Question about Seagate Internal Hard Drives: ST3160021A 160GB Ultra ATA100 7200rpm 2MB Hard Drive (HDST160BV)

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Format Error Good Day Experts! I have a seagate hardisk (ST3160021A) 160GB, which im using over a year. It was partition in 2 sections, 20GB for the system(OS) and the rest was for my data. Until such time my system hang-up and since i have a back-up using the symantic ghost, i tried to restored it. After restoring the system its still encountered problem, it can't finish loading the WindowsXP file and it prompts many error. Had tried to restored again and problem still occured. Had decided to remove the partitions and format the whole drive but it will not continue to format and it prompts "format error". Hope you can share your expertise regarding this problem.

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  • phyrex Jan 24, 2008

    Thanks a lot Peepnklown & Benimur. Below are the results of your suggestion. Anyway i already informed our local distributor and claim for warranty. Had also found out that warranty of this HD will expired on 2010.


    Had tried use the seagate tool and found that the HD failed on both test, the short/long drive self test and short/long generic test.


    Had also tried your suggestion but i did it on the same PC with new HD and connect it to secondary master. I was not able to performed the scandisk hence it fails already during formating. I think you are right that this is a hardware fault.

    Thanks a lot and more power,

  • Frank
    Frank May 11, 2010

    I would test the HDD with SeaTools:



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Most "Format Error" messages are generated because of hardware fault. This unfortunately would mean that your ST3160021A is no longer usable.

Alternately, you can try temporarily installing it to a 2nd PC and perform disk utilities on the said HD. Things you can try are partitioning or deleting existing partition, formatting and scanning to check for any bad sectors. You can install the ST3160021A as a primary slave, secondary master or even using an external USB to IDE/SATA adapter such as a VANTEC CB-ISATAU2 SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter.

Once you have verified that no sectors are damaged and that the HD checks out, you can reinstall in the original PC and proceed with Windows installation. If on the other hand errors do occur even with using the 2nd PC, you have confirmed that indeed the HD is defective and would require a replacement.

Hope this be of help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Posted on Jan 21, 2008

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Jan 25, 2008

    Glad to be of some assistance.



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I am venturing a guess, but it could possibly be your memory and not your hard drive.

Additionally, you can partition and format the 40Gb HD in a second PC using a third party utility such as Partition Magic which would also allow you to verify the integrity of the hard drive

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

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