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Low level format utilities

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Low level format utilities for the hard disk

Important drive information (servo, sector layout, and defect management, etc.) is stored in the low-level format at the factory. This information is designed to last the life of the drive and therefore it is not possible to low level the drive outside the factory. Although some drive manufactures and BIOS provided so-called "low level format utilities", they actually perform a write-read verify of the drive’s user data sectors, and do not actually perform a low-level format. In the event of a corrupted master boot record or boot block virus, use FDISK /MBR command to restore the master boot record. If you need to low level format your hard drive then check the drive manufacturer and download such an utility from its website. Every drive manufacturer provides just such a utility. Below is a list of hard drive manufacturers with a links to low level format utilities.

Note: If normal (high level) hard disk formatting is required, you can use DOS FDISK command to first erase and create partitions and then use FORMAT. It is also a good idea when you hard disk becomes inaccessible to see if it is just the system files that are corrupted. Most of the time, it is the case. SYS will do the job of replacing system files. Therefore, low level format is always of LAST RESORT when you encounter HDD problems.

IBM(Hitachi)
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm

Seagate
http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/utils.html

Maxtor
http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/downloads/index.htm

Fujitsu
http://www.fel.fujitsu.com/home/drivers.asp?L=en&CID=1

Samsung
http://www.samsung.com/Products/HardDiskDrive/utilities/index.htm
FAQ: Low level format

Western Digital
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp

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