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Need Help Formatting An External Harddrive

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Hey guys i need some major help !! I recently purchased a 1 TB HP SimpleSave External Hard Drive. It's considered a Back Up drive which means it is really only good for backing up data on your computer instead of being what i wanted which was simply a 1 TB external drive.

Now i scoured the internet and found many posts online about people formatting this hard drive and then voila, it works as a normal hard drive. I am prepared to do the same but i figured i would come here first and maybe i could get some precise step by step info on how to do this and turn this "back up hard drive" into a normal external hard drive.

On the forums i read about this hard drive, some people said they had issues with the software still running the drive from a virtual CD and they also gave info on how to disable certain things so that the drive doesn't think it is a CD drive.

I will post the forums below i read up on and maybe this will also help you tech smart guys to guide me a long too. I just want to do this the right way before i format it. So here are some forums relating to the same thing i am trying to do:

HP External Drive Info 2

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I am a tad confused here. A back-up drive? If it's an external hard-drive then I'm pretty sure it is intended not only for a back-up, but for day-to-day storage use. You can format it easily. In Windows, go to My Computer (or similar name, depending on OS version) and provided the hard-drive is connected, right click and select 'Format' from the context menu.

Format into NTFS or FAT32, depending on what you'll be using it for. For example, FAT32 has a file size limit of about 4 gigabytes. As well as this, some devices (Sony PlayStation 3s included) only allow the FAT32 file system if you decide to connect to them to access files on there. For general computer use though, NTFS is probably your best bet. Uncheck 'Quick Format' and then start.

It may take a while, so just leave it. After, you should be good to go. Also note to back-up onto your computer first, any files on the hard-drive that you want to keep. Formatting the disk deletes everything from it and it will NOT be retrievable later.

Hope this helps.

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I agree. If it's just a normal usb one you can format it just like you do flash drives. :P

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Thanks for the info so far guys. As to some of the prior questions, i use an xbox 360 so any advice on what format to use so i can sometimes connect it straight over to the xbox.

As to another question, as it is right now, since it is a backup hard drive, it does not work like a normal external drive, it continuously tries to backup current files on your computer in case of a crash etc. Thats why most people who bought this drive were mad since the sales reps (they told me the same thing) had said this drive would work for both backup and for normal external hard drive saving. Currently it doesn't work like that, it only backs things up and has annoying software that constantly tries to keep backing up your computer hard drive.

Thats why i posted those few forum posts i provided here. I want to not only format, but also make sure that the software that tries to keep backing up my drive is off as well. And i also dont want the virtual CD to try and reinstall the crappy software back in. I hope this makes things more clear.

So if you have time check out those forum links i provided as well. And again, thanks a lot for the info so far !!

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P.S. - i am hoping sometimes to take music or movies from the external drive and toss them right onto a usb thumbstick to use on my xbox 360. So if this info helps as to what type of format i should format the external drive in, let me know :P

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What OS are you running?

On your Xbox question I would ask on the official Microsoft forums. I don't think you'll get a useful answer on a security forum. :P

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i am running windows xp. Oh and i didnt mean illegal movies, i meant purchased/rented music or movies to play from my external drive over to my xbox. I dont see a problem asking about that?

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Oh i see what you meant lol. Asking about what format to use NTFS or FAT for xbox. My bad lol I will look it up

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To answer your question regarding connecting it to an Xbox 360 - from experience I do not know. I would imagine FAT32, same as the PS3, but I'm not 100 percent so you might want to test for yourself, or do a bit investigation on the internet.

As for getting rid of the pesky software: it depends on where it's installed. If it's on your computer, it shouldn't be difficult to remove. Have a look in your Start Menu or Program Files folder. Even try Add/Remove Software in Control Panel. Likewise, if it's installed on your external hard drive, then a complete format should get rid of it for good. In fact I'm sure it will. I do not understand what you mean about a "virtual CD"; please elaborate.

As for the links - I'll take a look tomorrow (or should I say later today) as I'm getting pretty tired now so am not running at full battery and need to recharge.

Hope this helps, and I will get back to you on the links and help you out more on the matter.

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Looked it up and it seems only FAT32 works for xbox 360's. Thanks for reminding me to check on that !!!

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No problem. I've personally never really used external storage on my 360. One of the reasons being you couldn't transfer it onto the console's hard drive - rather, you had to watch it from the USB pen drive which is not really that efficient or convenient.

I would say though the only drawback to having to format into FAT32 is the file size limit. Any one file can only be 4 GB in size. So, as long as you've only got standard def (640x480 or similar) movies and not 720p HD versions (in which case in excess of 4 GB file size is not uncommon), you shouldn't be hampered by the requirement.

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Ok here are some posts from the other forum where the guy was inquiring about the same thing i want to do. Maybe this info will help:

GUY Asking questions about formatting HP Drive:

My son received a 500Gb unit as an early XMas gift & was really hoping to use this item as an ext. HD on his Wii console.

Has anyone else had any luck in finding out how to fully uninstall the System Recovery software or disable the CD/read only system properties?

Thanks in adv. for your suggestions/solutions!

Someone replying to help him:

HP Technical Support said to reformat the drive. This will remove all the software and it can be used as an external drive. If you think down the road you will want the auto backup feature then I do not recommend to reformat the drive. The reformat will take a few hours. Thanks to all that replied and offered assistance.

