Start Over

By Lance Ulanoff  |  Posted 2004-06-23 Print this article Print

Start Over

Since this wasnt a drive with any system information, I felt pretty confident that I could reformat it. I was wrong. The first time I ran the drive reformat under Windows, the system froze. Upon reboot, I found that the drive was virtually untouched. I tried again. This time I left the system running overnight to finish the job (since I did see the bar moving forward ever so slowly). In the morning, I found that the reformatting was nearly complete. As the bar reached the end, I felt a sense of relief—until the system told me that the reformat had failed.

That turned out to be a bit of a lie. The drive was now empty and being reported in a "raw" state. My 100GB drive had just transformed itself into a worthless brick.

I visited the Maxtor Web site and downloaded its free MaxBlast 3 utility, which lets owners of Maxtor drives reformat them—and even create partitions—with an easy-to-use graphical interface. I installed the program and ran it. It recognized the drive and its size and allowed me to reformat it. I skipped the advanced/custom options that would have allowed me to partition the 100GB drive. The software told me the drive had been successfully reformatted, but when I tried to access the drive, Windows XP said it wasnt formatted (and asked me if I wanted to do so). I performed this same task a couple more times to see if I could somehow coax the drive into usability—no luck.

I then decided to try partitioning the drive to see if I could force the utility to do a little more work and complete the formatting. I set the utility to create two 50GB NTFS partitions and began running the process. The program ran for a few moments and crashed. I went back to the My Computer window and noticed that I now had another drive. So the utility had successfully broken the drive into two 50GB partitions, but neither one of them was usable: I clicked on each and Windows XP told me they werent formatted.

Lance Ulanoff is Editor in Chief and VP of Content for PC Magazine Network, and brings with him over 20 years journalism experience, the last 16 of which he has spent in the computer technology publishing industry.

He began his career as a weekly newspaper reporter before joining a national trade publication, traveling the country covering product distribution and data processing issues. In 1991 he joined PC Magazine where he spent five years writing and managing feature stories and reviews, covering a wide range of topics, including books and diverse technologies such as graphics hardware and software, office applications, operating systems and, tech news. He left as a senior associate editor in 1996 to enter the online arena as online editor at HomePC magazine, a popular consumer computing publication. While there, Ulanoff launched, and and wrote about Web sites and Web-site building.

In 1998 he joined Windows Magazine as the senior editor for online, spearheading the popular magazine's Web site, which drew some 6 million page views per month. He also wrote numerous product reviews and features covering all aspects of the computing world. During his tenure, won the Computer Press Association's prestigious runner-up prize for Best Overall Website.

In August 1999, Ulanoff briefly left publishing to join as producer for the Computing and Consumer Electronics channels and then was promoted to the site's senior director for content. He returned to PC Magazine in November 2000 and relaunched in July 2001. The new was named runner-up for Best Web Sites at the American Business Media's Annual Neal Awards in March 2002 and won a Best Web Site Award from the ASBPE in 2004. Under his direction, regularly generated more than 25 million page views a month and reached nearly 5 million monthly unique visitors in 2005.

For the last year and a half, Ulanoff has served as Editor, Reviews, PC Magazine. In that role he has overseen all product and review coverage for PC Magazine and, as well as managed PC Labs. He also writes a popular weekly technology column for and his column also appears in PC Magazine.

Recognized as an expert in the technology arena, Lance makes frequent appearances on local, national and international news programs including New YorkÔÇÖs Eyewitness News, NewsChannel 4, CNN, CNN HN, CNBC, MSNBC, Good Morning America Weekend Edition, and BBC, as well as being a regular guest on FoxNewsÔÇÖ Studio B with Shepard Smith. He has also offered commentary on National Public Radio and been interviewed by radio stations around the country. Lance has been an invited guest speaker at numerous technology conferences including Digital Life, RoboBusiness, RoboNexus, Business Foresight and Digital Media WireÔÇÖs Games and Mobile Forum.

Lance also serves as co-host of PC MagazineÔÇÖs weekly podcast, PCMag Radio.


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