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  1. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 29
    Windows 10
       26 Sep 2015 #1

    Cannot Format my External Hard drive


    When I plug my external into my pc it tells me it's unable to use and to format the drive. So I try to do so, and Windows tells me that there's a program using the external drive.

    I attempt to format anyway since I know there's no programs using the drive, and after a minute the formatting comes to a stop and I get a message saying it's unable to format.

    I've tried formatting it via 'This PC' and DIsk Management in Windows 10. Tried Quick Format as well and nothing is progressing.

    Help is much appreciated.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Feb 2015
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 12,955
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 14393 Multiprocessor Free
       26 Sep 2015 #2

    Try rebooting and immediately after it get's to your desktop, format it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Oct 2014
    Posts : 841
    Windows 8.1, Win10Pro
       26 Sep 2015 #3

    If Disk Management shows the drive as RAW, that often means that the drive has suffered hardware failures -- and it might not be recoverable.

    You could try downloading and installing the Minitool Partition Wizard tool and seeing if it will reformat the drive -- but if the drive is having hardware failures, that's not going to work, either.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 29
    Windows 10
       27 Sep 2015 #4

    Cliff S said: View Post
    Try rebooting and immediately after it get's to your desktop, format it.
    Tried this and still get the same thing. "Windows was unable to complete the format."


    Mark Phelps said: View Post
    If Disk Management shows the drive as RAW, that often means that the drive has suffered hardware failures -- and it might not be recoverable.

    You could try downloading and installing the Minitool Partition Wizard tool and seeing if it will reformat the drive -- but if the drive is having hardware failures, that's not going to work, either.
    It does display as RAW in Disk Management. If this is the only solution I'll try it I guess. This problem didn't start occurring until I did something to the drive in Disk Management months ago. I only now developed the urge to finally solve this issue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Oct 2014
    Posts : 841
    Windows 8.1, Win10Pro
       27 Sep 2015 #5

    You can recovery data from a drive indicated as RAW (in some cases), you just have to use data recovery apps as Windows won't read it.

    The best app I've used recently is Active@File Recovery Pro. It's free to download and try out, but you have to buy a license for any serious usage of it -- but it's not expensive. When you run it in deepest discovery mode, it's likely to take all night to run -- as it did when I last used it, but it's worth it if it finds and recovers what you want to save.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Feb 2015
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 12,955
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 14393 Multiprocessor Free
       27 Sep 2015 #6

    This can also happen when someone disconnects a drive without using the "Safely remove" icon. I can corrupt the beginning of the disk ruining the SVI(system volume information) causing windows to see the disk as RAW(meaning unreadable system partitioning). It's as as if you plugged in an ext.3 or ext. 4 partitioned disk from Linux.

    you could try typing ina command prompt:
    chkdsk x: /f /r –where you replace X as the drive letter
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 29
    Windows 10
       27 Sep 2015 #7

    Cliff S said: View Post
    This can also happen when someone disconnects a drive without using the "Safely remove" icon. I can corrupt the beginning of the disk ruining the SVI(system volume information) causing windows to see the disk as RAW(meaning unreadable system partitioning). It's as as if you plugged in an ext.3 or ext. 4 partitioned disk from Linux.

    you could try typing ina command prompt:
    chkdsk x: /f /r –where you replace X as the drive letter
    Launched Cmd as Admin. Put your command in and got this:

    The type of the file system is RAW.
    CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Joined : Feb 2015
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 12,955
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 14393 Multiprocessor Free
       27 Sep 2015 #8

    invictus said: View Post
    Launched Cmd as Admin. Put your command in and got this:

    The type of the file system is RAW.
    CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.
    Oh, hmmm, try:


    Right click on Cmd, to RunAs Administrator

    Then type DiskPart
    Then type List Disk - will get a table of disks each with a Disk #.
    Then choose Select Disk n (whatever the disk # is) This disk now has the focus
    Then type Clean All.

    That will remove all partitons, formatting, data, and write zeros to all sectors.

    That should give you a "new" drive that will have to be Initialized, Partitioned, & Formatted.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 29
    Windows 10
       27 Sep 2015 #9

    Did this and got the following result:

    DiskPart has encountered an error: The drive cannot find the sector requested. See th System Event Log for more information.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  10. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 29
    Windows 10
       27 Sep 2015 #10

    Also, the drive in Disk Management now doesn't show as RAW. It just shows as Unallocated. Can't see it no more in This PC.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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