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How do I initialize a 1.0 T WD Hard drive?

Posted on 2012-12-26
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Last Modified: 2012-12-26
Windows 7 professional 64 bit
Gigabyte GA EX58-UD5
i7CPU 920@2.67Ghz 2.66 Ghz
Gskill Ripjaw f3-8500CL7S-4gbrl DDR3-1066 PC-8500 4gbx1 spd cl7-7-7-1 8 1.5v
24 gig ram 6x4
Nvidia EVGA Geforce GTX 680


I re installed windows on a new hard drive.  I'm connecting the drives that I used before the clean install and i'm adding them one at a time to identify them and make sure they work ok.

This first one I connected and widows said the drivers were installed and device ready to be used. I didn't see the drive. I rt clicked on Computer to Manage. This message popped up:

"You must initialize the disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it. "

It shows as disk 1. it is checked and my options are MBR or GPT I highlight either one and click but nothing happens. It still says Unallocated and not initialized.  What do I do?

Thank you
Art
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Question by:artismobile
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by:IanTh
ID: 38721114
you have to allocate a partition first
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38721119
I agree, in Computer Management, Disk management, you need to allocate a partition first. If it had one before, it might have gone corrupt and now it's not usable by Windows.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721126
It is an old disk that was in the computer before. I don't see the option to alocate in Computer, Management, DIsk Management.  I see Refresh, Rescan, create VHD attach VHD. Am I looking in the right area?
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38721132
In Disk Management, left click the new drive, right click and select Initialize or Partition. You might need to rescan first.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721141
When I do that, the only option I have is initialize, even after I rescan. I'm going to connect the other drive and see if it just a problem with this one
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 38721216
Assuming the drive has been wiped (e.g. you wrote zeroes to it with Data Lifeguard or some other utility);  then when you go to Disk Management you should get a pop-up that says the drive has to be initialzed -- like you're seeing.

This is NORMAL if you've zeroed the drive ==> after you click on Initialize the drive has been initialized, but does not yet have any partitions, so it will show all of the space as  "Unallocated".

You can select either partition table type (MBR or GPT), but unless the drive is larger than 2TB I'd choose MBR.    THEN, after it's inialized, it will show as "Unallocated".   You simply right-click in the graphics display where it shows Unallocated;  choose "New simple volume";  and create a new volume (partition) for the drive.    Then you'll be able to use it.
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by:garycase
ID: 38721218
... By the way, did you use Data Lifeguard to zero the drive before you went to Disk Management?
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721273
No, I didn't use Data Lifegaurd...not knowingly. :-)
I did connect the other 5 drives disk mgt. sees them but only 2 show when I click computer. The others say they need to be initialized. When I go through the process, it won't. I have the option MRB and GTP but it won't do it.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721325
Disk 0  C: Operating drive

Disk 1  E:  Primary partition shows in computer screen as empty. Think that's my new one.

Disk 2  F:  Active, Primary Partition shows in computer screen, one of my old drives

Disk 3  On line, Unallocated

Disk 4  Not initialized Unallocated

Disk 5   I don't even see this one. It's in the computer. Maybe I didn't connect it right.

I just partitioned Disk 3 now it's G: and ready to use.

But still when I try to initialize Disk 4, nothing happens
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721347
Disk 4 comes right up after Computer, rt click, Manage, Disk Management...it goes right into Initialize disk but it won't initialize.

Also, How can I tell which drive in my computer is the one that's not showing?
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garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 38721381
Okay, if I understand this correctly, there's NO data on the old drives you need to keep [i.e. it's all either backed up or simply not needed]  -- is that correct?

If so, then first unplug ALL of the old drives -- so the system has ONLY the new drive connected;  and confirm that all is working well.

THEN do as I suggested in one of your other posts:  download Data Lifeguard for Windows [the download here is fine:  http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=608&sid=3&lang=en ]

Now run Data Lifeguard, and note ID string of your new disk [Model Number and Serial Number columns].    This is just to be CERTAIN you know which disk is your new one.

Shut down and connect your old disks;  then reboot.    Run Data Lifeguard again; and this time select each of the old disks (one-at-a-time) by highlighting it and clicking where it shows to click to run tests.    Be CERTAIN you have not selected the new drive -- and then select Write Zeroes.    You'll be warned about existing partitions -- but go ahead and zero the disk.    If you don't want to wait for a full clearing of the disk, you can do the "quick" zeroing (this will zero all the key areas and make the disk look new -- but a full zeroing will write zeroes to the entire disk and ensure it's completely clear of any old data).

