Hard drive problems

I have a couple of old IDE hard drives and have succesfully loaded one into a USB caddy and copied all the stuff from it that I wanted.
I have now formatted the disc and it is ready to be used by my brother in law.
The other disc, which has never been dropped, drowned, set light to or blown up, is not playing ball.
Windows 7 and windows XP both recognise it as a hard drive when I connect it, but neither can read it. Windows XP say "The parameter is incorrect.", I can't remember what W7 said.
Neither system can format it either.
It says " you will lose all data blah blah blah", but when I click ok it comes straight back and says "Windows was unable to complete the format.".
I've been into disk management in XP and it is listed as "Dynamic" and "Unreadable". I right click and click on "Convert to basic disk" but this has no effect either.

Any ideas guys?

I have no idea what is on this disk and therefore don't know if I can just bin it or not.



Look for a DOS boot disk that will allow you to scan it in DOS, I use a maxtor tool think Seagate do one as well, if it doesn't see it in DOS it's buggered.

When I say boot disk, I mean CD.
Edited by: "lumoruk" 19th Aug 2010

Original Poster

Something off that "Hirens boot cd" ?

Original Poster

Just burning the "Hirens disk V11.0" ISO file now to see what is on there.

It sounds like the hard drive is failing which can happen without any bangs or knocks. Does it sound like the hard drive is spinning up smoothly or does it sound like a skipping record? If it's spinning up smoothly then you've a better chance of data recovery but bear in mind the more time you spend trying, the more likely the drive is going to get worse and possibly fail entirely. If possible, use a file recovery utility to get an image of the drive (not a standard one like Acronis) and then work from the image rather than the hard drive itself.

There's obviously a lot of different file recovery utilities out there, personally I've had good results from File Scavenger which isn't free although there's a free trial that will let you see what files it can find on the drive.


Original Poster

Drive is spinning smoothly and is not making any noises.
Sounds perfectly normal.
File recovery programs are useless 'cos the disk isn't recognised as being a valid format. ( And formatting doesn't work either. ).

Checkdisc doesn't work, again, 'cos the disk isn't recognised.

Can't format it using any of the options for file systems or quick format or not.

It's beginning to look like it is heading for the bin.
I usually backup any important files like photos and can only assume I have done so on this drive somewhere.
What is worrying me is, I have no idea why this drive was laying around and not in a pc.
Come to think of it, I've no idea why the disk that I could read was lying around either.

Must stop staying up too late at night, seems to be affecting my memory.

Try Dban and see if that recognises it.

Get a friend with a MAC to format it for you - I've had disks that Windows wouldn't see as a "proper" disk - it would be aware of them but not allow me to do anything with it, but formatting it with a MAC sorted it out.

I've used this low level format and recertify tool (Free) hddguru.com/sof…ol/

After using that, you have to set up partitions and do a Windows format using the Windows disk management facility in Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Storage/Disk Management(Local)


Drive is spinning smoothly and is not making any noises.Sounds perfectly … Drive is spinning smoothly and is not making any noises.Sounds perfectly normal.File recovery programs are useless 'cos the disk isn't recognised as being a valid format.

File recovery programs don't need to see the disc as a valid format - that's why you use a file recovery program in the first place. Just yesterday I recovered most of the data from a drive with identical symptoms as you've mentioned, the drive wouldn't mount and no standard tools could see anything on the drive but the recovery program managed to pull back most of the data.


try easeus using xp. If it can see the disc, rewrite the MBR using the tool in the menus and then try again.

Try UFS Explorer

Boot from a linux live CD - shouldn't have any problems doing stuff to it then

Also, could be the caddy and drive don't play nice. Try changing jumper settings etc. too...
Edited by: "bez" 19th Aug 2010

Original Poster

Tried a few disk recovery programs that I already had.
All were no good.
Tried a few more from the interweb.
Again no good.

Tried EASEUS as suggested by 059 and it was brill.
Got back a few photos that I wanted to keep.
Loads of other stuff on the drive was found but nothing there that I needed or hadn't already saved.
Great utility.

Disk was still stuffed so used Fluffykins low level format tool.

Disk is now sitting in landlords PC running Vista ( First time I've seen Vista ) and controlling his 360 Gb music mp3 collection that he paid an arm and a leg for and which crashed and now I'm the local saviour.
His disk has virtually every artist that ever was on there.
I might have to get a copy for myself.
Edited by: "Jumpingphil" 1st Sep 2010
Post a comment
    Top Discussions
    1. A Nigerian prince and bit coins scam23
    2. Sad news about Barcelona2077
    3. Just heard this...2 ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ congrats to all on 392k ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★7764100
    4. How dangerous is Donald trump?911

    See more discussions