Motherboard Forums


Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes

Cannot format hard drive (Win XP)

 
 
AL_n
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2011, 11:45 AM
My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only way I
could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then, I have been
trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can re-install XP using
a an installation disc (created with the nLite program) that has the SATA
driver files on it.

Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive during the
setup process. It gives me a message saying something like: "Unable to
format the drive because it contains essential setup files" (or something
to that effect).

I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like C:/windows
prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought I was in luck,
because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:? All data on the drive
will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit "yes". However, I found
that the C: was not formatted at all. All that apparently happened was that
most of the files thereon had ben erased.

I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable. I
guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.

If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such a way
that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite installation
disc?

Many thanks,

Al
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Bob_Villa
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2011, 12:03 PM
On Nov 2, 6:45*am, "AL_n" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only way I
> could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then, I have been
> trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can re-install XP using
> a an installation disc (created with the nLite program) that has the SATA
> driver files on it.
>
> Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive during the
> setup process. It gives me a message saying something like: "Unable to
> format the drive because it contains essential setup files" (or something
> to that effect).
>
> I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like C:/windows
> prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought I was in luck,
> because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:? All data on the drive
> will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit "yes". However, I found
> that the C: was not formatted at all. All that apparently happened was that
> most of the files thereon had ben erased.
>
> I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable. I
> guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.
>
> If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such a way
> that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite installation
> disc?
>
> Many thanks,
>
> Al


Haven't we covered this?
http://groups.google.com/group/comp....8169e67?hl=en#
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
BillW50
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2011, 12:18 PM
In news:Xns9F91770AE4A35zzzzzz@130.133.4.11,
AL_n typed:
> My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only
> way I could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then,
> I have been trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can
> re-install XP using a an installation disc (created with the nLite
> program) that has the SATA driver files on it.
>
> Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive
> during the setup process. It gives me a message saying something
> like: "Unable to format the drive because it contains essential setup
> files" (or something to that effect).


Wow! I never heard of that error before. Unless you copy the setup files
to the hard drive or something. In that case, you should make a second
partition to hold them.

And formatting the drive should wipe all files out and not some of them.
If some of them are still there, something is seriously wrong. I dunno,
bad hard drive, bad controller, loose cable, or something.

> I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like
> C:/windows prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought
> I was in luck, because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:?
> All data on the drive will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit
> "yes". However, I found that the C: was not formatted at all. All
> that apparently happened was that most of the files thereon had ben
> erased.
>
> I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable. I
> guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.
>
> If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such
> a way that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite
> installation disc?
>
> Many thanks,
>
> Al


It should work without any problems. Unless something is wrong like I
mentioned above. Or the wrong SATA driver or something. The BIOS doesn't
support RAID mode, does it? If it does, turn it off.

--
Bill
Asus EEE PC 702G8 ~ 2GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
Windows XP SP2


 
Reply With Quote
 
AL_n
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2011, 12:36 PM
"BillW50" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in news:j8rcea$lpm$(E-Mail Removed):

> It should work without any problems. Unless something is wrong like I
> mentioned above. Or the wrong SATA driver or something. The BIOS doesn't
> support RAID mode, does it? If it does, turn it off.


There is no mention of RAID in the BIOS. Would it be worth trying some kind
of low-level formatting utility or something?

Al

 
Reply With Quote
 
AL_n
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2011, 12:38 PM
Bob_Villa <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> Haven't we covered this?
> http://groups.google.com/group/comp....read/thread/ea
> 8fd2c278169e67?hl=en#


That thread didn't cover this particular problem of not being able to
format the drive.

Al
 
Reply With Quote
 
Tazz
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2011, 02:51 PM
On 02/11/2011 9:38 AM, AL_n wrote:
> Bob_Villa<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> news:(E-Mail Removed):
>
>> Haven't we covered this?
>> http://groups.google.com/group/comp....read/thread/ea
>> 8fd2c278169e67?hl=en#

>
> That thread didn't cover this particular problem of not being able to
> format the drive.
>
> Al



Have you tried fdisk?

