• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

XP Setup Cannot Format Drive

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Apostle of Hip

Feb 20, 2002
Potsdam, NY
If I could get a hand with this, it would be fantastic.

Each time I attempt to run the windows XP setup (I have
tried both the full and upgrade versions), I recieved an
error saying that Windows could not format my hard drive
and that it may be damaged. The drive is a Western
Digital 40gig. I know it works from previous use. After
going to WesternDigital.com and downloading their
diagnostic software I ran three tests on the drive, one
of which took 6 hours (with a 1Ghz chip!). After these
tests, I am still finding the same error.

Some things that I have attempted already:
-The WD software reset the drive to zeros
-I have tried the quick format, a full format and the leave file system intact options in Windows setup
-I have attempted to access the drive by using a floppy boot disc and getting there through DOS, but again, it was not recognized.

[email protected]


Forums Super Moderator
Feb 20, 2001
Hi and welcome to the forums.

Try using a DOS boot disk and formatting it manually as FAT32. Then install onto that partition.


Very kind Senior
Mar 13, 2002
Greensboro NC
Try a FDISK /MBR to clear the master boot record first using a DOS boot disk. Once that completes, try FDISKing and creating partitions followed by formatting in Fat32. If that fails, try the killsec app from jay in this thread, http://forum.oc-forums.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=76953 , and try again with FDISK and formatting. If that still fails, I have another app that may clear the HDD that I can email.


Jan 20, 2002
I had a friend that had a similar problem. XP would format it up to ~97% and then fail. What we did was partition the drive in half (20/20) and then setup WinXP on the first drive. There was no problem with formating the first half and I haven't heard back so I assume the second half was fine formated on its own.

I had another simmilar problem just recently. I bought a refurb dual proc machine. When I tried to install Win2k on it the format would immediatly fail. I low level formated it and error checked it. The error check found a bunch of bad blocks at the end and started correcting them, I got impatient and canceled it. Back in the Win2k setup I partitioned it into ~8gig and 500megs. (9gig scsi drive). Windows then had no problem formating EITHER partion, although I haven't checked the integrity of the second one again.