Low Level Format SATA

By alynch75 ยท 12 replies
Dec 16, 2004
  1. I have a Seagate Baracuda 120GB SATA hard drive. Got it from a buddy at work who had an extra drive he said he started a low level format (why I don't know) so I tried to complet the format. ITs no at 54% on the low leve format. i started this at 5pm it is now 9:20pm EST is this normal or should I trash the drive. HELP :knock:
  2. bwchato

    bwchato TS Rookie


    it should'nt take that long.My son has the same size hard drive and he was done in a very short time
  3. alynch75

    alynch75 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    More info needed

    Hey did he do a normal format or a low level format.
    my asus board a7n8x deluxe has a low level format option on the bios that is what I am using :hotbounce
  4. bwchato

    bwchato TS Rookie


    just did a normal format.I did a quik format on my computer.Have'nt had any problems with it.By the way,I have an ASUS A7N8X,it's not the deluxe but it works just fine
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You should use the HD utility from Seagate to do the low level format if you feel that you have to.

    I can't see why on earth would anyone want to do a low level format on a good drive anyway. It's only useful to get rid of bad sectors. And doing it with a bad tool can make the drive very slow.
  6. alynch75

    alynch75 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Low level format

    I had a virus and had to wipe the drive at the book loader level. Its still not done been running all night. Does anyone have the link to the seagate low level format for the 120gb sata baracuda drives. please help :hotbounce
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You don't need a low level format to clean out a virus.

    Please go to Seagate homepage. For drive testing you want to download SeaTools, for "low level format", you want DiscWizard. Get the basic versions that are bootable from a floppy.
  8. alynch75

    alynch75 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Didn't work

    I download the DiskWizard software from seagate and there is no option for low level format. There is only perapare disk and it is not doing a low level format. If it is its the fasted low level format I have seen on a 120GB drive its only taking about 2 minutes so I guess its just wipping out the partition table. I need to low level format. I tired to do a format under windows xp and it just hangs. I can see the partitions when i create them but windows xp will not format the drive. Please help. or do I need to scrap the drive and get a new one. :knock: :hotbounce
  9. Hanto

    Hanto TS Rookie

    As much as I don't like Seagate drives ( from many years of experience with their formatting policies ), there is little doubt in my mind that Seagate has a low-level format procedure for their drives including the SATA drives. I would bet that one of the downloads on the Seagate site has the procedure you need.. As with Western Digital, it might be called a ' Write Zeros to the HD ' instead of the low-level you think you are looking for.

    And for those that think a low-level isn't needed for a drive.. I recover drives that other people throw away.. the Low Level function is very much needed to keep a drive alive especially when it has been in the hands of wanna-be hackers.

    Just so some know, legitimate software such as dual booting software can and does sometimes create situations that require the use of a low level format and even then may not be successful right off the bat.. I've seen perfectly good drives that lasted for over two years after the low-level ( under extreme stressful use ) but that took almost two weeks to get working again after initial failure due to the use of certain dual booting softwares.

    Yes I am extremely patient, I don't like RMAs but in this case I was about to give up myself...
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I think there is some confusion about low-level formatting here..

    An explanation written by people more fluent in english than me: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/geom/formatLow-c.html

    Also, if some software has botched up the MBR of a drive then you don't have to zero out the whole drive. Just clean up the boot sector and things should be OK.
  11. Hanto

    Hanto TS Rookie

    Right On Nodsu.. I truely appreciate you looking up the explanation. The only conflict I see is that the explanation also states the use of a Zero Fill utility may be necessary in certain cases as has happened with me on several occasions.

    The explanation Nodsu was so good as to find for us is absolutely correct.. Using modern hard drives, the LLF procedure is not as it was 8-10+ years ago. In almost all situations, the Zero Fill option available from the manufacturer will generally perform all necessary procedures related to getting a modern hard drive back into primo condition, assuming there is NO hardware problem.

    This is why I keep bookmarks on my Yahoo Companion toolbar that specifically takes me to the various Hardware manufacturer websites. Why do I use Yahoo bookmarks? Because I was tired of re-locating bookmarks after hardware crashes.

    Thank you very much Nodsu.

  12. Blakhart

    Blakhart TS Rookie Posts: 353

    zeroing ide drives

    When you low level a ide drive, it's not really low leveling, it's writing zeros to all writeable parts of the drive. If it is done completely, it takes hours, I let mine go overnight. If it takes minutes to an hour, it's not zeroing the whole drive.
  13. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    My 2 cents :
    I used Zapit from a floppy dos boot
    writes zeros to HDD and the size you have would take bout 4 hrs maybe little more maybe little less
    Acronis makes good utility for virus wipes
    I am a Seagate man and have used all there software at one time or n'other.
    never failed me
    low level format should never be interupted you could damage drive and or corrupt firmware , then you'll have to beg for flash utility from HDD maker.
    Good Luck
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