Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

can't format hard drive after erasing it

Last response: in Windows XP
Share
October 31, 2007 10:05:30 PM

All,

Apologies in advance for the long message -- I wanted to provide all the detail that I could. The basic problem is that I'm unable to format my C: drive after erasing it. Here's the background:

I have a Dell XPS 2 with two 250GB hard drives. (Other specs are listed below.) I got it in 2003, I think. I want to sell it, so in preparation, I tried to clean and format the hard drives. I used Darik's Boot and Nuke to do the job. The cleaning went fine until the end, when I got a message saying the process was complete but there had been some non-fatal errors because of some bad sectors.

I couldn't boot up the computer afterward, of course, because I forgot to make a boot up disk. I tried using the Windows XP installation CD, but all I got when restarting the computer was a "press F1 to retry, F2 to setup" message. I can enter the BIOS, and I put the CD-player at the top of the boot disk, but no good.

My concern is that my "secondary master drive", according to the BIOS, is listed as "Samsung CD-R/RW SW-252S ! ! !", and the exclamation points make me think that the CD drive isn't working and hence cannot be used to boot. (Before I erased Windows, the OS was not recognizing the drive for some reason.) My "secondary slave drive" works, though.

Anyway, I got a boot disk and can now get to the A: prompt. I used FDISK to create 1 FAT32 primary DOS partition on each hard drive. After restarting, I then tried FORMAT, but after hitting "Y", I got this message: "Fatal error writing setting disk access flags...format terminated. Error Code: 05". I did a google search and found that other people have encountered that message, but unfortunately I didn't understand any of the details...

Also, after partitioning the hard drives, I now get this message when trying to boot from the CD (or just from the hard drive): "partition signature != 55AA".

So, I'm at a loss. Because I don't have convenient access to a floppy drive, and because I'm not sure my CD drive is working correctly, I'm hoping someone might be able to suggest a solution that involves use of a USB flash drive. A google search showed me that such things were possible, but the solutions were a little beyond my tech skills.

The only other piece of info I can offer is that attempting to DIR the C: drive gives me an "invalid media" message.

Sorry again for the long message.

Here are my computer specs.

Dell Dimension XPS Gen 2
Two Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz processors
Two 512Mb memory sticks
Raid 0 Volume 465.6Gb hard drive (2 drives)
RADEON 9800 XT 256Mb video card
RADEON 9800 XT - Secondary 256Mb video card
USB Audio Device
Creative Audigy Audio Processor (WDM)
Microsoft Windows XP Pro
BIOS: Dell Computer Corporation, version A06, 09-27-04
Standard floppy disk drives
Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D2
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D4
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D7
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24DE
Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller

Thanks very much in advance for any help.
Mike
October 31, 2007 10:14:19 PM

grab this, ubcd and do a test possible fix the drive errors
http://www.mrbass.org/ubcd/
I realize you may have a problem wiff the cd but its worth a try
no fat32 for xp that causes errors, xp uses a bootloader NT style, NT file allocation table, fat32 is more on the dos 32bit file, incompatible tables xp NTFS, fat dos.
October 31, 2007 11:04:47 PM

gomerpile said:
grab this, ubcd and do a test possible fix the drive errors
http://www.mrbass.org/ubcd/
I realize you may have a problem wiff the cd but its worth a try
no fat32 for xp that causes errors, xp uses a bootloader NT style, NT file allocation table, fat32 is more on the dos 32bit file, incompatible tables xp NTFS, fat dos.


I had high hopes for this, but after burning the CD and then booting the computer, I still get the partition message: "partition signature != 55AA". :-(

Do I need to get rid of the Fat32 partitions? I tried the other option (Fat16?) a couple days ago, and the resulting partitions weren't showing the correct size of hard drives, which I guess is a common issue with bigger drives.
Related resources
October 31, 2007 11:26:25 PM

yes get rid of the fat32 16 is a harddrive killer nowadays, fdisk delete but remember that will distroy all data on disk, then boot up wiff xpcd and choose format but if I remember correctly that 55aa is a sector error that cannot be fixed new drive is required. If ubcd gives a error then the drive is finished or about to be finished. Never every use fat16 nowadays
November 1, 2007 12:36:34 AM

gomerpile said:
yes get rid of the fat32 16 is a harddrive killer nowadays, fdisk delete but remember that will distroy all data on disk, then boot up wiff xpcd and choose format but if I remember correctly that 55aa is a sector error that cannot be fixed new drive is required. If ubcd gives a error then the drive is finished or about to be finished. Never every use fat16 nowadays


Still having trouble. Getting rid of the partitions resulted in a "no partitions found" message when I tried to boot from the CD.

I managed to get rid of that message by finding my way to the RAID settings, creating a RAID volume, and turning on SATA RAID in the BIOS. Now I just get a "press F1 to retry, etc." message when booting from CD. I have the boot sequence set up to boot from CD first, then floppy, then hard drive. The system seems to go right to the floppy, which makes me wonder if it's ignoring both of my CD drives.

Oh, I tried formatting C: via FORMAT, and I just get this message: "Call to int 0x21, 0x440d 0x60, failed error 0f". If I create a partition, it goes back to the fatal error writing" message.

