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Unable to Initialize HDD

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May 28, 2009 6:49:26 AM

Hi.
So I bought a new HDD, a Samsung HD753LJ. When swapping it with my old one, the computer didn't work. When adding my old HDD, the old one worked and the new one could not be found.
Some time later I've gotten my hands on a HDD Dock where I can connect regular HDD's to the PC via USB.
I saw drivers install, and I think I saw external HDD there. I guess the dock makes it an external HDD.

Anyways, now I can see the HDD in Disk Management, but it is "Not Initialized". When I attempt to initialize it, an error message states "The device is not ready". Does anyone have any ideas how I proceed from here?
Anyone know any HDD recovery software that can find a HDD without a drive letter?

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May 28, 2009 5:20:38 PM

RMA time!! I had the same problem with a WDC HDD and tried everything to get it to initialize but no luck. Send it back for a replacement.
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a c 342 G Storage
May 28, 2009 5:35:44 PM

ANY blank new hard drive needs a two-step process to prepare it for use by Windows. I can be done in Windows' Disk Manager. They are Partitioning (create a defined space on the drive to be used) and Formatting (create the root directory and sector allocation tracking structures). Read up on these. Many (including me) have posted detailed instructions here before.

Even easier, most HDD makers provide free software utilities for exactly these purposes, because they know every purchaser will need to carry out these operations. If you did not get a CD of tools with the drive, go to the maker's website and look around the Downloads section for them. Seagate provides Disk Wizard, WD provides Data Lifeguard, and I don't know what Samsung has. These usually are multiple tools in one package, but preparing the disk for first use in Windows is in there. Some of the packages are restricted to operations only on drives from that maker; others may work on any drive. Many (in these utility packages or others) also provide a cloning tool so you can move ALL of your files from your old drive to a new larger one and make it your boot drive, so you can remove the old drive or simply re-Partition and Format it for use for data.
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May 28, 2009 9:19:20 PM

None of that can be done without initialization, as it then doesn't have a drive letter. I've looked for a long time, and have yet to see any software that finds the drive.
So I'm declaring it DOA and shipping it back.

Thanks.
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a c 342 G Storage
May 29, 2009 3:59:41 PM

I'm pretty sure the "Not Initialized" means you have not done the required 2-step process. I checked the Samsung site and cannot find any good utilities there for you, so here's the process using Windows' own tools. To do this you will need your old drive installed as the boot drive and be able to boot into Windows from it. Your new drive also needs to be installed in your machine as an internal drive. As you say, it will not be available to Windows and will not show up in My Computer, but the BIOS should see it.

The process below will prepare your new drive for use as a data drive, but NOT as a bootable drive ready to replace your old drive. For that you need a utility that clones absolutely everything from old to new drive, allowing for an increase in the size available on the new drive. (See end of this post for info.) The steps below are for Windows XP; I understand VISTA is similar.

With Windows running, start by clicking Start at lower left. On the resulting window, about middle of the right side, RIGHT-click on My Computer and choose Manage from the menu. In the resulting Computer Management window on the left, expand Storage if necessary and click on Disk Management.

On the right you will have two window panes, both scrollable if they have enough stuff in them. The upper one has all the storage devices Windows is using now. The lower one has those, PLUS any new devices Windows still cannot use, like your new drive unit. RIGHT-click on that new drive and choose Partition from the menu. BE VERY SURE YOU ARE PARTITIONING THE EMPTY NEW DRIVE, NOT YOUR OLD DRIVE!! In the resulting window(s) choose the size of the new Partition you are creating (I presume you will want it to use ALL of this new disk in one Partition), make this the Primary Partition, but do not make it bootable. When your options all are set, proceed with the operation. What this does is create at the start of the disk a brief table showing where each Partition begins and its size (probably only one Partition), and whether it is bootable.

IF you chose to make the first partition smaller than max, after this first operation is done you will see the drive with some Unallocated Space. In this space you can use the same tool to create a second Partition (or even more), but they won't be Primary Partitions, and won't be bootable.

When that operation is finished, come back the the new drive and RIGHT-click it again. This time choose to Format it. The choices to make are to use the NTFS File System, and whether to do a Quick Format or a Full Format. (IF you chose to make more than one Partition on this device, each Partition needs to be Formatted individually). A Quick Format establishes at the start of the Partition a Root Directory and all the hidden files needed to track the allocation of disk sectors to files. It typically takes 5 to 10 minutes. A Full Format does all that, then runs a full test of every sector on the disk to be sure it works properly. Any faulty sectors found are marked never to use (rare to find any). This process will take MANY HOURS, so maybe let it run overnight.

When the Format is finished, escape back out of the menus and reboot. When Windows is running again, look in My Computer. The new drive should be there with its own letter name showing no files but ready for use.

If you want, instead, to move everything from old to new drive so it becomes your new boot drive, check out Acronis True Image at:

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage...

Click on the User Guide link (it will download the .pdf file) to read what it does and how. Concentrate on Chapter 13 about moving everything to a new disk. Back on the first web page, click either on Buy Now or Free Trial to get it if that's what you want. Acronis True Image is a very good utility with lots of useful features beyond cloning to a new larger drive. If you go this route, just start with the drives installed and Windows operating, per my first paragraph. Then download and install Acronis True Image and use it, ignoring all my notes about how to use Windows' Disk Manager for setup.