GUY Asking questions about formatting HP Drive:

I understand how reformating the drive will clear the SImpleSave programs .... but did Technical Support by any chance mention how to remove/disable the built-in properties allowing the item to think it is a CD Drive?.

In any case, I wonder why you were told it would take a couple hours to format drive. Before I try calling Tech Support myself, did they by any chance provide you with details/steps to follow for format process?

Someone replying to help him

I talked to HP support and they had the following suggestion to remove the HP SimpleSave software:

Delete the following folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_LOGIN_NAME\Application Data|HP SimpleSave Application

Then, re-format the HP drive and disconnect it. After reconnection, the HP SimpleSave software should not be on the system and the drive should be empty.

I don't have access to my drive so is there anyone who can try this to see if it works?

Someone else offering advice:

Here is a workaround that you might be interested in. Like many purchasers of HP's SimpleSave it would seem, I wished to have the backup facilities of SimpleSave when needed but otherwise be able to use it as a regular external hard drive. In fact the technical sales person who sold it to me represented that the backup facilities could be turned off by clicking somewhere on one of the menus. Why HP didn't provide such an option goodness only knows. In any event, I created a SimpleSave Archive subdirectory in the SimpleSave directory and transferred all the files from the SimpleSave directory to the Archive subdirectory. I was not competent enough to do anything about the Launcher virtual CD that installs itself but as it turns out it doesn't seem to matter. With the SimpleSave directory files nicely hidden in the Archive subdirectory to be brought out when needed, the SimpleSave unit seems install itself like a regular external drive.

I hope this info helps. I am just trying to make sure i am doing this 100% right the first time so that i dont have annoying software still trying to make me back up things or install stuff etc. Get what i mean?

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P.S. - Info that may help you: I don't intend or have any use for the current backup software that currently installs with this external drive. So if the backup and installation software relating to back up stuff is gone forever and i can simply use this drive as a basic external hard drive i am happy. So i am just hoping to format it and also get rid of any files or registry entries that may hamper me in the future or try to reinstall things or run exe programs. So my hope is to reformat this thing, get rid of all installation software files and registry entries and have nothing running with this drive that is to do with backup software

I want to make sure though that i dont delete any software that i would still need to use to install this drive again though, get what i mean? When i format this thing and make it into a straight external drive, i won't need to reinstall anything i assume? it will just immediately start working as an external hard drive??

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I understand your hesitation; I would hate to waste a few hour's formatting a disk only to find out the annoying software was still there.

Anyway, look in your Application Data folder and delete the folder specified in the post you made. That should get rid of it, but I would look to see if it's installed in the Program Files folder at C:\Program Files. Also look in Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel, as it might be listed there for an easy removal.

As for the external hard drive itself - any and all data on it will be deleted, without exception. Any software on it that makes it act as a CD drive will be deleted, and you will have a clean, empty external hard drive to put on whatever you want. Beyond this, you shouldn't face any more problems. I am quite certain of this (unless I am very much mistaken). Just remember to format in to FAT32 and not NTFS, for compatibility with your 360.

I hope I've made this clear, but if you want further explanation, I'm willing to give it.

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For xp you should go to control panel(click Classic view on the top left if not set), administration and computer management. Then click disk management. Try formatting it from there. :)

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Yes, it's doubtful you'd be able to retrieve the back-up software after it's gone.

And no, you won't need to install anything - it should just be plug and play. Windows probably installed a driver for it when you first connected it. Formatting the hard drive will not remove this driver from your system so you should just be able to plug it in and use it without any problems.

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ok guys thanks for the info. I will give it a go and let you know how things pan out ! i appreciate the assistance !!

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For xp you should go to control panel(click Classic view on the top left if not set), administration and computer management. Then click disk management. Try formatting it from there. smile.gif

Hmmm i followed all your steps and right clicked on the drive for the external drive i want to format. In the window for file system, the only option it will give me is NTFS. I want FAT32. Any way around this? i am not sure why it won't give me an option for FAT32?

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P.S. - if for some reason the only type i can format as is NTFS, will that matter if i leave it as that and then for example i put a movie on the external drive i downloaded. I then transfer the movie to a FAT32 usb thumbstick and put it on my xbox. that should solve the issue i assume for playing movies from the NTFS external drive onto my NTFS thumbstick then onto my xbox??

I mean i would love to be able to just plug the 1TB drive into my xbox but i am certain i cant do that unless i format to FAT32. I am curious as to why i don't get the option to format into FAT32. I am stumped lol

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P.S.S. - when formatting an external drive, i assume it won't matter if certain drive exe files are running while it formats?? To clarify, as soon as i plug in the USB cord on the external drive obviously some exe files will automatically start up. I assume these files will run and not cause a disturbance while the drive formats?? And i assume this won't interrupt such things as me being able to chose which system type i want to format as, meaning FAT32 or NTFS?

Or am I supposed to delete and remove all program files etc for the drive before or after formatting?

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I have some advanced steps for this type of thing, but it's recommended to use NTFS as fat32 doesn't support moving/copying/pasting files over a 4 GB.

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yah but i was hoping to be able to plug my drive right into my xbox sometimes, but that isn't a major deal if it will make things much more tough to create it as FAT32. As long as i can still take things back off the NTFS drive and put on my FAT32 stick to play on my xbox sometimes, i am happy. However if you do know a safe way for me to still make this drive FAT32 i am all ears !!

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