Can't initialize external HD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iMac39, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. iMac39 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #1
    I had a couple of hard drives that I used in a Belkin network enclosure...by that, I mean they were formatted with some proprietary file system. I removed them from the enclosure and want to use them with a FAT32 file system.

    Problem is that I just cannot initialize or format them. I have attached them to my system with an external drive connection kit.. that includes a power cable and another EIDE to USB cable, that allows me to connect them to the system via the USB port.

    When plugged into my Mac (iMac w/SnowLeopard), the drive never shows as mounted on the desktop; when using the drive utility, the dive does not appear there either. So, I can't initialize or format it.

    I have also tried attaching the drive to several Windows systems (Vista, Win7), and none of them can see the drive either.. so I can't initialize and format from there either.

    Any ideas on how I can salvage these drives?
     
  2. MarcBook macrumors 6502a

    MarcBook

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Jersey, Channel Islands
    #2
    Blimey... It's odd that they don't even appear in Disk Utility. When you say you can't initialise the drives, do you mean they don't even spin up?
     
  3. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #3
    Do you know for a fact that the "external drive connection kit" actually works? Can you try it with another drive that doesn't already have a proprietary file system on it?
     
  4. iMac39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #4
    Thanks for taking the time to read and reply...

    Oh, they spin up ok.. I can tell by the gyro effect when holding the drive in my hand and moving it around.

    In fact, when I attach the drive to a Windows system, it is 'recognized' by the device manager, but it says it cannot be used until it is initialized, but when I try to initialize, it fails.

    I tried it on an old XP system with Partition Magic, and even that did not recognize it.:(
     
  5. iMac39 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 24, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for taking the time to read and reply..

    hmmm.. now that is a good question.. it worked with SATA drives, but I am not sure I ever tried it with an EIDE drive.. maybe I will just open up the system and plug it into an empty drive slot and try that. Unfortunately, I don't have any more EIDE drives to test the kit with.
     
  6. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #6
    Not sure if this would matter or not but, does the drive have any jumpers on it? If so, are they in the correct position for use as an external?
     
  7. iMac39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #7
    Odd.. just tried the other drive, and the Disc Utility said, "This disk is not readable on this computer", which I already knew.. and there was only one option in the dialog box, and that was INITIALIZE. Of course, when I selected it, nothing happens.

    Oh, btw. the jumpers on both drives were the same: Cable Select. Tried moving to Master and Slave: made no difference.
     
  8. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #8
    The only other thing I can think of would be to try rebooting the iMac with the external attached in the hope that it may show up.
     
  9. iMac39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #9
    Ok, I had not noticed that the drive appeared in the left column of disc utility when I selected 'initialize'.. after selecting it, I was able to erase it and format it in Fat32. It is now running a zero pass, which it says will take 3 hours!

    So.. think one of them is working anyway.. will try the other again tomorrow.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  10. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #10
    Glad to hear that something worked. Hopefully you'll have success with the other one as well.
     
  11. iMac39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    #11
    Na, I finally gave up. It started to erase (writing zeros) but failed after about an hour. Retried it several times, with the same result. Finally decided to take the drives into the shop and have someone who knows what they are doing, to see if the drives can be salvaged.

    Never again will I use Netgear and and their proprietary file system. (Yeah, I know I said Belkin in my initial post, but it was a Netgear NAS enclosure.
     
  12. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #12
    Almomst every day some newbie is posting that they cannot initialize an external hard drive. What's the real problem?
     
  13. PaulD-UK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    #13
    Hi
    Usually the problem is that a new partition scheme hasn't been created, and the Options button used to give it an appropriate partition map.
     

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