Windows 10: Windows Was Unable to Format This Drive - new 6 TB HGST drive Solved

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  1.    15 Nov 2017 #1

    Windows Was Unable to Format This Drive - new 6 TB HGST drive


    This drive is a retail DeskStar NAS 6 TB drive, which I just bought from the Egg. Previous experience with Hitachi, 3.5" and 2.5" has been uniformly positive, so I'm very loyal to the brand.

    I always do a full format in Windows on every new drive. This is the first time I have gotten this sort of message. What does this message mean, and what is my next step?

    x509
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 6,031
    Windows 10 Pro Build 1709
       15 Nov 2017 #2

    Hi x509.

    Are you using GPT or MBR? I think at that number, over 2TB, it has to be GPT.

    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    15 Nov 2017 #3

    What method were you using to attempt to format it? You should open a command prompt (admin) or powershell (admin) and the commands would be:

    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk # <-replace # with the actual number for the 6 TB drive
    clean <- this will erase everything on the disk selected above, make sure you selected the correct one!
    convert gpt
    create part pri
    format fs=ntfs
    assign
    exit
    exit

    NOTE: a full format of a 6 TB drive may take several (3) days to complete.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    15 Nov 2017 #4

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    What method were you using to attempt to format it? You should open a command prompt (admin) or powershell (admin) and the commands would be:

    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk # <-replace # with the actual number for the 6 TB drive
    clean <- this will erase everything on the disk selected above, make sure you selected the correct one!
    convert gpt
    create part pri
    format fs=ntfs
    assign
    exit
    exit

    NOTE: a full format of a 6 TB drive may take several (3) days to complete.
    format fs=ntfs quick (and it will not take several days to complete.) Everything else @NavyLCDR said is spot on.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    16 Nov 2017 #5

    play2mefish said: View Post
    format fs=ntfs quick (and it will not take several days to complete.) Everything else @NavyLCDR said is spot on.
    To answer, I just checked with MiniTool Partition Manager and indeed the drive is set up as GPT. I had no problem with a Quick Format, it's just the full format that caused the issue.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If it takes several days to do the format, I will set my power plan on Always On.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    16 Nov 2017 #6

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    What method were you using to attempt to format it? You should open a command prompt (admin) or powershell (admin) and the commands would be:

    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk # <-replace # with the actual number for the 6 TB drive
    clean <- this will erase everything on the disk selected above, make sure you selected the correct one!
    convert gpt
    create part pri
    format fs=ntfs
    assign
    exit
    exit

    NOTE: a full format of a 6 TB drive may take several (3) days to complete.
    What does the "assign" command do?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    16 Nov 2017 #7

    hi there

    assign simply assigns the drive a letter so that your system will immediately recognize the drive.
    With these large drives ensure there is enough power - the mobo bus on some older computers won't be up to it once you add things like USB 3 cards, more HDD's etc.

    Also some BIOS's have a limit of max HDD size -- it's nothimg to do with the theoretical limit of the NTFS file size (around 16 EB EXABYTES !!!!!!) but simply the BIOS can't handle the HDD Geometry (physical nr of sectors, clusters etc etc --the physical HDD addresses).

    That's why some of those external USB3/SATA HDD enclosures specify max HDD capacity too. Some of the cheaper one's only allow a Max HDD size of 4TB allowing for a RAID 0 array or JBOD - bunch of HDD's aggregated as single HDD of 8TB max (2 X 4 TB).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 6,031
    Windows 10 Pro Build 1709
       16 Nov 2017 #8

    x509

    I agree with NavyLCDR, a full format will take days. My 4TB took at least two as I recall. (the full format, not the quick)

    Maybe, just maybe there is an error on drive. Not disagreeing with jimbo45, just saying maybe. Have a peak or test the drive with seatools from Seagate.

    Your board appears to be "modern" technology. You might check if there is a BIOS update available from Asus. All the normal cautions around updating BIOS, understand the risks.


    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    16 Nov 2017 #9

    I usually tell people to plan around 12 hours or so per TB. So, 6TB would be around 72 hours ( 3 days).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    16 Nov 2017 #10

    Hi folks.

    @pparks1

    Have you tried what I do below --I know you are knowledgeable on Networks etc . !!! Also the BIOS must support handling large capacity HDD's -- File size not a problem NTFS can handle in theory EXABYTES but some BIOS'es cannot handle geometry of large HDD's (nr of sectors, clusters, physical track addresses etc) in some cases. 4 - 5 TB seems the sweet point on a load of machines greater than > 4 / 5 TB all sorts of problems begin to rear their ugly heads unless you have special HDD controllers.

    With 6TB you are definitely out of typical home computers BIOS comfort zone on HDD's.

    I know this is a Windows Forum but some people have some knowledge of Linux here --so if you don't want to spend 3 days on formatting an HDD. !!!!!

    1) Download almost any Live Linux distro -- Linux mint is probably the easiest for novices / Windows users.

    2) now format the drive with console command -- mkefs.ext4 /dev/sdx where x is the letter the drive linux sees.

    To see what's mounted (the dev/sdx data) just from console type mount. You aren't going to use ext4 file system but you need an initial format of the HDD and ext4 works super fast.

    Then you re-do for windows as NTFS using GPARTED as step 5.

    3) that format (the ext4) will actually format the HDD really quickly.

    4) now ensure package ntfs-3g is installed and also GPARTED.

    Ntfs-3g is the Linux Read / write to windows NTFS file systems - it's usually installed by default but depending on your Live Distro it might not be/ Install with package manager -- CENTO / Red HAT --yum SUSE YAST, ubuntu /debian apt-get (or wget) etc etc.

    5) run GPARTED and re-format HDD as NTFS.

    Sorry folks for a Linux solution on Windows Forum --but I can't see ANYBODY wanting to run a Format job for 3 days.

    You'll complete the job with above solution in about 15 - 35 mins !!!!!

    Note I'm NOT anti Windows --far from it -- even hardened Linux users use Windows to diagnose a lot of hardware problems etc !!! My main Windows gripe is that I can never get Networking to actually be consistent - some machines work and others refuse resolutely to connect to any sort of network even if Hardware is identical. !!!!!!!

    I just as an old fashioned Engineer believe in using the best tool for the job --I mean for example an abacus can yield the same calculation result as an EXCEL spreadsheet -- I know what I'd rather use. !!!!

    Cheers.

    jimbo
    Last edited by jimbo45; 16 Nov 2017 at 11:07.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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