When you buy a hard drive, it has already suffered a low level formatting.
Warning! Low level formatting will erase the entire contents of the hard disk hard: data, partitions, MBR,... This can take several hours!


When to use low level formatting?
-A boot virus will replicate permanently on the hard drive. A normal formatting does come not come to end. -Classic formatting blocks a certain percentage or suffered a defeat. -The hard drive does not work properly: noises, loss of clusters, sudden increase in the number of bad sectors. -Refusal of an operating system to settle on formatted hard drive in a classical way. -One simply wants to format the hard disk: don't hesitate to perform low-level formatting to back to nine (to resell it for example).



What is it?
Low-level formatting is used to initialize the surface of each disc tray and tracks that they contain. Its usefulness is also to include in the root of the hard disk basic information concerning the number of cylinders, damaged clusters, etc.
This formatting is set at the factory and it is not necessary to do this after the purchase of your hard disk. Low-level formatting is done on the entire disk.
It can be used to solve problems of copy; the disc is then refurbished. This operation is not without risk for your hard disk, it is to be avoided if it works properly.



Difference 'low' and 'high' level
High-level formatting, is standard formatting because its use is much more common than that of his counterpart at low level. The "logical" formatting is done after low-level formatting. It creates a file on the disk system, which will allow an operating system (DOS, Windows, Linux, OS/2, Windows NT,...) to use disk space to store and use files. Formatting 'logic' is an operation to be applied to each of the partitions on the disk.



Format = unsuitable
The term "formatting the hard disk", despite its common use in the computer world is wrong. Indeed, it does not format a hard disk, but a primary partition or logical drives in an extended partition (either one or more areas of the disk). This is important if your disk is partitioned into several drives. If your hard disk contains such a logical drive C and one another, then it is possible to format only one only of the two, the other retaining all of its data (and not both as this wrong term could believe).



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Download utilities:

Fujitsu : erasefujitsu.zip

IBM : site de Download           creation de diskt ==> dft32_v362_b14.exe

Maxtor : site du PowerMax           powermax.exe

Samsung : clearhddsamsung.exe

Seagate : DiscWizard Starter Edition (need 2 floppy disks): go down, and then click download now, and then accept, fill with especially the N ° of the hard disk, and then submit and load on HERE

Quantum : zdisk101.zip

Western Digital : site de Download           dlgsetup11_win.zip

Hitachi : site           dft32_v406_b00.exe

Once low-level finish formatting, restart the PC with the boot disk (9 x, ME) or with the CD (2000 or XP) to repartition and format the hard disk to reinstall Windows.
Another low level format utility, there is LOFORMAT which is free and easy to use. Click to download: loformat.exe (File to copy on another disk)
must be:
1 - Start with the boot floppy
2 - Type FDISK and enable large disk support
3 - Delete all partitions
4 - Exit FDISK without restarting the computer to use it:
5 - Put the other floppy disk containing Loformat and type LOFORMAT
6 - Go to "Bad Track List"
7 - Choose "Auto Scan Bad Track". Loformat will detect bad sectors of the HD
8 - Go to "Preformat"
9. - Select "Start Format"
10 - type "Y" (YES).
11. Low level formatting starts and it takes 1/4 of an hour per gigabyte
There is another utility for formatting low-level as excellent, but paying, OnTrack Data Eraser that formats no matter what hard drive. It requires a floppy disk; It is very easy to use thanks to its graphic interface



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To format from the DOS in assembler
(preferably, don't let that connect the drive to be formatted to avoid having one... unpleasant surprise...) "in the raw" as some would say
DEBUG.exe a disk located in c:\windows\command then start by a boot diskt
-f 200 L200 0 - a 100 xxxx:0100 mov ax, 301 xxxx:0103 mov bx, 200 xxxx:0106 mov cx, 1 xxxx:0109 mov dx, 0080 int 13 xxxx:010E 3 xxxx:010F int xxxx:010C (please ENTER twice) - d 100 LF xxxx:0100 B8 01 03 BB 00 02
B9 01-00 80 00 CD 13 CC BA
(Make sure that the hex values are consistent with the above line otherwise, type "Q" and try again)
CODE:-g = 100 (ignore the message) - q (quit to return to the back)
to update the your dd factory setting:
-debug FCS:200 400 00 entry A each time RAX 0301 RBX 0600 RCX 0001 RDX 0080 E100 CD 13 P Q
attention! write lowercase and forget the spaces!
Erase all info on:
Run the command DEBUG and run the following lines:
F 200 L1000 0 A CS MOV AX, 301 and ENTER MOV BX, 200 and ENTER MOV CX, 1 and ENTER MOV DX, 80 and ENTER <-"80" for disk 0, "81" for disk 1 INT 13 and ENTER INT 20 and ENTER ENTER <-blank line!
Can have the message: Program terminated normally
Turn off the PC and reboot the!



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Explanations: understand how the architecture of a hard disk is made.
A hard disk is made up of several circular trays rotating around an axis and covered part and another by a magnetic oxide, which, in being polarized, will be able to store data.


Each disc tray is broken down into several concentric zones. In the diagram above against, in each different color corresponds to a track. There are many thousands of tracks on a same and single tray.

Each track contains between 60 and 120 different sectors.

Finally, called cylinder tracks all located vertically from each other on the tray.

Low-level formatting is thus so organize the surface of each tray into tracks and sectors called entities, polarizing, thanks to the write heads, some areas of the disk. The tracks are numbered from 0, then heads concentrically polarize
the surface of the trays. When it comes to the next track, the head leaves a 'hole' (called gap in English) and so on... Each track is itself organized in sectors (numbered starting with 1) separated with gaps between them. Each of these
begins with an area reserved for the information of the called system "prefix" and ends with an area called "suffix"
Low level formatting has therefore aims to prepare the surface of the disk to receive data (it is therefore not dependent on the operating system and enables, thanks to tests carried out by the manufacturer, "mark bad sectors").
Actually, during the formatting, control (algorithm to test the validity of sectors through checksums) are testing and, whenever an area is considered to be defective, the checksum (invalid) is recorded in the prefix; then, it can no
longer be used subsequently. This area is said to be "marked bad".
When the disk reads data, it sends a value that depends on the contents of the packet sent and is initially stored with those - here. The system calculates this value based on the received data, and then compares it with the one that was
stored with the data. If these two values are different, the data is not valid, there is probably a problem of the disc surface.
The cyclic redundancy check (CRC: cyclic redundancy check Eng.), is based on the same principle to control the integrity of a file. Analysis such as 'Scandisk' or 'CHKDSK' utilities operate otherwise: they are data on the valid priori
areas, then reread them and compare them. If these are similar, the utility passes to the next sector, otherwise they mark the defective sector. 

Some sounds to hard H S drives.


Here are other links to these formats:


or it may be readable by Acrobat Reader for these:


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Last edited: 2012-11-03

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