07-31-2010 01:18 AM - edited 07-31-2010 05:53 AM
I have a Windows XP home edition PC with SP2 installed.
A week ago I purchased 2 x Western Digital Elements 2TB External Hard Drive Hi Speed USB.
The drives came pre-formatted, but I wanted to make sure they were ok so I tried to reformat them.
In 'my Computer' the drive showed with an assigned drive letter and showed about 1.80TB of free space.
I right clicked on the drive and selected FORMAT, to start off I selected NTFS and QUICK FORMAT.
After a few moments an error message appeared: "Windows was unable to complete the format".
So, I decided I would do a long format (so it would format the drive and check for errors at the same time).
I usually do this with a new drive, never had a problem before, but I usually buy Samsung Story Station 1.5TB drives.
After 6-7 hours the format had finished and again the error message:
"Windows was unable to complete the format" appeared.
I have tried using windows "diskmgmt.msc" to format the drive, it shows up as healthy,
but after another 6-7 hours the error message appears again.
I have so far tried 5 times and it's getting very annoying and time consuming.
Does anyone know whats wrong and how to solve it?
I've tried WD site and found nothing that helps, as a last resort I thought I'd try the forum.
I've given myself the weekend to get them working, otherwise they are going back for a refund on Monday.
** update **
I've now tried to format 1 of the drives using an up to date Windows 7 Home Premium edition laptop and still get an error message!.
Solved! Go to Solution.
08-04-2010 01:46 AM
I have exactly the same issue. I download ExtFat32_v2.00.zip utility from WD website and still can not manage to format my 2TB HDD !!!!
I get this message:
Error: Drive size is too small or not supported. (WD1021USBDevice)
So what should I do next?
09-16-2010 04:35 AM
09-16-2010 09:15 AM
This also worked for me just now on a 1TB Elements Drive. I have been struggling with this for a couple of days. and eventually got to the point where the drive would be recognised by windows but couldn't be accessed at all. Kept saying that the drive needed formatting and then stopped with the error that it was probably 'read only' so couldn't be formatted.
09-17-2010 11:32 AM
In case you may be missing a step, you can check this Knowledge Base article out:
12-08-2010 12:49 PM
I also had the same problem. I search the net for a few hours with no luck. I was messing with the drive under Computer Management and fixed it.
What I did...
Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management
I right clicked on my 2tb hard drive and deleted the partition.
I then right clicked it again to repartition it back to full size and ran a quick format.
Now it works fine. No problems.
I hope this helps someone else.
By the way, I have a WD 2TB External Harddrive. Dell computer running Windows XP SP03.
12-24-2010 11:47 PM
Same problem, self-built computer, Windows XP SP3, WD Elements 2TB.
Execute diskmgmt.msc, delete the volume on your not-working external hard drive ("Delete partition" probably, but I'm working with the Dutch version of Windows XP) and allocate a new partition (NTFS, standard cluster size, surely activate "quick formatting" TO SAVE A LOT OF TIME!).
I have just followed these steps and everything seemed perfect, so I copy-pasted some documents, which are being transfered at this very moment - and it works! Hopefully it stays like that.
01-05-2011 05:39 PM
Hey bill, I have spoken to a few Ubuntu users having issues with this drive, and it appears you are shipping drives with a broken format. The partition table and NTFS boot sector claim that the partition is a few sectors larger than the drive is. This causes attempts to mount it under linux to fail, and windows can not reformat it. Deleting the partition and recreating it fixes the problem because when you recreate the partition, it is sized to fit within the drive.
My guess is that you guys format the drive, then slap it into the external USB enclosure, which, for some reason, reports the drive size is slightly smaller. Either that or you formatted an engineering test sample and have been copying that image to production models, which have a slightly smaller size to accomodate the spare sector pool. Please look into this.
01-05-2011 05:50 PM
Thanks for posting this. I've also noticed that people who swap the drive between different OS seem to have more problems, also people who unplug the drive alot. I've wondered if it was do to the minor difference in NTFS format of XP and Vista and later. Could the smaller size be from the virtual CD? Did you send Bill PM on this? It would be a good idea.