How Long Does It Take to Format a Hard Drive? Hard Drive Takes Forever to Format Fixes

Jean updated on Jun 19, 2020 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

Top 4 Fixes for a Hard Drive Taking Forever to Format

When you're running into an unlikely finished disk formatting problem in a Windows PC, stop for a while, and pick up the four viable solutions. You can fix hard drive taking forever to format easily.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Use a Format Utility Connect the drive if it's an external one to the computer where EaseUS Partition Master...Full steps
Fix 2. Delete and Create Partitions On EaseUS Partition Master, right-click on the hard drive partition which you want to delete...Full steps
Fix 3. Format via a SATA Use a proper USB cable for connection would help get rid of the formatting...Full steps
Fix 4. Check Bad Sectors Download EaseUS Partition Master and install it. Right-click the disk that you want to check...Full steps

Help! Format Hard Drive Takes Too Long

Case 1 - "Hi, I got stuck at formatting a 500GB Seagate external hard drive in Windows 10 and need your help. How long does it take to format a 500GB hard drive? It seems that my hard drive takes forever to format. Is there a faster way to format the drive instead of the typical Windows way?"

Case 2 - "Hi, I have a hard drive (an HGST 500gb with 7200RPM) connected with a SATA to USB cable. After 2,5 hours of waiting to be formated (not the quick format), I canceled the procedure. Is it too long or is it my idea? Is there a faster way to format the drive instead of the typical windows way(right-click on the drive in my computer-properties, format)? Thanks in advance!"

format hard drive takes a long time

Also read: SSD Taking a Long Time to Boot in Windows 10

How Long Does It Take to Format a Hard Drive

Speaking of formatting a hard drive in Windows Explorer or Windows Disk Management, there is no set time to tell how long it will take to complete. However, the process bar should never cease, not hanging there and even not responding.

For your information, you can always format a hard drive within minutes or half an hour, depending on the hard drive capacity and used space on it. As estimated, to do a "full format" on a 1TB hard disk in Windows, it will take a long time, like 2- hours, and over a USB 2.0 connection, it may take a day! In contrast, to do a "quick" format is much faster, usually several minutes.

Why is your hard drive taking forever to format? One of the most common reasons is that you forget to tick the "quick format" option when you don't want a full format. Another reason that makes format taking a long time is that your hard drive has a bad sector. You can solve the hard drive taking forever to format with four useful tips.

how long does it take to format a hard drive

Also read: How Long Does Windows 10 Update Take

Fix 1. Use a Third-party Hard Drive Format Utility

Learn carefully from the do-it-yourself ways of troubleshooting hard drive that takes too long to format in the Windows operating system on a computer or laptop, with the help of EaseUS Partition Master. 

This free partition manager does well in managing hard disk partitions by resizing, deleting, formatting, creating, and many other features that wait for you to explore. 

Highlights:

  • Adjust partition space with easy steps
  • Combine partitions without losing data
  • Convert to GPT or MBR in Windows 10/8/7
  • Clone a hard drive to another one to replace disk

Steps to format a hard drive or SSD with EaseUS Partition Master:

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Step 1. Connect the drive if it's an external one to the computer where EaseUS Partition Master Free is installed. 

Step 2. Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the hard drive partition you intend to format and choose "Format".

Step 3. In the new window, set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and Cluster size for the partition to be formatted, then click "OK".

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting the partition on your hard drive.

Fix 2. Delete Partitions and Create New Ones Instead of Formatting

If using a Windows alternative method still fails to shorten the formatting time, don't be upset, continue using the EaseUS Partition Master, let's try the other workaround. Many users stuck in the same situation solved the problem by deleting the available partitions on the hard disk and creating new ones.

Steps to delete and create partitions:

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Notice:
If you saved important data in the partition which you want to delete, move and save those data to another secure location in advance.
 

Step 1: Select partition to delete

On EaseUS Partition Master, right-click on the hard drive partition which you want to delete and select "Delete".

Select parittion to delete

Step 2: Confirm the deletion

Click "OK" to confirm that you want to delete the selected partition.

Confirm to delete partition

Step 3: Execute to delete the partition

Click the "Execute Operation" button at the top corner and keep all changes by clicking "Apply".

Complete the deleting process

Steps to create new partitions:

Now the partition or partitions should become unallocated space, to use it normally to store data, just create a new partition and give a proper file system on it with the EaseUS software.

Step 1. On the main window, right-click on the unallocated space on your hard drive or external storage device and select "Create".

Step 2. Set the partition size, partition label, drive letter, file system, etc. for the new partition and click "OK" to continue.

Step 3. Click the "Execute Operation" button at the top corner and keep all changes by clicking "Apply".

Fix 3. Format via a SATA Cable Connection

If the problem is with an external USB hard drive, perhaps trying to plug it out from your computer, use a proper USB cable for connection would help get rid of the formatting trouble. Good luck.

format a hard drive via sata cable connection

Fix 4. Check Bad Sectors for Your Hard Drive

If there is a bad sector on your hard drive, your format process could take a long time. To figure out if there is a bad sector, you can run EaseUS partition software again. Let's see how it works:

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Step 1: Download EaseUS Partition Master and install it. Right-click the disk that you want to check, and then click "Surface test".

click surface test

Step 2: The operation will be immediately performed. Bad sectors will be marked as red.

wait for the process to check your sectors

After locating the bad sector on your external drive, you can subdivide the bad sector into an independent unallocated space or use other tools to repair bad sectors.

Conclusion

At last, we hope that you've rectified the problem without hanging on a formatting process anymore. For those whom we didn't help on this page, please make more efforts other than the mentioned four fixes.

Format HDD Taking Forever FAQs

1. Why does it take so long to format a hard drive?

  • One of the most common reasons is that you forget to tick the "quick format" option when you don't want a full format.
  • The other reason is that the scan for bad sectors is the reason why the Full format takes twice as long as the Quick format. Bad sectors that are not located can cause damage to the hard drive.

2. How long should formatting a hard drive take?

For your information, you can always format a hard drive within minutes or half an hour, depending on the hard drive capacity and used space on it. As estimated, to do a 'full' format on a 1TB hard disk in Windows, it will take a long time, like 2- hours, and over a USB 2.0 connection, it may take a day!

3. Does a quick format erase all data?

A quick format doesn't erase data to make data unrecoverable. It just "deletes" data and you can recover these data as long as these data are not overwritten.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

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What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

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Video Tutorial

How to Partititon a Hard Drive on Windows 10/8/7