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Format hard drive (SSD) using an external usb adapter 2.0 versus 3.0

Hello everyone
I just received a brand new Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB and as a rule of thumb for all my new hard drives I always run a full format (not fast) for the first time. It gives me peace of mind to know that all the sectors are correct by doing so.

I am using a Transimp SATA/IDE to usb 3.0 adapter to connect the SSD to my desktop and format the drive. At first I connected the adapter to a USB 2.0 port and began the process but it was taking forever, really more than 1-2 minutes per 1% increment. I decided to stop the process and switched to the USB 3.0 the mother board has in the back. The full format process was considerably fast (probably 10% or less of the time that would have taken me using the USB 2.0 port).

I always thought full format wasn't a process where the system actually writes information on the hard drive, but looking at the performance formatting the hard drive, it would seem that's the case. I know fast format just rewrites the TOC of the hard drive and doesn't really overwrite the information so If anyone would care to enlighten the community (in short words),
what is it really happening when one does a full format?
why the huge time difference in this process using USB 2.0 versus 3.0?

Thanks!
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  1. Best answer
    Welcome to the community, mrgerlo!

    Shortly, the full format (a.k.a. writing zeros) erases all the data and it takes longer because it writes zeros to all data sectors on the drive. Whereas the quick format only erases the first and last million sectors of the drive, that's why it take less time.

    And shortly about the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 difference.
    Basically, the USB 3.0 (4.8 Gbps) provides better speed and more efficient power management than the USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) which, as you can see, makes it 10 times faster. The wires within the cables and the connectors are different and improved with the USB 3.0. It also uses more bandwidth meaning that instead of one-way communication, the 3.0 has 2 unidirectional data paths, one receives data and the other transmits while 2.0 can only handle one direction of data.
    Check this article: http://www.everythingusb.com/superspeed-usb.html

    Hope I was able to answer your questions! :)
    Best of luck!
    SuperSoph_WD
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