Formatting and Zeroing Out Data?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Panzo, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Panzo macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2006
    just a lil information needed here. It seems to me that everytime i format and zero out my external harddrive the time needed to zero it out gets longer andd longer, the first time took roughly 3 hours, then it jumped to 5 and now its at 7 hours. is this normal??? why is this happening am i damaging the drive by zeroing it out?
  2. moral-hazard macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2009
    Palo Alto, CA
    What are you using to zero it? You may be selecting different zeroing algorithms. There are alot of different ways to fill the drive (some use randomness), and there is also usually a choice of how many "passes" to make at the drive. Some just make one pass, others make more than five. Each pass takes a long time, so changing how many passes will drastically alter the time used.

    You are almost certainly not damaging it. But why are you zeroing? You don't need to zero it unless you are giving it away or selling it and want to wipe confidential data. Otherwise, just format it.
  3. Panzo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2006
    im using the single zero pass with the disk utility.
  4. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
    Like moral-hazard said, zeroing out your drive like this is bad and completely unnecessary. Unless you're selling the drive, format and forget.
  5. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    No, its definitely not normal to repeatedly format and zero overwrite a hard drive.
  6. Panzo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2006
    what if the aliens can like read formatted partitions, then were all screwed!!!!

    Seriously though, thanks wont zero out again. im going to zero out rehab.

    Thanks for the quick lessons.

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