I have experienced that problem before with an early 8Gb Maxtor drive
of mine (now a dead drive). I found out that it has sustained physical
errors which caused formatting to revert over and over again. My drive
will reach a certain percentage of formatting (28%) and then go back
to 7% in a repetitive cycle. Something is definitely wrong. I was able
to confirm the problem using Maxtor software.
Denco's suggestion is a good one and it's worth giving it a try. To
verify your drive's integrity, download the following software from
Stand-alone Disk diagnostic utility
I know that Maxtor has it's own formatting utility. It's been a long
time since I last used Powermax and I can't remember if it has a
formatting option built-in. If it has one, use this option to format
the disks. Just for good measure, you can download Maxtor's formatting
One-step, ATA/IDE hard drive installation utility
MaxBlast 3 will make formatting easier for you. Just remember not to
select the BIOS control option if your motherboard can comfortably
support 200GB and up hard drives.
If in case you confirmed that the drives has sustained bad sectors,
you will need a special utility, such as Norton Disk Doctor, to
identify these sectors and mark them as bad.
I hope this helps you. Should you have any comments/questions, please
feel free to post your clarification before rating this and I'll
attend to you as soon as possible. Thanks for asking.
Clarification of Answer by
25 Mar 2003 09:17 PST
By the way, if the drives are still under warranty and you confirmed
that they have physical errors, return them to your dealer and have
them replaced with new ones.
Request for Answer Clarification by
25 Mar 2003 11:40 PST
The drives came with a disk that contains a program that can be used
to format the drives, but when I use it, it can't find the drives that
are connected through the pci drive controller that came with the
drive. If I connect the drives directly to the system, that program
recognizes them, but only the first 137GB because even though I bought
my latest motherboard 1 or 2 months ago, it apparently doesn't support
drives larger than 137GB.
Clarification of Answer by
25 Mar 2003 12:12 PST
Don't worry. You can still do something about it. I also had that
problem before with my current system. It can't recognize 40GB drives.
I was able to solve it by getting an updated BIOS for my mobo. Now my
old board can read drives up to 100GB. Go to your mobo's manufacturer
website and download the latest BIOS. Just be very careful when
flashing the BIOS and see to it that you follow the instructions
Request for Answer Clarification by
03 Apr 2003 11:18 PST
Ok, it appears to be fixed now, but I went through some travails along
I updated the system bios and afterwards the Win2k server install disc
was able to create a 200GB partition on one of the 200GB drives so
long as it was attached to the mainboard. It wouldn't see it at all if
it was attached to the controller card. Strangely, it said the drive
was a 137GB drive at the top of the install, but in lower part of the
screen where it partitioned and then formatted the drive, it said the
drive was 200GB. It appeared to work.
However, after installing Win2k and setting up a bunch of apps and
connecting to the net, I copied about 100GB of files to the drive.
Somewhere in the middle of the copying, it started to pop up a few
messages saying that fix X couldn't be found then file Y and then a
whole bunch in quick succession. I tried to do a scandisk, but it
wouldn't do it, so I rebooted and at that point the OS couldn't be
found. My guess is that after 137GB it looped and started overwriting
the beginning of the drive.
So, I said screw it, and went to Fry's and got a 120GB drive and
installed Win2k on that. I attached one of the 200GB drives to the
controller card and was able to partition and format it and copy a
bunch of files to it and there haven't yet been any problems.
So, it appears that the ultimate solution was to just use smaller
drives on the mainboard then update the bios and then keep the 200GB
drives on the controller card. I don't know why the bios would have
needed to be updated in order to correctly format the drives when
they're attached to the controller card (I thought the bios only
messed with stuff on the mainboard), but that appears to be the case.
There is still one problem though. It appears that the controller card
is one of those crappy cards that actually shares channels somehow.
So, when I had the cdrom drives attached to the controller card, it
actually stalled the hard drives on the controller card every time the
cdroms were accessed. Furthermore, I currently can't see one of the
drives attached to the controller card. On bootup it says that it
found drives on ULTRA DMA 4, ULTRA DMA 4, ULTRA DMA 6, ULTRA DMA 7,
and ULTRA DMA 8. (I actually put in the other controller card, so
there are actually 2 of those controller cards in there now.)
I don't know why 2 drives are seen as being ULTRA DMA 4. I'm assuming
that's why it can't be accessed. I can see it in the computer
management console in the list of drives, but it says it's
In the disk list, the drives on the controller cards are seen as SCSI
devices apparently. The 2 interfering drives are both seen as being on
SCSI (Port 2, TargetID: 0, LUN: 0). The rest are on other SCSI ports.
Any idea why? Both of the ULTRA DMA 4 devices are on the same IDE
cable and I know I have the master slave stuff correct.
Clarification of Answer by
03 Apr 2003 12:15 PST
"Ok, it appears to be fixed now, but I went through some travails
along the way."
In as much as your original question is concerned, I'm glad that the
solution I and the other excellent commentors worked. You have given
the positive sign, so that settles it.
With regards to your new clarification, I'd like to tell you that this
is beyond the scope of your original question and normally, a
researcher will ask a customer to consider posting a new question. I
hope you understand my side regarding this. However, in your case,
I'll try to explain to you briefly some things based on what I know.
"I don't know why the bios would have needed to be updated in order to
correctly format the drives when they're attached to the controller
card (I thought the bios only messed with stuff on the mainboard), but
that appears to be the case."
BIOS means Basid Input-Output System. It is the first program to run
and the first program that controls your mobo so your assumption that
the BIOS only messed with your mobo is incorrect. Without the BIOS,
you won't be able to access your mobo's resources, boot from floppy,
nor install any programs. The BIOS is the most ignored yet the most
critical porgram of a computer system. It needs to be updated to keep
up with new technology especially when installing new components that
are not originally made for that system, such as new and faster CPU's
or, like in your case, bigger HD's. Once updated, the BIOS will be
able to recognize the new components.
"There is still one problem though. It appears that the controller
card is one of those crappy cards that actually shares channels
Not all controller cards are designed to coexist with the original
mainboard components. You should have considered that before you
acquired them. Based on your new clarification, I believe that there
is a slight conflict witt the controller cards and the BIOS. That case
is out of your hand. The last thing you can do is to find a new and
correct IRQ for that controller card. You can do that in the device
manager in Windows.
"Furthermore, I currently can't see one of the drives attached to the
controller card. On bootup it says that it found drives on ULTRA DMA
4, ULTRA DMA 4, ULTRA DMA 6, ULTRA DMA 7, and ULTRA DMA 8."
You need to find the correct connection for your devices.
"I actually put in the other controller card, so there are actually 2
of those controller cards in there now."
2 controllercards?!! You already have problems with a single
controller card. As I said, not all controller cards are designed to
coexist with the original mainboard components. You may need to remove
the other card if you want to iron out the kinks. I believe this is
the reason why you can't see one of the drives. My advice is, if you
want a faster system, don't be too dependent on controller cards.
There are many ways to make your system faster. UDMA 4 is just a few
(1 or 2?) seconds (perhaps milliseconds) faster than UDMA 2 - you
won't really notice the difference.
I hope these additional information will be of help to you. If you
have other questions, you may want to consider posting a new question.
If you would like me to continue assisting you in case you post a new
question, you can include the phrase "for feilong-ga only" in the text
of your question or write "For Feilong only: (your question)" as the
title of your query. Thank you very much.