Write-to-Zero before Installing OS

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by doubledee, May 19, 2012.

  1. doubledee macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    How crucial is it to do a "Write-to-Zeros" re-formatting before installing Snow Leopard on a new hard-drive?

    I "burned in" my new hard-drive by writing 750 GB of data onto it, and did a quick "Don't Erase Data" but was hoping to do a more thorough format.

    The problem is that I am having wireless issues, and when my Internet connection goes down, I need to re-boot. Well, at 750G, the "Write-to-Zeros" will take between 6-8 hours, and my Internet connection will never last that long, which is hard when I traveling and can't find a spot where I can just do the formatting overnight.

    (I can't believe it takes that long?!)

    I would hate to have OS troubles later because I didn't take the time to do a "Write-to-Zeros"...

    Thoughts?


    Debbie
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    You don't need to do that, as "Zero Out" is for overwriting existing data in order to prevent data recovery.
    You just want a clean install, thus a quick formatting is sufficient.
    MacBook, MacBook Pro: Replacing the Hard Disk Drive, transferring data to the new HDD

    the guide includes:
    • 0. Identify your MacBook or MacBook Pro
    • 1. Getting a new HDD
    • 2. Guides to replace the internal HDD with a newer one
    • 3. Transferring data from the old HDD to the new HDD
    • 4. Using the optical disk drive (ODD) slot for placing an SSD or HDD inside the MB/P (OPTIBAY)


    PS: Writing zeroes to a big HDD will take long, if you use 50 MB/s as average write speed and have a 750 GB HDD, thus it will take around 256 minutes to write that much zeroes. But normally it will take longer due to slower write periods.
     
  3. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #3
    Any idea how long it will take to install SNow Leopard onto my 750GB HDD?


    Yeah, it is saying 6-8 hours which is too long for the reasons mentioned above.

    Thanks,


    Debbie
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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    #4
    Less than an hour, probably 30 minutes, if you use an installation DVD.
     
  5. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

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    #5
    Any "words of wisdom" before I rebuild my laptop?

    (I sure hope a new HDD and new Snow Leopard install fixes my Wireless Connectivity issues...)


    Debbie
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

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    #6
    Just follow the Clean Install steps:
    To create a Clean Install (formerly known as Erase & Install) of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (the 29 USD Upgrade DVD is a fully working retail version of Mac OS X and does not need a prior installation of Mac OS X on the Mac), follow one of the following guides:

    If it was software related, it should, but if it is hardware related (Mac or router), it probably won't.
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    It can be used to check for bad sectors.

    I would not count on that unless your connectivity issues were unique to Lion due to bugs or bad drivers. If it's hardware related, this won't do anything. It's important to note that this can be caused by issues other than the computer. It's common for a flakey router to cause such problems.
     
  8. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #8
    You're installing Snow Leopard and hoping it fixes the problems you had. Understood.

    What OS were you running before installing Snow Leopard?
     
  9. simsaladimbamba, May 19, 2012
    Last edited: May 19, 2012

    simsaladimbamba

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    #9
    Didn't think of that. How would something like this be reported then, as I only formatted a 320 GB HDD that way before selling my MacBook and didn't see any messages (probably due to no bad sectors)?
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #10
    They all have some bad blocks. It should remap any that are discovered during formatting. I recall a couple utilities that could check smart data under OSX. I can't remember the names.
     
  11. simsaladimbamba

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    #11
    Data Rescue 3 did find bad sectors on one or two of my older external HDDs, Disk Warrior will probably be another tool to do that.
     
  12. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #12
    I can't recall if disk warrior does that at all. Bad sectors aren't that big of a deal unless they're increasing significantly meaning the drive is on its way out and you're better off retiring it early. Disk Warrior's strength is in its ability to clean up directories. This leaves you with fewer beach balls due to waiting on the disk. You'll still see them when waiting for external drives to spin up. I do like Disk Warrior for single volumes. Obviously these tools don't replace backups, and I haven't tested it with RAID volumes, nor do I know if they're supported.

    You have no idea how many times I've had to explain that a RAID is not a backup. Many people read too much marketing kool-aid. They buy the wrong equipment, then want to implement RAID 5, or they don't understand that even though it's a mirror, RAID 1 isn't a backup, and even its fault tolerance isn't a 100% guarantee with a software or cheap controller implementation. This is not to suggest that I'm an expert on storage systems. It's more that some people really don't do their research.
     
  13. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #13
    It worked last summer...

    And unless someone wants to loan me $1,500 for a new MacBook, it's the only option I have...


    I had this issue with Leopard last summer.

    I bought a new HDD and Snow Leopard, installed both, and was good until now.


    Debbie
     

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