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Low Level Format | Tech Info Home Page |

General Information.

Note: IDE drives do NOT need low level formatting, ever, since they are pre-formatted at the factory. A typically user should only have to Fdisk the drive and then format it to make it usable for DOS and Windows usage.

Please Note: Performing a low level format on any drive will wipe out all data and you will not be able to retrieve the data with any means.

Performing a low level format wipes all the data off the disk drive. After the low level format is done, you will need to reboot the computer with a bootable floppy disk and run the fdisk utility to create partitions, then run the format utility to actually format the drive. Both the fdisk and format utilities are automatically copied to the disk if you use windows 9x to create an emergency boot disk. This process is detailed in the "Format a Hard Drive" page

IDE drives -

There are several methods to "low level" format a hard drive. 

  1. Buy a commercial program that performs this function. The Micro2000 "Microscope" program does this (amongst other technical tests) for the steep price of about $400.
  2. Use the BIOS utility if one is available.
    AMI BIOS dated April 9, 1990 and later should support this function. Go into the BIOS and select | Hard Disk Utilities | Hard Disk Format |
  3. Use a special program provided by the manufacturer of the hard drive.




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