low format a hd in a powerbook

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by superbovine, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #1
    Is it possible to low level format a hard drive in a powerbook?
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #2
    forgive an ignorant n00b but what does "low level format" mean? :eek:
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #3
    Can't you do this with Disk Utility? When you go to erase a drive, check under security options.

    A noob with 2,065 posts?:rolleyes:
    A low level format means physically erase all data.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #4
    hmm i will try booting from the install disc and doing the disc utility in there then. my mbr is screwed to hell, and I can seem to repair it. I want to try "low level" format before i give up and replace the drive.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #5
    it forces zeros to be written to the drive.
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #6
    well, a formatting n00b...:eek:
     
  7. macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Is that like the secure zero option? It used to be called "low-level" but I guess they renamed it.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #8
    Yep. They are the same. In reality it zeros out all the data by placing a 0 in every bit. A low level format is the technical term. A high level format merely formats the control the structures that tell where data is stored.
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9

    That's not my understanding of it; rather, it is, but a lot more indepth than your description makes it sound. Low level formatting is completely blanking the hard drive and resetting it, including any ROM-style data and formatting. This is useful if you are getting, for example, a code 5 on your SMART tests. Code 5 means that re-allocation blocks have been used up (usually because of a bad head, but sometimes it's just from overuse). Low level formatting resets the allocation parameters and reads over dead blocks, locking them and, essentially, removing them, while setting up new blocks for bad block allocation.

    And to answer the original question, no, as far as I know the only drives you can low level format are certain SCSI drives, ATAs basically become paperweights when they fail SMART. If you just mean blanking everything back to zeros, you can do that in 10.2.8 and above in disk utility (I believe) or find other utilities, like Disc Warrior, to help. Hope that helps!
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #10
    True. Low Level Formating used to mean pretty much exactly what you have said. It was done on older hard drives during massive failure. There are no utilities on that market that can do that to a modern hard drive. A true Low Level Format cannot be done on a modern hard drive due to the complexity of the drive. So...the meaing sort of changed some. A modern low level format means zeroing out the drive while running a diagnostic on it. Is this Low level formating by definition? No, it's not and many purist complain about utilities that advertise as LLF software because they aren't truely. Many companies have changed their wording away from low level formating to zeroing the drive. So in conclusion, have I totally confused anyone?
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #11
    SYNTAX ERROR, huh?

    Fair enough. I'm just not sure what the original poster was asking for, so I thought I'd elaborate.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #12
    you didn't mention it zero's out the file allocation table as well...
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    Northants, UK
    #13
    Remember from my Amiga days that low level formats were a very bad move, permantly knackers the drive.

    That was the mid 90's.
     

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