Backup speed and formatting

  Housten 12:06 17 Feb 2012

Good morning,

I have a twin-core computer which is running Windows 7 64Bit Home Premium. I am hoping that someone will be able to say what it is that I may have done wrongly or – as equally important to me - that what is happening on and to the machine is OK.

I have another post detailing my problem when I tried a clone backup, and I then decided to delete it from my external hard drive. The drive is a Seagate portable 500 GB drive and I couldn’t remember exactly how much I had got, but was relieved when I had got it back to 465.7 GB. At which point I decided to do backups with the two programmes I was using, as he clone episode had eradicated everything. However after starting both of these and letting them run for a while I stopped them because both of them were now appearing to take between 6 and 8 times longer than before. Yesterday afternoon, about 4 pm, I saw that I could get the drive re-formatted. As what I had on the drive was irrelevant I was not worried about and started the formatting of the drive. It is now noon and the formatting procedure is still progressing, and as it is on an external drive it is not interrupting my computer. What I would like to know is if this is how long it should take to format the drive, as it is a Microsoft feature, and if it is too long does anyone know of an independent formatting programme? And secondly there was a massive update on Tuesday so did this slow down my USB ports – as I have tried the drive in different ones. If other people have had a slow down that will be of some comfort, but what I would also like to know is how to get them back up to the speed I had previously.

Many thanks in advance for any help/advice/information which you can give me.

  Housten 17:25 17 Feb 2012

Good afternoon,

I am sorry to keep harping on but the formatting has been going on for over 25.5 hours now, so please, please can someone help me!!!

  KRONOS the First 19:03 17 Feb 2012

Possibly a failing hard-drive, as there is no way that formatting should take that long. Is it possible to try the format procedure on another PC?

Could try this, Kill disk.

  Number six 22:39 17 Feb 2012


I think it is inadvisable to try to run two backup programs simultaneously. They will almost certainly interfere with each other. If you must use two, run one first then the other.

  Housten 16:33 18 Feb 2012

Good afternoon, and thank you to everyone who has replied.

I found your replies this morning and have downloaded KillBill and when I have finished posting this I will go and use it, and when it has, hopefully, worked its magic I will post again to give the results.

When I got to my computer this morning I had decided that if the disk had not been formatted I would stop it. Surprise, surprise it hadn’t finished, and I stopped it about mid-day – only 44 hours after starting the format. There was a narrow rectangular dialogue box that was ‘controlling’ it and at the bottom there was a small rectangular bar which I thought was something put there in error. Well no, actually – it was a bar to show how much had been formatted!! And it showed something in the order of 1% to 2%!! This could have meant that formatting the drive, and going flat out to do so, would only take 100 to 200 days!! I know my wife says I am a grumpy old man, but I think that is slightly too long.

I decided to update my files and try backing them up to another external USB drive and this has worked very successfully, back down to the times I was getting from the programmes before this all blew up last weekend. But I am still left with the original question I asked. One of the programmes backed up what I wanted – that is just my ‘C:\’ partition, with no compression – in two files. One was 36,947,890 KB and the second file is 7 KB and it did it in just over 20 minutes. On the other hand the second backup programme did it in two files as well, one was 50,000,970 KB and the second was 605 KB and it did it in just over 26 minutes. What I would really like to know is which is the better backup? I originally used the two files so that if one went down – for any reason – it would be unlikely that the other would too! With the problems I had last weekend I found out for the first time the disparity in sizes and I am now concerned that I might not have a full back on either, but especially the smaller one as my ‘C:\’ partition is 47 GB. I would be grateful if anyone has any ideas as to which would be the better to use, or should I continue my present practice of using both programmes?

Many thanks for any and all advice/help/information in advance

  Housten 16:36 18 Feb 2012


Obviously braindead!! 'KillBill' should be 'kill disk'

  Housten 17:11 18 Feb 2012

Well I installed and tried 'Kill Disk'. Obviously I misinterpreted what it would do, and that is to erase data frojm a drive, not what I want and I stopped it after it had got up to taking another 48 hours+ just to do a single pass. I just hope I haven't done too much damage!

What I want is a reasonable formatting programme. I still have information/file from Seagate so I suppose I had better try that and see if it will/can format the drive. I need an independent programme because I have had some odd messages from the operating system [ Microsoft, I am presuming ] including one telling me that I do not have the authority. This is on my own privately owned computer!! How can I not have permission? This is now really beginning to annoy me and I want this USB external hard drive formatted!! It is even getting to the point that I will consider formatting it from my OS, even if I have to have my computer on for a week or more - that's Microsoft incompetence for you!!

  retep888™ 17:34 18 Feb 2012

Just wonder if you've used the Seagate Seatool click here to test the drive , it can be used to format & write zero to the drive too.

