How do I initialize an SATA HD?

I have tried attaching this WD 500GB HD to 4 different PCs: an iMac, XP, Vista, and Win7. All of them say the drive needs to be initialized. The Windows PCs all give an error, "Incorrect Function" when I use Disk Management to try and prep the drive. The Mac also says it needs to be initialized, and attempts to do it, but after running for about 36 hours, I sort of felt that nothing was happening.

I was connecting it to all systems via a USB docking kit.

Any ideas on how I can salvage this drive?
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  1. try using a regular sata cable?
    maybe your docking kit isnt working
  2. Try to wipe that drive by Media pro, HDAT2...at least 100 first LBA.
  3. Jack_Sprat said:
    I have tried attaching this WD 500GB HD to 4 different PCs: an iMac, XP, Vista, and Win7. All of them say the drive needs to be initialized. The Windows PCs all give an error, "Incorrect Function" when I use Disk Management to try and prep the drive. The Mac also says it needs to be initialized, and attempts to do it, but after running for about 36 hours, I sort of felt that nothing was happening.

    I was connecting it to all systems via a USB docking kit.

    Any ideas on how I can salvage this drive?


    Take the USB kit off and put the drive in your sysytem and attach it using a standard SATA cable. If the drive works at all it will work in that config. If it does work in that config then there might be something wrong with your USB kit.
  4. Thank you for the replies.

    I have a system here with two SATA drives.. one being the primary boot drive, and the other a backup drive. I removed the backup drive and installed the questionable drive, and tried to power up and go into the BIOS.

    The drive is simply not recognized. And even if it was, there appears to be nothing I could have done anyway, since the BIOS does not allow me to work with ANY of the installed drives. In the past with other systems, I could select AUTO configure for new drives, but this system does not even appear to have this ability. Maybe it is an SATA thing.

    In any case, the drive is just not recognized by the system BIOS.

    Any other ideas?

    I really don't think this drive is dead.. it was working as my TimeMachine backup drive on my iMac, when it suddenly stopped.. because I think I incorrectly ejected the drive. So, if anything, the data and boot record are corrupt. I just need a way to initialize it and reformat it. Does not matter which file system I use, once it is formatted in any FS, I can reformat it for my needs.
  5. Re: HDAT2... I can't seem to find any info on this.. google points to www.hdat2.com but that site seems unavailable.

    Furthermore, how can I use this tool if my system cannot 'see' the drive?! Is this a standalone tool? Like something that we boot from CD? Sorry, but like I said, I cannot find any info on this tool.

    Thanks
  6. You can try: www.hdat2.com/download.html
    Info: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=9165
  7. Jack_Sprat said:
    Thank you for the replies.

    I have a system here with two SATA drives.. one being the primary boot drive, and the other a backup drive. I removed the backup drive and installed the questionable drive, and tried to power up and go into the BIOS.

    The drive is simply not recognized. And even if it was, there appears to be nothing I could have done anyway, since the BIOS does not allow me to work with ANY of the installed drives. In the past with other systems, I could select AUTO configure for new drives, but this system does not even appear to have this ability. Maybe it is an SATA thing.

    In any case, the drive is just not recognized by the system BIOS.

    Any other ideas?

    I really don't think this drive is dead.. it was working as my TimeMachine backup drive on my iMac, when it suddenly stopped.. because I think I incorrectly ejected the drive. So, if anything, the data and boot record are corrupt. I just need a way to initialize it and reformat it. Does not matter which file system I use, once it is formatted in any FS, I can reformat it for my needs.


    If the BIOS does not see the drive, I am not aware of anything that can be done. Every time I have had this happen it has either been a bad drive or cable or power supply connection. Since you have checked those, I think it is a bad drive. Drives can break in an instant. Usually you get some warning, but not always. SATA is not configured with master/slave jumpers or anything else like the PATA drives are. It is pretty much good or bad. Yours seems to be bad, I'd replace the drive.
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