Slow formating when doing XP setup
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Thread: Slow formating when doing XP setup

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kite's Avatar
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    Slow formating when doing XP setup

    Alright, heres the deal. my freinds computer had a problem where it would boot to the hp startup screen then restart. the only thing i could think of to do was to format the drive and reinstall XP. so i did a low level format with Troubleshooter, now im doing the XP setup and its formatting but it is taking a super long time. i already formatted the drive so why is it taking so long? its been 3 hours and its only at 43 percent complete.
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  2. #2
    ********** |ceWriterguy
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    Could be any number of things based on the info you've given us - what speed cpu and how much memory, what kind of hard drive and how large? Does the disk have bad sectors? All are factors in format speed. The best thing to keep in mind here is - if it's making progress, be patient and let it make progress. You could always install Linux you know...
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  3. #3
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    There is a difference between a low level format and formatting with ntfs.
    The low level format writes 1s and 0s across the entire hard disk.

    The ntfs format will format the drive to use the ntfs filesystem.
    I'm assuming that you formatted with ntfs.

    Normally it is not necessary to do a low level format. I only do a low level format if the hard drive is leaving my posession (to wipe the data when I'm giving it away to someone). I will also do a low level format to get rid of bad sectors. (It actually remaps the sectors... replacing the bad sectors with "spare" sectors.) Normally bad sectors are a sign of a dying hard drive.

    How large was the drive? I've had some 120GB disks take a while to format. I don't recall how long though. I normally do that sort of thing when I'm not in a hurry... I'll walk away to do another task and come back later. IIRC, the last time I did a format it only took an hour or so.

    As |3lack|ce said, the time can very depending on the system. I've seen 200mhz boxes with 64mb ram take more than an hour to format a 4gb hd. My 1.9ghz desktop with 1gig of memory only takes about an hour to format my 80gb drive. The speed also depends on the system bus, speed of the hard drive, and the IDE cable.

    Did your system start rebooting after installing a service patch? I just had one last week that did that. It was a fresh install of windows 2000 workstation. I don't recall the patch at the moment though. i was unable to boot to recovery console, safe mode, etc. I had to format and reload. (I used quick format)
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  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    As already suggested, there are a number of possible causes.

    Given a booting problem followed by an abnormally long formatting period, I am afraid it sounds like your HDD is on the way out.

    I would suggest that you look at the HP diagnostic tools, those from the HDD manufacturer, or a third party and do a thorough scan of the HDD as a first step.

    If you can manage to get XP to load I would suggest using the disk checking tool with a surface scan as a first step.

    good luck

  5. #5
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    www.ultimatebootcd.com will do the trick nihil has suggested nicely. And if your system won't boot properly from a bootable CD, I'd suggest you get a long chain and a boat...cuz it's only good as an anchor at that point.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Yes zen~ has suggested a very good toolkit there.

    Just one word of caution, remember to boot into setup first and check that the CD is ABOVE the HDD in the boot sequence.

    Cheers

  7. #7
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    I once had the same problem with a friend's computer. It took us over 3 hrs to reinstall windows and even then it was dead slow. As a last option I checked up the BIOS setup and found L1 and L2 cache disabled. After enabling them it started working fine. I have no idea how they got disabled. It was an AMD 2200+ with an ASUS M/B with nvidia chipset.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Kite's Avatar
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    phish said he used the quick format, which i didnt, because i left the room for a moment while i was getting it ready and our volunteer decided to not go with the quick version. when i asked him why, he replied with 'the quick one sucks' 'why does it suck?' 'because it does'
    wonderfull. as to the pc specs, it is a hp pavillion pc, its got a 2ghz celeron, 256MB ram and a 60GB hard disk. in addition, my freind that owns the box has screwed around with it alot. i believe he has installed Windows Server 2003, Linux, and Windows XP numerous times. he has also screwed with the bios. as soon as he is off his current computer probation (five weeks! *shudders*) i will ask him about the caches. thanks for the help.
    I know your type, you think "I'll just get me a costume, rip off the neighborhood kids". Next thing you know, you've got a jet shaped like a skull with lasers on the front!
    -The Monarch.

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