Recently, using Windows 7, I did a full formatting of a Western Digital external USB Powered (500 GB) in NTFS. "I hope its speed is 7200rpm."

Surprisingly, it took almost 5 hours to complete the full format.

With this experience, will it be fair to say that 100 GB NTFS full formatting takes 1 hour?

Additionally, I have a question — Will it take less time if I would have converted FAT32 to NTFS? Note that my Disk was almost 80 % full.

Is it also correct to assume that Full Formatting will increase disk life more than Quick Formatting?


It is also true to assume that Full Formatting will give long life for the disk than Quick Formatting?


The only difference between full and quick is that a full format also validates every sector of the disk. Both create all the NTFS file system structures in the same way.

Do a full format if you need to force that verification cycle (e.g. when you are not 100% confident of the reliability of the disk).


A quick format simply writes the basic structure of the filesystem to disk, wheras a full format zeros out every bit. A quick format, for personal use, is just as good, and completes significantly faster. Indeed, it writes to the disk less to achieve effectively the same result (if less secure), so quick formatting may be BETTER for the disk.

As for the speed issue, yes, time to format will scale fairly linearly, and it not effected by what's already on the disk.

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