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2TB HARD DRIVE - VERY SLOW TO FORMAT

Posted on 2013-05-12
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a 1 year old WD 2TB hard drive. It has been working just fine. I did a quick format on it and that took about 30 seconds. However when doing a slow regular format on a Dell T7500 I looked at the process bar and it was only 1 tenth complete after several hours. I took it to another new computer and started the same process. It has been at it now for 14 hours and it is about 50% done. Normal??
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Question by:Need-a-Clue
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 220 total points
ID: 39159674
Test the disk using the WD diagnostic utility. That will give you the state of the drive. You'll find the tool on the UBCD, or you can also download it directly from WD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com
http://pharry.org/data/ubcd523.iso
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Assisted Solution

by:m51
m51 earned 220 total points
ID: 39159676
How did you connect the drive to the computer? Is it internal? If not, you could be using a slow USB connection.
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LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:msifox
msifox earned 220 total points
ID: 39159691
A full format means that the computer reads every sector to check if it's ok.
1 TB in 14 hours is equivalent to about 20 MB per second.
This is not uncommon for USB 2.
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LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Michael-Best
Michael-Best earned 220 total points
ID: 39159701
Depending on your HDD to PC connection it can take a long time.
I suggest you use:
Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostic
http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=113&sid=3&lang=en
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 240 total points
ID: 39159914
Just let it finish -- it's not at all unusual if it's connected via USB.

If it's connected internally to a SATA port, then it's running much slower than it should;  but let the format finish; then you can run some diagnostics and check the interface settings to isolate why it's so slow.

... I suspect it's simply connected via USB, in which case it's working fine.
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 260 total points
ID: 39160079
I ran a security erase for a 1.5 tb drive that took about 17 hours,so sounds about normal.
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LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 220 total points
ID: 39160087
Absolutely normal. Check of file system and each sector being checked. This takes time.
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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

by:
Darr247 earned 200 total points
ID: 39160145
Sounds like the same results I saw with a WD20EURS drive connected via a USB adapter.

Took nearly 24 hours to do a full format to NTFS.  

Afterwards, since all I was planning on storing on it were 1GB to 6GB video files, I changed it to use 32KB clusters instead of the stock 4KB clusters, using the free Acronis True Image HSE that creating an account and registering your drive on wdc.com allows you to download (e.g. I got mine from http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=610&lang=en - but the page for your drive might be different). The smaller Acronis Align Tool does not let you change the cluster sizes... it takes longer to startup the True Image software than it took to actually change the cluster size on the formatted 2TB drive, by the way.

caveat - the True Image Home Edition from WD's site won't even install without a WD drive being detectable, so have your drive connected when you go to install it... it also won't offer to do anything to non-WD drives after installation (i.e. it might show them, but they'll be greyed out so you can't select them for any operations).
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LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 200 total points
ID: 39160599
that's why it is best to connect (big) drives to a sata port, NOT over usb bridges
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Author Closing Comment

by:Need-a-Clue
ID: 39162829
It took a total of 31 hours. I'll never do THAT again. It was through a 2.0 usb adapter. Thanks all!!
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