How many hours does it take to wipe a 650gb partition with Ext4?


Since yesterday 10:00 AM, I wiping my 650gb partition with Ext4.
Now we have next day 10:51 AM and it's wiping :/, not finished.

How many hours does it take to wipe a 650gb partition?

Would you please be a bit more specific? What do you mean on wipe? Format or delete partition or delete content, files and folders? What command or application do you use for this action?

Filesystem manager programs like cfdisk, fdisk, gparted drops/erases filesystems fast, takes some seconds to some minutes.

Deleting content for example by ' rm -rf "/root of the filesystem" ' takes more longer if it was full of files and folders, but it should finish in some hours even on a slow system.

I run "gnome-disks".

Choosed my partition of 650gb to format with Ext4 + encrypt + wipe it with zero.

I can't abort the wiping (format) process.

My system 4 ghz AMD 8xCore, 32gb RAM.

Can it take 2 days to format my disk with the wipe command?

If this is the equivalent of a low level format, yes.
Back in the day, it would take something like 2gb per hour with a HDD.

I would interpret "wipe" as meaning zero wiping - where the partition is overwritten by zeroes first so the old data is unrecoverable - which is what the Erase option in GNOME Disks would do.

To find out how long it's going to take, install the command line tool iotop.

sudo apt install iotop

When ran:

sudo iotop -o

This will give stats of how many KB/MB per second at the current point in time.

Total DISK READ :     122.07 K/s | Total DISK WRITE :       0.00 B/s
Actual DISK READ:     122.07 K/s | Actual DISK WRITE:       0.00 B/s

Then by applying some maths, you could potentially work out how much is complete and how much is left to go at the current rate. I don't know if GNOME Disks provides any indication of how much % is completed. Google's calculator is handy for data measuring:

650 GB over 32 MB/s = 5.64236111 hours
100 GB over 3 MB/s = 9.25925926 hours (suppose if 85% / 550 GB completed at a slow rate of 3 MB/s)

Some hard drives do get progressive slower as they get further along the disk. :turtle:


yes, I mean "zero wiping"...

It's a SATA HDD. Seagate 2TB.

I hope it will done tomorrow.

oh, wow :D, now it's finished.