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Low level format dangerous in moderns HDD's???


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#1 purplewarrior

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:43 AM

Low level formatting is not advised in today's hard disks.
In modern drives, the first and last time low level format is done, it is done by the manufacturer at factory.


The above has been posted by Romeo29(BC Advisor) in this topic: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic243674.html


Can anyone please confirm that a Low Level Format is deadly in modern hard drives??

Edited by purplewarrior, 30 November 2012 - 09:45 AM.


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#2 Platypus

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:00 PM

It's correct that a true low-level format , if anyone has access to a utility that will attempt to do this, is not appropriate for modern hard drives.

Two things are commonly called low-level formats. Firstly the original factory format, which creates the drive parameters, writes the tracks with servo markers etc, and then what is now usually called a zero-fill which is the empty state in which the drive leaves the factory with zero values for all contents in the user area.

Low and high level format is now used to distinguish between zero-fill, which returns the drive to the state it left the factory, and the operating system's file system format, which may or may not change the actual data content of the drive.

It is considered hazardous to use any older utility which attempts to do a true low-level format, because there's no certainty that the drive architecture will be correctly understood, and whilst the drive's controller may simply ignore wrong instructions, it could also "brick" the drive.

With the self-diagnostics and repair capabilities built into modern drives, there's no occasion to use anything beyond a zero-fill, which procedure triggers any pending maintenance operations to be implemented by the drive's controller.

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#3 purplewarrior

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:05 PM

It's correct that a true low-level format , if anyone has access to a utility that will attempt to do this, is not appropriate for modern hard drives.

Two things are commonly called low-level formats. Firstly the original factory format, which creates the drive parameters, writes the tracks with servo markers etc, and then what is now usually called a zero-fill which is the empty state in which the drive leaves the factory with zero values for all contents in the user area.

Low and high level format is now used to distinguish between zero-fill, which returns the drive to the state it left the factory, and the operating system's file system format, which may or may not change the actual data content of the drive.

It is considered hazardous to use any older utility which attempts to do a true low-level format, because there's no certainty that the drive architecture will be correctly understood, and whilst the drive's controller may simply ignore wrong instructions, it could also "brick" the drive.

With the self-diagnostics and repair capabilities built into modern drives, there's no occasion to use anything beyond a zero-fill, which procedure triggers any pending maintenance operations to be implemented by the drive's controller.


Well, you guys suggest a Low level Format as the only way to make sure that a drive is 100% clean of malware in some cases.
Which Low level Format are you referring to over there?? The Zero fill one or the real low level one??

#4 Platypus

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:42 AM

I am sure it will be a zero-fill that is intended. Would you mind directing to where you found the LLF reference?

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