If you wanted to really erase the drive and start from scratch try
Darik's Boot And Nuke (http://www.dban.org/download). It'll write to and
erase the drive multiple times to ensure nothing gets left behind,
although I've heard it takes a while since it does the whole drive.



--

</Tazz>
 
Reply With Quote
 
mike
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2011, 06:45 PM
AL_n wrote:
> My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only way I
> could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then, I have been
> trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can re-install XP using
> a an installation disc (created with the nLite program) that has the SATA
> driver files on it.
>
> Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive during the
> setup process. It gives me a message saying something like: "Unable to
> format the drive because it contains essential setup files" (or something
> to that effect).
>
> I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like C:/windows
> prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought I was in luck,
> because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:? All data on the drive
> will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit "yes". However, I found
> that the C: was not formatted at all. All that apparently happened was that
> most of the files thereon had ben erased.
>
> I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable. I
> guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.
>
> If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such a way
> that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite installation
> disc?
>
> Many thanks,
>
> Al


What's keeping you from downloading the live GPARTED CD and booting that
to partition/format your drive?

I don't understand your particular situation, so I'll rattle off some issues
I've had.

Drive passed diagnostics and SMART. I could read/write it in an external
USB enclosure, but would not format.
Turned out to be a bad TRACK 0. Drive was toast.

Many laptops got downgraded from Vista to XP.
No knowledge of Vista, but Win7 creates a hidden partition at the front
of the drive. I had all manner of problems with any low level tools like
drive image backups until I repartitioned/reformatted the drive without
that hidden stuff using GPARTED. Don't have any real facts, but it appears
that the BIOS creates a table of partitions and passes it to the OS.
Win7 starts booting, then substitutes its own DIFFERENT table and complains
that it can't find the drive it's been booting from. Pulls the rug right
out from under itself and crashes.

My SATA experience is mostly with desktops containing both IDE and SATA
drives. I've been unable to get the system to boot from an IDE drive if
a SATA drive is installed and turned on in the BIOS. Doesn't matter whether
the partition table thinks it's not bootable, it ALWAYS attempts to boot
the enabled SATA drive and crashes. This too, sounds like a partition
mapping issue.

I've tried to image an IDE "C" drive and restore it to a SATA "C" drive.
Was never successful. I'm guessing that it's the same problem as the hidden
partition. The BIOS and the OS have different pointers to partitions.
The system starts to boot, then pulls the rug out from under itself.

I have zero experience running a SATA drive in IDE mode. Gotta be
some hardware abstraction in the middle. I don't expect you can
install an OS in one mode and switch to the other 'cause of the suspected
mapping issues.

NO real facts, just things to think about.
 
Reply With Quote
 
none
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-02-2011, 08:28 PM
For drive preparation, I found that Format /mbr saves headaches. Then,
for drive partitioning and formatting, I favor either the drive
manufacturer's boot disk utility (as some of these will load the SATA
driver for XP to find during installation) or GParted. When all else
fails, I hook it up to my Apple G4 and do a secure-erase with format
to Mac FS. Next time Windows sees that drive, it will want to
repartition and format it.

BTW, early in XP install, Set-up asks you for any necessary storage
device controller drivers. That is a good time to load them, whether
from drive A or a USB stick or a slip-streamed directory.

My experience is mostly with industry-standard Pentiums, and a few
thousand Dells, mostly OptiPlex and Latitude, of P-II to P-4/CoreDuo
vintage. My experience with them says they work, and installs go
smooth (if you have the right install disks). My experience with HP's
computers is limited to a few dozen, but a lot more models. They are
extremely fussy to do installs on, and I would only own one from their
business line (like my Opteron workstation is).
 
