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Thread: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

  1. #1
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    Question How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Firstly, I'm a complete noob. I don't even really know what "grub" is, etc. I'm an old-school DOS/Windows user so go easy on me please.

    I want to format a Western Digital My Passport drive that currently has Ubuntu 11.10 on it. This is the drive that I have had Ubuntu on from the beginning, and I have had numerous problems after updating it to Ubuntu 12.04 LST. I first updated 11.10 on the drive online and when I rebooted everything went south. I tried updating it from a LiveCD but no go. I'm wondering whether or not some if not all of my problems are with old partitions/installs, SO, what I want to do is wipe this HD as thoroughly as possible to get it all "shiny and new" so to speak, and then try a straight-up clean install from a LiveCD and see if that works. Working from a LiveCD isn't what I need at this point, hence wanting to get it working from the HD. How do I do this running from a LiveCD?

    BTW: I have another thread that pertains to this, but it isn't about formatting. I'm assuming that I should mark it solved but I need to know that from someone before I do.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Assuming you have already backed up all files you need from the now broken 11.10 installation, you can just choose to "use whole disk" at the new installation disk partitioning/preparation stage. That will wipe everything that is currently on the disk and put the new OS in its place.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 14.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo

  3. #3
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    Re: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Quote Originally Posted by ajgreeny View Post
    Assuming you have already backed up all files you need from the now broken 11.10 installation, you can just choose to "use whole disk" at the new installation disk partitioning/preparation stage. That will wipe everything that is currently on the disk and put the new OS in its place.

    Thanks. I tried that though, twice. All I kept getting were two errors:

    12.04 install error was:

    kernel not loaded
    grub:


    11.10 install error was:

    error: file not found
    grub rescue:



    Again, I really don't understand very much about the whole 'grub' outlay. Both of these errors occurred after the BIOS had gone through it's processes, and I've seen no indication that the BIOS has anything to do with the boot problems. Any ideas?

    Again, thanks ahead of time.

  4. #4
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    Re: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Try these

    1) Boot from LiveCD and have your HDD WD plugged in.

    2) Hit Install Ubuntu

    3) Hit something else

    4) Careful here : find your HDD WD and delete . Do not do anything if you are not sure that this is the correct disk . Break here if you are unsure.

    5) Create a new filesystem ext4 in your HDD WD and mount it with / (root) . Leave some space 4000MB

    6) mount the 4000MB space with swap

    7)Check down and expand "grub install to: " and select your HDD WD . If assume that your WD is /dev/sdb then grub must installed to /dev/sdb NOT /dev/sdb1 .

    Tip: you can recognize WD HDD from size . Sizes in Ubuntu installer are in MB's . If your disk is 500GB you will see something like.. 499990MB of space.
    Also ext.drives usually are with letters like /dev/sdb or /deb/sdc . Usually dev/sda is your first internal drive.

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    Question Re: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Quote Originally Posted by NikTh View Post
    Try these

    1) Boot from LiveCD and have your HDD WD plugged in.

    2) Hit Install Ubuntu

    3) Hit something else

    4) Careful here : find your HDD WD and delete . Do not do anything if you are not sure that this is the correct disk . Break here if you are unsure.

    5) Create a new filesystem ext4 in your HDD WD and mount it with / (root) . Leave some space 4000MB

    6) mount the 4000MB space with swap

    7)Check down and expand "grub install to: " and select your HDD WD . If assume that your WD is /dev/sdb then grub must installed to /dev/sdb NOT /dev/sdb1 .

    Tip: you can recognize WD HDD from size . Sizes in Ubuntu installer are in MB's . If your disk is 500GB you will see something like.. 499990MB of space.
    Also ext.drives usually are with letters like /dev/sdb or /deb/sdc . Usually dev/sda is your first internal drive.

    Okay, I started the steps, but whether you mean to "dismount or safe remove" the drive or if you mean for me to "open up the drive and erase everything on it by selecting all and moving to the trash", it will not let me delete even one file from the drive. I'm assuming this is because they are system files from the LiveCD that I am running right now. Is there any Ubuntu program that you know of that will allow me to format the HD and get rid of everything? I can do so on another system I have running Windows XP, but it will only format in NTFS, not FAT. I can remove the partitions only on that computer as well if that would help. Man I'm lost. *ugh*

  6. #6
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    Re: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Ok. Forget those steps.. are little advanced..

    Do this..
    from liveCD click Dash(dash=the ubuntu icon up-left) and write Disk open Disk Utility and you will see there your WD . Click on it and then Unmount > Delete > Create and choose ext4 .
    Again , Be Careful what disk you will erase.. this will erase EVERYTHING .

    After creation of file-system complete you can choose this HDD (WD) to do your Ubuntu install.

  7. #7
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    Question Re: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Quote Originally Posted by NikTh View Post
    Ok. Forget those steps.. are little advanced..

    Do this..
    from liveCD click Dash(dash=the ubuntu icon up-left) and write Disk open Disk Utility and you will see there your WD . Click on it and then Unmount > Delete > Create and choose ext4 .
    Again , Be Careful what disk you will erase.. this will erase EVERYTHING .

    After creation of file-system complete you can choose this HDD (WD) to do your Ubuntu install.
    Followed your instructions. Just did the install. On reboot I get this:

    error: invalid extent
    grub rescue:


    I have no idea what that means, or what I may have done wrong. Any advice is greatly appreciated, as is your help from the beginning.

  8. #8
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    Re: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Why you marked thread as solved ? Untick it.. solved threads have not much traffic.

    Boot from a LiveCD and follow these instructions http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1769482 i hope this will solve your boot problem.

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    Talking Re: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Quote Originally Posted by NikTh View Post
    Why you marked thread as solved ? Untick it.. solved threads have not much traffic.

    Boot from a LiveCD and follow these instructions http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1769482 i hope this will solve your boot problem.
    Yeah kinda figured that. I managed to format the drive just fine. Then it came up and gave me a whole different set of problems and I didn't know if using the same thread would work or if starting a new one would be the way to go. Thanks a ton for the new advice, I'm going to give it a shot and see what happens. Kinda frustrating that Ubuntu 11.whatever was running fine for me every time Windows XP gave me the digital finger, and then suddenly Ubuntu joined in. Think your advice here might just do the trick though, so thank you again. Have a great weekend!

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Re: How do I format a WD Passport HD (more)

    Quote Originally Posted by NikTh View Post
    Why you marked thread as solved ? Untick it.. solved threads have not much traffic.

    Boot from a LiveCD and follow these instructions http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1769482 i hope this will solve your boot problem.
    You, Sir, are a steely-eyed missile man!
    So far everything is working just fine.
    A thousand thanks for putting a weeks worth of frustration to rest!
    Have a killer weekend! You RAWK!

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