How Long Is Too Long To Format? SeaTools

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Jun 24, 2018
So, I ran into the exact problem described in this thread from 2014.
Following along, OP claims to have solved his issue by using Western Digital's tools, and zero filling the drive.

Since I was using Seagate Drives, I decided to use Seagate's SeaTools (Link To SeaTools) to perform a low level format of my Seagate ST2000NM0001 2TB drives.
Before Formatting, I decided to remove as many variables as possible, connecting 8 of 12 drives to the motherboard's on board 2008 SAS controller. (which has proven it's stability in previous installations).
Using SeaTools bootable, I started the drive format using the 'Erase Overwrite Full'' (SeaTools Manual) approximately 22 Hours Ago at the time of this posting.

Currently (22 Hours In), the drives are less than 30% through the format. (Photo Attached)
Napkin Math says, that's way longer than it should take.

The SeaTools manual does mention that the 'Erase Overwrite Full'' will take "A Long Time".
But, in another section, few paragraphs later, "A Very Long Time" is defined as 3-4 Hours per TB.
I therefore surmise that "A Long Time" is longer than a short while, but less than 3-4 Hours per TB.

I guess my question becomes, How Long Is Too Long To Format?

Did I miss something critical, is SeaTools crap? If so, what is the recommended tool?

Napkin Math (In Case You Wanted To Follow Along)
30% of 2 TB is ~= 600 GB
22 Hours ~= 1 Day
600 GB/Day ~= 7 MBytes/sec

System Specs:
FreeNAS 11.1 U5
Supermicro X8DT6-F
2 x Intel X5670
48GB Samsung ECC DDR3 1333MHz
12 x 2TB Seagate ST2000NM0001 SAS (Planned For Three Way Mirror)
120GB SSD Boot Drive
Corsiar RM850x 850W
LSI 9201-8i (Crossflashed to 9211-8i IT)


  • seatools_progress.jpg
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Documentation Engineer
Nov 14, 2014
A low-level format should almost never be needed. It's a very inefficient process to just erase GPT tables.

Then the question becomes what happens if that "low-level format" is interrupted. Will the drives be in a usable state? I don't know, I don't use SeaTools.
For now, I'd suggest leaving it running and hoping it will finish soon. For the future, I've archived that thread to prevent future misleading advice.

pro lamer

Feb 16, 2018
Maybe seatools can't manage with more than one disk at a time efficiently?

Has the format finished? How long did it take?

Sent from my mobile phone
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