Erase with Zero Out: Takes too long!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ironjaw, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. ironjaw macrumors 6502

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    #1
    So I've just bought a Seagate 400GB External USB2 HD. Connected it to the mac via USB and opened Disc Utility > Erase > Format to Mac Journaled Format with Zero Out.

    It takes ages....:eek: Its been running for over 2hrs. Is this normal

    I've got Panther Mac OS 10.3.9
     
  2. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #2
    I think that depends on how many passes the disc utility does to 'zero out' all the previously existing data. What you've done is basically told the computer to change each and every bit on the disc to '0' for X number of passes and then format it... this will take some time.
     
  3. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #3
    I'm not too surprised by this. I did the same to a 160GB firewire external and it took about 30-45 minutes. The fact that it's attached USB might have something else to do with the slowness.
     
  4. ironjaw thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    There is not data on it - its brand new and FAT32. I did guess that it would take some time but I tried on on my other 80GB hard drive and that did not take long.

    Well I guess I have to just wait and see :rolleyes:
     
  5. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #5
    Why are you zeroing it out if it's brand new? :confused:
     
  6. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #6
    I believe one advantage of this is the system identifies and "quarantines" bad sectors of the disc, if any. Otherwise, you're right - it seems odd to zero out a new disk. I suppose it's like when people buy a new Mac and immediately reinstall the system. To each his own.
     
  7. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #7
    Hmm...okay. I just don't have much experience with this sort of thing, so I was curious. When I put my external together, I partitioned and formatted it in about five seconds and was off and running. Hope I don't run into any problems.
     
  8. ironjaw thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    The reason I am doing that is because at I want to secure that the HD has no bad sectors!

    There is a lot of consensus among users at Apple Discussions that I have read that it's a good idea to zero out new hds. It just keeps you secure from bad sectors eg. the hard drive handle could have caused some bad sectors because of the friction caused by shipping.

    Its good practice I tell you - keeps hd faults low:D
     
  9. ironjaw thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    EMW: No no no its not a personal preference, zero out ensure from the start that your hd is okay.

    If you do not zero out and just format and partition and start transfering data you might come across a bad sector half way through and that can cause inconveniences. That's maybe.

    Format and partition is not doing alot to the hd drive. The hd is like book shelf where the books are your data. Imagine the bookshelf is full. Quick format (your 5 sec) does not erase the contents or does not take ALL the books away. The books stay there until you buy a new book and place in the shelf thus replacing the old book. Full format however does take all the books away, but...

    Partitioning just changes the shelf height and placement. The data can still be accesed with the right application of course.

    Zero out with format goes in and writes "0" in all places of the hd thus throwing all the books away from the shelf and cleaning the shelf and inspecting it inch by inch to make sure everything is okay with the shelf for use.

    Some industry security applications as well as enlightened engineers can access old data from single zero out so therefore you might notice a 35-zero out sequence etc. in fx disc utility
     
  10. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

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    Jan 5, 2005
    #10
    If you asked it to do 35 passes it could take overnight. Fewer passes will take less time but it is still time consuming. It does not matter that it is a new drive with no data on it. The program will not know or care.
     
  11. ironjaw thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    That's true, hence the only single pass. Well its gone 3hrs now and its around 20% finished. I just realised that the first 2 hours it was formatting over USB2
     
  12. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #12
    Thanks...I understand full well what partitioning and formatting are, but I wasn't clear on why you'd zero out an empty drive. You and emw both cleared things up for me quite well.

    And yes, as emptyCup says, a 35-pass erase could take quite awhile on a drive of that size...possibly days.
     
  13. ironjaw thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    HAHA that's absolutely right!! :D

    But I do think that I will buy firewire drives for now on because I guess the USB2 side of it, even though its hass less speed then firewire, its just taking ages....

    my other FW 80GB didn't take that much
     
  14. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #14
    Zeroing out a drive takes FOREVER. I learned my lesson on a 20gb drive back in the day. I just steer clear of it from now and take my chances.

    35 passes will take a looong time. It'll be done when it's done but you're gonna have to be very patient.
     
  15. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #15
    I use the zero over write utility every time I want to do a clean install. It only takes an hour or less for me. Granted, I'm not talking about the seven pass option; that takes 3 days.
     
  16. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #16
    One Question,

    If I bought a new HD and didn't zero out, does running a hardware check suffice for looking for bad sectors and marking them?
     
  17. ironjaw thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    SO here are the stats: Seagate 400GB external hd USB2 took around 12hrs.

    Format HFS+ and Zero out single pass

    Well I started it around 6pm and by midnight it was still half way through so I left it over night and went to sleep. I would assume another 6 hrs or so. Hence 12hrs. I did not check though this is just an assumption.
     
  18. elensil macrumors regular

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    Brooklyn, NY
    #18
    500Gb internal on iMac 2.0Ghz is promising to take 2 days :(

    I was getting a lot of beach balls and really slow performance if any process even touched the drive. Tech Tool discovered bad blocks (1), I am following a general advise that Zeroing out the drive will map Bad Blocks. Its an internal SATA 500Gb, and so far I have 1 day and 11 hours to go. The initial estimate was 2 days 21 hours. I suspect that there might more issues with the drive besides 1 bad block.
     
  19. shujin88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, AUS
    #19
    Hi

    Im trying to zero out my internal ssd coz my MBP **** itself a wouldnt boot. Anyway i'm zeroing the disk but its still saying 'preparing to zero disk' its been like this for half an hour, Is this normal? Im not seeing any progress on the erase thats why im a bit concerned.
     
  20. Detrius macrumors 68000

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #20
    If the system "quarantines" bad sectors on a new disk, the disk is bad. You need to take it back immediately. If the system EVER quarantines bad sectors on a disk, it has become unreliable and should be replaced ASAP.

    Hard drives, like light bulbs, are virtually guaranteed to fail at some point. All drives come from the factory with some bad sectors, but they were quarantined at the factory. Therefore, if consumer software ever finds bad blocks, they have shown up since then, which in turn means that your data is at risk.

    Yes, zeroing out the disk when you format it will find and quarantine bad blocks, but it won't tell you that it did, and IF it did, you definitely should not be putting important data on that disk. Period.

    1 bad block is enough excuse to replace the disk.


    My knowledge of SSDs is less (and my technical experience is nil), but they work completely differently from magnetic media. Things you've learned along the way about disks with rotating magnetic platters don't apply. I don't have any bench tech experience with SSDs, so I'll refrain from giving advice.


    400*1024/(12*60*60) = 9.48 MB/sec

    That's a little slow for USB2, but it's not strange. If DiskUtility is both writing and subsequently reading the zeroed block, then it's more like 19MB/sec, and you'll be doing really well to get much more out of USB2 than that.
     

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