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Thread: Low Level Format

  1. #11
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    An IDE drive is only low level formatted at the factory
    Yes indeed. Low level format overwrites not only the data and partitioning
    information, but also the markings that constitute the tracks and sectors.
    You used to be able to actually change the numbers of tracks and sectors
    on the drive, and their physical location.

    When today's HD manufacturers supply a "low level format" utility,
    all it does is erase all data from all sectors of the drive, including
    the MBR, putting the drive in the same condition as new.

    Naturally your OS will not be there any more. You will have to partition,
    format, and install an operating system.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  2. #12
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    nice data from http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/geom/...ilities-c.html

    When most users today talk about "low-level formatting" a drive, what they are really talking about is doing a zero-fill. That procedure will restore a functional drive (that is, one that does not have mechanical problems) to the condition it was in when received from the factory. There are occasions when a modern hard disk can become so badly corrupted that the operating system cannot recover it, and a zero-fill can help in this situation. Stubborn boot sector viruses for example can be hard to eradicate without resorting to low-level intervention. Since the zero-fill cleans all programs and data off the drive it will get rid of almost any data-related problem on the drive, such as viruses, corrupted partitions and the like. Just remember that it's a bit like burning down your house to get rid of termites: you lose everything on the drive.

    This type of utility can also be used to "hide" bad sectors by telling the drive to remap them to its collection of spares. Just remember that a drive that continues to "grow" bad sectors over time is one whose reliability is highly suspect. I discuss this matter in more detail here.
    If i do LLF, i need to install MS-DOS into the sytem again

  3. #13
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    Death_Knight..

    to answer your two recent questions..

    1. yes.. unfortunately spinrite only works on fat partitons but there may be a version in the works for ntfs
    2. yes.. you'll need to repartiton/format and install..

    but my question is.. what version of window are you planning on using ? unless you are going to use win95 or (gasp) windows 3.1 (or 3.11) you don't really need to install MS-DOS. All other more recent windows OS's don't require a base DOS install..

    if you really need to have ms-dos for some reason I'll give you a link to download.
    http://www.peteweb.com/oldos.php

    note: I do not consider this to be warez.. it's more like abandonware. In fact, I've had discussions with pete about this and he assures me that if MS does object, he'll take it down.
    so far, he's had these links up on his site for a long time and MS has yet to complain..
    (ps.. apart from his bootdisks, he also has windows v 1.0, win3.1 and win3.11 along with ms-dos 3.3 and version 6.22..)

    hope this helps..

  4. #14
    Senior Member
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    Originally posted here by jenjen
    Death_Knight..

    to answer your two recent questions..

    1. yes.. unfortunately spinrite only works on fat partitons but there may be a version in the works for ntfs
    2. yes.. you'll need to repartiton/format and install..

    but my question is.. what version of window are you planning on using ? unless you are going to use win95 or (gasp) windows 3.1 (or 3.11) you don't really need to install MS-DOS. All other more recent windows OS's don't require a base DOS install..

    if you really need to have ms-dos for some reason I'll give you a link to download.
    http://www.peteweb.com/oldos.php

    note: I do not consider this to be warez.. it's more like abandonware. In fact, I've had discussions with pete about this and he assures me that if MS does object, he'll take it down.
    so far, he's had these links up on his site for a long time and MS has yet to complain..
    (ps.. apart from his bootdisks, he also has windows v 1.0, win3.1 and win3.11 along with ms-dos 3.3 and version 6.22..)

    hope this helps..
    I'm kind of blur you mean WinXp, Win2k can be install without DOS?

  5. #15
    I'm kind of blur you mean WinXp, Win2k can be install without DOS?
    Yes.
    Just boot the CD to install the OS, it will reckonise unformated (high level) space on your HD and lead you trough the formatting proces. If your box does not support booting from the cd, search the microsoft site for help in creating boot floppies

  6. #16
    Regal Making Handler
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    I think if you go the boot floppy root you will need 5/6 floppy disks and i don't no anyone who has used them. If you are new to all this i would suggest an easier root is to load up an older opperating system win85/98 then load XP / 2000 from within the operating system. This method is only the easiest method if you can not boot from cd. Assuming of course that you own an earlier version of windows.
    Using this method you still get the opption to format to fat32 or ntsf.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  7. #17
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    There's something i remember... you guys not enabling smartdrv in DOS before installing os

  8. #18
    Blast From the Past
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    Note that this utility offcourse only works for maxtor harddrives
    i have used powermax on many harddrives and it fixed them
    samsung
    maxtor
    fugi
    some long chinese named drive
    generic
    ive never had a problem with compatibility
    work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger

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