external hdd won't format!!! NEED HELP!

I just got a WD 320gig external hdd which came formatted in fat32. But it only let me backup 4 gigs so i popped in windows xp cd and booted from it. Stupidly, I didn't know at the time you could format while IN the os so i did it from bios. I installed a partition on my external hdd but for some reason next time i booted it up it corrupted my primary hdd!
Fortunetally i can still salvage the files by ghosting them to another pc but i still can't get my external to format in NTFS! I deleted the external hdd's partition but now it won't show up in my computer or anythin! i'm a noob whos really lost! what can i do!!!
thnks guys
6 answers Last reply
More about external format help
  1. More info needed, have you tried using the Disk management tools in Computer management?
    Click Start > Run and type diskmgmt.msc
  2. Try formatting it using the hdd mfg diagnostic/repair software. Probably be best to temporarily install it as an internal drive if you can. There a good chance if it's off the shelf as oppose to you having assembled it you won't be able to open the case to take out the hdd. Back up the data first.
  3. 1) Open My Computer
    2) Right Click on the external drive
    3) Click Properties
    4) Click the Hardware tab
    5) Choose the drive
    6) Click the Policies tab
    7) Choose Optimize for Performance
    8) Click OK
    9) Go back to My Computer
    10) Right Click on the external drive and choose Format
    11) Choose NTFS and press OK
    12) ????
    13) PROFIT
  4. I agree with g-paw. Try to remove the drive from the enclosure and install it as an internal drive. That way, the OS can work directly with drive instead of through the USB interface. It also eliminates the interface as a problem source.

    You don't need to physically install the drive in the case, just cable up the appropriate interface and power cables.
  5. Yes you can do that, but it wouldn't hurt to try the Disk Management tools(If you haven't already)
    I sell the enclosures and install the hard drives all the time at my work and I've never had a problem using the Disk management software as long as it's XP Pro with SP1 or SP2.
    There was a problem pre service pack with I think over 160GB Hard drive. Also XP Home doesn't always work :o

    Nothing ventured nothing gained. :)
  6. the option to format an external drive to NTFS sometimes wont show up under Disk Manager. If it doesn't, just follow the directions posted above. If you want to install XP to the external drive, you might have to format it before you try from the CD. Also be sure to set up the bios to boot from usb devices
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