Why is formatting my 1TB Transcend external USB HDD taking a very long time??

Nahid K September 30, 2013
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So, I bought a Transcend 1TB External USB HDD two months ago. It was delivered with FAT32 filesystem. After some time I saw I can’t copy single files sized more than 4GB, I looked up on the internet and found a command line code to convert from FAT32 to NTFS without formatting it or losing all my data. So my HDD had only 50gb free and I was so happy, then came the problem.

One day I couldn’t access to my game backup folder. Browsing the HDD was so slow and there was loading all the time. Only few folders were accessible and showed CAN NOT READ FROM SOURCE ERROR when I tried to open or delete anything.

I knew it needs formatting. So, After two days taking some important file backup(which I could access), I put it in format but after 4 hours of formatting only 40% formatting completed(NTFS). What should I do?

Will this HDD create anymore problem in future? Why did that CAN NOT READ FROM SOURCE ERROR happened?
Should I replace it?

  1. James B
    September 30, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Sounds like your drive is dying. Did you run any kind of error checking on it yet? That would be my first port of call.

    • Nahid K
      October 3, 2013 at 7:00 am

      Error checking revealed no error.

  2. Hovsep A
    September 30, 2013 at 9:11 am

    if it is in warranty period just replace it,

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    • Nahid K
      October 3, 2013 at 6:59 am

      Quick Bad Sector scan reveals no errors and no bad sector. Full scan was taking too much time, so, I didn't check that that time. Now, I'll take a look and mention the result here.

    • Hovsep A
      October 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

      yap large hard drive with full scan mode it takes several hours, myself had a problem with hard drive like 250gb i used hdd regenerator to fix bad sectors and it took 24h.
      it is shareware 99.99USD, but you can buy a new hard drive with this price.

  3. Oron J
    September 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

    There are two possibilities/things at play here:
    1. 1TB is a lot of data! If you are doing a full format (not just the "quick format", the each sector on the disc needs to be written to, and this takes time. For a 1TB disc I'd expect an hour or two, not four, but it's nevertheless a significant amount of time.
    2. Whenever the system tries to access a bad sector, it will wait a certain amount of time for the response, if there is no response, it will attempt to read it again. Eventually it will give up but this takes a significant amount of time (usually in tens of seconds). If there are many such blocks, it will take a long time indeed.
    My suggestion to you is that you should let the format operation finish, then run some health tests on your drive including checking its S.M.A.RT status and some throughput tests. If it shows up problems, don't hesitate - replace it! Hard disc companies are usually very good about their warranty procedures. They have a page where you can check the warranty status and they make it easy to arrange a replacement, so check it out!

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