Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you a
Computer / IT professional?
Join Tek-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Tek-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?

How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?

How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?

   I seem to have run into a curious problem. I have messed around wit my SATA hard drive by enabling and disabling RAID function on my nForce4 mobo. Although my hard drive is a 160 GB Hitachi Deskstar SATA disk, it seems to report only 137 Gigabits in BIOS and hence in Windows as well, due to my messing around. It's all in this thread http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=1170976&page=1

   Thinking that my "messing around with RAID" has hacked the bootsector of this SATA drive, I have now decided to backup the data to my other IDE hard disk and do a low level format. I used the software from Hitachi site to do this. I tried "erasing the disk" and "erase boot sector" options. Even after a successfully completed low level format ( as reported by the Hitachi software ) I still cant get the original size of my SATA hard disk. It still says that the hard drive is 137.44 Gigabits in size ? What is worng here ? What should i do about it ? Anymore low level format tools to try ?

Pleas help !


RE: How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?


As you know I have been following you post. Rereading it I think that I & other might have missed something.

You report that the HD was at full cap "before" and now at 128.

Haave you reinstalled win XP?

If so have you applied SP1 at a minimum.

SP1 has been reported to be required for large HD access.

If you have this aervice pack applied then you are back to still having a problem

"I know everything..I just can't remember it all"

RE: How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?

No the thing is rvnguy, this SATA hard drive worked correctly when I set this up for the first time. Meaning it got detected at 153 GBytes capcity in Windows Disk Management and 164 GBits in BIOS iniitally. I used to run Windows XP (32 bit) with SP2 then without any problems ! And it was only when i got a copy of Windows 64 bit and I wanted to try it out on ma AMD64, I had to let my system boot using the DVD Writer, which was unfortunately a total mess up with BIOS.

 Following this soup with RAID and BIOS as mentioned in my other post I have noticed that the hard drive reports only 128 GBytes in Windows Disk Managemnt and as 137.44 GBits in BIOS, currently.

   Forget the RAID mess I have done. Now I am prepared to low level format my SATA hard drive and recover the lost space, which is 153 Gigabytes in full capcacity as recorded when I built this system initially about 6 weeks back. Tht's the sole intention of posting this problem on a new thread . I did the formatting once and also erased the boot sector as per the Hitachi DFT software. But still the BIOS reports the same 137 Gigabit capcaity. I've even tried resetting the BIOS ermoving the batt and shorting the pins. But that hasn't helped either. I have also used "write zeros" function using Western Digital Data Lifegaurd software. Even that hasn't helped either. Im goin to try using Partition Magic, maybe it would detect something at least.

   And also, I dont see why we should check if it is a Windows error. I mean if the BIOS also reports a loss in capacity that is 137 GBits, why shud we bother to check if it's a Windows error. Also I shud mention that I screwed and played around with the BIOS during the same installation of the previous 32 bit Windows XP SP2 and the change in size or cacpatiy occured just instanlty, i.e. i didn't reinstal;l windows for it to occur.

PLEASE I want to get this thing over during the weekend itself, therefore i really apprecitae your help and concern.

Thanx in advance.

RE: How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?

Thanx Franklin,
    Yes I used Drive Fitness Test from the Hitachi site u've mentioned. Thats the "software" I mentioned above, and I used both erase disk and erase boot sector. It aint working. I have used other software like Western Digital's Data Life Guard and did a write zero to end and begiining of the drive. Still nothing. Tried using MaxBlast from Maxtor but doesnt work due to nForce4 chipset. sad ( cos the only successful LowLevel Format I had done was using that and it worked excellently on both Maxtor and a Quantum hard drive )

    I am exhausted with this exercise and am taking this Hard Drive to the store to see what they would say. If u are curious to see the model number and all that stuff, u can see them @ http://img212.imageshack.us/img212/6676/picture0061wp.jpg

thanx again for replying.

RE: How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?

What is the exact make and model of your motherboard?

RE: How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?

Put it in another computer, and try formatting it.  it might be a limit of your BIOS.

2006 Microsoft Valued Professional (MVP)

RE: How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?

Try to zero fill the drive, there should be a urility to do that on the Hitachi website. This will fill your drive with zeros and overwrite any info whatever. Then try to reformat the drive. This should work ok and give you your old capacity. I also had funny things happening but a zero fill did always solve the problems. If you still have problems "unlikely" resett the bios to standart values. Try this and advise.
Good luck


RE: How do I low level format a Hitachi SATA disk ?

Well GUYS,

   Im so relievd and happy to say that I've resolved this problem. Well after all that messing with the mobo and bios settings I went and gave my hard drive to the shop i bought it from. After their inspection, they said that they cant "repair" it and gave me a raplecment with the same capcaity. It's a SATA Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 drive with the one platter 160 GB disk.
    Well I aint excatly happy with the replacmemnt cos when i cam home and chkd on the net the Hitachi has an 8.5 msec seek time compared to Seagate's 11 msec seek time. Except for that the drives are almost similar in performnce with the Seagate givin less heat ( it dint burn my finger when i touched it like the Hitachi used to ).

    Well as far as this thread has gone, i wanna thank all of u for helping me out. Im still wondering what could hav gone wrong. This is the first time I hav heard a hard drive actually "shrink" in capacity yet report no errors. Well it did report an error once, now i remember, saying that the G: drive ( which is the partition that shrunk ) had some unlinked record or something like that. And Windows fixed that up right there in Scandisk. It was after this incident that the hard drive started to show a reduced capacity.

And Jurgen, I did a write zero twice - using the original Hitachi tools and then using the Western Digital Data Life Guard. Im quite surpirsed how a hard drive could hav limited itself to a smaller capacity jus like that. It seemed to me as though the disk arm + head cudnt phycically move beyond a certain cylinder and that caused the limitation. Well thats jus a wild thought.

     As dglienna said I shud hav plugged the hard to another mobo and seen what was the result. Now as I think about it, I pity my mobo for goin thru all those frustrated restarts and hasty and unstable BIOS changes. Well after all it was the hard drives fault ... damn !  

catch u later folks,

thanx again.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Tek-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Tek-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Tek-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Tek-Tips and talk with other members!

Close Box

Join Tek-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical computer professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Tek-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close