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How long should a format take? (sata)

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by Jimbo, 18 Feb 2006.

  1. Jimbo

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,024

    Location: Newcastle, England

    I just reinstalled xp and i went for a reformat of my raptor 74 gig sata drive and it took a fair while to do it. Is this correct? Im sure normally it only takes a few seconds?

    Im currently testing the drive with some wd utils, see what happens.
     
  2. Zefan

    Don

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 30,834

    Location: Tosche Station

    Few seconds maybe for a quick format. For a normal non-quick it is alot slower (Not sure why). Normally takes minutes for my rubbish WD120.
     
  3. Jimbo

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,024

    Location: Newcastle, England

    Pheew thank god for that then, I thought my drive was on its way out. thanks mate.
     
  4. malcolm

    Hitman

    Joined: 31 Aug 2004

    Posts: 617

    Qucik format just re-sets the file allocation tables and such to empty, so the disc will start afresh and overwrite whatever was there before, but the old data is still there.

    A full (or low level) format actually re-writes all the sectors and tracks with clean data. That's why it take ages. I set up a Raid with 2 120's last weekend, took about two hours to format in windows!

    I have heard that some companies can recover data from discs that have been 'low-level' formatted. I'm not sure how this is possible, might be that even a low level format leaves some residual magnetic signatures behind.
     
  5. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 27 Sep 2004

    Posts: 25,829

    Location: Glasgow

    I think it is something like 7 passes on low level format before you can be entirely sure that your data will not be recovered(even by CIA or something along those lines). You can get utilities that will do up to around 99 passes for the mega-paranoid. :D

    For the original question I wouldn't worry too much if a full format takes a long time, it is meant to. When I formatted my hard drives(3x200gb) I just set it running then go out for the day normally :)
     
  6. Jimbo

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,024

    Location: Newcastle, England

    Thanks all, I was just worried that my disk was dying. In the past I must have done a quick format and thought that sata drives were quick during format lol.