Reusing a non-dos HD drive

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Bobke57, Nov 20, 2009.

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  1. Bobke57

    Bobke57 Registered Member

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    Hello,
    I am attempting to reuse a hard disk that was formerly used in a dvd-recorder for high definition television, connected to al local cable-television distribution here in Belgium.
    The hard disk drive itself is a Western Digital 3.5" SATA 250 GB drive (WD2500JS - WD Caviar SE), and I would like to connect it as an external drive to my desktop PC, with an eSata connection. I have installed the drive in an external enclosure, that allows both eSata and USB connection.
    I was assuming it would be sufficient to write zero's to the drive, re-initialize and reformat it, but all my attempts were unsuccessfull.
    The WD's tool Data Lifeguard Diagnostics can show SMART disk information, but a Write Zeros command stopped in a cable test, resulting in following error: 11-Cable Test::Read diagnostics sector error!
    Using TestDisk resulted in the following error when I try to delete the existing partition on the disk: Write error: can't clear partition table.

    Can anyone advise what I should try next? Would it make any difference if I put the drive inside my desktop, as an internal drive?
    My desktop is a Vista SP2 32-bit system with two internal HDD of 160 GB. I could replace the second disk with this new one.
    Any help would much appreciated!
     
  2. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    When you connect the external drive to your computer, is it visible in MY Computer? If not, go to Disk Management and see if there is a red cross next to the hard drive, right click and initialize. Then, delete the partitions and reformat. Also, You could try the GParted Live CD to delete the partitions and then format. If GParted does not see the drive, try installing it as an internal drive. Windows Vista would probably recognize it and you could do the partition delete and format in Disk Management. I don't think it would be necessary to write zeros.

    http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
     
  3. Bobke57

    Bobke57 Registered Member

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    Tgell, thanks for your reply.
    No, the drive is not visible in My Computer. When I go to Disk Management and try to initialize it, I get an error message (I don't remember what the error message was exactly, but I will write it down next time). That was the reason why I tried the WD's tool Data Lifeguard Diagnostics and also TestDisk.
    I have been looking at Gparted before, but it seemed very complicated to me, so I did not give that a try yet. But since you do think that that one might work, I guess it is worthwhile to find out how to work with it.
    I will also install the drive as an internal drive, and give you a feedback of the results.
    I was attempting to write zeros because I thought the drive might be password protected.
    Thanks again!
     
  4. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    If your hard drive is password protected, you can try this software. It will not work for external drives though. You will have to connect it internally and try it out. If you use it. All data will be erased. It only works on 32bit systems and there is a charge to unlock. The software will tell you if the drive can be unlocked.

    http://www.hddunlock.com/download/
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  5. Bobke57

    Bobke57 Registered Member

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    When I try to initialize the drive with Disk Management, this was the error message: The request could not be performed because of an I/O error.
    Gparted does not see the drive, even when I install it as an internal drive. Disk Management and TestDisk resulted in the same error messages with the disk as internal drive as before (when it was installed as an external drive with eSata link). And the Vista installation CD gave the following error: Failed to create a new partition on the selected unused space [Error: 0x80042453].
    Apparently there is indeed a special protection on the HDD that cannot be removed, even by writing zero's. Actually there was a keycard used in the dvd-recorder, but I assumed that was only for the connection with the television distribution company. And I understand that they want to protect the content of the drive, but I just want to reformat the drive and recycle the hardware.

    Thanks for your link, Tgell, I will give that a consideration. But I need to decide if I am not better off just buying a brand new drive instead of paying for the unlock. Anyway, many thanks for your assistance!
     
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