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I have Windows Vista Home Premium with SP2. I recently bought a Maxtor 1Tb external harddrive. I started to format it (FAT32) but it took hours. I left it running overnight - when I came back it was only about 30% done.

So I thought that I would restart using Quick Format. I stopped it in the correct way but now Vista does not recognise the harddrive. Specifically, I can eject it using "Safely Remove Hardware" but I cannot see it in Windows Explorer, nor can I reformat it.

Any ideas?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Try using disk management:

  1. Right click on computer from the start menu and select manage.

  2. Then on the left side, click on "disk management" and see if you drive is there:

    enter image description here

You can also format the drive from there as well. Also consider using a NTFS partition. I believe that is better for larger hard drives on Windows.

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Thanks - I would upvote if I could (I'll accept your answer instead - next best thing!). As you can see I simultaneously found the same answer, but your tip about NTFS is a good one. Thanks. – Wikis Aug 27 '10 at 18:39

I know this is ridiculous but a few minutes after posting the question I found the answer:

Control Panel -> Administrative Tools (classic view) -> Computer Management -> Disk Management.

From there I just right-clicked on the disk and got it recognised. Quick format took about 2 seconds!

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