Windows 10: Cannot Format my External Hard drive

Discus and support Cannot Format my External Hard drive in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware to solve the problem; When I plug my external into my pc it tells me it's unable to use and to format the drive. So I try to do so, and Windows tells me that there's a... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware' started by invictus, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. invictus Win User

    Cannot Format my External Hard drive


    When I plug my external into my pc it tells me it's unable to use and to format the drive. So I try to do so, and Windows tells me that there's a program using the external drive.

    I attempt to format anyway since I know there's no programs using the drive, and after a minute the formatting comes to a stop and I get a message saying it's unable to format.

    I've tried formatting it via 'This PC' and DIsk Management in Windows 10. Tried Quick Format as well and nothing is progressing.

    Help is much appreciated.

    :)
     
    invictus, Sep 25, 2015
    #1
  2. Time Lady Win User

    Xbox One reformatted my USB Drive.

    I have found that sometimes other devices will format an external hard drive or flash drive to it's own file format which cannot be read by other devices. I connected a hard drive to my TV & that is no longer seen by my laptop.
     
    Time Lady, Sep 25, 2015
    #2
  3. RichMock Win User
    External Hard Drive Connection after Dish transfer

    I used my external hard drives to transfer movies between Dish receivers. I know it reformatted the drive to do this. Now when I reconnect to my Windows laptop I cannot see it in File Explorer. Is my external hard drive now Dish only? How do I get
    it back to Windows format?
     
    RichMock, Sep 25, 2015
    #3
  4. Cliff S New Member

    Cannot Format my External Hard drive

    Try rebooting and immediately after it get's to your desktop, format it.
     
    Cliff S, Sep 25, 2015
    #4
  5. If Disk Management shows the drive as RAW, that often means that the drive has suffered hardware failures -- and it might not be recoverable.

    You could try downloading and installing the Minitool Partition Wizard tool and seeing if it will reformat the drive -- but if the drive is having hardware failures, that's not going to work, either.
     
    Mark Phelps, Sep 25, 2015
    #5
  6. invictus Win User
    Tried this and still get the same thing. "Windows was unable to complete the format."


    It does display as RAW in Disk Management. If this is the only solution I'll try it I guess. This problem didn't start occurring until I did something to the drive in Disk Management months ago. I only now developed the urge to finally solve this issue.
     
    invictus, Sep 26, 2015
    #6
  7. You can recovery data from a drive indicated as RAW (in some cases), you just have to use data recovery apps as Windows won't read it.

    The best app I've used recently is Active@File Recovery Pro. It's free to download and try out, but you have to buy a license for any serious usage of it -- but it's not expensive. When you run it in deepest discovery mode, it's likely to take all night to run -- as it did when I last used it, but it's worth it if it finds and recovers what you want to save.
     
    Mark Phelps, Sep 26, 2015
    #7
  8. Cliff S New Member

    Cannot Format my External Hard drive

    This can also happen when someone disconnects a drive without using the "Safely remove" icon. I can corrupt the beginning of the disk ruining the SVI(system volume information) causing windows to see the disk as RAW(meaning unreadable system partitioning). It's as as if you plugged in an ext.3 or ext. 4 partitioned disk from Linux.

    you could try typing ina command prompt:
    chkdsk x: /f /r –where you replace X as the drive letter
     
    Cliff S, Sep 26, 2015
    #8
  9. invictus Win User
    Launched Cmd as Admin. Put your command in and got this:

    The type of the file system is RAW.
    CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.
     
    invictus, Sep 26, 2015
    #9
  10. Cliff S New Member
    Oh, hmmm, try:


    Right click on Cmd, to RunAs Administrator

    Then type DiskPart
    Then type List Disk - will get a table of disks each with a Disk #.
    Then choose Select Disk n (whatever the disk # is) This disk now has the focus
    Then type Clean All.

    That will remove all partitons, formatting, data, and write zeros to all sectors.

    That should give you a "new" drive that will have to be Initialized, Partitioned, & Formatted.
     
    Cliff S, Sep 26, 2015
    #10
  11. invictus Win User
    Did this and got the following result:

    DiskPart has encountered an error: The drive cannot find the sector requested. See th System Event Log for more information.
     
    invictus, Sep 26, 2015
    #11
  12. invictus Win User
    Also, the drive in Disk Management now doesn't show as RAW. It just shows as Unallocated. Can't see it no more in This PC.
     
    invictus, Sep 26, 2015
    #12
  13. Cliff S New Member

    Cannot Format my External Hard drive

    Using Windows own tools., I'm out of options then. You might have to use the 3rd party tool that Mark already mentioned, or if you have a Linux distro live disk laying around, use Gparted(or down load it here). Get the ISO and either burn it to a USB or DVD and then boot into it. I usually use this. Here's a couple of screenshots of it from my VM, note what the dropdown menus offer:

    Cannot Format my External Hard drive [​IMG]



    Cannot Format my External Hard drive [​IMG]
     
    Cliff S, Sep 26, 2015
    #13
  14. lx07 Win User
    What drive are you trying to use? I have a USB 3 iomega eGo that with Windows 10 completely fails to work. Windows 10 will read from it but not write anything larger than a few KB and can't format it. If I try any big writes explorer hangs and I have to shut down.

    In my case it is the Microsoft UAS driver (version 10240) that is the problem. The Intel one in Windows 7 still works as does Linux and OSX on the same hardware.

    Windows 10 will happily use it through USB 2 but not USB 3 UAS. According to iomega website my drive isn't compatible with windows 8 so this might be your problem also.
     
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Cannot Format my External Hard drive

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