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Failed to format - What's the problem?

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December 25, 2011 10:44:40 PM

Hi,

I am trying to figure out what went wrong in this whole deal. I have a pc with 2 hard drives. When I fired it up, memory checks and everything works fine (got past POST no problem), until it says a system file was corrupted and failed to boot. I thought it's just that I haven't boot it for a very long while (like half a year) and I don't really have any files in it to back up, I just decided to delete the parts and reformat the drives and do a clean installation. However, I tried using my Win 2003 server, Win XP Pro, Win 7 Pro, (All x86) but none of those got past the drives phase. Win server 03 didn't even format it, it just hanged at 0% formatting screen in the install. XP did a little better, but did not complete the bar either (I tried an 8mb part and it got stuck at 79% without error messages - Hanged). Win 7 on the other hand did not even detect the presence of any hard disk. What tests should I run to check what exactly is wrong with the comp?

One thing I am trying to find out is whether it is worth to fix or not. If someone can provide an estimate of cost figures, that would be good.

More about : failed format problem

a b B Homebuilt system
December 25, 2011 11:04:00 PM

Chances are, the HDD crashed. Download a hard drive scanner that can be burned onto a disk or put onto a USB. Change the boot settings to boot to disk/usb first, booting into the program. Run a scan on the hard drive. If there are any errors that come back, then you know its a bad drive.

Price estimates vary, as you'll need to buy a new hard drive (or if the hard drive is still under warranty, send that in at the cost of postage). If you need a new drive, prices vary on how big and how fast the drive is.

Edit: Wait, I just re-read your post and this is happening to both drives? Are they set in RAID, or are you trying to format each disk at a time? Sometimes HDDs don't want to play nice with reinstalling OSes. Its better to get a software that will format your drive independently of having a OS do it. It takes a heck of a lot longer, but its a better format than what the OS will do during installation.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 25, 2011 11:04:26 PM

What is the brand and model of the HDD?
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December 26, 2011 8:34:09 PM

It is an old machine. The there are two drives, not RAID. One is a Maxtor, the other is a Quantum Fireball. I inherited the machine so i can't really tell the model precisely, but the model numbers are:

Maxtor 53073H4
Quantum Fireball EX Series 3.5

One weird symptom I have forgotten to mention is that, I have 3 parts on 2 drives. But no matter what drive I select to install windows (Win XP/Win Server 03), it automatically assumed I selected C:, which is the one I am having a big problem formatting.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2012 3:20:50 AM

Alright, like I said, download a free program that will completely reformat the drives. It may take a while (read: several hours) to do a complete format. Then run a disk checker program to ensure the drive has no bad sectors. After that, then attempt to install windows.
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