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I have a Western Digital 120gb external hard drive that I have been using for about 3 years with multiple OS'es to transfer files. Recently, a folder with some data in it cannot be deleted. I can add and remove files anywhere else on the drive but I'm unable to get rid of this particular folder.

I have tried to format the drive with Windows disk management but because of this corruption it won't let me format the drive at all. Any suggestions?

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Delete the partition, then create a new one and format, if it still fails format, replace the drive. – Moab Oct 7 '10 at 20:37
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I would download Knoppix or Backtrack and use the shred command to overwrite the bad data.

#shred /dev/{usbdrive}

Traditionally, the Quick Format under Windows doesn't actually delete any data, it only deletes the index nodes on the partition. By running shred you will actually zero out the bits of the corrupted or bad area.

Also, this may be a job for scan disk / chkdisk. You need to face the fact that sometimes drives fail, or sectors on the drive become damaged and can no longer be utilized. Running chkdisk /r will attempt to repair the damanged sectors.

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chkdisk /r fixed the issue. Thanks – Brenton Taylor Oct 8 '10 at 15:15

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