Can't format my external hard drive. Should I wipe it?


I have a WD My Book Premium Edition. I received it as a hand-me-down. The previous owner tried to reformat it before giving it to me, but failed. He said it had a few encrypted files that he could not access to delete. He believes this is why he couldn't reformat the drive.

I opened it on my computer. It shows the drive as empty, but I can't add any files to it. When I tried to format it (several different ways), it would never finish...citing errors.

I don't have any files on the drive, so I am wondering...should I just wipe it with a professional wiping program (like Derek's Boot and Nuke) and THEN try reformatting it?

I'd really like to get this resolved. Otherwise, I guess it's just junk. Thanks for your help!
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about format external hard drive wipe
  1. If you have no files you want to keep on the drive you can attempt to delete the partition in Disk Management and then reformat the drive. I would try this before using a professional wiping program.
  2. I selected the drive (F: ) and did delete volume. It disappeared. I safely removed my drive. Then, I reconnected the drive, but my computer won't read it. I went under Disk Management to see if I could reformat under there...but the drive won't even appear.
  3. I forgot to mention that I had restarted my computer, as well...and then, connected the drive again. But I had the same problem.

    Well for some strange reason, today, Disk Management recognizes the external hard drive (but not My Computer.) I assigned a letter for the drive, and I am formatting the drive right now. I'll let you know what happens.
  4. After several hours, it was almost complete...but then, my stupid computer did Windows Update. Grr.

    I had to start over again. This time, Disk Management recognized the drive as Disk 1 (healthy partition, etc.) and RAW.

    I started formatting for the second time (NTFS again) and waited over 12 hours for it to complete. Towards the end, a message popped up and said that formatting couldn't be completed.

    I clicked on the drive again, tried to do a quick format (NTFS), but it said the same error. Then, I deleted the volume, unplugged it, waited, reconnected the drive, and waited for my computer to recognize the drive. It recognized the drive as unallocated.

    I assigned the drive a letter, and tried another quick format (NTFS.) Still, I couldn't format the drive. Same error. My last idea was to try formatting the drive as exFAT (that was my only other option.) Didn't work.

  5. Best answer
    Time to dump it since it has had a bit of a chequered history with previous owner, and keeps misbehaving since you acquired it. Buy a new one. Oh, and turn off those pesky automatic updates permanently. Visit Windows Update when it's convenient to you, about once a week, and check what each update is for before allowing it.

    I would no way allow Microsoft to install updates and other stuff automatically every week without me knowing what each update is for and do I need it. I set time aside once a week and update manually, and I decide what I want and don't want.
  6. I gave up and finally e-cycled it. :(
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