How to do hard-drive low level format ?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Fred Zimmerman, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. I have a home-built PC with ASUS AMD motherboard using
    VIA/AMD 761 chipset (M 170 CD w. package).

    Do I do hard-drive low level format via main BIOS screen/

    I've never done low level hard-drive format procedure before,
    and have no idea how it's done.

    Fred Z
    Fred Zimmerman, Jun 1, 2004
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  2. Most modern hard drives, cannot be low level formatted. Unlike older
    generation devices, where the head moved in physical 'steps', and the
    numbers of sectors on the track were fixed, modern devices, use a servo
    system, with the servo information itself embedded onto the magnetic media,
    and can only be written using special tools at the factory. Fortunately, the
    drives, also have the intelligence, to not accept low level formatting
    instructions, and in most cases triggering a LLF, on such drives, results in
    the media being scanned for defects, but no LLF occurring.
    Why do you think you need to LLF the drive?.

    Best Wishes
    Roger Hamlett, Jun 1, 2004
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  3. low level formats went out when IDE replaced MFM, more or less. If you're
    running a Microsoft OS Fdisk is the usual software unless you are using XP
    where formatting is sort of buried. Lots of formatting info in the microsoft
    knowledge base. As the carpenters say "measure twice and cut once" or in the
    case of formatting be careful if you have anything on the drive you want to
    notritenoteri, Jun 1, 2004
  4. Fred Zimmerman

    Glen Guest

    I think you are mistaking low level formating with formating the hard drive.
    If I am reading you post you have built a computer and have a new hard drive
    with nothing on. If this is the case and you want to use WinXP all you need
    to do is boot of the XP CD and follow the on screen instructions. As windows
    starts to install you will come to a screen where you have to set the hard
    drive up. Just follow the on screen prompts to set the hard drive up as
    FAT32 or NTFS. Let us know if you need any more info.

    Glen, Jun 1, 2004
  5. Fred Zimmerman

    Lil' Dave Guest

    You can't. The best you can do is write zeroes to the entire hard drive.
    This is done with software from the HD mfr's website. This writes over
    partitions and the HD master boot record, actually the entire HD writing
    area. There's also software for "blanking" a hard drive. This software
    writes 0s, 1s, 1s and 0s, etc multiple times to the HD. Believe Linux/Unix
    have similar commands available as part of the OS. Some refer to either as
    medium level formatting.

    High level formatting is creating a file system for the OS involved. The
    partition(s) are already created in this instance. An example of this is
    the for MS Fat/Fat32 file systems. MS Fdisk creates a
    partition(s), and will create an MBR during the process. NTFS and its
    partitions are different but are similar in purpose and level of formatting.

    I do know some older Ultra-Scsi cards bios can low-level format a scsi HD in
    excesss of 4GB. Not sure of today's technology. (showing my age...)

    Another reply made a good description of a low-level format and why it can't
    be done. If such proceeds, your HD may be unusable after such a process.
    Put simply, the factory low-level format is what your PC expects based on
    true physical CHS ... AND ... LBA in order to determine its geometry and
    Lil' Dave, Jun 1, 2004
  6. On 1 Jun 2004 05:57:32 -0700, in <alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus>,

    You don't.

    The ONLY way to LLF a modern HDD is with the drive manufacturer's dedicated
    utility software; and even then, this is often not a "true" LLF (tho'
    sometimes, it is, or is close enough to that for the difference to be moot).

    No surprise. The more interesting question is why you think you want/need to
    do this..?


    Jay T. Blocksom
    Appropriate Technology, Inc.

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    -- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

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    Jay T. Blocksom, Jun 2, 2004
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