I cant format a local disc

Daniel Rodgers

New Member
I have 2 hard drives connected to my PC, i'm trying to wipe/format the smaller one so i can use it for long term storage

i right click the drive in my computer and click "format", it pops saying i will lose everything yada yada click okay to proceed

i click okay and without even thinking about the task it says "windows was unable to complete the format"

anyone help me please?
Hi Daniel, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

Download a standalone partition manager like GParted and boot from its CD - you should be able to format it from there without a problem.

GParted -- LiveCD

As Computer Guru said, a partition manager independent from Windows is your best bet. An alternative to the GParted Live CD is to use another Live CD that you may have lying around, such as Ubuntu, which includes a version of GParted.
If you are experienced enough, another solution would be to use the 'fdisk' tool from a Linux terminal. Gotta love it.

A couple of other solutions:
- Use a Windows Install CD such as the Windows XP one. You should be able to either format from the recovery console, or possibly with the installation UI, but not going past the formatting stage (possible?).

- Use a Windows-compatible partition manager. Acronis Disk Director and Norton Partition Magic (unsupported, XP only I think) are popular choices. They often work great because they can apply changes before much of the Windows boot process, and thus there shouldn't be any application or Windows component trying to access the partition.

If you're still having trouble:
- Check your entire disk (not just your partition) for errors and defects. An application like GRC's Spinrite should find and report any problems.
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