View Full Version : How long to format a HDD.

10-10-2005, 12:08 PM
Am formatting some 200gig Seagate HDD's and they seem to be taking a very long time - how long would you expect a full format to take on a 200gig 7200 ide HDD?

One is currently taking over an hour from my machine at work, but in in an external usb enclosure. Have also run a window error check on it with now errors reported.

Plugged into ide3 on my home machine it was taking a least a full day - seemed to be getting stuck around 68%, but once formated seemed to work ok and had its full size availible so seems to be ok.

I guess to rule out problems with my M/B or setup I really need to find another machine which I can pug it into one of the ide channels to see how it goes but would be appricitive of any advice on how long this should be taking or any other ways to run a comprehensive test on the discs.



10-10-2005, 12:30 PM
1 min if you do the quick format

10-10-2005, 12:33 PM
Thanks - quick format isn't a prob. But thats only writing a tiny bit to the drive right.

Am just suspect on how long the full-formats are taking, and wondering if there is a problem with the drive or my system - I don't really know but wouldn't of thought a full format to take as long as they are.


10-10-2005, 12:58 PM
Who does long formats? I always choose the quick one. If I suspect the drive of having problems, I run the Seagate tools over it.

10-10-2005, 01:15 PM
A full format does the same format, basically wipes the contents/index pages from the drive and leaves all the data untouched. It then goes and scans the drive to make sure it can read and write all the sectors on the disk.

So both quick and full are pretty much the same apart from a scan when doing the full format.

You can write 0's(zero's) to the drive which will write over all the data with 0. You will need a tool from seagate or similar to do this,

10-10-2005, 01:53 PM
Thanks all for this info, good to know about the quick vs. full and what they do - had also written zeros to one of the drives from my home machine and this took almost a whole day to do. But again no errors - should I be concerned about how long these formats are taking? Any ideas what could be causing it?

Graham L
10-10-2005, 01:56 PM
A full surface test takes a long time for a big disk. I can remember thinking it took a long time for a 20 MB drive. (MFM interfaces had a maximum speed of 5 Mbits/sec, and the track-track time was quite a few ms.)

The modern IDE interfaces are faster, but the disks are a lot bigger.

It is prudent to do the full test. Why go looking for trouble?

10-10-2005, 03:22 PM
The other day I formatted my 98gb partition and it took around 2 hours... Then again it only had around 68 gigs on it.