can't fdisk & format Harddisk

  • zipcl
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My laptop is:TOSHIBA Satellite 1905-S303.
When I run fdisk to create primaly drive, got “write protect error writing fixed disk” message; when I try format it, got “Invalid media or Track 0 bad-disk unusable. format terminated” message.

I did check the BIOS, but can't find that 'Boot Virus Detection'.

BIOS-Security:
User Password Is: Clear
Supervisor Password Is: Clear
Set User Password: [Enter]
(can't modify)
Set Supervisor Password: [Enter] (only this one can modify)
Password on boot: [Disabled] (can't modify)

do you think has a password applied to it preventing access?
if not, do you know any free standing diagnostics can confirm the hard drive is broken? and can I do low-level format? how to do?
Do I have to replace this harddisk? Please help!
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hmm... sounds like it might need either a low-level format or replacing.

You might want to contact Toshiba and see what they say, or do a quick search on Google for "toshiba low level format" (without the quotes).
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

zipcl - welcome to OZZU - I didn't understand how this quote from your post was intertwined with your problem:

Quote:
I did check the BIOS, but can't find that 'Boot Virus Detection'


You didn't mention anything in your initial paragraph about a virus, yet you mention it, seemingly as a side comment. Do you think you have a virus? and if so, what was the status of your computer before and what happened just prior to this problem?
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

P.S...from what I have learned to date...with IDE drives you can't do a low-level format. It might give you messages that seem to indicate that it is doing a low level format but it's not. Leave low level formatting to drive manufacturers... If you ever get to the point when you think that's the solution, buy a new hard drive and start from scratch.
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've done low-level formats on IDE drives before... back in the days of 386 & early 486 machines, I've even seen the low-level format utility right there in the BIOS screen.

Like ATNO says, as a general rule, leave it to the manufacturers, but if you think the drive's shagged, and you need to get a new one anyway, what harm can it do?
  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW wrote:
...with IDE drives you can't do a low-level format. It might give you messages that seem to indicate that it is doing a low level format but it's not.


That would be SCSI drives. Notice how much faster low-level formats are on SCSI interfaces? That's why. :-)

Low-level formats run right through partitions... which makes them a great way to fix unusual partition problems that trip up utilities like fdisk.exe.

As to your problem, I suspect a low-level format may incounter the same error. You did good by guessing the BIOS was attempting to protect partition data, but that's apparently not it. If the low-level format fails, I would suspect a bad disk or some other component of your storage system (e.g. controller).

You may find a low-level format utility in your BIOS. Take a look.
  • stone
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There will be a particular key combination to start the restore feature which will then reinstall the operating system from a protected section on the hard disk. Check toshiba tech support.

Ken
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think this is the answer - particularly if you are on Windows 98 and have been trying to run the format option from the Windows Dos Prompt. You can't do it in the Windows Dos screen. You need to do it in DOS mode. Try either of the two solutions offered here:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=196579
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Also for the record regarding my comment above, this confirms what I was saying that today's drives can't be low-level formatted:

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/geom/formatLow-c.html

(Although older drives can still be low-level formatted, I don't take them into account. The article confirms what I said that "modern" drives cannot be low-level formatted.)
  • downhill
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I got the same error on a Compaq D530. By running IDE DPS Self-Test in CMOS, it indicated a bad hard drive. Replacing the drive solved it.

downhill

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