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Thread: Formatting Time for 4 1TB WD Green Drives in RAID 5?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Formatting Time for 4 1TB WD Green Drives in RAID 5?

    I just built my storage rig together using the following Hardware.

    Antec 300 case
    Intel E8400
    600 W OZC Power Supply
    ASUS EAH3450/DI/256M Radeon HD 3450
    4 - 1TB WD Green Drives in RAID 5
    2 - OLD 320GB WD IDE drives (Has my old files I need to transfer to the RAID array on them.

    My initial set up after I put everything together was to go into BIOS and set up the RAID 5. I quickly found out that I could not install Vista x64 on that large of a partition. So I went back and deleted the RAID, Created a 30GB RAID 5 partition for the OS and whatever programs I plan to use. Then created another RAID 5 partition out of the remaining space for storage. I believe this would work better if I ever want to format and reinstall the OS.

    I then was able to install Vista, and get everything up and running. Went into computer management and created a basic volume, assigned it a drive letter and proceeded to a full format. Here is my question:

    How long should this take???? I have never formatted this amount of HD space before (2764.40.GB). It has been going now for over 24 hours and Iím only at 63%. Does 4 TB drive really take this long? Is the way I set this up fine? Any suggestions or comments would be great. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Formatting Time for 4 1TB WD Green Drives in RAID 5?

    A Quick Format will take very little time, as it doesn't check the media. Always a good idea though to fully check a brand new hard drive with the hard drive manufacturers self booting tools before you partition and/or install an OS.

    It does sound like windows is checking the integrity over all 4 disks, ie the Raid array and the physical media (by performing a full format). As for the time spent so far, I can't comment as I've never setup raid 5.
    This is one of the reasons though I recommend checking the drives individually with the hard drive manufacturers self booting tools before a raid/format/OS install just to make sure that the drives surface and mechanics are all ok.
    Nothing but a pain to setup a large raid array just to find near on from the outset that a drive has problems or a large amount of reallocated sectors early in its life.
    A Full format checks for bad sectors, which significantly adds to formatting time too, let alone building the array.

    Checking across the web it seems that as windows performs so many data integrity checks when formatting a RAID 5 volume it is a very slow process indeed, with parity-building taking up the bulk of the time.
    Last edited by VorLonUK; 03-18-2009 at 09:35 AM.
    GA-P35C-DS3R Rev2.0 F11 bios, E8200 (@3.0Ghz), OCZ DDR3 PC3-10666 Reaper 4GB (@1200Mhz), Xonar D1, 8800GTS 512, Corsair HX520 (Single 12volt line, Max 40A), WDC 3200aaks/5000aaks in AHCI mode, Vista 64 Premium.

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