Any thoughts? Either way, thanks for the help.
November 1, 2007 2:05:33 AM

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=832324
this may help found something may help
int 21
A multipurpose DOS interrupt used for various functions including reading the keyboard and writing to the console and printer. It was also used to read and write disks using the earlier File Control Block (FCB) method.
One of these is causeing the error (0x440d 0x60)means longfilename, failed error 0f is where the binary code resides that failed like this 51 AF DD 43 54 B6 34 B6 C5 A7 62 70 (0F) 25 0D 80
usually the 0F is a keyboard error, INT the interrupt 21 telling what the hardware is, you see there is many possiablities, but I'm certian, because of the fat chain the harddrive called an error in int21, string 0x440d 0x60 hex in 0F


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 1, 2007 5:03:03 AM

gomerpile said:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=832324
this may help found something may help
int 21
A multipurpose DOS interrupt used for various functions including reading the keyboard and writing to the console and printer. It was also used to read and write disks using the earlier File Control Block (FCB) method.
One of these is causeing the error (0x440d 0x60)means longfilename, failed error 0f is where the binary code resides that failed like this 51 AF DD 43 54 B6 34 B6 C5 A7 62 70 (0F) 25 0D 80
usually the 0F is a keyboard error, INT the interrupt 21 telling what the hardware is, you see there is many possiablities, but I'm certian, because of the fat chain the harddrive called an error in int21, string 0x440d 0x60 hex in 0F
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Wow, that's way over my head. I hope this doesn't sound like too stupid of a question, but...am I supposed to type in "int 21" at the A: prompt or something?
November 1, 2007 9:27:32 AM

No I'm just trying to figure out the error by explaining outloud the error code.
November 1, 2007 11:55:05 AM

ragamoffyn said:
Still having trouble. Getting rid of the partitions resulted in a "no partitions found" message when I tried to boot from the CD.

I managed to get rid of that message by finding my way to the RAID settings, creating a RAID volume, and turning on SATA RAID in the BIOS. Now I just get a "press F1 to retry, etc." message when booting from CD. I have the boot sequence set up to boot from CD first, then floppy, then hard drive. The system seems to go right to the floppy, which makes me wonder if it's ignoring both of my CD drives.

Oh, I tried formatting C: via FORMAT, and I just get this message: "Call to int 0x21, 0x440d 0x60, failed error 0f". If I create a partition, it goes back to the fatal error writing" message.

Any thoughts? Either way, thanks for the help.


If yo are getting a no partitions fond when booting from the CD, you aren't booting from the CD :) . On the Dell laptops that I have at work, the exclamation marks tell you that that device is currently disabled as a boot device. You need to look over your settings. There will either be a key you hit to enable it on the menu, and/or you might have to enable some option that says something like 'CD drive bootable'. Strangely some computers have you enable the CD ROM bootable AND choose to enable it in the menu list.

As for the formatting, there's no need to set up any partitions on your laptop until XP you boot from the CD because the CD will help you set up partitions and format them.

Also, since your laptop supports RAID you might need to use a floppy with the RAID drivers for your laptop on it so that XP will detect the RAID array.

Aside from my comments about the boot device options in the BIOS, have you tried to boot this CD in another computer to see if it's a boot CD?
November 1, 2007 2:36:45 PM

cyberjock,

No, I haven't tried booting off the CDs in a another computer, but I'll give that a shot.

I'm thinking the problem is the CD drive. I have no idea how to enable it, though -- I've looked all over the BIOS config for a way to do so. However, I can possibly set the "secondary master drive" (the Samsung) to "off", and hope the computer will then read from the "secondary slave drive"...
November 1, 2007 3:05:38 PM

ragamoffyn said:
cyberjock,

No, I haven't tried booting off the CDs in a another computer, but I'll give that a shot.

I'm thinking the problem is the CD drive. I have no idea how to enable it, though -- I've looked all over the BIOS config for a way to do so. However, I can possibly set the "secondary master drive" (the Samsung) to "off", and hope the computer will then read from the "secondary slave drive"...


Yep, disabling the primary CD drive worked, so I can boot from the Ultimate Boot CD now. (I tried booting from the Windows CD, and that went find for a while until I got the blue screen of death.)

Thanks all for the help.
November 1, 2007 7:14:45 PM

yep the harddrive has an error for sure ubcd will give an error of the harddrive crosslinked sector usually causes the 55aa error
November 2, 2007 8:12:08 AM

ragamoffyn said:
Yep, disabling the primary CD drive worked, so I can boot from the Ultimate Boot CD now. (I tried booting from the Windows CD, and that went find for a while until I got the blue screen of death.)

Thanks all for the help.


BSOD? Do you know why you got the BSOD?
November 2, 2007 12:27:35 PM

Try this (fdisk /mbr)then use windows cd to partition. Or use the the utilities of the HD maker to rewrite the MBR
55aa error is the master boot record of the harddrive and should be able to be fixed but if the MBR is cross liked by using fat16 and 32 you may have destroyed the drive
create a new MBR

0x0F
Extended partition using BIOS INT 13hor21 extensions
The 0x0F tell me this so this problem is the partitions of 32 than 16 and you may be able to fix the drive by creating a new MBR
!