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I'm running (via Boot Camp) Windows 7 SP1 on my 32-bit MacBook, and I'm trying to format a new Western Digital My Passport external hard drive to use NTFS. It came formatted of course but I wiped it clean. Disk Management says the drive is RAW, healthy, and primary partition on that hard drive. I just want one NTFS partition, but I can't get Disk Management to do it -- I just keep getting messages saying that the disk is in use. I tried booting into safe mode and formatting the disk there, but that didn't help. Does anyone have any idea how I can get this to work??

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Have you deleted and recreated the partition and then tried formatting it? – Rain Apr 15 '13 at 2:12
Yes I have, and it deletes the volume and lets me go through the wizard to create a new NTFS partition. But after working on it for about 10 minutes, I get a message saying "The volume is currently in use. To force the format of this volume, click yes. Warning: Forcing a format might cause unexpected errors in the application that is using this volume. Do you want to continue?" I click yes to continue and about ten minutes later I get an error "The format did not complete successfully". Now I just see the RAW partition again. – psychometriko Apr 15 '13 at 2:28
It sounds like the external drive may be DOA. Run a "long test" with SeaTools; dispte being made by Seagate, it works perfectly fine for diagnosing drives of other brands. I believe Western Digital has their own testing utility that you may want to use instead, I do not have a link to it saved though. – Rain Apr 15 '13 at 2:38
Thank you, I will try SeaTools. I don't think the drive was DOA, though -- before I wiped it, I did successfully use it with WD's own software/utilities. But their software basically took over my computer's resources and in my annoyance at that I decided not only to uninstall the utilities but also to wipe the drive. I'm afraid I messed something up then... – psychometriko Apr 15 '13 at 12:04
@Rain I ran the SeaTools long test and it failed... – psychometriko Apr 15 '13 at 20:49

Well, I don't know exactly what was wrong, but I fixed the problem:

  1. Booted into OS X
  2. Used Disk Utility to format the hard drive using ExFAT (it worked on the first try; took about 3 seconds)
  3. Booted into Windows
  4. Used Disk Management to reformat the hard drive using NTFS (it worked on the first try; also took about 3 seconds)

That's it. Presto.

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