Low level format
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Thread: Low level format

  1. #1
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    Low level format

    I am trying to get a list of the best low level DoD standard format tools... I wanna try them then run helix and other data recovery programs to find out what one is the best... Who wants to help?

  2. #2
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    IBM/Lenovo recommends a tool called Secure Data Disposal... I have never used it, but you can find it at:

    http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/si...docid=TVAN-SDD

    Cheers!
    Westin
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  3. #3
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well, you can't do a low level format with a modern hard drive, and formatting does not overwrite your data unless you do a full one in Vista, which I believe overwrites with one pass of zeros.

    You might like to try this tool:

    http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  4. #4
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    I didn't know you couldn't do a low level format on newer drives... That seems strange to me, but now that I think of it I never did one on a newer machine. I have been playing around with it in class but only on older P3 dells. But I am going to look into it some more.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Basically you are warned not to, or you might trash your HDD if you use an inappropriate tool.

    Wikipedia:

    Low-level formatting (LLF) of hard disks

    User instigated low-level formatting (LLF) of hard disks was common in the 1980s. Typically this involved setting up the MFM pattern on the disk, so that sectors of bytes could be successfully written to it. With the advent of RLL encoding, low-level formatting grew increasingly uncommon, and most modern hard disks are embedded systems, which are low-level formatted at the factory with the physical geometry dimensions and thus not subject to user intervention.
    EDIT:

    Please check this link. Whilst there are tools that might be described a "low level format" they actually are not in the traditional sense.

    http://www.ariolic.com/activesmart/l...el-format.html
    Last edited by nihil; April 5th, 2008 at 04:29 PM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  6. #6
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    I don't know about low level formating but, I use this: http://dban.sourceforge.net/ tool when I am recycling a hard drive. It is a boot disk that allows several options for wiping a hard disk.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    "dban" is "Darik's Boot and Nuke". It is very good for wiping a whole drive but not if you just want individual files and folders. It is actually packaged with the "eraser" application I linked to.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  8. #8
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    There is a utility built into Windows that will do this for you. Check out the Cipher utility. It writes over the chosen directory 3 times. You'll want to delete anything on the directory that you want to write over.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/315672

  9. #9
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I am always a little wary of applications that run in Windows.

    Don't forget slack space/cluster tips and the dreaded page file
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  10. #10
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    I'm the opposite. I'd trust a Windows app over something custom any day. All Cipher does is overwrite unused space on a hard drive. If you have an empty drive, it will write over the entire disk 3 times and with different characters each time. It's really that simple. lol Why would you need anything else? Many of those hard drive-manufacturer applications only write over the drive once with ones and zeros. Cipher's actual purpose is to be used as an encryption utility, so what better way than to use it to mask your unused hard drive space?

    Anyway, don't knock it until you've tried it. It's free and works for all hard drives, rather than just a specific brand. I really doubt that one of those free apps will be able to retrieve anything useful from a drive that has been 'ciphered'.

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