I have a disk composed of a single partition. It is formatted in ntfs and has files in it. Linux reads them fine, and is able to write on it too. So the disk is fine, and it doesn't show any smart errors.

However I'm not able to read its contents with windows xp. It just asks me to format the disk. So I said fine, I will copy the contents with linux, since I can read them, and that way I'll just ask to format just as it wants me to. So I did that.

The problem is that I tried to format just now, and whether or not I select 'quick format', they both fail to format the disk.

The exact errors are: (when I click on it): 'this disk is not formatted. Would you like to format it now?'. And if I say yes, and start formatting it (whether from here or from the disk managing tool), it says 'windows could not do the formatting'.

What can I do ? I never had this problem with xp before.


Might have a GUID partition table( MBR is the normal partition table, normally if you've used any, if you formatted it with Linux first this might be the case, Windows generally can't read or perform operations on hard disk with a GUID partition table . If you want to use the harddrive at all with windows you need to first BACK UP ALL YOUR DATA- any important data back it up twice !

Then go into Gparted and delete the partition table, and create a new partition table with MBR .

  • I haven't formatted it with linux. It just stopped working on xp from one day to the next, so I went to linux and noticed it was being read fine there. So I made a backup copy, in order to format the disk on xp, but even that doesn't work on xp. I could go back to linux once again, and format it there, but I'd like to be sure this will work.
    – kbell
    Jul 27 '12 at 10:04
  • Hmm, this might be a sign of a failing hard drive( perhaps Linux is handling bad blocks a bit better.) Back up all your data asap Jul 28 '12 at 8:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.