How can one LOW LEVEL format an IDE HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SheerGold, May 30, 2006.

  1. SheerGold macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Utilities in Tiger (OS X 10.4.6) allows one to "zero out data".

    Does anyone know FOR CERTAIN if this is THE SAME as doing a "low-level format" on a SCSI hard drive?

    Or is it NEARLY the same (i.e. not quite so thorough & leaving some parts untouched, for instance the master boot record).
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    It's the IDE drive equivalent to low level formatting a SCSI drive.

    Whether it's the exact same, I really doubt it. I'm fairly certain about that.

    But it's about the best you're going to get.

    And to answer your question "How can one LOW LEVEL format an IDE HD?", I don't beleive you can without some special hardware, probably from the HD vendor. Disk Utility isn't going to do it for you.
  3. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    yep you're right. modern ide drives cannot do a "true" low-level format. i am not sure about SATA, I'll have to look into that later. My guess is no also, considering some of the first sata drives were ide with a converter on it.
  4. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    From what everyone has told me (including one of the guys who helped build the RAID for the human genome project), there is no way to low level format a modern IDE drive.
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    If you are really worried about your data and have a PC available, you might want to give KillDisk a try.

    Once you wipe your drive you can put it back in your Mac and reformat it.

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