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SBS 2003: "The format did not complete successfully."

Posted on 2010-11-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a SBS 2003 that I have plugged an external USB WD Drive and went to format the drive ready for backup use. What ever I try receive the following message:
The format did not complete successfully

I have tried not assigning a Drive Letter, a smaller Partition Size, Full/Quick Formats.

I can not use any of the FAT formats as file size will exceed 4GB, so NTFS is my only choice.
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Question by:Flipp
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by:nobus
ID: 34211093
test it on another pc - to check if it is a problem from the SBS or on the external drive
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Author Comment

by:Flipp
ID: 34211128
Thanks nobus, I will be onsite with the Server tomorrow and was going to do this, but hoping to avoid a trip just for this. :-)
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by:nobus
ID: 34211998
you can also test if a FAT format works or not - then reformat to ntfs
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by:Flipp
ID: 34214047
FAT did not work - already tried. I also have tried using format through Command-Line.
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by:nobus
ID: 34215715
and nobody out there can try it on another pc?
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by:Flipp
ID: 34227736
Yes, so it works fine on another computer, so I think I am dealing with either a bad USB Driver or perhaps Windows 2K3 issue.

Any ideas?

Whenever I plug any external storage drive in, the server becomes almost totally unresponsive. Ideally I do not want to do a rebuild of the server, and if so then I need to explain this to the client to why they are paying someone for a rebuild.

So with this in mind, are there are other troubleshooting steps I can do?
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by:nobus
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 34228298
you can always delete all usb entries from device manager, reboot and test, or :
-from Device manager scan for new hardware
-in device manager>view tab, click "show hidden devices" and delete all usb entries and hidden devices,  reboot and test
-then you can download the latest drivers for the chipset, and reinstall it to update the USB root hubs
-start>run>diskmgmt.msc      check if the usb devices show up in disk management, then run :   start>run>services.msc
In the listing look for removable storage service.
If it is set to Auto, and not started, then start it : click the Start link in the top left...
-In c:\windows\inf, look for usbstor.inf    -  If it is not there, you can copy it from another PC..When you find it, right click it and select Install
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by:Flipp
ID: 34375384
Thanks nobus - I will be working with this server in next 10 days so will let you know very soon.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34376772
or try :
Right click Computer > Properties > Advanced System Settings at the left side > in the Advance tab select Environment Variables > in System Variables click New and enter:  "devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices" without the parenthesis and enter 1 for the Value. Click the Ok and Exit.
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by:Flipp
ID: 34509778
I will be reviewing this server this week so will advise back shortly.....
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by:nobus
ID: 34510549
take your time, and post results
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by:Flipp
ID: 34687180
A small delay with getting access to this server in non-business hours. Will advise in next 7 days.
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 34689314
also - if you can remove the disk from the usb case, connect it directly to ide or Sata - and test if it is ok.
you can then also run diags on it; it may have problems; here a bootable diag cd  : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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Author Comment

by:Flipp
ID: 34847647
Disk is fine as I have been able to test it on multiple other computers, but also tried various drives with same result on Server.

I am not sure where to take this now?
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by:nobus
ID: 34849396
>>  Disk is fine as I have been able to test it on multiple other computers  <<   you mean you could access it ?
that can still be a bad drive; when i want  to be sure, i run the diag (and even HDD regenerator on it)
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by:Flipp
ID: 34849437
After I plug the drive in, it is fine for a while then I start getting all sorts of RW errors when backing up to it using SBS 2003 Backup.
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by:nobus
ID: 34851194
>>  all sorts of RW errors   <<   did you run the diag i asked? that will show if it is ok or not
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by:Flipp
ID: 34858899
Will do - I will have the server all to my self offline tonight so will try the diag from UBCD and advise.
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by:nobus
ID: 34859580
ok - waiting then..
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by:Flipp
ID: 34867587
Z: is my external USB ...... any thoughts?


Event Type:      Information
Event Source:      Application Popup
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      26
Date:            11/02/2011
Time:            12:02:18 PM
User:            N/A
Computer:      SERVERNAME
Description:
Application popup: Windows - Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file Z:\$Mft. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


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Author Comment

by:Flipp
ID: 34868761
I ended up plugging a 3.5" drive into IDE from mboard and working fine - not suitable for a backup solution by any means though.

Any other thoughts about onboard USB?

I also tried to add a PCI-USB card in and having issues with it as well.

Grrrrrrr! Damn this custom built server that was handed over to my company!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34868790
it is telling you it has problems with your usb
since you tried a pci card too, look for problems in the event logs, or in device manager
you can also test with another disk -or run the diag, as advised
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Author Comment

by:Flipp
ID: 34868833
The value in spending more time on this issue is not worth the pay off to the client, so we have decided that they are willing to wear the risk of limited backup ..... also made recommendation to them on new hardware/software as this box is such a death trap.

Their Internet is back to dial-up speeds, so there will be no UBCD download to run diag :-)

Thank you for all your help to date - I will award you points.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Flipp
ID: 34868839
Cheers again nobus
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34870188
>>  they are willing to wear the risk of limited backup  <<   not a very wise decision..
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