What will we do when formatting takes 2 days?

By Rick ยท 12 replies
Jul 15, 2002
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  1. Formatting this 120Gb has taken nearly an hour (Had to make a partition, so no quick format can be done). What will happen when we get into the TB's? Will it take 5.. 6... 7... 8.. Even 10 hours?

    Perhaps newer mechanics for hard disks in the future will offer faster formatting or offer some sort of alternative to the traditional "format". We can only hope...
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    its likely that multi TB hard drives will be driven by much faster controllers. remember that PC technology evolves together, faster processors, faster memory at greater capacites, faster ATA standards, faster controllers, etc, etc...

    If you could make an 8 GB hard drive work with some ancient 286 you would see that it would take an age to do a full format.

    If you are using FAT32 partitions over 32 GB start to become troublesome. I would be splitting that 120 GB up into 32 GB chunks and certainly not partitioning it as all one thing if you are using FAT32. It will be hard to manage and the cluster sizes shall be silly big.

    If you are using NTFS it is a different matter and I am sure that you will find this file system much better with partitions over 32 GB.

    The largest partition on my system is 80 GB and its NTFS (its a stripe set.) If I had wanted FAT32 I would have divided it up into several partitions.

    Remember as well that in Windows 2000 one can quick format, even on a newly created partition so it doesn't have to take a really long time, even to format large partitions like 120 GB.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    I've never been able to quick format in Windows 2000 or XP on a new partition (That's why I did the full format instead). :(
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    what, you can't do a quick format using disk administrator snap in in management console? i think every machine i have ever run these operating systems on could do this.... do you mean you can't quick format in the command prompt???
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    Hmm. I though I replied to this post again.. But I guess not.

    Anyway, what I said was I assumed that the disk management console wouldn't format a fresh partition since command prompt doesn't... I assumed it wasn't possible for Windows - Looks like I was wrong though. :)

    Thanks for the bit of information Phantasm66, I will remember that the next time I use the disk management console. I usually use the disk manager to create partitions and format them in Windows 2000/XP, but I never actually tried the quick format on a fresh partition. Guess I should have tried, huh? :eek:
  6. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I just create partitions with fdisk, cfdisk or DriveSetup, then, if I'm using BeOS, I just initialize the partition, select block size & name, click 'ok', takes about a second no matter what size the partition is. If I'm using Linux, I type mke2fs with some parameters like -j, it takes some seconds, 5-30 or so.
  7. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    I'm sure there will be a plethora of new formats out there to keep our formatting duration to a minimum. NTFS and FAT32 will soon grow obsolete, and so will ATA133. That's computers, folks.

    And phantazmm's 8 GB <-> 286 analogy will soon be 8 TB <-> Athlon XP 2100+ :D
  8. running

    running TS Enthusiast Posts: 70

    Hard Disks? Really?

    Actually it's most likely that mechanical drives will be phased out, and will be replaced by large amounts of non-volatile memory. This is doable today with today's technology, but it's rather expensive. Think that we're already seeing motherboards supporting ungodly amounts of RAM. I give Hard Drives an official longevity of ten more years, because probably the Gygabyte of memory will get cheaper with time.

    I'm looking forward to short loading times, and to forget about the whole read-write mechanical HD nonsense.
  9. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Not to mention the noise reduction :grinthumb

    I'd say 10 years is a bit short. I mean buying 300GB of static non volatile memory is going to be expeeeeeensive:dead: anytime soon. This will only make us one step closer to the completely silent PC...
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    I think mechanical hard disks have already seen their prime. From here on out, I believe that the hard disk is one of the main limiting factors of computer speed. It's so slow compared to everything else.. But it does do its job, I'll give it that.

    I'd like to see the hard disk replaced with some sort of 3 dimensional media.. I would imagine that non-volatile memory is closer on the horizon. I sincerely believe that mechanical disks will be phased out (or at least replaced by another mainstream counterpart) around 2008-2010 from what I've read.

    .. Providing the planet doesn't blow up first.

    In the meantime though, I bet mechnical disks get well over a Terrabyte before they are gone.
  11. running

    running TS Enthusiast Posts: 70

    We are being very generous if we say that the hard disk does its job. Because there are so many moving parts, disks get damaged, corrupted, malfunctioning...in one word: broken.

    Since the IBM XT (yes, I'm very old - 30) I never had to change a single memory module. Compared to their modern counterparts they get old, slow, small (capacity) and eventually they are discarded, but transistors IMHO do not brake!

    As you can tell, I'm very cautious of Hard Disks, even if they got a sticker on 'em that says Seagate Barracuda IV!

    I'm thinking about founding my own HD hate group :mad:
  12. RustyZip

    RustyZip TechSpot Paladin Posts: 322

    personally, i can't wait !!!
    That means i'll be able to go to bed at a reasonable hour like 11 o'clock at night leaving the hard drive to format instead of trawling the web etc till maybe 3 or 4 o'clock, and feeling like crap in the morning...

    I've just told the wife, and she says she can't wait:p
  13. cabrone

    cabrone TS Rookie Posts: 153

    when/if it takes 2 days, id read a book. A good dr.suess or something

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