Time to completion estimate?


New Member
I'm currently erasing an empty 1.5TB SATA2 drive via USB 3.0 external dock. The drive is empty and I'm using the Unused Disk Space Gutmann 32 passes task.

So far it's been running for three hours and the status bar is only at about 10-15%.

Anyone know how long this will take to complete?

Other specs:
LGA 2011 CPU and Motherboard
Windows 7 sp1

I canceled the task and created a new one. This time with the Pseudorandom Data 1 Pass. So far running for an hour and status at 10-15%. I'm convinced the status bar doesn't actually show "status".

Does anyone have experience in erasing a whole drive and the time it takes to complete?
Erasing large amounts of free space takes a long time. You were right to cancel the Gutmann erase; all the current evidence is that the single pass gives users what they need.

Free space erasing works the system quite hard. On my now oldish quad core system with 8GB of RAM, I reckon 2-3 hours plus to erase 700MB on an internal drive. This is, more than anything, a function of hard drive performance, and it is a situation where caching will not help very much, if at all. From my experience, the progress bar is a fairly reasonable guide, once the actual erasing starts. The performance you are seeing seems to me to be a bit slow, but not exceptionally so.

The standard advice is to disable running programs such as security software when doing a free space erase. Also, I don't know whether there is any significant CPU overhead in generating the pseudorandom data; you could try the HMG baseline method (all zeroes) to see if that is quicker.

I'm guessing you did not disable cluster tip erasure on a system drive. The first 10% of an unused space erasure is limited by how fast your computer can open and close files for writing, which is significantly slower than the rest of the 90%, which is to open files every few seconds and write lots of data to it. There is no way to be accurate with that -- however, the progress bar should be very accurate if you disable cluster tip erasure.
The OP said that the drive is empty. There are surely no cluster tips to erase?

Oops, that's what you get when you clear the forum just before you head to bed... haha.