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When formating HD... I get error message that says "trying to recover allocation unit."

Posted on 1999-07-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Would someone please tell me what's going on with this error message.  I did a fdisk, patitioned & formatted the drive.  During the formatting, I get a message that says "trying to recover allocation unit." (the formatting process is extremely slow)  Once complete, I copy the system files reboot and try to access drive c:, I get an error message that says invalid media.  I don't understand because I just finished reformatting the drive.

Question by:dee43
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Accepted Solution

Stuart_Johnson earned 200 total points
ID: 1871403
Hi there.

This error is reported by DOS when it tries to format a bad sector on the drive.  Your drive is divided into many sectors.  One or more of these sectors has gone bad.  This is usually caused by a surface defect which could have resulted from a) age, b) a sharp know and the heads have hit the disks surface or c) drive failure due to poor quality.

If the drive is still under warranty, I would get it changed ASAP.  Years ago when you developed a bad sector, it usually meant the life of your drive was just about at its end.  Newer drives arent so bad, but I would definately get it replaced as a bad sector can be a real bitch if your OS writes over it (and DOS does it quite often!).

If it is not under warranty, grab yourself a copy of Norton Utilities Disk Doctor and run it regulary - it may prevent the drive from swallowing your data.  It will also warn and try to move data from sectors which become bad later on.  Its a great safety net.

Now, as for your drive not booting anymore, by any chance, would the allocation units be relatively small (like, under 2000?).  If so, it sounds like you have a track 0 error which means the drive is basically RS.  If the drive is not under warranty, visit the manufactures web site and see if you can get a program called Disk Manager by OnTrack.  It lets you define where the partition starts and stops.  You may be lucky enough to beable to move your partition away from the physically bad track 0.  It doesnt let you all the time, but I have been lucky with a couple of drives.

Sorry to be the deliverer of bad news :(



Author Comment

ID: 1871404
I will purchase a new drive (4.3GB) since their so cheap now.  The current drive is 1.6GB.  Thanks for your help.

Expert Comment

ID: 1871405
No problems at all.


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