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Toughbook IMPOSSIBLE to format... Need some help..

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  • Internet Explorer
  • Hard Drives
  • Format
  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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February 12, 2012 6:39:35 PM

Hi guys, new here.

Ok i have a panasonic toughbook cf-c1 that originally came with windows 7.

Im trying to format the HDD for a fresh install of windows xp tablet but when i get to the stage where it asks where i want the operating system installed ie... the HDD. The HDD location is BLANK. ie... No C: drive.

So i left it and thought ok let me reinstall windows 7 which i did. I have tried many many times but i get BSOD c000021a. over and over again.

I have ran a mem test and HDD test and all come back fine. The hdd detects in the bios fine. I have checked bios settings and even tried loading defaults.

Im actually a I.T technician but ive never come across this before. The discs i am using are fine as i format other machines with these. Im now thinking this type of laptop has some sort of security feature to stop easy formatting.

Appriciate some help on this

More about : toughbook impossible format

February 12, 2012 6:56:53 PM

j4g3d said:
Hi guys, new here.

Ok i have a panasonic toughbook cf-c1 that originally came with windows 7.

Im trying to format the HDD for a fresh install of windows xp tablet but when i get to the stage where it asks where i want the operating system installed ie... the HDD. The HDD location is BLANK. ie... No C: drive.

So i left it and thought ok let me reinstall windows 7 which i did. I have tried many many times but i get BSOD c000021a. over and over again.

I have ran a mem test and HDD test and all come back fine. The hdd detects in the bios fine. I have checked bios settings and even tried loading defaults.


In the case of XP, it sounds like your windows install media doesn't have a driver that is compatible with the HD controller. In the case of win7, it looks the same as well. Check their website for hard disk controller drivers and try again.
February 12, 2012 6:59:15 PM

See if there is a setting in the BIOS to change the SATA mode from AHCI to IDE or compatible. If it's set to AHCI (which is usually the default), XP will not be able to detect the drive because it doesn't have the SATA controller drivers included. If you have a floppy drive and have access to the SATA controller driver, you can press F6 at the beginning of XP text mode setup and tell it to look for drivers on the floppy.
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February 12, 2012 7:01:25 PM

lysinger said:
In the case of XP, it sounds like your windows install media doesn't have a driver that is compatible with the HD controller. In the case of win7, it looks the same as well. Check their website for hard disk controller drivers and try again.



Thing is i used a friends copy of XP TABLET designed for the toughbook and that is tried and tested on a toughbook by my friend.
February 12, 2012 7:06:07 PM

extremepcs said:
See if there is a setting in the BIOS to change the SATA mode from AHCI to IDE or compatible. If it's set to AHCI (which is usually the default), XP will not be able to detect the drive because it doesn't have the SATA controller drivers included. If you have a floppy drive and have access to the SATA controller driver, you can press F6 at the beginning of XP text mode setup and tell it to look for drivers on the floppy.


There is no option in BIOS unfortunately as i already checked. Im pretty sure it is set to AHCI. Dont have floppy access either. Never had to do this before.

Any other work arounds?
February 12, 2012 7:15:53 PM

Did you nuke the recovery partition when you formatted the drive (most likely drive D:) ? I've never restored a toughbook, but most computers have a way to recover to factory settings. Usually a special key during POST begins the process.
February 12, 2012 7:37:45 PM

extremepcs said:
Did you nuke the recovery partition when you formatted the drive (most likely drive D:) ? I've never restored a toughbook, but most computers have a way to recover to factory settings. Usually a special key during POST begins the process.


The HDD is wiped now...
February 12, 2012 8:44:38 PM

lysinger said:
In the case of XP, it sounds like your windows install media doesn't have a driver that is compatible with the HD controller. In the case of win7, it looks the same as well. Check their website for hard disk controller drivers and try again.



I can understand XP may not work due to AHCI but W7 should still work surely?
February 12, 2012 8:58:32 PM

Not sure what else to try other than pull the drive and try to format it from another system. Best to use diskpart and the clean option. Then put it back in the laptop and try installing 7 again.
February 12, 2012 8:59:52 PM

Yeah i will do that but again not easy to remove from this machine.

I had a thought and ive been trying to install w7 ultimate.... This machine only has manufacture drivers for xp tablet and W7 pro... So im just going to get hold of W7 pro and try that....
February 14, 2012 12:41:18 AM

j4g3d said:
I can understand XP may not work due to AHCI but W7 should still work surely?


There are IRRT drivers on the Panasonic site. Is your win7 media from MSDN, Panasonic OEM, or other? They may not have it despite Win7s large collection of storage drivers. Download them and give them a shot. A restore DVD from Panasonic may be your best option.

I like ExtremePCs Idea a lot of reformatting the HD in another PC. If it were me, I would put the HD in another PC install win7 (and not activate it) on that PC and then put it back in the toughbook and see what happens. Make sure you have the Panasonic IRRT drivers copied, extracted, and in a folder on that HD to boot it into safe mode if it still BSODs

Speaking of that, have you booted this PC into safe mode with win7? I didn't see you mention it
!