As a part of the process I did a full low level format.
Even on my fast machine [with a quad processor] that takes a long time.
In fact it takes a very long time.
I started it overnight.
I set the machine to not go to sleep.
I set my body to do exactly the opposite.
It finished just before I left for work - after approximately six hours and ten minutes.
The time is a function of the mechanics of the drive itself, and not that of the rest of the machine.