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low level format does not work on Seagate drive

Posted on 2004-09-06
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Last Modified: 2008-03-06
Looking at a laptop, and the previous owner wiped all data clean off it.  Don't know what he used, but he also wiped out the FAT and the MBR.  Fdisk does not work because it does not see a drive, ditto for linux file utilities.  It is a seagate ultra ata (ST94011a) drive in a 1.4 ghz laptop.  Tried seagate drive utilities, and it sees the drive, but reports bad sectors.  It reports that there is no MBR.  I tried to low level format, but it does not start.  Any way I can bring this drive back?
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Question by:queira
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12 Comments
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Dynamic1
ID: 11992843
Try a win 98 bottdisk and set partition drive to active http://www.bootdisk.com
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:complexymetron
ID: 11992877
Hi!

If there's no hardware error, fdisk should work properly: you just have to create at least one new partition. The missing MBR shouldn't be a problem, because fdisk creates a new one.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:TheTinkeringToad
ID: 11993090
Yep very true ive never seen a drive that did not have problems unable to do this.
You need to create a partition.
If you try to format without a partition it doesnt know what to do. If you are trying to install a os it should create the partition for you as you go through the process of where to install it.
If you only have one drive the os install utility will ask you how much space on the drive you want to use for the active os partition.
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Author Comment

by:queira
ID: 11993277
It does not even let me get into fdisk, let alone set an active partition.  
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:TheTinkeringToad
ID: 11993291
Im sure you did this but try again anyways. Make sure that the drive is connected correctly. Also make sure that the power hook up to the drive is connected. Once this is done make sure you see that the drive starts on bootup either via some sort of led or maybe even noise that your drive is powering up. Sounds more like the drive is not being detected by the mobo.
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Accepted Solution

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Dynamic1 earned 500 total points
ID: 11993696
queira with the bad sectors and what you are describing bring the drive back. It is no good or one thing is for sure it is on its way out anyway. Bad sectors indicate its going to be shot soon if it isint already.
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Expert Comment

by:Gaud-wo
ID: 11995622
What error do you get when trying to get into FDISK then?

Glenn
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:crazijoe
ID: 11995984
Dynamic1 is correct. If the HD has bad sectors, it could be on its last leg and on it's way out. I probably wouldn't wast my time with it. I don't think you can low level format a drive with bad sectors. I have tried this in the past and when head gets to that sector it will just hang and not do anything.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Gaud-wo
ID: 11996182
The bad sectors can be flagged as non-usable with the mfg's tools, though both above are right - you can never recover bad sectors, and once some appeared more will come along.

Check if it's still in RMA period on their website?

Glenn
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Expert Comment

by:tomschiller
ID: 11996351
Try to reset your bios or at least re find your drive in bios set to USER not AUTO.

use this tool

http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/drivers/discwiz.html

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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:kiranghag
ID: 11997442
first of all make sure that the bios can see it..
if your cmos setup or bios bootup screen shows the hdd as detected, it could be your boot disk problem (virus on it, as well as your hdd)

try with another boot disk...
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Author Comment

by:queira
ID: 12119817
Yup, it has had it. (Sigh) Thanks, though!
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