTFS partitions without loosing any data.

_____________________________Ed ShumpertService Operations ManagerNA Service & Support

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I previously had Vista x64 OS on this hard drive but it was running short on space so I installed the OS on my 1TB drive. I had backed up all files and intended to wipe this drive clean - then format it as a blank NTFS primary partition. When I try to format it I get a dialog box saying format failed. Disk management shows it as RAW instead of NTFS. Also it shows it as 139GB free, why not 150GB? It is a 150 GB WD velocirapter drive as listed in my specs.  What am I doing wrong?Screen shot of 'Disk Management:

Answer:hard drive format keeps failing. How to format?

Try completely deleting the current partition. Reboot. Then again create the partition and format again.You could also try it with something like Easeus Partition Manager ( The home version is free.

9 more replies
Relevance 71.34%

I REALLY hope someone out there can help me with this!

I have a failed hard drive/ stuffed partion, and i DESPERATELY need the data from it!

A computer was brought into me with two hard drives. The owner asked me to set up a duel boot with vista and XP on the first hard drive, and to leave the second hard drive alone (its his backup drive with all his photos, movies etc) I was working away as per usual, when i noticed the second hard drive was no longer coming up in Windows Explorer. Well it was, but not correctly. whenever i clicked on it it said 'would you liket to format the drive?' obviously, i didnt want to do that.

I ran Partition Magic 8.0 which showed the drive was only 8Gigs (it should have been 1T or 1000Gigs) Partition Magic also said there was a problem with the drive and offered to fix it. I agreed, however there was no change.

I've run a number of programs to try and fix the drive:
Acronis Disk Director Server 10.0
Partition Table Doctor 3.5 Demo
Dtidata Partition Repair Tool
Recover My Files v3.98

However, all the partition repairers claim that the drive is only 8 Gigs, and they can go no further. All the File Recovery Programs will only scan for 8 Gigs, and thus, i can not recover my clients precious photos and videos.

The BIOS comes up as recognizing the drive as 33Gigs?

I really REALLY need the data from this drive! Does anyone know how to fix my problem?

Thanx heaps in advance,


Answer:Solved: Hard Drive/ Partition Problems! My 1T Hard Drive appears as 8Gigs?!

I've used ZAR to recover files from a RAID box that seemed to have been corrupted due to a bad power supply.

You might check it out. It's free. Meaning it will only allow you to recover so many files at a time. I bought it, and like it.

They have a forum that is monitored quite often, from the developer too.

Good luck.

3 more replies
Relevance 71.34%

I had a thread earlier and forgot to ask a couple of questions.

I was told I could take a hard drive from a windows 98 computer and the person is buying a new Windows xp so I can hook up the win 98 hard drive as a slave to the new computer with win xp so I can drop and drag or cut and past files that they want off the 98 hard drive put on their new computer.

Now If their new computer with the win xp on it, if there is an ide cable going to the hard drive and nothing else then I can hook up the win 98 hard drive to the same ide cable as a slave and no problem.

However if the windows xp computer has the hard drive on the ide cable and also the cd-rom then is it ok just to hook up another ide cable to their mother board and hook the hard drive from the windows 98 computer on the end of that ide cable as the master? and by turning the computer off, and then hooking up the hard drive and then turning the computer back on it should reconize the windows 98 hard drive in my computer right away right?

If I would have to put the windows 98 hard drive in the new computer on a seperate ide cable is it ok to have it as master? cause the hard drive that is already in it would be master to but it would be on a different ide cable.

I am hoping the new computer just has the hard drive on an ide cable by itself so I can just hook the other one up as a slave and get the files and be done with it.

How ever if someone could give me a couple or three scenario's with ide cables and hooki... Read more

Answer:Solved: windows xp hard drive with win98 hard drive-question if someone has time??

Yes - you understand it correctly

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Relevance 70.93%

Just today I had someone come in to replace my Toshiba hard drive in my Dell Inspiron 6400M, after it stopped recognising my last one. However, after he had reinstalled Windows XP (using my "Reinstalling Dell Inspiron and XPS System Software" CD, I believe), and I had started it up, I realised the screen had stretched.

I've played with the screen resolution, to no avail. It's making my eyes really trippy too, because everything is slightly blurry/pixelated.

Any help would be appreciated.

Answer:[SOLVED] Screen stretch after new hard drive

Hi LuluK and welcome to TSF !

You probably need to reinstall the display drivers :

By the way, is it the Inspiron 6400 or the 640m ? There's no 6400M

5 more replies
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Hi all,

I'm trying to help my friend with his Dell Dimension e520. About 5 minutes after the startup (Windows XP), it goes into BSOD (0x0000007B message). His hard drive is hopelessly lost to the world after about 3 years of never updating windows, not running any antivirus, no firewall - you can imagine. So he got a new hard drive and decided to start from scratch. Here's where it gets weird.

When I completely disconnect the old hard drive, and put the new (empty, just bought) hard drive in, and boot from Windows XP CD.. the same BSOD happens, about five minutes after start of Windows Setup process!

My first thought was that it's a hardware issue - BUT: when I reconnected the old hard drive (and disconnected the new one), I can load Windows XP in safe mode, and it runs ok for hours, without ever encountering the BSOD.

I'm going to his house tonight, and going to try to flash the bios (which will be tricky because he has no floppy drive).. but am I missing something? Anybody has any clues?

Thank you!!!!

Answer:Solved: Blue Screen of Death even with new hard drive

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Relevance 70.52%

I have been getting blue screens most of which say: "a process of thread crucial to system operation has unexpectedly exited or been terminated"

0x000000f4 (0x80000003, 0x878fd348, 0x878fd494, 0x81e4c4430)

Also when i run chkdsk it always freezes on stage 4 of 5 file data verification. (file 41893 of 239792)

It also seems to be causing apps to crash and re-start.

Any help would be appreciated.

Answer:[SOLVED] blue screen due to hard drive error?

Hi. . .

Bugcheck 0xf4 as you noted = CRITICAL_OBJECT_TERMINATION = a thread crucial to system operation has unexpectedly exited or been terminated.

It could be related to the hard drive if an app attempts to read a file that is corrupt b/c of hard drive issue.

I suggest that you go to your manufacturer's web site and run their hard drive diagnostic utility.



8 more replies
Relevance 70.52%

Hi all

I have just bought a new SATA Hard Drive and installed Win XP on it from my laptop via a caddy, which installed successfully, but when i fitted the new hard drive into the PC and turned it on expecting the BIOS i just get a blank screen and a message " no input signal".

Is there something im missing? im pretty sure there isn't no PSU issues.

Any help on this matter would be much appreciated.

Answer:Solved: Installed new hard drive but blank screen PLS HELP!!

16 more replies