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Error formatting external hard drive

1787 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Aug 6, 2009 5:29 PM by Kappy RSS
Mark_Szostak Calculating status...
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Aug 6, 2009 10:34 AM
Hi everyone,
A few months ago I received a Seagate Barracuda 500gb hd and have been struggling with this same issue since. When I try to erase or format it I get an error that says:

"Partition failed with the error:
Input/output error"

It does not show up in finder but it does show up in utilities. I have used the drive on other machines so I know there is not an issue with it. The external enclosure does not have firewire so it is going through usb.

I have seen this issue on the forums with many other people but no one seems to have a final solution.
MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,095 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2009 11:04 AM (in response to Mark_Szostak)
    Since you haven't provided any information on what you've done to prep the drive let me suggest trying the following:

    Extended Hard Drive Preparation

    1. Open Disk Utility in your Utilities folder. If you need to reformat your startup volume, then you must boot from your OS X Installer Disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger or Leopard.)

    2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of the drive in DU's status area. If it does not say "Verified" then the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing. SMART info will not be reported on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

    3. Under the Volume Scheme heading set the number of partitions from the drop down menu to one. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID (for Intel Macs) or APM (for PPC Macs) then click on the OK button. Click on the Partition button and wait until the process has completed.

    4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

    5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, check the button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.

    6. Click on the Erase button. The format process can take up to several hours depending upon the drive size.
    Mac Pro 2.66 Ghz; MBP Unibody; MBP C2D 2.33 Ghz; MBP 2.16 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.7), iMac C2D 17"; MB 2.0 Ghz; 80GB iPod Video; iPod Touch; iPod Nano 2GB
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,095 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2009 11:25 AM (in response to Mark_Szostak)
    Then there may be a problem with your hardware or the drive or the drive's enclosure or your USB cable. Are you bus powering this device or does it have an external power supply? If you have an external power supply but are using bus power, then try using the external power supply. You also should verify that the drive is spinning up when connected.

    If you installed this drive in the enclosure, then check that all the cables are properly seated and aligned.
    Mac Pro 2.66 Ghz; MBP Unibody; MBP C2D 2.33 Ghz; MBP 2.16 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.7), iMac C2D 17"; MB 2.0 Ghz; 80GB iPod Video; iPod Touch; iPod Nano 2GB
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,095 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2009 12:18 PM (in response to Mark_Szostak)
    Well, there are two general possibilities: 1. The computer has a hardware problem of some kind; 2. There's a problem with the OS X installation.

    Suppose you try (if you haven't) booting the computer from your OS X Installer Disc, then using Disk Utility from the installer disc. If this works then it's likely your OS X installation has a problem. This can be solved by reinstalling OS X as follows:

    How to Perform an Archive and Install

    An Archive and Install will NOT erase your hard drive, but you must have sufficient free space for a second OS X installation which could be from 3-9 GBs depending upon the version of OS X and selected installation options. The free space requirement is over and above normal free space requirements which should be at least 6-10 GBs. Read all the linked references carefully before proceeding.

    1. Be sure to use Disk Utility first to repair the disk before performing the Archive and Install.

    Repairing the Hard Drive and Permissions

    Boot from your OS X Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger.) After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list. In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive. If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported, then quit DU and return to the installer.

    2. Do not proceed with an Archive and Install if DU reports errors it cannot fix. In that case use Disk Warrior and/or TechTool Pro to repair the hard drive. If neither can repair the drive, then you will have to erase the drive and reinstall from scratch.

    3. Boot from your OS X Installer disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When you reach the screen to select a destination drive click once on the destination drive then click on the Option button. Select the Archive and Install option. You have an option to preserve users and network preferences. Only select this option if you are sure you have no corrupted files in your user accounts. Otherwise leave this option unchecked. Click on the OK button and continue with the OS X Installation.

    4. Upon completion of the Archive and Install you will have a Previous System Folder in the root directory. You should retain the PSF until you are sure you do not need to manually transfer any items from the PSF to your newly installed system.

    5. After moving any items you want to keep from the PSF you should delete it. You can back it up if you prefer, but you must delete it from the hard drive.

    6. You can now download a Combo Updater directly from Apple's download site to update your new system to the desired version as well as install any security or other updates. You can also do this using Software Update.
    Mac Pro 2.66 Ghz; MBP Unibody; MBP C2D 2.33 Ghz; MBP 2.16 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.7), iMac C2D 17"; MB 2.0 Ghz; 80GB iPod Video; iPod Touch; iPod Nano 2GB
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,095 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2009 5:29 PM (in response to Mark_Szostak)
    Do you have a Firmware Password enabled? If so you must disable it if you wish to boot from any disk or installer disc. You need the Firmware Password utility in order to disable the protection.
    Mac Pro 2.66 Ghz; MBP Unibody; MBP C2D 2.33 Ghz; MBP 2.16 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.7), iMac C2D 17"; MB 2.0 Ghz; 80GB iPod Video; iPod Touch; iPod Nano 2GB

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