External drive, cannot format

was asked to blow the drive off and copy another to it

its extremely slow to register,

linux will not mount it claims another program is using it

windows is even slower to register it but eventually does,and you can ever so slowly open the folders on it, windows can access the files on it but extremely slow, ( claims 3hrs 14 minutes to copy 134mb ( it has 659gb onboard, all I want to do it blow it and start again, windows claims it cannot format it

hdd low level format cannot even find it

partitioning programs cannot find it ( thinking just smack the partition and create new one/s

diskmanagers fail to find it

its a WD Elements 1tb external ( usb3? ) ( double usb plug on drive )

any ideas?

love to have 1tb of blank raw disk but can't even achieve that

geek_skin1235, May 19, 9:03 pm



Its so it gets enough power to run. One usb doesn't supply enough juice.

geek_ross1970, May 19, 9:09 pm

use diskpart from the command line

geek_ross1970, May 19, 9:11 pm

geek_wayne416, May 19, 9:12 pm

geek_bwg11, May 19, 9:20 pm

WD's external disk formatter won't even see it, WD disktools stalls

geek_skin1235, May 19, 9:33 pm

Had that problem once. Have got a TV with DVR function, plugged it into that and formatted it then into computer and it found it so formatted it again, no problems since.

geek_wayne416, May 19, 9:50 pm


Main problems with slow hdd's are .

Failing control board (on hdd or external controller) . >Replace
Failing cable . > replace
Bad sectors. > Replace hdd
Failing to allocate bad sectors (Called Pending sectors). > Replace hdd
Low Amperage on external usb hdd (hence the need sometimes for 2 usb connectors on same end of cable) . > plug both plugs in.
It's also possible the 2 usb ports together on 1 end of the computer, still can't supply enough power so you need a usb extension cable to draw power from 1 front & 1 back port

The extra plug on a split cable is for combining the AMPS up to 2amps.
It's got nothing to do with voltage most of the time
You know it's an amp error when the hdd will spin up but is hard or impossible to detect.

geek_mrfxit, May 20, 8:00 pm

somehow at some time I managed to bust the partition table, which was part of the plan,
it then allowed me to access the raw drive and build a partition, which is what I wanted

formatting that partition became an issue but eventually completed
surface scan showed huge blocks of bad sectors at the start of the drive, by the time it had got 100mb in it was showing something like 80 bad sectors and indicating a further 4139 hrs to go

about then it hit the bin

a 1 tb 2.5 sata disk is $60, a 2.5 sata enclosure is another $11 with freight

problem solved

geek_skin1235, May 21, 1:21 pm

Thanks for posting the solution/end result. Appreciated and helps us all.

geek_bwg11, May 21, 1:48 pm


LOL, Yea NAH, not going to say it . ;-)

geek_mrfxit, May 21, 1:58 pm

thaat it should've hit the bin 5 days ago, lol

four of those I spent in Welly hosp with mum
and after 4 days there the patience was wearing a bit thin, the patient is fine the patience is not

geek_skin1235, May 21, 2:41 pm

lol my first post in help for situations like this would have been 'bin it, its toast, don't waste your time, etc etc, and thats from me who is quite willing to spend a lot of time trying to recover gear, nah, when it comes to drives being an arse its bin time

geek_skin1235, May 21, 2:44 pm


LOL yep, got a crate of about 150 DOA hdd's sitting here.
All sorts of reasons why & all fatal.

geek_mrfxit, Nov 1, 4:16 am

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