Re: Hard Drives 101. Your answers please.

Re: Hard Drives 101. Your answers please.


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Posted by Henry on November 07, 2001 at 16:22:22:

In Reply to: Re: Hard Drives 101. Your answers please. posted by colin on November 06, 2001 at 17:27:06:

: So your into the latest fashion of destoying drives using low level formatting. It should never be done at home or as a DIY tinker, the calibration at low level when alignging tracks and sectors into set head assignment is done in factory controlled conditions, you should never attempt it, at best you will render a good portion of the drive un-addressable and if your very lucky, which isn't often, you may actually hit on a landing zone and avoid the first of many head crashes.
: Low level formatting is the quickest way to turn a HDD into an ash tray or hi-tec paper weight,I can only assume(sorry Henry)that those who advocate it dont do it themselves, because if they did they would stop.
:


If in doubt, please REREAD and try to UNDERSTAND my first sentence:

"When I get a used HDD I ALWAYS run the drive maker's pseudo low level format program to write zeroes to every accessible address on the disk."

Is there some part of this statement that is unclear?

A pseudo low level format program writes zeroes to every user accessible (addressable) spot on the HDD surface. This DOES NOT affect the true low level format of the HDD. This DOES NOT kill HDDs. This DOES NOT convert HDDs to ashtrays. This DOES NOT convert HDDs to Hi or Lo Tech paper weights. This DOES write zeroes atop every bit of user, format, boot block and FAT data; the drive is as clear of data as the day it left the factory - EXCEPT that pros can read even zeroed data.

Following pseudo low level format, partition the clean HDD with fdisk or functional equivalent. It is not the least bit clear to me HOW one could partition a "destroyed" disk, but I do it on EVERY USED HDD I get and some I bought new when I want to start them fresh or on another system.

Following partition, I format the HDD. Again, it is not the least bit clear to me HOW one could format a "destroyed" disk, but I do it on EVERY USED HDD I get and some I bought new when I want to start them fresh or on another system.

Now understand that we are talking about a used HDD that MAY NOT be in the best condition to start with, especially the surface. Therefore following format I perform a Read/Write surface scan with scandisk to assess the quality of the HDD surface. When all done there will be a scanlog on the drive, a report of the condition of the HDD as found by scandisk.

Pseudo low level format programs DO NOT DAMAGE HDDs - they merely write data to all of the sectors beginning with sector zeero and that data happens to be zeroes. Some HDD makers RECOMMEND that the user run their low level format program in some cases. I suspect that the MYTH continues (that LLF kills HDDs) because someone "low level formatted" a HDD, neglected to perform the recommended surface scan, found himself using a damaged disk and blamed the "low level format".

A related piece of fiction is that a pseudo low level format "recovers" bad sectors. A pseudo low level format DOES NOT recover anything (that is it DOES NOT Repair anything). A pseudo low level format CONCEALS bad sectors (ovewrwrites the tables with zeroes); one must find them again with a good surface scanner - that is, a READ/WRITE surface scan.

When I get a used HDD I ALWAYS run the drive maker's pseudo low level format program to write zeroes to every accessible address on the disk, partition it, format it and perform a thorough (Read/Write) surface scan with scandisk. I intend to continue this practice and to recommend it as it is a SAFE way to clean up a HDD and assess a HDD's suitability for continued service.

CLEAR?

Henry



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