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Thread: How format an external hard drive in Vista?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    20

    How format an external hard drive in Vista?

    I had a old laptop running on Windows Xp, recently bought a brand new Dell laptop which came pre-installed with Vista. There were several problems in my older laptop hence i though to kill it and removed it hard drive to use it as an external USB drive. Now the problem is when i connect the same with Vista as an external drive, i can see it in Disk Management but when i try to format the same, it gives me an error message saying:

    "The operation failed to complete because the Disk Management console view is not up-to-date. Refresh the view by using the refresh task. If the problem persists, close the Disk Management console, then restart Disk Management or restart the computer."

    Tried searching web for some working solution but dint found any. Can anyone here why is that error appearing and how can i format the drive? Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    76

    RE: How format an external hard drive in Vista?

    You said you tried formatting it from Disk Management. Is it showing up in My Computer when after connecting? If yes, simply right click the drive under My Computer and click format. See if it formats the same from here. Also try connecting it through different USB port.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    75

    Re: How format an external hard drive in Vista?

    The very first thing you need to do is Action | Refresh. Action |Rescan Disks. Power down, plug in the disk, then power on and watch for Found new Hardware. By the way can you tell me how exactly you are connecting the old drive? Is the old drive IDE? SATA? How are you interfacing it to USB? Does it appear at all in DM? How about in Device Manager? As far as i know Device Manager have one page on "Move Disks to Another Computer". I assume you've read this and followed the instructions. The main part says this:

    "If the disks are external, plug them into the computer. If the disks are internal, make sure the computer is turned off and then physically install the disks in that computer.

    "Start the computer that contains the disks you moved and follow the instructions on the Found New Hardware dialog box."

    That page has instructions for how to Initialize a disk, but I can't follow them because I don't have any uninitialized disks so when I right-click on a disk the advertised "Initialize Disk" doesn't appear. Does it appear for your missing disk? Does your missing disk appear at all in DM?

    I hope someone else has some ideas, because I'm running out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    946

    Re: How format an external hard drive in Vista?

    Hello Jyran, just try out the following steps and see if it makes any difference.
    • Click Start > type in 'compmgmt.msc'
    • Press Enter
    • Go to storage in the snap in
    • Go to disk management "local"
    • Here you should be able to load disks/reformat/defragment


    If still it wont format then you may require to update your hardware for the disk by installing drivers through the "install new hardware" dialogue, or by going to the manufacturers site. Most importantly make sure that you get proper Vista Compatible drivers only. Dont force any other driver installation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1

    Re: How format an external hard drive in Vista?

    Thanks Tim: I ran into the same problem over 2 years after your post. It worked beautifully!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1

    Re: How format an external hard drive in Vista?

    THKS too!
    it works :-)

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