Need low-level format that works for more than just Maxtors.

bluemax

Diamond Member
Apr 28, 2000
7,182
0
0
I found a low-level formatter for Maxtor drives, but it doesn't work for non-maxtor drives.
I need one for all hard drives, or at least fujitsu drives. :(
HELP! I'm dying here.... massive crash recovery happening.
 

Viper GTS

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
38,107
433
136
Wipe or Zap

Maybe those will help.

Zap is great for nuking a MBR, wipe should write zeros to any HD, though it says it's limit is 8 GB.

Viper GTS
 

Viper GTS

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
38,107
433
136
FDISK doesn't always work, I was unable to remove a linux installation with FDISK/format. I had to use a program like Zap to nuke the MBR, & then FDISK/Format.

Viper GTS
 

bozo1

Diamond Member
May 21, 2001
6,364
0
0
Actually, IDE and SCSI drives cannot be low-level formatted. Any utility the "claims" it is doing it is doing nothing but wiping the partition table and *maybe verifying the sectors for problems. Low-Level format refers to the need of old MFM, RLL, ESDI drives needing the base tracks and cylinders laid down by a low-level program. The drive heads sync to these tracks to know where to write their data. Over time as the heads would wander due to use, another low-level format was needed to re-write this tracking info to coincide with where the heads have drifted to over time. This is similar to how/why floppy drives need to be formatted and why if you have a floppy out of spec you can format it on your 'out-of-spec' drive and have no problems with it, but bring the disc to another computer and it may not be read. When IDE came around, the bottom platter of each disc was pre-formatted with this tracking info thus negating the need to do this format. The heads would sync to this prewritten tracks. Doing an actual low-level format on these drives would render them useless and you would have to return them to the factory. Within a few months, drive manufacturers wrote code into the drive ROM that would intercept these 'low-level format' commands, do nothing more than wipe the boot sector and partition table, and return a 'finished' result to the program. Around 1994 or so, the drives got smarter and the factory would lay these 'sync' tracks on each platter under where the data is written negating the need to waste half of each platter for tracking info.

Some manufacturers still make available a low-level format program to placate old-school people who just can't accept the fact that there is no need for this anymore OR to help people who have hosed their drive for whatever reason.

Anyway, ancient drive class 101 is now dismissed.



 

cbuchach

Golden Member
Nov 5, 2000
1,164
1
81
BIOS!! I haven't seen a BIOS that does a Low Level Format since my old 386sx Acer Acros BIOS!! Modern BIOSes and modern hard disks for that matter will not perform or need a LLF.
 

jamarno

Golden Member
Jul 4, 2000
1,035
0
0
Try Fujitsu's HD diagnostic.

The diagnostics from Seagate and IBM actually work on all brands of drives, but I'm not sure if Seagate's Seatools can write to non-Seagates. Also some versions of Disk Manager and DiskGo include a low level formatter in the Advanced Options menu.

bozo1, I rendered an erratic 100M drive completely useless by trying to low level format it, and while I've never been able to duplicate this kind of damage with any newer drives (1" tall or less), including some from 1992 or 1993, I've heard that an expensive utility called Micro 2000 can.
 

TunaBoo

Diamond Member
May 6, 2001
3,280
0
0


<< Actually, IDE and SCSI drives cannot be low-level formatted. Any utility the &quot;claims&quot; it is doing it is doing nothing but wiping the partition table and *maybe verifying the sectors for problems. Low-Level format refers to the need of old MFM, RLL, ESDI drives needing the base tracks and cylinders laid down by a low-level program. The drive heads sync to these tracks to know where to write their data. Over time as the heads would wander due to use, another low-level format was needed to re-write this tracking info to coincide with where the heads have drifted to over time. This is similar to how/why floppy drives need to be formatted and why if you have a floppy out of spec you can format it on your 'out-of-spec' drive and have no problems with it, but bring the disc to another computer and it may not be read. When IDE came around, the bottom platter of each disc was pre-formatted with this tracking info thus negating the need to do this format. The heads would sync to this prewritten tracks. Doing an actual low-level format on these drives would render them useless and you would have to return them to the factory. Within a few months, drive manufacturers wrote code into the drive ROM that would intercept these 'low-level format' commands, do nothing more than wipe the boot sector and partition table, and return a 'finished' result to the program. Around 1994 or so, the drives got smarter and the factory would lay these 'sync' tracks on each platter under where the data is written negating the need to waste half of each platter for tracking info.

Some manufacturers still make available a low-level format program to placate old-school people who just can't accept the fact that there is no need for this anymore OR to help people who have hosed their drive for whatever reason.

Anyway, ancient drive class 101 is now dismissed.
>>



Yah this mean speaks the truth ;) But I am also at fault, and call a zero out of drive + a check for erros a low level format, where I just call a format a delition of the file locations (i.e. format.com)
 

jepritchett

Senior member
Dec 28, 2000
203
0
0
I've always used WD Clear which is made for Western Digital drives, but works for any brand. Just search for wdclear.exe, download it, put on a bootable floppy, and run it from DOS.
 

dswskinner

Junior Member
Apr 21, 2000
8
0
0
The way i did it was to back up by windows boot drive using a utility like norton ghost.

Then start the install (only up till the first boot)of win95,98,ME. These don't care what is already in the Masterboot record and will overwrite it with it's own config (remember to install to a different directory/drive if you want to keep your existing setup).

Then restore you your previous backup. And everything worked fine. No more Linux loader.

Hope this helps