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DanTaylor 01-21-2006 01:39 AM

low-level format
How can I run a low-level format? I don't know the shell command for formatting, and can't find it in the man pages.

ugenn 01-21-2006 01:51 AM

Unnecessary on modern disks, damaging even. To blank your hdd, simply use the dd command to write zero blocks.

bulliver 01-21-2006 07:00 AM

Even the dd is unnecessary unless you are giving the disk away and don't want any data to be recovered.
If you want to use the disk for something else yourself, just use fdisk to erase all the partitions, create new ones as you see fit, then put filesystems on them.

Emerson 01-21-2006 07:20 AM

Is your disk SCSI? In this case use software built in the SCSI controller. See your controller's manual for details. CTRL+A is common for entering to Adaptec setup.

pixellany 01-21-2006 07:31 AM

The formatting command is mkfs---and several variants. Start with man mkfs.

But, what do you mean by "low-level"? Do you need to wipe all traces of data?

I don't understand one respondent's comment that low-level format could be damaging. Disks wear out, suffer hard crashes, etc. but has anyone seen one fail because it had too many reads and writes??

Emerson 01-21-2006 08:04 AM

Important data are stored during low-level format. Like sector layout, servo data, etc. Since IDE disks have built-in controllers (unlike SCSI) there is no need to re-write this kind of information. Even more, it is possible to destroy an IDE disk if something goes wrong.

dcdbutler 01-21-2006 09:21 AM

I think there's some confusion between low-level formatting and zero-filling.

DanTaylor 01-22-2006 03:52 PM

Thanks for the help, I got the problem fixed and my computer is up and running

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