Formatting External Drive

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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Formatting External Drive

Post by disphenoidal » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:38 pm

If I buy an OEM drive for use in an external enclosure, will I need to format it first? If so, can I do this with a USB enclosure? I presume that if this is possible, it will take a long time. I'm concerned because at the moment I only have access to my laptop, so I can't connect the drive to an ATA interface to format it before moving it to the USB enclosure.
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Post by JimX » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:35 am

You can format it whenever you want, from Disk Management.

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Post by nick705 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:41 am

Yes, you'll need to partition & format it, unless it comes preformatted (apologies for stating the obvious). It's exactly the same procedure as with an internal drive, and shouldn't take any longer.

A full format will take a while, however, given the size of modern HDDs - these days I only ever do a quick format, and rely on the drive's firmware to take care of remapping any bad sectors (which shouldn't be visible to the OS anyway, unless the drive is faulty). Windows will complain in any case if it *does* find any bad sectors in the drive's usable capacity (ie, there's no spare space left for the firmware to remap them), so a full format probably isn't necessary except perhaps for peace of mind.

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Post by seraphyn » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:12 am

By chance i just happened to have done the thing you're wondering last weekend. I bought an enclosure (USB + Esata) and put in an ATA disk (limiting me to USB usage) and then formatted it through disk management. Other disk management programs should work as well.

Works fine and doesn't take a second longer then formatting an internal disk.

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