slow formatting

i have a 1.6GHz processor with 256 DDR SDRAM and a 20GB HDD. my OS is win xp. i would like to know why do i always take such a long time to format my harddisk? is it due to the reason that i partition it into 3 drives, 6GB, 2GB, and 12GB. the formatting usually take about 20hours for the 12GB drive. Thank You.
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Hi dude Dont know if you found a solution yet but Try Chaging your ram.  I had this problem some time ago and it ended up being faulty ram
Make sure that you are using an 80-pin IDE Cable. Configure your Hard Drive to be Cable-Select rather than Master-Slave configuration. Make sure in your BIOS that Ultra-DMA is enabled. You can get to your BIOS by looking at the POST screen before your OS boots up. It should say Press F9 or Press DEL to enter setup and go into the Advanced Configuration. Look for Ultra-DMA and force it to ON. Also, let the BIOS autodetect the drive by setting IDE-0 to Auto.
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ghost85Author Commented:
how do i tell whether my ram is faulty? it has not been giving me any problems. is it due to my HDD? the method i used for formatting is as in the link, is there any other solutions? thank you.
If your RAM was faulty, Your machine would either beep at you or give you some sort of errors in Windows. If in doubt, go out a buy a 64 or 128 stick. They are really cheap!
ghost85Author Commented:
there's no beeping sound, but there is runtime error when i try to play so online games, such as Enemy Territory. so is it due to the ram?
Runtime error could be a lot of different things. Are you using an 80-pin IDE cable?
Try to switch up your IDE channels and see if that works, and try a new HDD? Kinda hard to pinpoint the problem, are you getting any errors during the format or does it just take forever?
ghost85Author Commented:
There's no error in formatting, but it just takes too long. But if i use the quick format, it is very fast. And I'm using an 80-pin IDE cable.
I'd stick with the quick format for the time being, but your full format should not take that long. What i'd try is to quick format your OS HDD then install windows and try to format the rest from inside windows perhaps, using disk manager.
ghost85Author Commented:
using disk manager in windows to format is equally slow if I do not select the quick format option. so can i presume that my HDD is faulty?
Maybe your hard drive has bad sectors? I woudl suggest going to the manufacturers web site and downloading their software for checking faulty hardware. Western Digital and Maxtor have some great software for detecting hard drive errors and bad sectors. Western Digital's Drive Diagnostics write zeros to the hard drive thus wiping the drive and marking any bad sectors. If you have bad sectors on the beginning of your hard drive, it may need to be replaced.
Also, I've experienced similar slowness when attaching any drive to either IDE RAID channel of a motherboard that has the built-in IDE RAID 1 capability.  If you have that, I would take everything off those channels temporarily and see if the problem goes away.
ghost85Author Commented:
the brad of my HDD is maxtor, but how do i check for the model number? and which software should i download?

Get this: and run the drive diagnostics. WARNING: Some of these utilites will wipe out the drive so make sure that you have whatever you need backed up!

my 100gb harddrive took about 2 hours+ to format using an external controller when formatting before XP was loaded on.  Problem may be that the controller you have has specific drivers that aren't loaded before the OS is installed, like in my case.  Or the support of Ultra DMA (ie: Ultra DMA5)...

Once the OS was loaded, performance was still slow, after XP Service Pack 1, I was able to get 235MB/s with that same controller while previously it was only about 5MB/sec.

The ntfs.sys file was updated/changed after service packs (also in win2k sp2 I believe) to accept larger drives and faster support.

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ghost85Author Commented:
thanks for all the comments. my HDD just crashed today, and my computer cannot even boot now. I'll be buying a new HDD tomorrow, hope that can solve the problems. thank you once again.
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