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<b>HDT problems with formatting IDE drives: more info and possible work-arounds

HDT problems with formatting IDE drives: more info and possible work-arounds

After yesterday's report of serious problems resulting from doing a multiple partition format of an internal IDE drive with FWB's Hard Disk Toolkit 2.0.6, I received several confirmations and additional information. In particular:

a. The following note is posted on FWB's web site: "IMPORTANT! Do not attempt to create more than a single partition on the following IDE drives: Seagate ST31267A, Seagate ST5250A, Seagate ST36450A, Western Digital Cabo AL22500. Your SYSTEM WILL BE UNABLE TO BOOT if one of these drives is attached and has been partitioned into more than one volume. We are investigating this problem and will post an update as soon as it is resolved." (Thanks, Paul MacLeod.)

b. An anonymous source (that works for one of the "leading clone manufacturers" who use HDT on their SCSI based designs) writes that they no longer use HDT as their formatting utility for IDE drives because of so many complaints from users - complaints similar to the one described here yesterday. For those that wind up with this problem, a suggested work-around was offered: Reformat the drive on a PC and then connect it back to a Mac and reformat it again (with another format utility). Otherwise, you likely will have to replace the drive.

c. Robert Fernandez is a consultant who has worked with several PowerBase 180s. He writes that "on each and every one that I tried to format with HDT 2.0.5 and/or 2.0.6, the machine would no longer boot. It seems the driver would cause the machine to freeze at the very beginning of the boot process." He similarly found that he could fix the drive by formatting it on a PC, reconnecting it to the PowerBase and reformatting it with Drive Setup.

d. Finally, Nathaniel Irons claims there is a simpler work-around that he and a colleague discovered: Try starting up from a bootable CD-ROM disc by holding down Command-Option-Shift-Delete and the "C" key at startup. Hold them down until the Finder begins to load and the Trash can icon appears. Holding down C key alone did not work. Once startup is over, the problem drive is still not mounted, but Drive Setup recognized it and would re-initialize it.
Mike Chen found that this method worked even without holding down the C key, but Nathaniel said holding down all keys was required to get things to work for him.