Please note the process may be slower through USB connection than internal HDD directly connected to motherboard.

  Housten 16:47 19 Feb 2012

Good afternoon,

Apologies for not replying earlier but I have been trying to get my external HD to work. I had a 152 MB file from Seagate, it wouldn't install, interrupyed early it said. I know I didn't so it must have been the machine. downloaded it again, same result. Came back to here to report a short time ago and saw retep888™'s suggestion. Tried it with the same result!!

Yesterday/last evening the machine informed of an error - I think it was 0x8007045D, and so I googled it. Lot of stuff on it but most about XP and Vista - I have Windows 7. Also CD/DVDs kept being brought up, and whilst I initially thought it was a machine problem, now I am not so sure. I even tried to do a Restore to before last weekend, but all that happened was a screen appeared that said it was initialising it, just before 10 pm last night and it was still trying this morning. I gave up. tried to do a repair but it said Vista was on 'C:\' and Windows 7 was on 'D:\'. Only problem is - Windows 7 is on 'C:\'!!! So this has been a very, very bad week, and I have spent so much time trying to get it sorted that I am giving up. It seems it is an I/O error and nobody really knows how to get rid of it!!! So as my other USB pen drives and another external drive are all working normally I have made - as my wife would put it - an executive decision. As I bought it only last June I have offered Seagate either to exchange it or give it to them for their Black Museum and I have decided I will buy another. What that will be I am not sure and I am going to take a few days and see what is on the market. With this drive I have tried to format it several ways, and even this afternoon after re-booting - one of the many, many times - I plugged it in only to be told that I would have to format the drive before I could use it!! So I said yes, a quick format - which it did in a remarkably short time, less than 2 minutes and it may have been less than one - and then I tried both of my backup programmes - one fell over afetr it had started and the other wouldn't even start. So I think giving up on this drive is the shortest and best way of keeping my sanity and temper.

Sorry about rant/disjointed above but this has thoroughly confused me and I have decided that enough is enough!! So farewell and good riddance!

By the way has anyone any ideas about my backup problem?? I have lost sight of it because of the other problems, but I would dearly love to know of any thoughts that anyone has on it!!!!

Many thanks if you have read all the way through to here, you have a strong constituition!! Many thanks in advance for any ideas/help/advice that anyone has. Have a nice week!!!

  Housten 11:43 20 Feb 2012

Good morning,

Firstly apologies for some of my apalling spelling in my previous post, I am hoping that I will not make such puerile mistakes in the future.

Whether it is my computer or something I have done I am not sure, but upto yesterday afternoon whenever I went on the web I had the address bar at the top of the screen and my quick launch bar at the bottom. Now they have disappeared and I am finding it quite disconcerting. I can get to the address bar by moving the cursor off the screen via the top, but have absolutely no chance of doing that to get the quick launch bar. Even more strangely is the fact that most sites that I go onto give me them both back!! Totally un-nerving, I can tell you!!

Anyway what I came on site to say this morning is that I have decided that a 1 TB drive is what I had thought of getting, as it is likely that I may just about fill one up. Having thought that through though - overnight - I changed my mind and have decided that a 2 TB would be better. This I am unlikely to fill and so will have plenty of spare room to do whatever I want to do. I have also seen that some have independent switches on them, so I will be able to leave them permanently connected to my computer only switching it on as and when required, and then after use ejecting it, via the icon in bottom right hand corner of my screen, and then switch it off. So I get the best of both worlds: having a load of room to back up, copy or download to at any time and being able to dis-connect it so not affecting the start up and switching off of the computer - as I have said in an earlier post having any USB units connected to my computer simply slows it down - no matter whether starting or stopping. So after a horrendous week I think I am getting it back together now, if only I could get rid of my web problem!! But heigh-ho! life isn't perfect and we have to fight to get what we want in life and this is just another fight!!!!

So thanks to everyone and I hope for a good year for all!!

  Housten 14:59 20 Feb 2012

Well as I have said before, hullo from brain dead!!!

I had some previous problem with my ISP and a very nice gentleman sorted it out for me. I don't know if it will help anyone else but I deleted their website which was listed in 'Tools', 'Compatibility View' and 'Compatibility View settings'. So I had another look under 'Tools' and saw 'Full Screen', clicked on it and LO!! I had my bars back. Now how they vanished is the question because it states that 'F11' is the thing to push, but - and only but as far as I am concerned - is that I did not touch the key. Of course that is only my opinion so anything is possible. Only problem now is : Is anyone having trouble getting into their emails in TalkTalk?? I have IE9 and can't get in, but wife's laptop has IE8 and I got in after only 4 attempts. We are supposed to be getting better broadband over the next couple of days but I don' see how I would be able to get into all the other sites I wish to use, so am presuming that TalkTalk ae doing something again!! More service improvements?? I think not!!

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