...unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged.


I have been troubleshooting my system for the last bunch of days now, and I have finally narrowed down my two remaining concerns and decided to post them in their respective forum.

Heres the long of it

And heres the other problem I have

The final unsolved problem I have is with my two Raptors that do not want to do a Full Format under Windows XP Setup. It starts the process, goes all the way to 100% then stops and gives me the following error message which I have to paraphrase somewhat;

"Windows Xp was unable to format because this drive may be damaged.

Please check your SCSI devices to see if they are functioning correctly or if they have the correct drivers, so on and so forth"

I have done this process multiple times, with different tasks preceding it each time, and the only time it worked, I had done a FIXBOOT and FIXMBR, then a FORMAT C: /FS:NTFS, then I loaded up the XP Setup and did the Full Format. Only problem was that XP did not want to boot later because I had a bad DIMM Slot.

The last time I did this today, I did a low level format before hand with the Data Lifeguard or whatever its called by Western Digital. Booted up the XP Setup, created a partition, chose Full Format option, but still got the error.

I can do a full format with the recovery console and directly from Windows XP and going to "Manage". Meaning I can run that, then just copy the files and install XP that way, or as Ive been doing, choosing Quick Format after doing the Full Format in the recovery console, and that gets XP up and running no problems.

Can anybody shed some light into why Im getting this error? Ill have Memtest86+ results tomorow morning, but I doubt Ill see any errors, as I have run it before.
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More about unable format partition disk damaged
  1. goto wd's site ( and check there FAQS and support, also download and run there tools supplied and test the drives ;)

    and if your using a VIA chipset that may be an issue here
  2. I already did all that and I checked both drives and the WD tool found no problems. And I have the 650i Chipset. I have an Asus P5N-E SLI.

    Thanks for the reply.
  3. I'm assuming your Raptors are in RAID? In that case, try formatting them separately during the installation, see if that will work. If both the drives format correctly then, the problem could be with your RAID controller.

    Make sure you're using the correct RAID driver during the installation process. Try slipstreaming the driver onto your XP CD, maybe it's not being read from the floppy correctly. You don't need to do a low-level format of the drives, all you need to do to format the drive is a quick format.
  4. Thanks for the reply.

    I have done the process on both of them seperately and in RAID 0 and I still get the same errors.

    The quick format works flawlessly. Im just worried that this error im getting will turn into something uglier in the future.
  5. OK, it is now officially the two Raptors and one IDE I had laying around, I just tested it. Here is the exact error.

    Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged.

    Make sure the drive is switched on and properly connected to your computer. If the disk is a SCSI disk, make sure your SCSI devices are properly terminated. Consult your computer manual or SCSI adapter documentation for more information.

    You must select a different partition for Windows XP. To continue, press ENTER.

    So that leaves me to believe that it is not the disks. Something is going on with the Sata controller. Should I try installing the NVidia Raid drivers regarless?
  6. I did some research on the net and apparently, alot of people have had this problem but so far its a mistery, no one has figured out whats wrong.

    Everyone assumes its a bad drive but its impossible that all three drives I have tested are bad. Also, I tried loading the Nvidia drivers, and that didnt work either.

    At this point, I can only assume its one of two things, either I have a bad installation CD or optical device, or my motherboard has another glitch to it.
  7. OK, follow this procedure and see if it works.

    Go into the CMOS setup and disable any RAID controllers except for the nVidia. If you have a JMicron controller like my Asus AM2 motherboard, set it to disabled.

    Next, go into your RAID setup and set the two Raptors in RAID 0. Create the array, then exit.

    Set up your floppy with the nForce SATA controller and RAID Class controller drivers. Make sure they are the correct drivers for your XP OS (32-bit?).

    Boot up with the XP installation disc, then press F6 to install additional drivers. Insert the floppy, then add both the drivers on the disk.

    Continue with the process. Do a quick format, since that seems to work. If the drives have been formatted at least once, there's no need to do a Full format every time you install Windows.

    Continue with the installation. If that works, great. Deal with any other problems as they come up, we'll be here if anything else goes wrong.
  8. Ok, heres the situation.

    I tried doing the Full Format through the XP Setup from my other computer. It worked. So that rules out the media and it rules out the hard drives.

    I ran Memtest86+ for 17 passes while I slept and I did not receive a single error. So it is not the memory giving the problems.

    Prime95 ran for 4 hours without a single error. No CPU problems.

    What is left? PSU and Motherboard. Doubt its the PSU. It has to be my motherboard.

    I will attempt your suggestion, because it is a good one. I realise now that when I made the Array, I never got XP to work, so I could not test it out. Ill do that tonight and let you know of the results. Thanks alot.

    Also, would you happen to know what the missing driver I have is all about. Its driving me crazy cause I cant find it on the internet.

    Its called "PCI standard ISA Bridge".

    What the hell is that.
  9. I hope this wasn't asked before but did you flash the motherboard bios yet? Or at least see if there is a newer bios and what was fixed in the new version.
  10. The PCI-to-ISA bridge functions as a PCI target on the PCI bus. PCI transactions addressed to this target are forwarded to the ISA bus. If it is a read transfer, the core waits for all read data from the ISA slave and returns the data to the PCI bus. If it is a write transfer, the core posts the write data to its internal write buffer, terminates the PCI bus, and then writes the data to the ISA slave.

    With a typical PCI bus running at 33 MHz, this core operates the ISA bus at one-fourth the frequency of the PCI bus. The ISA bus operates at 8.33 MHz.

    The PCI-to-ISA bridge core supports 8-bit and 16-bit ISA bus devices, while the PCI bus is 32-bits wide. The core is capable of taking one PCI transfer and converting it into four or two transfers on the ISA bus.

    i think the problem is either with your raid drivers or the raid controller itself. Try loading the newest Nvidia driver and also the newest bios.
  11. @Apocalyp5e

    Yes, its the newest BIOS. But the old ones did the same thing.


    I used the latest nVidia drivers and the newest BIOS. Actually, the drivers on the CD actually get rid of that problem. Maybe I should download them directly from ASUS. Maybe they do some type of mod to the drivers to get them to work properly with the ISA bus.

    Thanks for the explanation dude.

    Why would a PCI need to send information to the ISA bus? Can you please tell me what the ISA bus does in real-world operations?
  12. So then did you get it to work. If you, did what exactly did you do step by step? I am having the same exact problem with and XFX 750a SLI nFORCE Mobo.
  13. I had the same problem with seagate barracuda drives. took me ages to figure out what the problem was! i turned off quick boot in the bios settings and found that my ram was failing R/W test. turns out the one ram module was faulty, replaced the module and voila no more installation problems. maybee not the same problem as others but it sorted my computer so i thought this might be helpful.
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