Hard Drive Partition Formatting Too Slowly!

  Gaz W 21:41 19 Apr 2004

I've had to replace my hard disk due to a mechanical failure and have replaced it with a new Western Digital Caviar 250GB Serial ATA UDMA 150 8MB Cache JD.

I have set up 2 partitions using Windows XP Setup; the first one being 50GB and the second being the rest of the space (200GB in hard disk manufacurers' language but really about 180 odd).

Windows XP is installed on the primary partition and I've been using it to format the secondary partition.

The first time I did it it was just before halfway (right-click the drive & click Format) along the progress bar and I thought it had stopped and cancelled it. The second time I used command prompt and it's been really slow!

click here for the original thread - it's on 2 pages.

  GaT7 00:58 20 Apr 2004

I've searched for a solution to no avail - even searched the WD knowledge base. I suggest you contact WD support directly & tell them your problem - click here.

  Gaz W 12:07 20 Apr 2004

Thanks for that link Crossbow7. I've described my problem although I don't know what's going to happen next.

When I checked about half an hour ago it was on 69% - so overnight it has advanced 7% from about 2:00am to 11:30am.

I'll see if it's at 76% at 9:00 tonight!!!

  Gaz W 12:48 20 Apr 2004

To clarify my question for anyone new to this thread:

1. I have a Western Digital Caviar Serial ATA 250GB hard drive

2. I ran Windows Setup (XP Pro) and partitioned the drive. The first partition is exactly 50GB and the second is the rest of the space. The partition on which XP is installed is NTFS.

3. Now when I try formatting the secondary partition, it takes ages. It actually says Verifying (size) and it's still only on 69%. I started it around 9:00pm Sunday night and it soon got up to 42%, where it slowed down dramatically.

I am formatting it from within Windows using the command prompt. Maybe this could have something to do with it? I don't have any processes running other than those that run by default on a clean install of Windows.

  Gaz W 20:18 20 Apr 2004

If anyone is there I still need help!

It's got up to 75% now but this really is too slow. I am informed by a reliable that a partition of this size should take around 90 minutes!

Also the strange thing is - I am using the PC on which the drive is being formatted to access the Internet. I came home today to find the IE browser window open on the MSN homepage.

I did not configure the network card - last time I had to install a driver. Luckily it is firewalled because I connect through my server!

The only think I can think of is that somehow the Activate Windows feature has automatically configured it for me - but weird all the same!

  Eric10 21:01 20 Apr 2004

This is just a suggestion as I have no experience with SATA drives. On Western Digital's website click here there is a utility called Lifeguard v11.0 which comes in both Windows and DOS varieties. It states that it is for EIDE Hard Drives but it also states that it is 'Certified to work on all current WD drives (model numbers starting with "WD")' which I believe covers your drive. I have used similar utilities from Maxtor and Seagate in DOS and they partition and format in seconds. Maybe worth looking at.

  Gaz W 21:59 20 Apr 2004

Thanks for that linkk Eric10.

Unfortunately I don't know how helpful that utility will be having looked at it. I would need a separate hard drive (a reliable one) installed that I could run Windows XP from in order to format the drive.

I doubt the DOS version will be able to format in NTFS but I suppose I might be able to get away with using FAT32 and converting.

If this formatting is unsuccessful I'll give it a go anyway - have already downloaded it ready for the occasion!

  GaT7 01:01 23 Apr 2004

Noticed your other link* - I take it that WD support hasn't gotten back to you yet?

(*click here - if anyone else needs to know)

  Gaz W 14:40 26 Apr 2004

Might as well say this is resolved now even though there have been new threads. Thanks to anyone who posted on here for your help.

The solution to the problem in the end was to use the Lifeguard utility for Western Digital hard drives. It partitioned the drive and formatted both partitions in NTFS within seconds - literally.

I was then able to install XP, activate it a third time without trouble and set up my PC the way I like it to be running all on the same night! Needless to say it's now working and I'm pleased with the result.


  GaT7 15:00 26 Apr 2004

Congratulations Gaz! Good news! I know how much you've struggled with this (from your other posts). Nice one Eric10 - your suggestion did the business!

Were you able to successfully Ghost the old drive to the new one? Or, will to answer this on that particular thread?

  Gaz W 16:45 15 Sep 2004


Very very late reply, but I've been looking through my old postings as a similar thing has happened again (this time due to SP2)...

...anyway no I was never able to ghost from my old 40GB drive. I still have that drive ready to send back to Maxtor - never got round to it! It's still under warranty until the middle of next year anyway...

Oh and Western Digital support never did get back to me!

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