how long to format a HDD

  Ikelos 19:12 21 Jul 2008

I put in XP.SP3, now nothing works, anyway, I decided to start gain, I put the xp disk in, and clicked on "format" the drive is 40gb, I started at 5.15, it is now 07.10, and it has done 4%, does it always take this long.


  martjc 19:21 21 Jul 2008

...for the first 9% of the format process, the HDD is just being checked for errors with scandisk or chkdsk. If it can't get past this milestone, there is something wrong with the file system.

It would help if we knew what o/s you use.

  Technotiger 19:21 21 Jul 2008

I didn't think it was possible to re-format XP just like that! If you are running XP you are trying to make it format itself??

  cream. 19:22 21 Jul 2008

You picked normal format and not a quick format?

Then your hard drive must have errors and bad sectors. the XP installation will be marking or trying to recover sectors of your hard drive that are damaged.

If you have a very bad hard drive it could take upto a day.

  Technotiger 19:25 21 Jul 2008

Reformat the Hard Drive and Re-install the Operating System

Past versions of Windows (through Windows ME) allow you to create a start-up disk. You'll need one to reformat your hard drive. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel. Double-click Add/Remove Programs. Click Start-up Disk. Click Create Disk.

On Windows XP, you'll need to download the disk information. Go to and click "DOS — Windows 9X/NT4/2000/XP Excellent Bootdisks." Download the Windows XP Custom Install Disk and save it to a floppy.

On all systems, shut down all open programs. Restart the computer with the floppy in the A: drive. At the A: prompt, type Format: C. Answer "yes" to the warning; you want to wipe out all the data. When the reformat finishes, put the Windows installation CD in the CD drive and remove the floppy. Restart and re-install Windows.

  Ikelos 19:33 21 Jul 2008

Thank you all for the help, I will start again and report back.

thanks again

  Ikelos 19:34 21 Jul 2008

in answer to the question, it was XP, but i have a XP PRO disk and was trying to put that in, with multi user..........

  Strawballs 22:21 21 Jul 2008

Set to boot cdrom first in bios put xp disc in and boot then follow instructions.

  Ikelos 23:24 21 Jul 2008

thank you for all the help. I started again. following the help and it is now all done.


  Technotiger 23:29 21 Jul 2008

Grreat, but as a matter of interest - which help helped :-))

  paulypj 19:34 12 Sep 2008

im in a similar situation....(thought id use this thread instead of starting a duplicate)

I am helping my sister restore her laptop as it crashed and stopeed working (boot troubles)

I have a feeling some sectors on the HDD need repairing as Windows XP was unstable.

I am resorting to reinstalling win XP

Rather than format NTFS (quick) i thought id do it fully.

Its been running for 4 1/2 hours and is at 4%

Is it true that the first 9% are checks and repairs to the HDD ???????

Will it speed up after that then? (quick install took about 2 mins but the system was still unstable at booting).

any advice please (its a Dell C610 Latitude)

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