FAT32 to NTFS formatting

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by theblotted, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. theblotted macrumors regular

    theblotted

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    i'm currently in the blue screen, formatting FAT32 to NTFS (not the quick one). on mac pro with WD Raptor 10K.

    is it just me, or is the formatting takes a loooooong time? i calculated out, that it's about 1% per 10min, so it's gonna take approx 16 ~ 17 hours (i've already finished 65%).

    formatting Apple drives didn't take THIS long...

    is this normal? or something's wrong?
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
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    #2
    i just did that too seem like it took about 30 min to format a 25 gig partition. i say its kinda long in your case
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    How big is the drive? If it was FAT, I guess it cannot be so so big. Is it still slowly progressing?
     
  4. bankshot macrumors 65816

    bankshot

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    #4
    I think you're confusing two different actions as the same thing. What you're doing is converting a filesystem from FAT32 to NTFS (I assume this is within Windows). Depending on how much data was there to begin with, it may take a very long time. The conversion must rewrite every single chunk of data from the old filesystem to conform to the rules of the new filesystem. And it must do this in such a way that new filesystem data doesn't overwrite old data that hasn't been processed yet. I'm not an expert, but I imagine that could be tricky.

    Formatting a disk is a separate process that ends up with a blank drive, ready to use. There's no data that needs to be converted, and modern filesystems only need a very small amount of information written to the disk to start fresh. Usually this takes a few seconds or less. This is regardless of how much data may have been on the disk before, because that's all completely ignored when the new filesystem is formatted, having the effect of wiping it out.
     
  5. theblotted thread starter macrumors regular

    theblotted

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    the drive is 36GB. i know FAT can only do 32GB. i'm doing NTFS to have that extra bit of security and speed. i'm planning on using an external drive (FAT) to do the transferring between the 2.

    it's for sure "formatting", cuz at the blue screen before installing Windows, the option i got was "Format the partition into NTFS". or perhaps Window's got a different name for "converting" that i just don't know about.

    i ringed up my brother who's quite savvy at this, and he told me that what i'm doing is essentially useless. because before i started using BootCamp, i already erased the drive completely (zero disk) in OSX's Disk Utility. so i can simply choose "Quick" formatting; apparently what it's doing now is completely erasing all the data... which i already did in the first place.

    however, i'm still surprised by the speed (or lack of). yes, it's still progressing slowly. if there's a lot of data, then i wouldn't be surprised... but since i already zero'd disk in Disk Utility, it should be pretty quick, right?

    btw, i'm doing this on an entire drive. not a partition of drive that also have OSX.

    i started about 2am last night, and it's still going (now it's @ 78%).
     
  6. theblotted thread starter macrumors regular

    theblotted

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    i'm formatting from this page (show below in pic). i chose "Format the partition using the NTFS file system".

    PS: the pic is not from my MacPro. it's from the BootCamp Setup Guide... so the HD/partition sizes don't correspond.
     

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  7. weldon macrumors 6502a

    weldon

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #7
    FAT32 can support very large partitions, it's just that the format tool included in Windows XP imposes an artificial limit of 32GB. You can format a FAT32 partition to whatever size you want from OS X. The real limitation with FAT32 is the 4GB file limit. You're much more likely to run into this limit when working with digital video.
     
  8. theblotted thread starter macrumors regular

    theblotted

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    yeah, i got that. hence the NTFS.

    update: sorry to disappoint all of you, but i found out that the HD i got (for free) was actually a bad HD. it's ridiculously slow, and occasionally gets up to normal speed. i found this out after installing Windows, and it was head-scratchingly sluggish (on a Quad Xeon 3GHz)... so i called the guy who gave it to me.. and sure enough, he said "oops, i forgot. that's why i don't use it anymore". sheesh :rolleyes:

    ok, time to partition my other HDs...
     
  9. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a

    thewhitehart

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    The town without George Bailey
    #9
    Funny, I've been messing around with a friend's computer trying to get an operating system back on it. Thanks to 'activation', we can't use Windows XP as a viable solution, so he was stuck with his old Windows 98 CD. The formatting was going at about 1% per 15 minutes!

    Maybe this is because I used a partition manager about thirty times on the drive, installing fresh copies of FreeBSD, Ubuntu, Windows 98, Xubuntu, and Windows XP several times over, with no luck on either finding both the ethernet card and the sound card :D

    But seriously, can constant formatting and installation of new operating systems screw up the drive?
     
  10. weldon macrumors 6502a

    weldon

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    Umm, OK. I was correcting the following statement you made earlier.
    FAT16 has a 2GB volume limit and FAT32 has a 4TB volume limit. Just trying to make sure that the 32GB myth wasn't being spread any more.

    Sorry to hear you have a bum drive. Hopefully you can find something on sale.
    No. At worst you can screw up the partition table, but you should always be able to wipe the drive and start over. The reason it was going so slow was likely because you selected the options to check drive integrity while it was formatting, or possibly to zero out all data on the drive. Both of those steps require writing to every single bit on the hard drive. It will take a long time.
     

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