Question SSD Mysteriously Cannot Be Formatted or Cleaned

May 9, 2020
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Short version: my SSD cannot be formatted, deleted, or cleaned. Almost every tool I use reports no problems or appears to work, but the drive remains unaffected. What the heck could cause this? None of my searching has turned up anyone with a problem like this.

Long version: I've been running windows off a small cruddy SSD for 2 years now, with my files stored on an HDD. Today I upgraded my machine with a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM. The upgraded machine wouldn't boot from my SSD (Windows 10 - it would constantly restart from "Setting Up Devices"). NBD, I figured that might happen so I had everything backed up and went to format the SSD and reinstall windows from a USB install drive. I was given the option to delete and format the SSD from the windows installer. Clicking on either button gave me a little hourglass, and then returned to the installer as if it was successful, but the drive was unchanged/still full. I ran diskpart from the installer's cmd prompt and did Clean and Clean All. Both reported using disk list that the SSD was now empty (167GB of 167GB available), but when I went to install windows, it reported that the SSD still had 140GB in use (exactly the same as before). Eventually I gave up and installed a clean Windows 10 on my HDD and booted from that.

From there, I tried diskpart again, and also the Windows 10 Disk Management tool to Delete and Format the drive. As before, both tools appear to work, but if I close and open the Disk Management tool again, nothing actually changes. I can access (read, write, delete) the files on it just fine via Windows Explorer.

Here's a full list of what I've tried
  • Install windows on top of the old install (tries, reboots, no change)
  • Delete/Format from Windows USB install media (hourglass, "completes", but no change or error)
  • Clean/Clean All from diskpart on Windows USB install media (takes time, reports success, shows drive as being empty, but installer still sees 140GB in use)
  • Replace SATA cable (no change)
  • Switch SATA motherboard ports (no effect)
  • Clean/Clean All from diskpart on running on Windows 10 on my other hard drive (takes time, reports success, shows drive as being empty, but windows explorer still sees 140GB)
  • Delete/Format from Windows 10 Disk Management tool (hourglass, "completes", but no change or error)
I'm at a loss. I have no idea what could cause a problem like this, and I'd love to get it working again. Is there something stupid I'm missing that explains these symptoms? Like permissions or a physical read/write switch (there isn't one; I looked)?
 
May 9, 2020
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Does diskpart report the drive as being locked/writelocked?
Is there a particular command to check that? It didn't throw any errors about that, and locked didn't appear in the list disk command or anything. (diskpart reported that the disk was clean, and had its full size available after cleaning... but, Disk Management reported that only 40GB was free as always)
 

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