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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