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Reformatting HD Hangs/Stops/Crashes/Freezes

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Anonymous
September 7, 2005 11:27:04 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Hi. I'm trying to reformat my 40GB "C" drive which is currently formated
FAT32 with WinXP Pro SP2 installed. I've backed up the drive contents and am
familiar with both methods of reformatting using the WinXP setup CD. I've
tried both:

1) Entering the Recovery Console and using the "format C /fs:NTFS" command,
and

2) Attempting a clean install of WinXP by using the setup program to delete
the current boot/startup partition (the entire C drive), create a new one
(the entire C drive), and format the partition in NTFS (standard, not quick).

THE PROBLEM:
Both methods start, but after about an hour, the formatting progress hangs
at 2%. The hard drive no longer spins and the HD access light remains unlit.
I've left the process in this state for hours just to see if it would pick
up, but to no avail.

FYI, there was nothing really wrong with the system except that it's been
acting slow for several months. Any and all access to the C drive seemed to
be unusually slow. I defragmented and ran Checkdisk before attempting
reformatting and it turned up no problems. This is the first time I've tried
reformatting the drive, and I simply wanted to perform a routine reformat to
start from scratch and hopefully boost performance.

THE QUESTIONS:
1) What could be going wrong with a simple HD reformatting?
2) Are there alternatives to using the WinXP CD to reformat? Perhaps Fdisk
via a Win98SE boot disk? Third-party utilities? Are these options advisable?
3) Is it possible my HD is damaged even though I had full access to it prior
to attempting to reformat it, and even though Checkdisk turned up no errors?

Any advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 10:34:02 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

UPDATE:

Selecting the NTFS (quick) option to reformat seems to work and the WinXP
setup begins.

Unfortunately, yet another bizarre problem occurs. No, the setup doesn't
hang during initialization or device installation (as people often report).
No, setup gets all the way to the "Saving Settings" phase with only minutes
to completion, and then hangs. The hard drive stops spinning and the
"working-indicator graphic" at the bottom right of the screen stops. I have
no choice but to reboot and let setup start over. I have now restarted setup
four times. It hung at the following times remaining: 9, 4, 3, and 3
minutes. Before I left home today, I left setup trying again. I shall see
if it got hung up again shortly.

Also, I tried running chkdsk from the Recovery Console overnight to see if
my HD is damaged. I ran it with the /r switch to find and repair bad
sectors. The process stopped at 64%. Running with the /p switch instead
completed quickly and successfully and did not turn up any problems.

Why is it that almost every procedure I've tried hangs early on (2% for full
HD formatting) or near completion (minutes remaining for XP installation)?

I made a Win98SE startup disk and considered using Fdisk and Format but I
suspect Format will only create a FAT32 file system. Is this correct? I
wanted NTFS.

Please offer your suggestions. I don't think these are very run-of-the-mill
or newbie problems and I consider myself a fairly experienced PC user.
Thanks!
September 9, 2005 1:33:23 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

You might want to consider getting a low level utility (diagnostic/format,
etc.) from the HD mfr. There can be problems with the HD that may have
caused your present and past problems.

"Pokerfish" <Pokerfish@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:EFAF6043-036F-4C12-9A80-C3E3041AF559@microsoft.com...
> Hi. I'm trying to reformat my 40GB "C" drive which is currently formated
> FAT32 with WinXP Pro SP2 installed. I've backed up the drive contents and
am
> familiar with both methods of reformatting using the WinXP setup CD. I've
> tried both:
>
> 1) Entering the Recovery Console and using the "format C /fs:NTFS"
command,
> and
>
> 2) Attempting a clean install of WinXP by using the setup program to
delete
> the current boot/startup partition (the entire C drive), create a new one
> (the entire C drive), and format the partition in NTFS (standard, not
quick).
>
> THE PROBLEM:
> Both methods start, but after about an hour, the formatting progress hangs
> at 2%. The hard drive no longer spins and the HD access light remains
unlit.
> I've left the process in this state for hours just to see if it would
pick
> up, but to no avail.
>
> FYI, there was nothing really wrong with the system except that it's been
> acting slow for several months. Any and all access to the C drive seemed
to
> be unusually slow. I defragmented and ran Checkdisk before attempting
> reformatting and it turned up no problems. This is the first time I've
tried
> reformatting the drive, and I simply wanted to perform a routine reformat
to
> start from scratch and hopefully boost performance.
>
> THE QUESTIONS:
> 1) What could be going wrong with a simple HD reformatting?
> 2) Are there alternatives to using the WinXP CD to reformat? Perhaps
Fdisk
> via a Win98SE boot disk? Third-party utilities? Are these options
advisable?
> 3) Is it possible my HD is damaged even though I had full access to it
prior
> to attempting to reformat it, and even though Checkdisk turned up no
errors?
>
> Any advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
>
!