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Does Reformating Erase?


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#1
Robert Tracy

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External hard drive on restart always goes through the process of checking the file system. This takes hours. Therefore I plug it in only when I'm ready to save a lot of large files to the external drive.

It's a Western Digital "My Book Essential Edition".

Got an External USB/FireWire Fat32 Formatting Utility from WD: http://support.wdc.c...m...=18&swid=34Formatting Utility but not sure this is what I need.

I don't want to end up erasing what I have on the WD.

I did download and run their diagnostics and the drive checks out OK.

I'm not going to try this Formatting Utility until I'm sure.

This problem is rather recent. Can't say if I made any changes that would cause the "checking file system", but I haven't added anything new. No new hardware, or software that I can imagine would cause it.

Thanks for your time and interest in this.

Edited by Robert Tracy, 01 October 2007 - 03:05 PM.

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#2
dsenette

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YES formatting erases and it erases in a way whre you won't easily get anything back from the drive

Check and see if the hard drive is dirty. Please click on START-->RUN and type cmd. In the new window that appears, type fsutil dirty query c: and hit ENTER. If what appears on the screen says Volume - c: IS Dirty, then please do the following:

Please check the following before proceeding:
  • If you have Spyware Doctor installed, uninstall it.
  • If you have ZoneAlarm installed, open it, click the "Overview" tab, then select "Preferences", and UNcheck the "Protect ZA Client" check box.
Click Start, then Run, type cmd in the Open box and click "Ok". At the prompt in the Command window, type the following commands, pressing "Enter" after each one:

Substitute the drive letter for the drive your want to check for the ? in the following commands. Please note the spaces.
  • chkntfs /d ..... (This will reset autocheck options to default...will come back invalid on some installations)
  • chkntfs /c ?: ..... (This will allow checking the specified drive )
  • chkntfs /x ?: ..... (The x switch tells Windows to NOT check the specified drive on the next boot)
At this point, restart your computer, it will not do a chkdsk and will boot directly to Windows.

This next step is important as this is where the Dirty Bit will be unset.

Substitute the drive letter for the drive your want to check for the ? in the following commands.

Click Start, then Run, type cmd in the Open box and click "Ok". At the command prompt, type the following, pressing "Enter" after each one: (Again, note the spaces.)
  • chkdsk /f /r ?: ..... (To manually run a full chkdsk operation on the specified drive)
  • Y ..... (To accept having it run on the next boot)
This should take you through 5 stages of the scan and will unset the Dirty Bit. Be patient...this is a very thorough check and will take quite a while.

Finally, when the chkdsk operation has completed, type fsutil dirty query ?:, press "Enter", and Windows will confirm that the Dirty Bit is not set on that drive.

Reboot again and see if chkdsk still runs on startup. If the machine boots back up to the command prompt, type exit and press "Enter"...it should boot to Windows.
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#3
jaxisland

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Yes a reformat will remove all data.

If this is just extra storage then shutdown the computer. Power off the usb drive. Unplug the usb drive. Reboot computer.
Once windows loads and is up and stable plug in usb drive, turn power on.

What happens?
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#4
Robert Tracy

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Thank you both.

Will do the hard work first. Then what sounds so easy: it is just extra storage.

:)
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#5
Robert Tracy

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I have neither Spyware Doctor installed nor ZoneAlarm and it comes up

Volume - f: is NOT Dirty
.

So I'm guessing the "simple solution".

Thanks again.
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#6
Robert Tracy

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Yes a reformat will remove all data.

If this is just extra storage then shutdown the computer. Power off the usb drive. Unplug the usb drive. Reboot computer.
Once windows loads and is up and stable plug in usb drive, turn power on.

What happens?


I not only did this but I plugged the power source of the WD straight into the wall thinking maybe I had too many things plugged into the surge protector.

Here's what happened: the same.

Sorry I didn't write it all down but it came up "checking file system on F". Then I think I read "FAT 32". :)
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