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formatting problems to external harddrive

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I have an external hardrive (I-omega HDD 80) it worked fine for about two years then for some reason it stopped working in the late autumn. By not working I mean it was corrupting files and was working very slowly. The verdict of my IT professional friend was to get everything off of it then reformat it. I got everything off of it with the help of a .bts file he wrote for me.
Now I am unable to format it.

I plug it into my laptop and it shows up no problem. I open my computer right click on it and click format.

the screen pops up, i click ok. then immediately it says windows is unable to complete the task.

Would someone be so kind as to explain to me how to wipe the external harddrive? or would you recommend that I purchase a new one?

thank you very much for your help.

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The question is whether the problem is with the disk or the external case. Personally I would try removing the disk from the container and directly attaching it to the computer and see if it works. If so, then a new case would be in order. If not, then a new disk.
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