Low Level Format
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Thread: Low Level Format

  1. #1
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    Arrow Low Level Format

    Procedure of doing Low Level format... normally we format things in High level partition, but low level format is writing zero byte back to each sector... Anyone can explain the purposes of doing low level format? etc to kill data(secure delete) and bad sectors? Btw, after low level format is MS-Dos gone? how shall i install back ms-dos never did low level format before, please advise

  2. #2
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
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    Check your hard drive manafactures website. They might have a low level format utillity for you to use. Low Level formatting (and correct me if I am wrong) is just the process of deleting all the data and then writing over it correct? MS Dos is on the boot disk you use to do a low level format, not on your hard drive. You should be able to do a low level format and then install an OS.

    A little more http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/geom/...ilities-c.html
    N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)

  3. #3
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    So MS-Dos will still be around

  4. #4
    Originally posted here by Death_Knight
    So MS-Dos will still be around
    not on your harddrive, but it will be on your boot source (floppy, cd, dvd).
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  5. #5
    After you llf your drive you will need to repartition it.
    Once this is done you need to give the partitions a 'normal' format to put a filesystem on it again (ie: FAT32, NTFS, Ext3).
    Then you will need to reinstall the OS.

  6. #6
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    The only time i did a low level format was with my old fuji (just replaced it yesterday) that was causing troubles. Instead of just deleting partitions with fdisk and formatting over the old data, I figured I would try and wipe the data. Using a low level format utility designed specifically for my drive (from fuji's web site) it took a few hours and zero'd the drive. it still caused problems however, so I knew there was something really wrong with it. thats the only reason why I would use a low level format. if you get a royally nasty virus that really doesn't want to leave, this may also work.

    just my .02

    Dave
    Alcohol & calculus don't mix. Never drink & derive.

  7. #7
    Im not sure if this is true, but i read once that a LLF could also "fix" bad clusters/sectors.
    But i got that info from a dark colord site, maybe there is someone who can verify that.
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  8. #8
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    Using the term "low level format"(concerning IDE drives) is technically incorrect from it's true original meaning... It's like how the term hacker is misconstrued these days compared the the old days..

    When the term "low level format" first came out.. it was in reference to SCSI, ESDI , RLL and MFM hard drives.. An IDE drive is only low level formatted at the factory.. there are no real LLF utilities for IDE's, only things that write zero's and ones.. and they certainly can't fix and remap the hard drive structure. I remember having to enter blocks/sectors into the partition tables of esdi/scsi drives.. that could be tedious back in the early unix days, if a drive was getting way out of hand. Then later versions of the unix partition utility made it easier.. with dos and early windows, the manufacturers of the RLL/MFM drives that were common.. did provide true LLF utilities...

    these days, the best utilitiy I've EVER found for fixing an IDE drive with bad clustors/sectors is spinrite5 from Gibson Research Corporation. I've fixed many drives with this.. it's been a godsend.. better than sliced bread..

    http://www.spinrite.com/

  9. #9
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    SpinRite only fixs FAT32 partitions?

  10. #10
    there are no real LLF utilities for IDE's, only things that write zero's and ones.. and they certainly can't fix and remap the hard drive structure.
    Maxtor Claims different, I used this utility a couple of times (clearing a hard drive is not exactly a hobby).
    WARNING: ALL DATA WILL BE LOST WHEN PERFORMING THE LOW LEVEL FORMAT QUICK OR FULL OPTIONS.
    http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/downloads/powermax.htm
    The utility has aslo diagnostic utils etc built in and returns your HD to the factory state.

    /* Note that this utility offcourse only works for maxtor harddrives */

    EDIT:
    http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/L/LLF.html
    Modern hard drives are low-level formatted at the factory for the life of the drive. A PC can not perform an LLF on a modern IDE/ATA or SCSI hard disk, and doing so would destroy the hard disk.
    Now I am confused

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