I recently bought some 4TB drives. Before using any drive I like to “hard” format them completely (not using the quick format option) just to make sure that I’m notified about any bad sectors (and that those sectors are automatically blocked from use). However, on my system, formatting one 4TB drive took more than 30 hours, which meant that I couldn’t reboot or shutdown my machine for more than a day until the format was complete. As an alternative, I was thinking of doing the following for other similarly large drives:
[li]Quick format the drive[/li][li]Partition the drive into multiple smaller partitions (maybe 500GB)[/li][li]“Hard” format each partition one at a time (which allows me to reboot, turn off, etc. my computer in between each partition being formatted)[/li][li]Once all the partitions are formatted, repartition the drive into one large partition[/li][li]Possibly quick format the drive again (I’m not sure this step is even necessary).[/li][/ol]
I haven’t tried this yet, so I don’t know how well it would work. Does the above make sense and/or do you have any alternative procedures that would allow me to format a large drive without “holding my computer hostage” for more than a day? Do you see any major disadvantages to the above (other than it requiring multiple steps)? Is it possible that there would be sectors in between the original smaller partitions that wouldn’t be subject to the hard formatting (and therefore not tested)?