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I bought a 500 GB passport drive yesterday. I noticed it was FAT, so I thought I'd change it to be NTFS.

Format as NTFS, and use, right?

Wrong.

It has been formating since 10 AM. It is now 4:25 PM and it still has not finished.

I am using Windows Vista Business 64 SP1.

Why does it take that long?

How do I speed it up?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Use Quick Format, or you'll be sitting there all day :)

alt text

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There's an option when you format using NTFS to do a "quick" format. it marks everything as free in the allocation table, but doesn't overwrite all the data on the drive. The normal format goes thru, i believe, and overwrites every bit with 0 (or 1.. i'm not sure). Essentially, writing to the entire drive. – Roy Rico Sep 22 '09 at 20:34
    
oh now this post has a screenshot. – Roy Rico Sep 22 '09 at 20:35
2  
well, formatting a huge USB drive takes forever and a day. if you want to destroy previous data, use DBAn and nuke the partition. however, using disk management to delete the old partition, creating a new one and using quick format will suffice and is MUCH quicker. – Molly7244 Sep 22 '09 at 20:37
    
can you quickformat to a different filesystem? I was under the impression that wasn't possible. – Phoshi Sep 22 '09 at 20:47
1  
yes, you can. even without deleting the partition. – Molly7244 Sep 22 '09 at 20:51

If you use an external casing with SATA to USB converter, the culprit is the converter. I had similar issues, where the HDD was SATA2 with 3GB/s transfer rate whereas the SATA controller on the converter was SATA1 with 1.5GB/s transfer rate. So I had to downgrade the HDD but plugging in a jumper as mentioned in the hard-drive and now it works like a breeze

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