It certainly should not take 6 hours to perform the required actions. It sounds as if the drive has lost its partition table or the drive itself has been damaged. You can use the Partition Editor located on the Recovery Essentials disk and see what it says there and report back to us with its findings.
You could also use GParted.
GParted -- Download
Either the LivdCD version or the USB version and use that to see what is going on with your partitions.