Do that for all of the old disks => then go to Disk Management and initialze them as prompted;  then create new data volumes.

Note that a full zero of a modern high-capacity disk will take a few hours -- so to do this on 5 drives will likely take more than a day.   [The "quick" zeroing just takes a couple minutes -- and is realistically all you need to do here, unless you want to be SURE there's no residual information that could be recovered from the drives.]
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 38721385
... one other thought:   You may want to make a note of the serial numbers on the drives (it's on the drive's information sticker) so you know exactly which physical drive you're dealing with at any given time.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721407
I think I narrowed it down.  I thought I could touch each drive to see which one was cooler to possible tell if that was the one that wasn't working, but they are all warm.

The Operating drive is a Velociraptor 1 T

I have one drive that is another Velocitraptor 1 T

One drive is a WD Caviar Black 1T

One is a WD Caviar Black 2T
One is a WD Caviar Black 2T
One is a WD Caviar Black 2T

I disconnected one of the 2T and it didn't change anything so I know which one isn't powering up or not connected to the MB correctly.  I still have the one disk (now showing as Disk 2) that will not initialize. It is a 1T one. Don't know if its the velociraptor or the Caviar Black 1T
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 38721415
Note the serial numbers of each of your drives so you KNOW which drive is which when you're looking at them with Data Lifeguard, HDTune, etc.

And be CERTAIN which one is the new one that you just did the reinstall on !!!    The safest way to be absolutely positive is to physically disconnect ALL of the other drives -- so it's the only one connected.

... then do what I suggested above using Data Lifeguard => that will effectively make every drive a "new" drive that you'll need to initialize, partition, and format before you can use it.

One other thing:  be sure ALL of the SATA ports are enabled in the BIOS.    If you're not "seeing" one (or more) of the drives, that's likely the problem.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721461
Ok, I missed the instruction from the other post.  I have been posting a lot!
I'll do what you just listed and post back in a few. I do have one drive that I would like to keep but I'll set that aside for now.  It did show when I installed it.

Thanks! I'll give it a try!
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 38721472
does your motherboard have multiple sata controllers I have seen these and if you dont enable say both then the sata ports connected to the disabled controller dont function
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721484
BTW
BIOS says
SATA RAID.AHCI MODE    DISABLED
SATA PORT 0-3 NATIVE MODE DISABLED
Don't see anything else about sata.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721492
Ya know, that drive that doesn't work is connected in the same area of the motherboard where that external SATA doesn't work either.  Hummm.  Think I could just move them both to the last set of connections on the board and they would work?  Picture follows
2.jpg
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721678
The last drive is taking way too long on a quick Media scan test. it bounces between 35 min and 36 min.  The others scanned and zeroed. It wasn't listed at the others either. Says performance (IED) with the wrong serial number showed 2T when it's only 1T
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by:garycase
ID: 38721711
"... the drive that doesn't work is connected in the same area of the motherboard where that external SATA doesn't work either ..."  ==>   Note what I said earlier:   "... be sure ALL of the SATA ports are enabled in the BIOS."

Your board has both chipset-based and a 2nd set of SATA ports provided by another controller (the "GSATA" ports).     If you don't have the 2nd set enabled; then anything connected to those ports won't work.    I don't have a Gigabyte board here to look at;  but if I recall correctly the GSATA ports are enabled in pairs within the "Integrated Peripherals" section of the BIOS.   Look for GSATA 6/7 and GSATA 8/9 settings -- be sure the controller is Enabled for both of these.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721719
Yeah, Something is wrong with that hard drive. No wonder it would not initialize. It would not quick test (Taking too long) and windows gave me a hard drive error. Don't know which one but I guess it's that one. I'm just going to use it for a door stop to keep my porch door from flying open in the winter time. *grins* Probably the cause of many other problems I have had.
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721757
Yes, I checked the BIOS and I believe it is fine. I can't get that drive to work in a docking station with this laptop. I gotta think it was the drive since, I have a clean and new C; drive with new windows, E: drive 2T, F: drive 2T G: drive 1T Raptor and I even got that old 300 gig Raptor from my old OS to work! All clean and ready to work.  I think I'm happy!
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 38721793
Sounds like you're back in business :-)

... and with a nice new high-performance video card as part of the deal !!     (Nice Christmas present)
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Author Comment

by:artismobile
ID: 38721919
Yes! it is truly a blessing.  You know what I have been through!
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