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I have an external Samsung USB 3.0 1 TB HDD on Windows XP. It needs 42 hours to reformat. Halfway through, my system crashed.

  • Why would it take so long?
  • Could the system freeze (a hard crash – I had to reset manually) hurt the drive?
  • Do I need to run some tests first or can I begin to copy stuff on it?

I was able to do a quick reformat without issues.

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closed as not constructive by Breakthrough, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Renan, Xavierjazz, wizlog Feb 28 '13 at 18:05

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You should do at least 1 full format during the lifespan of the drive, but a quick format should be fine. A full format is the same thing as a quick format, except after formatting, it runs a sector check of the drive (i.e. same thing as chkdsk /R). – Breakthrough Feb 28 '13 at 11:37
@Breakthrough Thanks for the link and response. Any idea as to my second question about it taking so long? – sasha Feb 28 '13 at 12:05
The drive is USB 3 but is Windows XP talking to it at USB 3 speeds? Unlikely without custom drivers. – Alan B Feb 28 '13 at 12:15
Considering this is a symptom of your HDD is already failing I wouldn't worry about damaging it. Windows XP does not have support for USB 3.0 so the drive is connected through a USB 2.0 bus. – Ramhound Feb 28 '13 at 12:33
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It shouldn't take anywhere near that long even for a full format.

To be honest, there is only 1 reason ever to do a full format (as opposed to a quick format) and that is to scrub any residual data - and for that, you should use a secure format tool, not a full format anyway.

Modern drives have internal self-alignment capabilities that negate the need for full formats.

The length of time, even over USB 2, indicates repeated errors either in the interface or (more likely) with the disk itself.

If you are prepared to spend some money, the excellent tool Spinrite (USD90) will tell you everything that is going wrong and may well be able to fix it too.

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