Reply With Quote
 
AL_n
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-03-2011, 12:21 PM
mike <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in news:j8s37n$ne5$(E-Mail Removed):

> AL_n wrote:
>> My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only
>> way I could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then,
>> I have been trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can
>> re-install XP using a an installation disc (created with the nLite
>> program) that has the SATA driver files on it.
>>
>> Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive
>> during the setup process. It gives me a message saying something
>> like: "Unable to format the drive because it contains essential setup
>> files" (or something to that effect).
>>
>> I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like
>> C:/windows prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought
>> I was in luck, because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:?
>> All data on the drive will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit
>> "yes". However, I found that the C: was not formatted at all. All
>> that apparently happened was that most of the files thereon had ben
>> erased.
>>
>> I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable.
>> I guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.
>>
>> If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such
>> a way that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite
>> installation disc?
>>
>> Many thanks,
>>
>> Al

>
> What's keeping you from downloading the live GPARTED CD and booting
> that to partition/format your drive?
>
> I don't understand your particular situation, so I'll rattle off some
> issues I've had.
>
> Drive passed diagnostics and SMART. I could read/write it in an
> external USB enclosure, but would not format.
> Turned out to be a bad TRACK 0. Drive was toast.
>
> Many laptops got downgraded from Vista to XP.
> No knowledge of Vista, but Win7 creates a hidden partition at the
> front of the drive. I had all manner of problems with any low level
> tools like drive image backups until I repartitioned/reformatted the
> drive without that hidden stuff using GPARTED. Don't have any real
> facts, but it appears that the BIOS creates a table of partitions and
> passes it to the OS. Win7 starts booting, then substitutes its own
> DIFFERENT table and complains that it can't find the drive it's been
> booting from. Pulls the rug right out from under itself and crashes.
>
> My SATA experience is mostly with desktops containing both IDE and
> SATA drives. I've been unable to get the system to boot from an IDE
> drive if a SATA drive is installed and turned on in the BIOS. Doesn't
> matter whether the partition table thinks it's not bootable, it ALWAYS
> attempts to boot the enabled SATA drive and crashes. This too, sounds
> like a partition mapping issue.
>
> I've tried to image an IDE "C" drive and restore it to a SATA "C"
> drive. Was never successful. I'm guessing that it's the same problem
> as the hidden partition. The BIOS and the OS have different pointers
> to partitions. The system starts to boot, then pulls the rug out from
> under itself.
>
> I have zero experience running a SATA drive in IDE mode. Gotta be
> some hardware abstraction in the middle. I don't expect you can
> install an OS in one mode and switch to the other 'cause of the
> suspected mapping issues.
>
> NO real facts, just things to think about.



Thanks for the input. I have just put the drive into a USB caddy and will
try formatting it with my desktop PC running Vista.

Al
 
Reply With Quote
 
AL_n
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-03-2011, 03:18 PM
mike <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in news:j8s37n$ne5$(E-Mail Removed):

> What's keeping you from downloading the live GPARTED CD and booting
> that to partition/format your drive?


I put the drive into a USB caddy and formatted it on my Vista PC. It
formatted without problems.

I reinstalled the drive into the laptop and then ran Gparted to create a
new partition (I made it the full capacity of the drive, almost). I then
formatted it to NFTS, and then installed XP again, ising a disc created
with nLite, with the SATA driver slipstreamed onto it.

I did hit f2 when prompted when I started installing XP. I then saw it
loading a bunch of drivers. I'm not sure if the SATA driver was among them.
I don;t think so.

Unfortunately, the system still won't boot into XP wen SATA is enabled in
the BIOS.

I shall continue to hunt for another means of installing the SATA drivers
so that they eable me to use SATA. The 160 GB drive is a Hitachi 5K320-160
Model: HTS543216L9A300

Al
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
OSX 10.6.8: Date & Time format in menubar cannot be changed? qquito@hotmail.com Apple 8 03-09-2012 04:00 AM
Help! Cannot format C. Boot from bootdisk. A:\>Format c: bad command smithsfallsbuilding@yahoo.com Compaq 8 07-31-2006 01:34 PM
Cannot format new 200gb Hard disk Milleniumaire Gigabyte 18 10-17-2004 05:48 PM
NFS7-S - Cannot install Win XP - cannot "see" Serial ATA drive JohnGowers Abit 4 04-21-2004 08:57 PM
k7s5a pro - hard drive won't fdisk/format to over 2 gig, HELP jeff ECS 3 07-11-2003 04:53 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:46 PM.


Welcome!
Welcome to Motherboard Point
 

Advertisment