There are other drive cloning / migration tools availalbe on the web, too, but Acronis is very good.
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May 30, 2009 5:42:29 AM

You won't have a drive letter, it won't even show up while you're in "my computer". I have 3 hdd's 1 ssd and 2- 1t wd drives. I put the OS on the ssd. Ok everything was fine, but I had to manually parition the other two hdds for them to even get read. Which is easy right click my computer/manage/disk management.. Click on the hdd you need to parition. I'm pretty sure vista is the same way *using win7 right now*.. Win xp you got to go to adminstartive tools and it's somewhere in there I know it also has it since I had to do that before.
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May 30, 2009 5:48:57 AM

I had this issue not too long ago, in a disk that was supposed to be dead. I ended up formatting from an Acronis boot disc. I've run several disk diagnostics on the disk, and it seems fine. Acronis sells it's software to other companies, so you can try the Apricorn disk tools, which are the same as the Acronis ones. I think WD has tool that's based on this, as well.
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April 8, 2012 3:22:36 PM

Everyone here missed his point. When trying to initialize the drive he encountered an error that said "Drive not Ready". I have the same issue. The drive is dead.
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July 12, 2012 2:45:03 PM

stratblast is 100% correct. No point formatting or partitioning if the drive isn't even exposed to the OS. Initializing the drive creates the primary boot table. Once it has been initialized, it will then let you format and partition etc. I had a drive which was causing my BIOS to hang. When I finally got into Windows, it wouldn't even appear in Storage Manager (under Administrator Tools). The onlt way I got this drive to be recgnised was to plug it into an external caddy connected to the PC via a USB cable. Then it appeared in Storge Manager - but when I tried to initialize it, I got an I/O error, and it would only report having 1.2TB available - when in fact it was a 2TB drve. Conclusion - disc is dead.

Maybe there are tools out there - but in my case, I think the disc has a problem. I can hear it seeking, but then gives up....
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November 26, 2012 10:45:13 AM

Solution!

Had the same problem and felt like a moron when I figured out that it was being caused by a faulty USB cable. Used a different cable and everything was tip-top.

Don't think this is relevant, but here's the technical stuff for anyone with nothing better to do than read them:

WD 250GB 3.5" Caviar Blue SATA (brand new)
Win 7 Pro 32-bit

Hope this helps.
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December 16, 2012 3:30:53 PM

I'm having a somewhat different problem I guess.
Yesterday I purchased a WD 1tb drive to replace the 250 in my HP laptop.
I also got a NexStar CX drive enclosure.
I put the new drive in that drive enclosure and plugged it in via USB2.
What I want to do is clone my 250 to the new 1TB then just swap them.

The light on the drive enclosure comes on but Windows7 64 doesn't even acknowledge that a new USB device has been plugged in.
In Disk Management it doesn't show up either.

I tried all 4 USB ports with the same result.

I don't know how I can initialize and partition it if I can't get W7 to even acknowledge its presence.

Any assistance would definately make my day.

Thanks!
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February 1, 2013 10:04:10 PM

madjarov42 said:
Solution!

Had the same problem and felt like a moron when I figured out that it was being caused by a faulty USB cable. Used a different cable and everything was tip-top.

Don't think this is relevant, but here's the technical stuff for anyone with nothing better to do than read them:

WD 250GB 3.5" Caviar Blue SATA (brand new)
Win 7 Pro 32-bit

Hope this helps.



YES it DID !!!
/thanx
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May 31, 2013 9:43:20 AM

For those that stumble here in an attempt to find a solution with their favorite search engine. Here are some of the things that you could try to TRULY find if this is an issue with a drive or just the NEW DRIVE CONFIGURATION issues that Microsoft has not addressed. Yes, drives store configurations. Your friendly COMMAND LINE tool to the rescue: DISKPART

Open a command prompt with ELEVATED privilege (Administrator)
DISKPART
LIST DRIVE
SELECTE DRIVE <DRIVE NUMBER> (EXAMPLE: SELECT DISK 2)
CLEAN
EXIT

So, if you do this and get ANY errors, the drive is BAD... RMA. Otherwise, you can clean up all your drives (Most cases for RAID PURPOSES)
and then REBUILD your RAID and or attempt to INITIALIZE your drive again.

Wiz
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August 15, 2013 9:14:47 AM

I've been having the same problem, I've found some solutions. I had to Format 50+ HDDs at my work, sizes ranged from 5Gb to 500GB HDDs. both IDEs and Sata, some SCSI as well.

most of the time, "Disk Management" would tell me to initialize the disk, and then it would say "Disk not ready". after hours of playing around, the best solution that worked for me was to use a different port. Certain ports cache some memory so that it doesnt need to reinstall/reset certain preferences. an example would be a USB Audio card. I have certain EQs that I set up for the card when it's plugged into a certain port. If I plug the USB Audio card into a different port, all the settings change to default. its like preference profiles based on a USB port.

I dont know why it works like this, but it does.

Same thing goes with USB Hard Drive adapters. certain USB ports wont initialize the disk correctly, certain USB ports might.

(ALSO, if you are using an HP computer, I've noticed that HP computers in general do not recognize certain hard drives. Its hard to find an explanation why, but after testing a few Hitachi External Hard drives on Multiple HP Desktops/Laptops, none of those computer recognized the hard drive, until I tried it on an ASUS and Dell PC. I do not know why it does this, but it just does. i've tried to find answers but with no luck.)

-JP
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