Installing and Formatting a Hitachi Travelstar 5K80

So I wasted around 6 hours trying to get a Hitachi Travelstar 5K80 to work in my external USB-driven hard drive enclosure the other night… and I wasn’t a happy camper.

I did the normal things, put it in the case, plugged it in, restarted Windows a couple times to try and pick it up, stuff like that. I had no luck getting it to show up in My Computer to start with, so I checked in the Adminitrative Tools (in Control Panel) launched the Computer Management MMC. In there, I checked the Disk Manager and found that the drive was there, but marked as Online, Unallocated.

According to everything I could find on the ‘net (and believe me, I looked) all I had to do was right-click the drive, select ‘Write Signature’ and then I could format it and off I go. The problem with this was that when I did that, it would start doing something with the disk, then just sit there with its access light on, but not do anything – still couldn’t access it, still couldn’t format it.

To cut a long story short, I noticed that it was making a similar noise to what my old drive made when it woke up after being asleep for a while. All I had to do was unplug the drive (from the USB), then plug it in with Disk Manager open, constantly clicking ‘Re-Scan Disks’. As soon as the new drive appeared on the listing, I did the right-click signature trick and it worked straight away. Then I kicked it into an immediate, complete format and everyone’s happy!

Now all I need to do is clone my current drive onto this one, switch them over and I’ve got an upgraded drive and a spare external one 🙂